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  • Writer's pictureMo Awesome

5 Things I Was Completely Wrong About in the Bike Industry (March 2024)

It’s a tough life never being wrong about anything ever in my life. Lots of stress placed upon my shoulders that I didn’t ask for but have happily carried. They say “he who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good” so modest I shall become. Here are the only 5 things I was wrong about for the month of March. 

1.Shimano might not be dead: For a while now it feels like Shimano has been dying a slow death in the US market. SRAM seems to be beating them to every punch and while we all turn our heads towards Shimano to see their response, they are seemingly nowhere to be found. I have talked about how recent trips to Japan have made me appreciate the Japanese heritage of the brand more so than their North America marketing teams' elitist brand strategies. However, what worked the best in shifting my perspective on Shimano was actually a recent test ride of the Pivot Cycles Shuttle LT with Shimano Di2 free shift and an EP801 motor. In both of these systems, I re-felt what flawless shifting was and how a very well thought out component enhances the ride quality. It also made me ponder whether SRAM had gotten me with “smoke and mirror” marketing strategies? Maybe, just maybe, I might choose Shimano again on a future build?

2. E-bikes are actually kind of fun: This one I am still trying to formulate my personal thoughts around. Most people who know me know that e-bikes have not been my jam and neither is Phish music. However in the past, even between those two, you were more likely to find me following that band around like a true obsessed groupie than personally owning an e-bike. The month of March brought lots of e-bike testing in a wide variety of situations. From city e-bikes, hardtail e-bikes, chunky desert-singletrack filled ride e-bikes, and more, the variety in the last few months has me questioning my stance and wondering if e-bikes were pitched to me wrong? Oftentimes, marketing ruins a concept, and I wonder if part of the reason I was hesitant to accept e-bikes was that the first ones that I rode were mountain specific? I feel like city commuter e-bikes shifted my perspective the most, seeing e-bikes true potentials. Combine this with me currently riding 2 if not 3 times a day and most of my friends that I want to ride with being in winter shape, them having electric mountain bikes has allowed us to ride together even though they haven’t been on the trails in months. The Aventon Ramblas we tried the other day was an electric Hardtail e-bike, another category with so much potential to do both single track as well as commuting. The Nebo Peak showed me the potential in lightweight electric mountain bikes. It’s been an interesting month. 

3. I hate the Yeti SB140: I really thought I was going to love this bike. I had such high hopes and when we first went independent, was even slightly bummed out that the Pivot Switchblade was going to be my first bike when the Yeti was delayed. The Switchblade on paper seemed somewhat conservative geo wise and the Yeti SB140 had a very cool appeal to it. Well after a month of testing both, the Pivot Switchblade ended up being one the best bikes I have ever tested, and the Yeti SB140 has become most likely one of my least favorites. Is it a bad bike? Absolutely not. In fact, just like I tell everyone, it is the fastest 140mm 29er on the market and also that they will probably love this bike. I just don't. Sometimes you don’t jive with a bike and in my case that’s what is happening with the Yeti SB140. 

4. 180mm is not too much travel: When Rocky Mountain sent over the Slayer 29 in for testing, I was so sure I was not going to like that bike. The last thing I need right now with no bike parks open is a 180mm Freeride bike. However they sent it, and even threw in some Cushcore and Maxxis double down tires to make sure I got the full park bike, outside the bike park experience. Well after testing that bike over the last few weeks I can say that 180mm of travel might not be the end of the world. The Slayer has proven to me that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The bike climbs insanely well and the 77.5 degree seat angle allows me to put so much power down that sometimes I even forget the bike needs to shed at least 6 lbs. Well, my heart rate doesn't let me completely forget that one but the weight would be so easily shed simply by ditching the alloy wheels, cushcore setup, and double down tires in favor of some 3C Minion DHf’s, carbon wheels, and no cush core. Throw on an air shock instead of the included coil and you have a bike that would be a blast to ride on enduro style trails. Going back to travel. You have not truly smiled until you ride 180mm of travel down chunky trails. The bike poses a level of confidence that at times would make me feel like I was training for rampage. The footage has been reviewed, and while I don’t think Rampage is in my future, I also don’t think I will rule out 180mm travel bikes as options for future enduro rigs. 

5. Evil Bikes: I still feel like I ruled Evil bikes out a bit too early. I never really considered testing many bikes from them in recent years as it seems like they had been slow to release updated versions of bikes. But I truly feel like Evil might be the sleeper company of the year 2024. Something is telling me that they might just have some tricks up their sleeves to make us stoked on new bikes. Maybe a 2024 new Evil Following with a 64 degree head angle, 28lbs bike weight, low BB, Delta suspension, and a short chainstay to match? We will see…

That is all. I wasn’t wrong about anything else. Just don’t confirm that with Hannah…

-Mo Awesome


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