Dumbing Down Trails – Dumbing Up Bikes?

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Jul 25, 2016

Uncle Dave:

1) Dumbing down mountain bike trails is a common practice that most of the more advanced mountain bikers are generally opposed to. We want gnarly, non-machine built trails and fewer 2 meter wide flow trails. At the same time, these mountain bikers are constantly searching for ways to make themselves faster by optimizing their bikes and associated components (e.g., plus sized tires, better suspension, better geometry). Why do so many mountain bikers, and I include myself in this bunch, want harder trails but yet constantly search for bikes and equipment that make those trails easier? It seems like a paradox. If you are racing then it is easy to see why but I feel like a relatively small proportion of mountain bikers are focused on the competitive racing. Wouldn’t it be easier to ride a rigid bike on a gravel path than to constantly search for ways to make your local dh gnar feel like a clay highway?

2) How do mountain bike companies, particularly those with large marketing companies and full suspension bikes, keep getting let off the hook by consumers when spinning tall tales about how their suspension works. Most bikes are now on http://linkagedesign.blogspot.com/ and companies miss the opportunity to show what is really going on when they don’t include leverage ratio curves or anti-squat values. Companies include geometry charts rather than just listing what size person they think their different sizes are appropriate for so why don’t they show how the suspension actually behaves when riding the bike? Maybe the answer is that they don’t think anyone would actually want to look at semi-complicated charts and that those who do either make their own measurements and input values to linkage design or else trust someone else’s measurements on the blog. Either way, this seems like a worthwhile endeavor that would benefit consumers and the bike industry.

3) Why is manualing so hard for some and easy for others, assuming similar abilities in other riding skills?

4) If you had to pick the most glaring abuse of “standards” in order to encourage people to buy new bikes, what would your reasons be for choosing metric sized shocks? I think I hate everything about the entire concept including the name, as it implies that the current size run of shocks cannot be described via the metric system.

Thanks,
Multiple Question Guy


Dear Masticate:

Thanks for the overwhelming provision of questions for this week’s episode. Your ramblings have accounted for nearly 400 words. This makes my job much easier. Thanks for that. It is appreciated.

Question #1 – Trails be dumb

You’ve hit the nail on the head. People are crazy. Nothing that we do makes any sense. I think we all just really like new shit and are looking for excuses to spend money on stuff we don’t really need.

Question #2 – Suspension be complicated

So you’re familiar with the work of our friend over at the Spanish Linkage Blog (If I say it enough times, he may consent to being my friend). What would you say is the one consistent attribute between the bikes on that site? The leverage ratio curves point in more directions than a Trump campaign promise. The anti-squat values have a greater range than the marks on a first-year calculus midterm. The anti-rise graphs show more diversity than a Justin Trudeau photo opportunity. The only common trait on that site is the number of wheels on each bike and the humour provided by the google translations.

How is it possible that bicycles with near consensus positive reviews can have such wildly   different   suspension kinematics? Could it be that a bike is greater than the sum of its numbers, especially with regards to suspension design? You allude to a fear that consumers might not be able to grasp what is going on. I think it is worse than that though. I fear many of these bicycle manufacturing companies don’t know what the hell is going on. Thank goodness they aren’t trying to educate us on this stuff and are instead focussed on creating new acronyms.

Question #3 – Manual be hard

Why do some people fart a lot when they eat beans? Why is Paris Hilton able to sell billions of dollars of perfume? Why can’t my parents use an iPad without a tutorial before each use? Who knows? Life isn’t fair.

Ryan Leach suggests that all of us harness a secret manualer deep within ourselves. Have you ever talked to that guy though? His positivity and earnestness is alarming. I would think twice before believing anything that he says. He has way more faith in you than he should.

