MTB industry marketing: Be part of the solution, not the problem- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    MTB industry marketing: Be part of the solution, not the problem

    I'm conflicted (insert Captain Obvious joke).

    I have strong feelings about marketing BS in the MTB industry. I just came across this article and the headline is driving me nuts.

    "Downcountry hardtail (doesn't exist), Enduro (Enduro hardtail?) and "bikepacking" all in one frame?? And just for good measure we'll add "wagon wheels" WTF?

    The article in question is written by a website I generally like, the brand of the bike (Cotic) I genuinely really like (they make pretty sweet steel bikes) and I'm having a hard time letting this go without saying something.

    This is some marketing headline BS. A collection of trendy words and catch phrases to lure more clicks. Not a fan. The bike is freakin sweet, let it speak for it's self!!

    I'm quite certain it would be an excellent hardtail trail bike to ride, and fairly versatile, but the MTB media should be held to a higher standard. Some writer wrote it, an editor approved it, and it was published. It's terrible and ridiculous.

    Please discuss...

    Bikerumor: "2020 SolarisMAX is Cotic’s downcountry hardtail for enduro & bikepacking w/wagon wheels"

    https://bikerumor.com/2020/06/19/202...-wagon-wheels/
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  2. #2
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    Trek's Wavecell tease was one of the worst in recent memory. Made it sound like they had a new frame material and it's just a bulky ass helmet liner.

    "Everything else is history!"

  3. #3
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    I'm surprised that the headline turned you off rather than the fact that there appears to be 7(!) water bottle bosses on the down tube and 0(!) on the seat tube. That is the real crime here and shame on Cotic.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    I'm surprised that the headline turned you off rather than the fact that there appears to be 7(!) water bottle bosses on the down tube and 0(!) on the seat tube. That is the real crime here and shame on Cotic.
    Agree'd.... give it equal warts on every tube. Or at least the seat tube, but would be nice to have seen top and bottom downtube warts.
    Silly bike things happening.

  5. #5
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    I keep getting all those FB adds for Absolute Black oval chainrings and how they'll "improve" your riding, that they are proven by science, and that they are the best thing ever. I ask, how much they will improve riding. I'm told "up to...". Wild claims, like if a TDF rider was 7% faster, that would be record-breaking an monumental. I ask what quantitative methods have been used to determine if those results are significant. Crickets.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    I think it needs a couple more spots for water bottle cage...

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I think it needs a couple more spots for beer bottle cage...

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    There, Shark! Fixed it for ya...
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  8. #8
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    It's an article/review, not an advertising piece. I skimmed through the article, and it gets into a lot of technical details and seems competently written. My guess is that the editor chose the title of the article not to match the article, but to match the marketing of the manufacturer, which is probably also an advertiser for the mag. Probably all on a shoestring budget. Journalism is truly challenged these days across the board, it's tough to make a living, much less approach it professionally.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramount3 View Post
    It's an article/review, not an advertising piece.
    a distinction without a difference in most cases

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    I'm surprised that the headline turned you off rather than the fact that there appears to be 7(!) water bottle bosses on the down tube and 0(!) on the seat tube. That is the real crime here and shame on Cotic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redlands R&C View Post
    Agree'd.... give it equal warts on every tube. Or at least the seat tube, but would be nice to have seen top and bottom downtube warts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I think it needs a couple more spots for water bottle cage...
    Hey fellas, the modern hardtail needs a long dropper. My new custom HT (frame size XL) has a 210mm dropper and I wouldn't want one any shorter. Room for bottle bosses on the seat tube? Nope. Maybe that's why Cotic put so many on the DT.

    Makes sense to me -- now I can put my bottle(s) anywhere along the DT I want it/them. Tho I'd probably employ low profile aluminum button head screws to fill the unused bosses so they don't draw quite so much attention to themselves.
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  11. #11
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    Aren't some of the bosses used for bikepacking equipment? I know jack about bikepacking. Another Captain Obvious statement.

    I find it hard to believe more than 2 bottles would fit on that downtube.

    Other than that, I like Sparty's solution.
    “The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

    George Orwell

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Aren't some of the bosses used for bikepacking equipment?
    Yes. There are cargo cages that use 3 bosses by themselves. Some bags attach to those bosses in order to avoid straps that scuff the frame. And so on.

