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9 Mountain Bike Trends That Stuck Around

9 Mountain Bike Trends That Stuck Around

– Pretty much every new
trend that has stuck around in mountain biking was once
considered unnecessary, and just basically a fad. It’s amazing to think just how much it’s all changed the scene and made mountain biking
as amazing as it is today. So let’s have a look at some of these fads that have stuck around long enough to become trendy and necessary. (guitar-based samba music) Full suspension, okay. This is what they used to say: It’s not necessary, it’s not efficient, and it’s too complicated. It can’t be done. These days there’s almost not
a single full suspension bike, that you can’t buy that
isn’t, well, pretty great. Full suspension bikes have truly made mountain biking what it is today and we wouldn’t be able to ride the sort of things we do without them. They’ve changed the game. They’re efficient, they’re
capable, they’re just the best. But that wasn’t the case in
the early days of the sport. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, most bikes were fully rigid and that meant rough and tough riding on bikes that just could never handle the kind of terrain we’ve come to expect of a modern mountain bike. So the desire for a fully-suspended
bike started to emerge, as much for comfort as for
performance to begin with. As suspension concepts
started to become reality, fully-suspended bikes started to find their place in the sport. Mostly in downhill to begin with, where full-sus bikes were
starting to perform really well. But downhill bikes didn’t have the same weight
requirements of an XC bike, where obviously the weight is critical. It needed to be super lightweight in XC, so downhill didn’t need that. And it also didn’t need the
same level of pedal efficiency, which is so important
when racing cross-country. So full suspension XC bikes were a long way off for many years. It took a lot of development,
testing and failure to arrive at the modern MTB suspension. Pedal efficiency got way better. Weight got a lot less. Geometry and linkage design
took huge leaps forward and then we finally arrived at the modern full suspension mountain bike. A bike that has evolved
from those early days. Originally a weird pipe dream
that just couldn’t happen, but now a very, very important bike. Basically, the definition of our sport. (uptempo pulsing rock music) (hypnotic synth music) The first fat bike came into existence shortly after mountain bikes came about. It was created by Steve Baker to traverse the snowy Alaskan wilderness. He literally welded two rims together and doubled up the tires to make a super-wide footprint on the soft snow. So while many people think
that the fat bikes are useless, they were obviously made
for a very specific use on basically snow or loose sand. And are really good at it! And as Blake has shown in many videos, they can also do a lot more, too. And when you think about it, fat bikes are another example of how the technology in
mountain biking has taken such huge strides forward. A fat bike tire is essentially a super-lightweight cross-country tire. Using all that tire tech
that has been developed over the years for cross-country, to create something that’s so big, but light enough to perform
well in its intended use. There’s still definitely still a bit of a trend side to fat bikes. It isn’t uncommon to see someone riding through a city center on
one, which is strange. Or sometimes out on a standard trail, just using it like it’s a normal bike. Which is fine, but it’s definitely not what it’s intended for. Will that drop away? It might. What will remain is the very
niche use of a fat bike. Riding extreme conditions in sand or snow. Conditions where no other
normal MTB could handle it and would ultimately fail. The fatty however stands itself up on them loose conditions
and can take us on rides that are simply impossible
on anything else. (rock guitar music) 29-inch wheels. Wagon wheels can’t
corner, they aren’t strong and they’re just for XC, or so they say. 29 wheels made a huge uproar
when first introduced, and are still stirring the
pot over a decade later. Especially because they’ve
just become a common sight at downhill races, as
well as cross-country. 29er bikes have along in leaps and bounds, and we have pushed
mountain bike performance that much further. The reason they caused such an uproar, well to begin with,
there was some skepticism that 29ers were just an industry trick to create another standard which would drive more bike sales, and maybe there’s an element to that. However, the 29er got used more and more, and the performance became
more and more obvious. The rolling speed was a huge
gain on cross-country bikes, and an instant hit. And then the unthinkable happened. The 29er downhill bike and, along with it, the realization that the rolling speed plus the modified geometry could create a completely different
kind of downhill bike. Resulting in Greg Minnaar, basically one of the
greatest of the sports and been winning races for 20 years. He basically said, “I finally
got a bike that fits me.” Imagine how good he’d been if he got a bike that fitted him earlier on. His six-foot, four-inch body size being one of the tallest on the
World Cup downhill scene, meant that now the big 29er
bike is perfect for him. In fact, 29-inch wheels and fat bikes brings me to another trend: the plus tire. (arpeggiated synth music) Plus tires came about to bridge the gap between fat bikes and the
traditional mountain bikes. The logic behind it was that you could get the rollover ability of
a 29er based on the fact that the diameter of a plus
