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  1. #1
    fc
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    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?

    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?-img_6086.jpg

    Are the full suspension bikes today actually better than a decade ago? Or is it mostly marketing hype?

    What changes do you appreciate the most if any? What do you miss?
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  2. #2
    Big Mac
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    Oh. My. Gawd. Again? Why?

  3. #3
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    Because Enduro.
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  5. #5
    I'm really diggin it!
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    A decade ago I demoed a 29er hard tail with a 72 deg HTA. Now I've got a 27.5 hardtail with a 1209mm wheelbase and much more gravity oriented geo.

    Other than the constantly changing "standards" I don't miss much about 10 years ago.


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    I'm really diggin it!
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    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?

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    Last edited by Davey Simon; 05-19-2017 at 05:54 PM.

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    Boost and internal routing are major game changers. Can't see myself riding a bike without.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Boost and internal routing are major game changers. Can't see myself riding a bike without.



    I guess I'll have to scrap all of mine since none of them have either. Obsoleted again!
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    I think my 27.5 bike from last year is now completely obsolete with the new 28.874 wheel size taking over.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  10. #10
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Oh. My. Gawd. Again? Why?
    Because it's his forum? When you own the place...

    I appreciate my Re:aktiv valved shock a lot. I can stand and pound the pedals on 140mm suspension without it mushing all around, then have it ready to go when things get chunky without having to flip any levers.

    I appreciate 1x drivetrains so I can free up my left thumb to... do whatever. Give "thumbs up" to other bikers?

    I appreciate my dropper post because I didn't think I'd care one way or the other about having one but now I'm a devotee.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Boost and internal routing are major game changers.
    Which game did they change?
    Do the math.

  12. #12
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    Carbon v Alu?

    I know that dinosaur on the left! Thing weighs/ed a ton!!

    Father-in-law owns one, which he converted into a 29er o_0

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  13. #13
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Boost and internal routing are major game changers. Can't see myself riding a bike without.
    Pretty interesting. That's not on my top 10 at all. But cool to hear your view.

    Internal routing is good now on some frames. On others, it's a 3-beer project during installation.

    The only place I notice internal cable routing is the dropper post since that is constantly moving cable. Otherwise, I would only use KS Lev external which is a static cable.
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  14. #14
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Carbon v Alu?

    I know that dinosaur on the left! Thing weighs/ed a ton!!

    Father-in-law owns one, which he converted into a 29er o_0

    Sent from my kltedv using Tapatalk
    34 lbs i think. The blue one on the right is 30. The owner of that alloy Specialized was getting back into riding and asked me what he should look for in a new bike.
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  15. #15
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Because it's his forum? When you own the place...

    I appreciate my Re:aktiv valved shock a lot. I can stand and pound the pedals on 140mm suspension without it mushing all around, then have it ready to go when things get chunky without having to flip any levers.

    I appreciate 1x drivetrains so I can free up my left thumb to... do whatever. Give "thumbs up" to other bikers?

    I appreciate my dropper post because I didn't think I'd care one way or the other about having one but now I'm a devotee.
    Really cool responses.

    Re:aktiv shocks... Trek stopped using them now and they finally believe the shock world has caught up. I kinda agree. Rear shocks now are soooo good. Damping!!

    Thumbs up or finger for the left hand.

    "I don't need a dropper post. I NEVER drop my post." is something I've heard a hundred times.
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  16. #16
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I think my 27.5 bike from last year is now completely obsolete with the new 28.874 wheel size taking over.
    Donate to the local NICA team! I'll take it too!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Which game did they change?
    My sarcasm game.

    But more seriously, if I look back at my 08 Trance, the biggest improvement was replacing it with a bike with front thru-axle. Next is dropper then 1x.

    My new bikes are heavier, yet they climb and ride much better.

  18. #18
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    I enjoy the bigger wheels and disk brakes.

    I'm still riding a hardtail, so I can't speak for FS.

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    Tubeless was a game changer for me, riding in the SW US.

    Not a fan of the entire thing about 26 being replaced by 27.5. I miss having a lot of travel, yet having a short wheelbase that kept things nimble/whippy and playful/springy; now I have to settle with short travel if I want a wheelbase under 45" in med. I miss the crazy acceleration of a superlight 26" bike, flying up punchy climbs.

    Still waiting for the industry to redesign how pedals attach to the bike and redesigning the freehub shell to allow bigger diameter rear axles.

    I welcome electrification of the future. Bring it.

  20. #20
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    Bikes are MUCH more capable today even in a relatively short travel package. This alows everybody to go faster and bigger including the less skilled and experienced. This can equal bigger consequences when things go sideways. Are newer bikes more fun? Yes. Yes they are.
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    26" hard tail from 10 years ago vs my ROS 9... no comparison. I don't even have a dropper yet, and I can't imagine going back. 29" wheels and new geometry is perfect for me.

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    +1 on the thru-axle. Next for me would be DW-Link.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Because it's his forum? When you own the place...

    I appreciate my Re:aktiv valved shock a lot. I can stand and pound the pedals on 140mm suspension without it mushing all around, then have it ready to go when things get chunky without having to flip any levers.

    I appreciate 1x drivetrains so I can free up my left thumb to... do whatever. Give "thumbs up" to other bikers?

