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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:23 pm 
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Location: No brakes? Way to commit soldier.
Some manufacturers quoted weights BITD, not all, just as some do today.

And you really should adjust for inflation if you're going to compare prices spanning 20 years.

1993 Zaskar LE in todays money? £3,500... Good value?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:47 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Russell wrote:
Some manufacturers quoted weights BITD, not all, just as some do today.

And you really should adjust for inflation if you're going to compare prices spanning 20 years.

1993 Zaskar LE in todays money? £3,500... Good value?



Rode mine for the first time since last summer and remembered why I splashed out £1450 in October 1993... (when summers were definitely sunnier! It was a warm sunny October day with singing birds and loverly Cambridge totty!)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
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samc wrote:
I think the materials are close to the limit
No way near.
A lot of brands who were/are pushing the limits of technology simply can't justify putting them into mainstream production as the volumes are so tiny (few hundred bikes maybe) and the variation in user profile is so massive (anything from a 10% body fat, glide over everything team riding race whippet to an overweight Audi driving millionaire, who thinks riding into rocks (instead of over them) is what MTBing is all about).

And they are competing with bikes that are *nearly* as light, *nearly* as strong and half the price.

Whats the point of selling a sub 700 gram XC race frame (which would be fairly easy) when one of the first things that's going to happen is some great lump will buy one, bling it up, get rattled to pieces, put a 140mm fork and suspension seatpost on it to "improve" the ride, then send it back under warranty (or sues) when he rips the head tube off when he's crashing down a local downhill trail. I reckon that'd take about 3 months.

XTR has changed too, it used to be a lightweight, "sponsored racers only" groupset, but because its lighter, everyone wants a piece of the action. So generation on generation, the groupset has to get heavier (or stay the same weight) to allow for Joe Public using an XTR rear mech and chainset on his 150mm AM rig. I bet, even tho they now have a trail version, some will STILL put the race version on their 160mm AM rig (160 is FAR better than 150, didn't you know?) to save a hundred grams, and for bragging rights.

TBH, given a tightly controlled design spec, a tightly controlled pool of riders to sell to (pros?), and enough money (small volume innit) you could easily have a full suss enduro/trail type bike which would be knocking on the door of the UCI weight limit. Or a HT down in the sub 6 kilos range. MMCs, nano-composites, 80 kilos weight limit, minimal safety margins, ordinary composites, tiny discs, no gear ratios under 1:1 available :wink:, 80 kilos weight limit............ it'd probably need replacing every race season , much like some of the super lightweight bikes of the 80s (early aluminium could be light, but by god it wore out quick!)

You just need to look at weight weenies to see what can be done with enough time and money (and patience) and even they are still limited to a degree, as the base parts they buy to modify are still designed with the crashing thro everything, unfit, heavy lump in mind.

(And i tried a Zaskar, way back when, Judy SLs, XTR and so on, and i thought it was crap, still don't get the love for it. Xizang was another thing altogether. But 3 times the price!)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:05 am 
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mattr wrote:
You just need to look at weight weenies to see what can be done with enough time and money (and patience)


...and absolutely no consideration of what the end result is actually like to ride :)

"Ooh, these suspension forks are a bit heavy -- I know, I'll take all this oil and pistons and stuff out of the right-hand leg, that'll save a load of weight." :facepalm: :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:18 am 
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MikeD wrote:
...and absolutely no consideration of what the end result is actually like to ride :)

"Ooh, these suspension forks are a bit heavy -- I know, I'll take all this oil and pistons and stuff out of the right-hand leg, that'll save a load of weight." :facepalm: :roll:
:D

Yeah, some of them are utterly unrideable despite what the owners say! But the point still stands. It is perfectly possible to make a fully functioning bike that weighs a hell of a lot less. You just have to look at the way things were going with technology and weight before the UCI stepped in!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Modern bikes are not only ugly but heavy as feck
They seem to be very niche in what they're designed to do. Try riding em on the road to and from the trails...
I mean if you get stuck in a bog in a 35 Ib full susser you'll have a tougher time getting it out and through than if you're in a 23 Ib hardtail and trust me no amount of suspension will get you through a bog if its one of those bastard ones that look all green and pleasant


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:35 pm 
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Apples and oranges much? What sort of valid comparison is "early 90s top-end race hardtail" to "2013 freeride bike"? Heavy suspension bikes are heavy, whenever they were made. 23lb hardtails haven't gone extinct, except in the sense that they're 21lb now ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:15 pm
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Prehaps light weight isn't the be all and end all:

http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6801

I'm sure you could pick a million and one holes in the study and come up with a plethora of reasons why it's not applicable to mountain biking but it makes for an interesting read all the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:18 pm 
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MikeD wrote:
Apples and oranges much? What sort of valid comparison is "early 90s top-end race hardtail" to "2013 freeride bike"? Heavy suspension bikes are heavy, whenever they were made. 23lb hardtails haven't gone extinct, except in the sense that they're 21lb now ;)
Excluding the top end hardtail bit, its actually, fairly valid.
When i got my first MTB weight was king, suspension was crap and 7 speed was standard. 23lb hardtails were the holy grail (Ritchey "P" series anyone?) almost everyone lusted after lightweight HTs

Now, suspension travel and the number of pointless pivots and mm of travel you have are king. Hardtails are a far smaller percentage of the (much bigger) market. So far more people are riding 35lb+ full sussers than ever were. And they look for MORE travel, MORE strength, so everything gets heavier......... a lot of them can't ride for toffee either ;o)

I wouldn't be at all surprised in the major market share for enthusiast sales is now the 1000-1500 full sussers. 20 years ago it was the equivalent value on HTs. (allowing for inflation of course!)

Bikes, and owners, have changed since then.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:18 pm 
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All good points, well done us!

Perhaps we need to figure out how to support the enthusiastic manufacturers then; the On-ones of the world. I live in Bristol, and there's an immense fashion for fixies and SS in general - even dedicated bike shops for the stuff and people building their own insane lightweight abominations left, right and centre. It seems the spirit of riding will never really die, no matter how much the Simon Cowell approach tries to water it down.


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