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EDITORIAL

Your Next Bike: 2023 Edition

Words Andrew Major
Date Jan 5, 2021
Reading time

The One Bike: 2023

Here on the North Shore, we have a beautiful, timeless, mythology around the ONE BIKE. Certainly, it's a perpetually swinging pendulum back and forth between slightly shorter travel platforms that shred and long travel platforms that pedal. This is further localized by what zone a rider spends the most time riding. You're going to choose differently depending on whether your main choice is Cypress DH or Seymour Shore-XC or something in between. I'd argue the general ridership around here is always small bike, and hardtail, curious and often big bike hungry, and most riders settle on a 140mm-170mm travel rig which in simpler times we just called a 6" travel bike or a 6-and-6.

The interest of many locals is piqued by a Transition Spur while some lust for an Intense M29, or both, and many own two ready-to-ride mountain bikes. And yet it's a safe bet that a couple of model-years from now the majority of local riders are going to still be getting it all done on a bike that's massively more capable and at the same time not that far removed from a noughties Stinky Deluxe, a 2005+ Specialized Enduro, Knolly's Delirium-T, Transition's 2007 Bottlerocket, Rocky's 2006+ Switch... And the list could go on ad nauseam.

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Maybe I'm just old, but the Bottlerocket is still the bike I think of whenever anyone mentions Transition. I still semi-regularly see them being ridden on the Shore. Photo: Transition Bikes

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From all-day Shore-XC to trying to chase DH-biked friends down Cypress, the Bottlerocket was everywhere. The geo is far-from-current but I'd argue the tao of the Bottlerocket is still what every current Transition is chasing. Photo: Transition Bikes

The fun here is trying to guess how that 6" bike will evolve. In this case, it's a short term prediction as the year 2023 isn't very far away when it comes to bikes. Most bike shops have already had to sign up for their 2022 commitments, as the industry attempts to guess how much mountain bike sales will drop off once folks are allowed to go back to bowling, yoga and squash. Local shops are all oversold on 2021 models, many of which haven't even shipped yet. It seems like the perfect time to chill those product development cycles a little bit since bikes are amazing and selling them isn't exactly a current challenge that requires constant 'innovation.' but this is the bike industry and fixing what ain't broke is fifty percent of what we do.

I haven't seen any 2022 catalogues, never mind 2023, and I'll admit that folks a lot more knowledgeable than I am have already shot a bunch of this down, but let's not let facts get in the way too much.

Mullet Mania

There are a lot of reasons why riders on the Shore initially hated 29'ers. The first tire options weren't Shore-appropriate beyond "Tech-C" riding and the early geometry was trying too hard to mimic how a 26" bike rode instead of amplifying the advantages of the bigger wheel. The development came from outside the BC riding community which was used to having an outsized influence on mountain bike trends and designs at the time.

But perhaps more than anything, big hoops complicated the mountain bike story. Suddenly there were small wheels for some applications and big wheels for other applications. Small wheels for short riders and big wheels for tall riders. This is out of equilibrium with the simple story of mountain biking that we want to hear and the industry wants to sell.

The mullet bike is the next big trend in simplifying every brands' bike lineup and packaging a single story. It doesn't matter that dual 29" wheels may still be better for taller riders and dual 27" wheels may still be better for shorter riders, whether you're 5' tall or 7' tall a mullet is going to work for you.

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This hodge-podge of stuff I was testing became the first modern mullet I rode. At 5'9" I'm sold on the concept for 6" travel bikes. Photo: Kaz

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My mulleted hardtail project - whether rigid or with suspension - was less invigorating. Sans rear suspension I'll keep the rollover of the 29" rear wheel. Photo: AM

Mullet bikes are already going from optional linkage upgrades to full factory models for 2021 and are showing similar momentum to when 27" wheels brutally retired their slightly smaller 26" cousins in short order. Having every model mulleted in a best-of-both-worlds package simplifies everything from purchasing wheels and tires to telling an individual bike's story. Okay, not every model. XC race bikes and 120mm trail bikes and maybe even race-bred Enduro bikes could stay dual 29" but when it comes to that one bike for North Shore riding I think by 2023 the mullets per capita will be higher here than anywhere.

I was surprised to see the newest Nomad isn't a stock mullet - or MX in their branding nomenclature. The bike to watch in this category is probably the 2021 Specialized Status, despite its rather short chainstays. Its success with mixed wheel sizes across all five frame sizes will certainly influence the future of the Stumpjumper, Stumpy EVO, and Enduro, not to mention the direction of other large mountain bike manufacturers.

I'm also surprised that Trek hasn't dropped a mullet yet after the effort they put in with 69'er mullets a little over a decade ago. Trek was producing both hardtail and full-suspension mullets - like the Top Fuel 69'er - before 27" wheels made their comeback for mountain biking. Given their past efforts at mixing up wheel sizes, I'd expect Trek to be back pushing the mixed setup, with the slightly larger rear wheel, very shortly.

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Trek believed in mullet bikes in 2008 when 29'ers were still subject to a lot of skepticism and 27" wheels hadn't made their 'comeback' to mountain biking. It's surprising they aren't front and center with the modern mullet movement.

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Former Rocky Mountain engineer - current engineering contractor in the bike industry - D'Arcy O'Connor owned the first DH bike with a 29" front wheel that I saw in person. This long travel 29/26 mullet was from about a decade ago. Photo: D'Arcy O'Connor

Dual Crown Forks

Count me among the folks who were surprised that the new Fox 38 single crown wasn't a Fox 36 dual crown and likewise for the RockShox Zeb. Even aside from the fact that everyone is f***ing exhausted with dealing with creaking press-fit CSU interfaces, and the weights climbing closer and closer to dual crown territories, there are real advantages to be gained from going with a dual crown fork.

First off, I love direct mount stems and bikes are so long now that the real negative of dual crown forks - smoking my knees on the top crown climbing - is gone. Speaking of crowns, the quick and easy offset changes that would be possible thanks to swapping crowns would let any interested rider experience different offsets back-to-back for significantly less investment than buying multiple forks. The massive increase in air volume can't be discounted either, which was my first thought looking at 320 USD Secus external air volume add-on kit from Vorsprung . It seems to be a a great argument for more volume to play with inside the fork.

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The Vorsprung Secas is an interesting air volume add-on but it immediately made me think - why not just go with a dual crown fork and solve a bunch of problems at once? Photo: AJ

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If Fox had produced a, less expensive, 180mm (160mm-180mm) dual crown version of their 40 DH fork using cross-over parts from their established 36mm chassis, I think a lot of folks would have bought into it. Photo: Timmigrant

An added benefit of a dual crown Fox 36 or Rock Shox Lyrik would have been cross-over parts, especially in RockShox's case, to help bring cost more in line with single crown forks. This is something that DVO, unfortunately, failed to do with their Onyx lineup, with the DC version costing almost twice as much as the SC version at least in part due to the fact that they don't share lowers. It's too bad because otherwise, I know a few folks who would own an Onyx DC fork.

Weight is arguably an issue, but I suspect a Fox 36 dual crown could split the 1.5-pound weight difference between a Fox 38 and a Fox 40 or the even smaller difference between a Zeb and a Boxxer. We do seem to be coming into another wave of weight-weenie-ism locally as folks go gaga over saving 100 grams off their tire inserts, but I still maintain that dual crown forks would catch on quickly.

Long(er) Chainstays

Will there be a Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? If there is then I think increased user adjustments will be one key and in particular a wide adjustment of chainstay lengths. Now, I've been beating the longer chainstay drum for a while and I'm also already used to a long back end running approximately 460mm stays on my Waltworks and I have to say since ride one on the Banshee Titan I'm testing I've not had a single ride where I wished the rear end was shorter.

There are moments when it is harder to maneuver, or a little extra body English is required, or I have to carry just a touch more speed to make it happen but all in all the extra stability is awesome. I'm working on the first look of the Titan currently so I won't go too deep here but suffice it to say I doubt I'll be bothered to mount the shorter-length dropout option.

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This photo captures all the magic of the Banshee Titan (first look pending). Long 460mm chainstays and linkages connected on either end to forged sections for perfect alignment. Oh, and big very-high-quality bearings. Photo: Deniz

Everyone I know who has tried both wheelbase settings on their fresh rig with adjustable chainstay length, regardless of their frame size, prefers the long setting. At this point I'm mainly referencing the Rocky Mountain Altitude and the Santa Cruz Megatower but with bikes like the Stumpy Evo and Kona Process X bring flip chips as well my guess is that trend will be nearly universal. It stands to reason that if the majority of riders prefer the long setting, it would make sense to nix the short and to add an even longer option.

Boost Only

I like that Super Boost Plus 157 Trail was based on an existing standard, I accept that it is stiffer than Boost 148, and I haven't experienced heel clearance issues with any Super Boost bike I've ridden so I don't hate it. If the industry had gone 157mm instead of 148mm I think that would have been fine, or even made more sense to most folks. But personally, I think a narrower backend is better, and if I was Bicycle President we would have never ditched 142x12 and could have had all the tire clearance we needed with longer chainstays but then really, what do I know.

At this point though, when the vast majority of mountain bikes use the same 148x12 rear hubs and with any advantages of 157x12 being academic, it seems to me that one of two things will happen. Either a big(ger) bike brand - Trek, Specialized, Giant*, Cannondale, Kona, etc - will get on board, which seems increasingly unlikely, or one of the Super Boost Triumverate (SBT) will make a move towards the 148mm industry standard.

The SBT doesn't include all the bike companies using Super Boost but rather the three that give the standard its legitimacy. Pivot Bicycles introduced the standard with their Switchblade to blend massive rubber, short stays, and their suspension design. With the trends towards 2.6" max-sized tires and longer stays those initial reasons for adoption are passé. Knolly bikes haveinvested the most energy to explain why Super Boost, or rather 157 Trail, is better than 148x12. Cycles Devinci is the biggest manufacturer currently using 157x12. Their bikes are already damn stiff, and the only benefit they note in their own literature is added tire clearance.

*It won't be Giant. They're still on probation after their Overdrive 1-1/4” standard.

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We still have three active freehub standards (HG, XD, MS) but 148x12 rear ends is the de facto hub standard for mountain bikes. Photo: AM

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Clearance for beefy 29x2.6" rubber with short 430mm chainstays and a plenty stiff chassis. The Marin Alpine Trail 7 is just one example of a sub 3K USD full-suspension bike that delivers using a 148x12 rear end. Photo: AM

Whether it's Pivot or Devinci that gives in first, I don't see a trail version of 157x12 surviving another couple of model years. Actually, looking at Specialized's latest Demo DH bike I wonder if more brands won't jump on board with ditching 157x12 DH as well in favour of just going with Boost 148 spec on all their bikes. Being able to share wheels between multiple bikes is a nice goal especially if a 148x12 rear wheel could be nearly universally used between most bikes for most applications, depending, for now at least, on wheel size.

Bigger Brakes & Bigger Rotors

Maybe somewhere in the world, there's a place where saving a few grams for a pair of SRAM G2 or even Level brakes makes sense, but around here I think it's safe to say that SRAM's Code brakes are the standard for trail bikes. Personally, I'll take a pair of Magura MT 5/7, Formula Cura 4, or Hayes Dominion brakes but the thing about the Code is they deliver a similarly excellent amount of power and they're everywhere stock on bikes.

Despite the power, and as well as it's delivered, I've seen all the above brakes being run with massive 220mm rotors up-front and have yet to meet anyone who ended up going back to a smaller rotor after trying the massive pie plate. In keeping with the mullet theme, I could see most riders running their 6" bikes with a 220mm rotor up front stopping a 29" wheel and a more tucked-in 180mm rear rotor stopping a 27" at the back.

Even then, I can't help thinking that, in the same vein as the 38mm Zeb v. the 35mm Lyrik, that SRAM will release a new more powerful system, at least for the front wheel, to sit on top of the Code and deliver that much more rotor-smacking goodness.