    I appreciate my dropper post because I didn't think I'd care one way or the other about having one but now I'm a devotee.
    Lol! I didn't realize it was Francois. You think he'd know better.

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    Hard to remember what we had exactly 10 years ago, but

    -thru axles and droppers as others have said,
    -wider rims & big (non-DH) lighter casing tires
    -better geometry along with more travel (especially for 29ers),
    -wider bars and shorter stems,
    -less of a focus light weight and more focus on strength and capability
    -and (not sure about exactly when rear shocks got significantly better) I remember rear shock pedal platforms like the SPV being pretty bad. Unbelievable how much switching to something that seams ordinary now, like a RP23, changes a bike.

    *edit: and possibly some big innovation in rear suspension designs with that new Marin and other bike with the missing link design there is a thread about on the AM forum.

  25. #25
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    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?

    Regardless of the +size craze, being able to ride fairly lightweight 2.3-2.5 tires with low pressures is huge. So I can add Minion DHFs as one of the bigger improvements.

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    I found the 2007 equivalent of my Yeti SB5c:

    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?-firefox_2017-05-19_21-50-18.jpg

    Or maybe this one:

    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?-sumatrapdf_2017-05-19_21-59-28.jpg

    Instead of a seatstay pivot, my Yeti has an up-n-down slidey bit to make the main pivot higher or lower. Weighs about the same as the alloy Dakar XCT (5.7 lbs). Just everything's beefed up like the XAM with a 1x drivetrain, internal routing and RD clutch. Well, technically my saddle, grips, brake levers, and flat pedals slimmed down.

    Daang, looked up the price of the 1st bike and it's $7500 USD. People discussing things related to suspension were so much worse back then, with people treating their favored susp system as having everything they wanted, without whatever they thought was bad about single pivot.

  27. #27
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    8 years ago i was riding a custom SUUUUPER progressive long travel hardtail with dropper post, tubeless, TOTL fork 20mm fork, and shimano brakes.
    Now i'm riding a slightly conservative long travel hardtail with a dropper post, tubeless, TOTL 15mm fork, and shimano brakes.

    Nope, they're basically the same bike. I had modern geo figured out 8 years ago and i'm glad everyone else is enjoying what i've known for years.


    Modern forks are fkn amazing but the best DH stuff could be repurposed and worked well. 29er's have become a viable option (finally!!!) and maybe i'll get one some day, 650b is success through marketing. 1x is brilliant but the commercial implementation is terrible. Front axles have evolved and caught up with 2004, and rear axles are better but it's a muddled mess for the consumer, which is better than the situation with BBs. Lots of small improvements that negligibly influence the experience. Everyone knows how to do suspension now, but the best stuff in 2006 would still be good today.


    Nowadays everyone makes a pretty amazing bike, and that was NOT the case a decade ago.
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  28. #28
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    A decade ?
    Peeps here are "with it".

    I slept through a decade and then waited another six years to go shopping about 2 months ago.
    Bike 1 to 2 was a decade though. 1991 - 2001 and now, the 17er

    Much as I can tell, old bikes was green
    newer/better one's blue
    and the more recent or best-est bikes of all are red, orange or reddish-orange.
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  29. #29
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    I've been thinking about getting my 2003 Trek Fuel 80 back to riding status to compare...if I ever do I'll report back.
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  30. #30
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    Yes, I'm sure they are. All you have to do is look at the speeds they're capable of in adverse conditions. I think the control provided by the updated suspension alone is better, never mind the possible advances in frame materials or geometry. Speeds that, while perhaps achievable 10 years ago one certain terrains, were well into the realm of "out of control" are now very controlled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Yes, I'm sure they are. All you have to do is look at the speeds they're capable of in adverse conditions. I think the control provided by the updated suspension alone is better, never mind the possible advances in frame materials or geometry. Speeds that, while perhaps achievable 10 years ago one certain terrains, were well into the realm of "out of control" are now very controlled.
    That's a good point. My wife and I share a small fleet that goes back to one of the old Schwinns I used pre-MTB and one of our Fat Chances. She forgets or doesn't realize how the 2016 Remedy 29 is so point and pedal.

    Bikes are also a lot better where you don't have to buy top level parts.

    Still, your bike engine is very important. Last year I spent twice the effort working on my bike engine and some skills. No matter what bike that has me faster and more capable than ever though I'm almost 60 now.
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  32. #32
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    I'll put frame geometry as my biggest. I think that's especially important for bigger-wheeled bikes like 29ers, but I think it makes a big difference for any bike with bigger wheels (of which there are a number of flavors now). The first 29ers I rode bitd (haha) rode like crap. I hated them. It was a number of years ago now, but companies started figuring out how to make 29ers handle better, and now I think they've hit a level of maturity that just works.

    I think the proliferation of good platform pedals has been a very good thing for mtb. It makes mtb more approachable for the casual rider who has no interest in clipless, and to beginners who nevertheless want decent pedals but are intimidated by clipless. Gone are the days of "if you want to be a serious rider, you need clipless pedals" being a valid argument.

    Suspension quality is definitely a lot better across the board. I agree with the statement that just about every major brand is making a great fs bike these days, whereas a decade ago it was still pretty hit-or-miss. And of course that enables bikes with more suspension travel to be excellent all-rounders.

