Why do we need this?

Lately there has been a lot of talk in “the industry” about changing standards. I’ve written about changing standards before, but writing a blog post about it is merely taking a snapshot of a given time. Things are constantly changing. It seems to have reached a boiling point though because it’s all you hear about now.

And the refrain from the people who seemingly don’t want change is “Why do we need this?”

This is a stupid question. Of course you don’t need this, whatever this is. Remote adjustable platform suspension, remote adjustable dropper seatposts, carbon fibre frames, tubeless tires, press fit bottom brackets, tapered headtubes. Before any of these products came along people were out riding mountain bikes and loving every minute of it.

The most recent horrific new thing is Trek’s Boost rear hub spacing. Current MTBs are either 135mm for a regular quick release wheel, or 142mm for a through axle. Boost is 148mm and it should create a wider platform to make stronger wheels. Trek was then able to make it’s rather nifty Stache 29+ with 3″ wide tires and super short chainstays.

A Trek I actually like.

A Trek I actually like.

By all accounts (which is one review I read) this bike shreds trails. Climbs like a demon, rolls over everything. The caveat being that you wouldn’t want to “go big” on it. Whatever that means.

Actually, I kinda know what that means – big jumps and drops. It’s not the kind of riding I’ve ever done or ever will do, even with a bike that can handle it. Which is probably why this bike looks good to me, and is somehow offensive to the enduro crowd.

Boost looks to be the standard for these new “mid-fat” bikes, like the Stache, the Airborne Griffin and the Orbea Loki. The mid-fats are not a true fatbikes, which run 4″ tires (or wider even), but at 3.25″ they’re still wider than the typical MTB tire which is a 2.4″ or 2.2″

As you'd expect, the new style bike that weirds out people, originated with Surly.

Surly Krampus 29+ As you’d expect, the new style bike that weirds out people, originated with Surly.

It’s a modern trail bike with tons of traction and still some degree of snow bikeability. Sounds like a lot of fun to me.

So, why do we need this?

Even now I’m rethinking the stupidity of this question. My initial reaction was to the need part of it. But that’s not it.

If you see a new standard and think “Why do we need this?” then you’re not part of the we that’s involved. And if there isn’t enough of a we to make it happen, then the standard will die, like 1point5 headsets for instance.

If you’re adamant that “the industry” simply cannot have new standards then here’s what you do – don’t buy them, and shut up.

The rest of the internet thanks you.

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