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Liked a comment about video What's the World Champ Think? Danny Hart on 29ers in DH Racing 5/6/2017 11:06 AM

The problem is if you limit the wheel size you are then giving the advantage to the smaller and lighter riders who fit the 27.5 platform better. What is next limiting everyone to flat pedals because clips give you more power, everyone has to run 165mm cranks and 780mm bars with 2.4 tires? As Danny said if it is faster for a given rider they will run it, if not they won't. The biggest challenge is to keep the integrity of the tracks so they stay proper DH tracks, that will solve everything.

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Liked a comment about video What's the World Champ Think? Danny Hart on 29ers in DH Racing 5/6/2017 11:05 AM

Somebody else commented on DH being cycling's Group B. For those not in the know, I give you this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INwqyPct8qY -- Group B was rally's unregulated "send it" class. Cars were pushing 900 horse and weighed 2000 pounds. Crazy amazing stuff. If I remember right, the Delta S4 could push 70psi of boost if needed? Yes, 70.

I also don't know how many times I can point it out - EWS racers are allowed to run anything and there is still no consensus what is faster. Why is everyone so positive 29" is going to always be faster in DH? The only argument here that seems to have merit is cost. I can see teams running 29" here and 27.5" there. Two bikes, setup different for different tracks. That'll put the teams with money at an advantage. And I say "so be it". Awesome. The more crazy technology these guys have, the more we all benefit. Its how product is developed, tested, pushed, and those little tweaks that matter so much happen.

As far as overall cost, well, WC DH racing has a LONG way to go before we rival any form of motorized racing. An additional bike for every rider on a team costs relatively nothing. I may get pushback on this, but for racing at the top level, WC DH is relatively cheap. Teams aren't going anywhere (due in large part to sites like Vital telling the story of the sport). These days, more than ever, people care about DH racing as a ***sport***, not as a stunt. That is important as I'd argue you'll see more and more support in the space even if companies aren't selling DH bikes. Car companies always sell more "practical" cars than they do "race" cars (Outback vs STi for instance) but racing still matters.

Keep it open. Let WC guys develop the most kickass technology for hacks like me. We all win this way. Oh, and it makes for some interesting nerdery in the meantime...

Side note, if anyone wants to post more Group B content, please do!!!

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Liked a comment about product review Review - 2017 Trek Remedy 27.5 from Vital MTB Test Sessions 5/6/2017 11:01 AM

A detailed review as always. I would however have marked the bike down for the price. Thats extreme and it doesn't even come with a Reverb or Fox dropper post.

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 12:05 PM

Again, we'll always disagree here but my 20 years of adventure sports experience says otherwise. My education in economics and dayjob in finance also says otherwise. You are arguing against how innovation works and how markets work.

Bigger companies can throw their weight around and cause a bit of turbulence for sure (Trek with boost for instance), but being a number of my close buddies are engineers within the space, they all say the same thing.

"Don't buy it if you don't like it, nobody is forcing you to upgrade".

Simple as that.

Nobody is forcing you to buy anything in the sport. Nobody is saying "to ride down this here hill you need 29" tires, boost, XXmm axles, XXmm wide rims etc.

Progress comes at the expense of change. A company must introduce something new, or die. And some of those innovations mean new standards, new wheels, new this or new that. "Progress" and "New" often go in the same sentence.

If its not worth the squeeze, we don't have to bite. What is incredible is the industry will continue to make legacy product. Maybe 10 years from now you can't buy the new XYZ fork for your 26" bike, but you can still buy a suspension fork of similar caliber for the era your 26" bike. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything new *unless you want something better*. I believe having something better is not a right, its not something you are entitled to.

Remember, in most any other technology driven sport, there is no standard. Period. You can't just take a Honda motor and swap it into a KTM chassis. Hell, you can't even take a wheel and swap it. I can't put my Polaris sled skis on my buddies Cat (without a bunch of modifying). I can't put fuel injection on my CB650 (well, I can, but it costs a ton).

You have to accept new standards or we have to accept little to no progress.

No conspiracy other than the fact the bike industry is (and always will be) populated by a bunch of nerds (like me) looking for an edge over my more talented friends. And I'll buy it if I have to...

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 12:01 PM

Just to point something out, what you are suggesting goes against free markets and capitalism as a whole. Although "engineered" failure is kind of a thing (edit, outside the bike industry), failure/needing to upgrade generally has everything to do with cost/benefit/lifecycle than it is a "lets build this so they have to buy more". If its the latter, this is where a better company steps in to fill the unmet needs in the market with a superior product.

What I'm saying here is the bike industry is too small and too competitive for there to be some underlying conspiracy to keep us buying stuff we don't want or breaking stuff that otherwise wouldn't break at the same price point/weight/performance level.

