So today was or rather still is April 1st. Aptly named “April Fools Day”. The cycling industry has a habit of putting out some fun stuff to honor this, once a year calendar date where no one hopefully takes themselves too seriously. Honestly, Industry 9’s mud pit was pretty hilarious in 2015. I had photoshopped a chopper version of my fat bike and had a few questions about how I overcome pedal strike… I had to point out the date to a few.

This years edition? Well here she is:

Brakeless Droppers

“For Immediate Release:

44 Bikes is proud to announce a whole new level of Standard to the Bicycle Industry. With the ever increasing complexity and choices available today in brake mounting technology, axle standards, drivetrain madness and the inherent choices we all need to make, we at 44 Bikes have decided to do something drastic. We’re proud to introduce: BRAKELESS DROPPERS.

No Brakes. No gears. ISO, Post Mount, Flat Mount? HELL NO. 10×135, 12×148, 10×170, 12×177, 10×190, 12×197? YOU. CAN. KEEP’EM. We’re stickin’ with 12×142. 1×9, 2×9, 3×9, 1×10, 2×10, 3×10, 1×11, 2×11 and 1×12? YOU ONLY NEED ONE! 1×1!

BRAKE LESS. DROP MORE. BRAKELESS DROPPERS!”

Now for a little background… This years April Fools idea came to me literally the second Shimano introduced it’s Flat Mount standard. Honestly? It hit me like a lightning bolt. I just had this image of a brakeless bike (which is quite common in BMX) with a dropper. Kind of like an anti-standard. And that’s what I am saying here: Go against the grain. It’s ok. Don’t accept everything company’s pitch at you. Think. Question. Assess and decide. The industry seems to reinvent itself constantly. Sometimes for good and some times it leaves you wondering. Now this isn’t a commentary on Flat Mount. It’s more of a commentary on the ever changing and shifting tides that make up the industry I love so much each and every year, from my perspective, there seems to be more acceptance than rebellion to ideas. “Back in my day”, I have the perspective that there was a tad more critical thinking at times. More soul. Less regurgitation and acceptance. Hence Brakeless Droppers. Kind of two extremes. One is achievable simply by removing your brakes. The second? Well you have to have some coin to invest in a dropper. Ironically a $20 quick release collar achieves the same effect.

Either way, happy April 1st to all the fools out there.