What are your unpopular cycling opinions?

Yes, do you have an idea for a better name?

In my defense, this is a thread about unpopular opinions! Although I reckon it is more apt to call this a polarizing topic as opposed to an unpopular one.

Makes complete sense to me: the trend is going to more versatile drop bar bikes, and it doesn’t make financial sense to have rim brake versions of most bikes. Either frames would have to be reinforced in two places or you’d have to design a rim brake frame for an ever smaller sliver of the market. Since mechanical disc brakes exist, I don’t think entry-level bikes are more expensive because of disc brakes either.

So rim brakes have become a niche product. Even groupset manufacturers have begun dropping rim brake versions (e. g. Shimano 105 Di2 doesn’t have a rim brake version).

Edit: Even Shimano’s new entry-level CUES groupsets are hydraulic disc brake only. While so far only flat bar options have been announced, it stands to reason that this will make rim brake CUES-branded drop bar groupsets less likely.

If I put my mountain bike helmet (hat) on for a moment, I don’t think clipless vs. flats has been a big issue. People have preferences, but I don’t remember big debates where one told the other they were wrong.

PS The only thing that is stupid about clipless pedals (in English anyway) is the name: you clip into clipless pedals?!?! Wot? (Last time I lived in Germany, they were called click pedals because they make a click sound when you clip in.)

Are they that unpopular?
To me they seem way too specialized to be worth a purchase. I’d love to rent one and ride through snow in the winter. But I wouldn’t want to buy one for one of those few rides each year.




You must be new to mountain biking, or haven’t been on the same forums or watched the same “influencers” or have the same friends as I, who want to banish me to the netherworld for having raced in flats. :grin:



No. 3:

If someone is faster than you it’s almost always simply because they are training (eating, resting, etc…) harder and or better than you.


However they don’t jump on dumb things as often as other subsets. MTBers thinking a 76 degree STA makes for better climbing for instance.

If it has a motor, it’s motorized.


I think you have the wrong thread – this is for unpopular opinions. That seems like a statement of a fact. :wink:


Endurance performance:

90% genetics
10% training optimization


This isn’t true. I’m eating harder than most and I’m still slow and gaining weight.


Don’t brag about how many feet you climbed unless you’re on a single-speed bike.


You wish, get good! No excuses!

I got my first mountain bike in 1995 … so I reckon the latter. :grin:

They = roadies?
I would submit that the mountain biking industry is so rapidly iterating that stupid ideas get weeded out relatively quickly and most manufacturers converge on good ideas. Just look at how drastically mountain bikes have changed within the last 10, 15 years and compare that to the (comparative) lack of change on the road side. In those years, the industry tried + tires (2.6–2.8”), pulled back a little and converged on 2.25–2.4” for XC. They spearheaded tubeless and tire inserts, which are being adopted on the road side, too, albeit more slowly. Of course, mountain bikes went 1x (I literally don’t know of a recently designed, new mountain bike that even comes with a FD hanger.)

I went from a 2012 to a 2014 bike and basically everything was different: 29” vs. 26” wheels, a very different geometry, etc. Then fast-forward 4 more years and a freakin’ trail bike runs circles around my XC fully: it is lighter despite larger wheels, climbs better, is much more benign and had a 1x drivetrain. I am scared to try any new mountain bikes, because if I buy another bike soon, my wife will divorce me. :wink:

Probably the biggest change on the road side was to finally accept the importance of aero, but also here you can see people going back when it comes to aero frames. All other innovations come from other disciplines: other wheel sizes, tire inserts, tubeless, aero (tri), active suspensions, etc.

PS I love road riding and mountain biking. Still, I think the road side is quite stagnant.


Most of the posts so far aren’t unpopular enough, IMO.

Unpopular opinion #1:
You shouldn’t cut your steer tube or at least leave one inch above your preferred stem height. That extra inch is immensely useful if you get injured or are off the bike for a while. It helps resale value. It also allows a lot of experiment for fit and aero. Aero? Yes! See #2.

Unpopular opinion #2:
Slamming that stem is dumb. So many people ride with slammed stems with their hands on the hoods. They can’t ride the drops for more than a few minutes. That’s a lot slower (and less safe) than a higher stem where you can stay in the drops the majority of the time. And when you are in the drops your really low stem causes your forearms to be vertical instead of the more aero horizontal forearms. That effect is much more than an extra inch or two of steer tube!


you aren’t really supposed to leave that much of a chimney on a carbon steerer, because the stem might miss the expander plug.

cannondale actually says there shouldn’t be spacers above the stem (though other brand actually require one)


Good point. The expander plug should completely overlap the stem. But if your plug doesn’t allow to have that overlap with an inch above the stem, then you have a shitty one and need a better designed one.


Yes, we know. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a stupid name :wink:


Probably unpopular: white cycling shoes are for sponsored pros and wannabes.


Found Nate’s burner account. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I hate long rides, and I think the word ‘optimal’ is stupid.

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90% of roadies and gravel cyclists don’t need drop bar handlebars.

Aero gains are a marketing invention. Same goes for other marginal gains. Sorry Josh.