Just when you thought things might be settling down for a bit, with 650B wheels all but taking over the mid/long travel segment, 29ers owning the XC field and 26″ bikes relegated to entry level, youth and gravity bikes. Alas, the 148mm thru axle that seemed to be a novelty when introduced on Trek’s 2015 Slash and Remedy bikes may soon be ubiquitous.

But why?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons why this makes sense. Ones good enough to actually justify the annoyance of another axle standard that’ll require new hubs and new frames to take advantage of. Ones that will make mountain bikes better in quite a few ways. And while most companies we talked to wouldn’t provide details of their own forthcoming products on the record, some would speak in generalities. We have it on good authority from some of the biggest parts suppliers that the 148mm axle standard will become the major new feature of 2016 bikes from almost every major company. SRAM is on board since they’re providing the wheels for Trek’s new Remedy 29er, the first bike to use Boost 148. And Norco told us outright they’re “planning … a couple of new platforms to use this standard.”

Here’s what we learned…


135 QR to 12x142 rear axle comparison

In the beginning, we had 135mm quick release hubs. The 135mm number is the measurement between the dropouts, not accounting for the slot that the hub’s axle ends sit in. When 12×142 came about, it was simply a new axle size, not a new standard per se. It just opened up the internal hub diameter to allow for a larger diameter thru axle to be used. This made the rear end stiffer and, since it was fully enclosed by and threaded into the frame, eliminating any chance for the hub to move in relation to the frame.

All was good…until 29ers came along and lengthened the distance from the hub to the rim. This had the effect of decreasing the spoke bracing angle, narrowing the triangulation and generally resulting in less stiff wheels. The solution Trek developed was to widen the hubs.

But wait, why not just use the 150mm standard that’s already on downhill bikes?

12x150 to 12x157 rear axle comparison

Because, the 12×150 axle sat on the inside face of the dropout area, without any notch in the frame to hold it in place. That meant you had to hold the wheel in line with the holes and slide the thru-axle into place. It was a pain, which is why every bike we know of went to the 12×157 standard. It’s the same 3.5mm extensions the 142 uses to slot into the dropouts, just with a wider axle to get wider wheels. It’s not as big a deal on DH bikes since many of them are running shorter 7-speed cassettes. That, and you’re not pedaling all day on them. In reality, there’s a massive 15mm difference between 157 and 142, and it’s just too wide for normal riding. Thus, Boost 148 was born:

12x142 QR to Boost 148 rear axle comparison

So, the new Boost 148 really and truly is a new standard, not just a new size, since it requires a new hub shell and new frame. It is similar to 12×142 in that it’s using the same measurements from cassette to dropout and rotor to dropout, as well as the same 3.5mm hub catches in the frame. Where it becomes an entirely new hub is that extra 6mm in the center of the hub shell, widening the entire system.

On the one hand, this is good because it will use existing standards for disc brake mounting and spacing, as well as cassette mounting and spacing. On the other hand, it’s going to cause headaches and cursing because it will require an entirely new hub shell.  There is no simple end cap swap as with 12×142, the Boost standard will be an entirely different hub shell. And it’ll require a new frame to put them in.

But, as you’ll see, it may just lead to much, much better bikes in the very near future.


Since they started the party, we’ll start with how they’re using it. Trek has stated that the reason for this new design is to increase the space between the flanges of the hub, making a stronger 29er wheel. At the moment, it’s only on the Remedy 29er -the 27.5″ Remedy and all other models keep 12×142- but we suspect that’ll soon change. Why was getting a stiffer, stronger wheel so important?

Well, once you’ve ridden a good set of carbon-rimmed wheels (you can pry ours from our cold, dead hands!), it is really hard to go back to riding an alloy wheelset. Once you have that baseline for a better wheel, you can really feel the shortcomings of a less expensive, less stiff wheel. Trek thought that all riders, regardless of how much money they can spend, should get the same ride quality, and they chose to stiffen up the wheel by increasing the triangulation of the spokes rather than rely on more expensive carbon hoops to do the job. If you have ever ridden a 29er wheel built to a fat bike hub, you know that as proof of concept, wider flanges can have a huge effect on wheel stiffness.

Industry Nine's Boost 148 hubs shown next to their 142 counterparts.
Industry Nine’s Boost 148 hubs shown next to their 142 counterparts.

And this small width increase apparently makes a massively noticeable improvement. Industry Nine’s already starting production on 148mm rear hubs and claims 10% to 15% better stiffness. In fact, I9’s Jacob McGahey says their goal is to have the most comprehensive coverage of axle options, and they were the first aftermarket company to offer this new size.

Already, they have their flanged Classic J-bend hubs available in 148 as well as any of the 32-hole wheelsets available now, which includes the Torch hub wheelsets. “The only ones we don’t offer are the 24-hole Ultralight wheelsets yet, but eventually our full line will be available,” he said. “We ramped up pretty quick because we saw the possibilities it offered for the flexibility it offered to frame manufacturers, and of course we want our wheels to be available to anyone that’s using that standard. It instantly adds almost 15% stiffness to the wheels, and it’s only a 6g weight penalty compared to a 12×142.”

If Trek got the ball rolling, others will only be fashionably late when their 2016 models hit the showroom, and they’ll be doing a heck of a lot more than just claiming to have better wheels.



Going wider in the back also has other advantages. Following the basic engineering principle of triangulation, the wider you can make the triangle’s base, the stiffer it will be, all other things remaining constant. Imagine if engineers had another 6mm of axle width for the main pivots. Same triangulation principle, just at the pivots, which puts less torsion on the bearings and gives the pivot more leverage over perpendicular rotational torque (aka rear end frame flex).

Shown above on the 2015 Orbea Oiz, the red line represents what moving the driveside pivot bearings out from the current (green) location. It looks small, but it could yield massive improvements in frame stiffness on designs relying on multiple pivot points. It’s worth pointing out that some designs, like the Oiz, already pushed the non-driveside pivot bearings out as far as they’ll go without risking crank arm clearance, so we may only see 3mm of change on some bikes.

2015 Ibis HD enduro mountain bike

But 3mm could be a lot when taken as a percentage, like on the lower linkage pivots on the Ibis Mojo. (Editor’s note: images ALL of the bikes used here are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to show any future products. Don’t read anything into them.)


Even the Niner JET 9, which sets their lower linkage’s bearings pretty wide, could push things out slightly, and they’re one of the few brands to give us a little something on the record.


If you have a modern 29er, take a look at the space between the chainrings and the rear tire. There is a lot going on in that small amount of space, much to the chagrin of bicycle engineers everywhere. It is a constant challenge to reduce chainstay length for better handling, yet provide ample clearance for the wide variety of drivetrains on the market and simultaneously maximize tire clearance. Many engineers we know will start an entire bike model by first identifying the tire clearance and drivetrain clearance requirements, and designing this area first. There are also regulatory requirements of at least 6mm of tire and crank clearance to the frame (anything rotating), making it harder.

Adding 3mm of extra chainline width to this area is a mile to these engineers. Just simply moving the chainline out could instantly shorten chainstays by 5-10mm, given the same tire and chainring sizes. Conversely, it could keep chainstay length the same, and allow clearance for much wider tires. That seems to be exactly what Niner’s thinking when we got sales and product managers Mike Gann and Barrett James on the line:

“We’re familiar (laughs), and there are some credible benefits that have specific applications in 29er. Chainstay length, clearance in the front derailleur area, etc. With the extra 3mm you don’t have as many challenges in keeping frame stiffness and it lets you shorten the chainstays. The drivetrain gets to move out 3mm per side, which means the added real estate can be used for mega tire clearance, or we could use the extra room to shorten the rear end. And then there are the benefits Trek’s already mentioned, like wheel triangulation and wheel stiffness. You’ll see us aggressively look at it for development projects.”

