10 products that would never make the Dirt 100
The Dirt 100 is carefully compiled through hours of discussions across our desks in the office, out on the trails on a ride and, of course, in the pub over some pints. The point is, nothing is there by accident and we’re totally confident that we have collated the the best 100 products in mtb.
Of course, there were plenty of products that nearly made it too, the standard of tech gets higher every year and we’ve rarely had more heated discussions than deciding the 2017 list.
However, there are plenty of products that could never have made our coveted list. A number of dead ends that may have seemed revolutionary at the time but leave us scratching our heads now wondering what we were thinking in the first place. Here are just ten of them, prepare to cringe:
Can you use a bent crank to break physics? It turns out no, no you can’t. The Z-Torque was supposed to increase your pedalling power by using a longer crank arm bent into a ‘z’ shape but it didn’t take long for the internet to ridicule its inventors for making a secondary-school-level howler in the calculations. What you’re left with is a heavy crank that has less clearance, not ideal.
LeEco smart bike
E-bikes made it into the 100 for the first time this year so we’re far from luddites when it comes to electronics on bikes. However, for us, this is way too far. With a four-inch touch screen, in-built fitness tracking, GPS and its own app, it’s packed with tech – in fact it has more processing power than most tablets. The only thing they’ve forgotten, making an effective mountain bike.
Tioga Disk Drive
The Tioga Disk Drive came and went before Dirt even existed but there are other reasons it would never have made it into the 100.
Is it iconic? Yes. Is it cool? Definitely. Did it improve traction and speed? Reportedly yes. However, they had a tendency to fail pretty catastrophically and we certainly wouldn’t want to huck off anything with that acting as a sail. We’re glad the Disk Drive existed, and we’ll never forget the sound of one, but they aren’t quite 100 worthy.
BMW Cruise M Bike
There’s nothing wrong with car brands getting involved in mountain biking (look no further than Volvo Cannondale or the Nissan World Cups) but this really isn’t for us. Take a crappy mountain bike, slap your badge on it and charge way over the odds for it. This one retails for nearly a grand.
It’s an electric folding flat bike. Do we really need to explain this one?
Michelin Wild Gripper Seafoam green
Now we like to base our 100 choices on performance, not aesthetics, but there comes a point when you simply have to say, "no". That point is the Seafoam Green edition of the Michelin Wild Gripper tyre. With their skinwall sides and lurid tread, there are very few bikes you could find that would match these horrors. One for the retro lovers, but not for us.
3FS Tech Adjustable stem
With dropper posts, suspension lock outs and flip chips, there are plenty of changes that we can make to our bikes on the fly, but stem length is never one that crossed our mind… until we saw the 3FS tech stem.
It offers three positions of adjustment from super short for descending control to stretched out for more weight on the front when climbing. Nice idea but it was heavy, expensive and got nowhere near its Kickstarter goal.
In our mind, if you’re getting a sore arse on the climbs buy a short liner, stand up or get a full suss. Not this.
When we first saw the Parilla, we called it an abomination, we still stand by that today. It makes us angry that they’re trying to peddle it as an e-mtb when it’s not even close to being trail legal and you’ll have to insure it to use it properly on the road. The Ron Jeremy look-a-like in the marketing video doesn't really help its image either. Avoid at all costs.
Maglock aimed to be a halfway house between flats and clipless by using magnets to keep your feet stuck to the pedals. It’s a neat idea but unfortunately didn’t seem to be the best executed. The pedals were heavy (974 grams for a set) and the bearings cheap leaving a lot of unsatisfied testers.
We’ve heard they are great for riders with disabilities but for us they didn’t quite hit the nail on the head.