uncledave-new-standards.jpg
Ask Uncle Dave

Have New Standards Made Bikes Better?

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Aug 25, 2021

In my youth, I often found myself getting riled up about new mountain bike standards. Few things (bicycle related) made me angrier. It took years of booze, heartbreak and outrage to cave in and stop caring. When Dub was announced, I could barely summon a whimper. Take a moment to consider that this is what me not caring looks like.

Some of this is probably down to conditioning. After so many half-baked, half-assed standards, we’ve come to expect companies to mess with even the holiest of accepted standards. Who can get upset about a mm in a bottom bracket spindle when we’ve faced such battles as 35mm handlebars and super duper boost axle spacing.

Into this walked Mr. Quinney, with his half-baked attack on attacking standards. This felt like the new HR guy firing off an e-mail on the great new lunchroom restrictions that we are lucky enough to be experiencing. On the surface, it’s not a huge deal, but as an office drone who has faced down years of benefit reductions, switches to defined contribution pensions, and cost-of-living adjustments that do no such thing, this was an unnecessary victory lap on my soul.

I’ll take a look at some of the individual arguments Mr. Quinney put forth later on in this article (if I can stifle my rage for long enough to remember), but most of it boiled down to progress. It’s all in the name of progress! If we want “the best possible bikes” we need to accept whatever gruel the bike industry decides to feed us. Nay, we should demand more gruel, and insist that it has less taste and fewer nutrients, as long as we can shoot it down our throats with more velocity.

You could probably boil some of my disagreement with this article based on how one defines “the best possible bikes”. I think part of my acceptance of new standards boils down to this changing for me, over the years. 10 years ago, what I wanted from a bicycle was far different from what I want now. Then, I wanted a relationship with each and every part. I wanted to lovingly select each component, and then caringly attach it to my bicycle after a great deal of thought. I looked at bike parts as an investment, one that would hopefully solve a problem, or eliminate a future challenge. I wanted long life, serviceability and performance, and I very often transitioned parts from one bike to the other.


One could take the tech of yore and build something very competitive to any modern bicycle with up to date engineering and manufacturing standards.

Now, I just can’t be bothered. The thought of piecing together a custom build using a modern full suspension bicycle frame sounds more like a giant headache than something I long to take on. And I used to love putting a bicycle together! One of my favourite things was to throw a frame into a stand, disappear for a few hours and emerge out the other end with a fully functional bicycle. Some of this has to do with me plunging into the world of bicycle review, but if I were to buy a new bike right now, I’d probably just hobble down to the nearest shop and take whatever they had in stock that didn’t anger me too badly. To put it more bluntly, the bike industry won! They got exactly what they wanted! They can fill the page with acronyms and engineering jargon and news of the latest advancements and I’m just going to shrug my shoulders and take what’s coming to me. Why would I bother to curate a new bicycle if I have no faith in the long term viability of any given part?

The consequence of this is that “good enough” has replaced “just right”? Where once I would have insisted on XTR and King, I’m now just fine with SLX and whatever house branded nonsense some cheapskate product manager can jam into the frame. That bike will ride circles around my precious bikes of yore, but I would think twice before describing it as “better”.

So I now have a dramatically different relationship with my bicycles. To a certain extent, they’ve become a means to an end. Some of the love is gone. I’m happy to move from bicycle to bicycle from one year to the next. Indeed, I’m more likely to move from a new bicycle from one year to the next. This is a bit silly, and perhaps even a bit irresponsible. However, these are the behaviors that are the result of the erosion of my faith in standards for mountain bikes. I now am somewhat apathetic, and I care a bit less about my bicycle. So, if our measuring stick is absolute performance, then yes, perhaps we should encourage the industry to go wild with new standards. I would argue though, that this changes our relationship to the bicycle, and not in an entirely positive way.

Look at cars or motorcycles?

This gets brought up a lot. “Look at cars! Nothing from one car fits another car! They all have parts designed and manufactured specifically for one vehicle. Nobody complains about that.”

This may be true. However, it misses one major point. For all of recent history, those things never had large scale compatability. There wasn’t a time in the 70’s when parts were easily transferred between models and manufacturers. The manufacturers didn’t all decide in the 80’s to create a free for all of competing standards. It’s just always been that way. Bicycles, have not. The cross compatibility of parts between bicycles was (and is) a good thing. Justifying the removal of this benefit by pointing at all the things that don’t have it is like justifying kicking your friend in the crotch because you just watched somebody else do it to a guy on the other side of the room. Just because one guy has sore testicles, doesn’t mean we all should. Arguing for a change for the worse because other people are doing it is the job of accountants and CEOs of media conglomerates, and is what is known as a “race to the bottom”. Stop doing this.


Yes, certain new standards are now a fundamental part of the modern bicycle, but so, so many had no consequential impact.

Nobody is forcing you to buy this!

I mean, they aren’t. But they kind of are. Of course, nobody has to go out the day after a new standard is announced and buy all new parts. That would be absurd. But a year from now? Two years from now? Five years from now? Talk to the people trying to replace their 26” tires, 1/8” steerer tubed forks, 31.8 handlebars or non Boost hubs, and I’ll bet you’ll start to hear something about forced choices. Generally speaking, new standards are a zero sum game. Worse, they tend to propagate. So, not only will a new standard now most likely reduce your ability to buy the current standard in the future, it will probably inspire somebody else to create another new standard, lest they be seen as letting technology pass them by. Maybe it’s good that we can no longer easily buy some of these things, but it’s disingenuous to claim that you aren’t forcing somebody into a future purchasing decision with the introduction of a new standard. That’s the entire problem! New standards displace old standards and replacement parts for old standards disappear. This has never not happened.

Not all new standards are bad

One would be crazy to argue that there haven’t been improvements in performance with mountain bikes, and one would also be crazy to argue that this would be possible without new standards. Progress isn’t bad, but it can often be as much about the journey as the destination. One could argue that our route has been haphazard, at best.

Few people have a problem with the death of a tired old standard that causes nothing but problems. There are very few pining for the return of the square taper bottom bracket, for example. One could argue that the problem with bottom brackets is that nobody went far enough! Imagine if we went back to 2005 and somebody proposed a new bottom bracket standard that had enough room to accommodate both larger spindles and larger axles, in an easy to understand threaded format. Imagine avoiding years of tiny, incremental changes that only came into existence to solve the problems created by the previous tiny, incremental change. Imagine if everybody with a vested interest got together, discussed the problem and then came to an agreement on how to move forward. If you’re going to go to the trouble of blowing everything up, you may as well make it worth our while. People are more likely to come along for the ride if they can see the benefit and if they have faith that it’s going to last for a while. This is generally not what happens. I mean, people still pine for the threaded bottom bracket that everybody was trying to replace! It’s ludicrous.

Of course, there was a reason why we needed to curate bicycles. It was almost a necessity to gain something that functioned. In this regard, it’s wonderful that new bicycles have created a world where mechanical challenges are no longer so prevalent, but to attribute all of this to new standards is insane. Yes, certain new standards are now a fundamental part of the modern bicycle, but so, so many had no consequential impact. One could take the tech of yore and build something very competitive to any modern bicycle with up to date engineering and manufacturing standards. Let’s take that 2011 Giant Reign the Mr. Quinney hangs out to dry and see what we could do with a modern take using nothing but 2011 standards.

1 – Re-design the geometry to not suck. No new standards there.

2 – Build it out of carbon. No new standards there.

3 – Design it around 29er wheels. No new standards there, just better tire tech.

4 - Slap the latest tapered steerer tube fork on the front, mated to a standard pressfit 1-1/8 and 1.5” headset. No new standards there, either on the fork or the headset.

5 – Build it around DH hub standards of the time – 12x150/157mm in the rear and 20x110mm in the front.

6 – Throw a threaded bb in there. No new standards there.

7 – Use a modern imperial sized shock. No new standards there.

8 – Use a 31.8mm handlebar and stem. No new standards there.

9 – Install your wide range 10 speed, single chainring drivetrain. No new standards there. You can argue that 12 speed improves the way this functions, but just because our current wide range single chainring drivetrains are 12 speed, doesn’t mean they need to be.

