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  1. #1
    Gamers local 2112
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    An open letter to the bike industry

    An open letter to the bike industry

    Dear Bike Industry,

    I’m beginning to feel that you don’t have myself and my fellow rider’s best interest at heart, all you seem to be interested in is creating new “standards” and try to force people to buy them under the auspice that the new “standard” is better than before. I would like to think that most cyclists are a savvy bunch, but we do glom onto new tech with eagerness, a fault that you (the bicycle industry) seems more than happy to exploit.
    Every year there’s a new bottom bracket “standard”. Something becomes a standard once it is in wide, common, and accepted use like a square taper bb. I have never felt the need to put any of these new, false standards on my bike instead of using a tried and true standard. I think you need to think about how you label all of these pointless bottom bracket options out there. The advantages are nominal to the rider, and only serve to create more niche markets and confuse new riders that get overwhelmed by all the “standards” that have been made. Shame on you. The people that can really gain any benefit if at all from any of these alleged improvements are pro racers, and pro races get their bikes and parts for free, we, the majority of the bike buying public have to pay for our stuff. Did my square tape bb suddenly stop working after years of loyal service and 1000’s of miles? No, it did not. 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. I also find it funny that I having 21 speeds never once thought I could make this traverse or climb that section of trail if I only had some more gears, and now you try and sell me less gears in the form of a 2 x10 drive train for more money than my 21 gears, do you take me for a fool? Shame on you bike industry. I can go on, how lame and pointless 31.8 bars are and how ugly they look, or how a 200 dollar seat post that drops can’t beat a 10 buck quick release seat post clamp and to take the 10 seconds to take in the view before you drop in is worth way more than another lever do-hickey on your bike, are you really that lazy? And the 29 wheels, really? Every time I see some poor 5.5” guy on a 29er, I just feel like the bike industry is made up of carneys and we are it’s willing dupes. And these massive head tube bearings they look like the wheel bearings in my van, there’s no way you can convince me I “need” that junk. At some point I just feel like you think I’m an idiot they will buy anything that you put before me, I think you think so little of us as a group that one can keep changing things endlessly chasing one’s tail in the pointless quest of improving something that needs no improvement, even the bike magazines are getting weary of your cavalcade of falsehoods, they are usually your ever loyal heralds but that is even changing.
    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. I guess that’s clever marketing and sales go up, but I think in doing so you alienate the beginner that will certainly be confused and intimidated by all the jargon and techo-babble when they go to their local shop and want a “mountain bike” Shame on you bike industry, I think you need a time-out to think about what you’ve done.

  2. #2
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    Have fun on your rigid bike with cantilevers brakes.

    Personally, I like progress.

  3. #3
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    29ers and carneys are stuck in my head right now from your letter. creating need isn't nearly as fun and profitable as creating want. you need to follow up with a legit review of something that caused your frustration...just sayin. i love saint and my enduro and I'm not goin back!
    i'm on my Last Herb
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  4. #4
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    Paragraphs are awesome

    But seriously, I like my 29er wheels. I also like my square taper BB and it hasn't given me any crap. Ya know, you don't have to buy all this new stuff they keep coming out with. If you like your square taper BB, they can still be had. You can still get 26er wheels too, as well as 1 1/8" headsets.

  5. #5
    XC racer
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    Smile

    OP, while you make some good points about some stuff, you also define the word "retro-grouch." I joined the mtb tribe some years into its adolesence, circa '96, but no way I'd rather ride the bike I had back then over the one I have now.


    (BTW, I use the term retro-grouch with affection, not meant at all as a personal attack.)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    29ers and carneys are stuck in my head right now from your letter.
    Seriously, I'm going to have "Entrance of the Gladiators" playing in my head everytime I hoist my 5' 8" body onto my 29'er.
    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    creating need isn't nearly as fun and profitable as creating want.
    Truth
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  7. #7
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    @JFyauff - you just gave me a great idea for a 29er branded product
    i'm on my Last Herb
    RestInPeace Hook

  8. #8
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    I'm not sure the bike industry will see your letter, here in passion. I think the bike industry hangs out in the all-mountain forum, and the dowhhill/freeride forum, the 29'r forum and sometimes the xc forum.
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  9. #9
    Relax. I'm a pro.
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    rev106, your letter is boring and predictable in every respect.
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  10. #10
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    rev106,
    Agree with many of your points, so guess I too am a retro-grouch.
    Having new bikes have been amazed by "new standards" one must meet to build up a frame.

