It's the end of 2016, so it's time to take a look back at the 2016 edition of Vital MTB's infamous What's Out, What's In list to see how clairvoyant, if at all, we really were.
What's Out - Mountain Biking 2016
- Standards. As in the actual word. Never has there been a bigger oxymoron. Just the fact that we refer to it in the plural form is a pretty solid clue. We’ll take the new gear though. - RIGHT - As gleaned from an industry insider, "you don't see Chevy and Ford coming together to make sure parts fit each others vehicles."
- The front derailleur. We have 9-44t cassettes now, seriously. - RIGHT - Duh, not too hard to figure out.
- Enduro. Haha just kidding, but wish we weren't. It will always be XC to us. - DEPENDS ON HOW YOU LOOK AT IT - If you judge it by marketing dollars, team budgets and bike sales, we were WRONG. If you judge it by the number of people who froth over results and event coverage, we were RIGHT.
- Flat pedals. They cost us Strava KOM's and our feet fall off the pedals sometimes. - WRONG - Thank goodness.
- Having fun (see "Flat pedals"). - SORTA - Loosedog, Rat and the 50:01 crew had plenty of fun this year but we were stuck behind a laptop reporting on it.
- Taking In / Out lists too seriously. - ALWAYS RIGHT
- Starting your own clothing "company" that's really only a single t-shirt. - RIGHT - Name one.
- Ear tucker hats. Attention all energy-drink-sponsored athletes, psychological studies have shown this over-sized, ear-tucker-hat thing is a grown man's attempt at holding onto his lost childhood. You're over 30 now, embrace it. - RIGHT - Too easy.
- Energy drinks. Still out. Reach for water. - RIGHT - Remember how tobacco companies had class action lawsuits against them from long-time smokers? We figure the same will happen in about 2028 for the sugar-filled poison potions.
- Using the term "FML" - Sven spent it all. - RIGHT - We haven't heard Sven say it in at least a year.
- Using the term "throwing shapes" for your MTB photos - it was always kinda weird. - DOES IT MATTER? - Probably not.
- Using the term "650b" - It may be more accurate than saying Twenty Seven Five, but it's goofy. - RIGHT - The term is even shorter as everyone just says "27" now.
- Media houses. There's really only one. Technically your Instagram videos are media and you do still live at your mom's house, but that's where the fantasy ends. - RIGHT - Until we're wrong.
- Freebooters like these clowns, this kook or these assmunchers - candidates for worst humans in 2015 for sure. They've definitely stolen your photos or video at some point for their own Facebook page in hopes of selling shitty fenders and tailgate pads or some garbage product with their name on it. Filmers, riders and brands, Facebook will gladly remove the stolen content by filling out this easy form. Better yet, you could just "borrow" the shitty fenders and tailgate pads from their apartment and "loan" them to others to "keep the stoke alive" while making some gas money. Just make sure you give them credit for the shitty fenders and tailgate pads that shared the stoke because that makes it OK, right? #UNFOLLOW - RIGHT - Thieves will always suck a bag.
- Web edits with storylines. If it takes more than 10 seconds for the shredding to start, we’re out. Make that 5. - WRONG - We like stories.
- Epic edits. Kirt Voreis said they were out. - RIGHT - If Kirt says it, it's true.
- Web edits with music? - WRONG - Quite the opposite, actually.
- Most web edits, actually. - SORTA - When there are 100,000 edits released and you only see 50,000 of them, it's hard to say.
- Fake RAWs. - RIGHT - Foley audio from a mic on the bike that doesn't have that Doppler-left-to-right-front-to-back feel doesn't cut it.
- Drones. The problem with GoPros is that beyond 15 feet, you can’t see what’s going on. And drones that can carry bigger cameras should still be referred to as “helicopters” and require more training than your average MTB “media house” can afford. - WRONG - Drone footage is pretty neat.
- Riders using Instagram as their marketing platform instead of sharing something relevant or meaningful about their lives. #yourhashtagsboretheshitoutofus #showussomethinginterestingaboutyourlife #ifonlybrandsstoppedcaringaboutriderinstagramaccounts #thesehashtagsaretoohardtoreadanyway - WRONG - #itsnotaraceitsamarathon #hangingthere #keepemcoming #hashtaghuckers
- Brands launching exclusive press releases(!) to a single website. Marketing 101 taught us that the more people who see your message, the better. Just use Facebook and YouTube and let the whole world have at it. The bullies demanding exclusives on your less-than-relevant content will be fine, your content will go viral and become relevant thanks to every-day internet sleuths and you'll get 10x the views which can be reported to your manager, ensuring your year-end view count goals have been met. - RIGHT - Our reasoning holds true.
- Murdered-out bike builds. C’mon guys, we like black too, but dang. - WRONG - We're still always going to bet on black.
- Hating on Plus tires. See “What’s in”. - WRONG - They're not as rad as gordo thought which is why Butters, Iceman and Fred never bought into them. #oldguysaresuckers
Chains - WRONG - We're not Gwin and never will be.
- Donald Trump. (We're optimistic) - HOLY SHIT - We never thought we'd have to factor in Russia and fake news with this prediction.
- Putting on your goggles in your web edit. Brandon Semenuk is exempt from this rule. - UNDECIDED - We don't get all the way through half the web edits online to even calculate an answer for this.
- Internet mountain bike website writers complaining about everything. - WRONG - We still love to complain about everything.
- Strapping your bike in the middle of the flatbed. Don’t be a dick, shuttle your buddies too. - WRONG - Trump winning proves this is a trend.
