Don’t Blame The Bike Industry

Words Cam McRae
Date Apr 21, 2015

Like Vernon Felton, I’m angry about the assault of standards and wheel sizes the bike industry seems to be hurling on riders. Headsets, bottom brackets, wheel sizes – and now a devastating surprise attack with axle sizes. And what the hell is with 27.5+ and 29+?

I’m not here to debate the pros and cons of each of these, and I’m no engineer. But Vernon’s recent work got me thinking about how we got into this sloppy, fetid mess that leaves riders with obsolete, 2-year-old, $2300 wheelsets in their basements.

There was a time when I would sell a bike but keep my precious Chris King headset to use on the new arrival. I did this over and over again. Wheels and hubs were a no-brainer as well. There’s an old SNL skit about Popeil’s Galactic Prophylactic about a condom so durable “you can pass it from father to son” (guaranteed for 50 years!). It always seemed to pop into my head when I was punching out my old-but-still-pristine silver headset.

And now we are at the point where the upgrades we splurge for this year might be useless on next year’s bikes. Bike parts are becoming as disposable as condoms. And not the Galactic kind. And don’t count on getting decent value in the used market ever again. Obsolescence, planned or otherwise, will force you to slash your price to make the sale.

Product managers are happy to tell us about their desire to innovate, and that they can’t do that without changing standards. They’ll add that they are motivated by making better bikes, bikes that will help you shred trail like never before. But they always forget to tell you the other parts. The part about their bosses leaning on them to produce bikes that will outsell the competition. And the part about their asses being on the line if they don’t.

If we forced product managers to choose between these options, which do you think they’d pick?

  1. A design incorporating existing standards that will perform well.
  2. A design with new standards that will sell better but not quite match up in performance?

Capitalism has answered that question for us I’m afraid. And while I know this happens all the time, I’m not saying it happens everywhere. Employees of public companies have little choice when it comes to decisions like this, but privately held concerns can more easily resist having the bottom line steamroll other goals. If they choose to that is.

In the video linked above, Ryan Palmer asked Rocky Mountain product manager Alex Cogger whether the public was asking for a bike like the 27.5+ Sherpa, that was first on display at Sea Otter in 2014. His reply was that “consumers don’t ask for something they don’t know exists” and that “no one asked for an iPhone before iPhones appeared.” The iPhone took existing technology and obliterated it to create a new category that, as it turned out, virtually everyone wanted. While Cogger didn’t compare the Sherpa to the iPhone exactly, he was saying the Sherpa is a bike that consumers didn’t know they wanted because it didn’t exist.

But let’s go back to the iPhone. The iPhone 5 was heralded by Apple as “the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world,” It does the same things as the old phone, but you can’t use your old charger, the dock on your clock radio or any other accessory. And it’s bigger. Isn’t’ the bike industry becoming a bit like Apple in all the wrong ways? Changing things just to change them? Making incremental improvements (better on loose ground, more stable) and heralding them as revolutions?

But I digress. My point is that if the people who make decisions at bike companies are motivated by selling more stuff, isn’t it our fault for buying the new stuff with new standards? Couldn’t we vote with our dollars? ‘If you don’t like it, don’t buy it’ is the classic comment under articles about changing MTB standards. But can individual consumers make any difference at all?

Specialized will tell you they believe their Enduro 29er outperforms the Enduro 650b. But they made the tweener version anyway, because they were losing sales. I’m not arguing that 650b or 29 is better, but this is an example of consumers influencing decisions made within bike companies.

But with 29 vs. 650b we had a choice. Try buying a new, high performance, 6” travel bike this spring with a 135mm QR rear axle and 26” wheels. The bike may still exist but only in captivity. And there are no breeding pairs left. The next time we are going to be forced to accept a new standard, because every bike company is probably jumping on the train, is with Boost 148 and 110 axles. That means more expensive wheels, hubs, forks and frames in your basement that will soon be obsolete. And if they are on every bike you are interested in how can you opt out?

When given the chance to vote with our dollars we don’t seem to be doing it. Rocky’s booth was again teeming with people enamoured with the 27.5+ wheeled Sherpa. At times when I was walking by it was like there were no other bikes there (the others were mostly back in the tent while the 2015 Sherpa was front and centre). Riders who have leapt on that bandwagon have spurred more bike companies into the plus market.

Will you be forced to buy bikes with Boost axles when and if they become ubiquitous? Of course not. You could take up golf or knitting or you could keep buying used 26”-wheeled bikes (that weren’t ridden much) when yours wears out. As long as there are good tires around that is. And you can arrange rides on your flip phone.

But most of us won’t. And the behaviour of most of us sets the rules. We’ll capitulate, press ‘Buy Now’ on our iPhone 8+ and sign up for whatever the bike industry is selling us. Nothing short of a consumer revolution will change this.

So instead of blaming the bike industry maybe we should be blaming ourselves for the mess we find ourselves in. Isn’t it our fault really?

Yep. It’s our fault. Because we haven’t abandoned mountain biking for golf or knitting.


What if we asked bike companies to sign a contract saying they’ll voluntarily maintain standards for five years? Could that work? You could choose to buy from companies who adopt the policy, or opt out and go your own way? Or is there another solution?

Trending on NSMB

Comments

ryan-smith
0
Ryan Smith  - April 26, 2015, 10:27 p.m.

I've been riding the rapid changes in bike teck to a point but I live to ride. I just picked up a 29r to try something different and its way different. The main thing that's holding me back from really enjoying this new ride is the reliability of the back wheel. Now here comes 148 Boost to save the day, a year too late. Looks like I'll have to buy a truing stand and tighten my wheel every ride.

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stewart-spooner
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Stewart Spooner  - April 25, 2015, 6:43 p.m.

Change that doesn't significantly improve my riding experience is just marketing b.s. I rode through all the major mountain bike revolutions: front suspension, full suspension, fat rubber, and disc brakes, all which instantly and obviously changed what we could do on a bike. Dropper posts and carbon frames aren't quite in the same league, but at least I noticed the benefit. In contrast, I've extensively demoed these past few pseudo innovations: 29″ wheels, 27.5″ wheels, 1x drive-trains, long and slack geometry, new hub standards etc. which all feel worse than my trusted 26″ Carbon Nomad. We all know there's something fundamentally wrong with all these companies continually hyping the newest and greatest, which are no more fun to ride than what we were paying a third less for only a few years ago. These changes are just a technological fetish, for the bikes are good enough. Meaningful innovation from here should make them cheaper, and produce them in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner.

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rat
0
Rat  - April 24, 2015, 11:08 a.m.

I think its great, it has created a phenomenal value in the second hand 26r market. just buy used.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 24, 2015, 2:01 p.m.

As long as you can get good tires and bikes and parts that aren't beaten, that is a great option.

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wesley-meyer
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Wesley Meyer  - April 24, 2015, 7:28 a.m.

Cam - A related piece on manual transmissions, market pressures and consumer behavior. There's a thread in it where (my take) the increase in the number of options for customers can serve to reduce the effective choices for them. Primarily because the overwhelming number of product options forces the dealer to continually focus their buy/spend/training efforts on ones they know that will sell. So when a company offers a mountain bike platform in 4″, 5″, 6″ and 6″+ with a couple wheel size options and trim levels, they'll just pick the two most popular options and inventory those. You get the same number of choices as in 2001 - only with more surrounding noise from media and technology.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 24, 2015, 2 p.m.

That was a great article Wes.

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kain0m
0
kain0m  - April 23, 2015, 12:30 a.m.

I've said from the beginning: The industry is telling us what we get, because it is helping their sales. It is a devious move - we, the consumers, can keep on riding 26″, but the shops were forced to go 27.5″. And now they are forced to get into the plus size business. They have to buy the shit, because someone is going to buy it (and complain if he can't). Just look at 1-by. They slashed the number of components, yet upped the group price significantly.The very only innovation behind one-by is the narrow/wide chain ring - which was invented forty years ago. Oh, and a new freehub "standard".

What the industry has achieved is:
- demolish the second hand market
- force dealers to discount any "old" generation product (as the market will be dried up by the industry)
- driven "innovation" with remarkably similar products

The sad truth is, there is nothing we can do. If we choose to vote with our wallet (i.e. not buy plus size, 1-by, 650b, etc.), it will only drive the "market" to "innovate" some more. 650b & fat bikes did not bring the sales that were projected, so we're getting the plus size. The only two ways are: Sheep or hermit. Can't buy a current bike that fits any of my old stuff…

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 9:36 a.m.

It sounds like we are aligned for the most part kainOm.
I'd argue that 1by (independent of price) was an example of innovation that makes a significant difference. After several years of riding 1by I can only recall two dropped chains - and one was a from a crash. Whether the tech was old or new - that is a leap forward in performance. Add simplicity, reduced maintenance, noise and weight and you have tech that is much more than change disguised as revolution. It can also be used without the new hub standard, albeit with less range. I for one will never go back given the choice - even though front derailleurs are better than ever.

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john-hawkins
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John Hawkins  - Aug. 25, 2016, 2:58 p.m.

I'd suggest that clutch rear derailleurs are the innovation that drives the difference, not 1x.

After several years of going clutched I can only recall two dropped chains - and one of those was also from a crash. I use XT/XTR on Quarq cranks, currently 2×10.

1x is a hoax. The gap between gears is annoying and breaks your rhythm. SRAM is just trying to resolve its shitty front shifter and derailleur by getting rid of them.

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seanluge
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Spoogekin  - April 22, 2015, 10:47 p.m.

I have had 2 mountain bikes in the last 8 or 9 years and i ride at least once per week. Both happend to have 26″ wheels. It was always about getting on my bike and being out in the forest and pushing myself or riding with friends and having fun on our bikes. This who obsession with tinkering with bikes to make a profit really goes against everything this sport is about, makes me sad.. Hopefully I can keep my 26er going for a while longer.

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drewm
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DrewM  - April 22, 2015, 7:48 p.m.

There is still a lot of choice in the market for the educated consumer, and definitely vehicles for information (like NSMB.com or BikeMag) could highlight, as part of their reviews, bikes/companies that offer a lot of backwards (and upgrade) compatibility with their products if it is a big deal to them or their readership. Or, if that isn't feasible, highlight compatibility/non-compatibility as part of each review.

