February 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm #256372
After riding for 25 years, I’ve seen quite a few trends come and go. Heck, my first bike was fully rigid. Most developments have added to the enjoyment of the sport, with the past 5 years being particularly awesome. But there are a few developments that I wish we could undo.
For one, is internal cable routing. I do most of my own mechanical work and have spent many hours cursing on the floor with a flash light trying to fish a cable out of my bike. WHY!? For looks? Who cares. I’m fond of colorful housing. For reliability? Not worth it. Can we please go back? Or I guess I’ll just wait for everything to be wireless.
What trend do you want reversed? 26 inch wheels? Mechanical disc breaks (I hate hydraulic fluid too)? Let’s hear it
February 6, 2019 at 6:13 pm #256381
I’d be perfectly fine with 26 inch wheels, but 27.5 is also just fine. Internal cable routing is pretty annoying, but the one thing I really don’t care for is the obsession with carbon everything. In my opinion it’s too expensive and too fragile to justify the weight savings. I currently ride an aluminum hardtail with aluminum wheels and no carbon components. My last bike was a carbon hardtail. Guess why I switched back to aluminum. Over the course of a single year the carbon frame had a chunk taken out of the bb shell by a rock strike, and the frame was cracked on the downtube when I went over the bars on a jump and the bike landed on it’s side. Is it unreasonable to expect a bike to survive a fairly mild crash? My aluminum bike has taken many much harder rock strikes and hits, and has had no damage beyond the paint. As for wheels, I’m currently running a Stan’s Flow mk3 wheelset, and the 27.5 aluminum rims come in at a whopping 480 grams each. Not much heavier, if at all, than a comparable carbon rim. And the real kicker here is that a wheelset is about $680 with their neo hubs. Not a bad price. And if you dent a rim? New rim runs around $100. Just this last weekend I smacked my rear wheel on a rock and dented it; completely my fault, the combination of sloppy riding, too low tire pressure, and a hardtail meant that my rim was in for a hard hit. I suspect that that hit would have cracked a carbon rim and rendered it unrideable. When carbon breaks it tend to do so catastrophically. My wheel still holds air and is still rideable, and if I want to replace it I won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do so. Carbon is nice if you’re a roadie, a featherweight xc rider, or a sponsored racer, but not so much for aggressive riders paying for their own stuff.
Also I’d like to see more configurability on reasonably priced bikes. Having a choice between shimano or sram for drivetrain and brakes would be nice.
Sorry for the rant, my typing fingers got away from me a little bit.
February 6, 2019 at 8:40 pm #256383
Funny you bring this up. I’m riding a 27.5+ hardtail and looking to upgrade the stock wheels. I don’t have any carbon components but have been considering going with carbon rims. I’ve been starting to see more people that share your opinion.
February 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm #256517
I don’t own any bikes with internally routed brake or shift lines, but sure looks like a pain in the arse. Both of my bikes are internally routed dropper posts though, and I don’t think I’d go back to external voluntarily.
February 6, 2019 at 7:01 pm #256382
Trail fashion shows. Having a nice bike with the color you like is one thing. Having matching designer riding clothes is a bit much. If you really enjoy riding, you are getting out as often as you can and not concerning yourself too much with color coordination and the latest trend fashions.
February 6, 2019 at 9:45 pm #256384
BB and headset standards – why are there SO many?! BB30 is a particular bugbear of mine, particularly on Cannondales. They just let grit and moisture in so easily and end up creaking every few weeks. You have to pack them with a crazy amount of grease to keep them quiet.
As a bike mechanic I don’t mind internal cabling too much, it’s probably on 90% of bikes that I deal with these days. However! I have no time for poor cable routing, which seems to be a big thing on e-bikes right now. For instance the gear cable routing on the GT ePantera is so poor and has such tight bends that it’s literally impossible to get it to shift nicely with the cables running where they were designed to run. The Trek Powerfly FS bikes also have really bad gear and dropper cable routing – quite often there is a pinched cable on brand new bikes and again the gears are tough to set up because of the tight bends in the housing.
