|Word is that there will be a whole lot more of this coming down the pike for 2016/17|
For instance, several years ago industry wonks noted that the wave of 29"er acceptance was waning and 26 inch mtb product was dead and dying. The thought was that the then new "enduro" scene would benefit from bigger than 26 inch wheels, but not as big as 29"ers. The 650B wheel had been floundering around for a few years already and wasn't going anywhere. Haro had tried it amongst a few other brands. It looked to be a dead wheel size, that is until the industry decided that the new long travel mtb's would use that size and reinvigorate the enduro/long travel mtb segment with something new to sell. Before the next two years had passed, 26" wheeled enduro rigs had bit the dust like some kind of extinct reptile and "27.5" wheels, (the original moniker Kirk Pacenti gave the wheel size in 2007), were all the rage. Because the industry decided it would be several years before in Taiwan.
|Plus sized wheels will also be a big deal in '16 & '17|
So, if the industry wants to get away from those bikes and do something with more comfort, versatility, and durability than road racing bikes, then I am going to applaud that, even if it is an evil intentioned money grab, which, of course, it isn't. It should be more of what people really need in all-around, go anywhere, do anything bikes. Now we will just have to wait and see if folks can wean themselves away from the knuckle-brained idea that they need skinny tires and carbon fiber to have fun. Not that there isn't a place for those sorts of bikes, but most people are not best served by those bikes.
Which leads me to my last point, and that is that bicycles are getting so stratospherically priced that the average person cannot even relate to them. Somehow or another the industry decided that if they cannot sell more bikes, then they will sell more expensive ones to make up for it. That's a dead end game, and I think it needs to stop and stop soon. I wonder if they talked about that in Taiwan!