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I bought this MT7 caliper used maybe six years ago from my friend Japan-Dan. The caliper is not rebuildable but it still works as new. Photo: Deniz

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It's that time of year when carbon brake levers go from being an expensive way to drop a couple of grams to be an expensive way to really improve my on-trail cold weather experience. Photo: Deniz

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DH brakes are so good now that Magura's Gustav isn't comparatively mind-blowing like it was fifteen plus years ago. The floating caliper still offers an intriguing level of power though. Photo: Deniz

Will the next generation of brakes feature six-piston calipers, or floating calipers, or bigger pistons driving pads with more surface area? A counterpoint is that if brakes are powerful enough for current DH and Enduro racers then maybe rotor size and pad compounds are where development will continue and a rider a decade from now will be experiencing an only somewhat refined Magura MT7 or SRAM Code compared to today.

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The Hayes Dominion has the lightest lever-action going combined with possibly the most raw-power available in a current brake system. Appearance and DOT fluid aside, it's the system I think future brakes should be compared to. Photo: AM

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The Cura4 is a World Cup DH level brake that's fully rebuildable to represents Formula's transition to mineral oil over DOT fluid. It's a simple brake system to work on, functions very well, and is proven workhorse reliable. Photo: AM

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Magura's MT7 caliper represents a complete rebirth of that company's big-brake reputation. Reliability is excellent as is power and feel and they're the only brand offering a plethora of lever blade shapes for the particular rider. Photo: AM

It will be interesting to look back and see how these predictions line up with what average folks are riding on the Shore in just a couple of years. Where mullets seem destined to eat up more and more market share my other predictions are maybe long shots at best.

It's a question for riders who will be buying a new bike within the next couple of model years. Do you see yourself on a dual crown-forked mullet with a long rear center, pulling on bigger brakes, and pedaling up climbs on a rear wheel that's interchangeable with everyone else who recently purchased a mountain bike that same year? If not, what changes do you think we'll see, and what changes do you hope we'll see, compared to the bikes for sale today?

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Comments

danimaniac
+1 Andrew Major
danimaniac  - Jan. 5, 2021, midnight

Have you seen the Intend Bandit?  1.5 crown folk, revenge of the nerd brands, too ;-)

About your questions: I've ordered a MX link for my bike and will look to get my hands on a 27,5" rearwheel used or discounted to try this out.

I mean, you might know already, but I'm a total sucker for the Dominions and I think they show what brake development should be: Decrease inner friction in the system, optimise flow, make adjusting easier, make the lever feel as good as possible. All this makes it possible to build bigger brakes with more surface area and smaller master-cylinders without choking on the drawbacks of higher hydraulic leverage (less modulation, longer lever throw, ...)

When I buy a new bike I will definitely take care it's a full Boost affair so my wheels (and cassettes and disc brakes) are fully interchangable.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 danimaniac
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:20 a.m.

Yes, and I’m both a person who can handle the one sided aesthetic (as a previous Lefty fan) AND someone who doesn’t understand why they didn’t just make it a standard dual crown fork.

Either way, it’s high time for a mainstream player to answer back!

Reply

Repsej84
0
Jesper van den Adel  - Jan. 5, 2021, 10:55 a.m.

The MRP bartlett ticks a lot of boxes. How about a review on that? 

The only downside of a DC on an enduro bikes is the added headtube stress that most frames aren`t tested for and would void warranty as a result. That might be why we have 38 single crowns and not DC 36 etc

I`m 100% with you though, if my long travel 29er would be rated for a dual crown I`d slap one on in a heartbeat, however the risk of my headtube snapping (know issue for my pole stamina) is a little frightening

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 AJ Barlas
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:49 p.m.

There are exceptions - like the Banshee Titan - but I spoke to multiple brand managers who told me if the axle-to-crown is with ~ 10mm then their aluminum and/or carbon frames are so overbuilt up front they have zero concerns about DC forks.

Reply

hongeorge
0
hongeorge  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:55 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

hongeorge
+2 Andrew Major Tremeer023
hongeorge  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:55 p.m.

Mojo in the UK (the same guys  who are behind Geometron bikes) do a dual crown conversion kit for the 36, would love to see that reviewed.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:22 p.m.

I haven’t seen one in person yet, and it’s a lot of money, and I was surprised they didn’t just buy a chassis and make their own fork; however, I agree I’d like to read a review.

Reply

badgerracer
+1 Andrew Major
badgerracer  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:58 a.m.

That new Jekyll is lookin good.....is that supposed to be posted? Wouldn’t want anyone to run foul of an embargo...

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Mammal Pete Roggeman
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:23 a.m.

Hahahahahaha. I have to say that 2016 looks better than the current ones hey?!

Reply

TristanC
+2 Andrew Major danimaniac
TristanC  - Jan. 5, 2021, 5:11 a.m.

I sold my 148x12 bike and ride only a 197x12 fat bike now. Super Duper Ultra Boost Double Plus.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Lu Kz
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:25 a.m.

Reply

Vikb
+2 Andrew Major Tremeer023
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 5, 2021, 5:54 a.m.

I used to do the One Bike To Rule Them All thing. First it was a SC Nomad Mk2 then it was Pivot Mach 6 Mk1 then it was a Knolly Endorphin Mk2. Now I've got a shreddy hardtail [Cotic BFeMAX] and a GG Smash either could be my One Bike to Rule Them All. A stiff fork, big brakes and tires that mix traction with fast rolling are key. That way I can shred the gnar and still crank out a 70K day in the saddle. It's easy to build a gnar shredder you don't want to do a big mileage day on or a distance crusher that has you walking the nasty tech. Setting up a bike to do both well is harder, but that makes it The One True Bike for Coastal BC.

If I was buying new [can you even buy a new bike in 2021???] I'd split the difference and get something like a 140mmFr/120mmRr 29er FS bike with aggressive geo. A little more cush than my HT and a little less cush than my GG. 

The only three things you mention that don't resonate with me are dual crown forks, bigger brakes and long CS. With the Lyrik/Zeb and 36/38 Fox options [and similar from other brands] I can get all the fork I need from a single crown. I'm running 200mm/180mmm rotors on my bikes and just upgrading the last 2-piston brakes to 4-piston. Lack of braking power is not ever on my mind. I was on the short CS bandwagon until I tried the relatively long [for me] 444mm CS on the Cotic. It's not bad and I can see why someone might prefer it, but if I could wave a magic wand I'd shrink those CS to 430mm. On my other HT I have adjustable CS and prefer the 424mm position with that rear wheel tucked in tight.

I was looking at a new Knolly the other day and getting sucked into a bit of brand nostalgia for my old Endo before I remembered it takes Super Boosty Boost Trail Max 157mm hubs and I have just...finally...standardized my fleet around 148mm hubs. I just can't go there to 157mm.

Sorry I don't get the mullet thing either. I might do that to an old bike I want to tweak without replacing, but if I am buying new I'd rather have a big wheel on both ends.

I've got no plans to get a new bike in 2021. For a FS bike the GG ticks all my boxes and this is only season #4. Seems like I have got it dialed and broken in nicely so it would be a shame to move on now. There are a few things I'd change about the Cotic if I was starting over or could go custom, but really it's pretty excellent as well and I am just being picky. I'd like to get a full year of riding on it and then I'll see what ideas/opinions stick and what changes the more I get used to it.

All the best for 2021. I think it'll be crazy like 2020, but at least it won't hit us out of the blue without warning!

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:32 a.m.

There a lot of folks that still have feelings for super short chainstays, but more and more folks I know are coming around to the idea of better balancing weight distribution (climbing and descending) - including some who’ve recently dumped a pretty pile of cash on hardtails with VERY short stays!

I’ll be interested in seeing your next custom hardtail ;-) (teasing! Teasing!)

Reply

Vikb
+1 Andrew Major
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:39 a.m.

Reading about people enjoying longer CS pushed me over the edge on the Cotic. It's one of the things I figured I would try going in that direction. And to be fair it's not bad. I don't hate it. I can see some benefits. I'm also going to keep riding it as sometimes what you think 1 week or 1 month or even one season in on a bike changes with more use. It's just that so far I have not been won over to the longer CS side of the argument. 

The next custom HT exists on paper. I'm thinking maybe 2022 for tubes to be welded up. That gives me time to ponder the geo some more and maybe in 2022 I can actually buy bike parts to hang off the new frame? ;-)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+5 danimaniac twk lewis collins ExtraSpecialandBitter Tremeer023
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:44 a.m.

Swinging/sliding dropouts, 9spd chains, and SS cogs are all readily available.

The very universe wants you to single speed! Will you deny it?!

Reply

GladePlayboy
+2 Andrew Major pedalhound
Rob Gretchen  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:13 a.m.

Not sure SuperBoost spacing is going away anytime soon, but 220mm front rotors are my defacto standard on all my bikes now... for the big boys... :-)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+9 Vik Banerjee Rob Gretchen Mammal ManInSteel Zero-cool Tehllama42 pedalhound cedrico Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:29 a.m.

I think 220mm - and larger - rotors tell us that bigger brakes are in the horizon.

Also, I’m looking forward to the day - very soon - that everyone standardizes their 203mm rotors to 200mm. Just makes things easy - +20, +40, +60, etc front and rear.

Reply

GladePlayboy
+3 Andrew Major pedalhound lewis collins
Rob Gretchen  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:12 a.m.

Yeah, standard rotor sizing would be good for us shop folk...and bigger brakes make sense.

Reply

tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:03 p.m.

To me, my hope is actually that Shimano doesn't redesign the Saints (although those remain scarce).  Once you've learned the ServoWave braking response curve, that level of power (even for the 100kg+ clyde club) is plenty adequate.
Larger rotor is a neat combination of free modulation AND power, which is nice, but I feel like we may not be done with deciding on rotor thickness either

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:15 p.m.

I know lots of folks you like the Saints. I don’t know anyone who has ridden Magura, Formula, or Hayes four piston brakes who wouldn’t choose them over Saints.

Actually have had (pretend grumpy?) feedback from a few people who bought Magura MT 5/7 brakes OR Cura4 brakes after reading NSMB reviews and then felt it necessary to upgrade their other bike as well.

Reply

khai
+1 Andrew Major
khai  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:22 p.m.

>> Actually have had (pretend grumpy?) feedback from a few people who bought Magura MT 5/7 brakes OR Cura4 brakes after reading NSMB reviews and then felt it necessary to upgrade their other bike as well.

I feel that way about my MT5s, and it's legit the reason why I'm scared/refuse to try Dominions...

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:24 p.m.

The Dominion has a very different feel (such light action) but I wouldn’t say it’s better. On my personal bikes I’m running a pair of Cura4 brakes and a pair of MT7 brakes (or at least the equivalent).

tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:33 p.m.

Yeah, I can see myself on the grumpy train there.  I'd be getting Saints on my FS bike so I can hand down the 2-pot XT's to my hardtail, both of which are rocking 203mm rotors.  
The Magura are scarce out here, so I'm still too worried about being without service parts, while anything in the Shimanoverse I'm covered to some extent.  I'd definitely be in that train of 'great, now these have to go on everything' - this bike has already seen that see-saw effect (got a Topaz shock, so the front needed help, got the Luftkappe and adjusted tune, then had to reshim the Topaz... 
Also, lack of test ride fleet bikes is the other big part of that, since that's my venue for trying out so many things. It's legitimately harder for smaller brands to get that foothold than anybody with access to review products can intuit, just from that thing alone - your glowing reviews can be accurate, and I'll still choose the inferior performing product for supportability and experience issues.

Reply

khai
0
khai  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:23 p.m.

That makes sense.  If you run anything other than Shimao or SRAM you more or less have to stock all your own spares.  I tend to run more to the boutique side of things (try finding Hope parts!) so I'm used to that...  But the risk is real, and even moreso when travelling.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:34 p.m.

Here in Vancouver/Shore-to-Sky, local support is very good for Formula and Magura. You aren’t as likely to find a shop stocking pads as you are for the big OE ShiRAMano brakes but they’re usually next day from Orange (Magura) or Alba (Formula) and frankly it’s a bit silly not to have a spare pair of pads at home for whatever brakes you use (ShiRAMano included) - or at least that’s been my experience with the number of people I’ve had contact me late night/early morning to see if I have a set to cover their ‘bicycle emergency’ (I don’t). 

Alba does an awesome job stocking small parts - as good as anyone outside or maybe Cycles Lambert staying on top of SRAM brake rebuild kits - and will sell to your preferred dealer or customer direct. 