February 7, 2019 at 8:24 am #256390
Bottom brackets just got me too. Bought a new road frame that takes PF30 and had to buy an adapter to fit my old threaded BB. Made a press tool from thread rod and washers from home depot 🙂
February 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm #256885
Re: Trail Fashion Shows – I couldn’t agree with you more. I usually roll my eyes when I see the fully color coordinated rider and bike. I get it if they’re a sponsored competitor and IN an actual race, but out on the trails it just makes me think they’re starving for attention. Maybe there’s a little envy on my part that those folks can spend that kind of money on their riding clothes and worry about how they look, but that wouldn’t be me even if I had the money. And the plaid button up shirts! Oh, don’t get me started! Every time I see one of those I think of that old movie “Real Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and laugh. I’m out to ride, not for a fashion show. And I’m more concerned with function and protection than fashion in any of my gear. I find great function clothing on the clearance racks for 80% less than the trendy fashion stuff that’s out of fashion next season. Funny thing is, it works just as well, if not better than the expensive trendy stuff.
February 6, 2019 at 10:58 pm #256387
My current pet peeves would have to be too much matching. Frame, components, decals, everything all matchy. Definitely not going to ruin my ride if I come across someone with a full matching setup; just not for me.
My other issue is with most brands only offering the high end spec on carbon frames. What’s so bad about XTR on an aluminum frame with top of the line suspension? Why only GX or SLX with aluminum? If I can get great parts and save a boat load of cash by getting an aluminum frame, I’ll take that every time. I’ll gladly take the cash and aluminum frame to Kingdom for the weekend with the wife. Beers are on me
I completely agree about internal routing, only if they don’t use the full length ports. My current bike has the internal tubes for hoses and I like it better than zip ties and external mounts. Put the hose in one end, it comes out the other, no fiddling with hoses and zip ties. My old GT did not have the internal port sleeves and my first cable change took over an hour. Even the Park Tool magnetic cable tool didn’t solve it. It was better, but still a hassle. Internal brake hoses are a pain, but only if you swap brakes or hoses often. Yes to internal shifting, no to internal braking.
I do enjoy my carbon rims. I have Nextie brand, $150 per rim. I built them myself and used good spokes and Hope Pro 4 hubs. Came in about the same price as a good set of aluminum wheels. I broke the front rim during a race at Killington, destroyed the rim; they sent a new rim. I broke a rear on an awkward root landing, cracked the rim; they again sent a new rim. Had the front been aluminum, it probably would have been fine. The rear would have been toast either way. I rode the cracked rear rim home after it released all the air. For racing I now use an older set of aluminum wheels and my daily riding wheels are carbon. I could not justify the cost of $1K+ wheels. All that being said, I will probably get another set of Chinese carbon rims, whether it be Nextie, Light Bicycle, etc. because they aren’t a ton more money than the aluminum rims I was looking at and I do like the ride quality better.
February 9, 2019 at 12:09 am #256523
You got me on the matching everything craze… I miss the days of (and I’m dating myself here) spotting a Judy SL because it was yellow, or knowing if you were looking at ti or cromo pedals by color.
All that being said, I guess I have a thing for putting yellow pedals on red bikes… Every red bike I’ve had has ended-up with yellow pedals…
February 7, 2019 at 8:10 am #256389
Spandex! If only I could erase the horrid images burned into my brain…
February 7, 2019 at 9:00 am #256391
I second the spandex comment, it is the cycling equivalent to the speedo. Generally speaking, it just isn’t a good look. At a minimum, please consider the guidance “just because something comes in your size, doesn’t mean you should wear it”
February 7, 2019 at 10:31 am #256407
1. 15mm front axle. Stupid intentional product range differential. Should have been 20mm.