    Do not believe for a minute that one can tell if wheel flex originates from a Q/R axle, or that a 56mm H/S bearing will actually make a bike stiffer. Perhaps, true in theory, yet in reality PSI and big tires influence flex, and rigidity far greater, as they are the weakest link.

    I too absolutely detest being made to buy new tech for no clear advantage. Anyone know how to overhaul pf BB92 bearings? Appear to be disposable, require a bearing press, and a trip to the LBS for a limited selection of available parts. This is not progress, this is segmentation, which didn't work too well for car dealers when their parts supplier's went bankrupt.

    Short term profits that incur long term damage to customer retention, and brand image are costly, just ask Dell.
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev106 View Post
    an open letter to the bike industry

    dear bike industry,

    i’m beginning to feel that you don’t have myself and my fellow rider’s best interest at heart, all you seem to be interested in is creating new “standards” and try to force people to buy them under the auspice that the new “standard” is better than before. I would like to think that most cyclists are a savvy bunch, but we do glom onto new tech with eagerness, a fault that you (the bicycle industry) seems more than happy to exploit.
    Every year there’s a new bottom bracket “standard”. Something becomes a standard once it is in wide, common, and accepted use like a square taper bb. I have never felt the need to put any of these new, false standards on my bike instead of using a tried and true standard. I think you need to think about how you label all of these pointless bottom bracket options out there. The advantages are nominal to the rider, and only serve to create more niche markets and confuse new riders that get overwhelmed by all the “standards” that have been made. Shame on you. The people that can really gain any benefit if at all from any of these alleged improvements are pro racers, and pro races get their bikes and parts for free, we, the majority of the bike buying public have to pay for our stuff. Did my square tape bb suddenly stop working after years of loyal service and 1000’s of miles? No, it did not. 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. I also find it funny that i having 21 speeds never once thought i could make this traverse or climb that section of trail if i only had some more gears, and now you try and sell me less gears in the form of a 2 x10 drive train for more money than my 21 gears, do you take me for a fool? Shame on you bike industry. I can go on, how lame and pointless 31.8 bars are and how ugly they look, or how a 200 dollar seat post that drops can’t beat a 10 buck quick release seat post clamp and to take the 10 seconds to take in the view before you drop in is worth way more than another lever do-hickey on your bike, are you really that lazy? And the 29 wheels, really? Every time i see some poor 5.5” guy on a 29er, i just feel like the bike industry is made up of carneys and we are it’s willing dupes. And these massive head tube bearings they look like the wheel bearings in my van, there’s no way you can convince me i “need” that junk. At some point i just feel like you think i’m an idiot they will buy anything that you put before me, i think you think so little of us as a group that one can keep changing things endlessly chasing one’s tail in the pointless quest of improving something that needs no improvement, even the bike magazines are getting weary of your cavalcade of falsehoods, they are usually your ever loyal heralds but that is even changing.
    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. I guess that’s clever marketing and sales go up, but i think in doing so you alienate the beginner that will certainly be confused and intimidated by all the jargon and techo-babble when they go to their local shop and want a “mountain bike” shame on you bike industry, i think you need a time-out to think about what you’ve done.
    u r dum

  12. #12
    my church is the woods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    rev106, your letter is boring and predictable in every respect.
    True....