10 – Throw in your favourite 30.9 or 31.6 dropper. No new standards there.

11 – Bolt your favourite brakes to those 6-bolt hubs. No new standards there.

Honestly, name one new standard developed since 2011 that has to exist for our bicycles to be as wonderful as they are. Perhaps the bike I’ve listed above with the old standards is only 96% as rad, but it’s a delusional argument to put forward that we are light years ahead of where we were because of the scattershot implementation of new standards. Slightly better or slightly easier to design is not enough reason to blow it all up. And the more I sit here thinking about it, the more I’m starting to think that I’d actually rather have the bicycle that I just described above, over what is now available.

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Comments

papa44
+15 fartymarty goose8 Martin Absolut-M Muesliman Tjaard Breeuwer Cr4w kcy4130 cole128 Angu58 Luix AJ Barlas Zero-cool Etacata Tremeer023
papa44  - Aug. 24, 2021, 11:27 p.m.

I like to change my frame regularly in the search for the perfect steel hardtail but it’s killing me having to budget for different headsets bottom brackets and seat posts each time. My problem with standards is that they never become standard which sort of misses the point. Reminds me of this old xkcd strip: https://xkcd.com/927/

Reply

taprider
+8 Tjaard Breeuwer papa44 doodersonmcbroseph Greg Bly Zero-cool Etacata Tremeer023 Endur-Bro
taprider  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:42 a.m.

Bike Standards
is an oxymoron

Reply

Greg_M
+2 ZigaK Dan
Greg_M  - Aug. 25, 2021, 9:54 a.m.

I just can't get behind this thought.

I can buy a second hand fork from almost any semi-recent bike and it'll fit in my bike. If I try and do the same on a dirt bike I'm fabricating something to make it fit (or I'm buying the fork, front brake, front wheel and still hoping that I can make it fit somehow). Dave mentioned this in the article and I agree that just cause it's bad in dirtbike land doesn't mean it has to be bad in mtb land but I'm saying it's not that bad in mtb land.

Yes things have changed over time, I also don't really appreciate the incremental improvement that's not really an improvement (2% stiffer bb interface?) but it's really not that bad with standards. A threaded bb fits a threaded bb, hub standards are still standards even if there is 8 of them, a tapered fork is a tapered fork for the most part. Some care is required when selecting parts but at least I can find what standard is used and ask for that part and be pretty confident that it'll fit.

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papa44
0
papa44  - Aug. 28, 2021, 12:31 a.m.

I think some of the pushback is coming from people that don’t want mtb to be more moto, I’m sure specialized would live you to stroll into their shop and buy a new bike every couple of years with the main decision being what colour. Bikes are good enough now that you can do that but it’s a shame to move away from bikes that can have one bit changed at a time and have multiple options, including frames. for example my bike which I have owned for over 30 years, the Ship of Theseus, is still going strong after having every single component replaced at least 10 times and I think that’s a good thing

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dan
+1 papa44
Dan  - Aug. 30, 2021, 3:46 p.m.

I’m with you, though I’ll admit maybe I am just not totally understanding the ‘argument’. I don’t buy new bikes because I need a new standard. I buy a new bike because of a killer feature(s). Incidentally there may be some new standards that are part and parcel of the components, but I would have been happy with whatever was attached in addition to to the aforementioned feature(s) that drove my selection. 

I tend to wonder how much geometry updates are the biggest driver of purchases. For instance, I just moved from a 2018 Slash to a ‘21 Slash. Key feature? Longer geo. It *happens* to have a much better shock, in-frame storage, and a bigger SP diam, but that’s not related to standards. Prior to that I had a Remedy 29. I moved to the Slash for more aggressive geo as well. Prior to that, SB66. I was the last in my riding circle to roll on 26” hoops. It too was a longer bike than the one before it - a Diamondback Mission which was *really* short. And so on. 

What if we flip it around: which legacy standards would one PREFER over what we have today? I can’t think of any. Adios, quill stems, square taper BBs, 135 spacing, 26” wheels, and friction shifting!

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papa44
0
papa44  - Sept. 1, 2021, 12:10 a.m.

It wasn’t much of an argument to be fair, I was just pointing out how even within standards you can end up with 15 types of standard, let alone if bike companies just start doing whatever is cheaper/easier for them. It’ll be own brand hubs and saddles forever which would be a shame.

Reply

fartymarty
+6 Luix Muesliman kcy4130 mikeynets Martin Tremeer023
fartymarty  - Aug. 25, 2021, 12:36 a.m.

Is the bike the "sum of parts" or the "whole"???  

For me (and I assume many other NSMB readers) it's the former.  If you are changing your bike every few years (like Pinkbike bike readers polls show) then it's the latter.

Case in point are my two bikes - Surly Krampus and Starling Murmur (The Krampus was the donor bike for the Murmur but has eventually been rebuilt).  Threaded bb, straight 44mm HT (tapered or straight 1 1/8" fork compatible).  The Krampus has a 135mm rear and the Murmur 148mm - Hope make adapters for their hubs so you can fit them on 135 / 142 / 148 rear ends.  The only change has been the seat post size as the Krampus had a woefully small 27.2 and the Murmur has a modern 31.6.

I get both your and Henry's view points - but I think you are coming at the same question from completely different sides.

For me you win this round with your example of the 2011 bike made modern. I do hope Mr Quinney responds - it would make for a great inter-website debate (something we could do with more of).

Reply

slimshady76
+16 fartymarty papa44 goose8 Martin Absolut-M Muesliman kcy4130 Cr4w Dogl0rd Cam McRae Gage Wright AJ Barlas Greg Bly Zero-cool Chad K Ceecee Endur-Bro Simon Apostol Andy Eunson Wapti
Luix  - Aug. 25, 2021, 2:10 a.m.

Quinney's piece is written from a selfish, meritocratic standpoint. "I want the best because I deserve it!". As I commented there, seems like he thinks all MTB happens at bike parks, with bike shops at the bottom sorted well enough to be able to have him back in the saddle in just a matter of minutes if he breaks something. Or he believes his privileged position as a reviewer on a MTB themed website, with free replacement parts just a Facetime call away, is the new yardstick. Classic bellybutton staring syndrome right there.

Seems like he never did multi-day alpine trips, delving into the wild with 10 more people and their bikes. When access to spare parts and reliability matter, standards become important. So you don't have to haul a monowheel trailer topped with every single spoke length/gauge, different headset parts, brake pads, etc. Right now my riding crew still features a few 26", 1⅛ headset equipped bikes. What should we do, tell them to stay home because of their outdated stuff? Tell them to find a better job to be able to afford a "current standards" bike?

Also, what about all those riders in non-central/first world countries, shall we all suffer to find some not-so-obscure spare part* simply because some gimp at pinkbike wants to have the latest and greatest? Outside North America, Europe and Australia bikes and spare parts distribution is a convoluted mess. You can argue about online shopping and how it made the world smaller, but that still means if I break something I'm not able to replace by walking into a local bike shop or logging into a national web shop, I'll have to stay off the bike for an uncertain amount of time until said part arrives here and clears the Customs office. Not to mention the added shipping/customs/taxes cost.

*I'm looking at you Giant, with your stupid Overdrive steerers/headsets/stems!!!

Also, as @papa44 said:

Reply

andy-eunson
+3 mikeynets Angu58 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:56 a.m.

If someone is going bike packing in the wilderness and has not checked out their bike and done the preventative maintenance to minimize the chance of needing parts or repairs, those people are being stupid. Accidents do happen of course but bikes are pretty darn reliable these days.

Reply

slimshady76
+3 AJ Barlas Absolut-M Simon Apostol
Luix  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:47 a.m.

We're not stupid. But we do some pretty complicated multi-day enduro trips, not bikepacking ones. And that means we do like to travel light, but it also means shit is bound to happen to someone, at some point. So we like to be prepared.

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Fasta_Pasta
+3 Absolut-M Luix DancingWithMyself Endur-Bro Andy Eunson
Scott Jamieson  - Aug. 25, 2021, 3:24 a.m.

Trek are also particularly guilty of this crime. Every season they change from KnockBlock / ThruShaft / etc. Which is exactly why I didn't buy one. They can't even keep a "standard" from one year to the next. Try finding a compatible headset in the Tuscan hills 3 days into a bike trip...

