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Specialized & The Global Climate Strike - Marketing BS or Meaningful Initiative

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9/18/2019 1:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/18/2019 2:22 PM

In case everyone missed it, Specialized is one of hundreds of other companies closing their doors on Friday in the name of climate change. While I'm sure there are others in the industry doing the same thing, the Big S is the only manufacturer of that caliber I'm aware of partaking. Without being overly political, I'm curious the collective's thoughts on this, though really it brings up a bigger question (which I'll get to below EDIT; for the TLDR crowd, the question is "should we make bikes/parts last longer" scroll down for the meat).

As far as this Friday is concerned, my bullshit-o-meter certainly hit high marks. Sure I commend them to a small extent on making an effort to "fight climate change". However, it seems more like this is a great way to look "environmentally friendly" all the while doing nothing of substance to back it up. "but, awareness, jeff". Yeah, awareness doesn't do anything to fix the problem, a problem over 75% of Americans already acknowledge (source: Yale - and I'd argue 100% of bike riders acknowledge...its an educated group)

Those that don't know, I'm a financial analyst during the day. Hence why you'll see me rant and rave here on Vital when things get slow. Most of my work is done in the early hours or late in the evening when news flow picks up. GNarcissim aside, one benefit of my work is I get to watch first hand how complex our world economic system is, and how energy intensive the process of buying raw materials, turning it into a product, shipping it all over the world, selling it to a consumer, fixing it/warrantying it and eventually putting it back into the ground really is. Which leads me to the bike industry...

Just yesterday I was rebuilding my fork for the 4th or 5th time this season (lowers service). While doing so I realized the anodizing had started to wear away on the uppers and the CSU has developed a creak. The fork has been used for about 4 months. Unfortunately, this isn't an anomaly. This is the way things work, at least for me.

This got me thinking and looking back on the number of warranty claims, broken parts, crashed parts, and just plain worn out parts I deal with in a given year. It seems a miracle if I get through a season without replacing at least half the major component on the bike, and by that point even the frame feels clapped. Its a culture of using, breaking and throwing away. Not fixing, really.

So the big question here is should more emphasis be placed on longevity and "fix-ability". With the more complex products, its often cheaper to buy a new one than fix the old one (forks, droppers, brakes). Sometimes the industry creates a new standard that forces a product into the trashcan (26").

I'm all about progress, and all about technology (clearly) but wouldn't everyone take a pound or three in the name of having something you could roll on for years, still feeling as tight and as put together as the day you bought it so long as things are serviced properly? Wouldn't this sort of sustainability mean a lot more than turning off your website or whatever the hell Specialized is doing this Friday?

I actually semi-hate Patagonia for their political alignment and bullying, but I do love how they are creating a culture of fixing, of reusing.

Is their room for this in the bike world? Or are we too driven by pure technology, performance and economics?

I'm sure I could write a lot more on this topic...but I'll end there. Your glazed over eyeballs are welcome wink

EDIT: I didn't mean to suggest Specialized is bad. They are just playing the game...I get it.


9/18/2019 1:52 PM

Glad you brought this to my attention, +1 to the Big S.
Always love the banter and financial opinions on the move's in the bike world. Keep going!
Love reading the bicycle retailer for the industry news and who is moving where or what business dealings are going on.


9/18/2019 2:46 PM

when i received the email blast about the specialized site being down on friday, the cynic in me wondered how much energy was used in creating and sending that email blast. did their initiative need to be signaled ahead of time? could they have saved X% more energy by not even announcing the initiative and just letting people learn about it if they visited on friday?

re: durability of product - such a difficult discussion and slippery slope, but a worthy discussion.

jeff, i think you're an exception to wearing out products faster than the bulk of bike riders. for you, could "heavier" products really solve the issues you deal with in a year? worn-out anodizing isn't a weight thing, right? is it a materials thing? re: frame-clapping, would new bearings/bushings be enough to fix that or are all the interfaces meant to be snug/tight blown out on your bikes and not fixable?

there are SO many issues surrounding all this. driving to ride. riding a chairlift to ride. local-made products to avoid international shipping. the toxicity of carbon production. the toxicity of rubber production, or aluminum or steel. fossil fuels used and enviro impact of trail building. the energy used to talk about bike bullshit on the internet over the last 18 years. i'm curious to see where all this discussion goes!


