Cornell University researchers estimate the average adult makes 226.7 decisions each day on food alone. I reckon that would pale in comparison to the number of decisions the average cyclist will make about their bike!
Every one of those decisions requires trade-offs. Some we know we’re making (e.g. price vs weight), others we might have been happy to indulge our optimism bias and hope it didn’t bite us (e.g. weight vs durability). But I suspect we’ve all got at least one example of an unintended consequence, where the trade-off wasn’t obvious at the time.
The Industry Nine Hydra hub is a recent example. Released in 2019 with a unique freehub body design with a super fast 690 points of engagement, we now know this high engagement comes at the cost of bearing wear, axle life and higher maintenance. Check out our latest deep dive video to explain why this happens.
Trade-offs are often framed as pros or cons - these sound pretty matter of fact, as if there’s only one ‘right’ answer and I think that’s a bit misleading. In reality, one person’s pro / con list can be wildly different to the next person, and even the same person's list can vary depending on time or location.
The Swiss Army knife is a classic example: The cons are that it’s nowhere near as nice to use as a proper set of screwdrivers, a full sized knife, and real can-opener, so I don’t have one in my kitchen. But it’s light weight and small size means I choose to carry one in my riding kit.
Tyres are another example. The pros of having a fast-rolling, light weight, supple tyre on that smooth section quickly turn to the cons of poor traction, no confidence, and too many punctures when the terrain gets gnarly.
We love to geek out over the technical details of different components to understand how they could show up as ‘pro’ or ‘con’ individually, as well as considering the bigger picture. We’re then better able to match components to each customer's needs for their individual bike, riding style, and what they’re wanting to achieve.
If there's a trade-off that you'd like some help to navigate, please get in touch. And I always love to hear what you would find interesting for future deep dive videos - send me your ideas and questions!