I've been around mountain bikes for some time, started out when the only option was fully rigid and seen the evolution of MTB design go through more gears, suspension, big wheels, back to normal wheels, oval cranksets, less gears, clown wheels etc.
Bit that gets me is how everything is made stronger now - is it really required - were people having significant parts failures?
Forks going from 32mm stanchions to 36mm, now 34mm. I've done sizeable jumps on 32mm forks with 9mm QR. Nothing failed, I'm 80kgs though, is everything designed for the 160kg gent?
Handlebars - its now difficult to buy 25.4mm stem and handlebars as I found out trying to buy a shorter stem recently - why? Mine never failed, never came close to breaking. My new bikes all have 31.8mm but do I need it? Are designers going to release the 28.2mm bars next year?
I have made the transition to 15mm bolt through axles as I did notice a difference in the front end stiffness.
Even on frame design, why is there now a requirement for strengthening plates on the down tube/head tube interface? I've never snapped a frame..
I'm not super extreme so appreciate there will be many others hitting drops and jumps that I don't hit - I'll hit any of the trail centre stuff but some of the downhill course features I'll be on the chicken run...
I'm just curious to know how many people have had failures of bike parts - have I just been lucky?
Are my 25.4mm handlebars going to catastrophically fail now I've used up 99% of the fatigue life?