Wolf Tooth’s Brendan Moore says they’ve been talking to a lot of brands and foresee other uses for the extra room:

“We think, for several reasons that we can’t discuss, that 650B+ is really going to take off. Suffice to say, a healthy 650B+ tire fits nicely in a 29er bike, which gives you the stability and fun ride without the oversized 29+ tires. This makes me think Boost 148 is here to stay.”

And why would you want drastically bigger tires? If you haven’t ridden a fat bike yet, you’re in the dark about what huge tires can do for traction. It’s insane. Now, take that same root ripping, centrifugal force defying grip and stick it on a long travel enduro bike and you become unstoppable. Un. Stop. Able.


Absolute Black SRAM Direct Mount spider less chainrings mini review

When you push the cassette out 3mm, something has to be done to correct the chainline. SRAM made a custom spider with 3mm offset to line things back up. It’s likely new bikes using Boost 148 will have a similar solution installed, but what if you’re just getting a new frame and building it up yourself?

Fortunately, you won’t need a new crankset (see next section), but may need a new chainring or spider. The standard centerline measurement goes from the center of the BB to the center of the chainring teeth, and the current standard is 51mm.

Aftermarket brands are already on board, either by default or with new products.

“What SRAM did was move the chainline from 49mm out to 52mm,” says Moore. “Typical chainline on mountain bikes is about 48 to 51mm. The center of a 10-speed cassette should sit at 50mm, and ideally the chainline should be within 2mm of that centerline. Cog to cog spacing is about 4mm in the rear, so a change of a couple millimeters in chainline isn’t more than half a cog space and isn’t really that big a deal when it comes to shifting. Where it really starts to matter is having the chain clear the tire when you’re running a really fat tire (Ed. – Or it’s on the smaller of a double chainring). Our chainline right now is already 50mm, so we’re pretty far out, but Wolf Tooth will likely offer something optimized to make sure tire and chainstay clearance are as good as possible.”

Meanwhile, AbsoluteBlack’s founder says his chainrings already had 2mm more offset than a standard SRAM ring, so they’ll be fine without any changes.

There’s also a chance the front derailleur mounts will need to move, and on a new frame designed around Boost 148 there’s little doubt they’ll need to be direct mount and the position will be optimized. Round seat tubes relying on a traditional clamp-on front mech may have some issues getting the cage to move far enough out. Time will tell.


One nice thing about the new standard is that the BB shell width remains the same, as do the crank arms and their current Q factor. With more modern crank production methods, arms have slimmed down over the years since Shimano declared the 51mm mountain bike chainline standard. Since Boost does not use a different BB shell standard, we could see backwards compatibility on bikes that have replaceable swingarms. Those companies will hopefully offer replacement swingarms or dropouts for their existing 29er bikes that will move to Boost 148 spacing and wider tire clearance.

UPDATE 1/1/15: After reading our article, SRAM chimed in with a little background on the Boost 148’s development history and their own chainline recommendations:

“Boost 148 was something SRAM has been wanting to do for a very long time, but up until Trek being willing to dedicate a bike platform to it, SRAM never had the chance to make it a reality. But with SRAM and Trek partnering up, they came up with the first bike to have this new interface (Remedy 29er in MY15).

Boost148 is a complete system. You must have the front and rear chainline move out by the corresponding 3mm. Rear end gets 6mm wider symmetrically and the front chainline moves out 3mm to correspond with rear chainline movement. SRAM 1x systems have a chainline of 49mm. A SRAM 1x Boost148 system has a chianline of 52mm. 50mm or 52mm is not correct for a SRAM 1x system, and you will have compromised drivetrain performance with any other chainline.

SRAM is THE component brand that brought Boost148 to the market. We are the first company to have wheels and cranks to support this new standard. We will continue to expand our offering moving forward as well.”



Well, you’ll need to buy a new bike, or at least a new rear triangle, and new wheels. Those can be big downsides, and (for now), at least one person we spoke to feels your pain.

Rocky Mountain, which showed off their Sherpa adventure mountain bike built on oversized 27.5 x 2.7 tires, seemed the prime candidate for adding the concept to the middle wheel size. So, we pinged their marketing guy and all-around shredder Andreas Hestler: “On the Sherpa we don’t have any comments, it’s a question up in the air for us, so we don’t have much to add…Currently, we have no plans to change it.”

Regarding the pros and cons of the system, Hestler said “We’re watching and waiting. Certainly it’s worthy to think of making 29″ wheels stiffer but adding weight isn’t a good way to make 29ers better. What about just bigger hub flanges? Flaring the axle will increase heel rub, and I’m a prime (example of one) whose heels scar the chainstays. What if my heel is actually not making it around?”

His final comment should please a lot of folks: “Another change, really, is that what the bike industry needs?”


We think the 148 standard is not just about wider wheels, although that is certainly a benefit. Boost 148 helps give an extra 3mm of chainline, which helps with two things for manufacturers. First, as wheels have become larger in diameter, it has been much harder to package them with a short chainstay. Moving chainrings out 3mm seems like a small thing, but is an enormous change to the engineers trying to snake a chainstay between the drivetrain and the ever-increasing width of a tire.  Second is that it can provide proper chainline clearance for larger tires in the 3″ range. Being that Trek is the initial public face of 148, and there are already leaked reports of a 3″ tire from Bontrager, this system would be enough to allow for proper chain clearance to this mid-fat segment that was started by the Surly Krampus.

So, it’s coming for the rear, but what’ll they do about the front? Stay tuned for Part 2!


  1. Dear bike industry: please stop doing this. You know what I mean. Why are there 18 different BB sizes? Why does there need to be 18 different hub sizes? 18 different wheel sizes? Just stop. This can’t be that much better, and it just causes more problems for everyone with compatibility, resale, shop supply of spare parts, etc. Hate.

  2. It actually will benifit all of us in the future . Currently all 135/ 142 rear wheels are built with a inherent dish. One side of the spokes are longer than the other causing uneven tension. This essentially makes a weeker wheel. It’s the same reason why downhill bikes use 150 spacing. The wider 150 spacing allows for a wheel to be evenly dished on both sides creating equal spoke tension. There was even a point in time when you guys were using 5–6 speed cassettes on single speed hubs because the flanges what are equidistant from the middle creating the same equal tension that makes up a strong wheel . If you’ve ever done research on proprietary wheel systems they specifically designed the flanges to be slightly offset to create that same equal spoke tension on a standard 135/142 drop out.

    So by simply moving. The flanges about it allows you to run equal tension which then allows you to run a lighter rim at the same strength of a heavier offset set up. No pair that with a superwide rim and you have an extremely inexpensive ,light rotational mass package.

    I am 200 pound bull on a bike, I have broken so many wheels in the past I even know how to lace my own. Systems like this will allow guys like me to actually have a durable set of wheels that are sub 1500 g

    Besides nobody’s forcing you to buy it

  3. Actually, whether you like or dislike the “Big 3” (T, S and G) they kinda drive the industry. S because they want to stamp the big S everywhere, T makes a good bike – they’re just disposable and , well G they are a reactionary company with their finger on the pulse as they know what most everyone is doing because they make it for them but can’t make anyone take them seriously. That being said, when T’s bikes start kicking it S won’t be able to stand it and G will follow suit and since the combined sales about crush everyone else the industry as a whole will step up. Good to see I9 preempting the situation and grabbing their share on the front side. Wheel building and rear triangle/bike sales will go up. Traction, stiffness more terrain being rideable, luddites with more reasons to complain – it’s a good time to be a mountain biker!

  4. So we go through all the trouble of being told that bigger wheels are better, now we will be told that smaller wheels and bigger tires are better… Ugh to much going on..

