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  1. #1
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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!

  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
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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

  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
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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.

  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
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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.

  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

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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'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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

  24. #24
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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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    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).

  27. #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!

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  29. #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! )
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  30. #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

  31. #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.

  32. #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!

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  33. #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

  34. #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!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  35. #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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  36. #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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    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.

  38. #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).

  39. #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

  40. #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.

  41. #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.

  42. #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.

  43. #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.

  44. #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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  45. #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.

  46. #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...

  47. #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 07:53 AM.

  48. #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.

  49. #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

  50. #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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    Dear Redline and Profile,

    Thanks for pushing splined cranksets in the early 80's. Square taper blew then and it still does.

    -The guy who stopped reading the rant and rolled his eyes when he got to "square taper".

  52. #52
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    Listen!

    My bike is now way more reliable than the ones i used to have in the 80s 90s and 2ks...
    So i'm all for evolution and progressions of bike parts.

    Thers are still a few things that are a bit stupid with new standards...bb30 for example...the need for bigger bearings made the bb30 happen, why not use the bmx bb size instead of starting another size!?
    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  53. #53
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    Just don't give into technology, buy the stuff you want, ride the stuff you wanna ride. It's tested for years and if you work on it youself you should have aquired the tools and knowledge so it should be second nature by now!

    Tech is good...problem is my riding rigid, v brake mt bikes is a great thing, but can I get a technological update on the "dirt" I ride on? LMAO

    WTB...Saab 2 stroke car

  54. #54
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    The bike industry needs to make money .... So, yes they will make changes so they can sell $hit.... Make you lead to believe that your bike is crap.... All industries do this...

    I personally think any cassette with more than 7 gears is completely unnecessary... same goes for hydraulic disc brakes... I mean really... hyrdaulic disc brakes on a bicycle ??? maybe if the rider is over 300 lbs... I've never once had issues or complaints with V brakes...

    I started mountain biking in 1992 so maybe I am becoming one of those geezers who is always complaining and not embracing change ... But this is how I honestly feel...

    I am learning to like the 29 inch wheel... It definitely has it's beneficial uses...

    Also, suspension fork technology has improved a lot and become more affordable...

  55. #55
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    Oh and one more thing....

    Doesn't it seem too coincidental that the push/fad for 29 inch wheels happened right around the time the economy tanked (2008)....

    ????

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonraker View Post
    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.
    I definitely am not a fan of marketing and advertising, but by letting those ads affect your emotions, you're giving pictures on pieces of paper way too much power. Ads in the magazines help keep the price of the magazine down. Your rant would not be much different from me starting to complain about all the ads posted on this site. It's just how it is. Pedal along and have fun!
    Last edited by dirtdan; 07-18-2012 at 08:54 AM.

  57. #57
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    I think(may be wrong) the idea was "standards" and not progress. Standard means it's universal. I think that was the point....................... but maybe not
    2007 Cdale Caffeine 29er Lefty.
    "Your not going to shove you're proper grammer down are throats!!"

  58. #58
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    Say what you want but progress will happen with or without our blessing. While it obviously has something to do with marketing or corporate greed or whatever else you want to call it, it also has to do with human nature. We always want to improve on what we already have. So what if they come up with 99 bad ideas if the 100th really does work and makes life better (biking or any other application you want to insert here). Ask all the soldiers coming home with missing limbs if they would prefer new, modern prosthetics or stick with the technology of decades past.

    Also, not all companies are jumping on the new technology to screw the consumers. I wish I knew how to post links to videos but there is one on YouTube where a Santa Cruz rep talks specifically about not going with a press in BB on the Highball because the benefit was marginal at best and it limited user serviceability.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfryauff View Post
    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.
    <iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noresize scrolling=no src="http://tinyurl.com/27shlk6" vspale=0></iframe>
    <iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noresize scrolling=no src="http://tinyurl.com/yz4gjyd" vspale=0></iframe>

    truth
    lol

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Dear Redline and Profile,

    Thanks for pushing splined cranksets in the early 80's. Square taper blew then and it still does.