Question #4 – Standards be trippin’

You’re right. This is stupid. I agree that describing slightly longer shocks as “metric” and expecting us to figure the whole thing out is kind of dumb. But I’m not sure if it ranks all that high on my list of “Stupid Things Done by the Bicycle Industry”. Would you have felt better if they’d spend a few weeks coming up with a clever name to describe their new standard? These new HUNG shocks are going to greatly improve your riding? No. You would’ve felt worse. You would have belittled their attempt to hide a change in size under a fancy title.

At the very least we can be happy that this new standard will probably have zero impact on our lives. How many aftermarket shocks have bought in your lifetime? That’s what I thought. Who cares? Save up for a new set of wheels instead.

Sorry,
Uncle Dave


You don’t have to ask Uncle Dave four questions to win a prize from – just one good one! And while there are four Raceface Atlas Pedals pictured and Multiple Question Guy asked four questions – he’ll only win one set of pedals.

raceface_atlas_pedals

Congrats on your score! Raceface Atlas Pedals! They are light, low pro and they come in six colours. Send us an email and we’ll sort your prize.


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Comments

dave-evad
0
Dave Evad  - Aug. 4, 2016, 12:52 p.m.

A lot of trail designer/builders are simply assholes looking for their elitist playgrounds where you have to own expensive full suspension mountain bikes in order to ride there. This eliminates all the new and intermediate riders from crowding up their little playgrounds. It's not that complicated to understand.

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insurgentinmin
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InsurgentInMin  - July 28, 2016, 5:59 p.m.

One of my local Minneapolis area trails is "gnarly, non-machine built". Nobody rides it because it cannot be ridden and is dangerous.

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brett-tornwall
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Brett Tornwall  - July 29, 2016, 7:32 p.m.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not.

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insurgentinmin
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InsurgentInMin  - July 30, 2016, 10:17 a.m.

True story. Its has become a hiking trail.

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dave-evad
0
Dave Evad  - Aug. 7, 2016, 10:45 p.m.

Sounds about right to me. I keep getting told just how wrong I am about elitist trail builders, but examples are everywhere. When left unchecked, this is what happens.

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brente
0
brente  - July 28, 2016, 5:36 p.m.

Still run 26″ tires on all my bikes…call me a Luddite or better yet call me a person who doesn't care about trends.Oh and my main Shore ride is still a 6″ hard tail.

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brett-tornwall
0
Brett Tornwall  - July 26, 2016, 6:36 p.m.

For the record I have bought a new shock for most of the bikes I have owned in the last few years albeit usually a used shock on pinkbike buy/sell. It has only been in the last few years that bikes started coming with decent oem shocks. It used to be most bikes came with a fox float (insert acronym here) with what I call the parking lot tune (feels good bouncing around in a parking lot at the lbs but bad when ridden hard on an actual trail). The best thing to do is buy something cheap and send it to Suspension Experts, Push, or Avalanche for a custom tune and various other modifications depending on your preferences. Or, if you know how, tune it yourself. Some shocks are much easier to do this on than others.

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craw
0
Cr4w  - July 26, 2016, 10:50 a.m.

My current long travel 29er is incredibly capable. But I still love riding steeps and tech-gnar. The only difference is that now that one bike is also good at climbing, traversing and generally getting around (which previous gnar-capable bikes were not).

Also, as a taller rider, my 29er fits me more like a smaller-wheeled bike has typically fit most people. It finally feels like I'm not riding with a significant ergonomic limitation.

I've bought a few aftermarket shocks over the years and it's been a minor but surmountable hassle; I'm pretty sure I complained more about the price of a CCDBA than finding the right size. A more consistent and logical way to manage length vs stroke is a nice idea.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 26, 2016, 10:27 a.m.

I think Q1 is about appearances. I get a sense of satisfaction from getting down or up something that looks difficult. That's what sticks in my brain. How easy my bike makes something is easy to ignore. You can't really kid yourself about riding an easy trail. All that said, riding a bike is just plain fun for me.

I don't trust that linkage design blog very much as far accuracy or understanding the important concepts goes. I think there's a big space for something authoritative on that.