  5. Nice and informative article, however I have to say that writers such as yourself are not doing us 26″ owners any favors by printing statements such as ‘ …. “26″ bikes relegated to entry level, youth and gravity bikes.’ I find it to be a thoughtless comment. I know many pro’s that still ride and love their 26” bikes.

  6. I’ve always been a fan of the 10% improvement in computers is unnoticeable. For me, the same principal applies to bikes. Give the bikes a few years for the 5% and 10% improvements to pile up, and I’m game. Perhaps it is 148 hubs + wide rims + Schwalbe’s pro core (low pressure tires) that makes the big difference.

    Great for the advancement of bikes, but it will only be on my bike when I have to look for a new frame years from now.


  7. To think, for 26 years now, I’ve been riding a sub-standard system. Geez, how will I ever cope? Yes this is sarcasm. I like innovation, but this does truly reek of making up excuses to sell more bikes.

  8. Seriously too many d*m BB standards and Now yet another hub standard!!! this is just so they can eventually cram 15 speeds onto a cassette by making the hub shell narrower and the free hub wider! I am all for new wheel sizes and stiffer forks but Trek loves to just take things a step to far when it comes to proprietary gear. (deleted)

  9. An entirely new standard for 10-15% improvement is terrible. If this were crucial for 29ers, and it’s not, then use 157mm and 83mm BB…both of which exist already. This is a gratuitous change that benefits no one.

  10. (deleted)

    148 is classic MTB industry (deleted), designed to push people to buy new parts. I get why 135 was bad. I get it. QRs are crap and antique. Fine. 142 was definitely a step up, albeit arguably NOT a huge step up over a 135x12mm axle, For those whining about stiffness, (deleted). I’d say 90% of the REAL PEOPLE out there riding mountain bikes have never folded a wheel, or can even feel the difference between one compression setting on their fork and another, nevermind a slightly offset spoke pattern in the rear.

    Introducing a new standard entirely is complete (deleted), when they could have simply modified upcoming frames to have slight slots for 150mm hubs. Instead of sitting on the shoulder, the 150mm hubs would slot into newly designed dropouts with maybe 1-2mms of insertion. DONE. End caps are all different sizes? No problem. Sell consumers new end caps to work with existing 150mm hubs.

    148mm is (deleted). Makes sense on paper, particularly the financial papers, but its the end users that get screwed for no reason.

  11. Well, it’s probably a good idea but it pretty much insures that I will not be building a new bike in the foreseeable future. 142mm hubs, press fit BBs, and 10 speed drivetrains already meant that I can’t use the parts I already have and this pretty much seals the deal. I guess I’ll wait a few years and see how things settle out. If 27.5+ and 29+ tires really do take off and the bike industry stops adding new standards, maybe I’ll reconsider. At this point, I think my bike building addiction has been completely killed off. Thanks bike industry – I guess I’ll spend what little money I have somewhere else.

  12. This is only for one thing” 3.0 mid fat tires. because that is where this is all going. 45mm rims, 3.0 tires. 5″ travel. It will be fun in about two seasons. 😉

  13. I’m stoked on this – stronger, stiffer rear triangle designs – along with straighter chainlines? Sign me up. Every day I ride my 26er I love it, but knowing that whatever new bike I pick up in the indeterminate future is going to be that much better is great.

  14. In principle it looks really good. Unfortunately I have never seen a Trek with enough tire clearance for East Coast riding.

    I think the more reasonable thing would have been to use 150mm hubs with different end caps. To modify an existing design makes so much more since, I feel they are just short sighted.

  15. CD, while the big 3 definitely have influence on standards, they don’t like to work together, so it’s not as big as one would think. The global bicycle industry is estimated at $19 billion. If you add the big 3 together (giant $1.8b, trek $1b, and Specialized $600m.) it’s $3.4 billion which is substantial but is still less than 18% of the market. None of them have a significant share by themselves (Giant at 10% seems substantial but much of that revenue comes from making others bikes). Shimano on their own at $2.6b control nearly 14% of the market. Clearly the leader, but not a majority. It’s only once a large percentage of the 150+ other bike makers sign on that a standard really starts to take hold. This is the reason that there hasn’t been a settling of the bb standards, Shimano prefers bsa, Trek bb90, Giant bb86 and Specialized PF30 (after a failed OSBB). These guys just don’t want to work together. More likely what will happen is that Trek will go 148, but Specialized looking to be different will do 149, and Giant will go with whatever Shimano tells them to (and Shimano not wanting to validate a standard they didn’t set will stick with E-thru). Then since there is no clear standard the other 150 manufacturers will choose a mix of the 3 as well as some will go their own way making new standards. So if I had to guess I’d say in the end we’re going to end up with rear end standards that are all over the board just as we have with bb and headset standards. Just look at 15mm thru axles for example, Fox, Rockshox, DT all require different thru axles, all very similar but just different enough that they aren’t compatible.

  16. I thought a few years ago when they went to 142 they should just go to 150 and that would end it. Now it’s yet another wheel size and don’t think for a second 150 isn’t coming next. The bike industry has gone amazingly stupid.

  17. I just can’t listen to the “Gospel according to Trek”. The big T has no place in my home as I can’t see past this “innovation” as much more than a money grab.

  18. Comments about planned obsolescence aside, this really just says to me that there were initial engineering problems that weren’t solved very well, and now they are getting around to actually fixing them. The 12×150 to 12×157 is the most striking to me, who ever thought a hub that didn’t fit into the dropout was a good idea…

  19. I think it’s a great idea, as long as everyone gets on board, which would take a few years. Have your hub flanges spaced further apart will only make for a stronger wheel.
    It’s not the industry “prying more money from us”, if you don’t like it, don’t into yet, if it catches on, then your next bike may have the new standard.
    I’m sure someone will make some conversion pieces so that you can use your 12×142 hubs.

  20. Sorry for the second post, I left out a couple of keys words!
    I think it’s a great idea, as long as everyone gets on board, which would take a few years. Having your hub flanges spaced further apart will only make for a stronger wheel.
    It’s not the industry “prying more money from us”, if you don’t like it, don’t buy into yet, if it catches on, then your next bike may have the new standard.
    I’m sure someone will make some conversion pieces so that you can use your 12×142 hubs.

  21. Absurdity is now the development keyword for the Mountain Bike industry. Somehow they find a way of convincing everyone that irrelevant changes are progress.

    Shame on the press that never cries out to stop this madness.

  22. The need for a wider MTB rear OLD is +10 years over due. With disc brakes and more gears we keep squishing the chain all while growing in wheel size. 135OLD was set up for MTB 26″ wheel, 6 speed rear spacing w/ rim brakes and long CS… but now we have 29er, disc, 11s w/ short stays. I hear the 29er wheels w/ 148boost will be almost the same strength as a 26 wheel. This means 27 will be stronger then 26. Anyone who as taco’ed a wheel will appreciate this… it’s about time and glad to see it especially for 29er crowd.

  23. dodo, the whole point of this website is to spread and preach all this madness. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to notice or care about a 6mm difference in hub width. I’m not against progress, but this article makes it sounds like 148mm rear ends are going to revolutionize things. Give me a break.

  24. The lateral stiffness obtained with the extra 6mm between flanges of this new standard can be achieved much more easily and cheaply just by increasing the number of spokes (by a pair!). The weight of a couple of spokes and nipples is 10 grams. The drag of a couple of spokes is undetectable (below wind tunnel measuring errors). Come on!

  25. I’ll stick with my 26er with BSA, 1 1/8″ head tube and quick-release skewers . I’m 135lbs, so stiffness isn’t an issue, anyway. Nothing I hate more than marketers.