    -The guy who stopped reading the rant and rolled his eyes when he got to "square taper".
    Yup, he lost me at square taper as well. Splined were a huge improvement.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianmayeux View Post
    I personally think any cassette with more than 7 gears is completely unnecessary... same goes for hydraulic disc brakes... I mean really... hyrdaulic disc brakes on a bicycle ??? maybe if the rider is over 300 lbs...
    Try a long or really fast downhill on v-brakes, or some really wet riding. V-brakes just don't get it done in those conditions, though they're still fine for XC.

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmayeux View Post
    Doesn't it seem too coincidental that the push/fad for 29 inch wheels happened right around the time the economy tanked (2008)....
    29" wheels on mountain bikes were around a lot longer than then.

  62. #62
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    "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. "

    Have you ever stopped to think that maybe you are in better physical shape than your friends? I've ridden with dudes that have single speeds that have mopped the floor with me and I struggle to keep up. My new bike must be crap. because i can't keep up with people that are in way better shape the me....

  63. #63
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    Oh the "evil" corporate "greed". Let's not make money. Heaven forbid. That would be awful to sell things, create jobs, and create wealth. I shudder at the thought.
    2007 Cdale Caffeine 29er Lefty.
    "Your not going to shove you're proper grammer down are throats!!"

  64. #64
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    I totally dont agree on the hydraulic brakes part. Its something great and although the maintenance is a bit timely it ads a great deal of modulation to the braking power.

  65. #65
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    Dude I totally love my dropper post lol
    Main bike : Altitude RSL 70 '11
    DH bike : Aurum 2 '12

  66. #66
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    I also took a break from riding a few years, and when I returned I found out I liked lock on grips, hydros, good platform pedals, riser bars. Well there is a lot of more stuff to choose from now, there are hundreds of bars, steel, ti, alu 10 differenrt grades, sweeps and swoops and god knows what.

    But some things I see as definite downtrades or at least quite annoying, and because there are so many standards to keep track of you seriously need to spend some SERIOUS damn time to find out what you need and whats actually good (good=durable). Can't really say I care for Carbon or alu frames, Carbon components, 9sp, 10sp or lol 11sp. Suspension. 29ers, 650b (but I like the look of that size wheels, and I buy lots of stuff becuse i like the look of it), outboard bb bearings, pedals that need special shoes and so on. But I'm not racing so I could care less about most things really.

    I like a solid feel and unbreakableness. And I feel the bikes made in 1990-1992 or thereabout wins in the looks department over almost all new bikes. someone needs to put bikes that looks like that into production again, but using new components and tech of course (and ditch the foot long stems plz).

    Am I a retro grouch? I'm only allowed to post in the VRC forum now? Maybe a little. Different horses for different courses! Some like carbon I like clean and classy looks.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  67. #67
    dru
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    I get the OP's point to a point.....but I like technological progress! I have a new fork (as well as an old one), a 29er, discs on both bikes, etc, and the new cranks out there have to be stiffer than my old square taper ones, and 36/12 cassettes are most definitely a nice wide range that I'd like to try ( I still run 8 speed on one bike and IGH on the other).

    New can be good but what bothers me is so many of the 'improvements' the manufacturers push really aren't. I started with standard MTB cranks with 110/74 BCD and soon faced with 94/58? BCD compact which isn't compatible. This was marketed as good for ground clearance but the smaller cassettes that came with compact wore out quicker than standard. Then the new stuff came out and I'm actually unsure of the 4 arm sizes since I'm using the former two on the 29er and 26er. How exactly is 4 arm an improvement over 5? I don't recall people bending rings with 5 arm cranks....

    The PM vs IS mount garbage is another example. One of the big fork players didn't like IS and used its marketing power to change the standard. Why? Brakes? They are really not that hard to set up. IS stands for ISO which is the whole damn point of having a standard! The only upside for me is the 180MM rotor and post mount adaptor providing better XTR power on my 29er.

    Not much else to say since I generally like progress....

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  68. #68
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    This thread is the most amazing string of drivel I've ever read. Geez, this stuff isn't that hard to sort through - you'd think most of you didn't graduate from 5th grade. Let us not forget all the other BB standards and headset standards of yore - italian/english/french/swiss/chater lea/raleigh/"evolution"/klein-press-fit bottom brackets, and don't forget all the various 1" headset variations.