I get stuff isn’t as visible without the OE penetration - I also understand why these smaller brands focus more on winning one customer at a time than OE - but product support can still be very, very good.

AndrewMajor
+2 khai Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:36 p.m.

I always travel with spare pads too. I’ve seen plenty of pads get magically contaminated on route and it doesn’t really matter what you use for brakes if shops are closed.

muldman
0
muldman  - Jan. 7, 2021, 1:32 p.m.

At what point does the 6-bolt rotor mounting standard change? A massive 220mm rotor bolted to the hub with 6 too-closely-spaced bolts doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Moving the mounting bolts closer to the braking surface seems to make armchair-engineering sense. Should be stiffer. Should reduce rotor warpage. Might mean simpler, less expensive rotors?

Reply

hongeorge
0
hongeorge  - Jan. 7, 2021, 1:51 p.m.

Means bigger, heavier hubs though.... the move to thicker rotors seems to be the current answer to that issue

Reply

muldman
0
muldman  - Jan. 7, 2021, 2:42 p.m.

I look at a Shimano IceTech rotor and just think that central 6-spoke could be integrated into the hub, leaving you with just a smaller replaceable steel rotor. Yeah, the hub gets heavier but the rotor gets lighter by the same amount?

This area of bikes has been a standard for far too long. Surely someone is looking to change it in the name of progress :-)

Reply

hongeorge
+1 Bogey
hongeorge  - Jan. 7, 2021, 2:52 p.m.

It would need to look quite different though, otherwise "I bent my hub" becomes a thing

tehllama42
+2 Andrew Major Spencer Nelson
Tehllama42  - Jan. 7, 2021, 1:53 p.m.

Call me a luddite, but something tells me the rotor bolts aren't really the limiting factor for those.
Honest answer is that with just the mass of a human, bike (and even 2kWh battery) still isn't enough to really stress rotors in the vast majority of instances.

https://s14761.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Disc-Brake-Group-Test-2016-22-15.jpg

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AndrewMajor
+2 Spencer Nelson Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 7, 2021, 5:12 p.m.

I've seen plenty of cracked hub shells from drive efforts; however, even looking at the cheapest 6-bolt hubs being abused way beyond their intended market I have yet to see a catastrophic failure of a rotor mount.

I've seen rotor bolts so rusted that the heads snapped with a light twist of the wrist on a T-25 but didn't fail during riding.

I've seen DH bikes roll in with half their rotor bolts missing and their rotors fully floating on the remaining bolts after a weekend at Whistler without having ever seen a rotor fully separate from the system or a bolt fail. 

It's simply not an issue.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 7, 2021, 5:05 p.m.

There is no structural issue with the 6-bolt mounting standard. As it has been explained to me by folks that are much smarter than I, as regards boost hub adapters (using longer rotor bolts + spacer), the hub/rotor interface in a 6-bolt system is largely a friction load between the surfaces v. a shear load on the bolts. 

Rotors themselves start to get flexier/weaker unless if they're made of thicker steel, use a two-piece design (aluminum core), or otherwise have a focus on lateral stiffness. The good news is these rotor designs also tend to take more abuse and, in my experience, make less noise (vibration). 

Unfortunately, I could see Centerlock becoming the de facto standard - coming over from road bikes along with flat-mount. For the 2021 model year Shimano hubs have made a massive comeback from the lower end to mid-level (SLX) of performance mountain bikes and there's no reason to think that trend won't continue for 2022+ and in general, riders don't appear to give a sh*t if their bikes come with 6-bolt of CL rotors.

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Bad-Sean
+2 Andrew Major rolly
Sean Chee  - Jan. 9, 2021, 9:04 p.m.

I’m clearly in the minority, but I have never had an issue with centrelock. My current hard ridden bike had xtr hubs at both ends which survived perfectly until I wanted to move up to 220mm with a galfer kit. I sourced a 6 bolt front wheel and have found myself needing to remember to tighten the bolts periodically. 

Centrelock gets a check once a season and have never found it needing adjustment.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:05 p.m.

So, I've met plenty of folks who have had zero issues with Centrelock and that's great. I will say on the trail that I've seen loose Centrelock and 6-bolts rotors alike the difference being that only one of those options can be tightened on the trail.

Now, you can say that both options should be regularly checked as part of a routine bolt/safety check but my perspective as someone who sometimes works on bikes as a job is that plenty of riders don't. 

Aside from that rational reason (ability to tighten on trail) I have had a personal experience with Centrelock that was both my scariest component failure and my scariest moment on a bicycle in my life and I'm fine with admitting that affects my bias against the system.

Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:25 p.m.

I think by virtue of trailside maintenance, not to mention established market position, 6 bolt rotors won't be going anywhere on MTB. The lower cost of manufacturing the rotors will also ensure its ongoing presence in the market. 

My bike was ex sponsored rider, he had loctite on the rotor nut. It was a bitch to get off when I did a rebuild a few years ago, but I put some back on when reassembling, and they've stayed in place since. I'm sure shimano advises not to somewhere....

I think the majority of resentment towards CL is because it's seen as proprietary. I would be quite alright if my next bike had them, but I don't expect that to be the case.

Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:25 p.m.

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DogVet
+1 Andrew Major
Hugo Williamson  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:21 a.m.

If you have a more balanced bike with a longer chainstay, then surely by default the rider is placed more in the centre of the bike, therefore the ass to rear tyre should not occur that often even with a 29 er. I'm 5'10 and rarely if at all catch the rear tyre, the chain stay lengths on my bikes range from 435, 443 and 455 (front centres within 2 mm of each other @ 775) All have around 460 reach. UK riding is very often at lowish speeds on hand cut narrow tracks, steep and twisty. The best balanced is the 443 RC bike 29er 130/120 which I sized down as a wanted agility v stability.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:37 a.m.

A very valid point. I know short(er) folks who own, or have recently owned, multiple 29’er rigs who notice that the shorter stay bikes have much more ass-to-tire buzz getting off the back v. the longer stay bikes WHEN they ride them with their weight proper centred. 

Certainly can’t be lazy though and get behind the seat v. taking advantage of the more centred charging position and sometimes on the steep trails that takes a lot of commitment even though it does work better.

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joseph-crabtree
+1 Andrew Major
Joseph Crabtree  - Jan. 5, 2021, 10:36 a.m.

At 172 cm with an average inseam there are times when I have to manual off a drop while going down a steep incline that I get a serious buzz that can be a bit distracting at a the wrong time. My bike has 435 CS, 455 reach with a slammed 50mm stem so a fairly balanced setup as far as centered,. My other bike is a modern XC bike with a low cockpit and weight forward is my normal stance so I know there are real advantages to having a smaller rear wheel.

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Dude@
+1 Saidrick
Dude@  - Jan. 6, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

I haven't gotten along with the new longer geometry bikes, and my riding has depreciated by riding these longer geometries. With that said, I do like the comfort of the longer geometry. My cornering is just not as good, because of properly weighting the bike. Therefore, I prefer bikes with modern geometry that have steep head angles to limit the front center. 

Surprisingly I feel much more comfortable on Specialized Enduro - it is just a big bike. The longer chainstays makes the geometry feel much more manageable. Now I would like this in a shorter travel bike. 

I actually have a hypothesis on this, and its contrary to the bike industry's current approach. When Leo and SteveM argued about bike length.... a number of valuable ideas were posed. The first by Leo which said weighting is associated with the vertical movement of your body, which I agree.

However, I have short legs and hence my weighting is a bit limited in the vertical movements, so I need additional horizontal movements, and this is takes a lot more work and muscles to control the longer front centers of bikes. 

Most of the people that I know that have minimal issue with the new longer geometry tend to be taller or people with longer legs, which supports Leo's statement.

I actually feel the chainstays should be longer for shorter people (ie short legs) as front centers grow. At the moment, the CS lengths increase for taller riders, which I do believe there is a more comfortable feel. I feel taller riders can probably get by with CS with longer front centers will less issue.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Nouseforaname Dude@
Andrew Major  - Jan. 6, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

I think the industry has gone too long (front centre) to add stability without lengthening chainstays and the cranked seat angles (effective) to shorten the seated position so they’re still rideable. True for any sized bike / rider. Maybe longer limbs make it easier to compensate for a bad fit but universally CS needs to grow on average.

If chainstays grow then we’ll get the same stability out of a shorter front end, and coupled with new sizing (Specialized S1-S6 is a great example) more riders will find themselves on a better fitting bike.

I think we’re saying the same thing?

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tehllama42
+1 Dude@
Tehllama42  - Jan. 6, 2021, 9:35 a.m.

I'd say the 'without lengthening chainstay' is right - if all you're doing is moving the crank centerpoint rearward, you're just adjusting weight distribution depending on rider CoM and inclination angles, and those aren't really broad improvements in most cases.  Adding front center while keeping things the same (added wheelbase and reach/ETT) keeping things the same is just moving to a longer bike with the same inherent issues, but if you're in terrain where traction limit isn't frequent, that can actually still be a great bike feel if you're into mostly pick&place technical bits, and some straight line fast stuff. 
Long chainstay (especially 29er) short front center is very confidence inspiring, but it's a real bear to get the front end up on demand, and it really only exists to be very forgiving of an 'off the back' riding style - stable to a fault, but loading the front tire is a real challenge.
I personally like the feel of the long FC short RC bikes until I'm actually going fast, at which point I just can't get cornering at speed really sorted, the long-both combination provides all sorts of wiggle room on weight distribution, which is where I can find myself in the self-congratulatory two-wheel drifting territory, but most importantly at 9/10ths I'm on KOM pace despite being an out of shape oaf because I can load contact patches and feel the imminent breakaway.
Norco has had the right idea all along - adjustability is still preferable, but ~450mm chainstays in L/XL/XXL sizes are a must for me anymore, in the terrain I ride (lots of high speed, flowy, grip limited decomposing granite surfaces).

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nouseforaname
+1 Andrew Major
Nouseforaname  - Jan. 6, 2021, 1:22 p.m.

I tired to give this more than one upvote but could not.

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nouseforaname
+1 Andrew Major
Nouseforaname  - Jan. 6, 2021, 1:22 p.m.

I tired to give this more than one upvote but could not.

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khai
0
khai  - Jan. 14, 2021, 3:16 p.m.

On the topic of chainstay and overall bike length, Yoann gets into this talking about his testing of the Grim Donut, his new Guerilla Gravity Gnarvana, and experimenting with Matt (chief Enginerd @GG).  https://overcast.fm/+Ry_MZbAuQ  They start talking about his move to GG @~41min and the Grim Donut/experimental geo @~51min.

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Juan
0
John Delacruz  - Jan. 17, 2021, 6:53 a.m.

As a shorter rider (165cm), I am thinking that a higher bottom bracket gives me some help positioning myself over the rear wheel. The larger the wheel and the longer the travel, I feel I have much less room to absorb drops due to shorter legs.  The high bottom bracket of older bike frames is an advantage to me, despite the compromise in stability during turns.

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pepperJerome
+2 Andrew Major Sean Chee
pepperJerome  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:34 a.m.

Interesting that you gravitate toward dual crown forks. I am an old school downhiller (current DH 2016 Session 9.9) and my gosh I am also an ebike rider. I currently ride a Kenevo and it has 180mm Boxxers on it and I have not had any issue with turn radius anywhere. I do appreciate the bump stops as it prevents me from jacknifing when I ride in snowy conditions and sometimes get cross rutted.

with new geometry and strong motor, the Kenevo climbs better than any other e-bikes I have owned or tried. It is actually this comfortable riding position and the poppiness of the bike that are the biggest surprise on this bike. Technology is a good thing as it keeps us riding for more years than what we thought when we got into this game.

Also interesting that you did not approach tire/rim technology with some predictions.

Thank you for the article.

Happy Tuesday!

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AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:41 a.m.

Cheers!

Original draft I had a section about integrated tires/inserts but, honestly, I don’t think we’ll see any major change by 2023.

Not at all concerned about turning radius myself even with super fat headtubes and frames that taper into them and I also like the bump stops.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on the pedelecs. 

Happy New Year!

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FLATCH
+2 RNAYEL Sean Chee
flatch  - Jan. 5, 2021, 8:06 a.m.