  26. I wish those in charge of the moto industry were running the mtnbike show….they wouldn’t entertain any of this season (or in the last 10yrs, quarterly changes) to the “standards” of the industry wheelsize 2927.5/35mm bars/axles/fat bikes etc etc etc uhoh

  27. @ James S – you’re looking at it all wrong, just think of all the great hope/king/I9 hubs you’ll be able to pick up at garage sales for $5. Maybe $10 with a 559 hoop on it. Frames, 9 sp shifters, chains, cogs, chain rings, 1 1/8″ headsets and BSA BBs. All obsolete and cheap!

    Lastly wait 10 years and Surly will be (re) selling 135 QR as retro-chic hipster goodness.

    The cycle of life.

  28. This is incredibly stupid.
    The “10%” stiffness gain can surely be offset by running tires with properly stiff sidewalls, instead of doing some ghetto-tubeless setup on some sub 500g tires and being surprised when they don’t hold air and are wobbly.
    It’s well accepted that rims have the most to do with wheel stiffness. This is a massive attempt to chase some marginal gain, when really it’s just an attempt to sell more bikes…

    Further, look at the images of the I9 hubs. The distance between the Drive-Side OLN (locknut) and the drive-side hub flange appears to change less than 2mm, at best… this should fall within the “typical” 3mm range… therefore not requiring anything new…
    This image makes it look like the hub gains nearly all it’s width on the disc side.

    This is stupid, stupid, stupid. There is absolutely no reason that the 12×150 standard cannot be used. Simply make the “inner width” of the frame “notches” 143mm… Then the “outer width” is 150 and a 12×150 hub fits. Boom. I’m no engineer, but it seems to me that there’s nothing about 12×150 that prevents it from being adapted into the modern style of “dropout” thru-axle systems…

    Blah. This is representative of the evil side of bike industry. Certainly, there are “measurable” benefits. But the OVERWHELMING benefit here is to a bunch of manufacturers who can start pushing new products.

    There are some things, especially in MTB, that are not necessarily important, but they make riding more fun for some people. E.G. the whole “29+” thing – it’s not quite a fat bike, not quite a 29er, OMG SO KEWL… Fine, whatever, buy your strange frames and tires from small manufacturers.

    This however is a great example of a major manufacturer that has run out of real innovations, and decided that running on a platform of “maybe up to 10% stiffer” and “maybe slightly shorter chainstays”

    Normally I’m the person in comments telling all the retro-grouches to stop standing in the way of progress. But this is just an attempt to make money.

  29. With the current avenues through which bikes are sold, a difference in hub dimensions usually proves to be little inconvenience. If you’re buying a new bike, IT COMES WITH WHEELS. If you’re building wheels, YOU NEED HUBS.

    It’s such a small point that I think it hardly needs to be discussed. When new downhill hub widths are produced it never impacts availability of more common hubs, so why should this be any different. 142×12 isn’t disappearing anytime soon. You can still buy frames with QRs! It’s great to see bike manufacturers taking steps to recover wheel strength in a way that can be standardized. Much better than relying on rim offset alone.

  30. Oh my God, NO.

    Existing 135/142 chainline sucks. 150/157 is nearly perfect with a 51mm chainline.

    148 makes no sense, unless the “engineers” didn’t realize how horrible modern mtb chainlines are.

    Typical 150/157mm hubs build up symmetrically, with even spoke tensions. 148 will not.

    I’m continually amazed at how dense the industry’s engineers are.

  31. Can somebody explain the whole chain line thing to me? In several places, this article implies that the chain line is straight as things stand now…and that we’ll have to move it out when the wider wheels come. That makes no sense to me. At the current 51 mm, the chain ring is already too far out as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m currently on a 1×11 29’er (Ibis Ripley with Race Face Next SL crank). The chain ring sits at 51mm. The center of my 11 speed cluster (on my 142mm axle) sits at 42.5 mm. (51 mm hits to the outboard side of gear eight) My chain line is significantly NOT straight… as designed, and from the factory. I need to move the cluster out 8.5 mm (or the chain ring in) to get a straight chain line. And this article talks about moving the cluster out just 3mm… and having to then move the chain ring out to ensure a straight chain line??

    Please… somebody. Tell me what I’m missing.

  32. Wow. There’s a whole lot of garbage in this article. “Regulatory requirements?” In the mountainbike industry? Seriously? Give me a break. This is absolutely an effort to force obsolescence. Any stiffness benefit to a 6mm wider rear hub is not going to be noticed by 98% of all riders. And the 2% who do notice could just run thicker gauge spokes.

    Dear bike “engineers,” please attempt actual innovation rather than casting aside perfectly good and established standards in order to appear to be ‘pushing the boundaries.’

  33. Well I can’t wait to explain this one to customers… 95% won’t know the difference, 3 percent won’t give a damn, 1 percent physically won’t ride it with Q factors and cleat placement and then that last 1 percent will ask endress questions and proof of the improvements and not buy anything anyways.

  34. We’ll be needing this on disc 11s road bikes too right? Since they have wider cassettes than MTB. And it’ll all need 12s before long anyway.

    “what’ll they do about the front?”
    = 15x110mm, with new forks.

  35. “Have your hub flanges spaced further apart will only make for a stronger wheel.”

    I have a 135mm hub 29er front wheel. That’s noticeably stiff, going from 100 to 135. I’d need to ride a Boost148 bike or 3 to be convinced that 6mm at the rear is really beneficial. Flange design could account for the same differences. It’s a gain, but maybe not much and it’ll probably be lost in the noise of frame flex, tyre sidewalls, rim type etc.

  36. A typical back wheel has spoke tensions of 1200kgf on the drive side and 700kgf on the non-drive side. This difference comes from the different angles the spokes have. So in order to make the rear wheel stiffer the most effective way is to have the same spoke angles on both sides … and with carbon it’s very easy to build ultra wide (40+mm) asymmetrical rims which solves the angle problem. So we don’t need another standard we need cheaper carbon rims!!

  37. 2018 – breaking news! 148 was too short, 150mm is the new best thing with 8% guesstimated improvement!
    Youll have to change frame, hub, wheel, cassette, chainrings for it. Engineer x said its so mich stiffer!

    These guys… Man.. Its insulting how stupid they think the public is

  38. Don’t get hung up on the 29er/stronger wheel pitch – this is mainly to be used in context with 3″ 27.5+ tyres to give 2x compatibility.

  39. And then next year there’ll be a new, better headset standard. So you’ll need a new frame + fork. Then a new BB standard. New frame time. Then a new front axle. New fork and wheel. Repeat. Yay.

    Hopefully this Boost 148 crap (who comes up with these names?) is relegated to the 29er dually market and I’ll never have to touch it.

  40. I think cannondale solution ont the FS-I with assymetric rear wheel makes more sense. It gives the equilibrated tension, stiffness gain with keeping same lighter shorter 142 hub.

  41. I’m out. I already rub my heels on the frame all the time (as was said in the article) and I’m perfectly happy at 135qr on my 29er hardtail. I actually happen to think a degree of forgiveness/flex on a bike is a good thing within reason.

  42. so much for 11s XT Di2 in 2016 on a new 27.5 4-5″ travel frame (“upgrade” from a 2009 10s XT 26″ Mojo SL – with 135 QR on the back). If the industry keeps throwing new “standards” at us, folks like me who are VERY happy on retrotech will just happily keep riding last decade models… I really want to justify a new bike to myself, but I am not going to orphan myself on a short term “marketing standard”. Call me grumpy if you must.

  43. “In reality, there’s a massive 15mm difference between 157 and 142, and it’s just too wide for normal riding.”

    This statement makes the whole article a joke.

  44. To all of the commenters, thanks for the entertainment. Yes, it’s about making money and selling stuff. After all, we’re talking about for-profit companies here. Happy Holidaze!

  45. on the plus side the “antiquated” stuff is much cheaper than they come out with this sillyness.

