Are there really any obsolete MTB standards?

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  • Are there really any obsolete MTB standards?
  • amedias
    Member

    I have a very nice 25.4 stem and I’m already finding that my choice of nice lightweight flat bars is extremely limited when I next break the set I have.

    But unless you want a specific model or very specific shape that is no longer made there are still options out there, either NOS in shops, or look at touring stockists like SPA or SJS.

    If it’s about a specific model not being available any more then we’re beyond the realm of griping about standards and into griping about your favourite products being discontinued, which could happen even to a current model/standard.

    I think the OP’s point was about things being actually made obsolete, which really isn’t the case as you’re only a stem swap away from current options.

    I complain as much as the next person about diminishing choice for my old kit, but that just goes with the age of parts really, but no bikes should be truly obsolete/unfixable due to parts not being available, or bodgable, or reproduced.

    Junkyard
    Member

    griping about your favourite products being discontinued, which could happen even to a current model/standard.

    They still make it just not in this size.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    Matt wrote:

    But unless you want a specific model or very specific shape that is no longer made there are still options out there, either NOS in shops, or look at touring stockists like SPA or SJS.
    If it’s about a specific model not being available any more then we’re beyond the realm of griping about standards and into griping about your favourite products being discontinued, which could happen even to a current model/standard.

    I couldn’t care less about a specific model – I’ve swapped several times depending on what’s available at a good weight for a good price, as there used to be plenty of options. Yet now most if not all of those I’ve used are no longer readily available.

    I think the OP’s point was about things being actually made obsolete, which really isn’t the case as you’re only a stem swap away from current options.

    Ah, so next time I damage my £40 bars I should also replace my £100 stem? This is the exact issue we have a problem with.

    Junkyard
    Member

    welcome to capitalism /economics 😉

    Sadly that is the real reason its about persuading us to upgrade things we dont need to change to get something different but not necessarily any better.

    See also number of gears, amount of travel, wheel size etc.

    amedias
    Member

    Ah, so next time I damage my £40 bars I should also replace my £100 stem? This is the exact issue we have a problem with.

    No, I’m saying that there are still decent 25.4 bars out there, reduced choice yes, but that was the reason for me asking if it was a specific model you were after.

    Reduced choice on older components is to be expected, I lament that as much as the next person, I have a lot of older kit, a few bikes still on V-brakes and I don’t even own a bike with external BB, but the OPs question was about obsolescence as in, is there anything you simply cannot get.

    Junkyard
    Member

    There is nothing you cannot get but you cannot get what you want.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Suntour XC Pro hubs with grease ports, should you really need that functionality!

    I bloody wish this was still common. How many decent grease-port hubs are still going strong? A lot more than C+C hubs without a port, I’ll bet.

    Premier Icon cliffyc
    Subscriber

    Sold a frame myself last year with an old threaded fork,just popped a aheadset adaptor in it,fitted an aheadstem. Done. There isn’t much on a bike that can’t be adapted to work again…. 😀

    Hence the OP is fundamentally missing the point. I have a very nice 25.4 stem and I’m already finding that my choice of nice lightweight flat bars is extremely limited when I next break the set I have.

    No I’m not.
    You can’t seriously expect every manufacturer to continue making every model of every component for ever.
    You may have to compromise because you can’t find bars 575mm wide with 6 degrees of backsweep and 8 degrees of upsweep, or whatever it is you want, but as long as someone makes something close, you can keep riding your old bike.
    It’s not like you’re trying to find a reverse gear selector fork for a 1905 Aveling & Porter steam roller and only the original part will do.

    Continuing the vintage vehicle theme, I think it’s still possible to buy a brand new MGB bodyshell, a Rickman Metisse frame or a Manx Norton engine.
    If there’s enough demand for something, somebody, somewhere will make it.

    I couldn’t care less about a specific model – I’ve swapped several times depending on what’s available at a good weight for a good price, as there used to be plenty of options. Yet now most if not all of those I’ve used are no longer readily available.

    To be fair, if you need to replace your bars as often as you seem to suggest I’d be looking at a stronger steel bar and not worrying about the weight. Plenty of them about.

    As much as bike standards changing every day cheeses me off you can’t expect every standard to be produced in every variety forever. I reckon ‘most’ people have at least one bike, probably their main bike, that’s newer then 10 years old so don’t think ‘most’ people have too much of a problem with older standards being fazed out.

    premier
    Member

    I had a road frame with a 1″ zero stack press fit headset that was impossible to find a replacement for

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Continuing the vintage vehicle theme, I think it’s still possible to buy a brand new MGB bodyshell, a Rickman Metisse frame or a Manx Norton engine.
    If there’s enough demand for something, somebody, somewhere will make it.