Yes I noticed that you stepped around the dreaded e-bike. Like pepper said though, I recently put a 180mm Boxxer Deluxe on my Meta and love it I haven’t weighed it yet but it doesn’t seem to weigh any more than the lyric ultimate it replaced. Like you said Andrew, I like how quiet it is. 

Now that said, I have a lyric ultimate with a slight creak for sale.

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AndrewMajor
+15 Joseph Crabtree jaydubmah Grif twk lewis collins Cr4w goose8 MuscogeeMasher Velocipedestrian Tremeer023 Lynx . ChocolateThunder Neil Carnegie Sun Hester Saidrick
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:50 p.m.

I don’t write about e~bikes on NSMB.

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joseph-crabtree
+13 Andrew Major taprider Andy Eunson fartymarty lewis collins Vik Banerjee goose8 Skooks MuscogeeMasher Lynx . Neil Carnegie Sun Hester Saidrick
Joseph Crabtree  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:36 p.m.

"Technology is a good thing as it keeps us riding for more years than what we thought when we got into this game."

Really? How old are you? Been riding for close to 40 years ,coming up on my 67th birthday and have not felt the need for a moped. Most of my rides are 3-4 hours and 4-6 thousand feet of climbing. I see a lot of young guys with e-bikes, personally, I'd feel like a slacker.

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JBV
-1 ChocolateThunder Brian Tuulos lewis collins Lynx . Neil Carnegie
James Vasilyev  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:14 p.m.

maybe you have knees made of iron mate, many of us don't. you may have overall capabilities and time available to you as well to do rides of that distance and duration. maybe you have a normal body mass or are built like a bike journalist. many of us don't.

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Vikb
+6 Andrew Major Skooks Lynx . Neil Carnegie Sun Hester Saidrick
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 7, 2021, 8:57 a.m.

> I'd feel like a slacker.

I'm with you. Things getting harder or me going a bit slower is not a reason to get a moped. I ride a mountain bike for the challenge and the fact it's not an easy thing to do.

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skooks
0
Skooks  - Jan. 7, 2021, 4:01 p.m.

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skooks
0
Skooks  - Jan. 7, 2021, 4:01 p.m.

x2.  I am only 60, so not old or broken enough to need a motor on my bicycle. I am realistic enough to know it will happen someday, but for now I am enjoying pedalling myself up the mountains for as many good days as I have left.

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AndrewMajor
+5 MuscogeeMasher Velocipedestrian Lynx . ChocolateThunder Sun Hester
Andrew Major  - Jan. 7, 2021, 6:03 p.m.

I'm having a weak moment.

"Technology is a good thing as it keeps us riding for more years than what we thought when we got into this game." 

The technology has existed for ages to make very small, much lower wattage motors - requiring much lighter batteries - that are basically silent and practically undetectable. These would give riders the type of minimal boost on climbs that would be needed to help them keep climbing what they're currently hitting (time/distance/techgnar) under 100% person-power as age or injury catches up with them.  

With the right tune, the gentle assist from the motor would feel ~ seamless/natural compared to pedaling 100% under your own steam. With the right build, the additional weight would be roughly the equivalent of going down a few spec levels on most current rigs.  

For example, Vivax is old tech that wasn't developed by a major player and it's still only 4lbs with a battery and can easily be hidden in a steel seat tube or downtube - never mind other frame materials with easily manipulated shapes.  

Oh, also Vivax went out of business during this e~bike boom because that's not what riders actually want.

Your Kenevo amplifies your effort up to 410% - "At peak assist, it’s like having four of you powering the pedals" - so I think it's fair to say that's not the same game.

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craw
0
Cr4w  - Jan. 7, 2021, 6:12 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

craw
+3 Velocipedestrian Lynx . ChocolateThunder
Cr4w  - Jan. 7, 2021, 6:12 p.m.

Vivax is what people should have wanted.

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tdmsurfguy
0
tdmsurfguy  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:13 a.m.

Andrew, have you tried the MRP Bartlett? It’s a DC fork set for the 180-200 range. I think MRP touted it to use like your talking,  a long travel DC fork for enduro-ish riding.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

I have not.

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boomforeal
+3 Andrew Major Cooper Quinn Sean Chee
boomforeal  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

one bike... dual crown forks... differential wheel sizes... longer chainstays... at this rate, by 2025 you'll all just be riding jones plus bikes ;-)

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AndrewMajor
+6 Tim Coleman Lu Kz Sanesh Iyer twk goose8 Lynx .
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 8:04 a.m.

True story - Sunday morning Morgan Taylor and I crossed paths on Fromme both riding rigid single speeds on black trails. That’s 100% more rigid single speeders than I saw on the Shore in all of 2020 (including myself) and it was only Jan 3rd!

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mammal
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .
Mammal  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9 a.m.

I think that has more to do with a chance encounter between AM and MT than any kind of actual trend, as you're both pretty "special characters"... But you can always hope.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Lu Kz Tremeer023
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

Hahahaha. Yeah, no boring bikes - ever.

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Jotegir
+1 Andrew Major
Lu Kz  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:33 a.m.

Amen!

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Timmigrant
+8 Cooper Quinn DadStillRides khai flatch AJ Barlas Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman Andrew Major
Tim Coleman  - Jan. 5, 2021, 10:45 a.m.

You two are weirdos. I saw Morgan the other day and thought he'd stolen your bike.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Lynx .
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:17 p.m.

Nah, I don’t go in for the bent fork lowers and twined top tubes, and mine clears a proper big tire in the back.

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cooperquinn
+1 Andrew Major
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:17 a.m.

Rigid single speeds with purple anodized components, no less.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:18 p.m.

I’ve already been accused of “copying” his use of blue RaceFace Atlas cranks... I almost cried.

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cooperquinn
+3 Mammal Andrew Major Velocipedestrian
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 5, 2021, 1:15 p.m.

The cranks on your Chromag?

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Jan. 5, 2021, 1:18 p.m.

Below the belt... Ouch.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:01 p.m.

Hahahahahahahahaha...

Jack Ass.

mammal
+3 goose8 Spencer Nelson Sean Chee
Mammal  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:02 a.m.

I understand the appeal of the 29/27 mullet, but it would piss me off if it became a standard for aggressive trail/enduro bikes. After adapting to the 29 rear, I like the traction, and I've always been one to swap rubber front to rear as they wear.

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FLATCH
0
flatch  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:07 a.m.

Yes, another way to wring a few more bucks out of your new riding pants.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

Me personally, aside from experimenting for experimenting sake I didn’t really get on the mullet bandwagon until all these companies started going to 77*+ seat tube angles. 

I can’t create power unless the terrain is crazy steep (muscle training? Long femurs?) to the point that I’m looking at the smaller rear wheel as much as a geo correction as anything - for me.

I still think full mullet is where the industry is driving the bus to.

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Vikb
+3 Andrew Major goose8 Lynx . Andy Eunson ChocolateThunder
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:56 a.m.

I'm not a fan of really steep STAs. I can't ride them comfortably and I've never had a problem sliding forward on a saddle for a steep section so the benefit for climbing seems overblown. The only thing a steep STA does for me is let me sit and reach the bars on a very long bike. That's great, but at some point you have to balance being able to pedal well vs. having the longest bike possible.

I wouldn't solve the steep STA thing with a mullet setup though. 9.8 makes a nice dropper with a 1" setback head that will tame a steep STA and I'll just avoid bikes that have STAs so steep a 1" setback dropper doesn't make it rideable for me.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:21 p.m.

If another brand did setback posts I’d be on one already. Please other brands?!

The reality is that super steep STA does work better for some folks bodies and some folks that winch-and-plunge but I think the mainstream adoption comes down to making bikes longer/more stable descending while still “fitting” riders on climbs. It all could have been solved by just growing the rear centres a bit.

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Vikb
+2 goose8 Lynx .
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 5, 2021, 1:54 p.m.

My oldest 9.8 is on its 5th year in 2021 and going strong with the other one I have being on its 3rd or 4th year. I would prefer more choices, but 9.8 isn't bad. They are Canadian as well FWIW.

I would love another quality setback dropper option, just in case they stop making the 9.8.

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AndrewMajor
+2 James Vasilyev Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:08 p.m.

I know folks who’ve had good experiences, I know folks who’ve had bad experiences. Bonus points for being Canadian. Points taken away for complexity and proprietary tools.

In my mind any company that isn’t doing an easily replaced cartridge (Any Wintek / OneUp) or otherwise massively simplifying design (BikeYoke Divine) is doing it wrong. 

I’m open to other arguments - for example, I know folks who swear by the Turbine R / Transfer because they’ve gotten years out of them sans maintenance - but really it goes up, comes down, and stays somewhere in middle. If the service cost/effort involved rivals a suspension fork I’m sceptical.

Vikb
+1 Lynx .
Vik Banerjee  - Jan. 7, 2021, 9:42 a.m.

I don't disagree with your comments about droppers in general or the 9.8 specifically, but given the following I'm willing to give them my $$:

1. Only quality 1" setback dropper I know about.

2. They've been reliable for me over a period of several years.

3. Made in Canada.

4. I'm not aware of any proprietary tools that are required for typical maintenance. They do sell two tools for $8 and a $12 that are convenient to use, but I don't think they are required.

5. Rebuildable at home. Note I've never done any maintenance beyond lubrication on mine. So I am not an expert on that aspect beyond watching the service videos.

That said I am not a 9.8 fan boi. I'm pretty much dropper brand agnostic as long as they are black and go up and down reliably. On my custom hardtail I'm using a One Up dropper because I could spec a STA that didn't need a setback dropper. It's fine. No complaints and I have put PNW droppers on my GF's bike and on friends' bikes. They also work just fine.

I contacted PNW at one point and suggested they offer a setback head option since modern STAs were getting so steep I knew I wasn't the only one who wanted their saddle back further and they were surprised by the request and said it had never even crossed their minds. So I am not super hopeful we'll get another 1" setback dropper option anytime soon.

skooks
+1 ChocolateThunder
Skooks  - Jan. 7, 2021, 4:13 p.m.

I had a 9.8 and while it was well made and Canadian (eh?), I did have a number of issues with it. I had to completely tear it down and clean out the brake assembly multiple times when it started slipping, It leaked air with the original seal head design, and the seat mounting flange eventually broke off the top of the post. I was also not impressed by the shipping cost for any of the small parts.

I have since gone to cartridge-based PNW droppers. Initial cost is lower, design is much simpler, and reliability has been much better. The only maintenance I have had to do is occasionally grease the top bushing. The loam lever is one of the best out there IMO.

andy-eunson
+2 Tehllama42 Lynx . Neil Carnegie ChocolateThunder
Andy Eunson  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:01 p.m.

It’s quite simple. Steep seat tube angles are needed for taller riders on bikes with ridiculously short chain stays. The reason I think is that it’s cheaper to make every frame size use the same rear triangle. The manufacturers tell us short stays are more (I despise this word) playful. Yet we see longer and longer bikes. That’s more stable.  Make up your mind guys. Twitchy or stable. Maybe. Just maybe if the rear end was a bit longer the front wouldn’t need to be so long? My Chameleon by all accounts should suck. I have the 29er fork so I can use plus tires, but I don’t. Over forked with a 150 36. I run the adjustable dropouts as far back as they go.  Seat tube angle is, gasp, 71 static. Probably 73 ish at full 3 cm sag. It climbs better longer and I didn’t really notice any lack of (Puke) playfulness either. 

I’ve never read a real reason why steep seat tube angles are said to be “more efficient”. I can guess it’s all about tall riders and dinky stays but when I see guys riding one of these bikes they are sitting really upright. Sorry that’s less efficient. No cross country racer sits bolt upright. It’s not better. Might be more comfortable. But that’s something else. If seat tube angles continue to get more steep I see a real market for gel seat covers.

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tehllama42
+1 Andy Eunson
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:20 p.m.

