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INTERVIEW - Santa Cruz Engineering Mgr. Nick Anderson talks Megatower - March 21, 2019, 5:21 a.m.

Great interview, and wonderful to finally have someone point out the fact that reach is only meaningful if taken in conjunction with stack. I always do this. With typical Mtb head angles,  the relationship is about 0.4x.

Elephant in the interview room(that I really wish you had asked him about):

Nick says: “if you think about a bike, you've got front center, which is your bottom bracket to your front axle and rear center, which is your bottom bracket to your rear axle. And the ratio of those two things are really what defines your weight distribution on the bike. And it shouldn't change” 

Yet, they make all their frame sizes with the same rear center,  even though front center(on this bike) grows by 16% across all sizes!

If the ratio is so important (which I agree it is*), why aren’t they adjusting chainstay length across sizes?

*they think so themselves too: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/behind-the-bike-developing-the-xxl-santa-cruz-v10-2016.html

*as a tall rider, that’s actually what I think I great about this bike, the fact that I can get longer chainstays, in order to get some weight on the front.

The Surprising Bontrager SE2 29x2.6" Team Issue TLR Tire - March 11, 2019, 7:57 a.m.

As a matter of fact, I have run the first generation of E13 tires. I was absolutely blown away by how stable those knobs and casing were. Even on grippy, hardpack berms I could run stupid low pressure without it feeling squirmy (but I am not the best or most aggressive bike handler). Only on the front though.

In the rear, the squirmy side knobs are not the end of the world, since a with of vagueness in the rear doesn’t freak me out the way it does in the front.

Dear Santa - Andrew's List - March 6, 2019, 7:49 p.m.

I have the originaliteit 27.5 x 3 Dirt Wizard. I run it as my bikepark front wheel on a i40mm rim. 

It’s big(true to size) so keeps rollover and geometry well set for steep trails and high speeds. It’s tough casing let’s me run low pressures even on high speed bikepark berms.

It’s knobs are great and it has a perfect profile, to square, not to rounded.

Few things: 

  1. it’s is unbelievably heavy.

  2. When it came out, they claimed it was a different bead and casing than the 29 x 3. My friend had that one (original 29 x 3) and he never could get a good tubeless seal. I assume they have since changed it.

Fenders For Fall (and Winter) - Sept. 21, 2018, 8:56 p.m.

The new Lyrik has plenty of clearance for my Surly Dirt Wizard, a true 3.0

Bontrager XR4 and SE4 Team Issue Tires - Sept. 19, 2018, 1:05 p.m.

I was just trying to think of a tire for the rear of my full suspension bike (29x2.6 max) for the fall riding season in Wisconsin. A lot of their terrain is like a flatter version of your North Shore. Wet roots and slick, smooth rocks everywhere, and unlike in your coniferous forests, there will be a thick layer of dead leaves on the trails.

I have ridden the 27.5 x 2.6 SE4 in the rear in bikeparks, but need the 29er for pedaling trails. This summer was bone dry, so no idea yet how it would do in the wet, but your recommendation for winter should be enough!

Uncle Dave E-Explains Himself - Sept. 19, 2018, 10:47 a.m.

The inclusivity of E-mtb’s  from a fitness standpoint, is only a positive as far as mixing riders with different fitnes levels. It’s not that less fit riders (like me) can’t go out and ride; we certainly can. You get a small chainring and spin. I just ride shorter distances than someone who is fitter.

In reality, there is a very real exclusivity to E-mtb’s, due to the price: Stumpy Comp: $3300   Levo Comp: $5900

I live in a town that DOES have a large network of MTB legal trails (aiming for 130 miles of trail inside city limits). However, morally and socially we struggle with justifying bike trails when many of our residents can’t afford to participate.

E-Mtb’s make that issue even more precarious.

Then there is user conflict, one of the big threats to trail access (all our trails are multi use). High speeds increase user conflict and E-Bikes increase speeds on the uphills.

And of course, the final issue is trail maintainance: with people riding more miles per week, are they going to be doing more trail work as well?

A Disgrace to Mountain Biking - Sept. 19, 2018, 10:14 a.m.

I don’t see the issue with fanny packs. In fact, the only reason I carry a pack of any kind is for clothing or large first aid kits on long or remote rides. The spares and tools go on the bike: more comfortable, safer and less likely to be forgotten.