    Not really vintage yet, but its possible to build a (and many many more) brand new, original, Delorean DMC-12 from the parts catalogue. For the price pof a house.

    I was going to say flex stems but now someone is giving that antoher go. Lord knows why…

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    I was going to say flex stems but now someone is giving that antoher go. Lord knows why..

    A fool and his money are easily parted.

    Jujuuk68
    Member

    Back to the original thread though – 55 forks acvailable for the 1.125 headset.

    However, my bike is only 1999, a veneralbe P7 I’m rather fond of after having it stolen and recovered from ebay!

    I fancies treating to new forks. – But out of those 55 forks for a 1.125 headset, eliminate those that won’t fit a 9mm qr, and then that have a travel length of, or that can be midified economically to 80mm or less, and the choice is 0 – The standard for front travel appears to be 100mm min.

    So despite the 55 forks availalbe, a 15 yo bike has a choice of nil. Does this prove the point?

    ahwiles
    Member

    …what exactly is crap about it?

    Not wishing to stray (again) into a world of hyperbole, what sealing it has, is very ineffective.

    Does this prove the point?

    Only if you limit your search to one retailer.
    Is what you want really not available from anywhere?

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Only if you limit your search to one retailer.
    Is what you want really not available from anywhere?

    Taking it to nth degree, if no one makes the thing, you could have whatever it is custom made, but it would cost a fortune. Or make it yourself.

    So, nothing is 100% obsolete. Well, until the raw material runs out.

    amedias
    Member

    So despite the 55 forks availalbe, a 15 yo bike has a choice of nil. Does this prove the point?

    Was about to post what MTQG did, CRC (and STW) are not representative of cycling and bikes/parts availability in general, sadly nor are a lot of LBS these days.

    A 32mm chassis Fox or any Reba/Recon/Tora/Rev/Sid would suit your needs, as would older offerings from Manitou or Marzocchi either new or NOS if you search, or 2nd hand in decent condition.

    Not wishing to stray (again) into a world of hyperbole, what sealing it has, is very ineffective.

    On the bearings itself or the cup seals?
    Does it take standard size bearings that you could upgrade?
    If not then replace with new and use the good old ‘fill it with marine grease’ option. headsets are only really subject to splash, not muck under pressure or large amounts of movement so all you need is a sufficiently waterproof physical barrier to entry. Even crap open bearing headsets can last for years if prepped and looked after.

    Premier Icon jameso
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    So despite the 55 forks availalbe, a 15 yo bike has a choice of nil. Does this prove the point?

    Proves a point – if you want a bike for 10-15 years or more use, don’t rely on it having suspension : )

    A custom steel fork would be nice, good value. Or as posted above, get an older Reba 100mm and reduce the travel.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
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    Just thinking about this again. Pace RC100 Bullseye cranks. Sort of an early form of press fit.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Another standard long gone was 130mm OLN frames. My first MTB – a 18speed Dawes – was 130mm OLN. Now even BSO are 135mm

    130mm OLN is exactly what a road bike is and exactly what a cyclocross bike is (or was until about a year or so back when discs were allowed).
    I imagine that the kind of terrain an 18sp Dawes was designed for back in the day is not all that different to what a reasonably recent cyclocross bike can handle, so any decent pair of road wheels will fit. But you’ll probably be needing to upgrade the 18sp (3×6?) to 3x 9/10/11 at the same time.

    Now 126mm OLN. That’s essentially obsolete. But bodgeable if steel.

    Premier Icon woodster
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    Can you buy a caliper to fit the Trek 22mm rear disc mount?

    Premier Icon ampthill
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    I don’t think 1″ was ever really a standard for suspension forks. I think by the time it was common for a bikes to be sold as a hard tail most manufacturers were using 1 1/8″ headsets. So I don’t think 1″ suspension forks were ever a standard. Same goes for many othe things mentioned here. They may have been made but were never “standard”

    Fork length has been an issue for me. Not only did I want 80mm forks but I wanted them in the shorter axle crown length the bike was designed for and ideally v-brake compatible

    A bit of waiting on e-bay turned up a set of nearly new Marzocchi Z2 with a long steerer for under £100. So hardly the end of the world

    26 inch wheel and 1 1/8″ suspension forks really ruled the roost for a long time. So its hard to imagine that buying used or with limited choice they will ever disappear. You can still buy 27″ road tyres and they were on the way out in the 1980s

    SJS

    Bolt on (rather than Allen key) road brakes are rare but that was 30 years ago

    amedias
    Member

    Can you buy a caliper to fit the Trek 22mm rear disc mount?

