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  1. #26
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    I believe there is a difference between progress/innovation and planned obsolescence. I suspect the OP is against planned obsolescence. I was one of the first people in my area with disc brakes, I like good suspension, beefy tires, tubeless, clipless pedals, etc. But I detest products like ten speed (and maybe 11 speed already) which don't really improve anything for me (although I am quite sure it improves the bottom line of manufacturers and bike dealers).

    I am beginning to see the same thing happen with headsets. Bike manufacturers are now changing those designs, and I have never had a freaking problem with my Chris Kings (and I ride aggressively in wet conditions). Currently, I am putting off buying a new bike simply because I have no want for 10 speed, I have many Chris King headsets and "old style" threaded bottom brackets (most of which will not work with new bikes these days because I am told they are obsolete).

    But I must disagree with the OP about 29ers. I do not put them in the planned obsolescence category (even though I don't own one yet).

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev106 View Post
    I turned away from mountain biking magazines for few years and when I came back, mountain bikes no longer existed. There are xc, all mountain, free ride, downhill, etc. but there are no “mountain bikes” anymore. I still own and use a mountain bike, I understand that by creating labels and slicing the pie in ever-smaller slices you can perhaps sucker someone into buying a bunch of bikes that only get used for one type of trail.
    This part stuck out to me. They are still "mountain bikes" just sub genres if you will. Kinda like punk rock is still rock-n-roll, classic rock is rock-n-roll, metal and all it's sub genres are also still rock-n-roll, etc...you get the idea.

    Bikes are designed for a specific purpose these days. And they do that purpose well. Try riding a long travel DH bike on an XC course or some single track. They climb like an elephant. Not designed for it. Likewise, take a XC or trail bike to a DH course. Good luck getting to the bottom still on the bike for one and with you and the bike both intact.

    Don't sweat it though full rigid bikes have their place too. Mostly as SS. But it could be preference. If you like that type of bike, then ride it and enjoy! You can even laugh at all the higher end new tech machines you leave in your wake. Because at the end of the day tech only gets you so far. Your body still has to do 99% of the work.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  3. #28
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  4. #29
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    I don't believe the OP is against improvement, as much as, the planned obsolescence which seem a bit too common in the MTB world.

    If you're not familiar, it's the strategy many companies use to sell more product next year. Back in Detroit's heyday, the big 3 would change the car's body styling every year simply to move more product, e.g. '55, '56' and '57 Chevy. In the electronics world, Sony came out with a portable tape player called The Walkman. And then followed up with the CD version. And then tried a mini CD until Apple made them irrelevant.

    When you get something better for your money, there's little reason to complain. But when I don't see a benefit ... yeah, I'll pass.

    (Edit: Ah Pisgah, you beat me to it! )
    Joe
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    I believe there is a difference between progress/innovation and planned obsolescence. I suspect the OP is against planned obsolescence. I was one of the first people in my area with disc brakes, I like good suspension, beefy tires, tubeless, clipless pedals, etc. But I detest products like ten speed (and maybe 11 speed already) which don't really improve anything for me (although I am quite sure it improves the bottom line of manufacturers and bike dealers).

    I am beginning to see the same thing happen with headsets. Bike manufacturers are now changing those designs, and I have never had a freaking problem with my Chris Kings (and I ride aggressively in wet conditions). Currently, I am putting off buying a new bike simply because I have no want for 10 speed, I have many Chris King headsets and "old style" threaded bottom brackets (most of which will not work with new bikes these days because I am told they are obsolete).

    But I must disagree with the OP about 29ers. I do not put them in the planned obsolescence category (even though I don't own one yet).
    9 speed is still available (and pretty cheap).
    I just bought 2 new frames, both of which use threaded bottom brackets - no need to upgrade there any time soon.

    A lot of the modifications are manufacturers trying to solve engineering issues while still keeping bikes affordable. Some changes are fashionable, but if you go do the research on things like bottom brackets there are some pretty solid reasons for many of the changes.
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  6. #31
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    manufacturers are still trying to sort out the bottom bracket stuff. headsets to a smaller degree. but compatibility with older stuff is still available in new gear. For some things, I'm going to stick with the older tech until the newer stuff gets sorted out. Like the drivetrain stuff. I don't think we've seen the end of rapid change there, either.

    but other things, the OP gets a great bit "meh" from me. I am sold on disc brakes. not going back. I enjoy my FS. I enjoy my rigid, too. I like variety for handlebar shapes. I like tubeless tires. I like tubes. I like clipless pedals. I like platform pedals. Dropper posts have a place. So do plain 'ol rigid posts (but cheap posts of any sort suck). I love lock on grips, too. I like choices.