2. Boost. Unlikely that it’ll stick. Everything likely going to be 157 at some point.
3. I actually miss rims without spoke holes for tubeless. I used to run Mavics largely because of this but then wider-is-better came along. I know it’s nit-picky, but I occasionally have problems with rim tape on tubeless applications.
4. Anything that’s not threaded BB. I won’t buy a bike with press-fit.
5. Carbon wheels. I wasted $$ on a set and couldn’t tell the difference. Then they broke.
But for the most part, nearly everything has improved. Remember the super gaudy jersey’s from the 90’s, thin rims, rim brakes, poor suspension, narrow bars, long stems, rigid seatposts, wimpy tires, front detailers, bar ends, components and frames that are waaay under built and break constantly, RD’s that can’t ever stay in tune, constant pinch flats with tubes even at 60psi…to name a few. Sorry for being positive. 😉
February 7, 2019 at 10:49 am #256409
What I’d like to see revesed??? The image of mountain bikers as just a bunch of crazy ass kids doing backflips and jumping everything in sight. Is anyone wondering how this sensationalism is potentially affecting trail access?
Also, I agree on the carbon comments in previous posts. Thankfully most manufacturers are still making aluminum bikes.
February 7, 2019 at 11:39 am #256414
The image of mountain bikers as just a bunch of crazy ass kids doing backflips and jumping everything in sight. Is anyone wondering how this sensationalism is potentially affecting trail access?
+1 and +2 this!!
This whole Red Bull Rampage, “shred” this, trail “ripping” that, and”eviscerate” everything else attitude has got to go – or at least be severely dialed down. Makes mountain bikers look like a bunch of Jeff Spicoli “Danger is my Business” yahoos. WTF!?! I can’t even read Pink Bike anymore.
February 7, 2019 at 12:30 pm #256424
The one trend that truly needs to be reversed has nothing to do with tech specs on bikes. It is the accelerating loss of backcountry riding opportunities, especially in Western States where Recommended Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas are now being treated as actual Wilderness Areas and where new Wilderness Areas are being created thus eliminating cycling access which has been enjoyed for decades without resource degradation.
February 7, 2019 at 12:39 pm #256425
That’s true, IMBA screwed the pooch on that one. I ended my membership after that
February 7, 2019 at 12:55 pm #256427
I hold on to a steel, full-rigid, singlespeed that I bought new as a high-end race bike in the early 90s. Since then, I’ve owned many bikes and fall in love with all the blingy new technology and upgrades everytime I trade in. As a mostly do-it-yourself mechanic, some of it takes some getting used to, no doubt, but no trend-reversal vote here.
February 7, 2019 at 1:13 pm #256432
Dump anything with electricity! No e-bikes. No e-shifters. No e-seatposts. One of the things I like best about bikes is that they are %100 mechanical.
I would also dump hydraulic disc brakes. I don’t like brake fluid and I don’t like having to bleed brakes. I wish someone would make great mechanical disc brakes for mountain bikes. Something like the TRP SPYRE’s (which are dual piston mechanical disc brakes) but designed for mountain bikes would be cool.
February 7, 2019 at 2:57 pm #256439
Totally agree on mechanical breaks! It’s wonderful to be able to tune with a pair of plyers and a hex. I’m still running Avid bb7s and they haven’t been updated in ages. I wish there was more product choice for mechanical.
I am interested in the wireless shifting though. Hopefully with time the price drops to a more reasonable level.
February 7, 2019 at 5:58 pm #256459
Dump anything with electricity! No e-bikes. No e-shifters. No e-seatposts. One of the things I like best about bikes is that they are %100 mechanical.
Came here to say just this…
Also, what John said.