For example (not to pick on specific companies): 1) Banshee makes (slightly portly & not integrated looking) suspension frames with modern geometry and kinematics that accept 26″ or 650b wheels and could run ~100% of the parts from your year ~2000+ 5-7″ FS bike (with the addition of a headset shim if you want to run your 1-1/8″ King headset and possibly a seat post) if that was your goal… OR 2) Cannondale makes super light, bleeding edge, integrated looking bikes engineered ground-up to perform a certain way with proprietary forks (and hubs), shocks, and non-symmetrical crank offsets. That is absolutely a consumer choice (with positives and negatives in both directions).

It might be "passive-aggressive" Canadianism, but I'd also like to suggest that if NSMB.com could moderate out a lot of noise that is not actually debate on the article, or even debate on comments to the article, but rather just personally demeaning to readers/posters.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:28 p.m.

Good points.
I hear you on the moderation front Drew. It's a fine line to tread but in very rare cases we take action against extremely unproductive posters. Mike Vandeman being one example, and today's troll being another.

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hbelly13
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Raymond Epstein  - April 23, 2015, 9:18 a.m.

Yessirreee on the Banshee point. Small company, forward thinking, but also backwards compatible. I have said many times that their Rune (at least in a size medium as such that I have) is nearly identical to Santa Cruz's much lauded Nomad 3 with no difference any greater than 0.5 degrees or 4 mm. However it proceeded the SC buy two years and is way more versatile. Yeah, its a about 1.5 lbs heavier on average than the Nomad built up, but one has to decide if that weight loss is worth more than $1500.

I could have easily moved my 26″ stuff over to my Banshee last year, but after demoing many 27.5 rigs I felt there was enough of an improvement to make the leap. Yes, I had ridden tons of 29'ers over the years and hated all of them until riding a Kona Honzo several years ago. The geometry differences were the key and now 29'ers can make sense for someone like me that does not want to ride something with XC-esque twitchiness. Did 27.5 bikes capture that geometry zietgiest? Maybe and perhaps 26″ bikes with more modern geometry would have done well without increasing the wheel size. I guess we'll never know.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 9:20 a.m.

Did you mean "wasn't enough improvement to make the leap," Raymond?

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hbelly13
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Raymond Epstein  - April 23, 2015, 9:37 a.m.

No, it WAS enough of an improvement. I've been riding mountain bikes since '87 and while I am likely spectacularly average at best, I know what I like. The 27.5 wheels rolled faster through the corners, maintained momentum better and my average speeds increased compared to my 26″ bike at the time (SC Butcher) with the geometry weirdness of a 29'er. The Butcher was an awesome rig and had it stayed in their line up with updated geo and 27.5 wheel compatibility I would have been all over it. It was tough for me to stop riding SC's having been on five different ones since '99, but the cost/performance differences of their current rigs just didn't work for me.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 12:46 p.m.

Gotcha. I'm used to hearing people say the opposite about tweener vs. two six which I is why I wondered.

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0
t.odd  - April 23, 2015, 1:46 p.m.

I'm with Raymond, I notice a fairly significant difference between 26 and 27.5 on the technical trails I ride.

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keith
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Keith  - April 22, 2015, 7:15 p.m.

I've read some of the arguments for and against and I am in the 'against boost' camp. Partly b/c the blur lt I scrimped and saved for became obsolete when I foolishly didn't consult my crystal ball on where industry standards were headed, and I partly also don't understand why marketing (and consumers) are extolling the "it's smoothing out the ride/more comfort on your bike, etc with these new wheels, their awesome!" Already, the trend is faster and smoother trails so why do I need a wheel which will roll over a twig on the trail better than my 26er, isnt it overkill| If people want a smooth ride, I know a road ride group that goes out every wednesday after work. Honestly, I have not even thrown a leg over a 29er, 27.5 since I bought my blur and I bet I have as much fun as the next guy with his 27.5 with boost with my bike being fairly capable of handling even the most extreme trail (albeit a bit slower - but still enough to plaster a grin on my face). I guess I just don't get it at all - call me a cynic I guess.

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Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - April 22, 2015, 3:33 p.m.

I'm standardized out after reading the comments… I personally don't get the plus thing. Here's an article comparing 27+ to 29er. .

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

The intro to that article is pretty hilarious Jerry.
"Even if we are loath to admit it, this article might be worth reading as there’s a lot of truth in it!"

They are loath to admit there is truth in their testing article? And they are telling us there is a lot of truth in their article?

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Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - April 23, 2015, 2:56 p.m.

I'm not sure…
The problem(s) with the + size is going to be weight and if they do manage to reduce weight, it's going to puncture like crazy. As the article states, the last place you want to add weight is in the tires.
The other problem with large wheels is that they float and don't bite into the ground like 2.3's. This is undesirable in many conditions. I think the industry is grasping if they think this is going to be the next big thing. Especially for the advanced rider. I'm still pissed about the 15mm fiasco.

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0
t.odd  - April 23, 2015, 3:13 p.m.

and just watch how much those chubby tires squirm and deform under cornering pressure, totally overwhelmed….and thus, total junk if you ride even semi- aggressively.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 24, 2015, 10:38 a.m.

But, but, they used a super slo-mo HD camera to help gather test data!

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - April 24, 2015, 10:39 a.m.

All good points, Jer. I think the story isn't being told yet about who these new tires will benefit most. Rocky is pretty open about the fact that the Sherpa is not the next high performance trail slayer, but a tool of sorts that'll offer some sort of compromise between fat bike and trail bike.

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Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - April 24, 2015, 10:54 a.m.

Trek seems to be pushing the idea for everyone… Rocky is probably seeing where the trend is heading. No one wants to miss the big thing but hopefully this just fizzles away.

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0
t.odd  - April 23, 2015, 11:07 a.m.

sounds like they were trying really hard to not say the +sized sucked.

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adam-christian
0
Adam Christian  - April 22, 2015, 1:03 p.m.

I don't think there are many parts from Honda motorcycles that fit on my BMW bike and even from other BMWs. I even have to go to a special shop! But hopefully the mix and match situation for mountain bikes continues forever!

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jamie-hamilton
0
Jamie Hamilton  - April 22, 2015, 12:38 p.m.

Great article & topic Cam. My thoughts on this are fairly simple. Any industry is going to try and innovate to stay ahead of a so called game with their competitors. They all have skilled marketing machines telling a willing audience that they should follow them along for the ride so to speak. As consumers what we need to do is actually do the research ourselves based on what our individual needs are. And before we do that we actually need to be honest with ourselves as to what we actually need. Once we're armed with knowledge "we" will then have the power to gauge & direct the development / innovation / marketing cycle. We need to switch off, tune in and drop in!

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alex-cheney
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Alex Cheney  - April 22, 2015, 10:12 a.m.

The bike industry is screwing over shops and customers. With new standards comes new demand. Shops will struggle to sell inventory that meets old standards. Would you buy a brand new 5″ travel 26″ trail bike today? Furthermore, it will be costly to stock such a wide variety of products that are only used on a small portion of the entire bicycle market. Finally, bikes are fucking expensive! What average mtb consumer can afford to spend $6k every couple of years on a bike? Especially when the value of their old bike is very little because it's not wanted… Why reinvent the wheel for a category of plus sized bikes that only a small handful of people who'll actually buy?

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goldilox
0
goldi  - April 22, 2015, 9:55 a.m.

Test-rode a FR Stache 29+ yesterday; it's unreal. Super thankful for competitive market-driven technical improvements. As soon as my size is in stock I know exactly how I will continue to vote.

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Goiter
0
26 Ain't Dead Yet  - April 22, 2015, 2:35 p.m.

Sweet!

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james-robinson
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James Robinson  - April 22, 2015, 9 a.m.

I'm not sick of the new products at all…I am truly sick of all the whining that goes on every time a company decides to make something new. The bike industry is no different than any other, or at least it shouldn't be. Companies exist to make MONEY!, you know so they can pay employees…who pay taxes, feed their kids, and buy stuff from other companies who pay their employees, and pay taxes, and on, and on. It's not a question of Joe average biker's need for a new standard, or whether or not said standard is better for him. It's about, getting people excited about riding and maybe bring in new customers. Innovation is great, having the money to innovate and pay the bills is better. I think it's pretty funny that this opinion piece is written by Cam of all people, someone who makes a living out of writing about what the bike industry is doing. I guess if they stopped making new things we'd all stop reading Cam's articles, because they'd be about golf, or knitting.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:24 a.m.

Destroy resources! Waste opportunities! It's all cool if we have a new trinket every 3 minutes!

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 11:44 p.m.

To me this stands out from all your comments as being quite good. Not that the resources (aside from energy) are actually destroyed. We should value our resources way more than we do. I don't really think it's on the majorities radar though, which is why so much of what you've said elsewhere here seems misplaced.

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0
t.odd  - April 22, 2015, 9:45 a.m.

LOL, if we're against stupid 'standards' we're against jobs?

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 9:25 a.m.

Hey James. Are you suggesting that I shouldn't have opinions about the industry I write about because my position wouldn't exist without that industry? It seems to me that would be akin to political reporters only supporting the governments they comment on. Or maybe you are saying something else? Why is it "pretty funny" that this piece is written by me? Would you prefer the articles you read to always align with the the goals, products and decisions made by the bike industry? These are my actual opinions as well. Are you saying I should muzzle them? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your point? Would you mind clarifying? Thanks.

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james-robinson
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James Robinson  - April 23, 2015, 12:23 p.m.

No, no, Cam…It wasn't intended as and attack, simply that if they didn't anything new you would have nothing to write about in a positive or negative light. I simply was making the point that people get their panties in a bunch every time the bike industry does something different, but the simple fact is there would be no industry if they didn't. New standards will come and go as they always have and the good ones will stick, the useless ones will die. Which is which will be decided by our purchases, not in forums. I'm sorry if I came off as a douche, that was not my intent. Keep writing, I will keep reading 🙂

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 12:45 p.m.

I didn't think it was an attack James. No hard feelings at all and you didn't come off as a douche. I just wasn't clear about your point but now I am - and it's a good one. There is no question that all of this industry turmoil has also been good for media like us because consumers are genuinely confused. A couple of years ago a friend after returning from Interbike, was asked by a riding buddy about the difference between 650b and 27.5. We are so indoctrinated that it's hard for us to realize how confusing it is for the people who just like to ride bikes and want to be told what to buy. Our site is for enthusiasts - not those people - but enthusiasts are trying to figure it all out as well.

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james-robinson
0
James Robinson  - April 23, 2015, 12:57 p.m.

