Well, here we are. Staring down the end of a looong year. But it also went by so fast? 2020 continues to surprise us to the very end, but less surprising are some of your favorite stories that you’ve opened again and again. Along with some perennial favorites though, there are new headlines added to the mix – some for painfully obvious reasons. Curious about our most popular stories for the year? Read on to find out…
1. Tire width & Rim Width
Since this story was written in 2016, it has refused to leave from the top of the list. If anything, this illustrates one of the biggest shifts in modern bicycle tech. Inner rim widths in relation to tire widths are changing, and it has a drastic effect on performance. But what is the right ratio? This post provides a solid starting point to figuring it all out.
2. XXX Shoes?
Something about Bontrager’s XXX Road Cycling shoe is exceedingly appealing, and once again this piece ranks at the top.
3. SRAM Drivetrain Comparison
For MTB, 1x is king. That’s pretty much a given at this point. But which drivetrain? For a while, SRAM didn’t have much competition and was cleaning up with their wide range options. This post detailed the differences between NX, GX, X01, and XX1 which is clearly still a popular topic.
Maybe the pandemic’s effect on travel gave this one a boost, but #vanlife seems to still be quite popular. Along those lines, 4×4 adventure-mobiles are still as popular as ever, even if their price tags put them out of reach for many.
5. Indoor Training Programs
The pandemic has meant many more of us are looking at indoor training as a way to stay healthy – and sane. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to the programs themselves, so this post digs into the differences between many favorites.
The pandemic has also given rise to a cottage industry of mask making. Along with many people making their own masks at home, a number of bike companies shifted production to masks & PPE at the start of the year. Along those lines, Under Armour’s SportsMask gained a lot of attention.
7. Trek’s Value Packed Domane AL Disc
Looking for a new bike? Want something with a lot of features but won’t require you to take out a loan? Trek’s new Domane AL Disc was very intriguing for those exact reasons.
8. WTF Factor
The bicycle world is no stranger to wacky concepts and far-out ideas. Some of those become game changing innovations. Others, relegated to the parts bin of shame for eternity. Naturally, a wheel the claims to convert your mass into energy elicited quite the response from readers.
9. SRAM Hacks
Mullet has been a popular buzz word for two main reasons this year. One use refers to mixed wheel sizes generally with a 29″ up front and 27.5″ out back. The other, is the use of wide range MTB gearing at the cassette mixed with road or gravel drop bar shifters at the bars. We’re getting to the point that you can do this fairly easily without hacks, but there’s still room for ways to build your own group on a budget apparently.
10. How Many Seats in Your Van?
Another popular #vanlife question – how many seats can you get in a full size cargo van?
11. Dropper Trouble
Dropper seat posts are amazing. But they certainly require more maintenance than your average rigid post. So if your dropper isn’t working, this may be a good place to start.
12. Stanchion Lube?
You know your suspension will need service eventually. But should you be lubricating the stanchions in the mean time? It depends on who you talk to… (probably not)…
13. SX Affordability
What’s better than a 1x wide range drivetrain? One that the cassette doesn’t cost more than your bike’s frame.
14. Patent Patrol
Our Patent Patrol series is always popular, but before Campagnolo’s Ekar group surfaced officially, the news of its patents drew a crowd.
15. 2021 Specialized Tarmac
As with every other year, the bikes launched in 2020 were mostly referred to as 2021 models. The new Specialized Tarmac SL7 proved to be a popular introduction, and one that like most bikes for the coming year – will likely be in short supply.
16. Adjustable Brake Power?
Another interesting concept, the OutBraker inline Booster allows to you add or reduce the power of your hydraulic disc brakes.
17. What Tire Pressure?
Along with our #1 story on tire and rim width, the topic of tire pressure has proven to be very popular this year. Mostly because if you’re running larger volume tires on wider rims, the pressure you should be running will likely be drastically different than you’re used to. Silca helped take some of the mystery out of it with their new Pro Pressure Calculator.
18. Canyon Leaks
New bike leaks are always popular. This time it seems that Canyon purposely leaked their newest Aeroad bike in a Zwift ad.
19. Affordable Specialized XC Hardtail
Affordability was a popular topic in 2020, and why wouldn’t it? Just because you can’t afford a $10,000 mountain bike doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to get out and have fun on your local trails. Not surprisingly, news of Specialized’s new Rockhopper bikes that start at $500 was quite popular.
20. e-Bike (R)Evolution?
Perhaps a sign of the times, our 20th most popular story this year was one that was written just two weeks ago. Valeo’s new combination electric motor and automatic transmission could usher in a new era of e-biking, and the French company actually has the resources to make it happen.
Want to see how these stories compared to 2019? Check out that list here.
Here’s hoping that 2021 will be a better year for all. All of us here at Bikerumor wish everyone a happy new year!