I wanted to deal with a couple of things that you said. Apologies for the partial quote.
One of the main points of the article is that hub and wheel manufacturers are starting to focus more resources on making lightweight 15mm hubs and one of the reasons that Rock Shox is making the change is because of this shift in focus from the wheel manufacturers. So…that's where I got that from. From the article. That we're commenting on.
As for "heavily promoting the industry position" and "discounting people's misgivings". Well, we'll deal with the latter first.
I know Stuart. I like Stuart. This isn't a criticism of Stuart. This is a criticism of the mountain biking marketing industrial complex.
I generally read Stuarts articles and enjoy them. I don't really have a problem with how this article was written. But, there are several paragraphs that are dismissive towards Internet grumblings about 15mm. The 9th and 10th paragraph in particular. I don't expect Stuart to read everything on the Internet and take it in and believe it and all that crap. You're right that this story is his opinion. But there are a lot of solid reasons as to why people don't want this standard and why it's not as simple as "nobody is forcing you at gunpoint to buy a 15mm fork". I think Stuart does a good job at the bottom of the article at addressing some of these complaints. But there's still a general feeling to the article that it's only whiners and crackpots that are saying these things.
Now, on to "promoting the industry position". I do think that this is a well researched article. There's lots of facts. There's lots of quotes from relavent experts on the field. But the whole premise of the article feels like a sales pitch. I don't doubt that Stuarts genuine opinion is that 15mm is a useful thing that he's getting behind. But it feels like a team of PR flacks worked him over with a large hammer and a bunch of thumbtacks and just kind of kicked him in the nuts until he starting thinking about things properly.
I really would have no problem if the article was something along the lines of "Wow. I just got this 15mm fork and I really enjoy it and it's filling this perfect niche that I couldn't find before. I realize there's some shortcomings here, but you should check it out if you're this, this and this." Ironically, I think Stuarts ambition to provide as much background and information as possible makes this opinion feel….less personal, we'll call it.
Well, I was going to sit this one out until I read this.
You're welcome to read whatever you want into the article, Dave. You clearly are already. You're wrong, though, if you think I'm promoting the industry position. I think that I have a half-decent understanding of the industry position, and that's a very different thing. It's possible to see where the industry is coming from if you look at the big picture, rather than hunting for conspiracies or collusion where there are none. We're talking about bike companies, not Big Tobacco, for chrissakes.
I was trying to share that position with people who might not normally have access to it. I suspect most of the people on the board haven't talked to a product manager from a suspension company recently.
I do, however, take objection to your accusation that I'm a shill for the suspension companies. I wish I was smart enough to get on both the Fox and RockShox payrolls - simultaneously.
Would I be more credible to you if I took a big shit all over the guys from Fox or RockShox, and talk about how they're trying to screw mountain bikers? How they're trying to impose an unnecessary standard? How the industry should just stop evolving, because some people are happy with the status quo? Would that earn me some respect? I'll be sure to do that, real soon.
It makes no difference to me if anyone ever buys another 15mm fork again. There is a story here, and I was laying it out for people. Without being a dick about it. If that makes me a shill, then stop reading the site. Turn off the computer and go for a ride. On your bike with a 20mm fork.
Not that it really matters, but I'm not the world's biggest fan of 15mm forks. For my type of riding, at least. I also think that some bike companies are doing riders a disservice by spec'ing them on bikes that should actually get a longer-travel fork with a 20mm axle. But let's not let the facts get in the way of some good ol' fashion internet mud slinging.
She said, why don't you stop your crying/
Go outside and ride your bike
- Sliver, Nirvana
"If stars were all that mattered, why would I go to the trouble of writing a review?" - Roger Ebert