    I do agree that marketing-speak is ridiculous. Downcountry is BS. The word enduro is sortof descriptive (as a race format) when the marketing people got hold of it, it got to be too much. Worse than those words, though, is when you get strings of meaningless babble used as "descriptive" terms. This article doesn't have much of that, but I would classify the way it uses the manufacturer's "branded" terms for aspects of the frame that way. Pretty much meaningless words, since the author doesn't really describe what most of them actually are or do.

    Bikepacking is a useful word that describes something legitimately different. But the activity certainly existed before there was a word for it.

  13. #13
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    It's just a consequence of manufacturers trying to differentiate their product in a crowded marketplace. Most riders think that 'hardtail' is a category like 'enduro.'

    This isn't even that bad. Every brand having their own patented suspension linkage is much much dumber.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  14. #14
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    I despise specious technical explanations and descriptions. Tons of it created by marketers, parroted by journos, and perpetuated by the gullible ignorant public.
    What, me worry?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Every brand having their own patented suspension linkage is much much dumber.
    If every suspension was precisely the same, how would we know the difference from a SPecialEd, Trek and any other since they are all precisely identical? I hold several patents on bicycle suspension designs and applications, so compelled to ask.
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  16. #16
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    I'm surprised a company hasn't trademarked the term "downcountry" and made a bike model using that name. Remember the Cannondale Freeride?
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  17. #17
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    Downcountry, upcountry, more rubbish on the way...
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    Downcountry, upcountry, more rubbish on the way...
    You forgot crosscountry. Next will be backcountry bikes.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    I hold several patents on bicycle suspension designs and applications, so compelled to ask.
    The execution is what's important, and has to be looked at as a full package. Shock tune, leverage ratio, rising/falling rate, pedal feedback, instant center location, bla bla bla... that's the stuff that matters. The type of linkage constrains what can be done, but it's not like X linkage type = X behavior. It just adds a layer of confusion for the end user and the patent serves as a marketing tool.

    IMO. As someone far more invested than me (hardtails are my jam, hahaha) i'd be interested to read your take on that.
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  20. #20
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    On Marketing.....
    I expect those who cannot think for themselves must rely on the thoughts of others.....
    Freedom is a shield against the negative consequences of the Foolishness of others.



  21. #21
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    My wife bought a hair coloring kit online. I read the copy, something like "Nourishes your sense of inner beauty, empowering you to be the woman you truly were meant to be yada yada and more horsesh!t. I read it to her and said "If I got a job writing copy and I wrote something like this, please just kill me".

    Face it, advertisers aren't about telling you the truth. Truth doesn't sell. The ad copy I would write would be something like "It does a decent job of coloring your hair and won't make it fall out or blind you if you follow the instruction carefully".
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkFathom View Post
    On Marketing.....
    I expect those who cannot think for themselves must rely on the thoughts of others.....
    Bla bla bla. Quit stealing from Jack Handey.
    “The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    Nourishes your sense of inner beauty, empowering you to be the woman you truly were meant to be…
    Did you try it?
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    The execution is what's important, and has to be looked at as a full package. Shock tune, leverage ratio, rising/falling rate, pedal feedback, instant center location, bla bla bla... that's the stuff that matters. The type of linkage constrains what can be done, but it's not like X linkage type = X behavior. It just adds a layer of confusion for the end user and the patent serves as a marketing tool.

    IMO. As someone far more invested than me (hardtails are my jam, hahaha) i'd be interested to read your take on that.
    That my friend would be a topic of its own...
    You have summed up a considerable amount of what goes into the design. I wish Solidworks had been available in my early days. That could have sped up the process of taking concept to virtual operation. While it is not Gospel, it does help in major ways. Real world is the point that a design is proven or going back to find resolution of weaknesses etc.

    I also love my hardtails. MiddleChild and two Sargeants are the ones getting attention as is my trials bike. Love the hell outta the trials bike too!

    Marketing concept is to reach in our pockets while having a "casual conversation" with us or the snake charmer charming the dollars out of our wallets!! There, I said it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    You forgot crosscountry. Next will be backcountry bikes.
    I still call it Jeepin' without the permission of the establishment, much like I ride 3.0's against their agenda!
    You're right tho' I did cut the list short!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Did you try it?
    Yeah. Didn't help.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post

    Bikerumor: "2020 SolarisMAX is Cotic’s downcountry hardtail for enduro & bikepacking w/wagon wheels"

    https://bikerumor.com/2020/06/19/202...-wagon-wheels/

    But is it Rowdy, and does it let you send it?