    The “boost” in front of the 148mm name made me laugh a good while. Nothing shows more of a “looking for a reason” than adding “cool” names in front of standard names.

    As for Bike rumor, indeed, supporting such stuff makes me think you guys get free bikes or something. Unfortunately, I guess you don’t. So, if I were you, i’d try to have some kind of guts.

  46. @Eddie – 12/20/14 – 12:07am

    “Why not just use high flange hubs like the old White Industry Disc Jockeys?”

    How in the world are you going to fleece customer’s wallets by doing something so simple?

  47. Justaguy, I had thought the big 3 held much larger market shares, it’s Interesting to see how small it is. I think you’re right that it explains the current bb standard fiasco. When it comes to new standards like this the product managers from the big 3 plus shimano and sram should sit down and agree before anyone does it. I know each company fells that by launching a new and improved standard it gives them a market advantage, but honestly will someone choose a trek over something else just because it has a 148? No. Instead 6 new standards will come and dillute things further and we the end users get the shaft.

  48. I also love the comment from Trek about 650b+ tires. Oh, now that they convinced everybody that a difference in radius of 1.2 cm (that is the difference between 26 and 650b) will make any bike supreme (and therefore you need to buy one) they discover taller tires! And of course a taller tire would have achieved the same change in radius and the whole stupid debate 26 vs 650b (and absurd costs for the end user) could have been avoided!!!!!


    Check out Surly bikes that has two 26+ tires on the line up, the Dirt wizard and Knard 26+

  49. Absolute bull sh*t, I mean really when will this insanity stop? So that new 2015 frame you’ve got their fella’ sorry it’s now old standard/obsolete. You had me with tapered head tubes. You had me with pf30 even though it creaks like crazy, fine you still had me. 15QR and 142 check the box. But this seems so incremental just to squeeze a little bit more…MONEY out of peoples pockets. I am no retro grouch but come on really?

  50. The claims of frame stiffness makes me laugh. Manufacturers have been claiming to have the ideal ratio of compliance to stiffness ratio over their competitors, and then they say that they can make their frames stiffer and change the bike world.
    I am a heel rubber like Andres. Wider triangles on a XC bike wont help me.

  51. My favorite “technology progression” story comes to us from Specialized.

    In the latest Tarmac S works, they marketed the fact that they now have designed each frame size independently to achieved the same performance targets for all frame sizes. Essentially now instead of designing the 56 work as intended while all the other sizes suffered due to extrapolation, now all sizes would feel the same performance. They actually marketed this as a great thing and break-through.

    My question is, why didn’t all the people that previously spent $7k + on a Tarmac S works not sized 56 rise up in revolt now knowing that Specialized charged so much for a frame that they knew did not work as it was intended with the specific performance targets.

    Why can’t we have a revolution against the bike industry?

  52. I belive it to be a good thing, as long as the industry as a whole goes with it. Now we have 135, 142 and 157, even have 160 on some tandems. If we adopted one size and stick with it, we can eliminate a lot of the confusion that we currently have, and with this setup, we could also eliminate the change of spacing when 12, 13+ cassettes come around.
    As far as frame and wheel stiffness, that’s marginal, but having a standard could only be a good thing for the industry as a whole.
    Im not sure what will happen in the disc brake, 11 speed road segment.

  53. This would deter me from buying a new bike for a couple years…. I’d want to wait and see if it’s going to change to 149.375 by 2017. F me.

  54. I built 142×12 35/30mm carbon wheels for my SF 9.8 hardtail this season.
    The benefits of wider rims with existing tires is real and I’m not going back.
    But it won’t stop there. So these wider hubs for even more rim and tire width is something I can see on my horizon for more performance in several years. I’ll find a way to get a good deal.

  55. Thing is, as has already been pointed out, 157 already exists. If 148 is better then 157 is even better. Same goes with SRAM and that stupid predictive steering. They could have used a 20mm thru-axel. Then you have 94mm and 120mm BCD. They could have used 64mm.

    So whats the answer? Easy: vote with your wallets guys. Seems some manufacturers are starting to realize we don’t want press fit BBs so maybe they will eventually figure out we don’t want standards for the sake of it.

    It’s up to us.

  56. This talk of “engineers” is bull as well. This is all marketing driven as was 650b. I was told that at Taiwan Bike Week a couple of years ago they all got together on the side lines and decided that 650b was it and that 26″ was out. They decided, not us. I guess they saw the extra sales from that move and now think they can do something similar every other year to boost sales.

  57. As someone who is in the industry, I am SO d*mn thankful our shop doesn’t carry this crap. Coming from 135 to 142 was nice, but I have loads of heel rub issues. Not that I really care, the missing paint isn’t an issue so far and I don’t really notice it while riding.
    All I have to say though, is this new standard every year *ish makes my head hurt. Even if we figure out new standards are marginally better, can we just leave things alone for a few seasons? For eff’s sake, I would put money down that a massive portion of the cycling world won’t feel the “benefit” unless you tell them.

  58. Increased strength through triangulation is, like, a conspiracy, maaaan. Physics is just propaganda!

    “They” got together, eh?

    You were “told”.

    Sounds legit.

  59. As the years go by, I like more and more my Giant Xtc Composite 2006, which weights 8,7Kg, and each year I have less and less and less intentions of replacing it for a new model…

  60. I used to wish for buying a custom built, double butted, high quality titanium frame, motivated that it could last me a lifetime (e.g. Merlin XLM); but that wish (dream) was shattered completely with the constant change in “standards”, starting from the hubs, to the headset, to the wheel size, to the brake bosses, to …
    I think its really really sad that the industry’s pushing of new technology that (a) obsoletes what many times is already good, (b) makes life very difficult and expensive for the bike shops and their constantly expanding required stock of different sized items, (c) causes and motivates a widespread and necessary use-and-discard approach, (d) makes it difficult for quality suppliers to sell quality / expensive parts and frames because of the forced change in standards.

    Continuing the trend of the bike industry, its going where if you buy e.g. a Cannondale or Specialized, you will have more or less the same parts on the bike during the few years that you have the bike and for as long as the brand committed LBS can source the parts to service your bike. Think auto dealers and auto service stations focused on certain brands.

    Perhaps the right direction to move to get the latest and greatest at the expense of very limited compatibility between brands and parts producers??? Perhaps time to stop dreaming of cross compatibility, and instead treat bikes the same way as cars (difficult to use a Mercedes Smart brake system on a Range Rover, or use the transmission of a Dodge Ram on a Fiat Punto).

  61. To be fair to the engineers and the subject of wheel stiffness, a +∆x change in center to flange distance increases bracing angle (and thus wheel stiffness) faster than the same change in flange height.

    It should also be remembered that no one is forcing anyone to buy new stuff. There’s also always the custom frame market if you like your current axle type/dimension.

  62. We need wide spread deployment and usage of 3D-printers at every LBS, churning out any and all parts, whatever the size or format, in whatever material (titanium, ceramics, steel, etc.). This could facilitate the work and costs of the bike industry and make parts accessible to anyone anywhere. 🙂

  63. @Bazz hit it on the head. This is ALL marketing BS*

    Like he, when I was at the factories back in 2010, I was told 650 was in the pipe. Now consider it takes at least a year and a half min. for a bike to go from CAD to shop floor and you can do the maths – it was unilaterally decided that 26″ was going to be killed off. End of story. And it can be safely assumed that it was NOT because it was a ‘better’ wheel but because it was a sure way to make everyone, at some point, have to replace their bikes. Gotta keep the machine running you know.

    Now this hub size? Well, it smacks of the same thing. At least this time it does make some sense on paper, the increased triangulation WILL lead to a stronger wheel. Is it needed? F@#! knows. Not for my (shock horror) 26″ wheels, they are plenty stiff. Maybe if I was on a 29er and until I absolutely have to, I won’t go near the 650/25.5 wheels.