A big thing for me is either not being able to buy Frame only, or it being painfully expensive. New GT is 3500bucks for the frame. So you are forced to buy a complete and then upgrade half the parts after the first year. Oh but good luck with compatibility!

Reply

fartymarty
+5 Tjaard Breeuwer AJ Barlas Luix Matt Lee Simon Apostol
fartymarty  - Aug. 25, 2021, 3:58 a.m.

Remember Trek are to blame for boost 148mm when they copied the Krampus (29+) but had to have the CS as short as possible and couldn't do it without moving the chainring out and making the rear wider....

Reply

Bikeryder85
+9 goose8 Muesliman Cr4w Cam McRae Geof Harries Martin werewolflotion taprider Nologo
Bikeryder85  - Aug. 25, 2021, 3:34 a.m.

I was also kinda put off by the attitude, it's not that I hate new standards, just that I don't like the unnecessary swaps because "sales". I don't have the latest and greatest (135 rear hub *gasp*), but am hardly outdated. But according to his way of thinking, it's a wonder i can even ride!

If I were to build a bike just for me, it'd have updated geometry and construction, but probably some old standards. I prefer 27.5, and would rather the narrow 142, if only for the placebo of not smashing into every rock. Threaded bb, because tools. 31.8 bars, because they are better. Outdated seat tube for cross compatibility. It would shred like anything else modern, but work better for my garage of spare parts etc than anything else out there.

Great piece Dave!

Reply

Cheez1ts
-2 Joseph Crabtree DancingWithMyself
Garrett Thibault  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:44 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

martin
+1 Cr4w
Martin  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:27 a.m.

My thoughts exactly Uncle Dave! Thanks for bringing another point of view on this. It seems like Quinley and most of the Pinkbike staff (listen to the newest podcast episode with Outside's CEO) just embrace the same mentality and it's depressing to read.

Reply

jt
+1 Konrad
JT  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:34 a.m.

I'm not one to totally embrace new goods simply for them being new goods. At one point I thought tapered steerers were dumb because 1.5 existed, and I still feel 142 was a bodge when the industry could've gone 150/157 and negated a bunch of the incremental gains boost provided. I do have a smidge of hope as the industry is seemingly embracing the UDH (talk about a game changer for yer gear changer) and the all too (painfully) slooooow adoption of T47. And honestly, 34.9 makes a lot more sense on dropper posts for the same reason we want larger stanchions. As one who owns and rides a 26" fs bike, I haven't bumped into the new tire dilemma yet, but new rims are another story. I may miss out on the latest n greatest rear shock whizbang with the embrace of metric standard rear shocks, but the one I have works well enough, has a ton of adjustments, and I can still source seal kits. Having played with the idea of getting a new one, I found enough of em online to negate any of that concern. Couple years down the road I anticipate that to change, but I also anticipate needing a new frame since everything has a fatigue life cycle, which is especially important to keep in mind when things get ridden hard. Key reason I don't buy used sus forks right there.

My take is new standards blow on the first outing because of the past, but for moving forward new standards with proper design merit lead to better rigs. It wasn't long ago we rode around on 30+lbs 26" bikes but now (mostly) ride on 29" 30+lb and under bikes with same if not better capabilities and strengths.

Reply

AverageAdventurer
+4 Martin Matt Lee Velocipedestrian twk
AverageAdventurer  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:52 a.m.

Oh man what about the stuff coming down the pipe? Flat mount mountain, boost road, boost 141 already is circulated. When is ohlins and suntour going to repeat history and have 1.8-1.25 steerers. 

I haven't had too much of a problem in my history of bikes with "standards". But the day none of my parts fit on a new bike; I'm growing out my beard, slapping a rigid fork on my '14 Chromag and giving up on keeping up.

Oh and hopes now no longer produced 17x130 rear hub spacing and the direct mount brakes they had on the hb160. The list goes on..

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craw
+4 Tjaard Breeuwer Luix Martin mrbrett
Cr4w  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:13 a.m.

You can see why those Radavist folks just threw their hands up and went straight to 90s bikes turned into SS clunkers; switched fancy baggies for cut-off jean shorts and Tevas and went camping. Keeping up with these unnecessary changes can hurt.

I seem to keep in front of it because I'm a 1%er who can't just walk into a shop and buy a complete bike that fits me so I'm forced into the replace frame one year, lots of components the next, repeat. And TBH that's fine with me, I love bike parts. I have the time and inclination to do it that way. Every so often I have to get a new headset or BB to accommodate some new standard. 

But for some standards we really need to get our shit together: headsets, BBs (why can't we all agree on T47 or some other big modular system) in particular. 

And to be fair, seatposts are silly too. Have you seen the shim between 30.9 and 31.6?? It's paper thin - just pick one FFS. We could have small/road (27.2), most mountain (31.6) and the new big (34.9). And eventually end up with just small and big. 

And for all these new unnecessary standards we can't work out a better solution for tire inflation than the old presta valve system? That system is way past its prime now that tubeless is ubiquitous. Here is a spot ripe for a rethink but people are so primed against new standards that it will take a lot to overcome that initial response no matter how good the proposed solution. If only there was a way to drill bigger holes in rims to an existing familiar standard so they could also be shimmed down to use presta and be backwards compatible!

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
+1 Luix
Tjaard Breeuwer  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:20 a.m.

I agree, I have been saying that about seatposts for years. I understand my gravel bike rides nice and comparing with a skinny seatpost, and a fat one would be better for a 220mm dropper on my enduro bike. But 0.35mm differ even in radius?

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fartymarty
+2 Cr4w AJ Barlas
fartymarty  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

Cr4w - You mean like those (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151400052268) they run on almost every other tyred vehicle on the planet....

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:59 a.m.

Has anyone tried these? It sure would make more sense.

Reply

fartymarty
+3 Luix Endur-Bro Cr4w
fartymarty  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:05 a.m.

Cr4w - I have indeed and they do work.  Drill away and preach the schrader gospel.

Cam - I've been on schrader for probably 20 years now (10 on tubeless) all on aluminium rims.  I've tended to run wide rims - Mavic 321s, 521s, Flows, Blunt 35s, 511s and no issues.  I get your point regarding weight but I will take the convenience.  Also I use the Peatys Push On silicon caps.  Nice and quick to take on / off.

AJ - At least with schrader you can remove the core and properly clean out the valve.  I use the Stans syringe with the valve removed which makes adding sealant easy.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+3 Cr4w DancingWithMyself mrbrett
Cam McRae  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:05 a.m.

I have heard this argument before but I'm not sure what the advantage is? More airflow would be good but you can get that, at least when airing up a new tire to seat it, by removing the presta valve core. This also allows you to put a Schrader fitting from a compressor directly onto the outer Presta shaft. Schrader necessitates a larger hole in the rim, and makes a valve cap essential but is more robust and keeps the valve protected, assuming you have a cap on. It's much easier to dump pressure with presta unless you happen to have long nails. 

We'd need an engineer to tell us if the hole diameter difference between the two is significant for rim integrity, both in aluminum and carbon. A carbon layup could compensate but that would be years down the road. 

Lots of pros and cons here. Weight will be a factor as well. If you put your bike in the stand and spin the pedals hard you'll see how much impact even a light Presta valve has on localized centripetal forces. In fact I've often wondered why our wheels aren't balanced like those on a car, at least for higher speed applications.

I know riders have tried this before but I'm not sure all the pros and cons point to Schrader being the solution. But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

AJ_Barlas
+2 Cam McRae Endur-Bro
AJ Barlas  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:57 a.m.

Presta valves drive me nuts because of their short lifespan now that we use spunk to help seal our tires. If schrader valves prevent that, I'd be in but I somehow doubt it. I've been contemplating going back to ghetto tubeless because from memory, I had less issues with it but I'd be surprised if the valve suddenly didn't fill with goo. 

The weight balance Cam speaks of is something to consider too, and something many don't. I've been told by some much smarter bike folks that it makes a rather large difference (at least for high speeds, which again, Cam pointed out). 