Interesting point from Uncle Dave there: Are bikes more than just a sum of the angles and lengths? I don't think so, excepting the role materials play, but I think it's easy to think that when we are so far from understanding the interplay of everything. I think there's a lot to gain by actively developing that understanding, as opposed to just bumbling along while marketing every new take as being something awesome.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - July 26, 2016, 10:39 a.m.

About the Gestalt issue: once you've ridden long enough, you get at least a glimpse of what's more important to you in terms of geometry/frame material/suspension characteristics. And if you have the chance to test several bikes back to back, it gets easier to correlate those numbers in Linkage to the feelings you get down the trail.

Take the Horst Link for instance. There are maybe a hundred interpretations of it out there, and even when the basic goal behind it is to isolate the suspension from brake induced compression (or brake squat for shorts), not every iteration of it does it successfully, or without sacrificing too much in the pedaling efficiency department. Suspension design is a short blanket: cover your head, and you'll get cold feet. Cover your feet, and your head will notice it right away. A competent suspension designer knows it has to keep a balance between several parameters, and sometimes its best efforts get buried below a ton of marketing or graphic design impositions, leading to nothing but a pile of riding manure which depends too much on a given shock tune, and work as expected for a given weight of the rider. I'm talking about you Special Ed here!

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nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - July 26, 2016, 3:07 p.m.

I think our feeling of what works for us individually is purely subjective, but that doesn't make it unimportant at all. The unfortunate part of that is our objective understanding of what a bike will be like from the numbers is far from complete. There tends to be enough uniformity in bikes these days that judgements made on a subset of geometry numbers falls within a range that often works. An exception would be that full rigid bike reviewed by Omar a month or two ago. (I imagine you recall the review, I'll find you a link if not.) The numbers of that bike diverged from the norm dramatically but it was functional beyond what the contemporary dogma would predict.

All the above and my previous comment disregard suspension, but that further complicates things obviously. Horst's design is a good example in isolation. My experience is that many people fall short in understanding the obvious role of the Horst design, including manufacturers in marketing materials. To me that calls into question the understanding within those companies. If the understanding is there, it calls their ethics out.

Related; I'm really surprised I haven't seen more discussion about the dw6 link design on that new custom Robot bike out of the U.K. Perhaps I just haven't seen it though, but to me it seems to approach the ideal in terms of objective theory.

Imposition? Are you a printer or graphic designer?

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slimshady76
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Luix  - July 26, 2016, 3:35 p.m.

I recall the bike you are talking about. It truly diverged from the norm as you say, and taking it for a ride, but leaving the prejudices out the ride, made Omar enjoy it a lot. Now what if I told you I wanted long, low and slack bikes back in the 90s. Oh, and short chaisntays too. I know for sure I wasn't the only one, and for that reason I'm quite happy with the actual trends.

Now getting back into full suspension bikes, when I said the marketing and/or graphic design departments could throw overboard the pivot layout I wasn't joking. Sometimes you can have a single suspension layout which could be adapted to a whole gamma, from XC to DH with a common frame format, as in the cases of Trek, Evil, Giant, Pivot, etc. while some other times, you can't, and if you force the layout to fit the frame shape, you'll end up with a crappy riding bike. Perhaps Kona is the best example of a company who chose to fit the best variant of the faux bar layout to a given bike type, instead of pasting some scaled version of the primal design to each travel option.

I recall an interview with Roxy Lo, Ibis' frame designer. She said David Weagle would give her some fixed points which would determine the geometry and riding characteristics of a bike, and the she was free to conect them with whatever tubes/shapes she wanted. But the key from the beginning was the way they wanted the bike to ride and handle.

The Robot Bike co. bike got pretty discussed in RideMonkey. Even Hugh Mcleay, I-Track's suspension creator, praised it. I wonder why DW chose to go with a pivot on the seatstays rather than with a HL.