    What I can see is that this will lead to a raft of other issues, heel rub as mentioned already being one that pops to mind. But I’m sure there’ll be another standard to fix that…

  64. My friend broke his 4 year old C-Dale. They went good for a new frame but it took half a season to get the adapters and parts to make his old components work. It is almost to the point that a 5 year old bike needs to be replaced because of lack of parts.
    The automotive industry has a 10 year part supply guarantee. Which is not long enough.
    It is not environmentally friendly to trash a bike because of lack of replacement parts.
    If you need a stiffer rear triangle, don’t buy a new bike, buy some high end wheels.

  65. people keep complaining about the author saying 26ers are relegated to entry level youth and gravity bikes. go to a bike shop. look at their 26ers. all entry level youth and gravity. its all thats being produced these days, sorry guys. its almost 2015. deal with it.

  66. Seems to make a lot of sense. The reality is every step has made sense in some realm or another, at least enough to be able to market it. Ive been working in bike shops for over 20 years now and I only have issues getting parts for old French road bikes and suspension parts from 15 or more years ago and those things have every right to be put out of their missery. Point is, you can be perfectly happy riding your 10 year old english bb, QR, 9 speed bike and still get plenty of parts for it. I think people are more upset with feeling left behind if they do stick with old stuff then anything. Just remember, ride what you like and don’t feel so damn insecure about what that is. It’s ok to not be the cool kid with all the newest gadgets, which is really what all these arguments seem to be about. “But I wanted to have all the newest cool stuff! How dare you make newer cool stuff?”

  67. So Trek will widen the rear hub and move the chainline outboard, to finally make a 29FS bike that rides decently, and thus justify their adherence to their commitment to the wheel size? They’ll say ‘See, 29ers ride great. And it only required us to change everything to get there.’

    So my question: What about the q-factor? Are 1x drivetrains making the quest for a narrower q-factor crank no longer necessary? Or will q-factors get wider again? Will this be an issue, or will everyone depart from clipless pedals and ride flats in the future anyway?

    Seems like a solution seeking a problem, while creating other problems.

  68. Here’s a random thought: large bike manufacturers are doing regular market studies and part of that is target audience forecasting. What countries or regions are their largest markets? What countries/regions are suffering from increasing obesity rates? Who benefits from having stronger wheels the most?

  69. Personally, I think this is terrible for present drivetrains. However, there will surely be 12 speed, 13 speed and who knows how many speed cassettes before there may be a low friction, internal hub that isn’t really heavy. This gives space for that. Of course, the beneficial gain in bracing angle will deplete as free hub bodies grow but at least this will make it possible for the component makers.

    I’m very happy with 11speed, but I’m sure when there is a 13speed hub…I’ll be saying, “boy…that 11 speed stuff sure was terrible”.

  70. With that in mind. I love my custom SEVEN road bike and I’m dreading the move to 135 rear hubs on non-disc bikes…maybe even 140 or bigger.

  71. Whingers, have you read the reports of the gains made in handling with a good set of carbon wheels?
    I have and believe them to be true. Only the cost of them is holding me back.
    With the 148 standard it is implied that alloy rims will be able to offer the same improvement at a fraction of the price. Who would not want that?
    Sign me up.

  72. As a couple of commenters already mentioned…this is not really just about what the rear hub size is. It’s an enabler of what’s to come – the 27.5+ trail bike. It’s coming way faster than you can imagine. If you want a double chainring setup on a bike like this you have to start widening things.

    5″ travel, 27.5+ bikes with 40mm or wider rims are coming. Watch.

    It’s already showing up in the trade magazines http://www.bicycleretailer.com/retail-news/2014/12/01/newest-brain-has-coverage-taiwan-texas

  73. Funny. If this was a BMW/Audi/Porsche/Any Other Awesome Car Forum, we’d be lapping it up, waiting with bated breath for the next technological upgrade. However, this is a bike forum, where every customer is a frugal cheap ass who still thinks their late 70s Motobecane is a worthy bike.

    The biggest ironic spectacle of all though is when Mr. Anachronism brings his tricked out Nishiki 10-speed-turned-singlespeed with friction shifters and Hite-Rite up to the trail head and starts lambasting the 2016-and-newer $5,000+ bikes everyone’s riding. No one notices Mr. A rolled up in a 2016 Nissan GT-R. Because, of course, cars must be advanced, but bikes must stay in the 20th century.

    I’ve never seen an industry that’s so confused with its own identity.

  74. Some folks are going to be really upset when they learn about the new wheel size for ‘017.
    26 x 1 1/4, 26 x 1 3/8 (S-6) with a 597mm ISO falls right between 650b and 29ers. This new 148mm axle width is just a preemptive measure.

  75. Dr. Satorious sums it up perfectly… thank you. All I know is that my old bikes from 25 years ago would explode spindles, frames, forks a few times a year. Each year it gets better. My bikes now rarely break and handle better then ever while going faster all the time it seems. Everything gets a little stiiffer, better materials, design improvements, etc… everyone is riding harder then ever and it’s because of little improvements every year. All you nay sayers can have your 1-1/8″ external headsets, rim brakes, 25.4 bar clamps, 135mm rear spacing w/ 5mm QR’s. I’m over it and love all the innovation and enjoy my FS w/ all the latest design and parts. Don’t get me wrong… one of my favorite bikes is a steel prestige tubing frame… but it has modern technology all over it… carbon fork, tapered HT, 35mm rims 28h, carbon everything around the frame, TA12/15 axles, 27″ wheels, etc… Bring on the latest and greatest. It’s really no problem… run what you have and run it hard. When you’re ready to get a new rig a few years later, you will have the latest and greatest… and it will ride better then your old rig. Don’t slam innovation which you “think” is not needed w/ out riding it. Can’t believe all the negative people who have no open mind. The years of compatibility are over… you need to get over it. This is the world you live in. Your cars, motorcycles, appliances are rarely compatible between brand or even same brand models. Yes not all innovation is perfect but neither is living in the past or shunning new tech and ideas. For example, I’m going to ride my most cutting edge bike tomorrow: Electric folding swing-bike beach cruiser recumbent 29er carbon frame w/ through axles, Boost 148, dropper post, Tioga tension disc, Browning transmission, full suspension w/ electronic shifting and Fox integrated accelerometer self leveling magnetic suspension w/ auto sag adjust and heads-up display… oh yah don’t forget the carbon kickstand. It only weighs one pound.

  76. Wow, so the rampant consumerism attitude has well and truly established itself in the bike industry. Bloody yearly models, constant standards tweaking…. Overdesigned everything.
    This is not innovation.

  77. 3 seasons in my opinion is a pretty good run for an MTB frame/design. That said I disagree with Dr. Sartorious slightly. Iconic design rules, and those same gents that would be “lapping up” the newest design elements might yawn at a 6mm difference that obsoletes your new S-Works and Enve rear wheel that are both the “lightest” and “stiffest” to date.

    It’s becoming the new golf. I always though Santa Cruz did it right with new models coming when THEY were ready to release them, not because the market dictated. Even they seem to have bent a little more towards that direction. I can see standards shaking out like with fat bikes as they are newish to the market but this is just dumb. In the end the average consumer will never line up with Kulhavy and will not be any faster with a 148 rear hub. Their wallet will be much lighter.

    Yeah there are frugal consumers, and those same cheap people are probably that way with most aspects of their life.

  78. @ VON KRUISER, I was also riding bikes 25 years ago, but I didn’t suffer exploding spindles, etc. The stuff then was Ok, a bit heavier yes, but for the time being Ok. Sure, exploding parts could happen with parts from “exotic small volume bespoke / boutique producers” or pure hyped up hiccups (e.g Spinergy Rev-X). Probably what’s happened is that it’s a combination of evolutionary better products and 25 years of experience making you a better (slower) rider??? 🙂

    @ JUSTAGUY, Interesting figures you mention. Can you provide any links to the sources?