Turmoil is the name of the game really, Rapid Rise, 24″ rear wheels, 50lb freeride bikes and huckin' to flat. The more things change the more they stay the same. I think 'those' people will continue to walk in to bike shops and buy their complete bikes and be quite happy, and the enthusiasts will continue to mine the products they want from the flotsam and be quite happy as well. So the 27.5+ wheel turns, or is it 29+ today? ah whatever, going riding in the rain…

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tibor96
0
tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 8:46 a.m.

Pick a causal source and stay with it, Cam. And Vernon.

So it's the riders who demand it, and the industry is just responding? That's bullshit.

The industry creates an idea it wants to sell, and then gins up support via social media etc., NSMB and pinkbike and bikerumor and other sites help greatly in selling things with "spy shots" and "secret inside scoops" of BS changes that are not improvements.

This lying in order to keep your "insider" status is bullshit. I'm not surprised that hobbyist pseudo-MTBers, the kind who buy a bike for the image, are falling for your bullshit. I am a bit surprised that people who actually ride their bikes fall for it.

I don't know a single person who has been clamoring for any of the changes I've seen over the past 5 years. I don't know anyone who asked for 27.5 wheels even after knowing Kirk Pacenti had been trying for 10 years to push them onto people. I don't know anyone who wanted 15mm axles instead of 20mm axles. I don't know anyone who wanted rear hubs to change dimensions, or frame dropouts to change dimensions.

Meanwhile the mfrs and the cultish media outlets continue pumping the hype for these pointless changes.

Don't blame the industry, Cam? Piss off. Piss right the hell off with that bullshit, you liar.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

Read my article Tibor. Not just the title.
If you read it and understand it, feel free to tell me to piss off. And call me a liar. So far either you didn't read it or you didn't understand it.

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tibor96
0
tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:38 a.m.

I read it Cam. I can say "piss off" to anyone, it's up to you to determine why someone might say that, and I invite you to misunderstand what I was saying much as you believe I've misunderstood you. Besides, everyone knows it's "hate" when someone says "piss off," right? It's "hate." Your PhD (in human psychology of the internet) proves it, right?

Your article was essentially a rewrite of Vernon's. You add in some economics ideas without expressly talking about economics. It's all ducking, dodging, diving, and evading the finger-pointing that needs to happen. If you think you were being critical, think again. You were being equivocal. That's far different. Polar opposite, really.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:41 a.m.

You can be a jerk as much as you like of course. It seems to be your schtick.
So you read it but didn't understand. That's cool.

But how am I a liar exactly?

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tibor96
0
tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 11:04 a.m.

You could try reading my posts without the butthurt you are inclined to feel. But that seems a tall order for a man of your stature.

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tibor96
0
tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 11:45 a.m.

I offered it upthread but I'll offer it again now. Your biggest untruth, mistaken perception, poor thinking, statement of unadulterated ignorance, or LIE was this one:

"Capitalism has answered that question for us I’m afraid."

Katie bar the door, there's a wolf outside!

Jesus Matty and Felipe Alou, Cam. The analysis doesn't end just because it's Capitalism.

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nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 8:47 p.m.

So…where does it stop?

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - April 22, 2015, 10:43 a.m.

Tibor/Tanker - Oh please continue to regale us with delusional tales of how the bike industry and media are solely to blame for the state of things. Hold no consumer personally accountable. I’m sure you’re still riding your alu hardtail from the 90s, on the same v-brake pads and rubber no less. We should all aspire to your model of consumption. You seem to have inherited recessive alleles for the whining and blame genes. You do a bang up job of criticizing and pointing fingers, but for the love of all that’s sacred, could you please share which advancements (if any) of the last decade are worthwhile? Or continue to jerk off to your same bro-envy rhetoric, whatever…

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 11:02 a.m.

Is this Ryan LaBar talking now? Or Cam McRae? Maybe even Dave Tolnai? Or just someone else who pretends to be smart and a good writer, while being something a wee bit other than those things? It's all such a mystery, these people who think that using lots of syllables means they're smart and good writers.

If you're going to try to emulate Charlie Sponsel, at least write as well as Chaz.

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - April 22, 2015, 11:20 a.m.

Noted. None of the above and don’t care about my average intelligence or how my writing comes off. I’m just trying not to embarrass myself. I’m a pretending software engineer who likes to ride bikes. I have time to burn because I don’t participate in social media. Still would be interested to know what you think warranted marketing over the last 10 years.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 11:22 a.m.

"Still would be interested to know what you think warranted marketing over the last 10 years."

And I'd like to know why, as a nation/society, Canada is in a hurry to emulate the worst social traits of its neighbor nation immediately southward.

Which one of us will be answered first? More importantly, which of our respective questions bears any relevance to this discussion or Vernon Felton's onanistic apology?

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - April 22, 2015, 11:30 a.m.

I’d argue that mine is more relevant to the topic, but coming from an American, yours is unarguably more important.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 11:31 a.m.

I'll answer yours, you answer mine. To yours: I answer the Q with a Q. Why does marketing ever need to happen? Example for your ready mind is Hadley hubs.

(bonus point awarded for the "but coming from an American,…." but bonus point subtracted for lack of subtlety, so you break even)

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - April 22, 2015, 12:28 p.m.

Answering yours in pretty simple, really: greed and envy. I don’t think it’s any big secret.

IMO…Hadley and Chris King are pretty extreme examples. They’re both small companies who’ve been in the game for quite a while, and occupy a real thin slice of an already pretty vertical market. In an industry full of conglomerates, realistically, can any new-to-the-game company exist without marketing? Wouldn’t excluding newish companies just encourage the bro game even further? Instead of discouraging marketing shouldn’t we really be advocating for increased consumer awareness and accountability. If people can’t be held personally accountable, then marketing doesn’t increase their sheep factor. The last Bike magazine I read is probably now considered vintage. I don’t know or have an opinion about Felton, but he called the +wheeled game what it is, garbage. It may have been half-assed, but it’s something.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 12:39 p.m.

Response 1)

Merely calling those companies "extreme examples" is a big part of the problem. By doing that you jump right over the problem, in fact. Sorta like Cam did when he just laid it all at the feet of Capitalism and walked away with a barely-seething almost-rage typical of Canadians and their urge toward being loved by everyone and toward being afraid of controversy that isn't hiding behind some globally accepted form of mild (enough to be NOT) satire.

So you could imagine I'm saying the solution is communism, etc. But you'd be wrong. I'm talking about looking in that place that Cam rushes past when he blames Capitalism. I'm talking about looking deeper than Naomi Klein's stupid criticism of logos or anything not "green." I may be talking about something that places your job in peril. I may be suggesting something that would render dumbstruck the people who have no spine for objectivity-as-itself. I may be suggesting exposure of frauds who run the game of subjectivity but call it objectivity.

I'm not awarding diddly to Felton for anything. Smug carries no water in my desert.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 12:45 p.m.

Response 2)

"…a real thin slice of an already pretty vertical market."

Business/econ lingo is totally useless, even as shorthand. I'm not a banker or VC angel, so I am not going to dignify that econ-speak as useful.

"Instead of discouraging marketing shouldn’t we really be advocating for increased consumer awareness and accountability."

Deflect, dodge, divide… and conquer. Marketing under another name. Please stop trying to be so clever. You sound like Noam Chomsky here.

" If people can’t be held personally accountable, then marketing doesn’t increase their sheep factor."

More Chomskyism. Seems syntactically correct, but makes no points worth reiterating. Hot air.

I don't know what kind of coder you are, but it must be a kind that defies logical precepts.

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - April 22, 2015, 12:52 p.m.

You missed an important one…

"In an industry full of conglomerates, realistically, can any new-to-the-game company exist without marketing? Wouldn’t excluding newish companies just encourage the bro game even further?"

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 12:58 p.m.

I didn't miss that at all. I think you missed my reply to Lee above, though since Lee & I exchanged a few thoughts you may have missed it. So I'll explain here.

Social media "marketing" is about the non-rider, the user of MTB as image vector. Someone who gives 1, 2 or more hunks of doo-doo about riding and MTBs is going to be familiar with a Hadley hub through that same old reliable "marketing" source, known as "word of mouth passed along by the voices of experience."

Social media is bullshit, unadulterated, and full of liars and pretenders who ape their heroes and parade themselves as what they most definitely are not. By yielding to the mirage of "social media marketing" the people who rely on such crap identify themselves as being interested only in bucks and pushed products, and as corollary, reveal selves as not giving two figs about the people who ride because they love to ride. Those are the core audience folks for anyone in the "industry."

You can talk around this point with euphemism or Chomskyism, but it's still gonna be there whether you address it or avoid it.

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Henry-Chinaski
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Henry Chinaski  - April 22, 2015, 1:16 p.m.

I don't disagree with what you're saying about social media.

It sounds like you think MTBs are “good enough” and we shouldn’t be fixating with puny iterative advancements. Rather, we should rely on the good old boys to provide. To be honest, there’s a hint of self-interested tone in that sound. I like my place in the industry as an accountable consumer.

I gotta walk away, but thanks for your replies.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 1:20 p.m.

"It sounds like you think MTBs are “good enough” and we shouldn’t be
fixating with puny iterative advancements. Rather, we should rely on
the good old boys to provide. To be honest, there’s a hint of
self-interested tone in that sound."

So smug and haughty, restating what you think I'm saying, and demeaning it in the process. Very passive-aggressive of you.

What you describe in the quotes above: NOT my view. Even if it is your take on my view, distorted for personal ego gain -- it's not my view.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 8:53 p.m.

As much as marketing is responsible or plays a major part in very significant problems in society, it isn't bad by necessity. Just because it's rarely used to communicate aspects about something honestly, doesn't mean it can't be.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 11:36 p.m.

It does not jump right over the problem. How could you come to that conclusion? Do you not see Hadley and CK as taking a marketing approach that is towards the extreme hands off end of marketing?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 11:39 p.m.

It does not sound like Chomsky. Provide an example that makes that comment better than completely stupid.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 8:43 p.m.

Ever come across anything with multiple causes?

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vernon-felton
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Vernon Felton  - April 22, 2015, 8:45 a.m.

Change is good when the actual change is good-or, at least, significantly better than what we already have. We all want bikes and components to improve, but when does the cost exceed the benefit? How much better does a new standard have to make our actual experience on the trail for us to be okay with the fact that we are going to have a hard time finding replacement parts for the bikes we already own? Those aren't simple questions with simple answers. When a new product rolls down the pike, we rarely know if it is really improving things significantly or at such a small level that isn't worth the bother. I'll still argue, for instance, that 650b wheels fit into the category of "innovations" that didn't make anything better. Every good 650b bike would be just as good with 26-inch wheels-the difference in ride quality is so subtle that it didn't make the change worthwhile.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 8:54 a.m.