Now about your last question, I'm a frustrated Physics student, and a proud UNIX Admin since a long time ago ;-). But I do have a lot of friends in the industrial and graphic design and engineering fields.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 27, 2016, 3:48 p.m.

Current trends are good in my view too. I just think some rational experimentation would get us better bikes sooner than the incremental changes tested on us as a market. That's probably a function of the economic system though…

I figured you weren't joking and I'm on the same page too. Each implementation of a design type should be judged individually. While I think many do that in the media, it's also not that uncommon to see reviews where a design type is presumed good or bad based on nothing else. What I don't think is really acknowledged, or understood even, is that the function of the suspension in tracking the ground through effective actuation of an appropriately tuned shock is >>> the impact of braking or pedalling overall. If you get the former wrong, even slightly, it doesn't matter how well the suspension behaves during braking or pedalling because those forces aren't there a lot of the time, but uneven ground is. I think downhill results indicate that. Yes, the rider is such a central aspect, but no design type seems to be a disadvantage, including single pivot designs which have the most significant compromises in both pedalling and braking.

I read that interview with Roxy Lo and I always kinda figured that essentially all the industrial design followed from the various pivot points being fixed. I think shock orientation seems to be the one exception to that as it seems to be determined or at least a goal set right from the get go, as it relates to ergonomics or mass placement in the frame.

I found that discussion of the dw6 link on RideMonkey. Interesting, but only a couple of real opinions in there. I also read a lot of the I-Track website, a good chunk of which seemed quite good. I was a little surprised that the standards for determining pedalling and braking inputs are determined with graphical methods rather than mathematics. That leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding. It is the bike industry though…

I don't think that design has a seats gay pivot though, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you. What does HL stand for?

Student life can certainly be frustrating, so good luck with your degree. Since you're in research science, did you see the news article on Jim Papadopoulos and the physics of bike design in Nature last week?

His work is so vastly different from what we see in the media, though the audiences are different too.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - July 28, 2016, 5:42 a.m.

Nat, first of all, thanks so much for that link to Jim Papadopoulos' work! It really got me thinking.

About the shock technology vs linkage design (the actual fact, not Antonio Osuna's blog), I tend to place more value on the suspension kinematics alone, making them as agnostic as possible to the shock tune, at least for a stock model. If a given suspension layout depends too much on the shock tune, it will perform poorly outside of the ideal rider weight, and that's my main concern.

As for the DW6, I meant Horst Link when I abbreviated it HL. If you look at DW's design, it's more or less a faux bar with two additional links between the chainstays and the main frame.

Again, thanks a lot for taking this time to discuss this stuff. I must admit I'm learning a lot, and I like it!

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humanpowered
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Humanpowered  - July 28, 2016, 11:24 a.m.

Your frustrated Physics student got my attention. You might find this article interesting, although the title is a bit misleading (no math was broken).

It's interesting to see that there is still a lot we don't know about what makes a bike stand up at all, let alone all the suspension related stuff.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - July 28, 2016, 11:27 a.m.

Well, "it's all part of the mystery", as said in Life Cycles… I'm currently looking at the same article, but in Nature, thanks to Nat's comment, sitting right below yours.

Thanks for the suggestion though!

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 29, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

Hey, no worries. The Science paper from a few years ago seemed really cool to me, although it's not my area. The concepts aren't that hard to grasp though.

I'm with you, but really just meant shock tune in the broad, technically correct sense in that every shock has a tune of some sort, as opposed to tuned in an unusual way to compensate. It's all forces and controlling shaft speeds… 😉

I totally should have figured HL out myself. I think if you take another look you'll see that dw6 is Horst in combo with a 4-bar virtual pivot, but do tell me if I'm just being obtuse. I've been known to struggle to find things in the fridge before.

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slimshady76
0
Luix  - July 29, 2016, 7:08 p.m.

