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Soma Dream Handlebar Collaboration - April 21, 2019, 8:49 p.m.

You can order them direct from Soma or any Soma dealer in Toronto can bring them in. I know for sure that The Urbane Cyclist brings in their stuff, but I'd be surprised if there was a commuter or road shop anywhere in the GTA that didn't have a Soma account.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - April 16, 2019, 1:47 p.m.

I actually wrote an article that references the article you linked to: Handlebar Width & Staying Gracious. I'd sum it up by saying that the take away from both articles should probably be - try different things even if you're happy with your current setup. 

Hand position is different enough that there's certainly more to it than just mathing [sic] out a fit.

I'm generally on the same length stem with the 12° and a 1cm longer stem with the 16° but that's my starting point and I end up with different setups on different bikes relative to 7-9° 'standard' bars.

SR Suntour Durolux RC2 29'er Fork Reviewed - April 16, 2019, 12:04 p.m.

Hi Kent,

Depending on the amount of sag you intend to run I’d guess the stock neg Spring is perfect. They’re really inexpensive though, so no reason not to try both.

Do you have the R2C2 or the RC2 PCS damper?

Does the sound happen in all damper settings (rebound + compression)?

If the sound’s consistent then I’d assume the fork’s just been sitting a long time and drop the lowers (super quick job) and lube it up with Slickokeum.

If it’s an R2C2 fork and the noise changes based on damper settings I’d talk to your nearest service centre (envelo, SuspensionWerx, etc). If you read my last R2C2 review, I encountered a similar issue. 

Hope that helps!

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - April 16, 2019, 8:36 a.m.

I’m 5’9” and was riding the large. It is certainly not a long bike when seated but I think it comes down more to personal fit and I’ve had inconsistent experiences on bikes with very steep STAs. In other words, SQLab + steep STA didn’t work for me but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - April 16, 2019, 8:10 a.m.

The steepest STA I’ve ridden is the new Kona Satori at ~78*. I don’t own one but I had it long enough to get the full experience.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - April 16, 2019, 8:08 a.m.

Apologies for the late response, just saw your comment.

I’m not sure what they’re getting at with that comment. I used both back-to-back on a variety of bikes with the same stem length. They’re obviously different but I think that comes down to personal preference rather than application.

You Should Ride a Rigid Fork - April 12, 2019, 4:13 p.m.

It's funny. It seems everyone I know who is into rigid mountain biking has a unique experience. Look at Skyler and Vic's Krampus takes. When it comes to tires, travel, and etc I always assume a rider is going to know what works best for them on their terrain (what I have to say about a tire on the North Shore is not universally applicable to Sedona). 

I like long bikes and my rigid bike is no exception. It makes almost every other hardtail I've ridden lately seem to steep (HTA) because at <66° it has a slacker static head angle and those bikes sag steeper from there. The wheelbase is right around 1200mm where it's currently sitting on the sliders. I have no problem climbing it up steep punchy singletrack including tight switchbacks and it only occasionally requires extra English in tight switchbacks when descending. Climbing traction is excellent. 

In steep chutes and riding through rough terrain the bus is way more stable and capable than the four or five 'modern' rigid bikes I've owned which have all been much steeper and shorter (for example the Units above). I'm not much of a trials rider anyways so I'm happy to take stability over hopability. 

When folks talk about 415mm stays, 69° static HTA, and trying to keep the wheelbase short I just scratch my head - but my bike is optimized for rigid riding around here and I can't say what works places I haven't ridden.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 12, 2019, 2:55 p.m.

Yes, I think the Bartlett is their most interesting product - and my gut feeling (I'm wrong regularly) is that it's the harbinger of where aggressive long travel 29" Enduro forks will go. There's an additional degree of adjustment (raising/lowering forks in crowns), 1-1/8" steerer opens up the option for greater angleset adjustment options, there's more room for damper, air system, etc, and the axle to crown height can be short without compromising the insertion depth of a pressed in steerer like on single crowns.

Generically, I recognize that folks have all different standards for communication and it occurs to me that bike industry businesses seem to often get a pass from a lot of folks who expect more from every other business/institution they deal with in their lives. In my career in bikes I think I've matched the highest customer expectations to the extent that I can justify having very high expectations myself. I recognize that everyone (myself included especially) has a miss now and again, but I think there are always ways to address that if folks choose to be proactive.

I'm glad you've had what sounds like an A-1 experience, and I think it's awesome that you choose to support a brand that supports you instead of chasing the hot trend and then wondering where they went when the doors close.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 12, 2019, 11:16 a.m.

I mean, technically the original Fox 40 could be easily lowered to 160mm travel and the Boxxer U-Turn Coil was freakin' awesome at the time.

Folks have been lowering (original and current) Dorados for aggressive 29" riding since 29'ers came out. 