9/18/2019 3:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/19/2019 6:38 AM

sspomer wrote:

when i received the email blast about the specialized site being down on friday, the cynic in me wondered how much energy was ...more

Good questions, and good point. I probably wear out more stuff than most. But I also run stuff well past the point where others would relegate it to the trashcan, too. I've kind of developed a reputation around here for fixing products the bike shops said had to be replaced (my favorite is the wheel that "can't be trued"...apparently smacking it on a curb isn't in their liability waiver)

Either way, there comes a point when even my frame isn't fixable and yes, bearing are migrating in the frame. I'll come up with some "fixes". I've put carbon frames back together with fiber fix. I've used retaining compound and long set epoxies to keep bearings where I want them.

That said, its still a pretty ghetto fix for a product that hasn't even hit the year mark.

Not to bring up dirt bikes for the nth time, but they don't go through the wear in the same way despite seeing a lot more miles, and having a lot more moving parts. Yes, I know, different sport, weight isn't as much a thing, but we could learn a lot about how well a dirt bike is engineered to be fixed, not replaced. Put another way, I don't ever see fork stanctions wear out, nothing creaks, bearing interfaces never hollow out, and nothing is so complicated it's easier to throw it in the trash can than to fix it.

In my own case, like @TeamRobot has pointed out, E-Bike stuff will be my saving grace. Or they could be. Heavier forks, brakes with more wear material, wider rotors, stuff that is just plain engineered to last longer because there is more of a motor turning it. I guess in a way, I'm sort of like an e-bike, in that I'm big and put out a lot of watts. I may not go any faster, but the difference between a skinny guy putting out 200 watts on a steep climb, and me putting out 300 or 350 starts to add up, especially over the long haul. Same with brakes, suspension etc. A 130lbs rider with an e-bike still weighs less than I do with a light pedal bike.

As far as the rest, yeah, its super complex and we'll never fix everything through our choices...unless we just all cease to exist. So yeah, at a point we have to accept some net expenditure.

There is just something about keeping something running like the day you bought it I really (really) like, environmental issues aside, I'd like more of this to be a part of the mountain bike world.


9/18/2019 10:42 PM

Does shutting down a website for a day really change anything? Are they shutting down the head office and shipping warehouses too? No cars driving in, no trucks picking up orders...

Sorry, but shutting down the website for a day sounds like marketing fluff...


9/19/2019 6:24 AM

jeff - i'm probably an anomaly too, i also tend to use components well longer than what would be considered their "useable lifespan" by the industry (i was once essentially explicitly told so in regards to a set of cranks). these days i'm purchasing components more for how long i think they're going to last (or how long they've been proven to last). case in point i opted for the e13 dropper as its fully user serviceable in addition to having the longest warranty of any dropper on the market. i'm also just starting to switch over from 9 speed drivetrains, as i'd amassed quite a number of spares over the years and am only now starting to run out of them.

i think probably the biggest thing the bike industry could do to address their impact is in the supply/manufacturing chain. sure, it's less expensive to manufacture in ASPAC, but the resource expenditure to then delivery the goods to other continents is going to add up. but it doesn't have to be that way. companies like guerilla gravity are proving that yes, you can manufacture domestically and create a great product at a competitive price (note: i'm well aware they are a small operation and operate very lean). but it can be done.

spomer - one good point your bought up is the toxicity of production of various components. the flipside to that is what's done with a product at the end of its intended useable life; one big one for biking is with tires, i'm always on the search for a location that will actually recycle tires, and i usually can't find anything. i know car/truck tires are often given a second life in that they are reground and used as rubber floor mats and ground material for playgrounds. is there anything stopping bike tires from going this route? when i raced downhill i would go through numerous sets of tires a season, and i always hated (and still hate) just having to throw them out due to a lack of a suitable alternative.


9/19/2019 6:28 AM

Brian_Peterson wrote:

Does shutting down a website for a day really change anything? Are they shutting down the head office and shipping warehouses ...more

a single website, no. shutting down an entire server farm maybe. those facilities use an absurd amount of power. not just to run the servers, but to operate the cooling systems they require.


9/19/2019 6:55 AM

We want to see the better and cleaner things for the planet but this is just straight virtue signaling and making no positive impact.


9/19/2019 8:44 AM

Brian_Peterson wrote:

Does shutting down a website for a day really change anything? Are they shutting down the head office and shipping warehouses ...more

jonkranked wrote:

a single website, no. shutting down an entire server farm maybe. those facilities use an absurd amount of power. not just to ...more

I'm pretty sure Specialized doesn't have a large bank of servers for their website.. And the We shut down our website for the climate strike message would indicate that the servers would still be online...


