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Where will we be in ten years?

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3/31/2016 10:02 AM

What do we predict mountain biking will be like in ten years? What changes will we see to the technology on the bikes we ride? What about racing? The trails we ride? Will our sport be more or less popular? All predictions welcome.

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3/31/2016 6:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/31/2016 6:29 PM

Good, fun question!

I have to think electronics are going to be heavily involved in our MTBs in 10 years, for better or worse. IMO racing will never go out of style because it's a rider vs a clock. no judges, no hype, you win or you don't...the purest form of mtb competition. i'm curious about the popularity factor, too. it seems like BMX (and sports like skateboarding etc) are struggling b/c youth would rather spend $500 on a phone than a bike. maybe as they get older, they'll get turned on to MTB or maybe they'll just do virtual reality MTB and call it good? i hope flat tires are extinct by then.

edit: can't forget e-bikes in the equation somehow

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3/31/2016 8:30 PM

Just more dumb shit that surly will come up with in a drunken rage that three years later specialized jumps on as 'the hawt new thing' and every dickbag with a 3 figure salary and two days a week of ride time will buy in spades.

In the meantime tires will still be heavy and imperfect because no one wants to listen to the one guy in the company trying to do good in life.

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3/31/2016 10:46 PM

smart suspension, electric devices, auto-adaptative geo, dual clutch for electric bike, fixing standards, and for sure more hater like the dude over me ahah

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4/1/2016 12:36 AM

I see evolution rather than revolution in the coming decade, MTB geometry suspension tech etc have moved on in leaps and bounds in the last decade, I can see things settling down, refinement is already happening and feel it will continue to happen for the most of the next 5-10 years.
Carbonification of frames/wheels/components will filter down to lower price bands.
I can see electronics continue its slow creep in but I dont think it will ever be mainstream as such, a socially accepted option most likely.

As for riding, I kind of think we have reached a plateu as such with the type of trails we as normal riders use, depending on popularity, if it increases trail centres will continue to flourish but as we have been seeing over here, without the help of local councils/government some existing trail centres are struggling, look at lee quarry for example, dare i say glentress, the forestry commission dumped lots of money into these facilities years back and have pretty much stood still since, glentress is great and the local community does all it can to just keep whats there running, but it hasnt moved with the times.
I also see racing plateauing, what we have seen over the last decade is the professionalism increase and the time differences drop, what you have nowadays is 2 completely different riders with different styles and different bikes, coming down a course with changing conditions and still completeing it within thenths or hundredths of a second, its bloody impressive!

Popularity is a difficult one, MTB has what i've seen, been a boom bust lifestyle/sport, i've lived through it, the boom of mid-late 90's the bust of the early naughties where MTB almost went underground for a short period, and the gradual recovery and what i see as the current boom, i mean we are at a point now where every tom dick or harry with disposable money has a trail bike worth a couple of thousand in there garage regardless of skill or how much they ride, I reckon MTB is the to some extent the "In thing" at the moment, i mean look at it its even invading TV adverts etc, every other youtube clip on FB is a video of rampage or some other crazy edit, huge sponsors have returned and the rider pay packets have climbed up to near the reported highs of the mid/late 90's(and rightly so).
But the industry and riders needs to be careful, or we may well end up back at 1999/2000 again, dosnt bother me either way i'll still be out in the hills riding my ass off!

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4/1/2016 3:24 AM

While I know where it will be, I'd rather see retention of some soul. Plastic bikes are sterile looking things, no personality beyond being something lighter-than. Stiffness is not the furthest boundary to meet in frame design; Steel and Titanium are still made in volume for Road Bike to this day.

Aluminum Bikes are just better looking and are more distinguished, neat welds are always a form of Art.

There is not much left to ponder for growth of the bicycle itself, compounded user controls - an isolated device out-of-sight here, a candy-like-button over there.

Advocacy and stronger outside Sponsorship would be the best 10 year plan. Am sick and tired of these energy drink banners.

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Shoes for Industry

4/1/2016 4:27 AM

So....bikes will have devices and buttons. Good call, sesame seed!

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4/1/2016 8:47 AM

Hopefully the trend for more trails everywhere continues. The last 10 years have seen new trails explode across the US, hopefully this momentum grows.

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4/1/2016 9:49 AM

According to my calculations... we'll be underwater.

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4/1/2016 9:54 AM

I do think electronic suspension, shifting, droppers, etc will continue to creep its way onto our bikes. I also think sensors will be incorporated so that the bike is making more decisions / adjustments on its own. However, I also think their will be a counter-movement, as a direct reaction to this technology, towards super simple "pure" bikes - like steel hardtails and the like.

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4/1/2016 11:02 AM

Bikes: More electronics and far more integration. Electronic gears, droppers, suspension, sensors linking adjustments etc. Shimano to maybe jump to 13sp? Sram cant support 10, 11 & 12, and probably doesn't have an appetite to drop 10sp, Shimano could really get the jump on them here. Shimano maybe to release a gear box? This would definitely take gear boxes from a weird German eccentricity to a main stream choice. Shimano also to work closer with Fox, but I'm guessing they won't buy them.

Facilities to diverge:
Pay to play park facilities (not just uplift ones, all ones) to become more sterile, huge growth in pump tracks, electronics on bikes to interface with beacons on track (ie, beacon at the top of Flow Master 5000 that drops your post, softens your suspension and maybe even clicks up a few gears).

At the same time there will be a growth in off the map trails, technical "old school" riding, but these trails will be better hidden and further off the beaten track.

A few years more whinging about electric bikes before they largely become acceptable to the main stream.

Last but not least I think the future is healthy for boutique and custom frame builders, with the big players in the industry moving faster than ever in terms of standards etc, this can only bode well for those who will make you what ever you want.

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4/1/2016 1:25 PM

We will devolve and be replaced by bearded hipsters riding fixies with 29 inch wheels wearing Chrome brand messenger bags.

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4/1/2016 9:12 PM

MTB access in wilderness (wishful thinking). Probably just a bunch of fat dudes on e-bikes skidding corners.

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4/4/2016 10:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/30/2016 12:10 AM

Sesame Seed wrote:

While I know where it will be, I'd rather see retention of some soul. Plastic bikes are sterile looking things, no personality ...more

.

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4/5/2016 2:21 AM

AgrAde wrote:

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The brief reply I added should have been arranged better; 'Soul' - as intended - will not illustrate itself with over complicated designs. Beyond that and, you misconstrued my intended-point.




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Shoes for Industry

4/5/2016 2:47 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/30/2016 12:10 AM

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4/5/2016 5:02 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2016 5:04 AM

AgrAde wrote:

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I'd found Merida with strong Carbon design on their Orca 10 years ago - but I digress.

Mountain Bikes (read: trail bikes) are becoming too accessorized and prone to over design, if your definition of 'plenty of soul' is a Hardtail I won't argue.

I have a fully rigid steel frame bike - it's as much fun as my 11-36 36T short-cage, Ti-Spring Vivid 7-inch Totem AVA SSD Iron Horse 6POINT with 26" tires.

Again - I am not disputing the benefits of frame material by design, it is more a centering-point on pedal-power bike having ultimately lead to electric bikes as of this day.

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Shoes for Industry

4/5/2016 5:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/30/2016 12:11 AM

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4/6/2016 3:14 AM

AgrAde wrote:

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Guilty.

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Shoes for Industry

4/6/2016 4:39 AM

AgrAde wrote:

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Shoes for Industry