    Isn't anyone going to give thanks that our industry finally settled on 2 main wheel sizes - 26 and 700c? Do any of you even realize how many different wheel/tire sizes there have been over the years? Tire Sizing Systems

    I also love how many of you think that all these new BB and headset standards are making bike shops and dealers rich. Because shops love having to having to stock 30 different BB standards, even the useless ones, just because someone may need it some day.

    Besides, we're feeding the OP troll.

  69. #69
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    Dear Mt Bike rider

    Please understand as a mfg we need to constantly change our offerings in order to sell new bikes. If we did not give you the ability to show off bling to your buddies at the trail head you would never buy a new bike. We also understand that the vast majority of you suck and buy a bike that well exceeds your abilities. It is common knowledge that the avg rider is a cheap **** and will buy our products from an Internet site then whine when it fails and the LBS won't warranty it. Our engineers strive to build a sub 30# bike that will take 12' drops with a 230# rider or else we fear being lambasted on an Internet forum. It is also important to note that we have about 6 months to reengineer /manufacture new products since you winey ****s need the next model year earlier and earlier so we have limited r&d time. I especially appreciate comments on personal setup like bar withs and seat posts. What works for you MUST work for everyone else. Lastly, we apologize for offering an extremely hi tech product made from specialized materials that ends up being tortured in dirty, wet and dusty environments yet never receives ANY maintenance until it breaks and it's "our" fault.

    Sorry
    Mr bike mfg




    Just havin fun.... I do agree theres some things that the mfg's should standardize for everyone's sake. Might help with keeping cost down too.

  70. #70
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  72. #72
    FX4
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    That was good.
    Quote Originally Posted by 440fish View Post
    Dear Mt Bike rider

    Please understand as a mfg we need to constantly change our offerings in order to sell new bikes. If we did not give you the ability to show off bling to your buddies at the trail head you would never buy a new bike. We also understand that the vast majority of you suck and buy a bike that well exceeds your abilities. It is common knowledge that the avg rider is a cheap **** and will buy our products from an Internet site then whine when it fails and the LBS won't warranty it. Our engineers strive to build a sub 30# bike that will take 12' drops with a 230# rider or else we fear being lambasted on an Internet forum. It is also important to note that we have about 6 months to reengineer /manufacture new products since you winey ****s need the next model year earlier and earlier so we have limited r&d time. I especially appreciate comments on personal setup like bar withs and seat posts. What works for you MUST work for everyone else. Lastly, we apologize for offering an extremely hi tech product made from specialized materials that ends up being tortured in dirty, wet and dusty environments yet never receives ANY maintenance until it breaks and it's "our" fault.

    Sorry
    Mr bike mfg




    Just havin fun.... I do agree theres some things that the mfg's should standardize for everyone's sake. Might help with keeping cost down too.

  73. #73
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    I like free market and innovation. I don't see a problem here. The free market will sort out itself

  74. #74
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    Recently replaced my 1995 Stumpjumper with a 2012 Stumpjumper 29er. It's faster, more comfortable, and the stiff front end with its plush suspension fork total saved my bacon last week while I was ripping down a long, steep, and very bumpy downhill. Had I been on my 1995 Stump, I would have been head over heals. I was amazed at (and very grateful for) how the 2012 Stump's front end tracked like I was on pavement and let me regain control.

    Also enjoy the realization every time I pull the brake lever I'm not wearing away my rim. And brake fade is thankfully becoming a fading memory.

  75. #75
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    If it weren't for changing standards, we'd all be on one of these. I wanna watch somebody take a 3' drop on this, or rail a corner at 20 mph, or ride it for more than 5 minutes before loosing feeling in their nether regions...
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  76. #76
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    I hate these kids today. With their dancing and their loud rock n roll. Also, get off my lawn.

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    Your points are more or less true..BUT...Bikes are toys.and i like playing with and buying toys.
    Doug

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    You might as well tell the bicycle industry to stop trying to make money. It's shorter and easier to read.

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    I started riding in 1992 on a Bridgestone MB4. Today, my primary bike is a 2011 Specialized Enduro. They weigh the same and in inflation adjusted dollars they cost the same but the Enduro is 10 times the bike because of all of that new-fangled, marketing driven technology that the OP can do without.

    I have a rigid single-speed for when I want to go retro (but it weighs 19 pounds) but I really like my hydraulic brakes, six inches of suspension, Hammerschmidt, dropper post, and the whole package that makes up today's super-bikes.

