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jeffgicklhorn's comments

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2 Pack Options: One Back and One Hip - June 17, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

Like some of the other posters, I don't have water bottle mounts on my frame (BOO!), so have had to get creative. For local rides I use a Backcountry Research Mutherload Frame Strap (, which holds tube, multitool, tire lever, CO2 cartridge and inflator, and an Osprey Rev Solo waist pack (, which holds 20oz of water, phone, keys, and a bar/gel. This has worked for local rides of 2-2.5 hours. For longer rides I carry a 100oz hydration pack and switch out the CO2 for a small hand pump.

3 New Products For Spring - June 8, 2017, 9:41 a.m.

WNC, the 661 Active is the most comfortable saddle I've tried. I have wide sit bones and so have the 15cm wide model. Your sit bones rest on the back of the saddle, rather than rest on the curved sides of the saddle as with many others. I find this better for the more upright riding position for mountain biking. For the crouched position while road riding I prefer a narrower saddle. 

Andrew, great to hear that SQlab has a demo program in the works. I think a lot of riders could benefit from more comfortable and ergonomic saddles. Now if they could only trickle down the tech to a lower pricepoint like drivetrains . . . .

The GX Eagle Has Landed - June 8, 2017, 6:18 a.m.

For easy comparison to other drivetrains, ranges of total weight vs price for GX eagle are: 

W/ lighter crankset: 1742g @ $545

W/ heavier crankset: 1794g @ $495

3 New Products For Spring - June 7, 2017, 8:43 a.m.

I also have the SQlab 661 active saddle. Have a minor lower back injury and from a few years ago and this has helped immensely. I also seem to have less butt fatigue overall on longer rides, even though I don't really notice that until after 20+ miles of riding. I originally went with the medium elastomer but ended up dropping to the soft as well.

Can You Escape The New Bike Tractor Beam? - June 6, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

The tractor beam is strong!

I'm relatively new to mountain biking (~3 yrs) and a graduate student with a limited budget, so while it would be nice to have the shiniest, lightest, most tech-infused bike out there, my 2014 Kona Process is rock solid and not going anywhere. It took me about a year of budget tinkering and upgrading to get my bike to where I was happy with it. I'm super happy with it now, but with other friends (who have full time jobs and make lots of money) upgrade to new whips it does make me a bit jealous.......

2017 Marin Hawk Hill - June 6, 2017, 1:26 p.m.

Thanks. Unfortunately it's a bit misleading when RS calls everything the motion control (from Recon to Yari) when they obviously have vastly different damping capabilities.

2017 Santa Cruz Chameleon - June 6, 2017, 12:27 p.m.

Love the look with the frame bag installed. I would love to see more companies making frame bags available for hardtails like this, similar to what Salsa already does for some of their frames.

Min-Maxing Budget Bikes With Marin - June 6, 2017, 12:22 p.m.

Great article Andrew! I've taken this approach to my own 2014 Kona Process 134DL, trying to find the max benefit for min input over time. Most of the reviews that I've read of the Hawk Hill have said that it "punches above it's weight class/price category" (massive air quotes), but you have actually taken the time to get those changes priced out. Awesome that Marin helped out with pricing components. I would love to see this approach given to more lower / middle tier bikes to allow newer riders on budgets (or really any budget conscious rider) to know where they can get the most bang for their limited buck with future upgrades.

2017 Marin Hawk Hill - June 6, 2017, 12:06 p.m.

Great review. I've been considering a Hawk Hill as an upgrade for my GF from her current Ragley hardtail. Do you have any basis for how the Recon Silver (now with the Motion Control damper) compares to the older Sektor Silver with TurnKey damper (what she's currently on)?

For reference, I'm riding a Revelation and am familiar with setting up and maintaining Motion Control forks.

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