Mountain bike component innovation can be polarizing. While some welcome new fangled electronics with open wallets, others continue to lament the inglorious death of the 26” wheel. Here at Mtbr we sympathize with both parties, but progress marches on. Here then is our list of the most innovative new mountain bike components of 2015. We’ll leave it you to decide whether these “improvements” will be the future of the sport or just a blip in the historical record.
Boost 110/148 Hubs
The inclusion of Boost hubs on this list prompted several heated arguments among the Mtbr editorial staff. While some (ok, me) believe that this standard is only a half measure that effectively renders virtually all of my components obsolete (AGAIN), others have rightly pointed out that it gives frame manufacturers more freedom. The additional width yields better chain lines, which can be used to accommodate bigger tires or shorten chainstays. The new standard also helps increase overall frame and wheel stiffness, which is particularly beneficial to those on entry to mid level 29ers. For a more bipartisan view on the new standard, check out technical coverage here.
Magura Vyron Wireless Dropper Post
Building off their expertise with electronic suspension, Magura has created a wireless actuated dropper post that can easily be shared between bikes. The post is capable of 400 activations per charge and will automatically turn itself off if the bike is sitting idle. Check out our Interbike coverage for a comprehensive video report on this new technology.
POC Spine VPD Airbag Vest
While technically a ski product, we’d be hard pressed to believe that POC isn’t developing a version of their new smart airbag vest for cyclists. In its current iteration, the VPD Airbag Vest analyzes skier movements by performing 1,000 analysis per second and when a fall is detected, deploys an airbag in less than 100 milliseconds to help protect the neck, chest, spine, abdomen, and hips. To learn more check out our coverage and visit news.pocsports.com.
Schwalbe Procore Tire
Originally launched in late 2014 but not available until last year, Schwalbe’s Procore blends an inner tube with an outer tubeless chamber to help eliminate burping, reduce flats, and increase traction. For more info, check out our coverage here and stay tuned for a long term review.