  7. #32
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    I like the change. I can also think back to how much I liked my XT thumbies, 7 speed, and my first Manitou (1 thank you!) fork. My current ride has PF30, a tapered headtube, 1x10, hydro brakes, tubeless, wide handlebar, and lock-on grips. Love it. Like someone said above, you can still have a bike with a ST BB, 7 speed, etc. if you want. Oh, and BTW, I like rolling my 5'6" ass on my 29er by Two Tall Jones riding a 26er..talk about looking like a carnie....
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  8. #33
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    "Open letters" of any sort are predictably unoriginal and self-absorbed. This one largely fits the bill.

    I like choice, am fine making my own decisions and don't assume that I know enough to tell the industry what to do. The market does that just fine.

    R

  9. #34
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    I'm in two camps here.

    I could not agree more on BB headset and rear end standards.

    Tell me someone can really feel the improvement from BB30 to PF30? Um, no. Just another standard I need to be aware of, and keep track of. Of course, 3 years from now, it will be PF30.1, and of course, non compatible with PF30.

    Yes, square taper is a tad flexier, so okay, we have at least 3 generations of stiffer options already (Isis, Octalink, HollowTech II etc), do we really need 14 new ones every year now?

    Headset standards, Tapered, really? That much better than 1 point five? Hmm, where'd that one go anyway????

    So you want a headset, "can I have a tapered headset please?" Which one? Inset, zero stack, etc etc etc. Again, feel any difference from Inset to Zero Stack? Doubt it.

    How about one tapered "standard" even? Pretty effin' please????

    Rear ends. 135 makes sense, has for years. There's already tandem in 145 and 160 which is wider for those who'd need it. Then we came out with 150, okay, fine, wider is better, DH guys like it for a beefier rear wheel etc. So, with all those existing ones, yep, absolutely, we need 142 as well, cause gosh, that just solves everything.

    I'm pretty retro grouchy, yes, but that said, I do like a lot of what's come out of the growth the industry has seen. I like my 6" 29er, disc brakes etc. I like my fat bike too, a whole bunch.

    I guess what I don't like is incessant change marketed as improvement, when really, it doesn't change anything that much besides the makers bottom line, as it forces you to buy their option.

    Perhaps slow it down. Give us stuff every few years. Let us wear crap out a bit first. Gosh, you might even learn something groundbreaking by taking to the time to smell the roses, instead of headlong rushing to make it .000034526% newer, stiffer, lighter, every goddamn year.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  10. #35
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    My daily rider is a '98 Curtlo (steel hardtail w/ 80mm fork, for those of you who don't know) with square taper and v-brakes. I love this bike and know how to ride it fast. That said, I can't deny that a modern bike is better in many respects. I just happen to enjoy riding steel hardtails, especially mine.
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  11. #36
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    The OP's point was fairly clear. It's just that he brought absolutely nothing new to the table.
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  12. #37
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    One interesting thing to consider is that the BMX industry did the exact opposite.

    Parts needed to be easily replaced and most companies were rider owned (to varying extent) by rider punks .

    So they all settled on what worked. A big part of it was the riders couldn't afford to stick to proprietary sizing every time something got bashed.

    It takes a real long time and a lot of real abuse as testing for a new standard to gain any acceptance and prove itself in the BMX world.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    The OP's point was fairly clear. It's just that he brought absolutely nothing new to the table.

    Your response seems purposely ironic (if I am remembering my english rhetoric correctly).

  14. #39
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    OP sure has a point, it's just pretty much yesterdays news.

    I share the frustration that all those "standards" brings, as very few of them offers any real improvement.

    This is part of the reason I more or less make whatever I can find the time to male myself now.

    Among the bikes I own, I can count as much as 7 different bottom bracket types, none being compatible. I guess 2 or 3 of them offered an improvement at the time of production, the rest was just made to line somebody's pockets.

    Magura

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath View Post
    One interesting thing to consider is that the BMX industry did the exact opposite.

    Parts needed to be easily replaced and most companies were rider owned (to varying extent) by rider punks .

    So they all settled on what worked. A big part of it was the riders couldn't afford to stick to proprietary sizing every time something got bashed.

    It takes a real long time and a lot of real abuse as testing for a new standard to gain any acceptance and prove itself in the BMX world.
    I remember mountain bike standards in the early 90s (when I started) being similar to your BMX description. Who knows, maybe BMX has remained more grass roots than mountain biking.

