I was having dinner with some industry people, a small bowl of fried pig’s ears in front of me, a plate of clams. Then one of them used the phrase “spec drift fatigue.” I nearly choked. “What is that?” I asked
The idea is that we have reached a place in which would be customers have actually stopped buying things, because they are fearful that anything they invest in now will be obsolete in two season’s time. Given the changes to bottom brackets, axle widths and diameters, brake mounts, etc., it’s hard to argue with that fear.
It’s not clear, despite recognizing the problem, that the industry is willing to sit still. I have heard of experiments with even thicker thru-axles than the market has seen so far. I have had customers tell me they are waiting for the big companies to make up their minds. But the pace of change seems to be accelerating, not settling.
In the US, there has been a measurable drop in high-end bike sales, a slowing in adoption of these new products. Is it all too much, too soon?
This week’s Group Ride asks, what are YOU waiting for? Are you frustrated? Dismissive? Or are you one of the industry’s favorite customers, the early adopter? Upgrading every season to the latest and greatest? What are your biggest hopes for real bike design progress? Your biggest frustrations? What is snake oil? And what are the game changing changes?