Well, a Horst Link is technically a virtual pivot with a long lower link. You got me doubting about the faux bar vs Horst in the Robot Bike. Ill take a better look at it and come back to you.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 29, 2016, 7:14 p.m.

Indeed.

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slimshady76
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Luix  - July 26, 2016, 8:51 a.m.

I moved from a 140mm bike to a modern 160mm one to be able to tackle gnarlier trails, not dumbed down ones. I get the whole "if we make easier trails it will bring more people to the sport" thing, but it doesn't mean everybody has to be able to ride every trail. Keep people on trails which suit their skill level and we will all be fine.

As for the bike industry not including relevant technical information about their products, I recall a tweet of some "engineers" working for Trek laughing at the comments some of the most technically skilled members of RideMonkey made about the marketing claims the Waterloo brand made and dismissing them because "those guys don't know sh!t", when it was clear those marketing jerks were the ones utterly ignorant. Pretty funny piece of reading…

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Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 26, 2016, 2:05 p.m.

I had a similar experience. I went into a meeting with some Trek engineers prepared to…I don't even know…call them on their marketing bullshit? They just kind of rolled their eyes, agreed that the marketing had gotten out of hand, and then talked circles around me while referencing tests I couldn't even comprehend.

So hopefully this wan't taken as a genuine diss on bike designers. It was really more meant as a commentary on this fascination with one number being the be-all and end-all of bike design. Be it chainstay length, anti-squat or leverage ratio, there is no one number that will point to a bike being rad or bad.

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slimshady76
0
Luix  - July 26, 2016, 3:50 p.m.

Perhaps the issue lays in the way the message is delivered. Aside from marketing yada-yadda and trend impositions, each brand tried to take a differentiating approach to a given bike segment. I recall when the showdowns/shootouts were regular features in the printed media, and how the highs and lows of each model -relative to each other- floated to the top, even when they weren't explicitly written by the journalists. I know some brands are much less adept to criticism (who really is?) and sometimes the media risks getting banned from future press releases (this happened a few years ago to the Spanish magazine Solo Bici, after a negative review of some Cannondale model), but gosh how do I miss those comparative tests….

Now each bike model/brand gets its own separate media feature, and they are all a breaktrhough, but we as readers don't have a commond ground to base those scores on. I wonder if the testers shouldn't state at the very beginning of their writings what were they looking for when they took the bike for a spin, and how did the bike fit those expectations. I know the testers do have their own base level -their home trails set it, but for us who never rode them, it's hard to quantify the riding quality sometimes. I'm not saying it's a piece of cake for the reviewers, but that would at least give us something else to take into account besides the cold numbers in the geometry chart.

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - July 26, 2016, 4:08 p.m.

The product releases where a swath of journos are whisked away to some far off land to be wined, dined and sixty-nine by the bike company are difficult to read without throwing up in ones mouth a little bit. Even more when ever site has roughly the same pictures and write-up. I get it that there is certain "material" that is given to the site but I feel like I'm being fleeced.

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Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 26, 2016, 4:10 p.m.

I think logistics is the biggest hurdle to most shootout style reviews. You get one shot at having a bike for a couple of months and you have to make the best of it. It seldom overlaps with having a fleet of other, comparable bikes on hand. It's not impossible, but just really logistically difficult to pull off.

And yes, some companies have much thinner skin than others. The best companies respond with acknowledgement of the issue and perhaps even a change.

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giddyupPG
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giddyupPG  - July 26, 2016, 7:52 a.m.

One of my pet peeves with mountain bikers, when they complain about a log or root section being removed, yet upgrade to a $10,000 carbon 29er. Anyone is welcome to ride a 26″ rigid hardtail with v-brakes if they'd like more of a challenge.

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endurobrogoproflow
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endurobrogoproflow  - July 26, 2016, 11:13 a.m.

It's about the sensation of speed and flow and g-forces. Riding a rigid bike makes things harder, but it doesn't feel the same as a hard trail on a good bike

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - July 27, 2016, 7:24 a.m.

