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Pinkbike Poll: What Was the Greatest Advancement In Mountain Bike Technology?

I may have bitten off more than I can chew on this subject, but recently I was reminded of the bike I owned twenty years ago, what got me thinking, how far mountain bike technology has come and what is it in bikes today the default is 2021 if you find one.

It all started for me with a 1999 Kona Muni-Mula that I luckily got my hands on after my parents agreed to double my gardening money. I don’t get too nostalgic, but even for a 14-year-old kid who weighed 45 kg soaking wet, everything broke; Bent rims and cranks, chains bounced in unimaginable places, the steering angles were terrifyingly steep, and the stems were disgustingly long, not to mention the awful checkpoints like cast pedals, slip-on handles, and plastic tires. I loved this blue bike even though I ran over it. I know other veteran readers scoff at the problems they have faced in the past, but a steady stream of mechanical mountain bike technology has started to stabilize.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, mountain biking is a mainstream sport and it was a compelling move on the demand for technology at a fundamental level. Knee-high kids hop through the bike parks after school, YouTube stars race 30 meters every day and downcountry bikes are as powerful as some freeride machines from 2005. Today, world cup downhill races are consistently decided by hundredths of a second. dammit, even qualifying is an achievement for a private driver because the equipment is first class. The top professionals hardly keep up in the field, as developments become prototypes so quickly.

New enduro bikes are available for $ 3,000 that won’t break up over a weekend of riding and have all of the fixings: dropper posts, lock-on handles, air suspension, hydraulic brakes, tubeless tires, and 1x wide-range drivetrains that support the Chain hold in place without a guide. Even bottom brackets and hub bearings are enormously more reliable than before. Modern geometry makes beginners feel like heroes as they tackle local trail networks that were once reserved for die-hard fans, all on a budget. Sure, it still breaks a bit, but for the number of riders pushing bikes to the limit, it’s amazing to sit back and watch from the outside. To draw a parallel, it’s like the entire ski industry has switched to parabolic skis. Everything clicked and the crowds caught up. We as mountain bikers are doing very, very well right now.
However, all of this trickle-down technology seems to be drying up. So where do we go from here? The next chapter, electronically integrated. In our digital age, it’s the next logical step – like it or not. We’ve seen small additions to Shimano’s Di2 drivetrain in the past few years, then little knickknacks like the ShockWiz suspension app, but RockShox’s new wireless electronically controlled suspension, Flight Attendant, is emerging in the future of premium bike technology. The system provides the best performance downhill while monitoring the dampers based on the incline, with no wires.

Battery operated, cordless motorized components are the biggest advancement yet, but are they supplanting something as simple as soft rubber compound, tubeless tires, the only point of contact between the bike and the ground, or is there some more polarizing part that will change the game for you?