    Seems silly to complain about advances in what are essentially big, useless toys. Last time I checked there were thousands of different bikes and millions of combinations of components to choose from. Specialized, my favorite company, by themselves make bikes for every budget and with every level of technology.

    Seriously, they're just bikes. Buying one is not a huge decision like enlisting in the Marines or getting married. Heck, buying a new bike is fun. I like looking at different bikes and components. There are a lot of choices but isn't that part of the fun?

    Mountain biking is fun, right?
    Last edited by Ailuropoda; 07-21-2012 at 09:46 AM.

  80. #80
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    I feel that there's more color needed on this black and white picture you're trying to paint. Personally, I subscribed to a lot of their BS. and some of it certainly is just that. However, I wanted a comfortable bike. I find a lot of just that in my new bike versus the 90s Hardrock I started on, and then "my" first bike, a 2006 Hardrock, and even the 2008 norco fluid v4 I rode around for a test year. if what you ride is comfortable, but I feel that your message is very strident and stark in comparison to how it is. It's the same with any consumer market, you end up with a bunch of people buying the high end gear they cannot entirely utilize. But that is a lot of people to bash on, and bashing on all of them would ultimately make you a hypocrite in the eyes of many alike because I am certain that in some way you subscribe to a form of elitism, even if its just counter elite-cyclist culture ideals.

    By the way, is this Mark?

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by net wurker View Post
    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.
    Even if they do see it, they won't spend even 5 seconds reading it because of how ugly the formatting is and because of his poor grammar.

    Want to get somebody's attention in written form? Do a better job at writing it.

    That said, I get annoyed hearing about people satisfied with their old bikes. You're fast on your 20 year old rig and don't see any point in upgrading. That is really good for you. Clearly you are a special snowflake.

    But guess what, it's not your money being spent on this shiny new tech, so don't worry about it. For many, the technological and engineering aspect of mountain biking is part of what makes it so fun. It's a hobby, and we're supposed to splurge on our hobbies every now and then.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwulff View Post
    Oh the "evil" corporate "greed". Let's not make money. Heaven forbid. That would be awful to sell things, create jobs, and create wealth. I shudder at the thought.
    Hey, look on the bright side - he'll never get employed with that attitude.
    He sounds like the kind of person who wants everything given to him.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    I started riding in 1992 on a Bridgestone MB4. Today, my primary bike is a 2011 Specialized Enduro. They weigh the same and in inflation adjusted dollars they cost the same but the Enduro is 10 times the bike because of all of that new-fangled, marketing driven technology that the OP can do without.

    I have a rigid single-speed for when I want to go retro (but it weighs 19 pounds) but I really like my hydraulic brakes, six inches of suspension, Hammerschmidt, dropper post, and the whole package that makes up today's super-bikes.

    Seems silly to complain about advances in what are essentially big, useless toys. Last time I checked there were thousands of different bikes and millions of combinations of components to choose from. Specialized, my favorite company, by themselves make bikes for every budget and with every level of technology.

    Seriously, they're just bikes. Buying one is not a huge decision like enlisting in the Marines or getting married. Heck, buying a new bike is fun. I like looking at different bikes and components. There are a lot of choices but isn't that part of the fun?

    Mountain biking is fun, right?
    Great post man.........(except for the liking Specialized part)!!!

  84. #84
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    I think what's getting missed in everyones need to dogpile on the OP is this.

    None of you have answered., near as I can tell, why it is that we as cyclists, desiring better stuff, need multiple, completely non intercompatible standards for things that can be bought from many different manufacturers.

    It's a given, that you can buy a headset from many makers. Ditto for cranks, and hubs.

    These components are all pretty basic, and at this point, pretty sussed out. Also, pretty well made, and durable, hence, they don't wear out too often. Gee, how do I get people to buy my stuff as they buy it once, and it lasts for years, because I'm good at what I do. I know, change standards! Why wait till they actually wear something out?

    Do you, as a rider, really notice a huge difference, going from say, an aluminum hardtail with external bearing BB (nice, old school threaded BB shell), 1 1/8 " head tube, and a 135 rear end, to a hardtail with PF30, tapered head tube (I know, I know, which tapered standard you ask. I don't care, choose the one that gives you wood) and a 142 rear end?

