11 Things That Should Be Standard Issue, Not Special Feature

by 60

We’ve rounded up some of those product ‘features’ that we think should go without saying. Feel free to disagree, or add your own below! When you’re looking at products, especially on the web, you’ll find yourself seeing bullet pointed lists of ‘product features’. Some of these will create the difference between one price point and another – carbon vs alloy, for example. Some of them will tip you over into the ‘ooh, yes, I’ll have this one instead of that one’ category – maybe an eco credential, or a guarantee.

But some ‘features’ are things that are so useful that we wonder why anyone still sells products without them. These should come as standard, not be promoted as features. ‘Bike has wheels’ is not a feature, it’s a basic requirement.

Full Member Benefits

*You can help support Singletrack by adding a little bit extra on your annual renewal.

The official user account of Singletrack Magazine

More posts from Singletrack

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 60 total)
  • 11 Things That Should Be Standard Issue, Not Special Feature
  • charliedontsurf
    Full Member

    Shoe sizes.

    its a simple measurement thing. a 27.2mm seat post is very very close to 27.2mm. A 330ml can of beer, is 330ml… but shoes…. Aaaaggghhhh.

    My feet are 305mm long, my foot is a foot,  but I am a euro size 48, 49 and 50… and 12, 12.5, 13 and 13.5 in UK sizing.

    Tyre manufacturers can do it. Their 700c tyres fit on 700c rims. There are not any companies making a 29er tyre that works OK on a 27.5 rim, but a bit too tight on a 29er rim. it’s just a simple measurement and really should be standardised.

    (have I invented elasticated tyre beads?)

     

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Funny thing with tyres, they can all measure the bead, but none of them can measure the width.

    chvck
    Free Member

    Elastic lace keeps

    A couple of pairs of shoes I own have these, I had no idea that’s what they’re for. Every day’s a school day…

    Simon
    Full Member

    Bottle bosses – any full suss frame that can’t fit a bottle cage inside the front triangle is automatically off my list of potential buys.

    kimura54321
    Full Member

    Grease ports/nipples for pedals, hubs and linkages that don’t used sealed bearings.

    I know a bit “old fashioned” but can make your kit go on almost forever by flushing out any contaminants and reducing the need to disassemble things.

    Also replaceable chainrings, no idea why some of the modern single ring stuff means you have to buy a whole new crank when it’s worn out.

    tthew
    Full Member

    Also replaceable chainrings, no idea why some of the modern single ring stuff means you have to buy a whole new crank when it’s worn out.

    Are you sure about this? I thought the chain rings attach directly to the crank with no spider, but not aware of any one piece designs, unless it’s really cheap BSO parts.

    mert
    Free Member

    I’ve not seen a non-replaceable chainring on anything over about 150 quid (complete bke) since forever…

    kimura54321
    Full Member

    @tthew – I could be mistaken, or I have much lower standards for BSOs than you! 😂

    I will have a scout round as I’m sure I remember seeing a few Shimano models where that was the case.

    Admittedly it’s not all single ring cranks, as that would be madness especially given the price of some of them.

    feed
    Full Member

    Also replaceable chainrings, no idea why some of the modern single ring stuff means you have to buy a whole new crank when it’s worn out

    Would also think you’ve thrown out perfectly good cranks.

    feed
    Full Member

    Bottle bosses – any full suss frame that can’t fit a bottle cage inside the front triangle is automatically off my list of potential buys.

    Yeah, this is really annoying when you’re used to riding with a hip pack and bottle on the frame. Bought a secondhand 2021 Pivot Firebird, so fairly high end bike. No bottle cage bosses in the triangle. Bought some strap on fidlock ones but there’s nowhere in the front triangle where they will fit (2022 frame has bottle cage mounts so Pivot must have taken feedback on board).

    kimura54321
    Full Member

    All my double/triple chainsets are still chugging along with 9 or 10 speed and had no need to upgrade.

    I was mistaken, I’m not that familiar with the Shimano direct mount system I had assumed the bolts attached the chain ring to a crank arm mounted spider. So the spider and chainring are a single part on some models, rather than just the chain ring getting swapped out.

    https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/80664/shimano-slx-direct-mount-chainring-spider-bolts-are-they-available

    alanw2007
    Full Member

    At least one zip pocket on jerseys. Even expensive onse sometimes don’t have this and I hate riding with the constant possibility of losing my keys/cards/money. Just give us a zip!

    nuke
    Full Member

    Bottle cap covers

    Surprised by this. When did it become a thing? Never had a bottle with a cap…not even seen any i can recall. I suppose it could be more hygienic but I can’t recall I’ve ever had the spout get so filthy that I’d not drink from it…the odd splatter of mud or dust but then i just spit the first mouthful as a ‘cleaning’ run (unless i thought that splatter was poop) but rare. Maybe it’s because my bottles are always in the frame…id agree if they were under downtube. Also use mudguards in winter slop so that again limits mud flying towards bottle

    nickjb
    Free Member

    Mud isn’t the issue. It’s cow, sheep and dog poo that make it a need for me

    jonnyboi
    Full Member

    No 7, why did I not know this existed? off to buy!

    convert
    Full Member

    Bottle cap covers

    Yeah – not seen this as a thing before either – either as something I could buy or would wish to buy. It could be a right nause to have to flip up before drinking every time. I’d rather just gob on the bite valve or as said spit out the first mouthful….but then again my hygiene standards are pretty low!