    I agree that bb's are a bit of a mess and I hope that those get cleaned up a bit in coming years.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Boost and internal routing are major game changers. Can't see myself riding a bike without.
    Both created far more hassle than they were worth.


    Suspension improvements and better dropper posts get my vote.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Boost and internal routing are major game changers. Can't see myself riding a bike without.
    Folks, this is sarcasm. Well done.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  35. #35
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    Geometry is so much better than it used to be, and has made me very happy. Shocks and forks are pretty amazing these days, and the control is incredible. One thing you never here around here is "I don't want a dropper". 1X, YES! Better, and bigger tires, I love the 2.5-2.6 plus minus thing. I really enjoyed all my old bikes, and still ride my 98 Explosif with SS, carbon fork, but now it's my townie.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  36. #36
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    I want to know the definition of a "long travel hardtail". Huh?
    One gear for all, 'cus one is all you need.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I want to know the definition of a "long travel hardtail". Huh?
    A hardtail frame designed to work with a burly fork. AKA the best type of bike.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I want to know the definition of a "long travel hardtail". Huh?
    Our Honzo compared to our old Fat Chance. It's long travel if you think a out 120-140 mm forks vs 63-80 mm forks. It's really long travel when I realize how many more miles I can cover or how much faster I can go compared to the old school hard tail.
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  39. #39
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    You guys mean AM hardtail.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    You guys mean AM hardtail.
    Or PM depending on the time of day.

    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
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  41. #41
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    So I ride a 2007 Stumpjumper Expert that just turned 10 this year. I looked up a comparison to the 2017 stumpjumper Expert. As for geometry, head tube angle is 71 degrees versus 67 degrees, but everything else is pretty comparable.

    The biggest differences are the 1x drive train, dropper post, and 27.5+ wheels vs 26" wheels. Both have hydraulic brakes, and the rear shock configuration is, comically, almost identical. I'm not sure how far the internal magic of the shocks themselves has come, but I can't imagine it's really that much better.

    So I'd say the difference in the last 10 years is primarily about wheel size, dropper posts, and 1x drive trains. For fun, debate amongst yourselves how much those things matter.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    So I ride a 2007 Stumpjumper Expert that just turned 10 this year. I looked up a comparison to the 2017 stumpjumper Expert. As for geometry, head tube angle is 71 degrees versus 67 degrees, but everything else is pretty comparable.

    The biggest differences are the 1x drive train, dropper post, and 27.5+ wheels vs 26" wheels. Both have hydraulic brakes, and the rear shock configuration is, comically, almost identical. I'm not sure how far the internal magic of the shocks themselves has come, but I can't imagine it's really that much better.

    So I'd say the difference in the last 10 years is primarily about wheel size, dropper posts, and 1x drive trains. For fun, debate amongst yourselves how much those things matter.
    Personally, just speaking in hardtail terms, may be different on FS? But going from whatever my Niner SIR's HT angle was to the slack ROS was a HUGE difference for me, enough so that I sold the SIR shortly after building the ROS. So, while the other things you note are definitely differences, I would say the HT angle is a pretty big one as well. Funny enough, I always thought slacker was a waste, and only for those crazy DH guys, and resisted it, until I scored a deal on the ROS frame, and am not kicking myself for not seeing the light sooner, despite not being a fan of descending.

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    That's a question I do have - does 4 degrees of head tube angle make a noticeable difference? I'm not sure, but I also ride a 2007 Specialized SX with a 66 degree head angle. I do like the way the SX rolls over everything, but it also has a huge bomber 888 fork and big chunder tires so it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison. Maybe I should test drive a slacker AM bike.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Folks, this is sarcasm. Well done.

    Totally missed that. Thought he was serious and had me rather upset.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I think my 27.5 bike from last year is now completely obsolete with the new 28.874 wheel size taking over.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Curveball again.

    Lol
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    That's a question I do have - does 4 degrees of head tube angle make a noticeable difference? I'm not sure, but I also ride a 2007 Specialized SX with a 66 degree head angle. I do like the way the SX rolls over everything, but it also has a huge bomber 888 fork and big chunder tires so it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison. Maybe I should test drive a slacker AM bike.
    That's what the bike companies would like you to do.
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    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  47. #47
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    Are you kidding??

    1 X 12 with $400 replacement cassettes--nothing says improvement like cutting edge parts with the price to go with

    Clutch RDs and narrow-wide rings

    27.5 plus

    Carbon that lasts more than a season and lighter overall weight--wheels too

    Shimano disc brakes that work better than any bike brake developed to date

    Longer travel bikes under 30 lbs that can actually be pedaled up hills

    66 degree and less head angles that don't flop over (how do they do that??)

    Shorter stand overs on most frames

    Shorter chain stays on both hard tail and full suspension

    30" wide bars

    40mm or less stems

    Dropper posts with internally routed cables

    Through axles front and rear (boost?)

    Flats that grip like clipless if you buy 5-10 shoes

    Maps of the whole forest (just seeing if you're paying attention)


    Honestly, I don't know how we even had fun on bikes before the last 10 years
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
    Well, it's better than "trail" bike. Every single one of my bikes is rode on a trail, but not all of them are good for all the trails on the mountain.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
    Agreed. Which is why I still call everything cross country, if it's not true downhill. Pisses the enduro riders in their monkey suits off, I'm sure.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Or PM depending on the time of day.