tire on a 27.5-inch wheel is similar to a 2.3
tire on a 29-inch wheel. On top of that, you’d
get the great traction and cushioning of the
larger, fat bike-esque tire. This initial splash sent
ripples through the industry, and now we have a large gray area between plus and normal tires, with 2.5, 2.6, 2.8, and 3.0-inch
tires flooding the market. Which is cool, because they’ve actually breathed new life into hard tails, making them more capable than ever before. There will always be die-hard riders who will never give in
to the one-by phenomenon. But for those of us who did, it was a breath of fresh
air, or I think so. Some of us have been doing it for years, bodging a two-by drivetrain to run one-by, and just dealing with the limited range in favor of a simplified cockpit. Fewer dropped chains. But when SRAM came out with the XX1 one-by dedicated
drivetrain, that was a revelation. Since then, everyone has jumped on board, and one-by has gone full-steam ahead. Like most great tech advances, it seems like such a
simple and obvious choice. Rather than three chain
rings on the front, just have a much wider range on the back where you already have lots of sprockets. But take a moment to
think about how radically the design had to change and the problems that had to be solved before the one-by could ever be realized. The chain line, the derailleur
side, the derailleur range, the chain-design improvements themselves, rear cassette size and the weight. So many difficult problems. But in the end, a simple idea has become a revolutionary change in MTB performance. And it looks fantastic. (upbeat synth music) There’s nothing stopping people from just lowering the seat manually. Until you can do it at the
touch of a button though, makes a big difference. Have you ever come across anyone who, after trying a dropper post,
decides the don’t like it. I really doubt it. It’s transformed how we ride our bikes and how capable our bikes can be. The entire design of mountain bike has changed because of it, too. It’s weird to think that a seat post can have such a big influence. It’s always been known that your seat could whack you in the
ass while you descend. Many an XC racer has
been bucked over the bars on a steep descent because
the height of that seat just didn’t allow them
to get far enough over the back of the bike. The dropper is a quirky
idea, but like I said, once you try it you’ll
almost always decide you can no longer live without it. But don’t miss the
technological brilliance that’s making this thing possible. (arpeggiated synth music) Shimano first introduced a friction clutch on their first 10-speed XTR drivetrain. It was met with some reservations and was often considered unnecessary. However, you’ll barely
see a single mountain bike without a clutch derailleur now. Why? Because they keep the
chain slap to a minimum, which keeps the bike quiet
and, more importantly, keeps the chain in place and not dropped. (sparkly electric piano music) (funky synth bass music) Nothing wrong with rim brakes, right? Except in the wet, and the fact that you
need to replace your rims, and that you’re limited for tire size, and that they’re not very powerful, and that they’re harder to pull. Yet, disc brakes were a trend that everyone knew was a good idea, but they took a few years
before they really took over. Thank goodness they did! They’re a standard component now and you very rarely see any
rim brakes on a mountain bike, unless it’s a very cheap price point. The problem innovators
like Hope Tech faced in trying to introduce disk brakes were things like weight. The rim brakes were
lightweight if nothing else and that makes a huge difference, especially in those early
days of mountain biking where the lightness of a
component was absolutely critical. Plus, the first discs didn’t actually outperform rim brakes by that much. Over time however, the
introduction of hydraulics, lighter weight and incredible performance has made the disc brake a must
have and very hard to beat. (synth bass music) Lastly, the mountain bike. What about the mountain bike itself? Yet, not everyone was
totally sold on the idea. Big brands were actually a little slow to take up the idea in the first place, just adding maybe one or two
models to their range of bikes. Nothing like the huge selection of bikes we have on offer today. We came across an interesting quote from a CEO of a famous bicycle brand, Raleigh. He basically said that
mountain biking itself was a fad, a trend, something
that won’t catch on, and there wasn’t a significant
market for mountain bikes. Oh, how things have changed. Check out this quote: “We don’t believe there
is a significant market “for mountain bikes.” Can you believe he said that? Essentially, mountain biking is just another cycling industry fad. Oh man. I bet he’s looking back
now, kicking himself. It seems the many advances that have initially felt like trends or fads, even have become defining
details of mountain bikings in some examples, like the suspension. Many of them advanced our sport hugely. Making riding possible that we could never really have dreamt about back in the early days of the sport. So thank goodness for
the dreamers out there. So, next time you see a new design coming out from the industry. A new idea or a new
component and a new concept, or another industry
standard dare I say it. Well, just think what could
be the next leap forward in the sport of mountain biking. It could be that new fad. Thanks for watching and I hope that was all really interesting and kept you entertained. If you’d like some more
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100 thoughts on “9 Mountain Bike Trends That Stuck Around”