On my bike I carry a Birzman mini pump: It has a hose to prevent snapping valve-stems off, and pushes on/pulls off, to prevent unscrewing valve cores.

Underneath the saddle in a Specialized Bandit I have a tube, in a nylon bag to protect it from wear, tire levers and CO2 inflator(again push on) and cartridge.

A mini tool, derailleur hanger, Zipties, quicklink, brakepads and tubeless fixkit all fit in a top tube bag or tiny wallet in a pocket.

Short Fork Offset - What's It Good For? - Sept. 19, 2018, 9:59 a.m.

When I switched to a new bike with a much shorter offset (51mm -> 37mm, same wheel size), I noticed that it felt “lighter and livelier” to turn the bars, which was useful at slow speeds, but at the same time the higher trail and flop made it lean into turns smoother at high speeds.

It’s a strange feeling and hard to describe.

I would love to test with an angleset and swapping out forks to do back to back runs.

Short Fork Offset - What's It Good For? - Sept. 19, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

I think everyone can agree that the exact steering effects are very hard to predict.

The part I believe is easier to understand is wheelbase, front center length, and weight distribution.

For tall people like me, a short offset and not to slack head angle can help keep all those in check.

If you are riding a very small bike, a big offset and slack head angle can help optimize those.

Short Fork Offset - What's It Good For? - Sept. 19, 2018, 9:45 a.m.

“front center, HTA, and wheelbase are way bigger factors”

Except that fork offset influences those numbers too.

The Surprising Bontrager SE2 29x2.6" Team Issue TLR Tire - Sept. 4, 2018, 7:56 a.m.

I have the 27.5 x 2.6 SE4 on a 30mm internal rim. Of course a wider rim would stabilize the tire and side knobs a bit more, but:

The profile on the i3omm rim is great, the side knobs stick out at a nice angle angle , not to flat, but still up enough to grip well.

It's just that compared to most other tires, the outside of the shoulder knobs have very little support.

The Surprising Bontrager SE2 29x2.6" Team Issue TLR Tire - Sept. 2, 2018, 4 p.m.

Thanks for the reply Andrew. I appreciate your thoughts, since I was all set thinking that an XR2 style tread wasn’t a good fit for me on my trail bike, and I would get another Rock razor, but then you say you often prefer the SE2, and that makes me wonder, especially since I had been yearning for a bigger tire in the rear.

My Rock Razor is on a 29” x i28mm rim, which is what I would put the SE2 2.6” on as well. 

(The Chupa 2.8 was on a 27” x i38mm rim on a previous bike)

The Surprising Bontrager SE2 29x2.6" Team Issue TLR Tire - Sept. 2, 2018, 8:13 a.m.

Hmm, Andrew did you ride the Rock Razor or only the Slaughter or SS? The reason I ask is that of the 3, the Rock Razor has the most rounded profile/modest side knobs, and comparative reviews confirm lower rolling resistance for it compared to the other two (especially the SS).

The reason I ask, is that I have loved my Rock Razor, and not experience the sudden changes you describe. At the same time, I tried a 2.8 Chupa(XR2) and after one gentle corner that was a bit greasy it just flew out from under me, so I ditched it.

I was about to get another Rock Razor, but then I read this, and I do like the idea of the 2.6 for some extra cushion/compliance over funky roots and rocks, so the SE2 sounds interesting. Also our local trails are mostly hardpack, or loose over hardpack, or bedrock, so the SE2 should do well, we have very little loose loam or sand.

The Surprising Bontrager SE2 29x2.6" Team Issue TLR Tire - Sept. 2, 2018, 8:08 a.m.

Also have the SE4 2.6 in 27.5 on the rear. I like most of it, but I am dissapointed about the lack of side support for the shoulder knobs. The outside of the shoulder knobs drops straight down, rather than sloping away like a ramp. When I had a couple bikes on the rack, I could feel a huge difference in how much easier it was to fold the SE4 cornering knobs over compared to all the other tires on the bikes.

Personal Rides: GeoMetron G16 - Sept. 2, 2018, 6:47 a.m.

And if you are tall, here is a nice chart showing stack and reach for many of the biggest bikes available:

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