    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
    I get tired of pointing this out, but it's a term borrowed from the ski industry. It refers to an all-rounder ski that doesn't suck in the powder, trees, piste, or park. In either words, one that works on the whole mountain.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I get tired of pointing this out, but it's a term borrowed from the ski industry. It refers to an all-rounder ski that doesn't suck in the powder, trees, piste, or park. In either words, one that works on the whole mountain.
    Which doesn't really exist. Thus, most hardcore skiers have a quiver. I often take a couple of pairs and switch up during the day as conditions change if skiing lift served.

    IMO there are too many descriptive terms for mountain biking already. But, yeah, hadn't thought of it but the "all mountain" skiing origin makes sense.

    As far as the topic at hand, my FS bike is 9 years old, so can't say. Loving it after a Push rebuild last year. Definitely upgrade in the next couple of years though, so for me this topic is relevant. (although sounds like maybe beat to death?) Haven't searched, since I am not in the market for a new bike yet. I will say, based on past experience, the technology of the bike is indirectly proportional to the fun had. That's way more about the attitude of the rider.

  52. #52
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    I started riding regularly in 2010. By 2011, I knew what I wanted in a bike, but it didn't exist: Burly, slack, great-pedaling long-travel FS 29er, with clearance for big tires. Oh and long ETT is a must (I'm a clyde and like freakishly long top tubes). In 2013, Banshee came out with the Prime which checked all of the boxes for me (135 travel 29er seemed big at the time, and still gets it done).

    I also wanted a wide-ratio cassette. Had to take care of that one myself.

    I remember waiting until 2014 just to get a 29er fork that didn't flex like a noodle under my 230 lbs. I wanted 36mm stanchions, but was happy to get 34mm stanchions which pretty much solved the problem.

    I'm picky as hell with bikes, but I can't find much to complain about these days. My dropper is even reliable (knock on wood). Still waiting for the right tires, but basically at this point it's up to me to just focus on riding skills and fitness. My bike is real close to exactly what I want in a mountain bike.
    Banshee Prime

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    I'm picky as hell with bikes, but I can't find much to complain about these days.
    I think that has something to do with it as well. Some of us adapt to the bike, whereas others seek out the perfect nuances for their riding style. I'm in the former camp, but understand the desires of the latter.

  54. #54
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    They had most things dialed back in 2008. I built this bike with a dropper, 3x9 XT/XTR 9 years ago. Updated it to XX! the day it came out. Geometry is still relevant for an XC bike today. converted to 27.5 and 22.7lb. Dropper adds 400 grams. Original Crank Brothers jopin is still working although it's in a box now.



  55. #55
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    I'll have to stick my neck out to say this because I don't have the experience to back it up or question it;
    I've read a number of posts or comments on (let's say) shimano brake sets and shifters/drivetrain that complement the components across the entire line. Essentially saying they all work well and smooth as entry level, mid-grade or the upper class gear.

    That may be a ridiculously broad generalization even if it's somewhat accurate but in kind, I'd like to think the industry has moved the bar up many notches for bikes these days. Even on the lower end bikes or price points, people seem to get what they expect and a few predicable compromises. Understandable since most of the dings are weight of the bike and the fork limitations on big bashing drops.
    Even most of the magazines featuring bike tests and buyer guides advise that it's tough to go wrong or a get a bad pick for that first bike or entry into the sub $700 range.

    That's something we can take for granted but it's an exciting time for anyone who see's what's out there if not having been following the trends or market in the past 6 to 8 years.
    IMO, If a $400 bike shifts better and stops better and the range of brands, choices, frame sizes and geometry offers something for everyone, we've come along way from the $800 bikes of a few years ago.

    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  56. #56
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    Still waiting for more 1x-specific frame designs. Whyte and a few others have adopted it to make more robust rear triangles, but the industry is moving so slow as a whole to bring it to mainstream. Even something like the Epic World Cup is a half measure, only increasing the size of the chainstay, and not widening the pivot and seat tube.

    I blame the conservative majority (neo-luddites, not the political party) that the industry's trying to please & market to. Can see them protesting ebikes already; land access isn't even the main topic to them, it's just anti-social prejudice. Wonder what's keeping Shimano from releasing that 14 speed cassette that they've patented before the turn of the millennium? Funny how SRAM pretty much has made it work, but is milking the incremental gear counts. They're doing it right at least, by promoting it first with top racers, to generate market demand.

    Well, at least the smaller things like more reliable bearings, bushings (ex. rear shock eyelets), and better seals (ex. SKF seals in susp) aren't being held back by the market. A market that seems to happily spend 3x on fancy carbon parts ($2000+ on top end carbon wheels, $450 on carbon cranks, $150 on carbon handlebars), for what benefit? Well, I'll learn why when I buy these parts used for less than half the MSRP, which is the kind of value I can live with (doubt I'll find RF Next SL cranks used for under 225, but I will happily live with my Shimano SLX cranks).

  57. #57
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    Yes
    It's all Here. Now.

  58. #58
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    Does that help?
    It's all Here. Now.

