Santa Cruz didn't think so...
This is taken from an email from Santa Cruz about why certain new "features" were left out of 2012 models. It shows a refreshing point of view that is not only beneficial to SC in terms of reduced design and manufacturing costs, but also to the consumer who is not forced into new technology with little or no benefit.
It's either some true common sense out there, or a really good "anti-marketing" marketing strategy. Or does Santa Cruz totally miss the mark and is failing to accept new technologies that truly deliver a benefit?
We didnít use a press-fit bottom bracket. Couldíve saved a few more grams if we had ditched the trusty old thread-in standard BB, but we still cling to the outdated notion that bikes should enjoy a long life, be easily serviceable throughout that life, and be able to be serviced by people with regular tools found in most bike shops. That may have cost us a few grams, but we are okay with it.
We didnít go to a 142x12mm rear thru-axle. Weíre still using good old fashioned 135mm q.r dropouts. Since we have a suspension design that features a very solid one-piece rear triangle, there isnít any measurable benefit to be gained (for us) from going to thru-axles. Weíve tested the heck out of them, with and without, and the difference in strength and flex is negligible (for us). Thru-axle wheels also tend to weigh more than q.r wheels, so while it may be a good call on bikes that have several individual pieces of frame that are all bolted together at or near the rear axle, it doesnít make that much sense to us yet. Also, in XC race thinking, we feel the ability to swap out training wheels for race wheels, or fix a flat lightning fast, or slap a spare wheel in from another bike in a pinch, is still something worth holding onto.
We didnít use a post mount for the rear brake caliper. Nothing against the things, unless you have a need to face your brake mount, or if you accidentally strip out the threads in the post mount hole. The casting precision on modern forks is pretty impressive, but weíre still not convinced that going post-mount on the rear is necessary Ė zero weight savings, and a whole new dimension of added headache if a caliper isnít machined just right or if the mount isnít exactly where it is supposed to be, or if a rider wants to run a rotor size other than what came with the bike.
We didnít build an integrated seat mast into the frame. Being able to adjust your seat height is rad. Being able to fit your bike into a bike box is rad. Being able to one day sell your bike to someone who isnít your clone is also rad.
Thereís a common theme with all these points. Itís not a sexy theme, and it is real hard to fit it into a bullet point on a brochure. Basically, we believe that function trumps fashion. It is more important to us that our bikes are sensibly built, that parts can be easily sourced, and that our bikes can be easily serviced, than it is to jump on every new market trend that comes along in the hopes of snagging a few more sales. We throw a massive amount of technology into our bikes Ė our carbon fiber process is at the peak of how that technology is being applied to bicycles, our pivot hardware is the most sophisticated in the industry, and our suspension technology is second to none Ė but almost all of that technology is aimed at quietly doing its job and making our bikes ride better. We think that matters more than trend hopping.
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