    Bottle bosses……I do feel rather smug about this one. When I ‘converted’ (hence username) back to MTB from road/tri in 2004 I was a proper outlier in the mtb world with my insistence that bottles were a thing. The world carried a bag on their back on even the shortest blasts around the local woods (and as they had a bag, they might as well fill it to the brim with other tat while they were at it). Not saying backpacks don’t have their place but they are a necessary evil not a default option. A bottle and oneup tool inserted in the orifice of your choice sees you right for 90% of rides.

    thepurist
    Full Member

    Zips on MTB tops. Zips are ubiquitous on roady kit because it’s understood that you need a way to regulate your temperature on a ride where your effort level goes up and down. But MTB kit? Nah, none of that. Even the likes of Rapha and Assos seem to think that MTB kit should just be a bog standard short or long sleeve top with no way of adjusting the ventilation at all.

    (I’m talking jerseys here rather than jackets – you know, jerseys that you wear when the weather is warm and you can start to overheat on a climb)

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Missed out sealed headset bearings. Most bikes now come with a sealed lower bearing thanks to tapered steerers but some bikes still have a loose ball one up top, seizes up at the first sign of moisture.

    I’ve not seen a non-replaceable chainring on anything over about 150 quid (complete bke) since forever…

    The original chainset on my Hoodoo had a supposedly replaceable 4 bolt chainring but it’s such an odd BCD that no-one can source replacements. It also uses a ridiculously long Square Taper BB (to match the Boost rear end) that is also unobtainable so that’s a £500 bike with a throwaway front half of the drivetrain! My Merida hybrid also has a triple chainset that is riveted together, that was a £400 bike when new and is only 4 years old (bought second-hand for £80 during the pandemic, had never been used!).

    Murray
    Full Member

    Decathlon do bottle cap covers for 99p

    winston
    Free Member

    Mags and online reviewers often don’t help here. I’ve lost count of the times the phrase ‘nice touch’ is used to describe some absolutely basic functionality on an extremely expensive item. Reflective accents on a garment are not a ‘nice touch’ they are the bare minimum!

    jimmy
    Full Member

    I’ve lost count of the times the phrase ‘nice touch’ is used to describe some absolutely basic functionality

    See also “life hacks”.

    I’ll +1 bleed valves on pumps. I only have one on my shock pump and only relatively recently noticed I was using it. Then I pumped my tyres up with the track pump and thought “I need….”

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Bottle cap covers

    Surprised by this. When did it become a thing? Never had a bottle with a cap…not even seen any i can recall.

    When I got into MTBing, my Isostar bottle (remember when a slightly bitter lemon flavour powder was literally the ONLY energy drink?!) had a flip top.

    Mud isn’t the issue. It’s cow, sheep and dog poo that make it a need for me

    A group of us on an MTB trip to Dartmoor – one guy was horrendously ill as a result of that. It wasn’t food – we’d all eaten the same things – and eventually we isolated cow shit as the cause, we’d ridden through a few farmyards and bridleways across cow fields. He was really sick.

    Matt_SS_xc
    Full Member

    Zipped arm pit vents on all jackets

    chestercopperpot
    Free Member

    Zipped arm pit vents on all jackets

    And removable hood so everyone is happy!

    Speaking of cranks, especially with 1x. It’s handy to be able to remove the chainring without having to remove the whole crankset, as you have to do with the majority of cranksets where the axle is fixed to the driveside. Some of the old 104 BCD cranks, you could unbolt (silly old bolt standard aside) the chainring and slip it off down the crank arm. You would in some cases have to take the pedal off, but it was easier none the less!

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Zipped arm pit vents on all jackets

    yes yes yes.

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    Ooh, hood stowage! Forgot that one!

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Consistent sizing. How can I be a medium in one brand and an extra large in another. The amount of stuff that must get sent back because garment manufacturers can’t agree on sizing must be phenomenal

    chvck
    Free Member

    And removable hood so everyone is happy!

    That’s a good one. When I want a hood I really want it, but that’s only a handful of rides a year.

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Zips on MTB tops. Zips are ubiquitous on roady kit because it’s understood that you need a way to regulate your temperature on a ride where your effort level goes up and down. But MTB kit? Nah, none of that. Even the likes of Rapha and Assos seem to think that MTB kit should just be a bog standard short or long sleeve top with no way of adjusting the ventilation at all.