  59. #59
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    Bikes are just the sum of their parts, and pretty much every part has gotten better in the last decade- droppers, wheels, certainly suspension. Carbon fiber has improved, particularly in the rim market.

    Even frame design is better. Excluding the wheelsize superiority debate- 29ers were largely a mess 10 years ago. Now they're dialed. Not everyone likes they way they handle, and that's fine, but 29ers handle way better than they used to.

    The 2016 Spec Enduro I took for a spin made my old 2007 C'dale Prophet look like a klunker despite both having the same drivetrain and suspension travel
    Don’t modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

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    I totally forgot about flat pedal/shoe combos. I actually switched to flats after a good 8 years on clipless, and am loving it. I do think that is great for the sport, especially for new riders. I used to be one of those that preached "clipless or nothing!" but have changed my tune considerably.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    I think that has something to do with it as well. Some of us adapt to the bike, whereas others seek out the perfect nuances for their riding style. I'm in the former camp, but understand the desires of the latter.
    Yeah I'm cool with the approach of just riding what you have. And the guys that are really good will do more with less bike, and my hat is off to them. In the end it's a hobby for us all to enjoy as we see fit. I think my past life modifying cars is what pushes me toward wanting to optimize the bike.
    Banshee Prime

  62. #62
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    It's not very complicated. If the new bike is better than the old bike, yes.
    If the old bike is better than the new bike, no.
    Although the former may be more likely than the latter, it is in no way guaranteed.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    A hardtail frame designed to work with a burly fork. AKA the best type of bike.
    Then and now - Are bikes today actually better than a decade ago?-11o4ls.jpg

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    ....

    Still waiting for the industry to redesign how pedals attach to the bike and redesigning the freehub shell to allow bigger diameter rear axles.

    I welcome electrification of the future. Bring it.
    Good post.

    On the pedals comment. Why do you want the attachment standard to change and what improvement are you seeking? I fear that if that is change, the world will stop and many will quit the sport.
    IPA will save America

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Lol! I didn't realize it was Francois. You think he'd know better.
    Hey man, I have an alias now.

    Just checking the waters here. Some pretty good discussion...

    fc
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebeau View Post
    Hard to remember what we had exactly 10 years ago, but

    -thru axles and droppers as others have said,
    -wider rims & big (non-DH) lighter casing tires
    -better geometry along with more travel (especially for 29ers),
    -wider bars and shorter stems,
    -less of a focus light weight and more focus on strength and capability
    -and (not sure about exactly when rear shocks got significantly better) I remember rear shock pedal platforms like the SPV being pretty bad. Unbelievable how much switching to something that seams ordinary now, like a RP23, changes a bike.

    *edit: and possibly some big innovation in rear suspension designs with that new Marin and other bike with the missing link design there is a thread about on the AM forum.

    You are ON IT my friend. Good observations. I'll add

    1x, specially 1x12
    tubeless
    clothing and protection that one can wear all day climbing and descending
    IPA will save America

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    I totally forgot about flat pedal/shoe combos. I actually switched to flats after a good 8 years on clipless, and am loving it. I do think that is great for the sport, especially for new riders. I used to be one of those that preached "clipless or nothing!" but have changed my tune considerably.
    Love this. I learned in the era of 'graduate to clipless' after a year so I followed that path blindly.

    After about 20 years, I switched to flats. I'm better and safer now than ever. I like that there are now two alternate paths to enlightenment when it comes to pedals. Folks can choose they system best suited for them and will find a wide array of choices on each one.
    IPA will save America

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    I'm picky as hell with bikes, but I can't find much to complain about these days. My dropper is even reliable (knock on wood). Still waiting for the right tires, but basically at this point it's up to me to just focus on riding skills and fitness. My bike is real close to exactly what I want in a mountain bike.
    My biggest observation this year is:

    We are all finally riding mountain bikes suited to the task and not adapted road bikes. Most things we used were road bike parts including stems, bars, posts, drivetrains, brakes and rims. Clothing too. Now we have better choices.
    IPA will save America

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    Are you kidding??

    1 X 12 with $400 replacement cassettes--nothing says improvement like cutting edge parts with the price to go with

    Clutch RDs and narrow-wide rings

    27.5 plus

    Carbon that lasts more than a season and lighter overall weight--wheels too

    Shimano disc brakes that work better than any bike brake developed to date

    Longer travel bikes under 30 lbs that can actually be pedaled up hills

    66 degree and less head angles that don't flop over (how do they do that??)

    Shorter stand overs on most frames

    Shorter chain stays on both hard tail and full suspension

    30" wide bars

    40mm or less stems

    Dropper posts with internally routed cables

    Through axles front and rear (boost?)

    Flats that grip like clipless if you buy 5-10 shoes

    Maps of the whole forest (just seeing if you're paying attention)


    Honestly, I don't know how we even had fun on bikes before the last 10 years
    DIALED.

    We're getting better trails now too. And better clothing and protection.
    IPA will save America

  69. #69
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    We can play a game... maybe in another thread.