9/19/2019 8:45 AM

love where this is going.
jeff: it's rad the e-bike stuff solve some of your issues (i was stoked to see robot's comment about that too). what about frames? could a burly steel frame solve wear issues? like if you were on a brooklyn from back in the day, wold that thing would last forever under you. it'd just be 50 pounds. i think that's where the moto argument falls apart too. the weight and tolerances are so drastically different throughout the entire machine. would you ride (pedal) a 45-pound enduro bike if it didn't wear out? just trying to see if there is a specific target you're after.

jonkranked: totally agree on life of a product after we're done with it, and that GG is doing some cool things w/ their domestic carbon production. FWIW, i took this pic of the tire recycling bin at crankworx in whistler. it was cool to see that. (if it was the MSA world cup circa 2006, there would be 50 kids taking all these tires...hell, i was tempted at whistler ha!). not sure who's organizing or handling the recycling on these (no info on the cans). does the amount of rubber in a bike tire or other materials in it make it "not worth" recycling them compared to car tires?


9/19/2019 8:49 AM

Brian_Peterson wrote:

I'm pretty sure Specialized doesn't have a large bank of servers for their website.. And the We shut down our website for the ...more

i can't imagine any company in the bike industry running their own web server when its more cost effective to lease from a server farm.


9/19/2019 8:52 AM

sspomer wrote:

love where this is going.
jeff: it's rad the e-bike stuff solve some of your issues (i was stoked to see robot's comment about ...more

cool info on the bins at whistler. i've heard that some shops do in fact take them for recycling, but it'd be cool to see a program developed by the industry at a national level to help address this. i know none of the shops around me take tires for recycling. googling did turn this up from schwable, but it's over in the EU.


9/19/2019 8:56 AM

i actually just did some googling, apparently bicycle tires can be recycled alongside car tires, and some automotive stores (pep boys was one listed) that will take them. i wanna look into this some more.


9/19/2019 9:12 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/19/2019 9:18 AM

Cool info all the way around.

RE: Spomer's question on weight, moto etc.

You absolutely have a point, a lot of the reason a dirt bike can withstand the years, so long as its maintained, is there is less emphasis on weight.

At the height of summer my (metal) Sentinel weighed 39 pounds. Could I handle more weight? I guess, but 39 is already a bridge too far IMO, so yeah, maybe I'm just wishing for proverbial unicorn farts, especially when I consider most components on that bike did not hold up - most notably, the $1000+ fork (which is a constant issue for me).

What I can't help but wonder is if we could taper off on performance and put more thought into durability. EG, I'd happily take a 10 speed drivetrain where the cassette, chain and ring lasted longer. I'd happily take a fork that was 1/2 pound heavier that didn't creak, didn't require constant lower leg service and the anodizing didn't wear as quick, even if I had something a lot less refined as far as the damper is concerned. Hell, I'd take a pound if it was a dual crown (easier to play with offsets, easier to replace legs, no creak, etc)

I'd rather ride something like an Orange where there was a ton of engineering in keeping that one pivot working for years than a bunch of pivots that end up requiring service, move around etc. (EDIT: Ironic I write that considering I just bought a new, even I won't put my money where my mouth is!)

I will say I've been super happy with a few products, the first one that comes to mind is the Santa Cruz Reserve wheelset. After 2.5 seasons of use, they are still kicking. The rear needs to be relaced, but the rims are still fine, hubs still spinning awesome. This one product saved me countless rims and the bearings in the hub have proven solid too. This is a step in a really good direction.

I've also had superb luck with RS rear shocks. One service per season and they seem to work just as they were intended. Set and forget. Am yet to break one despite all my trying, and track record with "other brands".

I guess my point in singling out a few products is I do believe it *is* possible to create something that works, and works for the long haul without a 45 pound bike. But emphasis needs to be on durability, which is sort of a tricky thing for a company to do when a lot of their bottom line depends on product churn....


9/19/2019 9:16 AM

RE: Specialized "Stunt"

Its refreshing to me so many people seem to be peering past the virtue signaling of it all. I used to go nuts trying to show people its not as simple as one action, and we're so vested in this "way of life" that its maddening to try and suggest a plastic straw will change anything.

