Aaron brought his old WW from 2004 or 2005 (I don’t remember exactly) with him when he came to pick up his new bike, so I snapped a quick picture. A lot has changed – suspension, through axle, disc brakes, 10 speed, tubeless tires, direct mount front derailleur. Neat to see how things have evolved (ok, to be fair, Aaron’s old bike was a bit anachronistic when it was new, but still). Or devolved. Depends on your point of view, I suppose.
As an aside, I think the two most important things that have happened to mountain bikes in the last 15 years or so are – 1) tubeless tires and 2) 29″ wheels. I was arguing with a friend just the other day – if you had to give up one of those, which one would it be?
Personally, I was pretty torn, and I initially said I’d give up the big wheels to keep tubeless… but now I’m not sure. Luckily, I don’t need to actually make that decision!
Edit: Buzz says he’d ditch suspension. I’m not sure that counts, since the first suspension forks are considerably older than 15 years, but for what it’s worth, I agree. I’d happily ride rigid in order to keep my big wheels and tubeless tires.