    What if you can only TAKE ONE current improvement with you on a 10-year old bike? Which one will it be?
    IPA will save America

  70. #70
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    1x12 or long droppers. Nothing else is all that much better. Shimano hydro brakes have been good for a decade. Thru axles have been here for 15+ years. Angular contact sealed suspension pivots have been here for years too. Yes the new carbon is better. Wheels are are definitely better, but enve has been around over 10 years too.
    This is like the change to shaped skis. Once they figured it out 15+ years ago not much has really changed. Yes they are slightly better stronger lighter, but it's an evolution not a revolution.
    The real question is when was the revolution. I think it was when disk brakes became the norm. They are the true tipping point for the industry. Without them we wouldn't need more capable bikes.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    We can play a game... maybe in another thread.

    What if you can only TAKE ONE current improvement with you on a 10-year old bike? Which one will it be?
    29ers were around 10 years ago, right? If so, geometry. I may change my tune after I finally get a dropper, but until then, geometry is my final answer. It still amazes me how stable I can be at almost a standstill on a taller 29er vs ANY 26 I ever rode. My ROS feels like a bmx bike with how playful it is, and I know there are plenty out there with similar geometry.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    What changes do you appreciate the most if any? What do you miss?
    10 years ago I had a Cannondale Prophet MX with a dropper post (Gravity Dropper), 9 gears, a chainguide, 160mm travel at both ends, thru axles at both ends (20mm/135x12) a 75deg seat angle and a 64deg head angle (with a -2 headset).

    Now I ride a Cotic Rocket that has the exact same Gravity Dropper on it, 10 gears (but a much wider spread, which my knees appreciate), a chainguide, 160front/150rear travel, thru axles at booth ends, almost the same seat and head angles (without the angle headset).

    Looking back, that Prophet was very ahead of it's time. The differences in that time have been mostly quality of life as far as I can tell. Bikes (but especially forks) are lighter for a given level of performance, tubeless is less painful to set up, One-by gearing is now normal and I don't have to push an 11-32x36t uphill for hours on end, narrow wide rings make life easier. It's lots of little things that seem small in isolation, but really add up when you're hurtling across a rock garden and the bike's all quiet and stable.

    Although, I could live without the crap ton of dumb standards that haven't added to anything much, but they still aren't as annoying as trying to find a new hub in 30mm Foes or 25mm Specialized. Or 12mm Big Gripper axles, remember them?

    29ers finally getting good and bikes becoming larger have been the most noticeable changes, but they're not the kind of step change that Prophet was over the V-braked Marin I had before it.

  73. #73
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    If ever changing standards are better then I guess they are. Somehow I manage to still get it done on decade old designs.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  74. #74
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    I don't remember the year I bought my Gravity Dropper, but it was close to 10 years ago. Back then I was riding a 03 5 Spot, so it's either the dropper or 1X. I didn't have a 50mm stem or wide bars yet but they were available.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Or PM depending on the time of day.

    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
    The irony is that a lot of "AM" bikes get pushed up the hills.
    No moss...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    We can play a game... maybe in another thread.

    What if you can only TAKE ONE current improvement with you on a 10-year old bike? Which one will it be?
    A modern stem/bar combo on an oversize bike that still had a manageable standover height (for the increased reach).

    Brakes were fine by then, not quite at the standard of today, but good brakes made most of the following changes possible. If brakes never stopped sucking, we'd never go fast enough to worry about the small details that changed later.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post

    What if you can only TAKE ONE current improvement with you on a 10-year old bike? Which one will it be?
    Dropper post.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    A modern stem/bar combo on an oversize bike that still had a manageable standover height (for the increased reach).

    Brakes were fine by then, not quite at the standard of today, but good brakes made most of the following changes possible. If brakes never stopped sucking, we'd never go fast enough to worry about the small details that changed later.
    I was descending a short logging road section, on the way to the next trail today, when I rounded a corner at least 40km/h. There was a black bear about 15m away on the side of the road. Dropper was down and I grabbed big handfuls of 203/180 discs, and thankfully the surprised bear took off the other way. Cantis, and a rigid post would have increased the stopping distance for sure. 2.5 front tire sure didn't hurt either.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I was descending a short logging road section, on the way to the next trail today, when I rounded a corner at least 40km/h. There was a black bear about 15m away on the side of the road. Dropper was down and I grabbed big handfuls of 203/180 discs, and thankfully the surprised bear took off the other way. Cantis, and a rigid post would have increased the stopping distance for sure. 2.5 front tire sure didn't hurt either.
    I was referring to the "decade ago" post. Not TWO decades ago, then I'd be torn between good brakes (which wouldn't fit the old frame) and pulling your hands back behind the front contact patch. Probably the latter still, because it makes such a big difference in stability and confidence. I

    I like droppers, but they're icing on the cake. Cake with icing is preferable to no icing, but cake without icing is still preferable to no cake.

  80. #80
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    Yeah, brakes from twenty years ago were... something else.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    We can play a game... maybe in another thread.

    What if you can only TAKE ONE current improvement with you on a 10-year old bike? Which one will it be?
    We can play here.

    At first I was thinking dropper post.

    After some thought, wide bar with short stem. I have ape arms and definitely noticed more control and stability with wide and closer reach.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    We can play here.

    At first I was thinking dropper post.

    After some thought, wide bar with short stem. I have ape arms and definitely noticed more control and stability with wide and closer reach.
    Ooooh, good call. Wider bars make a huge difference.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    We can play a game... maybe in another thread.