That is a really good way of putting it.

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brente
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brente  - July 29, 2016, 11:05 p.m.

Actually I ride a lot of what's on the shore on a Weyless Ultralight basically a Schwin homegrown with a 4″ front fork and vbrakes and the shore is much easier to ride on this 2003 vintage bike then it was when the bike was new.

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eric-e-strava
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Eric E. Strava  - July 26, 2016, 12:05 a.m.

I do think that companies would be better off explaining their suspension designs with science instead of marketing fluff. However, I gotta say, Linkage itself helps validate the Metric shock sizing. It's simply better than the old sizes. People are so pissed off at stuff like Boost and eBikes they are generally predisposed to dislike any change at this point, beneficial or not.

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whatyouthink
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whatyouthink  - July 26, 2016, 6:35 a.m.

Ya. The new standards really don't bug me. Manufacturers have been good about supporting old standards (at least the ones that should be supported, I mean screw square taper right?) When I get a new bike and it requires a different axle, who cares? The only thingg that makes it a pain in the butt is if you want to buy a frame and swap all your parts. But oh well.

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tehllama42
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Tehllama42  - July 26, 2016, 8:59 a.m.

The use case you just described is exactly why it's infuriating to some: if there isn't an observable performance difference on a frame requiring completely new parts (I.e. can't carry over parts on an existing good bike to a new frame) then why introduce new stuff?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 26, 2016, 10:05 a.m.

I'm no fan of square taper, but there are a good number of parts available for that standard from excellent manufacturers. And, @Tehllama42 is right, not being able to move your current parts over to a new frame is exactly the problem. It's more than a casual 'poor me I can't use my old stuff' thing- it encourages buying low quality, disposable parts (consumerism) that has consequences for personal and global resources as well as producing more waste. For me, the performance improvement needs to be judged in that context, and I don't feel that has been well considered with some recently introduced standards.

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Dirk
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Dirk  - July 26, 2016, 2:16 p.m.

Totally agree with this. But I think shocks are one part that you're almost always getting with your new frame, so a new standard…sorry…"standard"…isn't all that big of a deal in this case. Once you consider tunes, lengths, etc., chances are pretty good it's not making it your next bike, so what's one more thing getting in the way of that happening?

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 26, 2016, 3:12 p.m.

Absolutely. Very few will be affected, and the new mounting options, or increased prevalence thereof are a move forward. What a bunch of stupid communication around it though!

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - July 26, 2016, 7:41 a.m.

Unsure how Metric shocks are simply better than the old sizes? Weird propriety sizing excluded, they were a pretty straight forward with stroke length.

I've bought two aftermarket shocks.

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nopow
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Nopow  - July 26, 2016, 1:27 p.m.

They are called "Trunnion" shocks !

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - July 26, 2016, 4:12 p.m.

Huh? Trunnion is the mid shock mounting position. Which could be achieved even with the old variety of shocks

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nopow
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Nopow  - July 27, 2016, 8:35 a.m.

Me bad. Metric sizing is just organizing lengths and Trunnion is mounting. But Trunnion will be metric.

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - July 27, 2016, 7:43 p.m.

No worries. Trunnion is a good idea as seen in the new Giant Trance

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humanpowered
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Humanpowered  - July 27, 2016, 11:27 a.m.

I've worked in Data and Marketing Sciences for over a decade across several industries including 5yrs at one of the most influential ad agencies in the US. Being a techie guy myself it took me a long time to come to grips with just how little technical information the general consumer wants. Everything has to be distilled to the most simple and memorable description because it actually sells stuff. I don't like it, but it's true.

One other thing to note, engineers have nothing to do with naming or marketing copy. Engineers tend to have a combative relationship with the marketing folks if they ever cross paths.

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dj
0
DJ  - July 27, 2016, 7:24 p.m.

there it is again, the best avatar ever on a bike site!