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  27. #27
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    if the frame designer knew about Awesome Straps,
    problems like that ghastly downtube could have been prevented
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  28. #28
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    What did Bill Hicks say...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    What did Bill Hicks say...
    "Today, a young man on acid..."
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    You forgot crosscountry. Next will be backcountry bikes.
    Nope, Backcountry will sue you. I've already got SideCountry trademarked, so all you're left with now is AltCountry. Or PostPunkCountry. Or ForeignCountry Or...

  31. #31
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    MTB industry marketing: Be part of the solution, not the problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    Nope, Backcountry will sue you. I've already got SideCountry trademarked, so all you're left with now is AltCountry. Or PostPunkCountry. Or ForeignCountry Or...
    All-country.

    That’s the next hot trend in bikes.
    We jest, but I’m being 100% sincere when I say I can’t believe that hasn’t been coined yet.

    We already have All Road and All Mountain, why the eff not ‘all country’?
    The geo is so dialed, it’ll make your cross country and down country bikes obsolete.


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  32. #32
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    First World Country?
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  33. #33
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    https://bikerumor.com/2020/06/19/202...-wagon-wheels/

    Just in time for anyone who didn't get a BfeMax which is out til Dec.
    Close updated XTrail geo at about 1 pound lighter.

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    Dumb country?

  35. #35
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    I had a friend who once worked at a place called Hunt Country Furniture. Try saying that 5 times fast.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  36. #36
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    Pretty clever marketing scheme if you ask me

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Pretty clever marketing scheme if you ask me
    What, starting a thread that links to a preferred mfr.?




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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    What, starting a thread that links to a preferred mfr.?
    Good point, I never would have looked at that monstrosity if it weren't for the outraged OP.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I keep getting all those FB adds for Absolute Black oval chainrings and how they'll "improve" your riding, that they are proven by science, and that they are the best thing ever. I ask, how much they will improve riding. I'm told "up to...". Wild claims, like if a TDF rider was 7% faster, that would be record-breaking an monumental. I ask what quantitative methods have been used to determine if those results are significant. Crickets.
    Me - "Oh cool, Biopace"
    Marketing Victim - "IT'S NOT $#@%$#% BIOPACE!!!!!"

    LOL!
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  40. #40
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    Biopace will never die, right? It’s amazing

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Me - "Oh cool, Biopace"
    Marketing Victim - "IT'S NOT $#@%$#% BIOPACE!!!!!"

    LOL!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Me - "Oh cool, Biopace"
    Marketing Victim - "IT'S NOT $#@%$#% BIOPACE!!!!!"

    LOL!
    Lol...the modern oval has been around for a few years now...but not matter what...when an oval ring topic comes up...you'll always get that one guy to mention "oh...its just like Biopace".

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Lol...the modern oval has been around for a few years now...but not matter what...when an oval ring topic comes up...you'll always get that one guy to mention "oh...its just like Biopace".
    You might say, "like clockwork…"
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Lol...the modern oval has been around for a few years now...but not matter what...when an oval ring topic comes up...you'll always get that one guy to mention "oh...its just like Biopace".
    The point is they make some pretty wild claims in terms of % points and if those were really true, people would be smashing records by simply switching to their biopace rings. They are heavily pushing them right now.
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  44. #44
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    I quit reading mtb articles a couple years ago. Call me a grumpy old butthole, but I can only read words like "gnar" "shred" and "sendy" so much before I want to gouge my eyes out with a butterknife.

  45. #45
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    Grumpy old butthole...sounds gnar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Lol...the modern oval has been around for a few years now...but not matter what...when an oval ring topic comes up...you'll always get that one guy to mention "oh...its just like Biopace".
    There's more than just one of us!

    And it is just like Biopace!
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  47. #47
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    Re: the oval “it’s just like biopace” issue. This is a prime example of where overdoing the marketing backfires.

    When I was deciding on chainrings I did some research into modern oval vs old biopace and there is a significant difference that is centered around the orientation of the oval that substantially changes how it affects pedal stroke. I find it makes a difference for me mostly on really steep climbs (less quad fatigue) or when trying to maintain traction on a techy climb and I prefer it but it isn’t the OMG GAME CHANGER!!!! That the marketing teams would have you believe.