It hasn't been front-page news for a couple of years now but there were quite a few World Cup DH teams using weights to balance their wheels. 

https://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/PIT-BITS-2019-Val-di-Sole-World-Cup-Downhill-Bike-Tech,12517/PIT-BITS-Val-di-Sole-2019-World-Cup-Downhill-Bike-Tech,131311/sspomer,2

Ceecee
+3 Luix AJ Barlas Endur-Bro
Ceecee  - Aug. 25, 2021, 12:42 p.m.

Has anyone besides Barlas tried using spunk to help seal tires? --Congratulations!

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AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:31 p.m.

Ha! Sploog, runny shit, whatever you wanna call it, it sucks and is one of the shittiest things about tubeless.

DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - Aug. 25, 2021, 5:40 p.m.

Interesting that this irritates people.  Does everyone not just use a pair of pliers to fully unscrew the little nut, take valve core apart, and clean it out?  Rarely a problem for me unless I’m sloppy with where I leave the valve before opening to inflate.  This is a topic on which I’d actually be interested in one of Pinkbike’s polls.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+1 Velocipedestrian
Cam McRae  - Aug. 26, 2021, 9:58 a.m.

Not generally a problem for me either. I do carry a valve core tool in my buttsac though, in case I do have an issue.

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velocipedestrian
+1 Cr4w
Velocipedestrian  - Aug. 26, 2021, 3:41 p.m.

I'm keeping "buttsac". Sounds pustular.

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Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - Aug. 28, 2021, 10:28 a.m.

Cleaning out a valve is key.  I put a drop of Tri-Flow into the valve stem before I inflate my tubeless setup in the hope that it lessens goop buildup at the valve.

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Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 30, 2021, 9:59 a.m.

Neat tip, I'm going to try that!

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
+5 kcy4130 Cr4w Luix Endur-Bro Simon Apostol
Tjaard Breeuwer  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:10 a.m.

I think what’s important, is not to confuse new standards with better parts/bikes , as basic case of correlation vs causation, and Dave’s thought experiment at the end illustrates this very well.

As Dave pointed out, several things are especially galling:

-New standards that are ‘bigger and stiffer’, yet not as ‘big and stiff’ as an already existing standard: 15mm front axles, 148mm rear hubs.

-New standards that accomplish the same, yet are not compatible: Microspline freehub bodies.

I am less upset by new standards that are backwards compatible with older ones. For example, I would love it if more frames came with large diameter seat tubes, to allow for the use of stronger, longer travel dropper posts. A simple adapter shim would allow me to use my current posts in that frame without any issue.

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WheelNut
+6 doodersonmcbroseph Cooper Quinn DancingWithMyself kcy4130 Andy Eunson Endur-Bro
WheelNut  - Aug. 25, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

HG freehub drivers are horrible. The aluminum ones get huge pits in them, the steel ones weight a ton and the Ti ones cost a fortune. Micro spline is lighter, cheaper, and fits a wider range of gears. Some things need to disappear because they are no good/uncompetitive.

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cooperquinn
+6 DancingWithMyself Chad K AJ Barlas Tjaard Breeuwer Endur-Bro Simon Apostol
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 25, 2021, 4:17 p.m.

Agree. HG had seen its time in the sun, and was sorely in need of an update. 

All that to say, I just run XD on everything. But if you wanna be annoyed, better check if your gravel hubs are XD, or XDR... this is an article on standards after all.

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davetolnai
+5 Luix ZigaK DancingWithMyself Martin Cr4w
Dave Tolnai  - Aug. 25, 2021, 5:10 p.m.

Freehub bodies is a great one that I didn't touch on.  However, as far as standards go:

- Hyperglide probably did need a refresh

- You can relatively easily swap a different freehub standard onto most hubs

So, as far as new standards are concerned, this one didn't bother me all that much.  If there is backwards compatibility, or the ability to easily convert to another standard, that seems to be a good way to do things.

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craw
+4 Tjaard Breeuwer Endur-Bro DadStillRides Simon Apostol
Cr4w  - Aug. 26, 2021, 11:22 a.m.

Want to replace the HG driver on your otherwise current WR1/Hydra wheels with the microspline version? $300.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
+2 Metacomet JT
Tjaard Breeuwer  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:17 a.m.

The one place I can forgive the forest of new, incompatible standards, was in the fatbike world of hub and crank spacing.

Those designers really were trying to squeeze ever wider tires into bikes while keeping chainstays short and stancewidth narrow, and tires were growing every season in the first few years.

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jt
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
JT  - Aug. 26, 2021, 7:48 a.m.

Fatties experienced the fastest growth spurt the industry ever saw.

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Ripbro
0
Ripbro  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:20 a.m.

Love this article:) My 2020 bike came with a 12 spd NX drivetrain, with an HG driver. Looking to loose some weight when the steel wears out.

Im looking to get off the weight doesn’t matter bandwagon. What is the best option to loose weight without spending a small fortune? 10 speed or 11 speed with a smaller chainring? Just bit the bullet and get a different driver? What’s a rider to do?

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craw
+3 Ripbro cheapondirt Dan
Cr4w  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

If you can live without that big 50t cog you could try 11spd 11-36 or 11-42 and a smaller front chainring like a 30 or a 28. TBH I don't know if this is the place to save significant weight.

Cranks can be a good place if your bike came with NX level cranks. RF Turbines are the best value for money for weight savings cranks. Check your seat, pedals, bar, stem - these are all relatively affordable places to save some weight.

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dan
0
Dan  - Aug. 29, 2021, 11:19 p.m.

Steel 28T with an 11sp XT 11-42 here, and I can usually climb everything I want to. Works great and replacement bits are affordable.

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alan.kaye.3551
+2 Ripbro Cr4w
Alan Kaye  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:56 a.m.

Completely replacing your drivetrain to save weight would be expensive. Dropping to 10 or 11 speed means a new shifter, cassette, derailleur. NX is one from bottom (SX is the lowest) level of SRAM's 12 speed options, meaning it is almost the heaviest.

https://enduro-mtb.com/en/sram-nx-eagle-review/

Replacing the NX cassette with a GX or better starts dropping weight. If you have an NX drivetrain bike, you may have a heavy wheelset. You may also have an entry level fork, heavier fork. There are a lot of ways to drop weight, but they all cost money.

--Completely forgot that the NX is the HG driver, so scratch what I said.

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craw
+1 Ripbro
Cr4w  - Aug. 25, 2021, 9:15 a.m.

Yeah reconsidering what you said. Buying a higher end 12s cassette would be the logical choice otherwise to switch down to 11s you're replacing the whole drivetrain. 

NX cassette: 600g $100USD

X01 cassette: 375g or less, $385USD

That's almost a full pound saved but those higher end SRAM cassettes are spendy. Though when you're due for a new cassette and chain it might be worth it. That's a big weight savings in one shot and you get to keep your existing derailleur and shifter. 

Switching to RF Turbines would save another 100g.

I wouldn't bother doing any of this unless you were due for replacements anyway.

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hongeorge
+2 jwellford cheapondirt Tjaard Breeuwer Ceecee
hongeorge  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:15 a.m.

Garbaruk do a 328 g 11-52 cassette that fits a HG driver (they have 10t XD versions too) and is a fir bit cheaper (at least this side of the Atlantic) than SRAM X01, worth checking out, just bought myself an XD one.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
0
Tjaard Breeuwer  - Aug. 27, 2021, 10:51 a.m.

Yep, I run Garbaruk on two 11 speed Sram bikes and one 12 speed shimano. Weight/cost is excellent

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lkubica
0
lkubica  - Aug. 26, 2021, 5:59 a.m.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002532143447.html

11-46 or 11-50 (there are 12s versions as well). Fits HG driver, full "steel" (or chineese steel, but after a season it holds strong), weight ~300g and shifts like a 11s Shimano. The only downiside is that it does not work with KMC chains (they are tighter and tolerances on the biggest cog are a bit off).

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Aug. 26, 2021, 10 a.m.

I’ve had good luck with a rotor cassette recently which is 11-52 and also fits on an HG driver. Very light as well.

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craw
0
Cr4w  - Aug. 30, 2021, 7:05 a.m.

Too bad Rotor doesn't make a Shimano compatible version.

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ackshunW
+4 Luix Zero-cool Matt Lee ZigaK
ackshunW  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:56 a.m.