February 7, 2019 at 7:40 pm #256461
I’d like to see the wireless dropper post trend reverse before it gets started. Need to drop your seat quickly? Just pull your phone out, pull up the app, then – oh wait. Too late. Then again, you can use the bar-mounted remote….hey, it’s just like any OTHER dropper seatpost remote. Only clunkier. And with a battery. Oh, and the post itself is heavier than pretty much whatever you’re using now. Plus IT has a battery, too. Right where you’d like to put an under-saddle bag or spare tube. But you can’t. Unless the battery drains, you forgot to charge it, and you just throw the whole mess away in frustration. The Sram AXS dropper post is complete nonsense. 800 bucks to fix a problem that doesn’t exist anywhere on this planet. And, of course, it’s a Reverb post with all the built-in reliability that Reverb posts are known for.
February 8, 2019 at 8:25 am #256466
Worthy of repeating:
“The one trend that truly needs to be reversed…is the accelerating loss of backcountry riding opportunities, especially in Western States where Recommended Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas are now being treated as actual Wilderness Areas and where new Wilderness Areas are being created thus eliminating cycling access which has been enjoyed for decades without resource degradation.”
February 8, 2019 at 10:08 am #256472
Dump current tubeless tire technology. Latex tire sealants are a total mess in every way. Bike shop mechanic spaces are covered with the stuff. The only good reason to go tubeless is if you ride somewhere with lots of thorns (goathead or cactus) and you’re sick of fixing frequent flats. I could rant forever about the evils of tubeless latex (rubber cement) sealants. Please someone invent a better system!
February 8, 2019 at 12:33 pm #256492
Already been invented—UST standard.
February 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm #256514
Actually, UST didn’t work very well and latex sealants were invented to cure their problems. Then someone tried latex sealants on regular tires and found out it worked on them also. And that’s how we got into the mess (with sealants) we’re in.
February 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm #256503
Don’t know that I’d go so far as to reverse tubeless tech as a whole, but it wound’t hurt my feelings if it did. As a personal preference, I’ve gone back to tubes. But I agree about the sealant. That’s one of the reasons I went back to tubes. I changed aged sealant more times that any tube in the same time frame. And, said sealant could not seal the punctures (mesquite thorns) I experienced on the trail that I could patch on a tube. Ironically, those tubeless flats had to be repaired by inserting a tube.
February 10, 2019 at 9:24 pm #256596
I wish a 5 flat ride on the folks that think tubes worked well (using up all the tubes of everyone on the ride).
February 8, 2019 at 9:58 pm #256520
Let see, I have a full carbon, 27.5 FS with internal routed cables, hydraulic brakes, hydraulic dropper, and 1×12 gearing. The only trend I would like to see reversed is where everyone on the internet insists that I don’t need any of this new tech and I should still be riding a 26in aluminum/steel hard-tail/ridged single speed. Fact is nobody needs any mountain bike. Mountain biking is for fun, ride and buy what you like. I for one appreciate all the variety I get to choose from.
February 9, 2019 at 9:49 pm #256545
February 11, 2019 at 8:14 am #256605
+1 for press fit bb. Stupid for the user/rider; great for the manufacturer. But then again maybe it’s not great for the manufacturer because I for one have never and will never buy a press fit bb bike. +1 on John’s comments about loss of backcountry riding areas. +1 on the direction of IMBA. +1 on the comment that spandex is the speedo of cycling. I understand the benefits of it but really … riding around in the forest with just spandex on. If you are world class athlete, sure.
But all in all, the trends have been AMAZINGLY good for bikes and very mixed for trails and trail access.
February 12, 2019 at 1:24 pm #256701
Bike trends have nothing to do with trail access. Kids will be kids regardless of the vehicle. Remember when you were 14? Did you give a shit about your actions affecting “land use”? No, you had no idea and were just having fun. You can still hop a fence and ride where ever you want until you get caught. It just looks a lot dumber as an adult.
February 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm #256855
I drive a 79 Bronco to the trail where I sport levis and Wal-Mart athletic shirts while pedaling a 26″ rigid fat bike regardless of the season or weather. My bikes are bought on Craigslist and my parts are bought on eBay or Amazon, found by sorting cheapest to most expensive.
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