Said the same thing about 26 vs 650b Vern but it doesnt matter. The sheeple lapped up the new magic wheels

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 8:58 a.m.

And these sheep -- explain them to us. Explain their psychology. And more importantly, explain why if they don't know anything, "the industry" allegedly "is driven by" their demands.

Can you do that?

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 9:01 a.m.

I can not. Billions is being dedicated to that effort and no one has definitively explained mob behaviour. All one can do is observe effects after the fact and marvel

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:05 a.m.

Good deflection, but there are all sorts of relevant observations one can make. A clear and obvious one is this:

If I make a widget and my widget is used by 7% of the population, if I want to improve the widget I will consult the 7% user group. I won't look to the 93% who may hold opinions on widgets, informed or not, right or wrong -- because they're not the users. I don't care if the 93% wants the widget to be made of plastic, titanium, aluminum, steel, manganese, strontium, or plumbum. I don't care whether the 93% swears they'll buy a new widget every 6 months if only I'll re-tool to make my widgets fit the extra-large hands of NBA centers. I don't care what symbology or social-signaling value my widget carries, because I'm not making widgets as social signal devices.

I'm making them for the 7% of people who use widgets.

Shame the bike "industry" can't do that. Shame you couldn't imagine it as one explanation. Too far inside the industry yourself, perhaps?

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 9:09 a.m.

I think Lee is just in love with his own legend now. Too bad really.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:13 a.m.

There isn't a single person who gets published in MTB "journalism" who isn't egocentric and fastened onto self-image as some kind of special wizard who knows more than Average Joe.

Since they are writing for the 93% in my example above, they do know more than average NON-USER. That makes them smug.

I've yet to read a comment or essay by any "insider" journalist that revealed any serious insight. Usually they're just symbol-signaling to the 93% non-user masses.

WHEEEEEE! People listen to MEEEEEEEEE!

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 9:19 a.m.

Feltons article did turn into more of a gentle introduction to ideas that the masses may be resistant to and less of an article asking why do we really need this.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:20 a.m.

"…gentle introduction to ideas…"

You mean a pushing of the reader's attention onto false causation and scapegoat-blame, right?

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 9:29 a.m.

Felton started with a rant and ended with what felt like a promo video of these new standards. My "someone is trying to brainwash me" alarm went off.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:31 a.m.

That's Vernon's style -- but to be fair, it's the style of every "insider" who wants to keep that "insider" status. Pseudo-critic who actually is a cheerleader. I tend to dislike 2-faced people myself, but I'm sure Vernon & friends have rationalizations for their deceptive practice. The human mind can rationalize nearly anything -- especially where income and ego are at issue.

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 9:55 a.m.

Fair, but Feltons article remains Sneaky , IMO. Im not looking for highly analytical insight from the MTB media, just credit as a semi-intelligent consumer.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:58 a.m.

I was demonstrating how you can call someone on their BS while being objective. I have no respect for Vernon Felton or anyone at BIKE magazine, nor for anyone at NSMB or ridemonkey or pinkbike or blister or TGR who is engaged in product review or explanation of changes within the "industry." They all either consciously lie, or deceive themselves while being what feels honest.

It's ironic that in an era where North Americans can see lying duplicity from politicians and hate it, they don't see the very same 2-faced practice if it comes to the shilling practices of MTB "industry insider" paid writers. Hell it even infests the unpaid writers, because they're busy building a Social Brand as whatever they actually are not in real life.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 10:05 a.m.

Tibor. I can't keep up. I'll respond here. First I didn't want to make up some stuff I don't know. Literally there's billions being driven to, for example, social media marketing analytics to try to figure out what makes things go viral. Rather than some disingenuous tripe about cause and effect imo it's better just to answer I don't know and move on from there.

At the outset lets say I argue with your proposition that the 93% are just going to follow what reviewers or shops or media in general tell them.

Let's talk about the 7% because that's the interesting part. They're the enthusiasts. The first movers and imo for smallish less mature industries like biking or say ski touring they have IMO arguably disproportionate effect.

What biking has done is pay disproportionate attention to the first movers/7%. You see those first movers congregate in silos which the internet has allowed. They geek out over 650b, or over 27.5+ or over 29 before there was general market adoption. And the product managers or engineers are predisposed to be those geeks who get all hot and heavy about latest or greatest. So then there's a feedback of mutual enthusiasts geeks getting excited about new stuff for the sake of new stuff.

But then mix in the top line factor of driving revenues which is latest and greatest and flashy and cool. I'd speculate its marketing and sales and product management etc. They have cost pressure. They have lets get new stuff out because new stuff drives sales pressure. They have personal biases from being bike geeks.

So then you get all the miscellaneous new standards/crap being released to the market. IMO again that's industry and enthusiasts/7%/early adopter cycles. That's a combination of a large portion of the bike industry being a small silo'ed gong show with small testing groups and short-term lead time for pretty much everything. It's also a combination of latest and greatest mentality among enthusiast consumers and industry. Then bike media piles on for the most part trend-follow but with the one-off rare introspection article (this article is a perfect example) to show off their credentials of authenticity.

This is speculation. I've not worked in the product development/marketing/sales cycle. I have been in the reviewer hype-generation cycle but am pretty much done with that for biking

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 10:13 a.m.

Tibor, it remains the responsibility of the consumer to find the facts in any media and ignore the commentary. People who cant do this waste their money often.
Don't hate too much dude. Its not a good way to start your day.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

I'm not hating anything. Asking the Qs that everyone avoids isn't hate. It's just curiosity. Maybe there's a little satire used as leavening, but I assure you I don't hate, nor "hate", anyone. Having no respect for someone who lies to his/her audience isn't a matter of hate. It's as simple as just not respecting them because they're dishonest. I have no time for hatred, at any point in the day. It's just a waste of time. Though I'm quite aware that it's trendy on the internet or in twitter etc, to think "hate" can be discerned in the mere words offered by someone. Psychological projection is a funny thing.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:26 a.m.

I have no respect for anyone who comments without reading what they are commenting on. That means you.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:28 a.m.

"Social media analytics"? That in itself is a bogus concept.

Please clear your head. You are paying attention to all the wrong things. I know this because you and I have discussed this issue before, in person. Your hitch in the analysis is you busy yourself with "what is" and don't ask much on the "why?" nor on the "can it be better?" There's nothing wrong with the whole "it is what it is" sentiment, but it's not the place where real insight or innovation arises, this emphasis on status quo explication.

Anyone who convinces you that social media is where everything matters? Please. They are selling you snake oil. They are insisting you believe all your ills will be cured by the cleverly packaged and presented snake oil.

How did it come to pass that the "internet of everything" now is valued higher than interpersonal, in-person exchange? Could it be that you've been deceived into thinking something totally irrelevant is at the crux of everything? Sock puppets and shills are the real honest brokers?

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:30 a.m.

I'm not injured by that, Cam. But thanks for letting me know you were injured badly enough to lie about what I read and what I know. Seriously. You're a real stand-up guy, projecting bullshit like that. Totally respectable!

What did I not read in your little distraction essay above, Cam? Please tell me what I missed, and/or failed to understand. And please tell me how you know this.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:39 a.m.

Are you actually saying you read my article and concluded that I am not blaming the industry? It's funny that you are one of the very few people that came to that conclusion. I can tell you read my title but not that you read anything else.

But feel free to tell me how I'm a liar? I'm genuinely interested.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:42 a.m.

Lying to yourself or lying to your audience. One or the other. Maybe it's a "white lie" though, plenty of people seem to like that brand of lying. Protects feelings, etc. Feelings matter to logical problem solving, right Cam?

Instead of telling me I have to see in your essay what you imagine is in there, why don't you highlight for me where you "blame the industry"? Then I'll show you how each such statement is not disclosing the full picture. I've read your writing long enough to know your weaknesses. Maybe now I can help you improve.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 10:48 a.m.

Yah we did talk about it and I am more cynical about consumers even now fastforwarding a bunch of time. They listen to the sock puppets

It's not social media by the way I'm fixating on; that's just an example. It's marketing in general. Look how easy it is to talk people into little cult signals like the the right enduro helmet, or long black socks etc etc sort of like mating call rituals to symbolize belonging to a group. The enthusiasts adopt all the hallmarks of the tribal symbols (could be gear, could be groupspeak, could be clothing). The smart industry marketing types figure out if there's appeal to all these tribal symbols and if they're really smart figure out how to make products or services which appeal to the enthusiasts. And if they're really really smart and lucky then it snowballs into mass- market adoption for the 93%.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:51 a.m.

This is rich with unintended irony.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:53 a.m.

Thanks for the comedy Tibor! You read the title, didn't read the article and now you are backtracking. Cheers! I'm going riding.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:54 a.m.

" And if they're really really smart and lucky then it snowballs into mass- market adoption for the 93%."

Now it's getting productive. I know you know/see this stuff.

What is the actual benefit of mass-market adoption? Is displacing the 7% user group a good thing or acceptable JUST because it means more profit? If the widget becomes a Fake Widget or a Less Useful Widget in the bargain of gaining mass acceptance, what has been achieved other than profit? Is the deception involved a positive or negative change? Why should we celebrate "progress" and "upgrades" that work long-term harms? Why are people afraid to discuss this?

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:57 a.m.

Stop while you're behind, Cam. You have no idea what's in my mind as I type. I assure you, you're not reading my mind. Not when you draw such conclusions as above.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:59 a.m.

Thanks for the comedy? I'm backtracking? And you're backing out for a ride, while implying I don't ride?

Small man indeed. Don't forget to spend your ride talking to yourself about how I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm not Cam McRae and I'm not a "published MTB journalist." Please chuckle at the image of me when you do so.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 11:41 a.m.

"Capitalism has answered that question for us I’m afraid."

Yes, it really is that simple. That's all there is to it. You're a regular Adam Smith.

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sadsadtibor
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sadsadtibor  - April 22, 2015, 1:58 p.m.

You have douched up the internet like nobodys business. you seem like a sad little man and I actually feel sorry for you. you are arguing with everybody in a nasty condescending way. why so angry? why so sad? why not go after the media that say nada about this stuff and just lap it up? how many comments do you have here? maybe up the meds?

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 2 p.m.