    The problem with the over the top marketing claiming it is some revolutionary game changer is that people get weary of it and start to just discount anything said in the marketing which causes people in this case to think it is identical to biopace and that the only difference is marketing. Simultaneously other people buy the marketing hook line and sinker and think it is some completely new/novel/different technology. These two camps get into heated arguments because, for some reason, what someone else thinks of your choice of components matters? The reality is somewhere in the middle, it is an improvement/evolution of the biopace concept.

  48. #48
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    I am pretty sure all of the "it's just like Biopace" comments are just trolling at this point. I am tempted to start doing that myself.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronxbomber252 View Post
    there is a significant difference that is centered around the orientation of the oval .
    Eggzacktlee.

    It's the same as Biopace, just mounted a little different.
    Still does Jack Shit.

    I gotta run out and buy a 200mm dropper now so I can ride off a curb without dying.
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  50. #50
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    Finally, a do-it-all bike! I can get ride of my other four.

    What is this 'downcountry' talk?
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  51. #51
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    Science or no science, I can personally feel the difference in the AB oval rings. They definitely don't make me 7% faster, but the pedal stroke is more comfortable and I honestly believe it's easier on my knees.


    Not everything needs to be backed by intense industry science, general feel and comfort of your pedal stroke is worth something.

  52. #52
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    Now elliptical chainrings, they are soooooo much better and not anything like BioPace nor those silly oval chainrings. This one's elliptical, it's proven by really hard math!
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeakymcgillicuddy View Post
    a distinction without a difference in most cases
    Yep. Most "reviews" are just regurgitated press releases.

  54. #54
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    I'm more offended by the dishwashing detergent commercial that claims running your dishwasher every night (thus using more detergent) saves water. The fine print explains that the statement is in comparison to washing dishes by hand.

    Imagine all the water AND detergent saved by running your dishwasher only when it's full.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I'm conflicted (insert Captain Obvious joke).

    I have strong feelings about marketing BS in the MTB industry. I just came across this article and the headline is driving me nuts.

    "Downcountry hardtail (doesn't exist), Enduro (Enduro hardtail?) and "bikepacking" all in one frame?? And just for good measure we'll add "wagon wheels" WTF?

    The article in question is written by a website I generally like, the brand of the bike (Cotic) I genuinely really like (they make pretty sweet steel bikes) and I'm having a hard time letting this go without saying something.

    This is some marketing headline BS. A collection of trendy words and catch phrases to lure more clicks. Not a fan. The bike is freakin sweet, let it speak for it's self!!

    I'm quite certain it would be an excellent hardtail trail bike to ride, and fairly versatile, but the MTB media should be held to a higher standard. Some writer wrote it, an editor approved it, and it was published. It's terrible and ridiculous.

    Please discuss...

    Bikerumor: "2020 SolarisMAX is Cotic’s downcountry hardtail for enduro & bikepacking w/wagon wheels"

    https://bikerumor.com/2020/06/19/202...-wagon-wheels/
    Just thinking here: if you can get more people to buy your product you stay in business. If some of your customers roll their eyes at the terminology, but new customers totally get it, then you business succeeds.

    I mean would the terminology stop you from buying the bike? Probably not. Would you search out a different option because of the terminology used? Probably not?

    I agree a dirt jump, downcountry, gravel, tourer, commuting bike seems weird but there is at least a few people that will will click with. Some of us will avoid the labels and look at the geometry and decide it works for them, some will scream "Steel is real", grab their wallet from the front pocket of their flannels and order one up, some will look at the price and buy something carbon, but the company will sell bikes, will stay in business, and will able to release their full suspension, muni, tri bike next.
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Just thinking here: if you can get more people to buy your product you stay in business. If some of your customers roll their eyes at the terminology, but new customers totally get it, then you business succeeds.

    I mean would the terminology stop you from buying the bike? Probably not. Would you search out a different option because of the terminology used? Probably not?

    I agree a dirt jump, downcountry, gravel, tourer, commuting bike seems weird but there is at least a few people that will will click with. Some of us will avoid the labels and look at the geometry and decide it works for them, some will scream "Steel is real", grab their wallet from the front pocket of their flannels and order one up, some will look at the price and buy something carbon, but the company will sell bikes, will stay in business, and will able to release their full suspension, muni, tri bike next.
    I hear ya, but it drives me nuts. This is not a press release from the bike manufacturer, though they may well have paid to have an article written (?), it's just a write-up from a website. The combination of terminology used is ridiculous (just like your example).