- Strava. Again. - RIGHT - #tooeasy
- Instagram. It's so painfully boring anymore. - RIGHT - Every post is a commercial from an "influencer" and you can't even remember the last two photos or videos you looked at, can you? #fail
- Sven and Duncan because they go to too many cool places without us. - WRONG - We're just jealous.
- One Direction because Bieber 'found' himself'. - DON'T CARE
- Results-based teams because they're not as fun to discuss. - WRONG - The party kids may get some pub, but the reality is that results are king when it comes to legacy.
- Print mags, because your high quality paper doesn't help photogs gain followers on Instagram. - MEH - We're not even sure what we meant by this one.
- In / Out lists. - RIGHT - Always
What's In - Mountain Biking 2016
- Short-travel bikes with big wheels and aggressive geometry. Funny, they were first on our list last year too. - RIGHT - SOOOOO RIGHT....
- Wide range cassettes. - RIGHT - Pretty darn easy to predict this one.
- Using the term "Loves back wheel". - WRONG - Since we can't remember anything we looked at on Instagram we have no idea.
- Using the term "making it talk" in reference to a bike getting loose. - WRONG - We only have one friend who actually says this.
- 26-inch fat bikes. - UNSURE - Don't care.
- Plus, mini-fat and Gary Fisher saying it's the ultimate tire standard and everything else is a compromise. - WRONG - Considering we haven't seen many on the trail, we're stoked we were wrong on this prediction. #blamegordo
- This thing that Sven and Duncan are gonna live in on the 2016 World Cup circuit. - RIGHT - We think they had to strip the VIN # tags because of all the parking tickets. That's a win in our book.
- Bar Drag Bounty 4. It's coming. March 1. - RIGHT - It happened.
- Vital MTB's forum. - RIGHT - E-bike topics and team rumors FTW.
Not owning a 4-inch XC bike and a 5-inch trail bike and a 6-inch all-mountain bike and a 6.3-inch enduro bike. Just pick one. - RIGHT
- Wide rims. Yeah, we’ve been there before, but this time, it works! - SORTA - Mountain bikers tend to be hoarders and the quivers just grow even though one bike gets ridden 87.69% of the time.
- Bell Biv Devoe in web edits. - WRONG - Sadly for gordo there was no instance of Bell Biv Devoe in a web edit in 2016. Never trust a big butt and a smile.
- Plus-sized tires. Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you know, kids. They have already converted some of Vital’s senior citizens, you could be next! - WRONG - once again, #blamegordo the old kook. Vital's legit rippers barely touched the things and it seems the market is shifting back toward some kind of happy medium between 3.0 and 2.3.
- Electric mountain bikes. Tooooooo soon? - WRONG - So. Thankful.
- Gearboxes. Because we still Belieb. - RIGHT - See? Right at the buzzer.
- Bieber because he's now 'found' himself. - DON'T CARE
- Trail building. Have you been out there recently? There’s gold in them thar hills! - RIGHT - Trail building will always be in.
- Color! Whether it’s riding gear or your bike, don’t fall into the murdered-out trap this year! Express yourself! - RIGHT - Break out the sunnies!
- Instagram. Who needs a PR agency when every athlete does his or her own marketing these days so everyone can scroll right by and forget instantly? - 50/50 - More and more riders and brands focus on it even though no one remembers what they just saw.
- Proper "trails" edits from secret, hidden gems, deep in the woods. "Trails" means "dirt jumps" to you MTB types. - WRONG - Sad but true.
- Slideshows. With the demise of the web edit (see “OUT”), the venerable photograph and proper story telling will be more IN than ever. - RIGHT?
World Cup DH. Awesome tracks, incredible riding, the best coverage. 2016’s gonna be a PARTY! - RIGHT - The 2016 World Cup DH season was all-time rad.
- Carbon. A couple of seasons ago, we were all afraid that all the carbon stuff would just implode. Today, there are almost no parts on the bike that don’t feature the fantastic plastic. With the quality improving and the prices dropping (somewhat), we can only see this trend accelerate further in 2016. - RIGHT - Easy, but we're counting it.
- Pressfit BBs. We can dream, right? - UHHH
- Apparently Transworld is trying to be. - WTF? - Still unsure about this entry.
- Riding more without posting some shit about it on Instagram. Experience your ride. - WRONG - Unfortunately, so wrong.
- Young gun photo / video nerds. - RIGHT - Youth gone wild!
- Ponytails. - SORRY ICEMAN
- Loic. - RIGHT
- VX1000 footage. - WRONG - Pixels > Nostalgia
Descent-world.co.uk because Tommy is a one arm'd army. - SORTA - We heard about a break-up.
- YOLO music usage on commercial edits from brands because who needs permission for music to sell a couple bikes, right? - RIGHT - *See any brand that exclusively uses Vimeo.
- Ed Masters and Phil Atwill because humor and being a loose c#nt sells bikes. - TBD - They entertained the shit out of us, but did that translate to dollars?
- Taking In / Out lists too seriously. - WRONG - MTB is serious business.
Team Rumors. - ALWAYS RIGHT
GT Factory Racing because we have another Syndicate on our hands. - WRONG - Let's just call it a rough year that started with some serious potential.
- Hardtails because we've grown too soft. - WRONG - Our 100mm 29er is always going to be more fun and if we want the hardtail experience, we'll ride our BMX.
We figure that 60% of the time we get it right every time, so those are odds worth betting on. Vital's What's Out, What's In for Mountain Biking in 2017 list drops at the stroke of midnight, January 1st, so you can be ahead of the rest of the two-wheeled lemmings.