  1. I wonder how many bikers are out there, who like me thought "I'm getting it because it looks like kilometers of joy", when they saw fat bike. 😀

  2. First bike was a 1997 GT Karakoram with rock shox Judy fork. Bright yellow, steel frame with 3×8 drivechain. I think most useless thing Ive seen was suspension seatpost. Biggest improvement in 20+ years is the 29 inch wheel and full suspension frame.

  3. Hey guys! I need help choosing my new bike between the Specialized stumpjumper st alloy 2019 and the Giant Stance 1 2020 both are the same price but I need to know wich one has the best specs yo know wich one is better…

  4. 29er will always be stupid af.. ride a 26,27.5 and 29 back to back and tell me the 29 is just as easy to control. I laugh every time I see a 5'5'' female on a small frame with 29's lol Bike made for the circus.

  5. I started MTBing in 89 and was riding all the time until 2002. Kids came and my bike wasn't used for years. Fast forward to 2017 I bought a new bike and wow! Almost every item you covered in the video is on my new bike and what a difference it makes in how and what you can ride. I am loving the direction that geometry is going for enduro / all mountain bikes is heading (steep seat tube angle with slack head tube angle) . I am curious if more companies will go the direction of Pole Bikes with the longer chainstays and wheelbase with the aggressive modern geo.

  6. i bought myself a new bike this week, the one by, dropper post and 27.5 with a 2.6 inch whide tyre makes a huge difference to how the bike feels and how fun it is to ride.

    not to say that my specialized stumpjumper from 2010 was bad in any way, it just felt a bit outdated. i bought myself a trek remedy 7 and i love it.

  7. Bikes always had a singe chainring. Old 5 speeds worked just fine. The triple was the fad. 2×11 has 14 gear ratios and 3×9 has 14 gear ratios so 11 speed killed off the triple.

  8. The 29"er and B+ tire were grass root ideas that were fed to Mark Slate @ WTB and he pushed them through the right channels to get er' done. Thanks Mark!

  9. "A fat bike tyre (…) is so big, but light enough to perform well in its intended use" — cue Blake doing a backflip

  10. I live in New England and I can only afford one bike. I roll a fatbike everywhere even the bike trail. Doesn't bother me at all.

  11. Great points. The one disagreement i would have is the 1X drivetrain. No matter what sprockets you have on the rear, having two or three chainwheels is just too easy a way to get more versatility.
    That's why I hate "fixies"on street bikes. People are hog tying themselves for no good reason.

  12. Wireless everything is the next fad that will become the future of mountain biking including wireless drive train, wireless droppers, and who knows maybe wireless brakes

  13. True, 1X is beyond fad, but still in the category where popularity defies reason. Good for many things, true, but it's popularity comes because of 1, riders ignorance about proper adjustment (perhaps unwilling to become educated), and 2, SRAM's inability to make a good front shift, and 3, the marketing genius to capitalize on stupidity. Now they brag about 500% when it replaces 640%. It's good for many, but not for all. Unfortunately, many manufacturers are also falling for, and propagating the 1X lie – and forcing to fit all.