As far as forcing us to buy new stuff based off legacy, last I checked I can still buy 26" tires and wheels. In fact, my last 26" bike is still kicking just fine. The same will happen with 27.5" if 29" does prove to be the advantage, which I'm still not sure is universally true. I've also refurbished a number of old bikes (threaded headset anyone?) with zero problems in terms of compatibility.

Innovation means you have to step outside the lines to find and edge. Thats what this is about, finding an edge to put a rider on top, and frankly - its one reason why I love racing.Nobody ever said every component that is engineered has to be reverse compatible.

Reminds me of video game systems in a way.... If you forced every video game to be reverse compatible with old systems the whole industry would come to a grinding halt.

and just cause something new comes out, that doesn't make super mario any less fun to play...

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 11:58 AM

...and the v10 is only 190mm of travel for those not riding an XXL. Seems like an apples to apples analogy to me!

To add, I have had the unique privilege of interviewing the founder of the company regarding the SB 5.5c in which he point blank said it was designed as a race bike for the EWS. (it was actually designed for an ex Yeti racer who now rides for a company with lots of red in their logo. This racer may be the best racer of all time.... )

That said, I can offer more...

Sam Hill rides the 27.5" Nukeproof, but he has the option of a 29" that is almost identical. Cody Kelly too swaps back and forth from the SB6 to the SB5.5c depending on the track, what he's feeling comfortable on etc.

Norco has the option of either too, with Blenki (who is 6'1") and Joe Smith both going 27.5" in New Zealand...

There are too many data points suggesting 29" wheel is great, but its more to do with preference than gospel. If it was set in stone "always faster", all these top level athletes who have the choice, would always chose to be on the bigger wheel. Remember, its their JOB to win. Fun comes second...

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/3/2017 9:50 AM

Don't forget, both are still affiliated with brands so you aren't hearing something completely unbias.... (EG: If Canyon doesn't have one in development of course Fabien is going to be more bearish on the wheel size...)

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/2/2017 10:50 PM

I don't disagree 29" enduro steeds are the new hotness, but again, I go back to Richie (see my other comments). He has had the option to ride one of the best 29" enduro weapons on the planet and sticks with the 27.5" steed. There are others who have also had the option to run the bigger wheel and chose not to. This speaks volumes to the reality of the situation. I really believe you'll see a mix, dictated more by comfort than anything else. I also think its not too far out of the realm of "crazy" to think that with some really clever design and an adjustable headset, that a bike couldn't accommodate both 27.5 and 29" wheels...

I do contest that enduro somehow is less about velocity or something. It stands between XC and DH by most people's measuring stick. What is working in XC? 29". So if DH is sure to be dominated by 29", than it would make 100% sense that enduro would be getting crushed by 29" too.

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/2/2017 10:34 PM

I know that wheel size is a bid deal and could give someone a slight advantage, but I am curious why no one is concerned or up in arms with the fact that there are different rear travel bikes in DH? I am curious why we are all focusing on one aspect of the bike. Ya might say that brake rotors should have a limit in size too. Just tossing out ideas as I am frustrated with all wheel discussions.

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Liked a comment about feature Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel Discuss 29ers in DH 5/2/2017 12:16 PM

Wow. I'm pretty shocked.

I figured both Nico and Fabien would love the bigger wheel as they both seemed to do whatever was needed technologically to eek out more speed.

Larger riders have disadvantages in places, advantages in other places. Bigger wheels will be the same way.

Limiting wheel size is like limiting bike fit, skewing things to benefit a certain type/size of rider.

As far as it being a bummer for the industry, cmon boys! Its not like the wheels, tires, and 29" trail bikes weren't already in production this year. To add, I could see a few smart companies *maybe* finding a way to build a 29 and 27.5" bike from very similar molds (EG, same rear end, same front end, different links).

Why should some riders have their bike fit them better than others?

(scroll down for more thoughts)

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Liked a comment about feature Steve Peat's Santa Cruz 5010cc Trail Bike 4/4/2017 1:03 PM

i am surprised to see an ardent on there in the exo casing. i am no where near the rider peaty is and not his size and i tear that tire on local trails; i can't imagine that tire lasting long under peaty

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Liked a comment about feature Pro Bike Check: Josh Bryceland's Santa Cruz V10cc 3/1/2017 8:39 AM

bike check for his 5010 please, thank you.

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Liked a comment about product review Tested: SRAM ROAM 60 Carbon Wheels 2/4/2017 6:32 AM
Liked a comment about feature How in the Hell Does Kirt Voreis Not Have a Bike Sponsor? 11/11/2016 1:03 PM

This is why I will always keep coming back to Vital, true reporting on the real world of two wheels bicycles that go downhill fast.

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