    @ Everyone who believes the S, T, G market shares are low given Justaguy’s quote .. Remember if the figures are correct and are for the global market, then I can tell you the bike market extends far from being only in N.American and Europe. In the places where I’ve been you would have to be lucky to see a T, an S or a C compared to the prevalence local brands.

    Furthermore, if the bike industry moves toward less cross compatibility, companies such as Rockshox, Magura, etc. should with time evolve to more of a pure-play role of a bike part suppliers to the big retail oriented brands and with less direct contact with us end-users (sad but perhaps inevitable industry development).

    @ Bikerumor.com – Where do you see the trend going? What are the manufacturer’s stand on this? Would be a very interesting topic to read if you could follow up on it. Thanks.

  79. Go home bike-biz. You are drunk

    First of, all. The chainline error between typical 135/142 type hub and 51mm crank is about 6mm. So all that needs to be done is to offset the rear dropouts by 6mm to the right.

    Specialized was doing just this on their old gravity bikes ( Big Hits, Demos and SX Trails ). It worked beautifully. Wheels had no dish, used 135mm hubs and were strong as hell.

    That was due to the fact that the rear wheel “strength” is dictated by the angle at which spokes leave the drive side flange. Equalize that on 135/142 hub and wheels would become much stronger.

    It could be a running change in frame building, that nobody would pat an eye on. All you would have to do is to redish the wheel.

    Coincidentally, with 150/157mm hub and typical 73mm BB the chainline is almost perfect. I have built my 2013 Banshee Rune with 150mm rear hub just for that reason. Intrestingly, newer Bashee frames all accept 150mm hubs, and people do not whine about heel strikes.

    Anyhow. What I am getting at?

    All the benefits of “boost 148” can be realized with minor adjustments to how frames are built. The rest can be achieved using standard hubs and wheels.

    In short – this is just a money grab. Force new “standard” which forces new componentry and ensures vendor lock for some time.

    All I can say, is that this will ensure me never buying higher quality hubs. Why bother with $500 king hub when it is going to be obsolete the moment the frame I am using it on suffers a catastrophic failure?

  80. If you have some “$500” King hubs you can swap out the axles etc to fit new “standards”. If you buy the right stuff from the right companies you’re not stuck.

  81. You can not really swap axels on Kings to fit, because the point is this standard has wider chainline. Tire or chain stay rub will likely occur.

    That said, completely makes sense. Fatter tires rule.

  82. This change annoyed the dickens out of me when it showed up on my new Remedy.

    It still annoys me, but I appreciate the article explaining the benefits.

    And darn it, I thought it was MY original idea that I could make a fatbike by simply installing a 27.5+ wheel/tire set on my 29er.

    There are a lot of angry people commenting today!

  83. Oh Snap! Did I just build a steel 29er single speed , with track dropouts and bolt on hub. Stiff. Oh and how about that nice wheel I built . Wide pacenti rim , gasp! With islets ! And 32 straight gage spokes laced 3 cross. And look out , Brass nipples! Mmmm brass nipples .With a single speed specific hub , for a more even dish wheel. Stiff.
    Great googally moogally ! What have I done !?

  84. maybe make bikes cheaper instead of better. everyone in the industry cries about expanding the market then wonders why no one wants a 12,000 bike with zero resale. idiots.

  85. May be the limit of increasing rear axle lenght is… human… when shoes will hit dropout or chainstay. To avoid this we can increase Q-Factor but it will not agree with everybody.

    Today, there is a gap between feet/shoes and frame ; gap to put disc brake, better flange angle, 11 speed or more… Chainline is not a problem, we can change spindle lenght or chainring offset with crank/spider.
    Each brand can choose how improving the bike. It’s disturbing but we must have a period when every brand (frame, wheel, driving components) improve their product with or without communicate to other brands.

    Improve bike is a good thing. Conic headtube, bigger wheel axle, bigger crank axle, bigger and larger handle bar and stem, taller and larger wheel, … all is improvement.

    For customer, standards are better but not really for big brands. We can imagine that big 3 (G,T,S) make their own 3 standards, and other brand choose one on the 3 or several or old one. Cannondale aleardy have specific standards (headtube, asymetric rear wheel on F-Si,…). It’s like that in other industry.

    World economy is supported by consommation… …no standards product, planned obsolete product, new improved product to forget the old one.
    Everybody can choose to follow or not…

  86. Yet another great innovation to make stocking parts for shops an absolute nightmare. Hey bike industry. Stop giving online sales more help you (deleted). Sincerely, employee of multiple shops for 13 years.

  87. lets just skip to the future and use the same BB90 axle on front, back and bottom bracket.
    problem solved. big, stiff and redundant inter changable.

  88. Do we really need 11-speed on a mountain bike? They need to redesign the gearing system for a MTB, not the rear hub. Reduce the cog stack to make the rear hub symmetrical. (deleted)

  89. Actually, I kinda quite welcome another axle standard, as I definitely feel the need and there ain’t enough standards yet. Actually, though some will say that 99.9% of the riders will never feel the difference, the advantages of 148×12 are probably obvious to anyone who makes them. That is progress. Whoever, I can’t really understand why trek settled for the inferior 148×12, which future tests will prove about 1.2% less stiff than the not-yet-existing 151.5×16, which will also be more efficient, with airtunnel tests showing 2 second difference for every hour, assuming you’re riding in a steady 25mph speed over a rocky trail. Better yet, they should have opted for the very extremely really most groundbraking, rule-changing, 154X29 integrated axle/freehub standard, which will enable you to swap wheels on the fly but stay with the same cassette, and moreover – be stiffer than a dead body left alone for a week, but slightly less smelly.
    So, kudus for Trek for introducing a new standard, but why didn’t they have the courage to go all the way?

  90. This is a bad, bad idea. It seems like the only thing bike companies want to talk about lately is stiffness, yadayadayada. What about ergonomics though? All these wider hubs/bottom brackets/chainstays/cranks mean one’s feet are wider apart. While for some people this is okay it is NOT okay for everyone.

    It’s hard enough to find any current frames that can accept even the current “low Q” cranks (i.e., XTR Q158 and XX/XX1 Q156), and making things wider is not going to help matters. Even those cranks are high Q compared with some of the offerings, for instance older Ritchey triples had a Q of 151mm, and this could be reduced…

    Seems like it might be time to stockpile parts again before things change for the worse. 🙁

  91. Frippolini – I broke nothing but the best back then: DuraAce JIS spindle, 8 pairs of chromoly forks, 6 frames (chromoly and alloy), a few seatposts, 2 prestige bars and many wheels. I break nothing now… lots of little improvements through out the years make a technological wonder compared to the old cutting edge bikes we used to ride.

  92. THEN WHY DO NOT DO IT BEFORE ? WHY MADE THE 142+ (modified 135 QR standard) and now after we have changed for the 142 comes out this new standard !?!?!? CRAZY !!!



  93. “Many Internet users have come to feel that online comments are often not thoughtful responses but angry, simplistic, hate-filled tirades, or personal attacks against authors or other commenters. As a result—as Scientific American blogger Krystal D’Costa notes—”many readers … routinely skip the comments, particularly for material that touches upon controversial topics. When they do read the comments, their response is typically some variation of ‘I read the comments. I shouldn’t have read the comments. Why did I read the comments ?!'””

    Oh… I know why! Ya’ll cats are Hilarious.