Hah hah hah, now that's real effort. Creepy creepy creepy, crawled over from the land of maggots, you did. Swing battah battah swing. You should go listen to that Steppenwolf song. You know the one. Magic Carpet Ride.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 4:13 p.m.

The 1st paragraph seems unimportant really, but it seems obvious to me that the industry goes for what will sell more. I don't discount the possibility that a degree of functional improvement is the primary means for that though. I'm not about get out the tin foil, make a hat, and speculate that the evolution of standards is just a rouse to shift units.

Based on your 2nd paragraph I'd say you're primarily interested in testing Lee's intellect in public. I think that's shitty.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 4:24 p.m.

Plumbum? Have you recently emerged from a time machine? Or are your trying to be superior? How many kinds of plastic can you list?

If you only ever consulted your existing market/user group about desired improvements, you limit how much you could learn about how your widget could be improved. Maybe you're interested in excluding that 93% for not getting on board with your widget off the bat though??

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 4:25 p.m.

What do you think the cause is?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 4:29 p.m.

It's not like I can't see where you're coming from here, but do you really know Vernon well enough to make such a sweeping comment about him as a person? And publicly no less. Shameful.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 4:43 p.m.

No respect? Do you mean absolutely none? You must be overdramatising. Of course you need to be critical when reading product reviews, and I do think that's a shame, but why the focus on MTB media? I don't get the context really.

Do you think a Brand must be false or only when applied to an individual? I guess they don't call it a Brand if someone is being consistent with their personality.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 7:46 p.m.

I think it gives too much credit to say you're asking questions that everyone avoids. Even if you're using the term 'everyone' loosely.

Having no respect is not the same as disrespect. And by putting this in the context of you being concerned about the audience, I think you could have done much better at serving them than you have. All you needed to do was throw down your opinion on all this changing standards bullshit rather than criticising so many others' opinions.

Psychological projection? This is NSMB not pubmed commons.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 8:39 p.m.

If this was ~5000 years ago would you be saying that all this writing business was crap and everything real is only said during a fireside chat?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 8:41 p.m.

What makes you think people are afraid to discuss this?

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asdf
0
asdf  - April 23, 2015, 10:51 a.m.

I represent the problem. I am not rich, but I have lots of money for bikes. I love the new innovations because it gives me justification to experiment with something new, refreshing my ride, and honestly adding to my experience. I look forward to every purchase. I think about my bike gear in experiences. I envision some magical corner where that 10% stiffness boost rockets me out of the corner like a pro. It could happen.
Am I a gear whore? Maybe. I do ride 100kms/week, so get lots of hours on my gear. I love new trails. Don't make me choose which is more important (of course I would answer the 'ride'), but like I said, I have the money and this is the one and only part of my life where I can have my cake and eat it too. Like I said, I represent the problem. I own that. Thanks for listening.

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reformed-roadie
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reformed roadie  - April 28, 2015, 4:31 a.m.

Props to you - you actually have the most important part nailed: you ride the hell out of your bikes.

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finishthepint
0
George  - April 22, 2015, 8:42 a.m.

While I completely share the sentiment of this article and think that these new axle standards are ridiculous, I think this article was very emotionally biased and lacked objectivity. For one, the apple analogy was a bad one. Apple maintained the old dock connector for 11 years and kept it on the iphone for 5 phone generations (5 years) and only replaced it when the technology was handicapping them. The same is true for screen size. Apple resisted increasing screen size for 5 years while every other manufacturer upped theirs nearly annually. And your marketers decision matrix was equally unfair. Your first option shows how you feel and your second options shows your biased view of the current state of the industry. Why are those two the only options? What about another option such as: "A design with new standards that will sell better and make you ride faster…or have more fun…"?

I absolutely hate that there is now a 110×15 standard when 110×20 was deemed too heavy just a few years ago, and 148×12 is so unbelievably close to 150×12 but was somehow inadequate. But we should be blaming ourselves. The bike industry isn't immune to market forces and if the industry came out with something new that was crap, people wouldn't buy it and it would go away. Like Google+. But because we live in the internet world where every new minor product gets big time coverage and discussion, we find ourselves foaming at the mouth thinking about some new toy. It's a marketers dream.

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kevinkoopmans
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KevinKoopmans  - April 22, 2015, 8:38 a.m.

I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Most of us look forward to the Interbikes and Sea Otters to see what new stuff is coming! Most of us love new bikes. Over the last 20 years I've owned 5 bikes and went from rigid to… well everybody knows the progression. Every bike has been a significant improvement. I think it's really cool that the innovation is continuing, and if it's speeding up, so much the better; my next bike will be even more awesome. If you can afforad a $2500 enve wheel set you probably can afford to upgrade the wheelset in another few years. If you can't afford it (neither can I) then you won't have a $2500 obsolete wheelset in your bike cave. Personally, I'm just happy to have such an awesome sport and a great industry that makes it possible, because if I had to build my own bikes I'd be in big trouble. I hope the innovation keeps moving forward!

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:35 a.m.

Thanks for telling us that bikes are your pornographic fetish. That's quite interesting. Alfred Kinsey approves.

But what does it have to do with bogus changes and lying industry shills?

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0
mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 8:33 a.m.

For starters, I think its too early too get upset about the introduction of new wheel standards. Also, we may not be giving the average mountain biker enough credit for how they spend their money.

650b bikes , (I think as I don't own one yet), provided a lot of riders with a better fit and feel. Also, the average 6″ 650b bike seems well suited for the majority of trails that are being build now a days. (ie: Severed D, Expresso, Pipeline etc) Anyways, all I'm saying is that the 650b thing was legit. The industry didn't pick it. We did.

27+ and 29+ seem to aim towards giving your average trail bike a fat bike feel. Will it take off? who knows. Seems more like a niche market to me.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 8:55 a.m.

Vern see above example of sheeple. Baaaaaaa

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0
mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 9:03 a.m.

Wow Lee. Just lost some respect there.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 9:10 a.m.

"Also, the average 6" 650b bike seems well suited for the majority of trails that are being build now a days. (ie: Severed D, Expresso, Pipeline etc) ". You're just being picked on as an example of groupthink. Why so sensitive. Think about what you just said.

You could ride those trails above on a hardtail they're so well built

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 9:17 a.m.

I don't have time write out really elaborate comments on NSMB, Lee, just for the sake of not getting picked on. I would be nice if you could just respect another persons opinion and stop acting like the smartest person in the room.
Just to clarify, I am presently having fun on all the trails on the shore on my 26″ bike. I just think that 650b wheels are well suited to all mountain riding. That's my opinion.
Just for clarification, do you think everyone who bought a 650b bike is a sheeple?

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

Ted - I'm sorry. I was picking on you.

As for 650b bikes I think:

1. some people really feel they offer distinct advantages (maybe they're racerheads and the time difference is worth it to them, maybe they're just naturally picky and small differences aren't really that small to them

2. some people just bought whatever was new and the way industry went over to 650b it's pretty hard not to go to it.

3. some people just want to future proof their purchase.

4. some people just like latest and greatest

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:03 a.m.

Of these 4 categories you list, how many of them are long-time riders who wanted the changes? How many of them are newbies who might never ride the bike? Whose view counts where changes are concerned? Is it more important to "grow the sport" than it is to inquire of existing participants what they'd like to see changed?

If a change sells more items, moves more units, pushes more product -- then was that change unquestionably a good one, and one that everyone will look back on, ten years hence, and say "now that was a real bit of progress"?

Or will people just salivate after "change" and construe "change" as "upgrade" because they are little more than crows with eyes on shiny objects, people with materialist/consumerist libidos that must be satiated or else there's gonna be a gooey mess in someone's pants?

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 10:06 a.m.

Lee.
I'm 6′ and 250+ lbs. I have a hard time finding bikes that are available for Demo and an even harder time finding bikes that fit me. My wife and I have a wedding to plan and a mortgage on the horizon so when I do get around to making my next bike purchase it will be with much deliberation.
That being said, There has been a common M.O. in many of your recent posts. I think you should take a step back with the whole "Sheeple" thing. I know the industry tries to wag the dog but some of us can see through it. I personally would have appreciated a little credit for that and I think others here would as well.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 10:11 a.m.

The people who can see through it are disproportionately outnumbered by the people who lap it up. That's my point. That's what industry is counting on.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 10:17 a.m.

"how many of them are long-time riders who wanted the changes?" 1, 3 or 4

"How many of them are newbies who might never ride the bike?" Maybe 2

"Whose view counts where changes are concerned?" Whose view counts to who? If you mean to industry then everyone. Industry just wants to sell stuff.

"Is it more important to "grow the sport" than it is to inquire of existing participants what they'd like to see changed?" If its industry then they sure as hell seem to want to just sell stuff and screw consequences.

2nd to last question - that needs a 10 year crystal ball. Out of my league to answer that.

Last question - Ted thinks I'm getting too cynical about consumers. Maybe I'll change my mind as I get less grumpy but yeah, I think people are mainly buying automata.

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

Ok, but let me say this. For a while there, 650b was going to end the whole 26 v. 29er bullshit. Remember that? Remember how nice it was that day? My own opinion is that the industry is really reaching with this 27+ 29+ crap. But the industry needs to stir the pot to survive. Why don't we come back to this article in a year and rate how the sheeple did?

Forgot to say thanks for apologizing.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:34 a.m.

It's not out of your league. You're just being fake-humble here. You have been riding and interested in riding for -- what? 20 years? At least 15 that I've known you. You know what you can look back on and say, "yep, that was a positive change." You know how to discern positive change from mere change from negative change. But for some odd reason, you shy away from it when your words are published on the internet. Why is that?

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 10:36 a.m.

no problem. I was being a dick and no real excuse for that. To be fair sometimes in blatant circumstances sometimes the consumer isn't a complete idiot - like with Crank Bros.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 10:42 a.m.

Because I thought dropper posts were stupid when they first came out. When you're so ingrained in past habits and grumpiness that you can blow a call like that it's hard not to conclude that prediction is probably not your strong point

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 10:47 a.m.

The dropper post can be stupid to you, and you can actually change your mind on it when it gets refined enough. Anyone who tried a Gravity Dropper and wanted infinite adjustment would say "stupid, not for me." Anyone who just pedals up then coasts down could say, "stupid, not for me." The pluses and minuses of the concept itself have been hashed out endlessly. The pluses and minuses of implemented versions of the concept are still being hashed out. As they get hashed out, whose voices matter toward real improvement? The armchair rider who wants to photograph the bike and its "upgrade" for online admiration/envy? The rider who sees no utility in the dropper post concept, let alone any implementation? The rider who has tried several types and can spot the flaws of each?