I'm not saying "give up", but I am saying its important, at least to me, to be truthful with yourself as to what one "positive" action is really worth, and to the hypocrisy of life in the modern era within the Western world. (now I sound like some quasi woke idiot on Twitter...greeeaaattt)


9/19/2019 10:13 AM

Great thread

I too took the Big S with a heavy does of cynicism even though I do think we tend to be moving to an overly critical mindset here - I think a lot of people and companies are trying to do the right thing but there a lot of real factors that make this harder than the keyboard warriors are willing to concede.

Like Jeff said, I also find Patagonia to be quite pedantic, especially in their marketing. However, they put their money where their mouth is. The Worn Wear thing is awesome - the attention to detail color and materials matching is very high quality. Wish the bike industry would adopt this more. If Fox or TLD did this, I would probably have saved a number of jersey and shorts over the years and still be riding them.

The problem with Big S here is that its great for awareness but there is no substance. Patagonia lists a lot of sourcing information, etc. on product pages and elsewhere in their site and speak to what they are doing in the creation of their products to support more sustainable products. There is nothing obvious on Big S sites or in the press release that speaks to anything tangible which just make the whole thing an eye roll.

There's definitely an opportunity for companies to do more here. I love watching racing and I do my best to buy from companies that support racing and I am willing to pay a bit of a premium to do so. However, to Jeff's point, I think the product side needs to move away from get the parts Loic rides and talk more about durability and longevity. I want a high performance product but it doesn't need to be WC level and if that means I don't need to send my shock back to Fox (needs to be called out) every year for a full service, that I can't or my shop can't do, that's a huge win for all of us.


9/19/2019 10:18 AM

MPH24 wrote:

Great thread

I too took the Big S with a heavy does of cynicism even though I do think we tend to be moving to an overly ...more

Great post!

Total thread derail, but I'm glad I'm not the only one with Fox durability issues. I love the way a lot of their product work, but their customer service and longevity leaves a lot to be desired in my experience. I'll still run their stuff, because like I said, when working its likely the best stuff on the market (at least with forks). But I've had less than favorable experiences sending stuff in, which unfortunately is all too common.


9/19/2019 10:26 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Great post!

Total thread derail, but I'm glad I'm not the only one with Fox durability issues. I love the way a lot of their ...more

100% Jeff. Fox's product when working is fantastic but the service intervals are too much (probably why their service is overwhelmed...). My Float X2 is outstanding when I have it running. Truly works well and the ability to make minor but meaningful adjustments for different terrain and conditions is great. But, like before, a few weeks ago a seal broke and oil mixed with air in part of the shock and Fox is the only one who can fix it... That shouldn't happen 3/4 through the riding season and my local shop should be able to fix it!


9/19/2019 10:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/19/2019 10:46 AM

Not to distract from the core of the conversation here, but this is something I wanted to bring up.

One thing that really surprised me while recently working in a bike shop for a brief bit, is how much waste comes with packaging. It's interesting/shocking to see bike companies put so much focus on packaging components when 95% of the time, they go straight to the trash. I see all these Sram, Shimano, and countless other brands use color and ink intensive packages, extra plastic to wrap components, and tons of paper for manuals, (when most of the time, we can access and refer back to those manuals online). It makes it much harder to properly recycle all this packaging and I'm also fearful that most shops just throw it in the trash which heads straight to a land fill. Incredibly wasteful given that we only need the product inside, not any of the packaging.

I understand brands want to cater to the consumer experience and make products look good on the store floor. Queue Apple and the emphasis they've put on the consumer experience when opening up a new product. I think the bike industry has taken a page from companies like that and have over done it when it comes to making products look flashy when that packagings true purpose is to just house the product that will end up on our bikes anyway. For example, when I see the packaging for a GX cassette, it's clean, it's colorful, it looks nice, but look at how much ink is used to get it to that level, or the extra plastic used to house the cassette. When you consider how many GX cassettes sit in boxes out there, you have to consider all the waste that comes with throwing those boxes out.

There are a few brands out there though that understand this and in turn, simplify their packaging. I've seen a few brands use post consumer recycled cardboard and paper (like E13) and I think that's at least a step in the right direction. Some companies are worse than others, but I think it's a very real factor to think about when selling and marketing bike products, all the waste that comes with it.

