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  • Writer's pictureMo Awesome

My Public Apology To SRAM... RockShox's New Flight Attendant Suspension


Sram RockShox Flight Attendant Suspension

The great Kenny Rogers once said “You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em” and I just might be folding them slightly. Well kind of. Anyone who has had much of an interaction with me knows I might just be one of the most opinionated people out there. I don’t find much sensory satisfaction in small talk and most of my friends know a conversation with me will most likely turn into some form of a debate over whatever the topic at hand is, or deep probe into a normally uncomfortable topic, such as the true meaning of life. Now in this new journey of mountain bike media I have spent a considerable amount of my time testing as of late, so many of these passionate conversations are orbiting the topics of bikes. And in the case of drivetrains, I think I have made myself pretty clear in regards to 2 things. The first being that I feel like Shimano’s North America Marketing strategy is very elitist and overshadows the awesome Japanese engineering that goes into what makes Shimano so special. The second is I don’t like SRAM Transmission. 


Now over this past weekend we recently went to the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival. This required a pretty long drive there and back which gave me lots of time to think. Add to this a lot of conversations I had at the festival with friends, bike industry folks, and fans of the channel had me leaving the weekend pondering a lot of opinions I’ve had. I’ve said it many times before but my opinions are just that, opinions and nothing more. I reserve the right to change them whenever I feel like they need to change, and no one should take them more seriously than that. I also am open to people questioning them, and as I grow, I also know I might end up questioning them myself. "When you stop growing, you start dying".


So what opinion is in question today? Well, if you are Shimano and reading this, I apologize but it's not the one about you and your North American marketing strategies. While I do have to commend you on having neutral support at festivals like Sedona, and also having the most reliable brakes and components on the market, I still stand by my opinion. Visiting Japan and getting a better understanding of what goes into making Shimano reliable, as well as the pride the country has for the brand, fueled a stoke for Shimano in me that no amount of elite marketing vibes that seems to take place in North America could. Add to this being severely behind in the wireless drivetrain battle, as well as contributing almost nothing to the excitement of mountain biking in the last few years, and I don't think my opinion will change anytime soon. But once again, I'm open to it. 


But in regards to SRAM I do think I owe them an apology. I'm not taking back what I said about Transmission. I do still deep down inside believe Transmission was intended to be a drivetrain for E-Bikes, but with the market shift post Covid, their hands were forced to go all in marketing wise. It's heavier than AXS, shifts slower than AXS, and a major benefit is shifting under load which benefits ebikes tremendously. You don't have the ability to remove your derailleur while traveling and setting it up also is not as straightforward if you would like to swap from bike to bike quickly. You are probably asking yourself, Mo where is the apology, this is a weird way to say you are sorry? 


Well here it is. At least SRAM is trying, pretty hard I might add, to bring some excitement to the mountain bike world. They just released the new Flight Attendant, which even though I personally think it comes off as very Black Mirror-esque, with slogans such as “it knows you better than you know yourself”, I have to admit it's bold. They also just released the new SRAM Maven brakes as well, not just an update to Code RCS, but an entirely new line of brakes. This is in the middle of the worst years of the bike industry. Yes they might not spend as much time making sure the product is perfect to an extreme level such as Shimano, but also where has that gotten Shimano and how has that helped the sport of mountain biking? What has Shimano contributed to the excitement in the bike world over the last few years? Once again, thank you for fixing our bikes at festivals, but the industry is on the verge of collapse, can we get a little help here?


SRAM is hands down carrying the bike industry when it comes to exciting news and products. Do I love all the products they are releasing? No I don't, and I will always be fully honest when people ask me about that. But I feel like for a brand that is still trying to innovate when it feels like the pulse of the mountain bike industry is requiring it to be on life support, I have to give them credit for that. 


So SRAM, I’m sorry I’ve been so hard on you. If you are reading this, please bring back AXS. I still don’t like SRAM transmission. Code RSC brakes are the best brakes on the market. Remember how bad the Guide brakes were? But not as bad as the Juicy brakes right? The Rockshox Pike was one of the most game changing forks of my time, remember how bad you guys destroyed the Fox 34? Why does the Reverb AXS not go to 200? Still torn on Flight suspension, please stop saying it knows me better than I know myself. It doesn't.


And thank you, for caring about the bike industry.


See you on the trails!


-Mo Awesome



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