“Where once I would have insisted on XTR and King, I’m now just fine with SLX and whatever house branded nonsense some cheapskate product manager can jam into the frame”

Hahaha love it

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utopic
+6 doodersonmcbroseph Luix Martin Zero-cool cheapondirt kcy4130
utopic  - Aug. 25, 2021, 7:57 a.m.

Standardization matters and helps.

I have a perfectly good and capable 26" trail bike with a non-tapered headtube that I can't find any new fork for. I have another 26" DH bike. For both, I can hardly find suitable rims. F%$! that Pinkbike writer wannabe who claims the industry is not squeezing me into buying stuff I don't want!

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jt
+1 Velocipedestrian
JT  - Aug. 26, 2021, 7:52 a.m.

Depending on the front hub and travel of your trail bike, you can use a Manitou Circus Expert. It's available in 130mm and 1.125. I feel you on the rim front though. It's getting harder to not go Light Bicycle since they make wide 26" rims.

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xy9ine
+5 doodersonmcbroseph Luix AJ Barlas Martin JT
Perry Schebel  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

i like this discussion. also, love the 10 year old standards modern bike build concept.

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martin
+3 utopic ackshunW DadStillRides
Martin  - Aug. 25, 2021, 12:52 p.m.

In 2012 I found a new old stock '09 Norco Shore frame. It had a threaded 68mm BB, 150x12mm rear end, 20x110 front axle, 180mm coil suspension front/rear with 38mm stanchions (Marzo 66). My current ride is a 2020 Commencal Meta AM with a pf92 BB, 148x12mm rear axle, 15x110 front axle, 35mm stanchion fork (Helm coil), coil rear shock and it weights exactly the same with pretty much the same tires. 

11 years after the Shore, I've gone back to the same kind of bike, with the same kind of parts, same weight and I'd have just as much fun on my '08 shore today! Sure, the Meta's angles, bigger range cassette, larger wheels and longer dropper make it even better, but I wouldn't have felt a stiffness difference from anything between the two bikes. I'd be curious to compare a timed run with both bikes, but the fun amount would be pretty much the same.

Yesterday, blasting through roots and being impressed by my suspension's action, I was reminded my trusty old Shore and thought "wow, has this changed that much in 10 years?".

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ManInSteel
0
ManInSteel  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

My only complaint to new standard is that the manufacturers abandoned the old standard.

I wish I can still find new 9 or 10 speed XTR shifter, derailleur, and cassette for my steel XC; but nothing is available , not even on eBay :-(   Shimano can easily implement new shifting technology into old standard 9 speed, but they choose not to... probably because they can't make enough profit.

Manufacturers, please no more new stardard on BB, Headset, and hub spacing. Not 13 speed either. We had enough of them already. New standard will only drive the price up on BOTH new and old standards.

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cam@nsmb.com
+7 Luix Mark Cr4w utopic Martin Tjaard Breeuwer Dan
Cam McRae  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:26 a.m.

The problem here, and something I don’t believe Henry mentioned in his article, is that adopting new standards has been very profitable for the bike industry and I think this explains to a large degree why this seems to be be happening at a faster pace.

How many riders dumped their non-boost bikes once it was clear boost would be taking over? 27.5 to 29 had a similar impact. Those are  extreme examples but every permanent change has had a similar impact to some degree. Companies are motivated to make previous bikes obsolete and disincentivized to keep servicing older products. 

Early adopters buy higher-end products and upgrade more often so the biggest margins for manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers are in that sweet spot. Bike companies are motivated to make better performing  products year over year for more reasons than simply profit, but business is business and there are always people in every company who are responsible for increasing revenue and profit, and the larger the company, the greater that pressure is. The sad truth is new standards bring in the money and there’s not much we can do about it, unless you can stop dentists from upgrading every year. (Poor dentists get all the blame!)

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syncro
+8 AJ Barlas Luix Perry Schebel Grif kcy4130 Martin twk Simon Apostol
Mark  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:11 a.m.

I absolutely detest companies that use planned - well forced really - obsolescence as a means of profitability. It amounts to theft and it's shit for the environment. Sure some improvements make things better (easier?) but having fun on a bike really has nothing to do with whether you're riding the latest greatest bike. Maybe the problem is us getting sucked in by fancy marketing glitz.

As an aside there's the argument of "Well I earned all this money so I deserve to buy myself the fanciest and best thing!" vs the one that wealth usually comes at the expense of someone else who you'll never meet. I hate that bikes have moved from a fairly simple utilitarian object of transportation, freedom and fun to in some cases a badge of elitism meant to be worn with pride and signal to others how much better you are because you have the fanciest bike. Just think, you could buy a $10K bike or you could buy a $7-8K bike that pretty much in all circumstances is equally as good for your riding capabilities. Then you could use that left over $2-3K to buy 4 or 5 bikes for kids who don't have one to introduce them to the joy of riding on two wheels and possibly change their life. We're doing it wrong.

Edit - cleaned up that word salad of a last sentence to improve readability.

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tehllama42
+2 twk DancingWithMyself
Tehllama42  - Aug. 27, 2021, 2:49 p.m.

I think you just summed up why my 'Ask Uncle Dave' article response got headed up with 'Are we the dumbest customers possible'?  It doesn't fly if we don't let it... yet here we are.

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syncro
0
Mark  - Aug. 28, 2021, 12:28 p.m.

Where's that article?

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tehllama42
0
tehllama42
0
papa44
+2 ackshunW Martin
papa44  - Aug. 26, 2021, 12:10 a.m.

I still use a Saint 10 speed shifter and mech, it’s short cage so less gear range but it’s workable. Less impacts less rattle and less pernickety

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fartymarty
+1 papa44
fartymarty  - Aug. 26, 2021, 1:08 a.m.

Ditto on Saint / Zee mechs and 10 speed.  Nice short cage and just works with a 42 cassette.

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papa44
+1 ackshunW
papa44  - Aug. 26, 2021, 2:45 a.m.

Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like 10 speed is the sweet spot for reliability and long term shift precision, with a short cage mech and small chainring it works like a dream on rocky terrain too. I will concede I have had to walk up one or two inclines but it’s a small price to pay

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fartymarty
+2 ackshunW papa44
fartymarty  - Aug. 26, 2021, 3:30 a.m.

Agreed - that's why I use it on both of my bike.  Cheap, good and relatively light (cassette weight cf 50+ cassettes)

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wizardB
0
wizardB  - Aug. 29, 2021, 5:30 p.m.

I have a couple of xtr nine-speed shifter pods in the basement and I think a couple of XT level rear derailers maybe even an XTR

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LoamtoHome
+9 Cr4w Mark Greg Bly Zero-cool Velocipedestrian utopic Martin Nologo Endur-Bro
Jerry Willows  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

The 15mm standard is still mind boggling...  20mm has more clamping force and weight is within grams of each other.  F&ck Fox on that one.

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cam@nsmb.com
+7 AJ Barlas Cr4w Zero-cool Konrad Martin Endur-Bro Dan
Cam McRae  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:13 a.m.

That started in a good place, with an effort (led by lawyers) to abolish traditional quick-release axles on performance XC bikes. It also took something that had moving parts and four individual pieces and replaced it with one solid unit. Unfortunately, it got out of hand and spread beyond XC and turned into a great example of a standard that offered no benefit at all for the riding we do. 

I remember thinking of a slogan for what was then called QR155: "It may not be as stiff, but at least it's not heavier!"

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slimshady76
+5 AJ Barlas Jerry Willows Martin Andrew Major ptrot505
Luix  - Aug. 25, 2021, 2:45 p.m.

It also started with Shimano wanting to push Centerlock hubs and rotors down our throats. Since one of the arguments for said system was to reuse the cassette tool to work on them, they needed something smaller than 20mm in the front. 

They eventually had to get the 20mm version out or the Saint, Hone and Zee groupsets wouldn't have happened. Their tired motto of 6-bolt rotors coming loose was never met in reality, and in contrast most of their lower gamma CL rotors developed play either at the rivets or at the hub interface.

But then it was too late, they had unleashed that abomination on us. And then they pushed out 20mm boost, just to make the wagon wheels 2% stiffer, instead of relying on wider flanges and a slightly smaller rim diameter.

