What 'standard' really, really grinds your 8/9/10/11spd gears?

From press-fit bottom brackets to Boost, we reflect on the worst of the lot

Standards… is there a greater oxymoron in the cycling industry? As soon as news comes around that manufacturer X has brought about change Y to make component Z stiffer/lighter/stronger/more attractive, our comments section and Facebook page explodes.

“It’s not a standard if only one person is doing it!” “My 26” Gary Fisher from 1996 works completely fine!” “Help, I can’t deal with change!”

We’ve heard it all and really, we get it. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a new ride only to discover that a much-loved component from a previous bike is no longer compatible.

While it’s probably just a false sense of security, things seem to have settled down for the time being, but boy-oh-boy, have there been some peaches down the line.

For me, there seems to be no area of the bike as prone to frustrating and needless faffing than the humble bottom bracket.

It’s astonishing that something so simple — a few bearings that allow your cranks to spin in a circle — has been subject to so much grievous abuse by engineers.

We’ve gone from good old threaded square taper bottom brackets, to Shimano’s flopped Octalink, to a brief interlude with ISIS, to the actually-quite-good Hollowtech-II and GXP, and now, of course, the absolute plethora of press-fit standards — and all the problems that come with them.

So, over to you — what standard really gets your goat? What unexpected change in standards has held you up in the past? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and remember that you can now share images! Keep it clean and try not to froth at the mouth too much.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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