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Rev Grips Race Series Shock Absorbing Grip System - Jan. 20, 2021, 6:43 a.m.

Man, if you liked the 11 degree Salsa (I bought and tried one too coming from a 9 degree FUNN bar and couldn't notice the difference, really, it now resides on my commuter) you should try the SQLab 30X bar with 16 degree sweep, it's so lovely. If I had the $$ to spare, I'd buy one for every bike I own, but for now they reside on the rigid Unit where they're most needed. Andrew did a good write up on it a while back.

Rimpact and Rimpact Pro Insert Review - Jan. 16, 2021, 4:23 a.m.

Thanks for the reply Cam. Yeah I saw Andrew's take on them, but the weight coupled with plus tyres adds up to a lot if you like long pedals. As to pressures and tyres - I'm running Maxxis EXO/TR Chronicle rear/DHF front and on slower trails I can drop between 10-11 PSI on the front and 12-13 in the rear, this according to my Topeak digital gauge - it doesn't show to the decimal place, so not really accurate enough for plus. If  I run these pressures on faster trails, when I encounter any unexpected sharp rocks or deep roots, it's a rim strike for sure.  On faster trails, I have to bump it up to 11+ front/13+ rear or I also experience a bit  of squirm and yes, I know the i35 outback might be part of the cause since the rear suffers most, but it was an experiment and I honestly did not notice a huge difference going from a matching Dually i39.

I weigh about 185-190lbs kitted to ride and the bike weighs about 32.5-33lbs IIRC, running an i39 Dually front/i35 e13 TRS rear and thankfully they've held up really well when I was finding out how low I could go or mixed trail types up on a very long ride. I also run a set of WTB Asym i35 wheels shod with Schwalbe 29x2.6" for more XC stuff, but which are proving to be not too bad cush wise, so also thinking of doing something along that line and sticking with 2.6-2.8" tyres instead of 3.0" when I replace my now over 4 year old Maxxis setup.

Naturally I try to ride as light as possible being it's a rigid, but you get caught out sometimes and you just can't avoid the hit. The specific trail where I first realised this effect is a fairly fast and smooth trail, with some short, steep downs, but those short steep downs, generally have some roots running not perfectly across them, some are off camber and longer and that's where I noticed the feeling of being pushed off the side of the trail.

Rimpact and Rimpact Pro Insert Review - Jan. 15, 2021, 4:49 a.m.

Ah sweet, just the article i was looking for. Cam, since you were on a HT, you're the man to ask moreso I guess, but how did the effect the dampening/bounce of the ride? I haven't had issues of needing an insert for the riding I do or pressures I run, have been very happy, where I am not as happy is on the  rigid running 3.0" tyres at proper low pressures and the ball bounce effect off roots and rocks you encounter and ma looking for something to help add some dampening to that so you're not slowly getting bounced off to the side of the trail on rocky/rooty off camber sections heading towards large trees that would hurt. This is on faster type trails, when speed is slower, not really an issue.

Banshee Titan - Part One - Jan. 14, 2021, 7:27 a.m.

I think people have forgotten that you're allowed to use the entire length of the saddle, you paid for the entire thing, seriously :-) For the avg rider, we don't encounter super steep stuff that requires a STA over 75* and if and when we do, it's not normally a long section and as said, just scoot forward - I'd wager that not more 5% of MTBers worldwide have access, or easy access to the type & steepness of trails NSMB riders do.

Fact of the matter is, the only real reason for these silly steep STAs is to try and keep the seated cockpit within a reasonable size, to try and help weight the front, while making the Reach too long for a given size - we now have size Medium frames with Reaches longer than XLs from just a few years ago, which if you were riding XC and wanted to be stretched out and put those hips into a powerful angle to really put the power down, would make sense.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that there are some XLs with Reaches of 500-525mm, that's fantastic for who should really be riding an XL frame, you know, people over 6'5"> instead of having to run 120mm> stems to get a bike to fit without going custom. Now maybe XL bikes are truly XL, as personally I don't think of myself as "XL height" at only 6'2",  but that's just me and maybe we need real XXL sizes.

Banshee Titan - Part One - Jan. 14, 2021, 4:35 a.m.

Making a "new" reply here with regards to the statement most make about tri-athletes and steep STAs.

