In the old days, before bicycle headsets used cartridge bearings, it wasn’t uncommon for them to undergo a phenomenon called “brinelling:”
Younger, newer riders may be unfamiliar with so-called “indexed steering”…which is why Canyon is now able to market it as a feature:
When LeBron James invested a shitload of money in Canyon you may have wondered if it would pay off, and with the advent of this malfunction marketed as a feature we now can say confidently that it has:
Even better, it will “last a lifetime!”
This seems like a bold claim–until you consider that the average mountain biker keeps a bicycle for at most two years, by which point it has become hopelessly and embarrassingly obsolete.
So yeah, it should be good for two years…unless you crash, after which it may need to be “re-centered:”
Fortunately, crashing rarely happens in mountain biking.
It’s tempting to say the reason mountain bikes become obsolete so quickly is precisely because of technology like this, but it’s not that simple. They also go obsolete because every so often people completely rethink frame geometry and decide the old angles don’t work anymore:
And apparently this system exists to correct all the problems with this latest fashionable geometry:
There’s a Monty Python skit in which a drunken director keeps making a pair of actors stand on boxes and in trenches in order to account for a slight difference in their heights:
The joke is that of course they were perfectly well matched in the first place, but it appears the bike industry hasn’t figured that out yet, and this rubber band system seems to be the latest pair of boxes.
In addition to accounting for the chopper-like geometry of today’s mountain bikes, indexed steering will also “reduce fatigue:”
This is essentially arguing that the act balancing is inherently exhausting, which is a huge marketing breakthrough for the bike industry, insamuch as that’s what riding a bicycle is. This is like the restaurant industry selling you on elastomers for your jaw to reduce the fatigue you experience from chewing. At this rate I’m sorry to say the days of two-wheelers are numbered, and you can expect all off-road bicycles go to at least three or possibly even more wheels in the next 10 years.
Of course, all this may be overly harsh, since according to the review the steerer thingy works okay, in the sense that you can successfully ignore it except when it’s really annoying:
Oh well, a minor inconvenience for something that otherwise provides little to no benefit. A second rubber band in the downtube to counter the effects of the first one should clear it right up.
UPDATE: In a development that will surprise nobody who’s ever experienced a brinelled headset, say goodbye to riding no-handed: