Saturday, February 02, 2019

Minus Ten Review 2009-5

Using the bottom bracket taps doesn't happen as much as it used to.
Ten years ago on the blog I was wrapping up the Ritchey Design survey concerning which tire size each Trans Iowa v5 rider was planning on using. It was an interesting survey, as I've said before, and pointed out that tire sizing, back then, was maybe more a function of limited availability than it was what people wanted to see.

Then I had the opportunity to start working directly with more companies regarding reviewing items. Previous to 2009, I mostly was getting things directed to me via whomever was in charge of the website I wrote for at the time. A little more of the actual communications were directed my way during 2008, but 2009 I had the reins of the 29"er website, and one of my first, 100% controlled by me interactions with an outside company came via Misfit Psycles.

They sent me a frame and fork to test, which honestly, was a great little rig. It rode very nicely, despite its being aluminum, and the rigid fork it came with was actually pleasant to ride. This was at about the end of what I would call the "Single Speed Era" when it comes to 29"ers. The bigger wheel size not only was responsible for the revival of the hard tail mountain bike, but it extended the single speed craze for about ten years longer than it should have lasted.

29"er single speeds, arguably, were the single biggest "ambassador" of the big wheels. More accessible than front suspended or full suspended 29"ers, and cheaper to buy in to than either of those types, the single speed 29"er was the single most influential type of bike in modern times. It turned more people on to big wheels than anything the companies, marketing, or media could hope to do. Especially from 2005 (Fisher Rig) to 2009. After this point design and economies of scale made 29'ers cheaper, plus Pro riders were switching over in droves by this point, further influencing riders and companies. So, after 2009, the ubiquitous 29'er single speed hard tail fell off the radar as the bike everyone got their feet wet on with big wheels.

Anyway, the Misfit was a perfect example of the genre at the time. It was a fun bike, but things sure have changed a ton in the ten years since that point.

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