I think you're onto something there - shorter chainstays do make it somewhat easier to make weight shifts that load the rear axle (and unload the front axle), which makes a bike feel more nimble in ye olde parking lot test, and for riders who do use the pick & place style more, it's not a bad thing.  For climbing, that's also a broadly decent trait until you're grip limited.
The moment a tiny weight shift unloads the front tire while going downhill, it gets less fun - ditto on technical climbing, which is part of why I think the 'Keep ETT the same by moving seat tube angles steeper' mindset has caught on, it's basically just covering up that tendency.
I guess I'm back to the self-congratulating camp after realizing that I can actually two-wheel drift a bike and that the contact patch authority required to do that is worth the loss in 'agility', but honestly, 486mm reach (760mm front center) and 452mm CSL makes that task plenty easy compared to short bikes where I can't do that.
I think the steep actual seat tubes matter more than effective, being long of leg - right direction, but I feel like many designs (especially bent seat tube) designs are really just making up a deficiency in that for somebody with a 34" or longer inseam, the realistic eSTA was <69° in old designs, it's now finally in the 71-73 range for those bikes, and people are just misinterpreting that.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Jan. 5, 2021, 10:21 a.m.

@Mammal - Ditto on rubber swappin'.  I also like the symmetry of same sized wheels - I'm still to see a mullet I really like the look of.

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tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:24 a.m.

Really, the most compelling thing for me is how stupidly hard it is to find DH casing semi-slick tires.  That alone is what's pushing me towards a mullet setup, because right now my options are basically only two pricy options for out back, or having to run cushcore on what really amounts to a trailbike just to keep my fat self from exploding tires/rims.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:22 p.m.

e13 SS is a very good tire if you don’t mind the smaller volume. I’d put it against anything else I’ve ridden as best SS.

I’d run it if it came in a 2.6”.

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Znarf
+4 Andrew Major twk Andy Eunson Sun Hester
Znarf  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:22 p.m.

I find that both the Maxxis Aggressor and the Dissector actually roll better than the e13 Semislick and offer a little more traction and lots of agility. The e13 is not a bad tire, but compared to a Super Gravity Rock Razor (which unfortunately doesnt exist in 29“) it is not really fast rolling.

I really was a big semi slick fan until I rode the Dissector. Unfortunately I keep flatting Dissectors in Exo.

DHR 2 WT 2.4 hold up great for me though, also EXO.

——-

My guess for 2023: loads of E-MTBs and loads of trail wear by noobs not held back by leg fitness. By 2030 the industry will start to realize that bikers need trail access in order to have need for new bikes. Three big companies will set up a fund for e-mtb friendly trail networks but then Covid 47 will strike and Ivanka Trump will be the new queen of England, after marrying a freshly divorced English prince whom she met on a half sunk scottish Trump golf course at a anti-climate-change cup. She will claim to make the Comminwealth great again and vow to allow fracking on Mt Fromme and that the trails will need to be closed for all OR opened for motocross riding. And we will all have freaky implants to wirelessly connect with our carbon e-mtbs and their in-built social media accounts.

Actually forget all that, but I think there will be lots of Sram GX AXS everywhere with great shifting but still non-adjustable clutches with too little resistance.

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tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:08 p.m.

The e13 SS is what I'm running, and availability in their EN1 casing has been so far great, but I'm going to nudge over to the DH because I apparently lack the skill to around cacti, so I'll accept that through them gets it done.

Having test rode various Aggressor and Dissector combinations, on hardpack, they don't roll anywhere near as well.  This is 31mm IW rim, so I'm not getting the corner knob touchdown while vertical (but that hookup happens quick), and I feel like a large part of what makes those tires roll well is the casing suppleness... once you take that out of the equation, semislick is the fastest you can get. Having ran this bike on Ikons, Forekasters, Ardents, RekonRace, and DHF's, the casing is a nontrivial part of rolling resistance.
Running the stupid things at 32psi takes a lot of those out of the equation as well.

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Znarf
0
Znarf  - Jan. 6, 2021, 12:21 a.m.

Yes, that might actually be a very precise insight regarding casings! I keep going back to Exo style rear tires, because they are fast and that makes my big enduro 29er bike really fun. Grip is excellent still. But the tires wear out fast, tearing side knobs etc and I even had a couple of snakebites this season. 

The last couple of seasons were spent on DHR 2 WT in 2.4 with Nukeproof ARD - zero flats even with park riding.

Znarf
0
Znarf  - Jan. 6, 2021, 12:21 a.m.

Yes, that might actually be a very precise insight regarding casings! I keep going back to Exo style rear tires, because they are fast and that makes my big enduro 29er bike really fun. Grip is excellent still. But the tires wear out fast, tearing side knobs etc and I even had a couple of snakebites this season. 

The last couple of seasons were spent on DHR 2 WT in 2.4 with Nukeproof ARD - zero flats even with park riding.

Andeh
+1 Andrew Major
Andeh  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:07 a.m.

I both agree and disagree with your points on chainstay length.  Agree:  longer is better, almost all of the time.  I've been riding a Gnarvana (with 450mm CS) the last couple months and the added stability feels soooo good when going fast, or in chunk.  Disagree:  I'd rather see a bike come with adjustable CS.  I think most manufacturers will hedge their bets towards shorter, so adjustable would let them spec it on the short side but me run it a bit longer.

I really think the next bike I buy will be designed as a mullet.  I've played around with a few conversions, but these invariably have issues that I don't like (BB way too high or way too low, HTA & STA way too slack).  I'm 5'8" / 172cm so I can and do ride a full 29, but it becomes a bit of a handful on tight, off camber corners.  When I've ridden mullet conversions, they've felt incredible on those types of corners.  They do feel less good on square edge chunk/holes, but there's not a ton of that where I ride, so I really think a proper mullet would be the "bike for trails I ride, not the trails I want to ride."  Ideally, GG will make a set of stays for a dedicated mullet, so I don't have to wait until 2023 to get this.  ;)

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

I’m totally down with adjustable chainstays - and hope all the nerd brands will get on the program - but I think the key is for the short positions to also get longer (no point in being adjustable if everyone just runs it in the longest position).

What’s the current effective STA on your GG?

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Andeh
+1 Andrew Major
Andeh  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:23 a.m.

I've got it "short" forked with a 160, so it's theoretically at 64.2 HTA, 76.6 STA, 345 BB.  (I measured it once at ~64, ~77, 345.)

Fair point about the adjustment points.  It's the same issue with other geo flip chips - 90% of the time, everyone runs them in the slackest/lowest position.

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tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:28 a.m.

File me under the 'longer is better' camp, but that's because I'm 6'2", so 452mm is probably about where is should be for me and the trails I ride (mostly wide open, flowy, loose-over-hard). 
Adjustable absolutely sounds better, and I'd be down with any option that lets me go to the extremes, because I'd like to try some <440mm options, but practically north of 450 is where I want to be for a large part of how I spend my time... and if I (personally, rusty) can design dropouts that accept Sram UD mounts and axle mounts that all incorporate adjustment and can be made in 6061AL, then I don't know why more companies haven't pulled it off - weight delta is tiny, and that mass is nice and low (admittedly sprung, but that's OK)

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Cabana76
0
Adrian White  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:04 p.m.

What about the MegaSmash?

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Andeh
0
Andeh  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:12 p.m.

That falls into my "too slack / weird BB height" category.  With a 160 fork, you're at 63.3 HTA, 75.4 STA, and 346 BB height in Gravity mode.  Doing a mullet with Smash stays is slightly less slack (63.4 / 75.8 / 334) but I'd still like to see the numbers a bit more normal before I go buy a new rear wheel.

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craw
+8 Znarf Andrew Major AJ Barlas goose8 mikeynets Tremeer023 Lynx . Andy Eunson
Cr4w  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

That's a really good point you make about the industry trying to sell a simple convenient story to all riders. A solution which is really only convenient for them. Which explains why most bikes in XS or XXL are an annoying afterthought to most manufacturers. Which explains our dogged attachment to single crown forks, presumably because trail bikes run SC and DH bikes run dual crown forks. Most bikes are tending towards Geometron at this point whether they admit it or not so if Chris Porter is running dual crown forks now maybe just accept his and AMajor's prescience and look into them now.

I hope the future includes more modularity. Contrary to what the big companies would have you believe, we aren't all the same.

Where are our 3d printed bikes? Pole promised bikes CNC machined bikes that wouldn't need to ship across the ocean and could be easily customized. Their execution left plenty to be desired. And we have yet to see a bike from Robot Bike Co/Atherton (and TBH I'd pay for that technology but certainly not for the privilege of having the Atherton name on my bike). 

The 90s were exciting in huge part because the mad scientist engineer types showed up and could execute their ideas in metal - the AMPs, Karpiels, Intense, Foes, etc. Let's hope that the new generation of additive printing also brings with it the democratization of small scale production and more kooky stuff comes out.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Tremeer023
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:54 a.m.

I look at companies like Starling and BTR and have a lot of hope for semi-production mad-science. As you know, there’s an epic number of full custom options out there even for FS bikes - so lots of opportunities to go crazy.

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tehllama42
+7 Andrew Major AJ Barlas jaydubmah lewis collins goose8 Tremeer023 Lynx .
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:32 a.m.

Also, I'm actually happiest that more people are getting onto the 'forever frame' concept, not just for environmental reasons, but because practically you can future-proof stuff now, which takes a huge amount of wind out of the sails for anybody trying to shove the next Overdrive3.1 Steerer tube down our throats - if a niche bike can still be outperforming the big box option releases that are still two model years down the pipe for a user, then suddenly our market shifts towards what setups people are still going to want to run and maintain for a few years.

It's a bit like when I was helping my mom shop for RV's, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why designers favored stupid party trick features over well thought out stuff... but then I realized that the market revolved around the high turnover buyers would would happily eat a loss but rotate into the latest/greatest model.  Designing products for that set doesn't result in better products, just lots of pointless churn, and poor understanding of what actually makes a good product versus a better selling product.

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AJ_Barlas
+7 Tehllama42 twk lewis collins Andrew Major Sanesh Iyer goose8 Lynx .
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:47 p.m.

The ‘forever frame’ concept is awesome. I’m not sure that the majority of riders are on it though. I wish they were but it’s not what I’m seeing at trail heads or when talking with friends. Updates every year or two still seem common. 😔

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tehllama42
+1 AJ Barlas
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:51 p.m.

Yeah, the 'new stuff' hype is hard to ignore - I guess maybe the 'Five Year Plan' frame, just something that is worth replacing (or servicing and tuning) suspension parts on, and actually worth wearing out a cassette on.  To me, I respect the grizzled old souls on older bikes that have barely any stock stuff left on them, but the frame has clearly seen use.  
Part of me also just wants used bikes to be an inherently better value, although Marin and Polygon absolutely crushing the game in the <$2500 realm has probably made that concept debatable.

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sanesh-iyer
+2 Andrew Major Skooks
Sanesh Iyer  - Jan. 6, 2021, 7:11 p.m.

I keep telling myself my bikes will be forever. Alas, I'm guilty too. Then I got my Chromag and I stopped giving a shit and just rode the bike everywhere.

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sanesh-iyer
0
Sanesh Iyer  - Jan. 6, 2021, 7:11 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

sanesh-iyer
0
Sanesh Iyer  - Jan. 6, 2021, 7:11 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

craw
+5 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian Lynx . ChocolateThunder Sean Chee
Cr4w  - Jan. 7, 2021, 8:32 a.m.

Which is extra weird when you see the state of some peoples' bikes. Like, they want to upgrade because the new frame has this or that yet their suspension is poorly tuned or desperately in need of service. As if that missing degree of seat angle or weird $300 fork bolt-on is something they really have to have to increase "sensitivity". Yeah maybe try putting some fresh oil in your fork and actually setting it up right.

TL;DR most people don't need new bikes they need to actually understand the one they're really on, which is so often a matter of tuning.

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AJ_Barlas
+4 Andrew Major Cr4w Velocipedestrian Lynx .
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 7, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

So true. We're all guilty of it at some point but much of the time making sure the current rig is running optimally can greatly change the experience. I was trying to get at this with my Gift Guide when recommending suspension services, or gift cards to give for a service of this nature.

AndrewMajor
+1 Velocipedestrian
Andrew Major  - Jan. 7, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

So true. And as much as it doesn’t get those new-bike-endorphins rushing it’s usually way cheaper to bring a bike back to awesome condition that to flip it and replace it with the same-same two years newer.

lefthandlewis
+3 Andrew Major goose8 Skooks
lewis collins  - Jan. 6, 2021, 5:29 a.m.