My question to you guys though, (riders, shop employees/owners, industry peeps) would you care if your nice, new, expensive, product came with an equally nice and visually appealing packaging that looks good on the shop floor and have some sort of unique user experience, or would you prefer a bare bones, easy to recycle packaging that just gets the job done?

To me, by the time I pick up the product in the shop, I'm pretty much sold on it, your marketing efforts have already done their job online and all that packaging is really doing for me is housing that product I'm going to put on my bike. So why not make that step as little wasteful as possible?


9/19/2019 10:51 AM

kev.1n wrote:

Not to distract from the core of the conversation here, but this is something I wanted to bring up.

One thing that really ...more

SUPER good point here man! I agree, packaging is a byproduct of yesteryear, and manuals?! Those should have gone the way of the 8-Track by the time we had computers in our pockets. Hell, I even bought a $50 desktop and $25 monitor from my work (was going to the dump) to put in my garage just for the purpose of looking stuff up easily.

I'd love bare bones minimal packaging to be a thing, especially for the online retailers. There should be an option to buy with for those that are going to hang it from the slot board in the shop.

I wonder if we could figure out a more sustainable way to ship/package bikes too?


9/19/2019 11:20 AM

kev.1n wrote:

Not to distract from the core of the conversation here, but this is something I wanted to bring up.

One thing that really ...more

i'm a packaging engineer by trade (yes its a thing) and also a former shop mechanic. i'll post some more in depth thoughts later (currently at work). first and foremost i agree with all of your assessment. but there are some reasons for these things:

-some stuff comes with a lot of packaging because it has to survive the distribution channels. which for almost everything, is from the factory in china/taiwan/etc to the shipping port, across a big ocean, through another shipping port, then to your lbs / etailer then to the consumer. we'd all be complaining if our expensive shiny new parts arrived broken or with even just cosmetic damage.

-a lot of the fancy packaging (fancy multi color print ops, etc) is the byproduct of marketing. many/most consumer products rely on packaging to sell products. bike components, not so much. i can't remember a time i've bought a bike part because it had the fanciest package. sure it's nice, but its totally unnecessary IMO. to your point, we're buying a component based on product performance, not the packaging.

for instance, the Trust forks come in an amazing box, but that box probably costs between $50 and $75 (based on my experience dealing with box makers).

i'd like to give a shout out to huck norris here, because they designed their packaging to be a front fender as well. i'd love to see more examples like this.


9/19/2019 11:21 AM

on the topic of instruction manuals - i'd love to see these go away (as mentioned it's all available online), or at least just have them printed on the box that's already being used.


9/19/2019 12:27 PM

I'd be interested to know the actual impact of the manuals. Im hoping they are printed on recycled paper and then further recycled. Kind of seems like not much impact if those things are followed (I agree though, mine always go straight in the trash)


9/19/2019 1:43 PM

On manual tuning front, it'd be cool if shocks/forks at a QR code on them that you can scan with your phone and takes you to the manual and tuning... Super easy and guarantees you get to the correct manual/guide for your suspension.


9/19/2019 2:03 PM

This is snow balling so well!

Few thoughts on the Big S and the Global Climate Strike-
I don't care if it's marketing BS because it started this conversation and will be making way more rounds tomorrow as shops and customers notice. More people need to feel the 'pain' of climate change to really start acting.

Rember to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle or just straight REFUSE if you don't need something new and it's being forced on you by society/marketing/.

Shout outs to Pearl Izumi for working on the packaging. Highly suggest their swat shorts and their gear is actually kinda cool nowadays.


9/19/2019 3:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/19/2019 3:09 PM

Mwood wrote:

This is snow balling so well!

Few thoughts on the Big S and the Global Climate Strike-

Eh, maybe. I'm not sure Vital is exactly the designated audience nor do I believe the conversation ends up circling towards bike industry sustainability and environmentalism. More than likely it'll end with someone talking about their own wokeness, how Specialized "gets it" and how they aren't the ones that are the problem.

That said, the social media conversations I've seen happening (REI for instance) are a lot more "GFY, this is so complex take your virtue signaling elsewhere" than they are "yes, lets all rally around this and fix it".

We can't even figure out what bathroom to use in this country, do you really think we'll agree on something so complex, so all encompassing, as climate change and energy usage? I don't. On the world scale? Good luck. The richiest country in the world can't get our shit together, so I doubt the rest of the world will somehow magically figure it out.

Most of the companies spraying about this stuff have zero idea how vested they really are into fossil fuels or into the energy economy. Its really dizzying when you start to look at it.