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2015, 1:05 p.m.

tibor, you have a lot of questions for everyone and some of them are very insightful. But it's exhausting when the only time you stop asking questions is to point fingers or call people out. Do you have a specific axe to grind? Do you care to take the time to try to answer any of your own questions, or is your place in this discussion confined to looking down upon the rest of us, trying to tease out the answers we may or may not have, as if you're the omniscient one tugging strings from behind the curtain?

Don't trust/respect/care about what the MTB media has to write - fine, your prerogative. But the gushing stream of questions has me perplexed because you seem intent on poking holes, but not willing to fill them with your own ideas, opinions, or thoughts.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 1:13 p.m.

Pete: I'm not a Canadian so I don't work the I Love You You Love Me We're A Happy Family vibe of Barney the Dinosaur. I'm also inclined to be satirical when I encounter idiots. And third, I don't automatically respect someone just because they have a position/title in the "industry" -- whether that be "journalism" (cough cough) or literal manufacture. So you may want to read my posts with those thoughts in mind. You're free to dismiss me if you think I'm an idiot who holds no honor in the "industry", it won't bother me any, I don't need your or anyone else's validation to know I'm offering insights that many of you either don't have yourselves, or if you do have them, you're afraid to discuss them anywhere except in Maxwell Smart's Cone of Silence.

I don't understand why you are working so hard to defend NSMB in this discussion. It makes you look insecure. Be strong, weather the criticism, and maybe grow a bit in the process.

But don't expect me to pull punches like Cam McRae or Vernon Felton. I have the luxury of not having my income threatened by telling the truth, since I am not in the "industry" of MTB manufacture or that misnomer "journalism" about MTBs.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2015, 1:22 p.m.

I'm not defending anyone, actually. Nor did I call your hono(u)r into question or the legitimacy of your opinions. I'm just asking if you have a position of any sort, other than "everyone is full of shit". You ask and ask, rhetorically, but aren't giving much for anyone to chew on. Are you moderating this discussion, or contributing to it?

I do Love you though, tibor. Even though it hurts.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 1:28 p.m.

You Canadians are so adept at passive-aggression. I'd think it funny, but I don't think manipulating others for your ego's gain is something humorous. I tend to find humor in the exposure of the fraud impulse lurking behind passive-aggressive behavior. THAT can be very funny, when done well.

If you think I hold the view "everyone is full of shit," but you're "not defending the site," I have to say you're as duplicitous as Cam and Vernon and "Henry Chinaski". Which is unsurprising, really. Given the Canadian influence.

The big Q for you must be wondering whether I like Canada/-ians, or despise them. Or maybe envy them. I like leaving that Q open for your distortive guesses!

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mightyted  - April 22, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

do you know terrafirma by any chance?

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 1:57 p.m.

The earth beneath my feet? I'm sure I've walked on it, ridden bikes on it, run on it many times. It's a familiar locale, the earth. Since I was born here, etc., rather than some other planet.

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wth
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WTH  - April 22, 2015, 2 p.m.

Seriously, what the hell is this generalization on Canadians doing on this subject ? NSMB is a Canadian website but people from the US and elsewhere also write here, so you can't base your opinion on Canadians from Pete or Cam's writings. You are a serious cancer on this thread man, chill the fuck out. Go set up a blog or something as it seems that you need to express yourself and this place won't give you the answers that you're looking for.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 2:05 p.m.

Thanks for the psychiatric diagnosis, I'll be sure to pass it along to someone for whom it is accurate.

You're right -- Cam's lying, Vernon's lying, and the apologies for the lies aren't carcinogenic. Exactly.

You're obviously a physician with multiple areas of expertise. Psychiatry, oncology. Probably even a dentist!

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2015, 2:22 p.m.

Nah, I don't care what you think about us. Where's the aggressive part, though? It seemed pretty passive to me. But if I did, I'm imagining this:

-You want answers?
-I think I'm entitled.
-You want AN-swers?
-I want the TRUTH!
-You can't handle the Truth.

Give us the truth, tibor. Give us anything, really. I realize that at this point you're just dangling a line in the water while you pass idly by, but you're getting bites. Pull a fish out of the water and club it on the head and eat it for once.

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wth
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WTH  - April 22, 2015, 2:44 p.m.

You're welcome. I'll send you an invoice for all of the above mentioned services. Thanks.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 2:56 p.m.

Pete, that's just sad. If someone isn't ra-ra-rah-ing for Cam or you or Vernon/BIKEmag, they must be a troll, right?

Which TRUTH do you want, Pete? I'll give you plenty. Pay me like you pay yourself and Cam and Dave and everyone else. Pay me like Levy pays RC. Pay me for my work, and you'll get something. Pay me like Casimiro paid Felton. Pay me Pete, and you'll get more than you need.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 2:58 p.m.

Please -- bill me fairly. Obamacare isn't quite as thrifty or cost-conscious as your national program, but that doesn't mean I have a lot of USD to throw at you. I'm not the US Govt, and I'm not a MD who works 15 hrs/week for 500k/yr income.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2015, 3:01 p.m.

I would, but I'd be too worried that you'd spend all day fucking with people in the comment sections. For the sake of our other readers (the 7 or the 93%), we're going to have to agree to disagree. And you're going to have to sit on the sidelines for the rest of this one.

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muldman
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muldman  - April 22, 2015, 3:22 p.m.

You seem to be under the impression that the average mountain biker cares either way. The average mountain biker doesn't buy a bike and tinker with it and upgrade parts on a regular basis. The average mountain biker buys a bike, enjoys riding it, and probably couldn't tell you what size wheels they have. To the average mountain biker, this sounds like a bunch of coffee hipsters arguing about roasting techniques.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 22, 2015, 10:55 p.m.

I suspect what was meant was do you know the guest who comments under the name 'terrafirma'?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 22, 2015, 11:30 p.m.

Bummer. I just got here and found tibor96 to be quite entertaining. I never got the chance to be a target though. I vote for a bit less censorship in the comments on NSMB. So as to not be misunderstood, I wasn't in agreement with the tone, but I was kinda interested in what tibor96 had to say though.

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bruce-mackay
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Bruce Mackay  - April 23, 2015, 2:03 a.m.

LMFAO and dropped my tablet due to that one, b/c its true! I LOVE COFFEE! (true) Screen roast over a gas flame, FTW!(sounds legit, but pulled right from my rectal area) The rest is real. Thats my actual name on the post. I have spread sheet on my phone where I have figured out the gearing for each current 1×11, 1×10 and 2×10 group (incl new XT 11-42). Even did a "conversion factor" based on wheel size. I am a consummate techno geek / gear hound. I love arguign this shiz. That said, I still ride a 2008 26″ wheel bike b/c I am waiting for this Standard BS to settle out. More to come.

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bruce-mackay
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Bruce Mackay  - April 23, 2015, 2:07 a.m.

JUST read it AGAIN! HIPSTERS! COFFEE ROASTING! Actual tears of laughter!

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bruce-mackay
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Bruce Mackay  - April 23, 2015, 3:18 a.m.

Tibor96…….. I am not sure what one has to do to get a post deleted/ removed, if this qualifies, I'll be disappointed. Intruged?
In order to expidite your dismissal and derision of the comment(s) I am about to post, I should inform you that I, like Cam and Mike, am Canadian, this apparently matters to you, somehow, during a debate. "How American." He says in his best droll voice. You just threw down more useless/ obfuscating drivel, when Cam called you out. Pete called you out. You side stepped. You have earned, from me the coveted "blow by all future responses award". A few reasons. A) This is NOT the first time I have seen this "highbrow" trolling from you. I no longer read your points and think, Hmmm, how insightful. I think, JUST SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MOVE ON! B) We're talking about a type of cycling enjoyed by less than 1% of the WORLDS 1%. You're obviously aiming at bigger issues, maybe? If not you're more pompous than I thought. C) If the above was some misguided attempt at an… what? A letter stating availability for employment? You missed the mark. Even there you somehow manage to contradict yourself (your entire last paragraph) You could have done what it alludes to, with the time and energy you put into this thread… Are you currently employed? Is that how you have this much time? D) I am annoyed that I was annoyed to the point that I even expended the time and energy on this post. So I guess, successful trolling Tibor96. Well played. (golf clap)
From this point forward, when I see one of your posts; anywhere, the virtual "sshhhh", down arrow, and carry on.

Oh and….. HIPSTERS! COFFEE ROASTING!!! rofl.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 23, 2015, 9:22 a.m.

Fair comment, Nat. I was hoping he'd divulge something, too - anything - but it wasn't going to happen. Ever. He is that guy that sits in meetings telling everyone they're wrong but never has a better idea. That kind of attitude is poison, whether it's in a family dynamic, a boardroom, or in the comments of an article where people are trying to exchange ideas.

As Cam said somewhere else in the comments, we've only ever banned two people from article comments: Mike Vandeman and now this guy. We have thick skins, we can take the criticism, and we like lively dialogue, but he used up whatever patience anyone had for his bullshit.

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Faction
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Derp  - April 23, 2015, 9:59 a.m.

the discerning voice, or the one that goes against the grain, should always be lauded for doing just that. In this case, tibor96 makes great, articulate points that are hard to argue against. We should have more people, especially in this industry, who are willing to counterpoint what is being fed to us. Although, the delivery was getting a tad over the top, the message was still there. I know, if I were a journalist or working behind the scenes in the industry, I would hope to hear from people who don't agree with me. We should always be pushing the limits of free speech and applauded for doing so. Healthy checks and balances are needed. Almost always there is an element of truth behind what is being said, so let's delve a little more into that instead of shutting people down.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 11:49 a.m.

I agree with you completely simpleton. But tibor didn't actually disagree with anything. He took potshots, made vague references to some of my points, called me a liar (because he read the title of my piece but not the piece itself and never owned up to that) and was simply a contrarian. I actually don't think we disagreed about much - he was just picking fights with everyone. We also received more messages, emails and comments from people asking us to remove him than we have ever had. Even more than we did with Mike Vandeman so there should be some sort of Mike V award bestowed on him.

These are the only two times this has happened. If he was actually taking us to task for specifics I would have been happy to address them. Instead he used insults and condescension as his weapons and picked fights with every person he engaged. Please tell me one of his 'great articulate points' because I would actually be interested in hearing that. They weren't in any of the points that were deleted for violating our TOS so they should all be here.

