Disclaimer: this is NOT the typical bike related post. Spoiler alert, text below is not fun to read neither supposed to be.
As per definition of standard, is “something used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations” and much more than that, in a world of extreme competitiveness the standards are the “things” that ensure long term interoperability, hence increasing lifespan of the products, which translates in something like the fact I’m able to buy a new set of bling bling pedals today and mount them on my twelve years old Shimano cranks.
Standards are present on end-to-end product development lifecycle, being it safety related standards, interface related standards or tests methodology standards just to name a few categories, and all of them exist not only to ease the product development cycle (people know what they need to do and comply with) but also as a guarantee for the customer (myself, you) which invest a pile of money on the end-product (either shiny new bike frames and/or components) that things will work, will fit, will handle the abuse, will operate in an adequate manner for years to come and in case by some reason they break, it will be easy just to swap with a new whatever new version of the product!
That said, it would be fair to say that standards stability (= don’t change things all the time) do contribute in a positive way in the decision process that ultimately ends with the customer (myself, you) providing the magic number of the golden Credit Card to the local bike store (or online store) owner.
Hence, the question is WHY? why are you guys (the ones driving the development / evolution of the bike industry) continuously throwing new stuff into us? why do we need another + wheel size? why do we need to have a incomprehensive number of different BB fits and sizes? why do we need so many headsets dimensions (integrated vs non-integrated)? why do we need so many different suspension travel vs wheel size mix? why do we need again a new change on hub axles? and – if you might me ask – why do we need electric MTBs?
No doubt evolution is needed (and welcome) and sometimes it just doesn’t fit into existing standards, but it only makes sense to go that route when clear advances are made, significant improvements (being it commercial or technical) are achievable as a result, and NOT just because vendors want to be different (and during the process sell a complete new line of products that makes zero sense).
Most probably current times are the best moments for years in bike industry: a lot of new products (of which some are plain nonsense) + new people coming into the sport = big selling volumes.
Nevertheless, nothing lasts forever, and someday the average joe will no longer buy that expensive frame of several thousand EUR simply because it’s potential return value it’s gone. kaput. zero.
Make us all a favor and simplify our lives, deliver us consistent and well thinked products, we just want to ride bikes.
That said, please kick yourselves and wake up, as STANDARDs ARE UNDER ATTACK!
PS. Ok, new stuff is welcome, but c’mon! I need to stop explaining my wife why the bike changes color so often!