We should transition to more sustainable forms of fuel, and we will, but its not going to be on a timeline that the latest models agree on (when it comes to impacting the problem in "enough time"), especially on a global scale.

That sucks, but politicians aren't going to fix it. Not to sound like a kook (too late) but I just don't see us figuring this out when we haven't even identified a reasonable plan that could be enacted that *would* fix the problem. We're all just pissing in the wind. Those suggesting otherwise drive me insane as it gives you a way to appear one way when in fact you are another. Solving a problem without a known solution seems crazy to me.

So what do we do? Uhh...go ride our bieks? Lol

Joking aside, I have to think technology is our only saving grace. Climate manipulation through science. That, or the models "missed" something. Wouldn't be the first time...


9/19/2019 3:07 PM

andrew.macnaughton wrote:

I'd be interested to know the actual impact of the manuals. Im hoping they are printed on recycled paper and then further ...more

I'm sure you are right, the manual thing is a super small trivial dent. But its more of the principal of it all. Like how Wendy's used to put 35 napkins in every bag. Why not stop it and save the money? Save the tree? Save the energy expended?


9/19/2019 3:28 PM

I'm confused as to what the "strike" is even supposed to do. Make us aware that there's a carbon problem? Uh, hello.
Somehow reduce the carbon footprint that operating a profitable business requires? Hmmmm. I'm not sure the net result will be positive. All those employees are going to go do stuff. Maybe they will ride bikes, but perhaps they'll be burning fossil fuels.

We need to figure out how to live in a warmer, wetter climate, because nothing is going to change that now.


9/19/2019 6:51 PM

in case it hadn't been seen, the patagonia email just hit my promotions inbox
September 20, 2019 (VENTURA, Calif.) – Today, in stores and offices around the world, Patagonia is joining in solidarity with the youth activists peacefully striking for climate action and demanding that governments address the climate crisis. The outdoor apparel company is closing its stores and offices globally so employees can join the strikes and is asking concerned citizens in the US to text CLIMATE to 71333 to tell Congress there is no room in government for climate deniers.

Patagonia is encouraged and inspired by the young activists calling for climate action and agrees with them that it is past time to make the necessary changes needed to address our overheating planet. To amplify its message, Patagonia is supporting its campaign with a significant ad buy that will show up along strike routes in select cities around the world and across print, digital and social media platforms. The campaign features photos with “facing extinction” emblazoned across the faces of youth activists who are facing the climate crisis head-on by striking from school, protesting and calling on elected officials to take action. Videos, photos and essays featuring the activists will dominate Patagonia’s website and its September journal with a clear and urgent message: We must act on climate now because without profound changes, humans could end up on the endangered species list.

“We all must make it clear to our elected leaders that there is no room in government for climate deniers and their inaction is killing us. We need our leaders to act on the science and follow the market forces—do their jobs and create policies that protect our planet and our communities. Our customers are demanding we act—this generation of youth is not backing down and neither should we.” – Rose Marcario, President and CEO, Patagonia.

Please visit for updates and more information.

Other Assets
Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario’s post on LinkedIn: HERE
Download video and photo assets: HERE


About Patagonia
We’re in business to save our home planet.

Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, California. A certified B Corporation, the company is recognized internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism—and its contributions of more than $100 million in grants and in-kind donations to date.


9/19/2019 7:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/19/2019 7:05 PM

there's a lot of great stuff in here. thanks for the participation everyone
- jeff - box 9-speed drivetrain for durable/simple/heavy. no season-long ride on it, but it's an e-bike drivetrain, so...marzocchi Z2 for simpler, heavier fork? also, not sure on it's performance or if you could get it dialed how you like.

so darren murphy in his inside line suggested big suspension brands are pigeon-holed by having to require long service requirements for people to think the product is "good." what if more service meant longer lasting? trade off is materials used in service, but would that out-weigh impact of a new fork every year or two? (no idea, just throwing that out there).

jonkranked - rad on the potential tire recycling options

ditto on packaging (foam and plastic). i can't imagine having to get a shiny bike across the ocean on a boat w/o a scratch.
here is a 2018 YT unboxing (lots of plastic) -


here's is a 2018 canyon unboxing from brines himself : ) (looks a lot more "friendly")


do bikes going to shops have more packing material? the DTC brands seem like maybe they have a reason to focus on minimal/efficient packaging b/c of their margins and biz model?