I'm not sure why you are hiding behind a pseudonym as well. Why is that? Anyway - fire away with his great points because every other comment we have heard is that he added nothing.

We have no problem with being disagreed with. I welcome that in fact. I have thought about this stuff and it is based on my actual experience and opinions so right or wrong I can back up my arguments. Insults and baseless accusations sprinkled with pseudo-academic posing aren't as welcome.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 12:58 p.m.

You have to include wheel circumference to have it be useful.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 1:20 p.m.

That was pretty low. As someone who has generally been interested in what you have to say, I'm pleased you owned this. My respect is not entirely lost.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 1:33 p.m.

Fake humble? And despite a solid rebuttal you stick to your waterpistol like it's the deck gun on a battleship. You don't think it's possible that Lee originally thought they were bunk but then came to appreciate them in the absence of refinement? Perhaps you think that was just more fake humility? Why would someone do that in this context?

If you can't reply here, and want to reply, perhaps it will work on the disqus site.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 1:36 p.m.

Psychiatric diagnosis? That doesn't make sense.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 23, 2015, 2:07 p.m.

On reflection you're right. Which means the industry will alienate riders who care about backward compatibility. And if that's not a big percentage of the total market then really who cares

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 2:18 p.m.

I don't judge you or NSMB too harshly for it. I really did intend it as something like a vote- for what I'd like to see here. I'm familiar with the Vandeman banning, and I expressed my disapproval of that too (but not in the respective article as I recall).

To me, it's obvious tibor96 has been making unreasonable comments and we, your audience, don't need protection from them. Fine that you disagree of course. I don't think I'd be put off if I was a target. My arrogance will likely lead me to establish myself as a target anyway. Perhaps the most significant reason to not ban someone, though, is that it takes away the chance of the banned person apologising or making an independent comment that might be worthwhile. Even if that might be very unlikely.

For the purposes of discussion, I disagree with your point that people who tend to find only flaws with offering solutions being as bad as you suggest. I see some benefit in that, if only to challenge others which isn't so bad.

But I don't think that tibor96 was only finding flaws. I think he or she was being insulting and unclear quite frequently. And seemed to be setting an extremely idealistic ethical standard. But I found many of the comments quite hard to comprehend.

Lastly, I feel bad for you if you if you've had deal with anyone making comments like that on a regular basis. Maybe I've just had a horseshoe up may ass, but tibor96 seems unique in my 38 years of experience.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 2:42 p.m.

I agree with your comment with the following exceptions: I didn't find too many good comments, let alone great ones fro tibor96. I don't think the comments were very articulate. Any comments I disagree with don't seem hard to argue against. I suppose that's because I have a reason why I disagree with them.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 3:23 p.m.

Another funny thing about this twice-posted comment is that tibor was arguing against the voices that are going against the grain. Or rather just butting heads. He didn't make one point that disagreed with what I was saying or gave a counterpoint that I recall. He simply spewed and accused me of things like pulling punches without giving examples. My life would be a lot easier if I didn't speak my mind like I did above - but that's not me. Personally I think he's mad at everyone except maybe Sponsel. Wait a minute…

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - April 23, 2015, 3:59 p.m.

But it is an mtb site! Where else should MTBers nerd out?

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 8:21 a.m.

With the stark exception of Shimano the bike industry is already well known for introducing first year products that are half-baked (poorly thought out, balky, high percentage of failure). The recent wave of innovations and rush- to-market mentality will probably mean that there will be a cascade of "first year products" year-over-year-over-year.

There will no doubt be a time when the rush to innovate for the sake of innovations will abate and the technology platforms will have a chance to mature with the emphasis switching from look-at-me-I'm-so-new-and-wonderful to actual quality assurance. However, this is clearly now not the time.

With this in mind I'm personally checking out of the gear frenzy and my personal bikes will be conservative specs. Perhaps 5+ years down the road perhaps the bike industry will mature.

So yes, the industry does what it does. And the inevitable continues as fairy dust is pooped and scooped by consumers.
As for Cam's article, consumers (and particularly internet forum posters whoa re mainly enthusiasts) being salivating Pavlovian lemmings frantically grasping for shiny new things this will never change. They are easy fodder for marketing.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 8:38 a.m.

How about dual control Lee? Was that fully baked? 😉

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 8:57 a.m.

Biopace sure wasn't. Possibly Shimano is a poor example.

Good luck to you and all your reviewers trying to find nice things to say about the nice new crap

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 10:35 a.m.

That's not hard actually. It's pretty obvious to me that bikes now are better than they have ever been on almost every level. Again, my piece was not anti- innovation. The bikes I'm riding now are a massive improvement over bikes from five years ago. But they aren't much better than bikes from two years ago - and yet the wheels and fork are completely incompatible. In two years it looks like that will happen again. That's the part I find hard to swallow.

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dude
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dude  - April 23, 2015, 1:28 p.m.

exactly, no one is saying that these new standards aren't better or that they aren't worth upgrading to at some point, but a lot of people are saying that the pace needs to ease up. We swallowed 650b last year, now give us a year or two to digest before the next thing comes along to make our frames/fork/wheels obsolete and worthless on the used market. If engineers are so eager to tackle some problems, why not figure out ways to implement these changes with less cost to the consumer?

I'm not buying into any new standards, regardless of performance gains, until this all settles down and I feel confident that 115mm axles aren't right around the corner. And fuck Trek.

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andy-eunson
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Andy Eunson  - April 23, 2015, 7:50 p.m.

For the record, I really liked dual control for xc racing I was doing at the time.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 23, 2015, 10:48 p.m.

And I really liked my fully rigid Ritchey for the xc racing I was doing at that time! 😉

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craw
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Cr4w  - April 22, 2015, 7:50 a.m.

Hopefully the good folks at Hope will keep making adapters so that my current wheelset can keep pace with all these changes. This is where we can outflank all this nonsense.

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GladePlayboy
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Rob Gretchen  - April 22, 2015, 10:47 a.m.

HOPE has stated that they will make adaptors available for existing EVO Pro II hubs so that they fit the new Boost 148, and I believe the 15 x 110…

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0
Rob Stead  - April 22, 2015, 12:39 p.m.

It's not possible to adapt a 142 hub to 148 fyi…

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GladePlayboy
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Rob Gretchen  - April 22, 2015, 12:48 p.m.

Not so… like I said Hope is working on it… here is the quote straight from the source, or read the full article at the link provided:

"For the thousands of older standard hubs still in use we are also working on hub and disc spacers to allow them to be fitted into the new wider frames and forks, however they will not bring all the strength advantages brought with this new size."

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andy-eunson
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Andy Eunson  - April 22, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

At least the UCI hasn't come in to dictate what mountain bikes look like…yet.

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petey
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Petey  - April 22, 2015, 7:40 a.m.

Don't bother with golf as an alternative. Club manufacturers have product managers there too, and they drive nonsense changes just as much a bike makers.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2015, 8:10 a.m.

But new golf clubs still work on old balls and you can fit them in any bag.

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andy-eunson
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Andy Eunson  - April 22, 2015, 7:40 a.m.

It is hard sometimes to discern innovation from simple change. Real improvement is good. No one gets their chamois in a knot about real improvement. I used to go through headsets at a rate of one or two a season until the size went up. If I am forced to give up perfectly functional parts for something far better, like disc brakes over rim brakes, that's OK. But this hub crap? I think my asymmetric rims give me what boost purports to do. Are 29er wheels folding up all over? Is this actually a problem? I'll bet hub makers like King and DT already have adaptor end caps in boxes to adapt soon to be extinct hubs to the boost standard. I haven't figured out either why I would want a so called plus tire.

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db79467
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db79467  - April 22, 2015, 7:01 a.m.

Until the upgrade (complete bike) cycle becomes as fast as the product cycle, we're slaves to the market. And the bike industry sees the market as what everyone bought new last year, which is a sliver of the entire market and also makes a few faulty assumptions: 1) people thought the "improvements" were better than last year's model when they're really comparing them to a 5 year old bike, and 2) people bought a new bike because of an improvement, when more likely they purchased it because of any number of improvements, but I'll bet for most people on this site it's frame geometry/travel. All the idiots who went to a bike shop and got a Bronson to replace their carbon Blur LT, may be the problem, but that's a small part of the market. Most of us bought 650b because you can't get a 26 in a 6″ bike anymore. And no sane person is buying a bike because of the rear axle size. We don't get to pick and choose most small improvements - we're just along for the ride (see: press fit bb).

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Jeromev
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Jerome Varriale  - April 22, 2015, 6:46 a.m.

I share the frustration over this issue. In the Vernon Felton video all of the bike engineers he interviewed kept referencing the tech industry for their innovation, but as you stated, that industry has become one of planned obsolescence with incremental benefits over the year prior version. This scared me quite a bit that all of the companies Vernon interviewed shared this sentiment.

However, this article does not make any sense. It's written for a group that is already saying "stop doing this!" and theoretically is already voting with their dollars. The people who are enamored by +sized wheels already have the money spent in their minds before the bike is even available to buy. Those people are voting with their dollars, often!

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 7:50 a.m.

I'm not sure what you are saying exactly Jerome. Why doesn't my article 'make any sense?'

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Jeromev
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Jerome Varriale  - April 22, 2015, 8:44 a.m.

More precisely the article is a moot point. If people stopped buying these new products, then companies wouldn't make them… But people are buying and buying and buying, and then buying some more. So the vote is in, these new products must continue to be made to feed the consumption beast.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:09 a.m.

Does it matter if someone buys a bicycle only to never ride it? Is that who manufacturers care about when deciding product features? The one who actually doesn't ever use the product?

That would explain a lot, and would explain why Cam's "economics" vision is so childish, and why Vernon's blame-everyone-and-nobody-simultaneously almost seems to make sense (if you have a serious concussion or perhaps brain damage).

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 7:23 p.m.

That's what I said Jerome.

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johnny-smoke
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Johnny Smoke  - April 22, 2015, 6:40 a.m.

It's the death of the custom bike. You can't walk into a shop and upgrade, because no shop can afford to stock parts that will be obsolete in a season or two. It's bad enough trying to stock inner tubes now.

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Faction
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Derp  - April 22, 2015, 6:54 a.m.

…and this is why we the consumers are being forced to shop online where we can find parts that will fit. Its kinda sad and ironic that the bike shop is losing out.

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Perry Schebel  - April 22, 2015, 6:57 a.m.

no doubt; maintaining a well stocked shop can't be an easy gig these days. i can't imagine trying to keep on top of a reasonable tire & rim inventory, not to mention all the other hard bit iterations.