    There’s still some Hayes and Hope calipers floating about 2nd hand if you want to do it as intended, but fortunately there’s also handy 22mm to IS adaptors available for < £10 that solve that little non-problem

    eg:

    edit, I take it back < £15

    from Halfords

    Clearance may be tight if you try and wedge a post-mount adaptor on top of that and a big rotor, but it’s hardly going to consign your bike to the dustbin if it has 22mm mounts.

    Not to mention that for Hayes at least piston and caliper seals are still available for the Mag/HFX/9 so should be rebuild-able if needs be.

    kbomb
    Member

    You can’t buy a carbon 27.0mm seatpost any more, which is annoying, you can get alloy posts though, so they aren’t obsolete yet.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    MidlandTrailquestsGraham – Member

    To take one example, CRC are showing 55 different 1.125″ steerer forks, to fit all size wheels from the latest industry conspiracy 27.5″ to the old obsolete 26″.

    I was curious… FWIW once you discount the downhill, dirtjump and the 2 road forks in your list you get down to low 30s of which tons are duplicates and entry-level models and most are 100mm.

    So for 26 inch wheel, 140mm-ish, you can have a coil Sektor or a Revelation. Which are basically the same fork. Or an Argyll, if you don’t mind buying a fork from the mid 2000s. Want a 20mm axle? Just the Argyll. 160mm? Have a low end 55. 120mm? A Manitou Marvel. So yeah, loads of choice.

    I don’t think 1″ was ever really a standard for suspension forks. I think by the time it was common for a bikes to be sold as a hard tail most manufacturers were using 1 1/8″ headsets. So I don’t think 1″ suspension forks were ever a standard. Same goes for many othe things mentioned here. They may have been made but were never “standard”

    Hard tails were in nearly every manufacturers range by 1993/4 and plenty were still using 1″ forks. Also, the early Rockshox/Pace/Manitou were intended to be retro-fitted to bikes of the era (1989-94) so 1″ was most definitely the standard along with 1 1/8th. It was 1 1/4 that was being fazed out around the time of front suss.

    Junkyard
    Member

    @ NW i have a set of Fox Talas 100-120 -140 in the cupboard as i realise my forks cannot be upgraded they can only be replaced with shit so will be able to use for any of my frames.
    Problem is it also renders high quality frames as obsolete as well 😕

    I cannot upgrade either as these frames are , more or less, worthless. In the past they would have had decent SH value

    TooTall
    Member

    You can’t buy a carbon 27.0mm seatpost any more

    Ritchey do one.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Really interesting thread this. I’m sure there are solutions to most problems of abandoned standards, but as more and more MTB parts are designed and sold as consumables the problem of availability becomes bigger.

    Has anyone ever had to park their bike up because they can’t get replacement parts for it?

    Many of us buy a bike and then replace parts with upgrades. If the only replacement parts I can get are effectively downgrading my bike, I’ll be pretty disappointed. The bike may still be rideable, but will it be as good a bike as it was? No. Will I then be tempted to look at a new bike? Probably. This bothers people like me.

    Bikes are of course subject to capitalism as much as any item, but as prices have gone up the idea of a dream bike “for life” for which parts can be easily replaced and upgraded is for many a reality (and often the way we can justify such as big expense for a toy). As standards disappear that situation becomes frustratingly unrealistic.

    Thankfully I’m nowhere near the level that my bike can cope with so I probably won’t even notice it getting crapper 😆

    Premier Icon jameso
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    Funny how similar that is to the new road disc standard, in fitting as well as positioning. 15 years old?

    mogrim
    Member

    Back to the original thread though – 55 forks acvailable for the 1.125 headset.

    However, my bike is only 1999, a veneralbe P7 I’m rather fond of after having it stolen and recovered from ebay!

    I fancies treating to new forks. – But out of those 55 forks for a 1.125 headset, eliminate those that won’t fit a 9mm qr, and then that have a travel length of, or that can be midified economically to 80mm or less, and the choice is 0 – The standard for front travel appears to be 100mm min.

    So despite the 55 forks availalbe, a 15 yo bike has a choice of nil. Does this prove the point?

