We probably all have that friend. You know, the one when 29er’s came out had a hissy fit about the bike industry just doing it to make us spend money. Normally they also bang on about how their trusty 26” bike or steel road bike was better in every way. They probably had the same strop when fat bikes, carbon, 650b, 29+, 27+ or new (insert any brand you like) BB or headset standard came out. I agree with them and I think they are right; the bike industry does want our money. However what’s wrong with that? I love my 29er, really want a 29+ and have a myriad of different BB and headset standards on my bike collection.
It’s this innovation, experimentation and creating of new (or recycled) bikes, parts and lifestyles that makes cycling one of the most exciting, complicated and engaging pastimes. If the bike industry had said “right we have created the best bike so that’s it, we don’t need to change anything its perfect” we’d still be stuck with the penny farthing or some other contraption before the safety bicycle was invented. There would be no mountain bikes, cyclocross, downhill, BMX, tri bikes (well maybe they do have something to answer for…), dual slalom or race bikes let alone fat bikes or 29ers.
Sure some things haven’t worked out and you do wonder how they ever managed to get past the R&D stage and actually end up in production. Anyone who has ever had an ISIS BB will agree with that one, maybe they knew something when they came up with the name. We must also acknowledge the frustration of trying to find the correct headset bearing for your Canyon. Even the headset maestros Chris King have decided to get in on the action and create their own BB standard with Argonaut Cycles. Their aim was to make the best of all worlds however we all know they have just added to the list of possible BB’s your poor mechanic needs to memorise the specific details of to show you how knowledgeable they are. Now who on earth has any of those in stock.
However even some of these flawed components have a certain charm and their faults actually help us develop an emotional attachment to them. For example I absolutely love the look of SRAM road chainsets despite their GXP bottom brackets being as long lasting as a slice of bread.
Even when the industry tries to invent a new category of riding I dig it. Yeah sure Enduro is pretty much just mountain biking and most people were doing this long before it got its special title. However this has spawned races, organised rides, dedicated places to ride, new bikes and fluoro outfits and very importantly jobs. Tell me what is wrong with that?
So if you still don’t like it and want to stop being tempted with the next cool and shiny thing, go hide in the mountains or throw your computer in a lake. It’s going to happen so you may as well accept it and strap on your enduro bum bag and fluoro shorts as you swing a leg over your trusty steed.
So here is my letter:
Dear the bike industry,
Keep doing what you are doing. You rock and I can’t wait to ride my 29er fat bike with a 2” headset and 231.5mm spaced wheels.
I love you,