    Both bikes will have 80 mm forks.

    I challenge anyone here to really truly quantify how their experience is SOOOOOO much better on the "modern" bike.

    You can't.

    That, is what I think the issue is. Nothing wrong with actual improvement. Plenty wrong with totally incompatible standards that force consumers hands to purchase more components from an ever shrinking number of suppliers, who charge ever more for their goods because of their now captive market.

    Simple case in point. My fatbike. I have a Pugsley, with a 135 rear end. It works fine, but the chain is really close to the tire in granny and in certain situations it can catch and make the chain suck downward. The new rear 170mm standard was created to solve that issue, which it does well. Yes, new stuff, and standard, but it actually solves a problem. You have 135, 145 and 150 (and more too). Tell me how 142 is so much better.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Tell me how 142 is so much better.....


    Clean easy to use (tooless in most cases) 12mm through axle with no need for a different hub width, most quality hubs offer conversion kits as well.
    If you don't understand how this is better than the flexy pos q/r system I really don't know what to say to you.

    I also would not consider an aluminum hardtail a modern bike, try a full suspension trailbike from ten years ago and compare it to what we have now. Without question there is a night and day difference.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post

    Do you, as a rider, really notice a huge difference, going from say, an aluminum hardtail with external bearing BB (nice, old school threaded BB shell), 1 1/8 " head tube, and a 135 rear end, to a hardtail with PF30, tapered head tube (I know, I know, which tapered standard you ask. I don't care, choose the one that gives you wood) and a 142 rear end?

    Both bikes will have 80 mm forks.

    I challenge anyone here to really truly quantify how their experience is SOOOOOO much better on the "modern" bike.

    You can't.

    Tell me how 142 is so much better.....
    The large tapered headtube and oversized bottom bracket of the theoretical frame provides more area to join the various frame members resulting in a firmer ride. The 142mm rear end is slotted like a traditional open drop-out for ease of use but uses a large 12mm axle - again, for added stiffness.

    These things are unequivocally PERFORMANCE enhancements, whether or not the provide a better experience is irrelevant.

    And this example on a aluminum hard-tail with an 80mm fork is a bit silly. It's like asking someone to justify a new Mac Book Pro when all they do is e-mail and surf the web. For the types of bikes I ride, many of the new standards and technological breakthroughs have been a godsend.
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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post

    None of you have answered., near as I can tell, why it is that we as cyclists, desiring better stuff, need multiple, completely non intercompatible standards for things that can be bought from maut?
    The answer is that it doesn't matter. Buy the bike you want with the components you want an ignore everything else. I mean, realistically I don't really care about my bottom bracket. If it needs service I let my LBS handle it. I have six mountain bikes and I have no idea what kind of bottom bracket any of them have except I suspect my Stumpjumper Carbon Hardtail has press in bearings.

    If you do your own service all it means is that you have to own a couple more tools.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev106 View Post
    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.
    Every time I see a 6'4"+ guy towering over 26er like a circus bear on toy bike I can't help but think how ridiculous it was that 26" wheels were the ONLY standard for mountain bikes for so many years. We all have different body types and riding styles and the one-size-fits-all mentality of the early days of mountain biking is, thank Odin, long gone. I love my 29er, it makes me feel like a kid again because it just feels right. My 15 year old Ti Kona King Kahuna sure looks pretty propped up on a stand in my man cave, but I will never choose to ride it over my new Tallboy LTc. Bike industry, if you actually are listening, bring on the changing standards and innovations, I think most of us here are grateful they have finally arrived.
    "He seems quite arrogant and ignores quite some valid points." -Millfox
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  89. #89
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    On behalf of the entire bicycle manufacturing industry, I will respond to your open letter.
    Thanks.

    We did not want to innovate so much, despite what some have said about us.
    We would rather keep selling the same designs for years, and simply search for lower cost labor to manufacture and assemble the product.

    Thanks again,

    The Bicycle Industry

  90. #90
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    well, my friend who owns a bike shop can probably relate somewhat, since 29er became popular, they've had trouble selling some of their great 26ers. In our area, 26er is good, but thing is, there are people who've NEVER ridden a 29er, come in and claim they need one. He trys to say "here, we have some great 26er trail bikes as well....."
    "NO it has to be a 29er".
    "have you tried one yet? do you know what style you prefer? do you want to test ride both?"
    "NO i have never ridden a 29er, but thats what i need".

    okay.....

    by all means, ride what you like, but popularity sometimes has people grabbing on before they know what they even want in a bike.
    fap

  91. #91
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    The points made are relevant, yes.