Trek was their main partner in all of that nonsense. Just as they paired with SRAM to bring out metric shocks.

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DancingWithMyself
+1 AJ Barlas
MuscogeeMasher  - Aug. 25, 2021, 5:51 p.m.

Ooohhh.  Centerlock is a great one the more I think about it.  I would be super interested in the take of the NSMB crew and others on here will real industry knowledge.  

Is Centerlock a standard that is (a) total sh!t and (b) has resulted in a LOSS of revenue.  I mean, I have to think it costs more to engineer and produce both, and I think they insist on making some components with only centerlock, which has to result in lower sales, right?

Am I totally wrong on this?  If not, other examples?  Probably too early to make the call on Superboost as, god help us, it could still win out.  However, the chance for Centerlock to go anywhere has long since passed.

Yet they stubbornly and defiantly stick with it.

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zigak
+4 Luix Nologo wizardB Dan
ZigaK  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:56 p.m.

I am one of those that swears on CL. I just need to unscrew one screw instead of 6 - admittedly I do not do this a lot, but still.

It is one of those standards that is not aggressively trying to outcompete the existing standard.

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cam@nsmb.com
+3 Nologo wizardB Dan
Cam McRae  - Aug. 26, 2021, 10:03 a.m.

I like centrelock as well. Partially because I am often swapping wheels and rotors but I don’t see many downsides either. The inability to remove or tighten in the field is one though.

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ohio
0
Marc Fenigstein  - Sept. 5, 2021, 3:12 p.m.

I like centerlock too, but I HATE Shimano's +3mm (or SRAM's -3mm, depending on your POV). Brake rotors are one of the parts most likely to get damaged, and not being able to use a buddies or find the exact right spare at an LBS blows. I like and use CL (lighter, easier to replace), but would trade those benefits away if it meant Shimano and SRAM would agree on diameters.

cooperquinn
+2 Jerry Willows Luix
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 25, 2021, 4:19 p.m.

It all started in the Black Bear Pub on a napkin.

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 Cr4w
Cam McRae  - Aug. 26, 2021, 10:03 a.m.

Say more about this Cooper.

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andy-eunson
+1 DadStillRides
Andy Eunson  - Aug. 25, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

New standards are fine if they offer something truly better and spares are available. But reading through the marketing shtick can be sickening. It’s stiffer! Wow more stiff than something that doesn’t flex now. So. Boost builds stronger wheels. Okay. But how many of us are destroying wheels due to a lack of wheel strength as opposed to denting the crap out of the rim? Now we want compliant parts and no stiff parts? Is there really a significant difference between 26 inch wheels and 27.5? 

Most people these days buy complete bikes so compatibility between new and old isn’t really relevant. We who would buy a new frame every season or two and hang our old parts, which were also changed out regularly are really a small minority. I find it a bit annoying myself because I do consider the frame only change but then I might need a different dropper, or a new bb, and maybe a headset. And maybe a higher or lower rise bar. Gets costly and when I can get a new bike that’s mostly parts I will use, I’ll buy a new complete bike. 

I think many new standards do offer improvements. No one wants to go back to rim brakes or quick release axles. No one wants square tapered cup and cone bottom brackets. I remember cottered cranks I’m so old.

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LoamtoHome
+7 Cam McRae Andy Eunson Luix Zero-cool Tim Coleman ackshunW Martin Endur-Bro Joseph Crabtree
Jerry Willows  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10 a.m.

it's the incremental standards that piss me off....  135 to 142 to 148 to 157.  There's enough science/testing that can determine the best option.  I'm just sick the marketing shill.  Worse than a MTB influencer hashtags on every post.

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DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - Aug. 25, 2021, 5:29 p.m.

I generally agree with sentiment, but do we lay the same blame on the frame manufactures for not jumping straight from, say, a 70 to 65 HTA.  On the component side, what about 32 to 36 stanchions?   

Also a lot more complicated than simple hub width, as it’s a dance between frame and component design and then you bring in q factor and heal clearance.  

And as some areas and components grow stiffer, others may need to change to catch up.

Has to be scary for a company to make the big jump, especially with how long things take to get to market.

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mikeynets
+2 Joseph Crabtree DancingWithMyself DadStillRides utopic
mikeynets  - Aug. 25, 2021, 9:47 a.m.

Respectfully, I didn't read any of the selfishness pointed out here in Quinney's op-ed piece. And I also didn't hear any "just take it from bike companies" attitude either. I thought Henry was saying, maybe not so clearly, that bikes have largely improved over the years and we should focus on that rather than all the misses along the way. To your point though Dave, yeah, I don't think many of the "standards" introduced since 2011 are directly correlated to better bikes, but I would say it's part of the design process to tinker with all sorts of aspects of component specs, materials, geometry, etc. Can we all agree geometry trumps everything else?

It's true — no one is forcing anyone else to buy anything based on new standards. With maybe the exception of 26" wheels and tires, it's not that hard to keep doing your thing on "outdated" bikes.

Case in point, my own sorta recent frame purchase and build: Banshee Spitfire frame. Several things about this bike show that standards or trends that act as de facto standards can be a limiting factor or are easily worked around. Consider:

• I'm using perfectly serviceable wheels built on 142mm DT 350 hubs. Banshees come with swappable dropouts for 142 or 148 hubs. Those wheels and just about every other component was easily swapped over from a previous frame. 

• It's a 27.5 bike, supposedly obsolete or soon to be if you read the interwebs. 

• It's a "short" travel 27.5 bike at 135mm — supposedly niche or just plain out stupid. Works for me.

• Trunnion mounted shock. Am I unnecessarily now forever at the mercy of Banshee's design choice here? Well, for the foreseeable future with this particular frame, yes. But I was fully aware of that going in.

• 31.8 stem and handlebars. Not hard to find, I have several different ones from SQ Lab, Spank, Renthal. 

• I use a 150mm travel dropper on a size large frame. From what I hear everywhere, that's 50mm too short. Thing is, I have short legs. 

• Drivetrain is 11 speed with cranks, chain, derailleur/shifter, chainring and cassette all different manufacturers. Works like a charm. I don't plan on going to 12 speed unless every part of the drivetrain fails at the exact same time.

Point is, that bike works for me. Some newish standards, some not new. It just works. I had to buy the right components for MY bike and that's on me. But that's always been on everyone with THEIR bike, no?

We are all locked into subsequent choices based on our previous choices. The standards that apply to anyone at any given time aren't ALL the standards, just the ones on your own gear.

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Flatted-again
0
Flatted-again  - Aug. 25, 2021, 12:41 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

velocipedestrian
+3 ackshunW Martin DadStillRides
Velocipedestrian  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:07 p.m.

Banshee deserve props for keeping things compatible. I'm still happy with a pile of nearly 10 year old tech and standards.

Details over in the forum.

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monsieurgage
+6 Luix cole128 Zero-cool Cooper Quinn jaydubmah Marc Fenigstein
Gage Wright  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:32 a.m.

Meanwhile the humble Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) is just out on the sideline quietly being adopted by multiple companies.  The UDH is the silent hero we need.

Seriously, if you snap a derailleur hanger and can't find one or machine a new one your options are to either become Andrew "Single Speed Unicorn" Major or toss the whole frame.  I am saying goodbye to an old Apollo road frame from the 80's because of this.  UDH and enough stock to supply a bikepocalypse would have prevented this waste.

P.S.

Mr.Major, sorry to use you as an example, I actually like your builds if for no other reason than they are different and thoughtful.

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cam@nsmb.com
+2 DancingWithMyself Martin
Cam McRae  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:27 a.m.

I've been told UDH is a bit of a misnomer because there are a bunch of different ones because everyone uses a different thread size and pitch. I'll have to get confirmation on this because SRAM only shows one on their site and it specifies M12 x 1.0 pitch and a thread length of 12.7mm. Can anyone confirm?

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AJ_Barlas
+4 Luix DancingWithMyself Martin Cr4w
AJ Barlas  - Aug. 25, 2021, 12:07 p.m.

