Adam Pollard does a Blog

uh oh.. he has found a medium to express himself

7 Things I want in Mountain Bikes:

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1. Internal Gears

Derailleurs are just a hassle. It seems logical to me that gearing should be isolated from the elements. External gearing like derailleurs would make sense if us mountain bikers didn’t ride in the mud … but we do. Internalizing the gearing system would reduce the need for maintenance by a factor bazillion. It could be totally be isolated from rain, mud, grit and grime. The components would just keep on going. If you think about how reliable industrial machinery is, you can start to see how internal gearing would offer a big advantage. By eliminating the problem of mud, etc… the gears wouldn’t need replacing for hundreds of thousands of miles, and they wouldn’t need maintaining for  tens of thousands of miles either. Sure, it’ll be comparatively heavier, but not necessarily significantly heavier, and I would MUCH rather the hassle free nature of internal gears.

2. Solid Disc Wheels

Spoked wheels are a dated technology. They are easier to manufacture, yes, but I’m pretty sure that engineering is capable now of producing decent solid disc wheels. Spokes mean that small buckles can be corrected, but solid disc wheels can be engineered to a greater strength to weight ratio, so you could just simply build a stronger wheel, a wheel that wouldn’t break as easily. Moreover, most of the mass of the mass of spoked wheels is around the rim of the wheel, which gives a very undesirable moment of inertia. The greater the moment of inertia, the greater the “rotating weight”, and thus because disc wheels could be built to a lower moment of inertia, they would “pedal better”.

3. More choice!

I know that it’s unlikely to happen, but I wish that components came in a wider variety of colors and styles. Awesome anodized colors are just awesome. They also sell better too, just look at the latest Spank stuff or the new DMR parts. But not just colors, many components have to settle on a generic “property trade-off”. Usually this is strength-weight, or durability-grip, and I wish that more components came in more varieties. Every rider has their own optimum compromise of strength-weight, etc… and the closer the rider can get to this, the better. I think it just comes down to business at the end of the day – the more varieties, the higher marginal cost. However, I still believe there is a market for very custom parts, and I think it’s something companies should really look into.

4. Less marketing BS

The level of marketing bollocks present in the mountain bike industry today is ridiculous. It’s beyond a joke. I’m fully aware that companies need to sell products and make money, but it’s going well beyond what I think are acceptable levels of marketing crap. How is anyone supposed to make an informed decision when choosing bike parts? Surfing the web doesn’t help. Every website brags about its own special technology, yet doesn’t compare this to its competitors’ technology, or even correctly explain why their respective piece of tech is the best. Magazines don’t help either. Although less subjective than forum reviews, they are still usually just the opinion of one person, and never really of much value. Is there any independent (and reliable!) bike part reviewer?

5. Mud-resistant frame finishing coat

I’m pretty sure something like this must exist. Some kind of final paint coat that helps prevent mud sticking to the frame surface. I don’t mind paying more for this special paint coat, but in muddy conditions I think this could make a big difference. What is the point in shelling out on lightweight components if the first time it rains, you end up with a few pounds of mud on your bike? Racers (especially XCers!) would benefit the most here, but even your average weekend warrior would appreciate it I think too. Think “Bigger Picture”.

6. Even larger pedal platforms

I’ve always loved big bodied pedals. It just feels easier on the foot, hurts less on big landings, and provides greater grip too. It’s one of the reasons I now run Twenty6 Rallye pedals on my big bike. I just can’t stand small, puny pedals. DMR V12s are pretty much the lightest, most reliable, and fairly priced pedal on the market – but they are too small for my feet. After a few big landings my feet hurt… I think pedal platforms could go at least 150% the size of Easton Flatboys. I at least want the choice.

7. Grippier Tyres

Ok, so I don’t quite know how one would produce grippier tyres, but I want them. The grippier the better. There must be a way. Sort it out.

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Written by Adam Pollard

June 29, 2009 at 12:02 am

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