    However, you're still missing the point. Multiple standards help no one.

    142, sure, it's cute. So is 150, and it already exists, and you're already buying a new bike anyway, which is why this is even relevant. Nobody is retrofitting a 135 frame to a 142 hub. Hence, new bike, just buy a 150, cause hey, it's 8 mm wider, so thus, by your own admission, stiffer. Why limit your stiffness? I love the 150 mm spacing on my Lenz Lunchbox, no issues, stiff, never find myself going, "man, wish this was 8 mm narrower".

    I'm sure smart folks could come up with adapters for the extra 4 mm per side, just like the 3.5 for the 142. It's just a pointless extra size in a field awash with sizes already.

    No issues with TA QR's, like 'em. Did we really need 15 AND 20 in front? No, but at least no one has come out with a 17.5 just to be different, yet...

    I'm sure Specialized and Trek are very happy selling everyone on another new standard though.

    Taper HT's, we had 1 Point Five already, so there's your wider weld point/stiffener, which I do agree adds chassis stiffness.

    Adding tapered simply muddies the water and allows the rider to keep their stem (phew, I was stressed about that!)

    Tapered, offers multiple standards. Just ordered a taper headset for an inbound frame, only to discover, what was ordered for the lower cup, wasn't correct, awesome.

    My fault for not doing in depth homework, yes. Necessary? No. Tapered should be just that, tapered.

    Order a 1 1/8" threadless headset, no surprises. No multiple standards within the "standard"....

    BB's, same thing, yes, bigger for stiffer, got it. So we've had BB30 for years via Cannondale. Now toss in PF30, BBRight, BB90, and you have a soup full of standards that would make a builder cry.

    I'm all for innovation. I'm all for improvement. All for stiffer frames on FS bikes. I'm happily a Luddite about some stuff, but embrace new too.

    How does having multiple contact angles and two diameters of direct fit headset bearings help anyone, other than make it impossible easily to buy replacement bearings for a customers headset? OEM stuff is a mix mash, and getting to the bottom of what you have is just more hassle for no valid improvement. 36x36, 36x45, 45x45 yada yada yada...


    Not standing on a soap box saying steel and square taper is all we need, not at all. But having so many standards apply to the same parts, from the same year does nothing to improve anything, just makes mechanics lives more annoying, and doesn't allow you to buy a bike and plug in whatever you like.

    Isis BB's sucked, but were a great example of the kind of thinking I'd like to see. One standard that all crank and BB makers who chose to, could use, free.

    I could go on, but you guys would obviously rather have a million different standards, just because you can....

    Flame away.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Multiple standards help no one.
    That's a pretty broad statement. There are cases where multiple standards certainly makes sense, wheel size for instance, and other cases where a good argument could be made against them, headset or bottom brackets perhaps being good examples. Arbitrary and numerous standards are certainly not a good idea, and are perhaps what some here are reacting to, but to go to the other extreme and say we should have only one standard in all cases seems silly to me.

    Take a more mature industry that relies on standards, residential construction. The unit of stick frame construction, the wall stud and floor joist, comes in various sizes: 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x12, each with their own accompanying hardware standards. Without these multiple standards, you would not able to build walls and floors with different structural, aesthetic, insulation, and sound proofing requirements.

    The mountain bike industry is still young and in flux, perhaps one day it will mature like the construction industry and we can settle on groups of standards that make sense, until then just be thankful you have some choice.
    "He seems quite arrogant and ignores quite some valid points." -Millfox
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  93. #93
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    OP, you're never forced to buy anything. Be glad MTB is a progressive sport....and not one mired in abject obsolescence. Mind you, I don't even ride with the latest and greatest...even though I can well afford it. But, since I'll never see myself racing - I'm perfectly happy with my two-year-old FS 26er with eight year-old parts. Why? Because the parts I do have are durable. I will replace them as they break....not with the same, but with 2012+ equivalents.

