The current 'cheap Chinese' rims are far better in quality that a few years
back. For those considering a $2400 USD wheelset, consider how many wheelsets
with $150 USD carbon rims you could build with 95% of the quality of
ENVE/Reynolds instead. My LightBicycle carbon rims are dead true compared to
my NoTubes Crests … same hardtail 29'er, same XC race courses, same stage
races. Would rather have a few spare sets of wheels in the garage (and extra $
in your pocket) vs. futzing with cross-border warranty claims.
The more suspension you have, the less tubeless matters. However, there is a
massive difference in tire performance downwards from trail bike to XC to
cyclocross to road as compared to a tube'd setup. Downhill and enduro is moot
given the width and sidewall thicknesses of the tires. Fatbikes are better
tubeless just to save the 1200g in tube weight. All setups leak air - tubes,
tubeless and tubulars. Pretty rare to get away without checking your air
pressure in any of these configurations. Tubeless technology is quite good
when considering the design limitations and field-serviceability.
Tubeless/bike tires could go the same direction as car tires but the rims
would be 2x as thick and we'd need a hydraulic ram to seat the bead. Can't see
too many riders lining up with their carbon hoops to wrestle on a tire with a
crowbar just to avoid using a few ounces of tire sealant. If you want better
sealant performance, add glitter to Stan's or buy some Orange Seal (glitter
Competition breeds innovation and improvement (gear, technical skills, fitness
and sales). Racing is part of competition - so is Strava, challenging each
other in the bike park or calling shotgun for the ride home. Replace each
reference of 'racing' in this article with 'competition' and Seb nails it.
Interesting that Shimano goes with the seemingly clunky bottom bracket - crank
- frame - massive battery combo for this application vs. a sleek seat-tube
motor retrofit kit. The seat tube motor gives out ~100W for 60min - more of a
pedal assist than an e-bike/e-motorbike but would fit most needs. If you need
the bike the pedal for you, is it still cycling?
Current interface only works with Shimano cranks and is far cleaner than
buying yet another bike.
Are the ever-changing MTB 'standards' a measure of 'design maturity',
'tradition' or 'naïve consumers'? With the exception of the burst of bottom
bracket 'standards' a few years back, road bike design has remained relatively
the same - double diamond frame, 9mm QR. Granted, companies are now pushing
thru-axels, disc brakes and 1x drivetrains …. sounds familiar. Cyclocross is
an interesting case study - disc brakes are far more common in North America
but even US pros (who are quoted as pro-disc … looking at you J-Pow) ride
cantilevers when in Europe. Euros (for the most part - unless the bike
supplier no longer offers a canti option - e.g. Giant/Liv), are still racing
cantis. Rather than finding new customers, seems the current approach is to
shear all existing riders again for a 'necessary upgrade'.
Sally - check your data. The Giant Liv bikes actually have different
geometries than their male counterparts (as an example - compare the Anthem
vs. Lust - shorter top tube + lower standover).
Santa Cruz isn't doing much of anything to address women's fit issues - it's
the same bike, same geometry with a tapered handlebar (which apparently
doesn't fit standard grip/brake clamp diameters and needs to be changed out
anyway). A crank length difference of 2.5mm is relatively immaterial. This is
women's specific? It's Malibu Stacy with a different hat.
If you ran a bike shop, would you stock the 5010 and a few tapered handlebars
to fit all potential buyers (male and female)? or would you stock the 5010 and
Furtado and isolate half your potential buyers? Then make a few additional $
when the female buyer returns to upgrade the handlebar/grips because the
shifters/brakes are slipping all over the place?
Boutique brands are 'supposed' to fill a niche - especially when Juliana is
proporting itself as 'The Original Women's Mountain Bike'. Would painting a
car pink make it a 'women's specific' car? It has a tapered steering wheel.
Bizarre marketing strategy by Santa Cruz. Take a gender-neutral frameset,
decal it 'women-specific', add poorly compatible small diameter
handlebar/grips and effectively eliminate 50% of the initial purchaser/resale
audience (I.e. how many males will ride a Juliana?).
Rather, could have stuck with a single Santa Cruz decal set, add a jazzier
base paint frame colour option, spec the small frames with 172.5 mm cranks and
sell a 'women's-specific' conversion kit (handlebar/grips/seat) as an option.
Now that we know the Juliana's are rebadged Santa Cruz rigs, why would you buy
one? To lose all the resale value when can only attract a female buying
Not to mention the questionable spec (Shimano XT?) on a >$6K build.