I'm not sure about how broadly spread this was, but Norco did have a different thread on their earlier models with a UDH (I believe it was the Optic, maybe the Sight, too?). I haven't come across others but it hasn't seemed widespread. 

It sucks when manufacturers use a new hanger design for every freaking model in their range, some (looking at you YT) make several that look blooming identical, but aren't. Argh!

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 25, 2021, 4:28 p.m.

Transition also has "Universal Derailleur Hanger". Bike brands tend to mean "we have one derailleur hanger that works for all our bikes", which.... is a good step from where things use to be, with 3/4 of the bikes in each brands lineup requiring different hangers, and changing it year over year.

The important difference with the SRAM UDH is that the concept is universal across brands. Brands adopt/design around UDH, shops can stock ONE derailleur hanger SKU for any bike designed around the standard. The giant tackle boxes with "2019 Giant Reign" stickers next to "2004 Norco Shore" are gone. 

As a bonus, everything will also be more consistent for derailleur performance. There's a fair bit of variation across brands with how the hangers are built, flex, shaped, etc. Think about any time you've swapped an RD across bikes  - you may have had to adjust limit screws and b-tension, because the hangers are in slightly different locations. This is detrimental if you sell derailleurs, and are trying to maximize RD performance. Shimano kinda tried this a decade ago with Direct Mount, but it didn't stick.

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Aug. 25, 2021, 12:24 p.m.

To mount the derailleur? Aren't threads on a derailleur the same, therefor everyone would use M12x1? I've never had an issue bolting on a Shimano in place of a Sram, so I can't see how Microshift/Box/Whatever would bother using something different.

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joseph-crabtree
+2 AJ Barlas Cam McRae
Joseph Crabtree  - Aug. 25, 2021, 3:08 p.m.

Axle thread

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 25, 2021, 4:35 p.m.

Correct - there's multiple axle head standards, and thread pitches.

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AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:35 p.m.

Yeah sorry. It was the locking nut and axle thread used to mount the RD. Don’t give them any bright ideas about derailleur threads!

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cooperquinn
+1 Marc Fenigstein
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 25, 2021, 8:49 p.m.

UDH requires the correct axle thread pitch, as the hanger threads to a hollow nut, which the axle threads in to. 

There's at least two rear axle head styles (flat and conical Syntace x12), and three reasonably common thread pitches. And an even larger number of widths, even just for 12x148. 

Front is just as bad.

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DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - Aug. 25, 2021, 5:59 p.m.

The irony of SRAM offering a very sensible and actually universal standard and then all the frame manufactures creating numerous variations of the universal standard is rich.

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davetolnai
+2 DancingWithMyself Martin
Dave Tolnai  - Aug. 25, 2021, 5:13 p.m.

Yes!  This is a great idea of a standard that solves a problem.  Moving from the wild west of hangers to one (or at least a few) standards is a step in the right direction.  However:

- If this is all a ploy by SRAM to get us hooked and then launch some weird proprietary direct mount standard, I take it all back.

- I'd never thought about axle threads!  But again, even if there are 2-3 UDH's, we're far better off than we were.

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jt
0
JT  - Aug. 26, 2021, 8:01 a.m.

Patents show SRAM is duping us on the UDH to release a derailleur dedicated to the geo required for UDH,

https://bikerumor.com/2019/09/16/srams-universal-hanger-concept-could-make-coaxial-mounted-hangerless-derailleurs-a-thing/

Strangely, I am ok with this as it still allows for (mostly) one hanger standard.

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cooperquinn
+2 JT Andy Eunson
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 26, 2021, 8:23 a.m.

And you'd still be able to just run a UDH hanger and standard derailleur, should you wish to. Seems win-win, and better set for success than Shimano Direct Mount.

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jt
0
JT  - Aug. 27, 2021, 7:09 a.m.

Exactly. It sure seems SRAM is on a roll these days with bringing out new derailleurs that don't work within their existing product lines, and I'm sure there's design evolution leading to the direct mount unit from the patent across all platforms, but overall the UDH concept is oh so good. Kudos to them for getting the industry on board.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Aug. 27, 2021, 2:46 p.m.

Yeah, that one is an outlier, and I'd argue worth it.

jt
0
JT  - Aug. 27, 2021, 7:09 a.m.

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dbozman
+6 mikeynets cole128 Cam McRae Joseph Crabtree DancingWithMyself DadStillRides
dbozman  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:33 a.m.

I, too, didn’t have a negative reaction to the PB article, and I make a real effort not to fall down the curmudgeon rabbit hole. I’m perfectly happy to buy or build a couple bikes a year as I enjoy that process and it’s the only hobby that costs money for me so I have the means. Mostly, these bikes all ride really frickin’ great. 

Better than 15 years ago? Yes. Better than 10 years ago? Yes. Stoked to be alive and riding  awesome rigs.

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utopic
+1 Velocipedestrian
utopic  - Aug. 26, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

2 bikes per year? 2x10k $$$ / 1year? Let's assume you get great deals for parts and both bikes cost 10k.  For some, even 5k/year for a hobby is too much, if you've got other responsibilities, kids, parents etc. to take care of.

I'm happy for you, and wish you could build even more, have one for each day of the week :) That's fine and great, if only others could just keep their older bikes in working order and not have to deal with the lack of phased out parts...

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utopic
0
utopic  - Aug. 26, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

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Ceecee
-1 Cam McRae Joseph Crabtree twk
Ceecee  - Aug. 25, 2021, 10:54 a.m.

Universalized Reign 2011 disagrees with itself on standardized units of measurement: imperial shock, 20x110mm hub...who is going to take the risk to make universal mtbs? What will the social media campaign look like? The Buffalo Soldier bike is non-profit, but China is modernizing Africa, so maybe there will be a market there.   Despite GG, WAO, Wolftooth--who ought to be able to produce a drivetrain--North America will still have rubber dependency. We're making $170k electric luxury cars which still have tires. How quaint

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Shoreloamer
+1 utopic
Greg Bly  - Aug. 25, 2021, noon

No .  

But it's sold lots of new bikes that are not compatible with old bike parts. 

Marketing? 

Yes.  yes it is. 

Innovation I like . 

The era of innovation has lost it's innocence.

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vincentaedwards
+4 utopic Velocipedestrian ackshunW Martin
Vincent Edwards  - Aug. 25, 2021, 3:58 p.m.

I have based frame purchasing decisions around my Chris king iso-b hubs. Pivot, evil, knolly, salsa… off the list. 

If frames use a threaded BB and 31.9 seat tube- even better!

But another key point here is the bike shop. Think about how many bottom brackets and brake pads they need to stock in order to keep customers happy / supported. 

A broken bike that takes weeks to repair due to a proprietary part is NOT a better bike in my book,

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DancingWithMyself
0
MuscogeeMasher  - Aug. 25, 2021, 6:29 p.m.

Henry really should have selected his example better. Going back 15 instead of 10 years would have made a world of difference. Anybody who has been in or around the investment business knows the importance of picking your time periods carefully. He’ll figure it out after that first tranche of Outside restricted shares vests.

At any rate, I think Henry took it a little far, but I generally agree that all of the excessive whining and complaining about bikes changing over time is unbecoming to us as a group.

There certainly have been some (probably many, to be fair) stupid and pointless things that are fun to critique, but bikes have gotten soooooo much better. Do we realistically think the industry should have avoided any missteps along the way?

Also, would we expect any other industry to support something like suspension forks for 26” wheels? Do we really think we are entitled to have private companies continue making inferior, outdated-by-at-least-decade, unprofitable products for our little niche sport because some of us insist on continuing to use them?

And I say that as someone who leans pretty decently left these days. Not coming from a right-leaning, capitalism-is-all-good perspective.

Sometimes I think as a group our lack of perspective is appalling (and as someone that does a lot of trail advocacy, terrifying). To the extent that was Henry’s point, I agree wholeheartedly.

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esteban
+4 utopic Martin Cam McRae wizardB
Esteban  - Aug. 25, 2021, 11:22 p.m.

Myriads of barely different standards suck, Pinkbike "writers" write from an absurd position of privilege, yes to both.

Upgraded to tapered and discs because Trek changed my old frame under lifetime warranty. Will not upgrade my 26" HT until it breaks. Have been able to find excellent replacement parts (like hubs and BB) in AliExpress.