    Your letter will only fall upon deaf ears and eyes. Having the upper edge simply does not mean you need to have the latest 29er with 2x10 componentry....but with what you are safely having enough fun on.
    "Life is way too short to own anything crappy"

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredjunkie View Post
    That's a pretty broad statement.
    Taken out of context, you are correct.

    Multiple BB or HS standards for bicycles that essentially do the same thing (IE: DH, XC, AM etc) is pointless.

    XC bikes, so many standards, so little improvement over one another "in class".

    Ditto for the other groups/styles.

    Why do I feel like I'm paddling upstream here?

    If you think it's great that you can't buy an XTR crank and mount it on any XC chassis you wish, cool, be stuck with whatever carbon crap said maker made an exclusive deal with the crank manufacturer on.

    Soon, we'll have multiple derailleur mount options for RD's, sweet!

    Worth noting, in case it wasn't apparent, I'm coming at this from a bike shop perspective too.

    It was bad enough when FD's came in three clamp diameters, two pulls, and two "swings". I was very happy when they figured out a multi pull system, and included shims for the other sizes. Thank you! I can stock two or three MTB FD's and be covered.

    Sadly, now we have two versions of Direct mount to contend with, one simply wasn't sufficient.....

    Hey, I even understand direct mount, I do!

    That said, welcome to the hell that is trying to stock everything for everyone, and everything.

    Or, be accused of being some lame shop that "doesn't stock anything I need"......


    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  95. #95
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    Well, sure... and as a software engineer who works in the Internet industry, my life would sure be easier if everything was written in one language and if all browsers conformed to the exact same standard. Unfortunately that would stifle innovation and we'd all still be browsing with Netscape Navigator and Yahoo lists would still be the best way to track down information. Instead I'm required to know more than a half dozen languages and achieving compatibility across multiple browsers is a major time suck... but that's just the all part of the job description.
    "He seems quite arrogant and ignores quite some valid points." -Millfox
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  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I think what's getting missed in everyones need to dogpile on the OP is this.

    None of you have answered., near as I can tell, why it is that we as cyclists, desiring better stuff, need multiple, completely non intercompatible standards for things that can be bought from many different manufacturers.

    It's a given, that you can buy a headset from many makers. Ditto for cranks, and hubs.

    These components are all pretty basic, and at this point, pretty sussed out. Also, pretty well made, and durable, hence, they don't wear out too often. Gee, how do I get people to buy my stuff as they buy it once, and it lasts for years, because I'm good at what I do. I know, change standards! Why wait till they actually wear something out?

    Do you, as a rider, really notice a huge difference, going from say, an aluminum hardtail with external bearing BB (nice, old school threaded BB shell), 1 1/8 " head tube, and a 135 rear end, to a hardtail with PF30, tapered head tube (I know, I know, which tapered standard you ask. I don't care, choose the one that gives you wood) and a 142 rear end?

    Both bikes will have 80 mm forks.

    I challenge anyone here to really truly quantify how their experience is SOOOOOO much better on the "modern" bike.

    You can't.

    That, is what I think the issue is. Nothing wrong with actual improvement. Plenty wrong with totally incompatible standards that force consumers hands to purchase more components from an ever shrinking number of suppliers, who charge ever more for their goods because of their now captive market.

    Simple case in point. My fatbike. I have a Pugsley, with a 135 rear end. It works fine, but the chain is really close to the tire in granny and in certain situations it can catch and make the chain suck downward. The new rear 170mm standard was created to solve that issue, which it does well. Yes, new stuff, and standard, but it actually solves a problem. You have 135, 145 and 150 (and more too). Tell me how 142 is so much better.....
    Having multiple standards is the only way that things improve. If not for multiple standards, nothing would have changed since the first appearance of mtb's:

    -If there were never multiple headset standards, we would still be using 1" threaded.
    -If there were never multiple brake standards, we would all be using cantilevers (or maybe u-brakes)
    -If there were never multiple shifter / RD / Cassette standards, we would all be running 5 speed.
    -If there were never multiple bb standards, we would all be running Square taper.

    And for all your talk about this all being a way to squeeze more money out of consumers, the bottom line is that in the end you get a lot more for your money now than you did 20 years ago.