  14. there are 4 things that have completely DIED from when i started mountain biking 20 years ago: Rim brakes, 26 inch wheels, tubes, and front derailleurs.

  15. Formr XCO racer, lost a front tooth because of my seat height ??
    Will go back on mountain biking with one of those dropper posts!

  16. That quote is similar to what a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Europe said about sports cars a while back.. Around the same time as they slapped the heritaged name Eclipse onto a SUV… -.-
    Blind idiots, all of them.

  17. so 1x … GX Eagle has massive play after 5-6 months (new components), + a lot of unsprung mass … (in a worse place) …

  18. The worst trend is charging dirt bike money for a fucking push bike… Bike industry is a fucking cancer.

  19. 1x certainly has its place and I have some 1x set ups. But for reliability I still prefer 2x or 3x. Simple reason, when the rear mech hits a rock or the cassette gets clogged up with mud and sticks I still have extra gears on the front to keep me going. It has got me out of difficult situations lots of times.

  20. I had been removing all my front chainrings except the 32t. Been running 1×9 ever since 2000. No retention, no guide and no bashring whatsoever. Dropping chains was a norm and I lived with it until recently.

    Imagine I had to wait 18yrs until ebay and aliexpress made what I needed, available anywhere in the world. And at affordable prices too. Now my bike is running with retention, bashring and guide. No more chain drops.

    But mtb has change the game nowadays. My standard isis is now obsolete. Got to learn and figure out how this new techs works and check the compatibility with my old trusty full sussers (Linc travellette and D&G slammer)

  21. amazing the chap from 'a large cycle company' said mountain bikes were just a fad's company went on to have the countries best XC squad in the 90's and it's American arm had MTB's biggest name on its roster a certain Mr John Tomac.
    shame they lost there way really liked the Dyna-Tech range of bikes

  22. chances nearly missed ac/dc, the beatles and now mountain biking
    wow who'd of thunk it, no wonder Raleigh petered out

  23. Only trend i can't get over is the 29" thing.. I still hope it will die soon as its getting harder and harder to find good old 26" rims ?

  24. Haha I've tried a dropper post. Even have one on my current Lux, but still like to decent with the saddle high between my legs

  25. Good job. Nice and tight and good range of items. I can flip this video to non-mtb friends and clue them in on a few salient bits of history they seem to have missed.

  26. I have a steel framed full suspension bike and oh my god it kills bearings and then there is the issue of finding inner tubes that are capable of the extra weight and the necessity of having a tire pressure of 60-80 psi purely to avoid pinch flats

  27. still not a fan of droppers of any kind,i just use quick release. i like the simple life. cant wait for abs brakes on mtb to pair with electric automatic transmissions with electric boost, or maybe ill just stick with my single speed.

  28. Is that Martyn Ashton? Good to see ya mate.. !!! Love your videos and especially that new random tandem.. good stuff..!!

  29. Plus sized tires are soo good for trail hardtails because you don't get pinch flats that easy and you got a lot of grip

  30. I just got a suspension seatpost for my Scott that I use as an all terrain and it's been a revelation. I get the benefit of the hardtail but the old bones get a rest when I am in the saddle…

  31. I think you are rude to be critical of the Raleigh CEO at the start of the nineties. I'm not going to go deep into it, but he wasn't thinking about motorbike technology and electric motors. At the time people still used bikes to commute, the 'free riders' weren't relying on women in china making carbon fibre frames, and Mountain Biking then isn't what it is supposedly now. Cycling is not about 4×4 off roading, in a Hummer lookalike. It was als0 a recession, and to be honest, if you are into 'trials', then go watch 'Blades Of Glory', cos that's how stupid it looks.

  32. I'm In Spain my mate has fat ebike I have a dh bafang .. he goes up hills roads sand way faster,, as soon as any flat is about hes smoked

  33. 04:30 Gary Fisher tried to establish that wheel size over 20 years ago. Back then the same as nowadays: get less traction with higher weight and less stiffnes combined with several more deficiencies (higher centrifugal force needs wider handlebar etc.)

