2016 Axle Standards, Part 1: Rear 148mm Thru Axle Coming Fast & It’s About More Than Just Better Wheels

2016-axle-standards-boost148-is-coming

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…

FIRST OFF, WHAT IS BOOST 148?

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.

WHAT’S TREK USING IT FOR?

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.

STIFFER FRAMES, BETTER SUSPENSION

2016-axle-standards-boost148-benefits-example-2

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.)

2016-axle-standards-boost-148-benefit-comparison03

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.

SHORTER CHAINSTAYS (OR BIGGER TIRES)

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.

THE CHANGE TO CHAINLINES

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.

ANY BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY?

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.”

ANY DOWNSIDES?

rocky-mountain-sherpa

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?”

THE TAKEAWAY

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!

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gibbon
gibbon
7 years ago

No.
No one cares Trek, just like no one cared about Giants overdrive 2.

David Carbonell
David Carbonell
7 years ago

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.

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

There seems to be a lot of self contradicting statements in this article.

alex
alex
7 years ago

And yet… 26″ still has the least deflection. I agree, tons of contradictory info here.

D2
D2
7 years ago

Great. Another way for companies to get another dollar out of us for no real benefit. Pass.

Ayyggss
Ayyggss
7 years ago

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

CD
CD
7 years ago

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!

Whyohwhy
Whyohwhy
7 years ago

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..

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

So it’s all because of 29ers having noodle wheels…
Cool, means I can keep riding my 26er and not have to worry about it..

TD
TD
7 years ago

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.

Mr. P
7 years ago

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.

P

Hank Hill
Hank Hill
7 years ago

Yeah, this looks good, but so does 142×12… and so does 135 QR. I just wish they would settle on something.

Peter R
7 years ago

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.

billybob
billybob
7 years ago

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)

craigsj
craigsj
7 years ago

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.

Jeff
Jeff
7 years ago

(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.

James S
James S
7 years ago

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.

Scottchy
Scottchy
7 years ago

I love my 26″ hardtail with coil fork and no gears. Its great. No need for this.

Morpheous
Morpheous
7 years ago

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. 😉

Dork
Dork
7 years ago

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.

Hey Joe
Hey Joe
7 years ago

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.

justaguy
justaguy
7 years ago

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.

kev
kev
7 years ago

this is the (deleted) devil doing his dirty work!

rob
rob
7 years ago

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.

tirider
tirider
7 years ago

BRAVO CD, BRAVO!!!

Micah
Micah
7 years ago

God d*mn it. Just when you thought the industry had settled on 142…

Auto
Auto
7 years ago

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.

hubris
hubris
7 years ago

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…

MissedThePoint
MissedThePoint
7 years ago

Progress like this is too slow.

Jeff
7 years ago

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.

Jeff
7 years ago

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.

Ilikeicedtea
Ilikeicedtea
7 years ago

Mr P is spot on.

dodo
dodo
7 years ago

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.

Von Kruiser
Von Kruiser
7 years ago

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.

Will
Will
7 years ago

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.

F Almeida
F Almeida
7 years ago

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!

Aaron
7 years ago

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.

JG
JG
7 years ago

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

Char
Char
7 years ago

I think I hate the bicycle industry.

Peter
Peter
7 years ago

Really? How about a 143.1267 standard? Way better!

Steve
Steve
7 years ago

@ 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.

Eddie
Eddie
7 years ago

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

goridebikes
goridebikes
7 years ago

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.

Randy
Randy
7 years ago

In five years it will be Boost 2 151mm width….always trying to change something to make you buy future stuff.. this is pure BS.

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

G*ddam this industry!

shafty
shafty
7 years ago

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.

pat
pat
7 years ago

Give a few years it will all change again ,where will it stop!

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
7 years ago

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.

scentofreason
scentofreason
7 years ago

Dear bike industry: For god’s sake “NO”….

Simon
Simon
7 years ago

As a person who works in a bike shop…Dammit.