    It reminds me of when Pivot came out with the Firebird... "climbs like an XC bike and descends like a DH bike" :holy mother of eye rolls: To this day the website says "Crushes Climbs, Slays Descents". It's a 170/162mm bike, "crushes climbs"??? Give me a break.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    I'm more offended by the dishwashing detergent commercial that claims running your dishwasher every night (thus using more detergent) saves water. The fine print explains that the statement is in comparison to washing dishes by hand.

    Imagine all the water AND detergent saved by running your dishwasher only when it's full.
    AND, I expect that comparison to hand washing involves leaving the tap run continuously while you wash, rather than only for rinsing. Which is what I do when I hand wash. However, I've never been able to fully train my daughter to do that. Just too much work I guess. We also only run the dishwasher when full. I pride myself on using every available sqare inch of the thing. Picked that up from my old man.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

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    We all know that one person(people) who buys a new bike every 4-6 months. Consumerism is rampant in this country and I suppose the marketing departments are doing a good job to lead these people to believe that they need the latest and greatest every time a new product is released. Maybe it's partly to impress others, but I'm way more impressed by the guy passing me or jumping higher on his 4-5 year old bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    We also only run the dishwasher when full. I pride myself on using every available sqare inch of the thing. Picked that up from my old man.
    my wife is forbidden from loading the dishwasher for this reason. she's also terrible at Tetris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manpurse View Post
    ...but I'm way more impressed by the guy passing me or jumping higher on his 4-5 year old bike.
    4-5 year old bike?!! Those are ancient

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    my wife is forbidden from loading the dishwasher for this reason. she's also terrible at Tetris.
    lol, I also re-sort the dishwasher after my wife has loaded it, then add all the dishes that are in the sink, that couldn't fit previously. I think it drives her crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I hear ya, but it drives me nuts. This is not a press release from the bike manufacturer, though they may well have paid to have an article written (?), it's just a write-up from a website. The combination of terminology used is ridiculous (just like your example).

    It reminds me of when Pivot came out with the Firebird... "climbs like an XC bike and descends like a DH bike" :holy mother of eye rolls: To this day the website says "Crushes Climbs, Slays Descents". It's a 170/162mm bike, "crushes climbs"??? Give me a break.
    I agree with that. Also full disclosure I still haven't bought in to suspension, or more than 9 gears so I am a bad person to wax poetically on advertorials or ad copy in general. Though back in the day my everyday bike was a Santa Cruz bullit, the one with the 5th element shock. I ran it in the long travel setup and loved how it climbed. Hated how it braked and descended but it was a mad climbing bike. Probably one of the reasons I don't boing to this day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I agree with that. Also full disclosure I still haven't bought in to suspension, or more than 9 gears so I am a bad person to wax poetically on advertorials or ad copy in general. Though back in the day my everyday bike was a Santa Cruz bullit, the one with the 5th element shock. I ran it in the long travel setup and loved how it climbed. Hated how it braked and descended but it was a mad climbing bike. Probably one of the reasons I don't boing to this day.
    Well, those were really really bad shocks on a semi-active bike, but the point is valid. Nothing climbs like a 4" XC FS bike, or hardtail for that matter, and there's no shortage of marketing BS to make you think that some long travel bike climbs "just as well". It almost doesn't even matter what the suspension type is with the shorter travel bikes, since it just doesn't have as big of an effect over less travel.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I agree with that. Also full disclosure I still haven't bought in to suspension, or more than 9 gears so I am a bad person to wax poetically on advertorials or ad copy in general. Though back in the day my everyday bike was a Santa Cruz bullit, the one with the 5th element shock. I ran it in the long travel setup and loved how it climbed. Hated how it braked and descended but it was a mad climbing bike. Probably one of the reasons I don't boing to this day.
    I'm a bit of a retro grouch myself, I like rigid MTB's. Steel is the only frame material I ride with the exception of my full suspension bikes.

    Also my new steel hardtail will have the Box One Prime 9 wide range drivetrain with 11-46t cassette. Less shifting is better for me. I also have a 1x 9 spd setup on a flat bar cross bike. So really your 9 speed ain't that outdated, I'm sure it works just fine.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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