  34. I have to disagree on the power of rim brakes. I have been using rim brakes for over twenty years. If you want good powerful brakes than I would suggest buying Koolstop brake pads especially the dual compound version. Rim brakes give me more control so I don’t go over the handlebars. I have placed my mountain bike ?‍♀️ with its adjusted V Brakes so I can stop and be able to lock ? up the brakes. You are forgetting that Magura is still making hydraulic V Brakes and I am sure that they are very powerful too. I have driven my old mountain ? bike ? over twenty five miles an hour on pavement and on a bridge going downhill and I was able to control my speed and slow down to a stop ? with precision control braking. Now I have a new Italian Road Bike with a 3X10 as in thirty speeds with Shimano Ultegra rim brakes. They work fine on the uphill, downhill and on a flat surface too. Like I said, I do recommend Koolstop brakes for rim brakes because this company has been making rim brake pads for over twenty five years. If I do get a new mountain bike than I want a 2×11 with hydraulic disc brakes.

  35. You mentioned a derailer clutch but never the "Narrow/wide front sprocket". Hell I think that was a HUGE chain drop fix. Tubless? remember when changing a flat 2 maybe 3 times a ride was normal, I do.

    P.S. I was riding a 1×9 14 years ago. And sometimes SS on my FS bike I used an alfine tensioner

  36. I recently went to a 2.4 hans damph on the rear of my hardtail and proceeded to decend Gwydir Mountain in wales. Something i wouldnt have done on 2.25s eith heavy alluminium rims

  37. Here's a few that didn't:

    Pro Flex poly bushed sprung suspension.

    Titanium and metal matrix frames.

    The "U" brake.

    GT's variable drop out front fork.

    Bar ends- some still use them, but not as popular as they once were.

    The under stem wheel to smooth out breaking.

    Tioga Disc Wheel.

  38. I only believe that 1x drive trains, dropper posts and disc brakes are the only good thing there and that quote at the end is true

  39. I remember Trek in the early 90s bringing out a model with rear suspension. I can't remember what the model was called but it was black and purple. I'm 40 now so those days of early full sus, bouncing around and all your pedal energy just disappeared ?
    I had a GT RTS 1
    It bounced ?

  40. I used one of the original 'dropper posts' about 30 years ago.


    Damn I loved that thing. Even though it looked as stupid then as it does now, it was so damn useful. Yeah, you had to use the quick release on the seatpost, but not having to mess with getting your seat back to the right height was great.

  41. Canyon Advertisement? Plus Tires and 29 Tires and Fat tires but no tubeless? Pretty stupid. Basically 6 minute abs

  42. "Pipe dream" or do you mean "Pipeline"… the Rocky Mountain Pipeline 😉 one of the first "freeride/enduro" bikes

  43. The are also great for inner city riding ,they last for years even with hard riding . Mountain Bikes are Top Notch no matter if it's a high or low quality bike.

  44. Will be Bluetooth gearing
    Easy to charge and declutters cockpit. Once they make lighter will catch on with higher end bikes

  45. Man, we have come a long way since those stripped down clunkers with coaster brakes…
    Well, some of us have, at least.

  46. Tried droppers, never got along with it, but I kind of have weird torso/inseam lengths that allow me to get behind the saddle when standing. On top of that, I am almost always using the saddle for bracing on my inner thigh. However, I will admit that the riding where I live is pretty flat with no extended downhill, just short punchy climbs and descents. It just felt like an odd sensation to have the saddle missing.

  47. First thing I upgraded on my first proper bike was the forks (it was a great frame. Everything else was…buggered), then dropper post. It was a game changer! Especially with a hardtail…

  48. When I purchased my first mountain bike in the mid-90s I started wondering about losing the front Derailleur altogether. Heck, it even crossed my mind with the hybrid bike I owned before it. Well, 2x did. I used that bike for up to 60 miles a day of commuting with steep hills, and never once did I use that 24t chainring.

  49. The next trend, I believe, will be the design of the Catalyst pedals. Other brands may be making larger flats, but since I've put the Catalysts on my bike, it seems like a big improvement.

  50. The ability to make parts lighter weight has allowed many of these things to be possible. I do not think you have hit the biggest points. Carbon frames will be the standard not to far from now.

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