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This is an interesting article and I know exactly what you're talking about even though I don't test bikes. When I got my Aurum HSP, it was fresh, it was hype, and people asked me questions about it all the time.
But I've also owned a one of a kind steel 160mm or so 29er with fairly modern geo since 2017. No one gives a shit about it. I almost never get asked what I'm riding, what that is, etc. I've spent days at bike parks, long pedals in busy areas, and nothing. When I take it to the shop, I certainly get some questions there (and a suitable amount of ribbing from my colleagues), but in the field? Almost nothing.
For whatever reason, this past Thanksgiving set a new record of people asking me about the bike in a single day. We were pedaling the Whistler valley because bike park lines have been way too long these days. Not one, but two people asked me about it! Both asked if it was a Starling though so maybe I should just applaud that UK company for gaining some North American notoriety (for the record - my bike is a Daambuilt Horst like bike, not single pivot).
I suppose it all comes down to what matters to most riders. It takes a serious bike nerd to even look at what someone else is riding, let alone recognize it as something fresh or new. I think a lot of riders go through a phase where they do this for a season or two, but then burn out on all the info and just ride. In the age of all these new DTC companies (many European) that you've never heard of, it isn't weird to see stuff you don't recognize too often. I usually notice, but people who follow all the online bike releases, read reviews when they aren't shopping, and generally keep up with this stuff are I suspect a tiny minority of the overall population of riders. Especially in the Sea to Sky.
PS - the Shore ended up way cooler looking than I originally thought it would be. It's been in the back of my head as something I want since the release date. I know it's not though (as something else coming is way more up my alley) but damn does it look like a nifty bike.
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