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DogVet
+1 Greg Bly
Hugo Williamson  - Aug. 26, 2021, 6:07 a.m.

And yet another…!!

Special tool required for Shimano direct mount chainring lock ring!!

All bollocks

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dave_f
+2 Cam McRae twk
dave_f  - Aug. 26, 2021, 11 p.m.

I was all set to convert my rear MTB hubs/dropouts over from TA 10x135 to 12x142, had all the parts lined up and envisioned the 12x142 being put out to pasture with a gravel type frame at some future date.

Then I saw that Cannondale had released an amazing new concept they called "speed release" where the axle remains in the hub and you just undo it a bit and slide it out of their proprietary dropouts to remove the wheel from the frame.

I had images in my head of the times I've been on the side of some dank and muddy spot being eaten alive by Mosquitos trying to fix a flat, in the future with a 12mm axle in my teeth to keep it getting covered with crud. I thought about it a bit and stuck with TA10.

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Vikb
+1 kcy4130
Vik Banerjee  - Aug. 27, 2021, 6:18 a.m.

Comparing my 2008 SC Nomad Mk2 to my current bikes the only real upgrades to performance are:

1 - geometry

2 - rear through axle

3 - 29er wheels

and really if I could just update the geo I would still be riding that bike happily today.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Aug. 27, 2021, 6:35 a.m.

Vik - Geo and wheel size are the only significant changes in the last 20 years.

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cooperquinn
+3 dave_f DancingWithMyself Endur-Bro
Cooper Quinn  - Aug. 27, 2021, 9:18 a.m.

Droppers were effectively* non-existent 20 years ago. I'd say ubiquitous droppers have been a pretty huge change in bikes - although they don't require any new standards. 

*yes, there were some options decades earlier. Lets not pretend the hite-rite was spectacular for anything other than the concept.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Aug. 27, 2021, 10:06 a.m.

Sorry forgot about droppers.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Aug. 30, 2021, 10:10 a.m.

I think you could make a good argument about the above. But the change from a 26"-wheeled Nomad mk2 to the current version with larger wheels and tires, and the geometry that allows it to handle better at higher speeds, as well as the fact that the average rider demands more performance from a bike now than 13 years ago, all together necessitate more strength which would have a significant impact on the weight of the bike. Not so much an argument about standards here, just that it's easy to forget how many advancements over the years were made in order to increase strength and/or decrease weight. Can't have all those geo and performance gains without keeping the bikes light enough to handle (even though we have gone from mid-high 20 lb bikes to low to mid 30 lb bikes in the AM category).

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velocipedestrian
+3 Cam McRae DancingWithMyself DadStillRides
Velocipedestrian  - Aug. 27, 2021, 3:54 p.m.

NW rings? Making Clutch happen?

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tehllama42
+3 Cam McRae Endur-Bro wizardB
Tehllama42  - Aug. 27, 2021, 4:22 p.m.

I'd argue clutch is overrated.  Narrow-wide is fantastic, and totally worth introducing... but it's another 'fully reverse compatible' standard.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Aug. 28, 2021, 6:15 a.m.

I was on 1x with a full chainguide in the late 90s.  I'm still running top guides on both bikes so not much has changed.  I wouldn't have a problem going back to a full CG on either bike.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Aug. 28, 2021, 5:10 p.m.

Yeah, as much as N-W and top guide feels like belt & suspenders, it sure beats stomping down and yeeting myself over the handlebars due to lack of resistance, and it has worked well.

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Aug. 27, 2021, 9:23 p.m.

TBF geo has gone through many changes in almost every area, so mentioning it as one change seems a little reductive. But again, all of those numbers could have changed without new standards.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Aug. 27, 2021, 9:23 p.m.

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tehllama42
+1 DadStillRides
Tehllama42  - Aug. 27, 2021, 2:46 p.m.

I'm just over here being incredibly smug about still having a pair of Rocky Mountain Instincts from 2014 - they check virtually all of those boxes really easily, and are still performing great.
If I long-shock and mullet these things (still old shock standards no less), I end up with fully modern geometry, and proper 160/150mm travel figures from the setup - or I can keep them at 150/130mm 29er like I have been then keep partying with those until it's a decade-old setup that STILL outperforms most of the latest stuff.

They're geometry outliers because they're still usably slack and exist in long enough form (I'm lucky enough to be long of leg to where the XXL fits in with a 150mm dropper), but still... 

I never expected to be a retrogrouch when it comes to this stuff, but there aren't any new standards that I've actually been fundamentally impressed by outside of the XD hub (and only because cheaper options exist, such as the e.13 that fully makes use of that)... it's just that a properly set up bike can still outperform handily.  What does that tell you about how big a task exists before the marketing people, if word gets out that servicing suspension/joints, fresh tires, fresh pads, and keeping contact points happy is an order of magnitude cheaper than a new bike?

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 Cr4w
Cam McRae  - Aug. 27, 2021, 9:20 p.m.

What are the reach numbers? That has been the most significant improvement for me. And despite going to longer reaches, I seem to continue to crave more.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Aug. 28, 2021, 6:20 a.m.

Cam - what reach do you run?  I'm 6'1" and am on a 515R.  I'd take a little more RC and slacker HA if I was being greedy but the reach fits fine.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Aug. 28, 2021, 9:08 a.m.

In the XXL, they're at 485mm.  I'm 6;2", +3 Ape Index.  Not fully ideal, it's more in the 'nimble/responsive' category, but the 452mm CSL makes it all work for stability purposes, at least in that size.  I could definitely go with more, but it's an area where lengthening fork A2C, maximizing stack, and running stupid-wide bars make it fit pretty adequately, although I do have to run some dorky looking brush guards to keep from punching every single cactus in a 20km radius.

I'd absolutley take some more reach and slacker HA, but being in 66° range with >475mm makes it eminently rideable, to the point where having carbon everything does counteract any of that, I can still be in full attack down stuff I barely have any business riding.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Aug. 28, 2021, 9:08 a.m.

In the XXL, they're at 485mm.  I'm 6;2", +3 Ape Index.  Not fully ideal, it's more in the 'nimble/responsive' category, but the 452mm CSL makes it all work for stability purposes, at least in that size.  I could definitely go with more, but it's an area where lengthening fork A2C, maximizing stack, and running stupid-wide bars make it fit pretty adequately, although I do have to run some dorky looking brush guards to keep from punching every single cactus in a 20km radius.

I'd absolutley take some more reach and slacker HA, but being in 66° range with >475mm makes it eminently rideable, to the point where having carbon everything does counteract any of that, I can still be in full attack down stuff I barely have any business riding.

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syncro
0
Mark  - Aug. 28, 2021, 12:37 p.m.

Nice! I scored a great deal on a 999msl with some upgrades at the start of last year that I got as an XC bike. I could probably sell it for double what I paid for it. The PO put a 34 on the front and I've found it to be a surprisingly capable bike on some of the rides I've used it on. I find I have to resist the urge to push it too much as I don't want to destroy it riding it on more challenging trails all the time. As an XC/pedally bike I find the geometry works great and it has more than enough chops for the downs it gets used on.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Aug. 28, 2021, 5:12 p.m.

The right geometry adds more capability than 10mm of travel can realistically hope to, and even slightly slack 29ers can be pretty imperious anyway.  Going more BC edition is where I went, but it's a surprisingly good pedally bike given how much I ruined it for those intentions by running Exo+ Casings, DH Rims, and running a really soft ground-hugging compression tune.

I'm glad you're loving yours, the adjustability provides some surprising future-proofing in unexpected ways.

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ReductiMat
0
ReductiMat  - Aug. 28, 2021, 12:40 p.m.

Hear hear. Thanks for this, it sums up my feelings entirely.

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ReductiMat
0
ReductiMat  - Aug. 28, 2021, 12:40 p.m.

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wizardB
0
wizardB  - Aug. 29, 2021, 5:27 p.m.

I ride a 2006 Stiffee, a 2007 Epic and a 2006 slayer and I haven't noticed my pure fun and joy being diminished one little bit by not buying into all the changes. I have parts to last for years and will continue to ride and smile while everyone pretends to be trendy racers.

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