worst mountain bike products….EVER!

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  • worst mountain bike products….EVER!
  • deviant
    Member

    A few nerves being touched methinks?

    Could it be possible some forum members will be walking in to shed, looking at bike and bursting in tears in the non too distant future?

    This.

    Sometimes the ‘reviews’ on here written by owners of new bikes are hilarious for that classic ‘new bike syndrome’ impartiality….some of the tat being sported by riders when i’m out on the trail is cringeworthy too, cant work out if a lot of it is fashion led or purchased based on glowing reviews from magazines that have a questionable past with regard to honesty….

    …as with everything though time marches on and can be cruel, what is percieved as decent kit now will i’m sure be seen as borderline dangerous in 20 years time as we make genuine progress with improving the handling, braking and drivetrain efficiency of the bikes we ride….the flip side is that some of the stuff being pushed at the moment as improvements or innovation will be laughed at in a ‘what were we thinking’ kind of way and quietly forgotten.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    But if it’s that obvious, you’ll be able to list it right now. So what are they? And not stuff that will be improved in the future, but stuff that’s genuinely rubbish right now.

    mduncombe
    Member

    Bar ends, I remember them, back in the day when mountain bike riders used to ride up long climbs and being able to change hand positions made going uphill more bearable. Now they just push uphill or worse still get a bus. The world has gone mad!!!

    Fingerless gloves, stinging nettles. Not a problem on the road but definitely a problem offroad round here.

    PJM1974 – Member
    I’m amazed that no-one else has mentioned loose end caps in hubs before. Mrs PJM has a set of Ringle hubs with 20mm adaptors that will never stay in situ, no matter what.

    I’d happily see whoever designed them get a shoeing.

    None of these come close to being as annoying as the asymmetrical nature of a USB plug

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Bar ends mostly made sense because our bars were stupidly narrow. I remember when I found out they’d gone the way of the dodo and thinking, “But I need those, for leverage when honking up climbs!” Then got a bike with a mighty 680mm bar and discovered that what I actually needed, was bars wider than my stem.

    I wouldn’t mind a set inboard of the controls though on my xc bike, just to get an extra hand position- like tiny tri bars.

    deviant
    Member

    But if it’s that obvious, you’ll be able to list it right now. So what are they? And not stuff that will be improved in the future, but stuff that’s genuinely rubbish right now.

    Who said anything about it being obvious?…some of those products in the list were the best available at that time, people riding around with them thought they were the bees knees….its only as time passes and you look back that you realise how crap some stuff was.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t say those were ‘worst ever products’ then – that’s just that new things have improved.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    its only as time passes and you look back that you realise how crap some stuff was.

    Thing is, they say elastomers were crap (and yes, by modern standards they were) but back then, in pursuit of light weight, simplicity and the available technology, they were pretty good.

    Yes motorcycle forks used coil/oil springs so the tech was there but they didn’t need to be light – back then light weight meant everything to the extent that MBUK ran an article about how to file down/drill out your components!

    RR sort of make sense – making it easy to drop to an easier gear, with the “more difficult” shift hapenign when pedalling.

    Make explaining how to operate front and rear mechs to a newbie a lot easier.

    “Big button makes it harder, small button makes it easier.”

    Northwind – Member

    I wouldn’t mind a set inboard of the controls though on my xc bike, just to get an extra hand position- like tiny tri bars.

    I’d like a leather wingback saddle with arm rests and a small footstool on the crossbar

    Thing is, they say elastomers were crap (and yes, by modern standards they were) but back then, in pursuit of light weight, simplicity and the available technology, they were pretty good.

    ‘Industry’ changing ‘standards’ in the time in the name of ‘progress’ shocker. 😉

    nikk
    Member

    Barends still working for me, 740mm bars. Extra hand positions, get weight forward for climbs, get position a little flatter for headwinds. They work for xc. “Mountain biking” is a very broad term, I guess some ppl don’t understand that yet.

    Fingerless gloves also good for summer. Not worried about the odd nettle.

    deviant
    Member

    I wouldn’t say those were ‘worst ever products’ then – that’s just that new things have improved.

    Get out of bed the wrong side Mr-Pedant?….that list does its job of being slightly amusing, showing how far we’ve come and highlighting some of the nonsense shoved down our throats by marketing depts over the years….if it makes a few people blush at some of the crap they bought into over the years then thats fine too.

    As good as some stuff is at the moment it should undoubtedly be better in 20 years time.

    I could chuck a few current things at the list but it would just lead to pointless and repetitive arguing on here, stuff that is crap right now but has somehow still found a niche and will be vociferously defended by certain quarters on the grounds of being ‘fun’….which is fair enough but ‘fun’ doesnt actually advance the bikes we ride and i had ‘fun’ yesterday taking my BMX on the local singletrack with my dogs but i wouldnt dream of trying to tell somebody that it was the best tool for the job.

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    I had some of those X-Ray Gripshifts. They were great. Only just sold the bike they were on a couple of months ago, after 16 years’ flawless service. They were completely bombproof and worked fine. I’ve used gripshift on and off ever since, currently have it on my best bike – it’s ace. And I’ve had way more problems with triggers malfunctioning over the years.