    Regarding 142mm:

    142 is better because it is a through axle that threads into the frame. It is simply a better way to attach the wheel to the frame than is possible with 135. I have converted 135 frames in the past from QR to through bolt axles, and on a flexy frame it made a HUGE difference. Unfortunately it is a bit awkward to use a through bolt on a vertical dropout. A system like 142 gives the advantage of a through axle but makes it a lot easier to remove and replace the wheel. So there you go.

    And many rear hubs are convertible from 135 to 142.

    I don't get what your problem with it is. It has the exact same chain-line and everything as 135, it is not a big compatibility issue. If you think this was just some money making scheme, keep in mind that the frame makers are not the ones selling the new hubs. If anything, a manufacturer is taking a risk with a new standard.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  97. #97
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    I'll side with Mendon, since he's essentially making the same point I was earlier. Some things are BS and have nothing to do with innovation and everything to do with making stuff incompatible and in the end more profitable for the industry.

    I'm pretty sure no one here will be able to argue how changing chainring BCD and # of arms offers any sort of improvement at all, simply because there is no benefit.

    Standard 110/74 5 bolt rings last longer than 94/58 BCD 5 bolt, and both are far stronger than 104 BCD 4 bolt cranks. I've never heard of people bending 5 bolt rings, unlike 4 bolt models.

    Can someone tell me how this is an improvement please?

    Here's several years of 4 arm XTR, with 4 different BCD sizes; how are any improved over the others? Do tell.....

    146 BCD Shimano XTR M960 Hollowtech 4-arm outer
    112 BCD Shimano XTR M950, M952 4-arm middle/outer
    104 BCD Shimano XTR M960, 4-arm outer
    102 BCD Shimano 2003 XTR 4-arm middle

    (courtesy of Sheldon Brown, RIP)
    Last edited by dru; 07-22-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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  98. #98
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    Wow, I'm surprised how many people insulted the OP. Surely everyone is entitled to his/her opinion without fear of ridicule? But it's easy to go after someone on the internet, isn't it?

    I'm just getting back into mtb (as in, actually buying stuff) for the first time since 1995. I have to say, bikes have come a long way. The technology on them is fantastic. I love my new 29er with hydro brakes and RockShox. That said, there are a TON of choices out there and I see the OP's point. I shopped for a new bike for 2 weeks and was no closer to deciding at the end than I was at the beginning. It's way too easy to spend a ton of money on a bike that might not necessarily be THAT much better.

    At my local LBS, I rode a $650 bike, a $750 bike, a $960 bike, and a $1400 bike. You know what, I really couldn't tell much difference just riding around the parking lot and hopping the curb over and over. It can all be pretty overwhelming, which is, I think, the OP's point. That said, I think having too many options is a great problem to have. Just get out there and have fun with your bike!

  99. #99
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    A few people mentioned that "bikes are toys and are meant to splurge out on from time to time" or something to that effect. That comment speaks volumes about some cyclists disposable income. I'm sure many of us struggle to replace an inner tube when it's needed, let alone bigger purchases or even whole bikes.
    My point is that I get a feeling that it's those with cash to burn who have little problem with new standards as they can easily afford, if not enjoy and want, to change parts/frame/complete bikes.
    In my case I have the previous generation Niner S.I.R.9 and I'm really glad I have that model and not the new one as I'm not sure I'd be able to use an IGH with the new rear end. Nor would I be able to pull my BOB trailer with the new one.

    Personally, I'm all for innovation (another 29er fanboy here). On the other hand I'm all for maximum compatibility between parts/frames. I guess the difficulty is achieving a reasonable balance.

  100. #100
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    I am sympathetic to MendonCycleSmith's plight from the perspective of a shop owner trying to keep stock of parts and tooling to deal with such a wide spectrum of standards. I believe that as much of a source of frustration this can be for the end user it is much more burdensome for a shop to try and keep that much money on the shelf.

    But I do agree that innovation comes at the cost of multiple standards and that some, not all, but many of these innovations are worthy pursuits. I would hope this is a transitionary period and that at some point many of these innovations would go by the way side, but from what I've witnessed over the years I believe the market will become proliferated with proprietary features to accommodate things such as gear boxes or MTB transmissions for example.

    I think this is good for the consumer, but a hardship for the local shops. I honestly cannot think of anything man has devised that conforms to a universal standard, we can't even agree on a standard unit of measure. The reality is that the world of bicycles is no different than anything else in regard to a wide array of standards.

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