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tobias-wildebeast
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Tobias Wildebeast  - April 22, 2015, 4:12 a.m.

As other people have noted, these things don’t just pop up. Most of it is in the pipeline for a long time and given that, there is plenty of scope for standards to be developed with a longer term outlook.

As it is, we’re given ill-conceived standards which are out of date in just a year or two. Classic examples: 15x100mm front and 143x12mm rear. These are standards which were roundly slated at launch because we already knew at the time they did not deliver all the incremental improvements we might want from a new standard (that and 15×100 being worse than the existing 20x110mm standard). Both are now being superseded.

I don’t have a complaint with progress. My complaint is with short sightedness and an unwillingness for the industry to work together on a standards roadmap.

My assumption is that this stems from the competitive mentality between Shimano vs SRAM vs Fox i.e. they each want to create an innovation gap vs their competition and therefore win more sales. But none of these guys are Apple and any innovation gap they create is closed within 12-18 months, leaving the customer as the only folk they’ve really succeeded in screwing.

I’m a product manager in a high-tech industry and if we treated the customer in this way we would be out of business because either a) other people would get together and provide a more stable option to invest in for the long term or b) my customers would go bankrupt from refreshing their entire estate every couple of years.

So instead the industry works together to develop a standards roadmap which looks 5-10 years ahead and everyone can work with that. There remains huge scope for innovation, since standards only concern the interfaces between one system and another, but customers now have a reasonable level of interoperability. The MTB industry needs a kick in the arse.

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planter
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Planter  - April 22, 2015, 11:38 p.m.

Oh, but I think there IS a secret 10-15 year roadmap. For frames and axles it would look something like this. 2015-16 boost 110 / 148. 2017-18 boost 112 /152. (And the return of 2x drivetrains OMG the range!). 2019-2020 boost 113/153 and skinny tires! They're so nimble and cut into the dirt so well you get MOAR traction! Moar than a 4.8 fat tire! 2021 E-mountian bikes!

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tobias-wildebeast
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Tobias Wildebeast  - April 23, 2015, 12:10 a.m.

Quite. My first line of thought when introduced to 650b+ was that it would make more sense to put plus size on 26″ so that the tyre diameter would be similar to regular 650b 😀

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slimshady76
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Luix  - April 22, 2015, 3:21 a.m.

How could you justify every year's changes knowing the big brands plan their complete productos lines FOUR years ahead? You can't tell us they Ger FOX to assemble a new product, new montage línea, etc in just two months.

These disgusting changes have been in the making for several years. It's not like Specialized decides to jump un the boost bandwagon out of the blues after seeing a presentation from Trek.

The industry moves as a whole, either you are un por you are out.

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tobias-wildebeast
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Tobias Wildebeast  - April 22, 2015, 4:58 a.m.

I half agree and disagree here. There is for sure a long term outlook on many things, such as axles, bottom brackets and headsets. But there are also things which catch people out as they are not really even industry-lead.

650b was quite a grass-roots movement for some time and it was perhaps an accidental by-product of the heavy marketing of 29″ which drove the mass adoption of 650b over 26″.

Since I can't imagine why anyone would want plus size tyres, I'm guessing that it is an industry-lead thing. Though maybe I'm wrong and in fact there's a grass-roots movement of riders who wish to ride slower bikes with heavier tyres and less accurate steering.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - April 22, 2015, 5:39 a.m.

No big ass company is able to adjust all of its product line in a short time without losing money (or not making all the money they expected, to be fair). I have to look for the article where Brandon Sloan recognized they would start discussing the future specifications with their suppliers (suspensions, shifting, wheels, etc) FOUR years ahead of their release. These sudden changes might be catching us consumers off guard, but they are driven by the industry.

Anyone there trying to pass as a victim of the consumer's tastes is purely feeding you bullshit.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 8:28 a.m.

Look on Mtbr. It will be painful but the early adopters flock there.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - April 22, 2015, 8:31 a.m.

But Luis, its partly industry its partly consumer. Is anyone really saying its all consumer driven?

Ironically the website where this is being discussed is also part of the hype generation machine. True of Nsmb, PB, Vital etc etc. deus ex machina

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 9:17 a.m.

Keep diluting the blame/causation, counselor. You could be the next RC at this rate. Or maybe the next Kevin Bazar.

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tobias-wildebeast
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Tobias Wildebeast  - April 23, 2015, 12:59 a.m.

Noo. Don't make me go back there!

Does Derby have a ghetto setup running on a 650b Ibis?

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bjorn-thewooly-bear
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Bjorn Thewooly Bear  - April 22, 2015, 12:34 a.m.

I'm not sure how much influence we can exert as consumers when it's already a done deal.
I buy 40+ hardtails a year for our work fleet. A couple of years ago I was placing orders with our supplier and wanted to stick with 26″ wheels; not a hope. None of the importers various brands were available with the obsolete wheel size. I looked at all the available bikesand importers in the market place and couldn't get the small wheels without buying supermarket quality bikes or doubling my costs.
We can only vote with our dollars when the options are available.

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fruity-ploutrance
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Fruity Ploutrance  - April 22, 2015, 12:50 a.m.

I agree completely here. The options are just not available any longer ! And it's not going to get any better soon …

This years' Sea Otter Classic is the perfect example. Every single company had a Boost/XX+ bike to show, and that's about it.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 7:22 a.m.

Isn't that what I said Bjorn?

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 8:55 a.m.

You excuse it by citing economics. Your "economics" understanding is that of a toddler. But go on with your excuse-making, Cam. It's quite an impressive display of distraction & deflection skills.

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mikefunk
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mikefunk  - April 22, 2015, 12:29 a.m.

It's one big ass rape. They will be new standards next year, I guarantee it. With same bullshit arguments for improvement. Funny thing is they already exist, waiting in drawers for their turn to shave some money again. Same thing is happening like with car industry.

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derek-garfield
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Derek Garfield  - April 22, 2015, 12:20 a.m.

While I share your general frustration with new standards and the fact that particularly in the mountain bike world we would rather use technology to make up for our own shortfalls (I can save 50grams by changing equipment but I won't cut my 20% body fat!), for clarity you should note that the change to Lightning cables occurred in iphone 5's. I only know as the 5 recently became my phone, and my dumbass thought they still used 30pin. But really, 30pin was legitimately shitty comparatively, and 9 years in tech as a standard (considering Moore's Law) is amazing.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - April 22, 2015, 7:28 a.m.

I guess a better example would have been the MacBook Pro in that case. I don't have an iPhone 6 (my 5s died and I'm back to a 4s) but I thought they had changed that as well. Thanks for the heads up.

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the-chez
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The Chez  - April 22, 2015, 9:02 a.m.

I believe what Cam might have been referring was why someone like Apple has to have something proprietary just for the sake of being different. Why can't they use mini-usb like everyone else? I have a 5 and was irked to have to upgrade all my cables.

Planned obsolence will be the downfall of consumerism. Just think of the trash pile it creates. Pacific Ocean anyone?

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D_C_
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DMVancouver  - April 22, 2015, 12:09 a.m.

I don't think the issue is directly the consumer. The issue is the product managers at bike companies. No consumer in their right mind would buy a Boost wheelset and fork aftermarket as an upgrade, but the stuff ends up on complete bikes and consumers weigh it as a small con in a package they are otherwise okay to buy. That is how these standards proliferate.

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Jeromev
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Jerome Varriale  - April 22, 2015, 6:30 a.m.

That's exactly how I feel about 1x drivetrains. They're standard on almost every higher end complete build now. All of the trails that I ride are long out-and-backs in the mountains, which means first half of the ride is a sustained technical climb to the top and then rip roaring decent back to the bottom. Granny gear is much welcomed if not a requisite on these rides. So, basically any new bike I buy will have to be fitted with a 2x drivetrain, or I will seek out a complete build that offers that.

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 8:57 a.m.

So if it's the product manager then WHY did the PM choose those standards?

This ignorance is astounding. Cam blames "economics," you blame "product managers" and Vernon blames everyone and no-one simultaneously. What a bunch of horse shit.

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D_C_
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DMVancouver  - April 22, 2015, 1:32 p.m.

You might be misunderstanding me. I blame the industry. Product managers are simply those who decide what is included on complete bikes - but it's all part of people trying to sell us stuff. Usually a complete bike has enough going for it that people will buy it, but they'll sneak in a Boost hub here and a 15 mm axle there. I'm saying that as long as people buy complete bikes, it's unlikely consumers will be in a position to speak with their wallets.

…or maybe I'm misunderstanding you?

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 1:35 p.m.

"You might be misunderstanding me. I blame the industry."

Oh I got that. Product managers = part of the industry. I said you blame product managers. Because you did blame them. It's no clarification to now say you blame "the industry" as if that's different from blaming "product managers."

Thanks, though, for trying to suggest I can't understand you. That's keen. It's not like whether someone understanding your posted comments bears upon the quality of your writing skills, or anything like that.

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D_C_
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DMVancouver  - April 22, 2015, 1:41 p.m.

(Deleted - not engaging the troll)

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tibor96
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tibor96  - April 22, 2015, 1:48 p.m.

Thanks for calling me a "troll." Easiest way to avoid my observations, isn't it? Kudos.

I might observe your comment said this:

"Clearly my reading comprehension skills suck too because I'm not really sure on your cohesive message. What is your point?"

and then got deleted. My point is that you tried to disagree with me, when I was agreeing with you, and you tried to be superior in the process. Yet then you deleted it and offered the passive-aggressive "troll" label. Great job. Really great job!

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D_C_
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DMVancouver  - April 22, 2015, 1:49 p.m.

I apologize. Like I said - I clearly did not understand the point you were trying to make. I'm out.

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sam-fowler
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Sam Fowler  - April 21, 2015, 11:45 p.m.

I just bought a transition suppressor frame (26″ wheel). All the parts went over from my 2010 trek remedy. I don't expect to sell my trek for much but I don't care. I have the bike I want to ride. Fuck yeah Transition, I hope they still make this frame in years to come x

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matt
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Matt  - April 21, 2015, 11:45 p.m.

Boost 110: it may have more flex, but at least it's not lighter.

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jason-van-horn
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Jason Van Horn  - April 21, 2015, 11:13 p.m.

Word. I still have at least one King Headset in my tool box. No way was I selling it with the bike. Of course, it doesn't fit any of the frames I have these days… which is the point I think we're all getting to. Stacks and stacks of 26″ tires is bad enough.

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