    What if you can only TAKE ONE current improvement with you on a 10-year old bike? Which one will it be?
    Honestly can't think of any, as everything I might have said was already available by then. Just wish I had the knowledge that I have today, to pick from frames, parts, and services accordingly.

    Just missing luxury items really, like clutch RDs, mid-drive electric motors with fully integrated battery, holes in frames for storage (SWAT), websites that deal with GPS (unless you count allsportgps), narrow-wide chainring, tubeless ready tire beads & sidewalls, wide carbon rims, and 6-bike hitch racks.

    I'd probably pick a bike like the Spec Pitch Pro, get the susp custom tuned (ex. PUSH), Maxxis DHF (maybe on ZTR Flow), Gravity Dropper, keep the stock Avid Juicy 3, and rig some sort of mid-chainstay mounted chain guide (like a C Guide). Short stem and wide bars already available from DH/FR side of things.
    Last edited by zooey; 05-21-2017 at 08:29 PM.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    You guys mean AM hardtail.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Or PM depending on the time of day.

    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I get tired of pointing this out, but it's a term borrowed from the ski industry. It refers to an all-rounder ski that doesn't suck in the powder, trees, piste, or park. In either words, one that works on the whole mountain.
    I'm an avid skier of 45 years and that bugs me just as much. Come to think of it, I'm a grumpy old *#%k.
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  85. #85
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    Changes in skis keep kicking around in my head.
    I can't say the new bike feels like instant magic but it was an immediate bump in confidence and control from the norm of 15 - 17 years earlier.

    Tried the same on skis years ago going to the modern shaped ski (might have been Rossignol Experience 88 or something) from my old antiques - Instant Magic.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Or PM depending on the time of day.

    Which brings to mind the stupid term "All Mountain".
    Every bike is ridden all over the flocking mountain, hello!
    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Changes in skis keep kicking around in my head.
    I can't say the new bike feels like instant magic but it was an immediate bump in confidence and control from the norm of 15 - 17 years earlier.

    Tried the same on skis years ago going to the modern shaped ski (might have been Rossignol Experience 88 or something) from my old antiques - Instant Magic.
    "Instant magic" different technique. With the old skis I could have my knees and ankles touching and run parralel through any terrain and slide them sideways with ease. The new shaped skis are arced in a way that it's hard to parralel with them. They always want to turn. Once you get used to them they almost turn themselves. I'm still partial to the old skis but times change and getting an old set tuned by a pro is next to impossible. Nobody will tune them once the bindings are a certain age due to liability. I've demoed many all mountain shaped skis and although they are nice the technique to get them to perform how I'm used to is hard to master. I'm sure if I bought a pair and skied the same ones over and over I'd master it. Funny you mentioned the Rossi Experience 88's. Those are the last ones I demoed.
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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    "Instant magic" different technique. With the old skis I could have my knees and ankles touching and run parralel through any terrain and slide them sideways with ease. The new shaped skis are arced in a way that it's hard to parralel with them. They always want to turn. Once you get used to them they almost turn themselves. I'm still partial to the old skis but times change and getting an old set tuned by a pro is next to impossible. Nobody will tune them once the bindings are a certain age due to liability. I've demoed many all mountain shaped skis and although they are nice the technique to get them to perform how I'm used to is hard to master. I'm sure if I bought a pair and skied the same ones over and over I'd master it. Funny you mentioned the Rossi Experience 88's. Those are the last ones I demoed.
    Yeah, it's still a subjective thing for sure. I cut the hills of Michigan in my early days on Kneissl skis of mid 1970's. White Star, something dark blue. Went to Hexcel skis from there and it's mostly icy, sloppy snow and bitter cold that Michigan memories cling to. We visited Winter Park in 1987 with friends and got the bug again.

    Last skis of memory when I was at 20 + days a season here for 5 or 6 years were purchased as used with demo bindings , Dynastar 4X4 I believe.
    I got them on a whim, they were too heavy for my liking and too long for my ideal needs. I was using as my teaching skis with the NSCD Adaptive Sit Ski program.

    Got on those 88's a few years ago in deep powder and they were intuitive like going where I looked with no effort or thinking. They took over like auto pilot.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    Still waiting for the industry to redesign how pedals attach to the bike and redesigning the freehub shell to allow bigger diameter rear axles.
    What is the problem with how pedals attach? If it ain't broke don't fix it.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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    Boost allowed 29ers to have correct geometry and the wheels to quit flexing all about. 29ers are the fastest bikes for mosts so with these issues fixed the bikes became ideal for not just XC.

    Good pedaling suspension is still becoming a thing. Yeti did good with the SI but I suspect they will be leapfrogged very soon. This is the next frontier.

    150mm reliable droppers are huge for those with legs too short to get behind a seat on the steeps.

    I love slack head angles and steep seat angles.

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    It seems to me that many of the things that people are listing as 'better' today were available 10 years ago, but it sounds like many just weren't buying them, probably because they were part of riding niches where that stuff wasn't being marketed. My bikes from 10 years ago had slack HTs, through axles, big tires, wide bars, short stems, etc etc. Hell, my bikes from ~20 years ago were built up that way too, but the marketing machine was pushing the whole 're-purposed road bike' mentality, so that's what everyone was shelling out for. Show up for an XC ride with 5" of travel, 75mm stem, riser bars, 1 ring up front, and big fat tires back in 2001 or so and people would look at you like you had two heads (at least for the first 30 or 40 miles).