This is exactly why I got a Starling Murmur last year. The recent upgrade of an eight year old second-hand ccdb air (non climb switch specifically) overshocking the rear end to "hack" a mullet setup and a new Suntour durolux 36 has been amazing (looking forward to the nsbm review coming...). All the other parts were swapped out from the two other bikes I owned (still rocking a set of ten year old silver xt cranks) and anything left sold off. Best decision i've ever made, everything is super reliable and fixable (mostly by me as an added benefit). 

I'd love to see more setup-led reviews (which is what attracts me to nsmb anyway) encouraged in the industry, and as sustainability inspired marketing opportunities in the future. I'm amazed that the cycling Industry / brands as a whole has generally turned its back on the thriving second hand market that exists...

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AndrewMajor
+2 Velocipedestrian lewis collins
Andrew Major  - Jan. 6, 2021, 2:51 p.m.

After Buy The Bike You Already Own went live I gamed a lot of ways I could follow it up with a real build. 

Look how hard Toyota sells - essentially - the value of their used trucks (resale x long term reliability) as a way to sell new vehicles. There’s no equivalent in the bike industry. 

Anyways, short of building my own used rig on my own dime the other avenues I investigated ended up just being time sinks - at best. But I do agree the potential is endless.

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ChocolateThunder
+1 Andrew Major
ChocolateThunder  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:22 p.m.

I would argue that Nicolai does this (5 year warranty, 10 year parts availability), but could learn from Toyota nonetheless. They are definitely better made than most if not all other bikes, which makes them last longer (it’s not just the welds). Most other bikes are made to be disposable - no one talks about “durability” or “future-proof” anymore - probably because they’re too fixated on convincing us that they offer the latest and greatest micro-improvement without bringing attention to the fact that the writing between the lines is “in 2 years, this too will be outdated, but it should last 2 years (we hope), and in 2 years, we’ll sell you the next great ground-breaking iteration, and your old bike will be obsolete and worthless).”

Stop buying bikes that don’t last and won’t satisfy your needs for more than a couple seasons. 

-A Former Bike Whore

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:25 p.m.

I should specify re. my Toyota comment that when I made it I was thinking for a production bike brand - Trek / Cannondale / Rocky Mountain / Kona / etc.

Nicolai does a great job and you can take a bike like Starling a step further down that support rabbit hole because they're repairable. Even if Starling went under there's nothing on their bikes you couldn't get repaired if you wanted to. 

I'd love to see a production bike company doing something similar.

Lynx
+2 AJ Barlas Andrew Major
Lynx .  - Jan. 8, 2021, 8:32 a.m.

I've been trying to plug my way through the responses and then reply, but just had to stop and reply to this.....

Absolutely, 100% agree, too many people who don't even take the time to even roughly dial in and tune their suspension and just buy something new instead OR who never service it and wonder why it feels like $hit.

For me, I just don't believe in "throw away" stuff, it's bad for so many reasons. I still have my '08 SURLY Karate Monkey, it's now my "dedicated" commuter, but it served me as commuter, trail bike and everything in between for 10 years until I got my "new" Kona UNIT, which is now my go to, preferred bike with either 29x2.6" or 29x3.0" rubber. 

I also still have my 2012 Banshee Prime pre-production frame and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, it had adjustable geo via drop outs way back then 67.5-68-68.5* with the normal fork length, go to a longer fork and you've got slacker if you want. It also has a straight 1.5" HT, so an angleset can be run if wanted, easily as well. It ain't light (34.7lbs) but it's so versatile, have no trouble taking it on an "XC" ride or tackling our steepest, most aggressive stuff. My only issue with it is I feel over-biked most of the time on it, probably because I like a challenge (that's why I ride MTB) and will ride the rigid Unit down anything we have here, just maybe not as fast, but I'll get down and have a huge grin from ear to ear and know it was my skill that got me down, not a load of suspension or stupid slack geo.

My  ideal "one bike" was my Banshee PP Phantom, but sadly somehow after 4 good, hard years, I managed to crack the BB shell :-\ So what did I do, well I grabbed the rear tri (the PP Prime tri/drop outs was changed before production and only I only got the 135 QR option with mine) and bolted it on, now I can run whatever wheel set or size I want 135/142/148 or 150 up to a 29x2.8" with decent mud clearance running the "long" drop outs, or regular 29x2.5" with the regular drop outs.

Back to trying to read all the comments and then give thoughts on Andrews very interesting article.

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tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

Cr4w - It's one of those things where nobody can read those old Chris Porter interviews and conclude he was anything except correct and years ahead of his time.

I do think the quality of certain single crown forks will keep that game alive (Suntour, anybody?) - it's just the weight weenie demands on the same product that are why the CSU's creak all to hell, add some material to the equation (and worry less about weight than CTE mismatch) and that entire issue goes away.  I do think ParkDuro setups will become more common, but that's already a limited set of options - 170mm single crown works so well that if you shoved one 2021 model back through a time machine one decade, it would be on the WC DH podium (though to be fair, Sam Hill showed us a few years back that it's arguably still true).

The 3D printed bikes are here, just that printed titanium (Atherton) in the right setup is still expensive compared to tediously hand-laid up carbon, and ends up slightly heavier, so might as well let Taiwan be a giant frame geometry heuristic algorithm and just buy the setup that happens to work for your application, and enjoy the cost savings... or go custom.

I think the 90's seemed crazy and wild because the limiting factors were everywhere - we're now seeing convergence which seems less fun because they're all so good that diminishing returns are a serious factor, and if a new idea has merit but doesn't work in the first iteration, it gets found out right away because the rest of the parts are good enough (in the 90's, a kinda bad prototype could get through a few design cycles before we figured out that the rest of the bike build wasn't the only part holding it back)

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:27 p.m.

Have to say my experience with CaneCreek Helm and Suntour Durolux/Auron and Manitou Mezzer chassis has been phenomenal. 

DC forks aren’t just about the chassis/creaking. I think the ability to get a stiffer fork where it matters without it being super harsh thanks to beefed out lowers is a huge opportunity to find the best stiffness/flex design. See the 35mm Boxxer v. 38mm Zeb.

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AJ_Barlas
+1 Andrew Major
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

I second this. Like you, I believe dual crown forks have more to do with chassis stability than creak prevention. High speed, rough terrain and compressions always feel more stable and controlled when attacking them with a dual crown fork. Casing the shit out of jumps on a single crown also feels terrifying!

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velocipedestrian
+1 Sanesh Iyer
Velocipedestrian  - Jan. 6, 2021, 1:08 a.m.

"where it matters" stirs a memory of [Gracia?] advocating maximum stiffness between the stem and cranks, then tapering out to give flex at the tyre contacts.

Stiff where you're adding power & inputs, flex for traction.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 7, 2021, 9:42 a.m.

There was a lot of chatter about fork stiffness when Santa Cruz went from RockShox sponsorship to Fox. The old 40 was too stiff where it didn’t need to be and as I remember the WC racers were very influential in the new 40 chassis.

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AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

FWIW I believe CP is running a single crown fork most of the time these days. I thought the MORC 36 had been abandoned until a recent mention of it from Mojo.

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danimaniac
0
danimaniac  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:36 p.m.

Have you seen the Moorhuhn? Part of the #europeanbikeproject

It's 3d printed joints, beautifully executed... Awesome... And so over the top. Mad scientist stuff. 

Maybe check all those... I think pinkbike hasmd some articles about not only this, but the other participants if the challenge, too.

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jaydubmah
+1 Andrew Major
jaydubmah  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:22 p.m.

I had a Pole Machine, and from there, got warrantied. Currently waiting on a Stamina to arrive. 

With regards to bikes such as Pole's CNC frames being made in different parts of the world - personally, I still see that as being possible. Having said that, I think it's a ways down the road. 

Some of it is actually figuring out the designs / manufacturing to a point where there is high enough confidence for the design in the first place.

From there, it's finding a business case, and going through the zillions of issues it would take to source another CNC shop that could consistently pull off what they're trying to do. It's not impossible, but not easy. 

Imagine the glorious day, where we will all have our neighbourhood CNC / fab machines. We see something we like on the internet, purchase the design files, it gets sent to the local shop, and we walk down the street and pick up our new bike at the end of the week. Sounds crazy - but the fax machine was pretty nutty when it came out too.

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jaydubmah
+4 Andrew Major AJ Barlas goose8 Sean Chee
jaydubmah  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:42 a.m.

I made a pact to never buy a Giant again after that ridiculous Overdrive cash grab fiasco. 

The only thing dumber than overdrive was Padloc grips.

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AndrewMajor
+3 jaydubmah goose8 Lynx .
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:57 a.m.

I see your Padloc grips and raise you any fully proprietary - fully writing off a bike - shock that’s no longer supported - Scott Equalizer, (some versions of the) Specialized Brain, Cannondale Dyad.

But yeah, Padlock and Overdrive are horrible.

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tehllama42
+1 jaydubmah
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:33 a.m.

Jay, I really thought I'd struggle holding to the same pact I made... but they keep churning out mediocre bikes that somehow cost a bit too much for the number of components that come bearing a 'Giant' sticker on them out of the box.  Admittedly those house brand products (especially rims, bars) have gotten better, but they're not turning that into a price advantage, just turned it into extra profit margin.

Padloc is dumb, but you're at most writing off a bar (that can still just be shortened and resold to somebody smaller) and some grips (wear item), so it's a lot less painful.

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toddball
+1 Cam McRae
toddball  - Jan. 5, 2021, 9:47 a.m.

I miss bowling :(

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jt
+1 Andrew Major
JT  - Jan. 5, 2021, 10:13 a.m.

I love these crystal ballin' articles. Nice touch of the nostalgia with the BottleRocket too, my 2nd fave bike after my 05 Bullit. 

A bit to ponder about stays is the longer they are, the less clearance you have on the tire when rolling in the low gear. My experience on that comes from setting up a couple friend's longtail cargo bikes, be they Surly Big Dummy's or Xtracycle bolt on units, and in looking at fitting a wider rim on my RSD V2 Sergeant. Longer stays decrease the chain gap between the tire. Granted, the long tails and 3.8 tire on the RSD are on the extreme end of things. I don't have enough data to see how a standard boost back end with a 2.6 tire and a set of say 40mm internal width rims fit up, but color me curious.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Mammal JT
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:39 p.m.

I love all the comments/conversations.

I think if 1x drivetrains had come earlier Santa Cruz would still be selling single pivot Superlights, Hecklers, and Bullits. Not saying they wouldn’t have still gone hard-vpp but all those bikes were a1x kinematics and a slow geometry evolution from being relevant today - just look at how many companies are more than getting it done basically making the same thing.

The only problem is the simple single pivots + a good shock would have easily competed with the multi-link bikes for way less money.

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jt
+1 Andrew Major
JT  - Jan. 6, 2021, 6:43 a.m.

Totally on point on the 1x. Look at the high pivot units and faux bars that actually pedal well, and let's not forget the sweeeeet  (IMO) steel single pivots that are popping out of the UK & EU.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:41 p.m.

Yeah, when I look at pictures of sweet steel single pivots as I can easily see myself riding a custom one with 100-110mm rear travel, 130mm front travel, and a wheelbase that rivals some DH machines. It's all I can do to keep from sending an e-mail to get the ball rolling. I could have the 460mm stays I want combined with a seat tube angle I can pedal.

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tehllama42
+2 Andrew Major lewis collins
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:22 a.m.

This has just reinstalled me comfortably on the fence about keeping my 2014 Rocky Mtn Instinct as a 150/130mm 29er, or doing the long-shock & mullet dance to make it a 160/155mm 29/650B unit on coil suspension at both ends.  
I'll probably just throw Saint brakes at my already 203/180mm rotor setup, and keep rocking 11spd XT and eTRS Cassette, because I can't be bothered to find an issue with how awesome that setup has been for me.

As awesome as some new bikes (Vitus Escarpe - $4200USD for Fox Factory and SLX!) are, I'm still super-content with my current setup, and can throw even more money at bling where it's not already fully off the chain (carbon frame, cranks, rims, bars, seat rails, even bottle cage) and still be money ahead.