    However, would we be better off if Mr. Bike Industry just stopped technological progress at some designated point? I don't think so.
    It's the marketing and advertising that annoys the crap outta me. I got a subscription to BIKE magazine the beginning of this year, and I thought it was neat...at first. Now I can barely stand to look thru it. All the shiny ads, the coddled bike testers, the constant pics of beautiful B.C.'s north shore. It all makes me feel unworthy on my 5 year old bike, riding thru the same old scenery.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post

    I too absolutely detest being made to buy new tech for no clear advantage. Anyone know how to overhaul pf BB92 bearings? Appear to be disposable, require a bearing press, and a trip to the LBS for a limited selection of available parts.
    http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id176.html

  14. #14
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    i confess. i do share some of the op's thoughts but it's towards road bikes. I've learned to live with terms like NOS and NIB and it's been fine as far as purchases go. I don't ride like a total beast anymore so "going" thru parts is not a bit frustrating to me at all. It'll never frustrate me to the point where i'd ever let it kill the enjoyment of a ride, that's for sure.

    seriously, square taper bbs suck. that's the second thing i would destroy after wheels if you grew up on bmx. there's a reason profiles had splines.
    i'm on my Last Herb
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  15. #15
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    I can't really agree to this letter. Progress is good, it gives choice for those who want it.
    Bike industry is actually very good, in others you actually can't buy previous standard, while here you have choice to buy all of them from last decade.
    - Yes they advertise everything as better (same as any other industry)
    - Yes it is anojing that with new technology they also bring new tools (sometimes they could leave existing size screws etc.)
    - No they dont say you need to change your parts if they are still working (why the hell do you even look at new standards if you don't need to change anything?)
    - No they dont say you can't change to same standard as you had (it is quite easy and cheap to still buy square tapper cranks and bb)
    - No they dont say you need to know what xc,am, dh, fr etc means. they expect you to go to bikeshop, tell them what type of riding you want, and they will say which one will be best for you
    - If you were able to learn what mtb means, there is no big problem to learn 4 more terms
    - It is still easy - if you want to do light mountain biking and road riding you go with XC, if you want to do harder mountain biking you go with AM. There is no rocket science, it is so simple. All other types are for those who know what they mean and not for regular people
    - super regular people dont even go to bike shop but simply take one in supermarket which looks like mountain bike

    The point is - the fact that they create many types of standards and parts does not mean that you need to buy and try them all. They are simply trying to give choice for everyone. some like 21 speed, some 24, some like 2x10 some 1x10, some 1x1. they all want their parts, so manufacturers try to make everyone happy by creating parts for them all.

    but that is only my opinion. I just saw ad about new cool plane to buy for just 2 million bucks... it does not mean that they say I need to buy it, it does not mean I care or will buy it. But some people will, and they probably care
    There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can. Henry Ford

  16. #16
    Less talk, more ride...
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    Why is it that everyone who writes something like the OP, has to brag about how they "left the people on new bikes behind" with their old bike? Enjoy your old bike. I like progress. Here is a pro tip...if you don't like something, DON"T BUY IT.
    2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er
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  17. #17
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    Some things in the letter have a point.

    I also dont understand the reason for 2x10 or (new) 1x11 shifting systems. Sure that front derailleurs can be a pain in the ass but they ad flexibility to the ride. With 1x11 they plan to sell about 5 versions of crank wheels depending on the teeth count. With a classic 3x10 they sell 44-33-22 or 42-32-22... Thats much more of an all rounder IMHO.

    And those bottom brackets... I'm having quite a problem finding an octalink 1 for my bike these days. Cranks are OK but I guess I'll have to swap... THANKS a lot shimano!

    EDIT: I dont really see problem in new standards. Thing that bugs me more is the fact that sooner or later we'll be forced to buy a 2x10 or 1x11 because there will be nothing else that will be decent on the market.

  18. #18
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    While I agree that marketing is always directed towards making you think you need something vs. wanting it.......I disagree that progress is not got........Progress rules..........I don't care if some guy with a rigid bike kicks my ass up or down the hill, I'm having fun on my Full Suspension bike and going at a pace that I feel suits me...........Expensive, hell yeah, but so is any hobby that isn't mass produced and available at Walmart.........supply and demand creates the prices not the industry....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millfox View Post
    And those bottom brackets... I'm having quite a problem finding an octalink 1 for my bike these days. Cranks are OK but I guess I'll have to swap... THANKS a lot shimano!
    You must not have looked very hard:
    Universal Cycles -- Bottom Brackets > Shimano Bottom Brackets

  20. #20
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    I'll buy some of what the OP is selling! I like full suspension and disc brakes but........... I've also spent a lot of money on brakes over the last year only to end up with BB7's because they work (and only when I want them to, not all the time!) and they don't squeal all of the time, unlike my fancy hydraulic brakes.