    There are definitely a lot of incremental improvements, but the biggest change has mainly been in rider's mindsets.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    It seems to me that many of the things that people are listing as 'better' today were available 10 years ago, but it sounds like many just weren't buying them, probably because they were part of riding niches where that stuff wasn't being marketed. My bikes from 10 years ago had slack HTs, through axles, big tires, wide bars, short stems, etc etc. Hell, my bikes from ~20 years ago were built up that way too, but the marketing machine was pushing the whole 're-purposed road bike' mentality, so that's what everyone was shelling out for. Show up for an XC ride with 5" of travel, 75mm stem, riser bars, 1 ring up front, and big fat tires back in 2001 or so and people would look at you like you had two heads (at least for the first 30 or 40 miles).

    There are definitely a lot of incremental improvements, but the biggest change has mainly been in rider's mindsets.
    What do you mean by the 'mindset' comment? Just that riders are more open to trying new stuff now? Or do you mean something different?
    Personally I have always found that avid MTBers are more than usually happy to try pretty much whatever is new and 'wonderful' and give honest opinions about its efficacy... that has been what I have seen for all the very many years I have been riding at least.
    Even tho back in the day all we had to stay abreast of developments was in a magazine, or by meeting up with other riders and exchanging info at races/shows etc. we managed to be reached by marketers wanting to get the word out.
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  92. #92
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    I want to know how much bikes have improved in the last 20 years not 10. I'm rocking a rigid on 650b's. I'm wondering how much of it would swap to a new frame with better geometry, and how much it would cost.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    I started riding regularly in 2010. By 2011, I knew what I wanted in a bike, but it didn't exist: Burly, slack, great-pedaling long-travel FS 29er, with clearance for big tires. Oh and long ETT is a must (I'm a clyde and like freakishly long top tubes). In 2013, Banshee came out with the Prime which checked all of the boxes for me (135 travel 29er seemed big at the time, and still gets it done).

    I also wanted a wide-ratio cassette. Had to take care of that one myself.

    I remember waiting until 2014 just to get a 29er fork that didn't flex like a noodle under my 230 lbs. I wanted 36mm stanchions, but was happy to get 34mm stanchions which pretty much solved the problem.

    I'm picky as hell with bikes, but I can't find much to complain about these days. My dropper is even reliable (knock on wood). Still waiting for the right tires, but basically at this point it's up to me to just focus on riding skills and fitness. My bike is real close to exactly what I want in a mountain bike.
    We think alike, 225 lb guy here. Settled on the 2013 enduro. Tried the maxxis 2.5 DHF?

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by zooey View Post
    Honestly can't think of any, as everything I might have said was already available by then. Just wish I had the knowledge that I have today, to pick from frames, parts, and services accordingly.

    Just missing luxury items really, like clutch RDs, mid-drive electric motors with fully integrated battery, holes in frames for storage (SWAT), websites that deal with GPS (unless you count allsportgps), narrow-wide chainring, tubeless ready tire beads & sidewalls, wide carbon rims, and 6-bike hitch racks.

    I'd probably pick a bike like the Spec Pitch Pro, get the susp custom tuned (ex. PUSH), Maxxis DHF (maybe on ZTR Flow), Gravity Dropper, keep the stock Avid Juicy 3, and rig some sort of mid-chainstay mounted chain guide (like a C Guide). Short stem and wide bars already available from DH/FR side of things.
    Hmmm, last I checked , bikes don't have motors. Motors aren't an upgrade. You're supposed to pedal up grades.

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    I just picked up an '08 Trek 69er. This thing rocks!!! It was in good shape-just needed air in shock. I'll put on carbon bars, post and cranks and get it to around 20lbs. The Maverick fork is great too! I'll put it up against any new bike-especially in any 200 mile plus race!

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    What do you mean by the 'mindset' comment? Just that riders are more open to trying new stuff now? Or do you mean something different?
    .
    I dunno if riders becoming more openminded when it comes to gear led the industry to respond by marketing more options, or if the industry became more open to options (or saw more ways to make $$) and riders are just following the trends that are currently being marketed, as usual.

    Some from column A and some from column B I suppose; there are always leaders and followers. I see quite a number of things listed as 'new' here that aren't; the only new thing about them is being more heavily marketed/have found favor with 'the industry' now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    Boost and internal routing are major game changers. Can't see myself riding a bike without.
    I know what internal routing is. What is boost?

    Yes, that's a serious question. Sorry to be so clueless.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    I know what internal routing is. What is boost?

    Yes, that's a serious question. Sorry to be so clueless.
    New hub spacing standard introduced a few years ago by Trek (i think) and now adopted by most frame manufacturers. Added 10mm to the front and 6mm to the rear to increase wheel stiffness and clearance.

  99. #99
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    The big change to me is it doesn't seem like we're doing a lot of trail side repairs and adjustments, my bikes of yesteryear needed litt.....lots of maintenance.
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikericci View Post
    New hub spacing standard introduced a few years ago by Trek (i think) and now adopted by most frame manufacturers. Added 10mm to the front and 6mm to the rear to increase wheel stiffness and clearance.
    Thanks, mikericci!

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