I do feel like 12x148mm sticking around has merit, as much as I hated it before, the fact that I can boostinate my 12x142mm hardware actually makes that a comparatively more appealing option, even though I feel that 12x157 was practically a better bit of solution space to the same problem, especially if we accepted that we'd be changing standards on freehubs and crank Q anyway, we'd already have viable 14-speed drivetrains.

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Bushpilot
+1 Andrew Major
Bushpilot  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:44 a.m.

Hi Andrew. Are you aware of anyone making carbon levers for the Cura brakes? I recently switched to Cura 4s and they've been great but I definitely noticed the cold levers as compared to the carbon levers on my old brakes.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:29 p.m.

No, I wish. I’m at the point of the year I’d absolutely buy a pair!

Actually the other day I was snooping to see if maybe anyone else’s carbon lever would fit. I don’t see an option.

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AJ_Barlas
+1 Andrew Major
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:03 p.m.

Is there a solution that can be wrangled onto a current alloy lever without making it big and fat? My fingers have been bloody cold at the bottom of a few descents of late. Been pondering but haven’t hit anything that wont add unwanted girth to the lever…

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:08 p.m.

Plasti Dip works for cold but adds girth, same as any of the slip-on covers. I haven't found a good solution yet.

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khai
0
khai  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:11 p.m.

>> Plasti Dip works for cold but adds girth, same as any of the slip-on covers. I haven't found a good solution yet.

Damn...  I was just going to recommend trying that - only paining it on rather than dipping.  Might get a thinner coat that way?

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JBV
0
James Vasilyev  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:45 p.m.

i wear gloves to address this issue.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:31 p.m.

I wear gloves too... even 100% Brisker gloves with metal brake levers... but the difference between carbon lever blades and metal lever blades is still amazing. It's the one place on a bike I can easily justify carbon.

tehllama42
+3 cheapondirt Lynx . Sanesh Iyer
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:45 p.m.

It's ghettoAF, but heat shrink might actually be a plausible answer.  Also, hockey tape is seriously underrated  (something I find odd, as an American nerd, to be telling to canucks) for MTB application

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cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Jan. 5, 2021, 8:08 p.m.

Heat shrink sounds like a great idea!

I've just got a little skateboard grip tape on my levers for control in the wet, but after I put it on I noticed even that slowed down the heat transfer a little.

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 6, 2021, 6:16 a.m.

I may try some hockey tape to see if it does anything. Thanks!

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:47 p.m.

Back in the late ‘80s we had Rokko Lever Skins. It was a motorcycle product. Two skins in an air sealed package was enough for four bicycle levers. You slipped the skin over the brake lever and they would shrink when exposed to air. Really durable. I don’t recall them being much warmer during Toronto winters though.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:27 p.m.

Andy, there are lots of 'lever skin' style products still out there but most of them are overly thick or offer nothing in terms of managing cold. 

Of all the places on my bike, brake levers make the most sense for carbon/plastic.

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 6, 2021, 6:15 a.m.

I feared such a response. Damn it.

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Ceecee
+1 Andrew Major
Ceecee  - Jan. 6, 2021, 9:27 a.m.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 7, 2021, 6:53 p.m.

Apparently new for 2021. Great find!

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cheapondirt
+2 Andrew Major ChocolateThunder
cheapondirt  - Jan. 5, 2021, 11:58 a.m.

Bring the mullets... As long as this simplification you mention doesn't mean they stop making 27.5 front tires or 29 rear tires.

I know, no such thing as a front or rear tire, but those with such intent.

My 26/27.5 mullet setup is already stuck with one wheel that has almost no tire options since the 26+ dream withered.

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tehllama42
+2 Andrew Major Sean Chee
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:01 p.m.

As somebody who runs DHR-II tires out front, I do agree that it's a worry, if a small one.

I have found that in the desert southwest, semislick out back is worth the tradeoffs, and I can make up for its biggest deficiency (braking) with the DHR2 out front.

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Jan. 9, 2021, 9:12 p.m.

I’m a big fan of DHR in the front and minion SS out back. I’ve ridden this combo for the last 18 months on both of my bikes. I have assegai and aggressor on the shelf atm because they didn’t work out as nicely for me as DHR and SS.

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AndrewMajor
+1 lewis collins
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:32 p.m.

Maxxis apparently loves a big SKU count. I’m actually curious how many $$ per tire just goes into making, storing, and tracking 83x versions of every tread pattern they make.

DHR2/DHF aren’t going anywhere in any size - once ‘rona inventory shocks are over of course.

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tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:21 p.m.

That has to be costing them money - I don't know why they haven't just condensed to making the OEM Dual-Compoint stuff in just Six tire designs (DHF, DHR, Ardent, Ikon, RekonRace, Asspen), because those tires cover the entire gamut of what should be on an OEM bike and have good enough tread designs to work well despite harder rubber.

Also, I don't know how big the market really is for $65 tires that aren't the best variety (as compared to the $70 option with all the bells and whistles), so they'd probably be money ahead simplifying those also, just take out the mid-range stuff that doesn't move a lot - make more of the 3C fully-baller stuff, and make even stickier MaxxSticc stuff that wears out quickly, but is glorious while it lasts.

I would like the 'rona to cull the inventory of mediocre tires, just focus on the good stuff - I can live with it still costing the same amount, just don't have it to where LBS's are stuck carrying four year old oddball tires that are 90% of the price and 70% of the capability.

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cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Jan. 5, 2021, 6:59 p.m.

They did discontinue the 26x2.8 size, which I liked a lot.

Not sure if the WTB Ranger is fit to fill those shoes (maybe in summer), but it seems there's not much else out there for big 26" rubber.

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AndrewMajor
+2 cheapondirt JT
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:10 p.m.

Dirt Wizard in a 26x3?

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cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:38 p.m.

Great suggestion. Have you ridden it, does it roll ok?

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jt
+2 Andrew Major cheapondirt
JT  - Jan. 6, 2021, 6:37 a.m.

It handles very much like a DHF, which shouldn't be a surprise by its appearance. Rode the 29er version on my old Krampus. They list em as 3.0 but they run smaller than that, I'd say closer to a 2.7.

BC_dreaming
+2 ChocolateThunder Sean Chee
BC_dreaming  - Jan. 5, 2021, 12:51 p.m.

Another comment in favor of dual crowns.  Axle-to-crown for a given travel is shorter on a dual crown.  A 180mm travel Zeb = 596mm.  180mm travel BoXXer = 582mm.

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khai
0
khai  - Jan. 5, 2021, 2:12 p.m.

I'd like to mullet my (metal) '19 GG Shred Dogg/Megatrail, but I can't quite pull the trigger on the investment cost. While I don't really think it would open up any new terrain or enable me to ride anything I can't already manage on dual 27.5 hoops, I do think that the bigger wheel up front would make certain moves easier - and perhaps add a bit of additional insurance for those times when by brain turns off. The last time that happened (just over 2 weeks ago) it cost me a fractured rib and some strained intercostals - and very likely 8-12 weeks off the bike...

I'd be curious to build up a long travel eBike with a dual crown fork, but I don't have any significant complaints re: my Pike Ultimate or MRP Hazzard Coil for my acoustics. I don't even care about the weight as long as it can still navigate tight switchbacks while climbing.

"One bike to rule them all" is a lovely idea - but will never happen in my world. In my *perfect world a nice stable includes a minimum of: [DJ && aggressive HT && mid travel FS mullet && long travel eBike && road tourer && cheap (or cheap looking) rat/around town basher]

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DanL
+1 Andrew Major
DanL  - Jan. 5, 2021, 3:42 p.m.

But, but, but which brake for the Sea to Sky ?
So glad I had the opportunity to try out MT7s, back on Codes in a "run 'em till I break 'em' as they are an excellent baseline with dreamy bleeding, would love to try the Curas and the Hayes too. Possibly Hope V4s but the lack of parts puts me off.

If all that separates them at this kind of pricepoint is the 'feel' then they all fall into the same box. But are MT5s as good as MT7s for stopping, but are let down by aesthetics and lever feel? Because the price differential is quite large.

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khai
0
khai  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:34 p.m.

I LOVE the feel of my Hope Tech 3 V4s but they're a dirty sonofabitch to bleed and keep feeling on-point.  My MT5s feel "almost" as good and are a snap to bleed/almost never need service.  I also like the fact that they're mineral oil rather than DOT.  Overall power seems to be pretty similar (203 rotors f/r).  The composite levers of the MT5s are also nicer when it's cold out.  ;p 

My understanding with the MT7s is that they're more adjustable and you can swap in different levers that won't work with the MT5s.  I like that in concept but would almost certainly never pay to try them all.  [GREAT article here: https://www.vojomag.com/test-magura-mt7-4-leviers-3-paires-de-plaquettes-et-2-disques-sur-le-terrain/]  The brakes themselves cost about double so it's a tough sell for me.  I'll stick with my MT5s until something truly compelling comes along.

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AndrewMajor
+1 goose8
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 4:45 p.m.

MT7 is made in Germany and compatible with a whole range of lever options. MT5 has two blade shapes (HC and straight). MT5 comes with the solid pads, I pull the front and go four individual pads on day #1 and burn the long pads out on the back. Yes, MT5 is the best value. I think it’s actually the best value big-brake on the whole market with a solid challenge from CODE R.

In a full-on tossup, honestly can’t decide, living in the Sea To Sky, price no object, not swayed by carbon lever blades: I think you have to go Cura4. Great brakes, fully rebuildable, and very well supported out of Whistler via Alba Distribution.

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DanL
+2 Andrew Major goose8
DanL  - Jan. 5, 2021, 5:25 p.m.

This is great, thank you. The comments sections are as rich and useful as the articles themselves, thank you for your replies.

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AJ_Barlas
+1 Andrew Major
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:11 p.m.

FYI. Alba are in Squamish now. 🙂

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 5, 2021, 7:13 p.m.

Ah, I knew Matt had moved but didn't notice that the whole outfit had. Thanks for the update!

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DanL
+1 AJ Barlas
DanL  - Jan. 5, 2021, 8:29 p.m.

even less far to go to get the gold shiny precioussessss

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AJ_Barlas
+2 Andrew Major goose8
AJ Barlas  - Jan. 6, 2021, 6:19 a.m.

Matt‘s still in Whistler (or was early December) Ben lives here and they moved to a space down here late last year. They needed more space. Great to see them growing!

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Abies
+1 Andrew Major
Simon Apostol  - Jan. 6, 2021, 8:40 a.m.

Haha, my rich college roommate had one of those PBR bottlerockets. Truly one of the ugliest bikes I’ve ever seen. He also never rode it and was kind of a jerk so I have bad associations all around. Probably because my formative years were doing long backcountry rides in the Rocky Mountains, the ultimate Transition to me will always be the TransAm 29er. But then again at the time I was big into XC 29er hard tails with like 74 degree head angles so...

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Shoreloamer
+2 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian
Greg Bly  - Jan. 6, 2021, 1:35 p.m.

I see all these change of standards as a good thing. We are all different . What will 2023 bring . New  and improved in minor increments.  The used market is saturated with goodies that aparantly are not  new and improved enough. Boost is needed for 29 inch wheels. I always looked at 29er bikes and thought wow those chainstays look short! the bikes have evolved since then.  its a shame every new bike follows the same trends. A short wheelbase bike will be less stable but much more fun if you like teck . I have been looking at the Cove G spot. The VPP version. Yep its a vintage . So much fun hunting down parts . Im serious  non boost wheels with Criss king hubs maybe some Hope pro 4 . You dont know untill the hunt begins. As long as the standards keep changing i can pick up sweet parts for a song compared to brand new parts. That said the new Deore drive train with SLX brakes mated to a used XTR shifter is affordable and will have outstanding performance. If I can find an eight speed shifter to go with my Sunrace wide range cassette and a wolf tooth front chainring made from steel. Most modern bikes are homogenous  clones with minor differences . I like mixing the old with the new.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 6, 2021, 3:48 p.m.

Is it too cheeky to post something about friction thumb shifters?

I haven’t tried it myself, but apparently an old 8spd SRAM trigger works well enough with a 10spd/11spd Shimano clutch derailleur.