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humanpowered
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Humanpowered  - July 27, 2016, 9:10 p.m.

Still unsure if sarcasm or sincere, but thanks anyway.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 27, 2016, 11:19 p.m.

Do you mean you've worked to market science, or that marketing is a science? (I do not intend that as a personal attack, rather to know how far from reason the juggernaut of marketing has gone.)

Your description of the typical marketing modus operandi puts a fine point on the unconscionable lack of ethics in marketing, by and large. People who are ill equipped to make good, informed decisions need help making those decisions themselves, not have a decision made for them by a self-interested corporation who installs it by way of psychological manipulation. Wars are waged, elections made farcical and resources disproportionately distributed primarily because of this. The only reason it isn't more obvious is because it's so common place. It's like the dark side of the force.

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humanpowered
0
Humanpowered  - July 28, 2016, 8:55 a.m.

Neither. I use machine learning and AI to develop sophisticated market simulations and prediction engines that can be used to test the effects of marketing tactics, micro and macro-economic impacts etc.

You've made some pretty cynical assumptions about marketers (which I'm not) and consumers. You assume people are ill equipped to make good informed decisions and that marketers are manipulating them into making bad decisions. The progression of quality in virtually every product on the market says otherwise, bad products don't sell as well as good ones. Advertising isn't the only source of information consumers use, in fact it's one of the least important. Look at General Motors as an example, their advertising budgets and marketing sophistication was magnitudes greater than Japanese imports in the 70s, 80s and even 90s. By your logic GM should have been able to push them out of the market with psychological manipulation, however they continued to lose market share to the imports not because their marketing failed but their product failed. You can also look to the movie industry now. When a big budget film hits it has one day in market to prove itself or it flops. Consumers figure it out really fast. I've worked with marketers across several industries and in almost every instance they are good people with strong morals. They are interested in understanding what consumers want and how best to show them that they deliver on that.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - July 28, 2016, 11:04 p.m.

Thoughtful reply thanks. That sounds like really interesting work, although I'm obviously not as interested in the application.

Perhaps I am (just) a cynic, although I'd prefer more analysis before judgement. You have an interesting perspective and an obvious depth of knowledge in the area of marketing that I do not. I've had a small handful of drinks, at least that I can remember, and I kinda get the feeling that we might not agree here. Are you by chance familiar with the 'microeconomics' CD from the band 'Hewhocorrupts'? It was a business card shaped and sized cd that was packaged in a wallet with a bunch of fake shit in there. It included a little slip of paper saying that it's a bad idea to put the cd in the slot loader of your bmw. It cost $8 new in '06. I thought it was hilarious, a fucking amazing piece of folk art, and maybe I drank the cool aid. Don't think so though.

In saying that, I'll take what you said at face value and consider my position.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Aug. 3, 2016, 10:02 p.m.

Hey, I just want to check in here. I see that my comment in reply to yours about a week ago didn't necessarily lend itself to a reply from you, but I hope I didn't just put you off by referencing that somewhat obscure cd. I'd hoped you might google it, or the band, and have a chuckle. I did not intend it as a rude, off topic way to end the discussion. I appreciated the points you made, but thought this an inappropriate forum to get into depth on this topic. Cheers. ('Lyrics' and slot loading cd player warning below.)

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humanpowered
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Humanpowered  - Aug. 4, 2016, 11:12 a.m.

No offense taken. I did look up the album, and you won't like this, but my first thought was, man they sure didn't plan to sell a lot of these! :). Jokes aside I did want to emphasis that people are smart. There are marketers that try to manipulate consumers. Typically out of desperation because what they're selling isn't good enough. I was the guy that told them don't. Those tactics always backfire. I would tell them to treat your customers like you want to be treated. You cannot lie and manipulate, not just because it's wrong, but because it doesn't work. People will figure it out real fast and your reputation for deceit will outlast your inferior product.

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