  21. #21
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    I like shiny things.
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

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  22. #22
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    Open letter to the bike industry:

    Dear Bike industry:

    Thank you for not listening to guys like the OP. I love hauling the mail downhill on my fully suspended mountain bikes, complete with $300 dropper post and 31.8mm handlebars. Your dropper post has prevented me from getting launched over the bars numerous times when I wouldn't have wanted to pull over to drop my seat manually. The bars - super stiff & personally, I think the extra diameter makes the bars and the bike look burly! The new tires you've come up with are simply fantastic - superbly grippy. Taken as a package, your research and experimentation, and the millions of dollars associated therewith, allow me, a complete hack, to ride & jump WAAY faster, further and higher than I ever could have without your effort.

    By the way - lock on grips - fantastic. Love not having to spend an entire afternoon changing a worn out handgrip.

    While some of your stuff just is not for me (feel free to keep your 29r's), you guys have engineered a concept to an extent not contemplated at the time of its birth - solely in the name of promoting FUN. Your bikes today go faster, smoother, and fly higher then anyone would have thought possible in 1984, the year I bought my first MTB (a schwinn sierra BTW).

    Keep it up! There are those of us who WILL pony up when you improve a product we're interested in and will not simply sneer that you've created a "new standard." And bear in mind that while you must endure the online protestations (and occasional phone calls of those luddites who have not evolved beyond brazed-together cromoly, we, your customers, are the ones who suffer the fate of being stuck behind said luddites as they skitter haphazardly down hills and ride around obstacles too steep or fearsome for their underdeveloped steeds.

    Pity us.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    Paragraphs are awesome
    Was thinking the same thing (and justify your margin)!

  24. #24
    Weekend warrior aspirant
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    Open letter to the bike industry:

    Dear Bike industry:

    Thank you for not listening to guys like the OP. I love hauling the mail downhill on my fully suspended mountain bikes, complete with $300 dropper post and 31.8mm handlebars. Your dropper post has prevented me from getting launched over the bars numerous times when I wouldn't have wanted to pull over to drop my seat manually. The bars - super stiff & personally, I think the extra diameter makes the bars and the bike look burly! The new tires you've come up with are simply fantastic - superbly grippy. Taken as a package, your research and experimentation, and the millions of dollars associated therewith, allow me, a complete hack, to ride & jump WAAY faster, further and higher than I ever could have without your effort.

    By the way - lock on grips - fantastic. Love not having to spend an entire afternoon changing a worn out handgrip.

    While some of your stuff just is not for me (feel free to keep your 29r's), you guys have engineered a concept to an extent not contemplated at the time of its birth - solely in the name of promoting FUN. Your bikes today go faster, smoother, and fly higher then anyone would have thought possible in 1984, the year I bought my first MTB (a schwinn sierra BTW).

    Keep it up! There are those of us who WILL pony up when you improve a product we're interested in and will not simply sneer that you've created a "new standard." And bear in mind that while you must endure the online protestations (and occasional phone calls of those luddites who have not evolved beyond brazed-together cromoly, we, your customers, are the ones who suffer the fate of being stuck behind said luddites as they skitter haphazardly down hills and ride around obstacles too steep or fearsome for their underdeveloped steeds.

    Pity us.
    Totally agree
    I rode the heck out of my old Trek 8000 - but now that I've spent some quality time on my new bike, there is no going back.
    The advances that have been made over the last 20 years are just incredible. Everything from geometry to materials technology has undergone a huge change. If standards changed a little requiring some new parts?
    No big deal.
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  25. #25
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    Choices? Didn't realize everyone doesn't appreciate them.

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