What's In and What's Out in Mountain Biking, 2019

What's In

  • Downhill racing – 8 World Cup DH rounds (one in the U.S!) and World Champs. DH is unmatched.
  • Vital's DH Bike Test Sessions. Just days away, kids.
  • Lower seat tubes.
  • Longer dropper posts – there are a bunch of options already available and more on the horizon, so you best start making sure your frame can handle ‘em!
  • Steep seat tube angles – all those years, we have been suffering on climbs because somebody decided road bike geo was a great starting point for MTB geo.
  • Longer reach – it’s finally time to get comfy on your bike.
  • Larger negative air spring – if your fork doesn’t have it, you’re missing out!
  • Flex - Compliance in the right places, including some you may not have considered before.
  • Progressive coil springs - Everyone with a bike that isn't progressive enough for a coil, rejoice.
  • Electronics...and not the E-Bike kind - Things are getting refined behind the scenes. Expect a focus on this from a variety of brands.
  • High pivots in more than just DH.
  • Shootouts – call it like you see it. If you’re going to compare stuff, let people know which one is the best.
  • Enduro full face helmets – they are now so light and comfortable that you really have no excuse for not wearing one if you plan on getting rowdy. Carrying a removable chin bar is goofy, and dentists the world over are probably planning a protest movement as we speak.
  • Doubled up EWS and World Cup DH weekends. Not that this is a good thing, just saying it appears to be in this year.
  • Pants – Just do us all a favor, and actually buy them in your actual size, n’est-ce pas Loic et Loris? ;)
  • The TDS Enduro - Best event of the year? It's up there.
  • Ratboy's trips - A new sponsor, a load of new fun?
  • Troy Brosnan. We just have a feeling.
  • Longer podcast interviews and stories. If Bafus gets bored, you're on to something.
  • Data acquisition - Consumer-level suspension data acquisition products will likely take a nice leap forward this year.
  • Racing that's not really racing aka multi-day events in rad, new locations. Promoters will find more loyal attendees by helping to build trail new places. See the Trans-Cascadia.
  • Randy - In his element. We foresee great things.
  • Subtle style - On the bike, on your person, and on the trail.
  • Cornering like Bryn Atkinson - Or at least re-watching his Sounds of Speed video for the umpteenth time as you try to!
  • Trail building - Always in. If you can't aid, recognize those that do.
  • Affordable, reliable components - riders want things with longevity.
  • Trying e-bikes for the first time but not telling anyone about it because you ended up saying, "damn, these things really are fun."
  • New challengers in previously exclusive product categories - Companies looking to expand into new areas will bring new ideas and challenge the status quo. Doesn't mean it'll work, but more trying is more better.
  • Added bar height - Going up!
  • Racers not being scared to speak up in interviews with Sven and Boris. If your sponsor gets offended, you're on the wrong team.
  • Inside lines - Because you're looking for a new challenge. Harness Sam Hill.
  • Transparency in product testing - Quantifiable and real.
  • Cornering technique where your inside foot is down. If Phil does it...
  • Super high-value, aluminum bikes - Alloy is coming back with a vengeance, and this type of bike is a no-brainer for many riders.
  • Lighter weight, sleeker e-bikes - Eventually they'll arrive where they need to be. We'll see some leaps forward this year.
  • Instagram and YouTube riders taking paychecks (or at least bike parts) from established pros - People are watching, and companies are on the hunt.
  • Carbon stories - Brands will look to distinguish themselves by telling their own version in more detail.
  • Simplification - In personal lives and the bikes you ride, there will be more focus on what really matters.
  • Pros giving back to the future of our sport - Pros in other sports have honed in on how important this is, and it makes them stand out.

What's Out

  • Those manual training machines - 134,000 views on that link right there and some other vid that has like 300k. A truly head-scratching, WTF device. The reason we ride mountain bikes is to, well, actually ride them. The road, sidewalk, parking lot, trail and/or entire earth is free for practicing on. Homie's bike is dialed though!
  • How-to riding technique videos - Hampton, Lenosky, Ebbett and Chase shut that shit down like 20 years ago and Dirt did it like 5 years after that. Why do we need 387 new riding technique videos uploaded every day by YouTube and Instagram hopefuls?
  • Interbike - Too soon?
  • Tracking your riding data. We hope you realize that your insurance company will be getting that data from your service provider so they can prove you were going too fast for the trail conditions and will now deny your health insurance claim for that broken face. If you live outside the U.S., ignore.
  • "Me too" products - Just because you can sell 500 units of your catalog product and double your money, doesn't mean your brand should exist. Create something worth using, not just another on the pile.
  • Instagram posts featuring some exhausting random thought of the day. No one reads on Instagram let alone remembers that photo you just posted.
  • Pro rider Instagram posts with horrendous grammar and spelling. We all make mistakes, but come on! It's freaking 2019 and you're phone can't figure out a contraction? (psst, we did that and any other error you find in this article on porpoise)
  • Talking about fork offset. Just put the coolest-at-the-time offset measurement sticker on your fork. You and no one else will know. (Calm down...)
  • Giving someone kudos for being "tough" because they got knocked the f&%k out and then continued to ride or race.
  • Super weird brake lever angles – unless you happen to be French, just put those levers back where they are meant to be.
  • Super long reach – if you are 5’2”, XL is not your size.
  • Doping – get that shit outta here.
  • Courses that make world-class racers feel the need to put weird shit in their body just so they can survive the day and salvage points. Why does an enduro race need a three-hour hike-a-bike? Endurance racing and Enduro racing are two different things.
  • Brendog’s Rampage score. Yes, we’re gonna keep beating this dead horse until it damn well gets back on its four feet and gets a better result! #brendogwuzrobbed
  • Taping tools and spares all over your bike. Let’s have more SWAT-style options!
  • Flat tires – with more and more good options out there, what’s your excuse these days?
  • Bad bike geo – with so many good options out there, there is no longer room for mistakes. Get those angles dialed!
  • Tire sidewall cuts - Riders worldwide are calling for innovation here. Who will step up?
  • Bike thieves - Always out.
  • Anything that rattles while we're riding - Stop the racket!
  • Derailleur clutches that suck - Could a better solution be on the way?
  • A few hundred spectators at Rampage - Hell of a party last year, perhaps too much?
  • Hodgepodge component conversions - Hacks that don't work well won't last in today's marketplace.
  • Launching but not delivering - Hype when it's ready, not before.
  • Not riding your bike. There will always be a reason, there will always be an excuse – don’t listen to the little voice that says you’re too busy or too tired. If your phone is too captivating, throw it away. Get out there! Ride your bike...NOW.

Tell us how prophetic and informative we are in the comments even though we already know.

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