I meant that MRP is actually marketing a production dual crown fork for Enduro usage. With long front-centers largely solving the knee-clearance issue and forks becoming the weak link in overly stiff systems (carbon wheels, carbon frame, super short 35mm clamp stem/bar), not to mention all the creaking CSU issues out there I think it's easy to imagine that some owners of long travel 160-180mm 29'ers  will be running production dual crown forks soon enough.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 12, 2019, 11:07 a.m.

Set up for a full suspension bike I was seeing about 5mm more stanchion with the standard negative spring than one level heavier. I run more sag on the front of a hardtail so there it makes a notable difference in performance but no difference in ride height. 

If your customer is significantly stouter than me and you only went up one neg spring rate you could blow their mind by bringing in another rate firmer. The good folks at envelo stock a heavier rate for sure and other Suntour suppliers can likely bring them in.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 11, 2019, 2:22 p.m.

Yeah, for the fork-faffer I don't think IRD can be beaten. At least not by any fork I've touched. I love the adjustable hydraulic bottom out too. I do understand why many riders prefer a simpler set-and-forget fork and obviously the Manitou 'look' isn't for everyone. Excited to see their next generation forks. 

If X-Fusion included a couple of additional rates of negative spring in the box, or had them available for purchase as SR Suntour does I think this review process would have been a lot more fun and this review would have been wholly positive. The nice thing with swapping a coil negative spring is it's super simple (inexpensive to design | never has an issue with say a transfer port being plugged with grease) and not something that needs to be maintained once the correct rate is in place. 

Given the choice, I'd also prefer swapping a spring rate over a preload system like DVO's OTT - although, that said, the couple examples of Diamond 110 I've ridden have been really good.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 11, 2019, 2:02 p.m.

On paper, the new MRP forks offer a lot of features I like in a package with a designed-and-assembled in North America cache that fits with my personal purchasing goals (all things being ~ equal I ladder my discretionary purchase: 1) friends' businesses | 2) businesses that support my local community - riding or otherwise | 3) businesses whose philosophies aline with my own | 4) businesses who maximized North American content | 5) etc).

I think they're ahead of the curve with marketing 29" dual crown trail/Enduro forks. Wait a couple years and they'll be busy reminding riders they beat Fox / RockShox / DVO to the punch by years.

Most the folks I've talked to have been happy with the performance of their MRP purchases to a point that they'd buy the fork again. And I know a fair number of mercenary and/or fickle riders so that says a lot.

I should probably be careful here but, in the spirit of frank honesty, my personal experience communicating with the company keeps my wallet in my pocket and would bias me to the point that I wouldn't take on one of their forks for testing.

Buying a fork tomorrow, based on my experiences, I'd either pick up the super yet simple Suntour Durolux RC2 PCS again (it's an awesome package even aside from the price) or a Manitou IRD fork (kick it old school with a 29" Dorado on a hardtail?!). Both those companies have been awesome to deal with in my experience.

Maximizing North American products, I'm really drawn to the Cane Creek Helm (which works well for "larger" riders). Quality is excellent, I know a handful of folks with the forks who are all positive on them, and in my experience, the company is great to deal with. I do think Manitou's IRD is a better (the best) air system and the Durolux is super easy to work on at home hence why those two forks get the edge for my money.

I did try and track down a firmer spring with the right dimensions to crank up the negative in the X-Fusion Trace. That's the one thing holding the fork back from being awesome for a rider my weight.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 11, 2019, 6:02 a.m.

Hi MBB,

All comes down to air volumes. Trace 34 worked great for me; Trace 36 doesn’t work great for me - or at least doesn’t match my preference.

HLR damper is a notable improvement over RL2.

How much sag do you run normally? If you’re in the 25%+ range you’ll likely have a good experience with the 36 at your weight but I’d guess you’re on the cusp.

Having a range of (cheap) negative spring rates could help. The Manitou IRT system isn’t for everyone, but with some faffing about I think any rider could find settings they love. Some riders (many riders) do not want two air valves.

Anyways, to reiterate - the Trace 36 is one of the best values on the market with top end construction for its price but in its current form I think it’s optimized for lighter riders. Which is okay, most forks aren’t.

SR Suntour Durolux RC2 29'er Fork Reviewed - April 10, 2019, 5:03 p.m.

No qualms at all. I've ridden the Durolux at a range of travels from 140mm to 170mm on FS bikes and hardtails, including 170mm on my Honzo ST with a -2° Works angleset. It's a great, very tunable, fork.

Works Components Angleset - April 10, 2019, 1:23 p.m.

It’s really too bad. I’m not a engineerer, even on the internet, but as it’s been explained to me it would take nothing to make 1-1/8” steerers that press into tapered crowns.

27” forks are ~ the A-to-C of 26” so we’re just talking about a CSU swap. Beggars can’t be choosers - one model of Yari could be adjusted to multiple travels to suit. Fork, Boostinator kit, and just keep on keeping on instead of springing for a new bike.

Two SKUs added in manufacturing process and one for sales. Small investment in keeping some wicked bikes on the trail (makes me think of a sweet repaintedChromag TRL I saw this past summer).

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