    Bar ends I don’t use anymore, but I can still see the attraction if you’re mashing out really long rides over moderate terrain, it is nice to have different hand positions available. They were good when I had one bike for absolutely everything. Not much use for proper off-road riding though, where you need to be on the controls pretty much constantly.

    I also had some of those Onza pedals, never had a problem using them myself, and they were cheap and bombproof, which was good for a skint teenager.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    Mr-pedant here 🙂

    We can just agree to disagree if you prefer. I see that the list contains some products that were generally crap and some that the writer just doesn’t like. Hence why I suggested listing products that were really the worst on here…

    As you were…

    Rockape63
    Member

    I liked bar ends too….with my old bike they just seemed right.

    as with everything though time marches on and can be cruel, what is percieved as decent kit now will i’m sure be seen as borderline dangerous in 20 years time as we make genuine progress with improving the handling, braking and drivetrain efficiency of the bikes we ride

    Really….do you see another 20 years of relentless improvements in speed and ride ability without just adding top end fittings to every bike?

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    …annoying as the asymmetrical nature of a USB plug…

    “When the inventor of the USB plug dies, his coffin will be gently lowered into the ground.

    Then removed, turned round and lowered back in again.”

    razorrazoo
    Member

    back then light weight meant everything to the extent that MBUK ran an article about how to file down/drill out your components!

    I remember club rides in the early 90’s where riders would compare what they’d hacked off/drilled out since the previous week – chainrings, brake levers, cranks, ultra narrow hyperlite bars etc. Being a skint teenager back then my only nod to the lightweight obsession on my Orange Clockwork was a flite saddle, USE seatpost and some Orange bullhorn bars (no bar end clamps to add weight you see).

    plyphon
    Member

    Im surprised that crank with the 90 degree bend in it wasn’t on there.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    I’ll be interested to see if all the proliferation of designs available now will be looked back on one day as a golden age of choice.

    A bit like the surfboard industry – anything and everything through the 60’s and 70’s, then performance was everything for a couple of decades and 6’something” 3-fin thrusters were the be-all-and-end-all.

    Then people started to rediscover the fun in different designs, and all the experimental 50s – 70s stuff got brought out again, tweaked and played with. Not to mention the old hawaiian designs too.

    deviant
    Member

    Really….do you see another 20 years of relentless improvements in speed and ride ability without just adding top end fittings to every bike?

    I hope so, i’d like to think the guys at Shimano and Rockshox dont just look at what they’ve got and think ‘good enough’….obviously in the short term features that were the preserve of XTR level components slide down to SLX level and so on but at some point the engineers must have ideas for the top line stuff that would genuinely move things forward.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Why has no one mentioned the derailleur?

    Brilliant on a road bike, but the most useless piece of crap if you want to take your bike offroad (as in not on groomed maintained trails).

    They’re so shit they even have their mountings designed to fail to save the rest of the mechanism. Try riding a narrow deer track with heather on each side, it’s just a matter of time.

    And now the cogs are getting so skinny that chainrings are folding over from JRA.

    And everything mentioned in that list was raved over by the bike journos of the time. They wouldn’t do that now, would they? 🙂

    I’ll be interested to see if all the proliferation of designs available now will be looked back on one day as a golden age of choice.

    A bit like the surfboard industry – anything and everything through the 60’s and 70’s, then performance was everything for a couple of decades and 6’something” 3-fin thrusters were the be-all-and-end-all.

    Then people started to rediscover the fun in different designs, and all the experimental 50s – 70s stuff got brought out again, tweaked and played with. Not to mention the old hawaiian designs too.

    That’s a very good point.

    damn I guess I wont be putting on those bars ands and xtr dual control levers and calipers in the classifieds.
    !
    I quite like them and have tried 2 incarnations of them. WHat happened to the bent bits of piping known as a rear mech protector

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    epicyclo – Member
    Why has no one mentioned the derailleur?

    Presumably because it’s the best solution we have right now and actually despite it’s apparent failings, works really well for the vast majority of us. From memory, I think I’ve broken two in 20 years mtbing.

    I’ve never read Dirt magazine and based on that load of bollox, I never will.

    You’ll never read another new issue – that’s pretty much for sure.

    It does make me chuckle to think their website is strong enough to keep the dirt flame alive. It’s always been a truly dreadful page.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    bent bits of stainless steel piping nonetheless! Not only real, but also shiny.

    Reynolds 953 ProMechTor?

    grimacing cyclist [/img ]
    “He can take pain, but he can’t take it when a broken mech drops him off the podium on stage 8 of the Megnarduro. That’s why Dwain Blitzzdor* rocks a ProMechTor!”

    *11 times podiumator at the Megnarduro.

    Waderider
    Member

    Bar ends are excellent.

    While we are at it, from an engineering viewpoint flat bars make more sense than risers if the bike has a stem.

    deviant
    Member

    Why has no one mentioned the derailleur?

    Because chain drive is actually pretty efficient, i remember reading an article on kit cars and whether to spec chain drive r driveshafts…i think the power losses are something like 5% for chain drive but nearer 20% for other systems!