A 9spd SRAM derailleur will definitely drive with either option well enough - that I have done.

Appreciate your upcycled builds Greg!

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Lynx
0
Lynx .  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:46 a.m.

Don't know about the 8spd, but know that the 9spd SRAM let's you run 10spd Shimano to get the clutch, that's a for sure and expect since you can run a 11spd Shimano RD with 10spd Shimano shifter and have good shifting, would expect it would also work with an 11spd RD.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:33 p.m.

I've run SRAM 9spd with both Shimano 11spd and Shimano 10spd. It isn't perfect but it's good.

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HeadOverHandlebars
+1 Andrew Major
Adam Grice  - Jan. 7, 2021, 7:20 p.m.

On the subject of longer chainstays, a regular at my local park built himself a dh frame with 510mm chainstays. I think the reach is around 460 or so, but I could be wrong. It’s a pretty wild looking bike and it seems to work pretty well, despite being radically different from any other bike on the mountain. 

I just went from a Kona Process 167 to a Pole Evolink 176 for my main park bike and am a long bike convert, at least for dh. The Kona is a hoot on flatter trails, but when it gets crazy steep the Pole is way more composed. 

I think that we’re reach-ing the limit on reach, (see what I did there?) and that there needs to be a corresponding shift in chainstay length, and maybe even bring the front center back in a little bit. Plus I need a better excuse for not being able to manual. 

Of course this is just me talking out my ass, and different terrains and riding styles demand different bikes, but it is fun to talk about

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:46 p.m.

Any photos? Would love to see it.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:02 a.m.

Thanks, that is super cool!

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HeadOverHandlebars
+1 Andrew Major
Adam Grice  - Jan. 9, 2021, 4:08 a.m.

And my Pole for good measure

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Morox
+3 Andrew Major Sanesh Iyer Sun Hester
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:54 p.m.

Stoked to read your thoughts on the Titan...I have a V3 Rune and am flat impressed at the versatility of this big bike. I built it up thinking it would be a longer-than-I-need trail bike for local riding in Oregon and really shine for trips north to BC. Amazingly I feel like this bike is as good at all day epics as it is as descending. I actually used it to ride the Oregon Timber Trail, our newish cross-Cascades bikepacking route. 

That said I feel like I’m a Banshee fanboy and am blinded to any negative aspects to their bikes in general, so I’m looking forward to getting a different perspective.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sanesh Iyer
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:03 a.m.

What shock are you running on the Rune?

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sanesh-iyer
0
Sanesh Iyer  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

Would love to see a photo of your Titan bike packing setup.

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Morox
+1 Sanesh Iyer
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 9, 2021, 11:11 a.m.

Sanesh, I’ll see if I can figure out how to upload a picture here...

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Morox
+2 Sanesh Iyer Andrew Major
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 9, 2021, 2:40 p.m.

Here are some pictures of the Rune just after building it up and along the OTT. I didn't mean for it to end up so military-looking but I do like that industrial vibe of Banshee's new bikes. Kind of a nod to their history but futuristic in a Mad Max sorta way.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/191705295@N02/albums/72157717808379376

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sanesh-iyer
+1 Andrew Major
Sanesh Iyer  - Jan. 9, 2021, 2:59 p.m.

That is so awesome. Thank you for sharing. It looks fantastic setup that way. I typically prefer a handle bar bag and a backpack (for sprin/summer/fall trips under 5 days that does me fine) for ride feel. But that frame bag looks great in there. Is it custom?

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

That looks great!

Morox
+2 Sanesh Iyer mrbrett
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 10, 2021, 7:01 a.m.

Thanks guys! Yeah I sewed the frame pack. It’s surprisingly easy to do.

Morox
0
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 9, 2021, 11:11 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

sanesh-iyer
0
Sanesh Iyer  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

Morox
+1 Andrew Major
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 9, 2021, 11:09 a.m.

Factory X2 in back. Considering coil, maybe the Marz option, but I’m just not feeling an urgent need to change the setup.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:46 p.m.

Looks like a 2020 Float X2? I had good experiences with those; not loving the redesigned "better in every way" 2021 version. Been running the Titan with my CCDB Coil CS shock and a Suntour TriAir and happy both ways. I don't care about weight much so if it was my bike it would be the CCDB for sure.

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Morox
0
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 10, 2021, 7:03 a.m.

Sweet, good to hear you’re liking the coil shock on that frame, which I think shares similar progression as the Rune. Yeah, it’s a 2020 float X2 on mine, no complaints!

A coil shock is tempting though and it’s funny how varied our options are, from a $300 marzocchi to an EXT storia for the price of some frames. Glad to hear you like the CCDB, nice to support local-ish manufacturing. This is a tangient but that’s what initially attracted me to We Are One for my first carbon wheelset. 

I’ll watch for your Titan review.

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Morox
0
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:54 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

Morox
0
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:55 p.m.

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Morox
+1 Andrew Major
Brian Moreaux  - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:55 p.m.

Also I have a Kelly Green Bottlerocket hanging in my garage, full marzocchi coil. Such a rad bike for its time.

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Speeder1
+2 Andrew Major Sun Hester
Speeder1  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:50 p.m.

My next bike '21 and '22 will almost certainly be the one I'm currently riding, a '19 Yeti SB150, size L, for me at 6'2. Hopefully it'll go strong through '23! Its ready for a new SI after 2 hard seasons of thrashing. No complaints, suspension is a wear item. Gonna freshen this rig up for spring. 

Plenty of front end traction with its short rear stays, 480 reach, and 50mm stem. I think you guys have more real steep stuff up ur way then we do here in SW CO, USA, so I can understand why the 50mm stem might seem too long for ya.  Would I like a flip chip to add 10mm to the rear end? Sure, but it ain't a deal breaker. Want more front traction? Try adding 10mm to ur stem on ur current bike. 

200mm 6 bolt centerline rotors with Code rsc squeezers. There is one trail here where they get cooked, that'd be Haflin Creek, but really no where else. They are reliable and consistent with reasonable modulation. 

One bike for me. This season was a switch back from DD rear, EXO plus front casings to sub 1kg tires. Yes, I got a few rear flats. But man, those tires with the thin casings roll and the bike feels so light and snappy!!! 

If ya haven't tried the Vittoria stuff lately, consider it. Their 'trail' weight casings have a neat sidewall insert. Its an aramid strip that lives along the bead inside the casing and sticks up about 1/3 of the way up the sidewall, then stops, leaving a compliant zone in there for sidewall flex and hence fast rolling while still supporting the sidewall.  I've been liking the Mazza 2.4 in the rear paired with a DHF EXO 3C 2.5 front. Maybe Vittoria is on to something? They do know about rolling resistance, having won more TDF stages this year than any other tire. WTB does something similar with the 'inner piece.'

Mullet? Nah. Stickin with the wagoon wheels. 

Fun comments from all! 

Great points about tuning and maintaining ur current bike before convincing yourself you need a new one.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sanesh Iyer
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:57 p.m.

HAHAHAHAHA! So, originally I was going to include a cheeky little addendum at the bottom with some exceptions but for various reasons, I cut it. One of them was going to be:

Exception: Yeti owners. Yeti owners will continue to ride their existing Yeti "forever" until Yeti introduces an updated version and then they'll buy that. This is particularly challenging for Yeti owners will multiple bikes as one updated Yeti is always a harbinger to pending updates to the entire lineup. 

SB150 is an awesome machine that is happy to play any number of roles. SI links will last longer if you ignore the grease ports and pull the SI system out and clean/grease it by hand. It doesn't take much time at all.

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andy-eunson
+1 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - Jan. 9, 2021, 7:51 p.m.

As someone who rides a Trek with a knock block I can confirm that the lack of turn radius is a non issue. There are a couple of uphill corners where I come close to knocking my block but never on any downhill trails here in Whistler. Dual crown for longer travel forks only makes sense. No one in their right mind buys a long travel bike for it’s climbing prowess. Or lack thereof.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Andy Eunson
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:47 p.m.

Totally my experience with Knock Block as well as it was with running a Lefty. My only concern is knee contact and I just don't think that will be an issue with how long frames are now.

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andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Jan. 10, 2021, 12:56 p.m.

I remember chasing a rider over the Second Narrows bridge years ago. I was slowly catching him. He kept looking back and stood up to sprint. Went down hard. He said was OK when I asked him. He said his baggy shorts caught the top of his stanchion and hauled him down. Ouch.

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Bad-Sean
+2 Andrew Major Andy Eunson
Sean Chee  - Jan. 9, 2021, 9:25 p.m.

Now that geometry doesn’t condemn riders to knee strikes, there is really no reason for dual crowns to not be on bikes 160mm travel and up.

I’m tall and heavy. There are very real benefits for me that I’m sure also exist for riders with less static load but more dynamic load. 

The 300gm delta between boxxer and zeb can easily be dealt with over a few seasons of development. This will be even less when you consider the direct mount stems have the potential to be lighter than the units we run now on SC bikes.

I plan on getting a 170-180mm 27.5” bike like a norco shore and throwing a DC on it. An OEM boxxer or suntour/dorado if I can find one cheap, will grace the front and I will be a happy boy.

I’ve also been on 220mm rotors at the front for almost two years, I can’t remember precisely. I am about to install one on my 130mm “XC” bike that I put 100km+ on each week.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Andy Eunson
Andrew Major  - Jan. 9, 2021, 10:49 p.m.

This. Between designing dual crown forks for the (slightly) lighter applications v. bike park / DH racing and the integrated stems the weight difference would be even less than it is now and I don't feel that's a big deal.

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Jan. 9, 2021, 9:25 p.m.

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Suns_PSD
+1 Andrew Major
Sun Hester  - Jan. 10, 2021, 9:26 a.m.

Great article!

Here is what I see:

- Superboost will go away.

- Short chainstays on 29ers will go away, but not necessarily on Mullets and size small bikes. But from personal experience, short chainstays are terrible on a size L or XL 29er.

- For an aggressive bike, Mullet is absolutely the correct choice for a size Medium bike.

- Brakes absolutely need to get stronger, but I really don't think this requires a 223mm front rotor to do so.

- DC forks aren't happening and this was the one kick I was really on. The Mezzer & the Era Forks simply make them not neccessary. The EXT SC appears to me more rigid than the MORC DC for instance.

Let's talk gears though. A light weight, better clearance wide ratio 9-48 11 speed AXS/ Hyperglide sure would be helpful.

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Torlael
0
Torlael  - Jan. 11, 2021, 12:17 p.m.

I certainly love cycling, but I am interested in the opinion of several people. Is cycling considered dangerous? I think yes. You can shoot down a person. Therefore, people say that you need to be careful not only driving a car but also driving a bicycle. My friend was driving along the road at night when he accidentally ran over a fox. He took her home, of course, and tried to heal her wounds somehow. But the next morning she was dead. Then my friend ordered at https://www.amazon.com/Vont-Rechargeable-Illumination-Resistant-Accessories/dp/B078TB9TMK flashlight for the handlebar of the bike.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 11, 2021, 12:37 p.m.

Compared to what? Knitting? Rollerblading naked down the steepest roads in San Francisco?

Mountain Biking on gnarly terrain is considered an activity that requires strong focus, solid risk assessment, and a lot of personal responsibility. 

I really like Wade Simmon’s Pick-Apart videos as I think he explains progression very well. There’s one on the front page of NSMB right now if you’re interested.

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Torlael
0
Torlael  - Jan. 11, 2021, 12:17 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

Skeen
0
Skeen  - Jan. 11, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

Skeen
+1 Andrew Major
Skeen  - Jan. 11, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

This conversation continues to tempt me to put a DC on my current FS rig, a 2018 (metal) Megatrail. If I pull the trigger on this I would also likely put a 29 on front to go mullet. It would just be a rather expensive experiment if I ended up not liking it better than my current setup, and would go against my “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it... or replace it” mentality. But it’s fun to think about! I’ll be keeping my eye out for a good deal on a DC 29er fork anyway...

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AndrewMajor
+1 Skeen
Andrew Major  - Jan. 11, 2021, 12:34 p.m.

Neither is particularly lightweight, but both the Dorado from Manitou and DVO’s Onyx DC 29 can be easily / cheaply lowered to dial in travel.

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