Those who don't know any better or who don't actually look too close and study the overall body geometry, miss it, but the upright seated position of MTB riders on steep STA bikes is nothing like that of a tri-athlete on a steep STA bikel. They (tris) can still produce power because of the fact that they aren't sat upright like a bolt, but are instead are bent/folded over, giving the same effective hip angle as someone sitting upright on a slacker STA bike.

If you look at the hip angles of an MTBer  sat on a modern bike with steep STA vs a TriAthlete sat on a bike with the same steep STA, you will clearly and easily se the huge difference. You can then from there do some research and learn that the world record weights for seated leg press vs standing squats, is twice as much for the seated leg press. If you then look at the hip angles and body geometry, you will see that the positions look very similar to those on a bike, depending on what STA you have and how much saddle to bar drop you use.

The argument is sometimes brought up that the "XC Pros" don't seem to be having any trouble with the modern steeper STAs, but no one looks to compare the saddle to bar drop and effective hip angle achieved  by this. Take a look at this stuff to get educated and understand body dynamics and mechanics.

Banshee Titan - Part One - Jan. 13, 2021, 6:45 a.m.

The big problem I see is humans innate proclivity to be lazy, so these super steep STAs couple with silly 52t cogs paired to 30t rings help to promote that, along with the mainstream media always featuring DH oriented type riding and bagging on the ups or nice all day XC/Trail epics with maybe some seriously steep ups and downs thrown in, all handled by a single bike. Won't even get started on the damn money grab with the moto-bikes :-\

Banshee Titan - Part One - Jan. 13, 2021, 4:54 a.m.

Andrew, so nice to finally find another who understands my disdaine for silly steep STAs and the why of it. You said and explained it all, so I won't bother to try. 

Really surprised that you went for the Large with that 470mm Reach, can't fathom how someone that's only 5'9" can ride such a big bike, while me, 6'2" would run anywhere from that to about 485mm Reach using 40-50mm stems. I think that you would have been better suited and happy getting the Medium and a 9point8 dropper with the setback head to open up the seated pedaling aspect.

As to how you got your review sample, I think that's how every reviewer should get frames for review, because you're reviewing the frame, not the parts someone happened to choose to hang on it. Then like you have, you try different parts and evaluate it independently of the parts and find out what works/helps it perform good and what doesn't - FOX X2 it would seem.

Will be interesting to hear what you think when you mullet it. I've run 650B 2.8" on my Prime to see what it was like and I definitely didn't get that normal feeling that regular width 650B tyres get compared to 29ers of hanging up on stuff. The one thing it did do was make it more of a monster truck, which it really didn't need any more of for how I like to ride and the terrain we have.

Your Next Bike: 2023 Edition - Jan. 8, 2021, 9:46 a.m.

Don't know about the 8spd, but know that the 9spd SRAM let's you run 10spd Shimano to get the clutch, that's a for sure and expect since you can run a 11spd Shimano RD with 10spd Shimano shifter and have good shifting, would expect it would also work with an 11spd RD.

Your Next Bike: 2023 Edition - Jan. 8, 2021, 8:32 a.m.

I've been trying to plug my way through the responses and then reply, but just had to stop and reply to this.....

Absolutely, 100% agree, too many people who don't even take the time to even roughly dial in and tune their suspension and just buy something new instead OR who never service it and wonder why it feels like $hit.

For me, I just don't believe in "throw away" stuff, it's bad for so many reasons. I still have my '08 SURLY Karate Monkey, it's now my "dedicated" commuter, but it served me as commuter, trail bike and everything in between for 10 years until I got my "new" Kona UNIT, which is now my go to, preferred bike with either 29x2.6" or 29x3.0" rubber. 

I also still have my 2012 Banshee Prime pre-production frame and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, it had adjustable geo via drop outs way back then 67.5-68-68.5* with the normal fork length, go to a longer fork and you've got slacker if you want. It also has a straight 1.5" HT, so an angleset can be run if wanted, easily as well. It ain't light (34.7lbs) but it's so versatile, have no trouble taking it on an "XC" ride or tackling our steepest, most aggressive stuff. My only issue with it is I feel over-biked most of the time on it, probably because I like a challenge (that's why I ride MTB) and will ride the rigid Unit down anything we have here, just maybe not as fast, but I'll get down and have a huge grin from ear to ear and know it was my skill that got me down, not a load of suspension or stupid slack geo.

My  ideal "one bike" was my Banshee PP Phantom, but sadly somehow after 4 good, hard years, I managed to crack the BB shell :-\ So what did I do, well I grabbed the rear tri (the PP Prime tri/drop outs was changed before production and only I only got the 135 QR option with mine) and bolted it on, now I can run whatever wheel set or size I want 135/142/148 or 150 up to a 29x2.8" with decent mud clearance running the "long" drop outs, or regular 29x2.5" with the regular drop outs.

Back to trying to read all the comments and then give thoughts on Andrews very interesting article.

Kids Ride Shotgun Tow Rope & Hip Pack - Nov. 28, 2020, 4:26 a.m.

Ab-so-frikin-lutely :-) But, you'd want to use an actual rigid 20" fork to get the right A2C using a 24" wheel setup. Even if the HA slackens out a tad, still don't think it would be that bad, probably would help more than hinder.

Kids Ride Shotgun Tow Rope & Hip Pack - Nov. 26, 2020, 11:23 a.m.

I've got a few kids bikes in my fleet and it's amazing how even ones from good brands have such crap, heavy components on them - mainly cranks and forks. As Andrew did with his daughter, if you can't afford a sus fork $300>, then go rigid with big rubber.

Earlier this year I finally grabbed my sister in laws HT Raleigh and gave it a "spa day", dropped over 10lbs off the thing and it felt completely different when I was done. Mind you, none of my trail bikes weigh under 32lbs, not even my rigid :-D

Kids Ride Shotgun Tow Rope & Hip Pack - Nov. 26, 2020, 4:11 a.m.

Yeah, sorry, I'm with Andrew on this one, giving them a push or using something to give them a tow where they still need top pedal, I'm OK with OR heaven forbid, just turning around when they say they're that tired and heading back down, I'm not OK with giving them a motor to be lazy. I'm a firm believer in ride what you earn and if you can't earn it, shouldn't be riding it, unless it's Rampage and in that case carry your own bike up.

When I started, all I could do was flat XC type rides because I didn't have the fitness or skill and so that's what I did, a crap load of "fire road" type rides with the occasional gully thrown in and lots of road in between linking stuff up. The more I rode and fitter I got, the further I could ride and then also up the hills for the downs. Now I am not lucky enough to live someplace like BC where there's loads of super sweet DHs and trails in general, so I made do with what I had, but honestly, what's so wrong in riding some good old fashioned XC and building a good fitness/strength base before you go start  "shredding".  

The problem I think is that way too many parents want to live vicariously through their kids and give  them what they didn't have, but teaching them to take short cuts to get what you want, doesn't serve them well down the road in life.

Kids Ride Shotgun Tow Rope & Hip Pack - Nov. 25, 2020, 3:19 p.m.

Whole heartidly agree with you Andrew, don't encourage your kid to be lazy at such a young age. Seems like you're doing a great job and service to your daughter raising her to be self sufficient and do for herself and not be lazy.
If you've got a kid(s) or new rider and you want to ride with them, but can't/don't want to slow down to their speed and want to give them a motor, maybe you shouldn't be riding with them then and should find someone who's willing to ride at the slower pace and encourage them along and build their fitness/strength.

Teravail Kessel Tire Review - Nov. 23, 2020, 7:18 a.m.

OMG, how can a company so flagrantly rip off anothers design like that? :-o I thought SpecialED was bad with the Butcher (in the looks, not performance, no where near DHF quality), but this is just a flat out rip off, it's like an identical twin where the only difference is one has a small mole or 2 and the other doesn't. Worse yet, they're more expensive than the Maxxxis original.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 17, 2020, 4:10 a.m.

What I don't/can't understand is how brands like Guerilla Gravity and Revel bikes are making carbon frames in the USA, so much cheaper than the big brands who are getting them made in Asia. You can normally find a frame + fork option from them for about (or less) than what you'd pay for just the frame from most others and so far, I've not found/read of any reliability issues with their frames. I'm not a fan of plastic, but if I was or was looking to try, I'd be all over the Revel Ranger.

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