  16. #41
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    Buy a 5" travel trail bike for a do anything bike or a hard tail 29er race bike and call it a day. Disc brakes, light weight supple suspension, carbon fiber frames, through axles, and drop seat posts are all great progressions where it counts - for the rider. Yes, it can be a lot to take in and digest for a beginner, but that's what your local bike shop is for. Get to know them. Demo some bikes. A good LBS will help you narrow down your choices based on your needs. Buy from them once in awhile even through you can get stuff cheaper online. You'll need them around one day to help nurse your ride back into shape.

  17. #42
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    My letter to the computer industry:

    Shame on you for changing the punch cards I used in the 1960's. I'm now confused, and it YOUR FAULT!!!
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev106 View Post
    An open letter to the bike industry

    Dear Bike Industry,

    My mountain bike is old for sure and my friends that have newer bikes are still behind me just like they are before they had a new bike with all of the new “improvements” in technology, I expected them to leave me in the dust being that I have only 21 speeds and they 30, but alas it did not happen.
    When was the last time you could buy a 7 speed cassette, chainrings or chain? 15 - 20 years ago? Doesn't sound like you put a lot of miles in......that stuff wears out regularly if you ride much.
    Although that might be the industry trying to keep you down as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by rev106 View Post
    At some point I just feel like you think I’m an idiot .
    At this point right now actually.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    Your response seems purposely ironic (if I am remembering my english rhetoric correctly).
    Haha... I wasn't going for irony. I simply posted what I felt.
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Perhaps slow it down. Give us stuff every few years. Let us wear crap out a bit first. Gosh, you might even learn something groundbreaking by taking to the time to smell the roses, instead of headlong rushing to make it .000034526% newer, stiffer, lighter, every goddamn year.....
    Thing is, people read reviews and crave those .000034526% because they think it'll make a world of difference. The manufacturers make those .000034526% because people are willing to throw good money after it.

    As long as people are willing to buy pointless "improvements" just because it's something new and might make things microscopically better, manufacturers will keep inventing pointless "improvements" to fuel the hype and let the fools part with their money.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    My letter to the computer industry:

    Shame on you for changing the punch cards I used in the 1960's. I'm now confused, and it YOUR FAULT!!!
    Punch cards? Man way too modern, I loaded ferrite core memory with dip switches...

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    Thing is, people read reviews and crave those .000034526% because they think it'll make a world of difference. The manufacturers make those .000034526% because people are willing to throw good money after it.

    As long as people are willing to buy pointless "improvements" just because it's something new and might make things microscopically better, manufacturers will keep inventing pointless "improvements" to fuel the hype and let the fools part with their money.
    Or maybe just buy what fits your budget and needs today then wear it out and buy what is current at that point in time. I don't worry about the incremental upgrades between purchases. However, every time I buy new I think, man what an upgrade.
    Last edited by FX4; 07-18-2012 at 08:53 AM.

  23. #48
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    rev106: Your passion for vintage bikes is cool and all, but really, you need to learn more about this new stuff before you trash it.

    Also, I don't know where people get the idea that "multiple standards" (an oxymoron, I know) is anything new.

    Headsets: Back in the 90's you had a whole mess of headset and steertube types. Threaded, unthreaded, and several diameters.

    Cranks / BB. Honestly I don't see what the issue is, here, you buy the bb with the crank, and when the bb wears out, you replace it. Just like it was with square taper. Besides, ST is not one universal size, anyway, you need a different lengths for different cranks.

    If you think some new standard that is being forced on everyone is actually worse, that's one thing (and there are a couple of those examples), but you seem to have a problem with things simply changing at all, or the fact that everyone is not forced to buy the same thing.

    Adjusting for inflation, you get WAY more bike for your money now than you did back in the "good old days".
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  24. #49
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    With some exceptions,

    In modern BMX:
    Every handlebar fits every stem
    Every fork fits every frame
    Within race or street/jump disciplines every rear axle fits every frame
    Within race or street disciplines every front axle fits every fork
    There are a couple different BB widths, but the systems are all the same and BBs are cheap
    Every race crank fits the same BCD chainring while every street/jump crank fits the same chainrings
    Every seatpost for a street/jump BMX fits every frame.
    Pivotal seats have come into fashion more so than railed, so you have to think about that buying a post or seat.
    Etc...

    There's something pretty eloquent about that.
    Do you:
    A. Race or street/jump?
    B. Which of 3 sizes is your BB shell width?
    C. What kind of seatpost do you have?
    D. OK go ride now

    In MTBing, people have to consider more questions than that just picking a fork. Of course MTBs are more complicated, but we could learn something from this.

    *Disclaimer: I ride rigid SS, not just on my BMX

  25. #50
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    I like my 29er with disc brakes( BB7) and tubeless tires. Go pedal and get some perspective.

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