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This post originally appeared on Pinkbike.com
I’ve already complained that some of the latest innovations cooked up by the bike industry could add more complexity than they’re worth. But it’s not all bad news. There are also some good ideas out there that make bikes both simpler and better.
In contrast to overly complicated suspension designs or added electronics, sometimes good design is about asking what you don’t need. At its best, simplicity means making a bike lighter, quieter, cheaper, easier to maintain and more reliable. But it can be more than that. There’s something elegant and ingenious about a simpler solution that performs just as well.
Here are a few examples of where less is more. Flex Pivots
There’s a reason virtually every XC bike now has a “flex pivot” instead of a conventional pivot with bearings or bushings. Flex pivots are lighter, they eliminate a number of small parts (bearings, bolts, washers) and maintenance.
While bearings have to be replaced about once every season, a well-designed flex pivot will last the lifetime of the frame. The pivot at the rear of the frame, whether on the seatstay or chainstay, usually only sees a few degrees of rotation through the suspension’s travel. That means bearings can become pitted and wear out faster because the force is always acting on the same point, […]