    I had exactly this problem when changing the fork on my 10 year old bike – although I was lucky enough there was still 1 model available. Took a bit of searching (and an STW post) to find it, but eventually… So while not disproving the OP’s point, it does show the basic problem – something will probably be available, but it’s unlikely it’ll be exactly what you want, and it may be significantly more expensive than similar components designed for modern standards.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Bikes are of course subject to capitalism as much as any item, but as prices have gone up the idea of a dream bike “for life” for which parts can be easily replaced and upgraded is for many a reality (and often the way we can justify such as big expense for a toy). As standards disappear that situation becomes frustratingly unrealistic.

    I don’t think conventional mountain bikes have ever had a true ‘for life’ argument (lets say ‘life’ is 10, maybe 15 years of realistic use). A simple ‘summer best’ road bike could make that claim, but MTBs have been evolving steadily in kit and geometry since the beginning. 1999-2000 till 2009 was fairly consistent if your bike was a HT with IS disc mounts and 100mm forks, maybe that period is skewing the view of the last 5 years or the preceding period.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
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    ^maybe you’re right, in which case I’ve been deluding myself since justifying my last purchase 😕

    amedias
    Member

    The other thing what we’ve not touched on in this thread is that there is an increasing trend of integration.

    We’ve been spoilt for the last 20 odd years by an environment where mostly parts have been interchangeable, obviously if you had some proprietary frame fitting, shock length or headset etc. then it made things a bit trickier but by and large you could buy a frame and then decide to fit parts from any manufacturer with little bother.

    As things become more and more integrated this kind of thing becomes harder, it starts with small things like proprietary shock lengths and strokes, specific tunes, mounting hardware, then Headsets, BBs and Axles, now we are on to freehubs, integrated brake lever, gear shifter, dropper reomte clamps and stuff like that, not big in isolation but you can see where it could be headed, I mean we’ve already got frames that are becomeing axle specific.

    How long do you think we are away from ‘Shimano compatible frame’ Vs ‘Sram compatible’? Throw in aero concerns on road bikes and internal electronic and hydraulic routing it could get to the point where that interchangeability becomes extremely restricted, and then finding replacement parts starts to become more of a chore.

    Let your imagination go for a minute and think of a frame/fork combo with internal (shimano only) electronic routing, internal hydro routing with banjos direct into frame, caliper body as part of frame/fork (seals pistons replacable obviously), direct attach brake levers/shifters that bolt to the bar, and integrated derailleurs or gearbox (?) and a proprietary QR axle system, could get tricky then!

    Would probably only be a problem for top end and race-only kit to begin with but you know how things trickle down!

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
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    It’s almost as-if they’re working their way through this lot:

    http://www.triz40.com/aff_Principles_TRIZ.php

    Premier Icon tomhoward
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    On the suject of intectration, the auto industry seems to manage ok?

    For example you buy a (insert part here) for a Ford Focus in the same way that you buy that same part for a BMW 3 series, They arent interchangable due to various reasons (i appreciate that some bits are) yet the aftermarket makers of performance kit, on a similar level to the bikes and kit STWers buy seem to be able to cover all standards. (based on a quick flick through a performance parts catalogue the other week)

    So rather than buying a ‘140 mm fork with a tapered steerer and a 15mm axle;, you’d simply buy a 140mm fork for, say a 2014 Orange 5, and not worry about the specifics?

    deviant
    Member

    The problem would be that aftermarket parts providers would only supply for the most common brands as that’s where the money would be.
    If you had a Trek, Spesh, Giant etc you’d be fine but sourcing aftermarket forks for boutique brands would be a nightmare.

    .,,,,or it would force them into adopting Trek, Giant’s standards and leave them at the mercy of one of these large firms changing standards on a whim and bankrupting a smaller company.

    Premier Icon jameso
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    How long do you think we are away from ‘Shimano compatible frame’ Vs ‘Sram compatible’?

    ..like Shimano direct-fit RDs (or any shadow RDs w/o the added top bit) that can use a non-SRAM compatible hanger and new Shimano side-swing FDs with a unique cable routing?

    Let your imagination go for a minute and think of a frame/fork combo with internal (shimano only) electronic routing, internal hydro routing with banjos direct into frame, caliper body as part of frame/fork (seals pistons replacable obviously), direct attach brake levers/shifters that bolt to the bar, and integrated derailleurs or gearbox (?) and a proprietary QR axle system, could get tricky then!

    If I ever put together a bike like that, find me and beat me with it 😀

    amedias
    Member

    If I ever put together a bike like that, find me and beat me with it

    captured for internet defense purposes!

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