  94. 148 will not make all wheel with out any dish, even many 157 rear hub has some dish, (dish being drive side spokes are at a different angle compared to the non drive side spoke and are at a higher tension)

    But I think 148 is good improvement the spoke angles on 135 were too shallow. But we don’t want 7 different rear standards. Might take awhile for companies to want to build all new rear molds for there frames.

  95. the solution on the cannondale FSI (which is similar to what adam-k points out) seems to bring much more sense.

    and indeed the q factors are increasing every year (if you have a next SL latest version, don’t measure it, if you’re afraid of the result).

  96. 2012-era Shimano direct derailleur mounting. It’s coming, they said. It’s the future, they said. Haven’t seen hide nor hair of it since. I’m into innovation – threadless headsets FTW! 😉 – but this silly micro-change helps no one.

  97. There’s a very good chance the current crop of standard FD’s have more than enough adjustment to compensate for +3mm CL. 150/83mm (56mm CL) would certainly be pushing the limits.

  98. 100% agree with comment #2.
    Enough is enough. Every year each company is coming with different standard.
    The advantages a minuscule id any at all.
    It is all marketing pitch about one thing that no one can measure or define a standard: stiffness.

  99. Love all these (deleted) new standards, and all the logic hate comments!!! this will make second hand stuff even cheaper, great!!

  100. Quite happy with my hadley 142’s that can be converted to 135 easily. I can see where a wider hub makes sense for wider wheels and tires. But I really don’t t think this is needed on xc to trail bikes… Reminds me of giants failed overdrive standard they were trying to push out.

  101. Skipped to the bottom. No time to read all the b++++++t, pissing, and moaning. Going out for a ride on my steel Sumpjumper, 8 speed. It’s gonna be the blast it always is. 6mm matters in certain places, but none of them are on my bike.

  102. For those who are interested, 157×12 will give perfect chainline, a symmetrical rear wheel, and even spoke tensions L/R.. 135 and 142 have poor chainline, asymmetrical lacing, and uneven spoke tensions.

    148 barely improves things, at all. It’s Trek making a small step to avoid getting to the best solution, right away.

  103. @ Ol’Shel’ – I was looking at this the other day & couldn’t find any 157 hubs that gave even spoke tensions. Looks like 28-29mm is the most you can get for Center-Flange on the drive side & there’s room enough for ~40mm non-drive side. Most companies are running closer to 35mm than 40mm though, but still, that’s far from symmetrical lacing & even spoke tensions.

    I’ll save you the googling for hub specs,

  104. No let it bee. That´s just a good reason NOT to buy a Trek bike. Who could care less about a new standard? The is not anything “new” about new standards. It´s the same every year: something new will show up and revolution the whole industry. Yeah right. Stop draging the brakes, be bolder in corners, pic up your eyes and scan the trail. These things will make sense on 99,99999 % of the riders reading this.. a new axlesize standard will make no diffrence at al for the same amount of us.

  105. Ok! How many of you haters out there are planning to buy a new bike this year for as much money as the Remedy 9.8 costs? Thought so. Then there’s really nothing to whine about. Especially when a lot of you are still happy with your 26″ or hate on 27,5″ & 29″. Obviously this bike or standard aren’t gonna mean anything for you. And for those two who are planning to buy a new Remedy, congratulations! You get an awesome bike and you don’t have to worry about compatibility, cuz it’s already there and it just works fine.

  106. I would actually like to see this on front and rear.

    My biggest complaint when moving from my ’08 Fuel with 26″ wheels, to a ’14 Fuel with 29″ wheels, was front end vagueness. The wheels flex way too much. The ONLY thing that would be better than a wider hub, would be a hub with massively larger flanges.
    The shorter the spokes, the greater the angle. The greater the angle, the more resistance to side to side flex.
    Two ways to fix 29er flex. Wider hubs, or much taller flanges.

  107. Nice to see the hubs finally getting wider. It would have been nice for them to do this for the 142×12 in the first place.

    Actually my 142×12 36h King wheels are pretty stiff. The rear has minimal flex, the most flex is from the fork in the front. Kinda wish they’d stuck with 20mm in that arena.

  108. If you think that these MFG’s are doing this production ramp-up to help Joe average weekend warrior rider then you are dreaming. I’ve coined a new marketing acronym based on the old SOS saying… SMS: Sell More Chit.

  109. Did some calculations and with Boost148 the spokes on a 29er can handle 1.45% more lateral force than a standard 26 rear wheel, so yes as “stiff”! (Calculations based on the specs of a Velltec 414 rear hub).
    The 6mm assymetric hub shift (mentionned above) on the other hand allows for 14% more lateral force than a standard 26!
    I´ve built a frame with the 6mm shift and no problems whatsoever!

  110. Wider hub flanges just make a better wheel and the only descent hubs for 29er where the single speed hubs with wider flanges. Boost 148 will be the only way to go for a descent geared 29er. Glad I waited and have stuck with my SS all these years. Although I love my SS.

  111. “Because, the 12×150 axle sat on the inside face of the dropout area, without any notch in the frame to hold it in place. That meant you had to hold the wheel in line with the holes and slide the thru-axle into place. It was a pain, ‘

    Yeah… massive pain. I’ve spent many nights crying myself to sleep, dreading having to put wheels back on my bike.

    “Well, you’ll need to buy a new bike, or at least a new rear triangle, and new wheels.Well, you’ll need to buy a new bike, or at least a new rear triangle, and new wheels.”

    Really?! What a disaster for the bike industry. They’re going to sell us all new bikes and wheelsets for the sake of a few mm.

  112. I’m reading this in December 2016 while riding a 2012 Trek Fuel EX8 – at least 10 Light Years in advancement over my 1998 Schwinn Homegrown XT FS URT frame XC bike that took the beating I gave it for nearly 20 years. Only now do I realize the beating it gave me back after just a short time riding the Fuel. What a difference!

    But I do get both the Pro’s and Con’s spewed forth on the topic discussed here. All I can think to say is …. Welcome to the ever evolving, for better or worse, “Auto Industry” of bikes. Imagine if the automobile engineering stopped/stood still in 1950, 60, God Forbid the 70’s or maybe even worse – the Chrysler K car heydays of the 80’s? Tiny changes each year to their model line led us to today’s low emission, higher gas mileage engines making more horsepower, quicker 0-60 and 1/4 mile ET’s along with top speeds NO ONE will ever use (or need) responsibly. That statement stands for mini vans as well as supercars. Ever put the pedal to the metal in a Chrysler Town and Country V6? Gearing has much to do with it of course – but WOW! More power than anyone needs to get groceries or haul their kids to after school extra curricular activities.

    It’s all a PITA I know, but whatcha’ gonna’ do about it? Either ride what you got till it breaks or parts become unavailable or buy the latest and greatest and enjoy the technology. Not much lies in between to choose from.

    P.S. I still ride the Homegrown because I think it rocks as a XC bike. I’m unable to huck the Fuel around like the Homey buy at my age w/ lower back issues I need the BarcaLounger type suspension of the Fuel.

  113. I love the boost hubs!!! Noticeable difference over the last 2 29ers I have owned. Just upgraded to some carbon hoops and I can not imagine the total package getting any better. Thanks Trek for taking the leap. Now Trek needs to make a drop bar gravel bike with boost spacing and clearance for at least 2.2 tires. I would be the first to buy!!!!

  114. My biggest issue with these “new standards” is that it forces users of older equipment to buy “an entire new bike” (whether they need it or not) due to lack of availability of quality parts for the old standard.

    To use the auto industry for comparison (as others commonly do in the comments above), I would like to offer the following, albeit extreme, example: think of the inconvenience of having to buy a brand new car if all you needed was new tires … it’s a perfectly good older car, but the tire size you need is no longer manufactured.

    In my eyes a lot of these “new standards” are significantly more about consumerism and feeding an industry rather than any significant equipment improvement.

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