    I agree that derailleurs are getting silly with 11 speed cogs out back that are being squeezed onto hubs that were designed for 9-speed….i’d be happy to ditch the cabling system and use electronic shifting based on bluetooth tech (funnily enough like Di2!) but the mechs have to stay until someone can come up with an internal gearbox that still utilises a chain for the drive but doesnt sap 20% f your power in order to work.

    Gearbox would have to be centred around the BB for optimum weight distribuation, you could ditch the front mech, still use a chain from gearbox to rear wheel, no need for rear cassettes anymore, no need for rear mechs…there must be a way of getting the CVT (continually variable transmission) from scooters onto a MTB without it feeling like you;re riding through treacle?

    6079smithw
    Member

    cheekymonkey888 – Member
    WHat happened to the bent bits of piping known as a rear mech protector

    I had a thread about that. Thought they were a good idea.

    Notice how Biopace wasn’t mentioned and that’s because it’s BRILLIANT

    deviant – Member

    i think the power losses are something like 5% for chain drive but nearer 20% for other systems!

    Yeah, there’s a vague rule of thumb of 15% for cars – but there’s all sorts of seals and differentials at play there, so it’s not a straightforward comparison.

    Premier Icon woodster
    Subscriber

    Press fit bottom brackets are a modern one I’ll be glad to see gone.

    Rapid Rise was ace and I’d use it now if it came in 10sp.

    Bar Ends are great in the right circumstances. I was recently using some with 710mm flat bars. Went to risers so the ‘no bar end’ law applied.

    Elastomer suss forks were market leaders bitd, they only started to be outclassed when travel increased. A freshly serviced set of Pace RC35’s will still do a decent job of reducing fatigue and increasing speed on a retro bike.

    Where as URT bikes look useless now they came from a sound idea. They gave people who were used to rigid bikes a suss bike that felt rigid some of the time. Sounds daft now but had merit at the time.

    I have no time for flappy gear levers, Grip Shift or some of the Flexstem type set ups.

    fingerbike
    Member

    DIRT – Should have stuck with Paper.

    So you don’t all have to go through the pain:
    1. Shimano Flippy Floppy Shifters
    2. Gripshift X-Ray Shifters
    3. Elastomer Suspension
    4. Bullet Bros ZZYZX Forks
    5. Suspension Stems
    6. rEvolution by GildasFire
    7. Bar Ends
    8. Massive Seats
    9. Giro Switchblade Helmet
    10. Long Stems
    11. Fingerless Gloves
    12. Toe Clips
    13. Onza HO Pedals
    14. Hubs With Loose Spacers
    15. URT Suspension Frames

    I’d forgotten some of those.

    What’s wrong with toe clips? SPD’s did for them but before that they were the only real option for MTB’s. Road based Look efforts didn’t count.

    With long stems what are we talking? I still think 70mm to 110mm have a place but many won’t agree. 150mm+ was going a bit far but even then there was a reason for them. I’m sure at some point the mega short ones currently in vogue will be laughed at, as will 800mm+ bars for normal riding.

    Fingerless gloves are great in summer. Why wouldn’t they be?

    Most of those products were good in the respect that they were an important part of the evolution process to better products. You have to start somewhere. I also remember as a teenager really wanting a lot of those products.

    I remember reading a review about bar ends that controlled the brakes. You lent forward on the bar ends to apply the brakes. Never going to end well.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    I think that in Order to hit the list you should be at least the worst of your breed, even if you disagree on the types of things that go in there… E.g.

    Bars ends? F*** no. Bring me some bull bars, your bar ends are for wimps. Bull bars are not only impractical but need to be made much heavier too to withstand the flex.

    Elastomer forks? Naaa. There were lots of great elastomer forks. How about amp forks, might be coil sprung but squeeze the brake and touch your wheel on the downtube? Actually, sod that, girvin forks. Now they all sucked, elastomer or not. Wait, no there’s been worse than even those… Actually the zzyzx might have it there.

    Toe clips? Ok they were a bit of a knack, but better than no clips on that type of pedal, which had the grip of an ice rink in the wet, or maybe you switched over to some bear traps? Shin kebab anyone? I nominate those pedals without Clips.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    nemesis – Member “
    Why has no one mentioned the derailleur?”
    Presumably because it’s the best solution we have right now and actually despite it’s apparent failings, works really well for the vast majority of us. From memory, I think I’ve broken two in 20 years mtbing.

    But they are a limiting factor in what is supposed to be an offroad bike. If I had one on my bike I’d never take it through the stuff I do.

    If I stuck to trails, it would be no bother apart from getting clogged up with mud or slush. I’m surprised that those protectors don’t get used more, or are they useless?

    I don’t get the derailleur hate. I’ve been mountain biking for 20years and have only ever broken two. That is not a bad ratio.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Kirk frames.
    Stan’s rims.
    High Rollers.
    Peaks on lids.
    Stirrups on longs/bibs.

    Toe clips are fine on their own, but do you remember cleats?
    Wonder if anyone ever tried that on an MTB?

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