Making peace with the evolution of mountain bike technology

“YEAH, I’M READY TO START LOOKING FOR A NEW BIKE, BUT I think I may just wait a year and see if things settle down,” said the carpenter as he eyeballed the 27.5-inch wheels on my six-month-old bike. “What do you think about that whole plus thing that everyone’s talking about now?”

This was the third time in the second week of April of this year that someone had asked me that. The first week of April, it came up in conversation about five times. By the third week of April, I had stopped talking to other cyclists. Here’s where whoever classified me on Wikipedia as follows “Mike has supported the return of “old school” mountain biking. Specifically, he defines “old school” MTB as light, relatively fragile, cross country mountain bikes, made with steel …” might expect me to engage in some lengthy, anti-technology rant. Whoever that was, however, would be sadly disappointed. They deserve to be since they were totally wrong anyway.
Evolution is good. Change is good. Everything that is happening, whether the changes are slow and incremental or a staggering blitzkrieg, is improving mountain bikes. I say, Bring On The New Shit! Just don’t expect me to want to make a crusade for or against any of it (except e-bikes, because they will be a scourge on the land, mark my words), and don’t expect me to engage in any rabid loyalty based on a frame material, or a wheel size, or an axle diameter, or a hub width, or a headset cup. Continue reading »