    The solution is to stop buying flappy mtb jerseys. They also tend towards a zipped pocket or at the very least, usable rear pockets.
    They also wick better and don’t catch on things as easily.

    Detachable hood I’d pass, a simple velcro or buttoned strap to hold it though, absolutely.

    Big “phone” pockets on bags. Ideally this would be padded, but no-one does that.

    Goggle strap retainers on helmets and a visor/peak that lifts far enough to fit them underneath. Is another few degrees too much to ask?

    And removable hood so everyone is happy!

    That’s a good one. When I want a hood I really want it, but that’s only a handful of rides a year.

    Which is also why it’s a terrible idea because the many of those rides will not start out as one of those rides.

    clubby
    Full Member

    Like buttons.

    chestercopperpot
    Free Member

    Which is also why it’s a terrible idea because the many of those rides will not start out as one of those rides

    Yeah sure but the removable hood can simply be removed and permanently live in a pocket of the jacket rather than launched into some corner of your house never to be seen again. But yeah take the point that stowable as Hannah suggested might be the better option.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Those cheap Bell water bottles they sell in supermarkets have a cap cover, mine broke off years ago but the bottle is still going strong. Handy to know Decathlon sell them!

    Agree helmet peaks should accommodate goggles with a retainer clip at the back.

    Never had a top headset bearing seize up, ever.


    @jimmy
    Topeak Joe Blow pumps have bleed valves. Or my Sport/Sprint does at any rate.

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    So many right things. Especially when stuff can’t be made to a consistent size.
    I have a Taymory tri top that is 3XL which is a boob tube. Meanwhile L or XL shirts from Endura that fit fine. As for shoes… why is it only Lake makes shoes that are tue to size ?

    Defo a +1 about why 95% of jerseys dont have zips in mtb jerseys. Does my head in that next to no mtb jerseys have not at least got a 1/4 or 1/3 length zip at the front. That’s just an instant ‘no buy’ for me.

    I’ve still got couple of very vintage Polaris jerseys that do have zips, which I still use. Otherwise its roadie jerseys or my favourite Sleepless/Endura one from 2011

    Macgyver
    Full Member

    If you buy a new bike that has air shocks, should a shock pump really be an extra? I suppose for serial bike buyers you probably have one already but for so many people it’s their first/only bike so it should be part of the deal.

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Bottle lids, for those that have ‘never seen them’ Camelbak Dirt series bottles have them. Much easier than taking a swig of sheep poo and grit and spitting it out.

    I just open and close the lid when the bottle is in the cage and then it’s still easy to drink on the move.

    One thing I didn’t realise I’d miss is quick release hoses on bladders. Got myself a hip pack and the hose is fairly fiddly to pull out of the waist strap, so to empty the bladder and leave it open on the drainer to dry now involves pulling slack hose through the pack up to the nozzle. Covering the kitchen worktops from the ‘looks clean enough’ bag with sand/dirt whilst you sort the bladder is annoying.

    (Can you get inline hose connectors?)

    ads678
    Full Member

    As well as hood stowage, a volume reducer should be standard for when wearing the needing the hood when not wearing a helmet. Only needs to be a little strap with a bit of velcro.

    I had a bottle from Halfords in the 90s that had a lid on it, so they’ve been around for a long time, I suppose most bottles are made to be ‘quick draw’ though so you don’t want to be faffing popping a lid open then trying to close it properly on an alpine decent….

    thepurist
    Full Member

    (Can you get inline hose connectors?)

    Yes – used to use them to connect ‘personal hygiene’ fittings in my drysuit.

    This from RS plus the male counterpart should do the job (though check the ID of the hose before ordering).

    Speeder
    Full Member

    Never wanted or needed a zip on a jersey – anything I carry goes in my pack or my short pockets. I’m a mountain biker not a roadie and want a plain neck.

    Similarly for the bottle/cage mounts – I had my small frame made specifically without them – I almost always ride with a pack unless I’m doing uplifts so it would be unnecessary and I preferred the DT to be clean. To fit a cage the seat tube would have had to have been 3-4″ taller and that would have looked awful imho.

    If I were to run a bottle it would have to have a cap as I don’t want to be drinking from anything that low to the ground without a cover. Don’t get me started on bottle bosses under the dt!!!

    just shows that there’s different sides to each argument as people have different requirements

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Can’t see the feature, but I hope it included frame protection tape – even if just in high-wear areas rather than full Invisiframe style.

    AFAIK only Nukeproof make a point of adding it to their frames. Any other brands do it?

    tthew
    Full Member

    Agree helmet peaks should accommodate goggles with a retainer clip at the back.

    Is this a specific full-face helmet thing, or a suggestion for every MTB helmet? Disagree if the latter, literally no-one I ride with, spread across 3 or 4 groups uses goggles, I think they’re a pretty niche product so an accommodation for them is certainly not needed as standard.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 60 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.