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photo: Aaron Chamberlain

Launched just over two years ago, SRAM’s Boost 148 spacing has quickly gone mainstream. Of course we’ve seen pretty much every new and updated mountain bike frame speccing Boost spacing since then, but what’s surprising is just how quickly it’s invaded mountain bikers’ quivers. According to a recent survey of more than 2,000 Singletracks readers, nearly 30% own at least one bike with Boost spacing. It’s hard to think of any other new MTB standard that has been as quickly adopted by both manufacturers AND consumers.

It’s also interesting to note that of the mountain bikers we surveyed, 246 of them admitted they weren’t sure if any of their bikes had a Boost-spaced rear end. It’s unclear whether this is a marketing failure by SRAM and its partners or whether these consumers are simply ill informed (or both).

This swift move to a new hub spacing standard has affected everyone from drivetrain component manufacturers to frame and wheel builders, which makes it all the more remarkable to see just how quickly everyone has adapted. Consumers seem to be ok with the move, content to go along with the ride–or to simply remain oblivious to the change.

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# Comments

  • Dr Sweets

    I spent over three years on a 12 X 142 axle equipped bike and now have six months on Boost 148 bikes. I am by no means an elite level rider, but I have not been able to discern any real performance increase from the wider spacing. Furthermore, as echoed in your statement above where many riders “weren’t sure” if they even had Boost spacing it’s unlikely any of them would notice any real performance benefits either. I think the best thing to come out of Boost is the ability to provide more real estate for bike designers to work with. This is apparent with the oh so short chainstays that are all the rage, longer travel 29er’s etc.

  • John Fisch

    I fit the statistic perfectly. I have boost, but only on 30% of my bikes!

    • mtnryder

      I was at 50% Boost (2/4) until I cracked my Mach 6 a couple weeks ago. Once I get a replacement frame next month, I’ll be at 75% (3/4).

      However, as a note to the Editors, I agree 100% with the “click bait” titles. Too many articles state something similar to “These are the Best Mountain Bike Tires” when instead they should be “Our readers favorite tires”.

    • Jeff Barber

      Thanks for the feedback mtnryder. A follow up question: When you click an article that says “best MTB tires,” what is your expectation? What should that article actually look like? We tend to think asking a bunch of people (crowdsourcing) is the best approach to finding the best stuff, but maybe there’s a better/more accurate way…

  • cuervo

    Boost spacing does one thing, and, one thing only. It improves the lateral stiffness of the wheel. I doubt that even a professional can feel the difference.

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