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(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 17, 2020, 4:07 a.m.

Sadly Khai, that's the world that most MTBers live in and we are only a very small minority, most can only afford one bike :-o Luckily I have a bad problem of when I like something I get into it and collect shit, so my personal stable I actually ride is 5 and I own many times that for loaner/rentals.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 17, 2020, 4:04 a.m.

Now there's a bit of history :-D If it were me, to counter the steeper angles and also because I hate 26" wheels and how they get hung up on everything, I'd throw at least a 650B upfront and maybe even a 29er and mullet the crap out of that bike, it's how/why mullets were born ;-) Only way I'll ride my '05 Trance is with a 650B front setup.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 16, 2020, 1:40 p.m.

Imagine only being able to own one bike and that bike having said adjustments like the Baneshee's, so you could ride it setup to handle nicely on longer, more pedally rides and then with the removal of 4 bolts, slacken it out by a degree to better handle steeper stuff/shuttle days etc. It's why I liked the V1 & 2 with the KS Link over the V3, they only have a 1/2 degree adjustment, the older ones had 1/2 and 1 degree. It's actually so simple you could do your climbing in the steeper setting and then with your 6mm allen key flip the chips to 1 degree slacker for the descent.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 16, 2020, 1:36 p.m.

Oh, if I lived where you do, then for sure I'd also own and ride something "A bit more" like the Prime or Titan, but for me and most people, we just don't have that terrain and still for me I'd enjoy trying to clean all that steep tech on something like the Phantom or even rigid Unit ;-)

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 16, 2020, 5:40 a.m.

Great piece Andrew. Absolutely agree and would love to see more adjustable geo, especially for those like me who aren't lemmings following the as long and low as possible crap and who like to actually be the one responsible for getting down the trail and having fun doing it, not just letting 150/160/170mm of travel and slack angles do it all for me as I sit as a passenger.

Great example with Banshee, they were ahead of their time by years with geo and the adjustable drop out system, very easy to adjust and allowed the use of various wheel sizes and widths. I still am riding my 2012 Banshee Prime pore-production frame, but it's a tank being build basically using the Legend tubeset I think, so even with a 130/140mm setup, it just feels like a tank that will plow over anything if you point it down/over it, so I don't ride it as much as my rigid Unit with 29x2.6-3" tyres which requires lots  of careful attention and rider input to get down the same steep, gnarly stuff. Unfortunately I managed to crack the BB on my 2014 Phantom after 4 years of hard riding, how I have no idea, well I sort of do.  It was my favourite bike, but, despite some warnings from Keith about geometry changes, managed to steal the rear tri from it and bolt it onto the old Prime PP frame, which I only got with 135 drop outs, so now can use 135, 142, 148 or 150 if I want.
I'd get a new Phantom despite the "huge" jump in travel to 115mm, the head angle it has I could work with, but that STA, absolutely no way in hell I could live or ride that with thew type of riding I like to do and the gears I like to push, so that whole idea of being able to have that somehow adjustable, besides over forking the bike and then running a negative angleset to bring the HTA back to something I consider "normal" would be sweet.

From what I understand in terms of a small company like Banshee, is that it's quite expensive toget the tooling and molds done for the various different drop outs and stuff like that, whereas a big company like Trek or SpecialED it would be a drop in the bucket for them. I try to stick to smaller brands, because to me, all the big companies do is let the smaller ones give things a go and innovate, then they come along once it's proven and use their might and huge production runs and lower costs to win the market - remember Giant and how late they came to 29ers and flopped, then were so late they went to 650B because they feared loosing out there and came up with all that BS marketing that 650B was right in the middle of 26" & 29", when in reality it's very much closer to a 26" than 29". Then there's SpecialEd, who's "mantra" is "Innovate or die" but they only started to try and innovate once the FSR patent ran out, other than that they sat on their laurels and let their humongous buying power, shops in most major cities etc, take a large segment of the market.

TRP DH-R Evo Brake Review - Nov. 11, 2020, 4:14 a.m.

Aj, good review, seems like TRP have stepped their game up again, really would love to try some of their brakes. As other suggested, would be good to let them other, heavier guys ride them and compare to the brakes they've tested.

Bit of a note on the article - you have the captions on the wrong images of the SLX and EVo brakes and the M8100 is an XT brake, not SLX, SLX is 7100/20, the *100 are the 2 piston brakes, *120 are the 4.

SRAM AXS: a year of wireless shifting - Nov. 6, 2020, 1 p.m.

Actually, yes, they are already working on that insanity. I say insanity, because trusting your brakes on an MTB to a fly by wire system is not the best choice IMHO going by my experience with vehicles and throttle control - almost got slammed into the wall with a faulty one that wasn't working right and didn't accelerate at first press on the pedal, pressed harder and then it kicked in and luckily I was paying attention.

SRAM AXS: a year of wireless shifting - Nov. 5, 2020, 1:23 p.m.

Let me just use this abbreviation N.F.F., don't want anything electronic on a bike, especially MTB. No personal use experience on any of it, but going from clients experience and a friend, yeah, no thanks. If you're in the US or major country with authorised SRAM dealers close by, then no worries, but if you live anywhere else, then you're fvcked if, like my friend, your $600 derailleur just up and dies. Or my other friend who's shifter mysteriously eats button batteries, so that now he removes the battery after every ride.

That $hit is WAY too expensive, when I can get a perfectly function 12spd SLX or even XT group for what or less than what the rear derailleur cost and if the cable breaks on the trail, heaven forbid, I can simply set the limit screws to put it into a useable gear and when stuff fails out here in the real world, I don't feel bad about replacing with same quality for a fraction of the cost.

Ride Concepts Long Haul Update (4 Models Ridden) - Oct. 27, 2020, 4:58 a.m.

Hey Cam, it's good when reviewers updates old reviews with new info like longevity of the products, really helps out the buying public, wish all  reviewers would do this if they have the chance.

Now, onto the shoes. Curious about the sizing of this brand, I normally ride Shimano clipless shoes, but due to a bad knee injury have been relegated to flats. I would normally ride a size 48/13 Shimano, have a fairly narrow foot/lack of arch, any idea/take on possible sizing?

Plain Parts - Compelling Sentiments - Oct. 16, 2020, 7:04 p.m.

Oh man, don't even get me started on all the old, broken derailleurs I still have around, come in  useful for spare parts - pulley wheels, bolts and so forth. From 10spd on, they came apart pretty good, so quite easy to build one good derailleur from a few ones broken in different places and I did that from 3 broken 10spd XTR RDs and got as perfectly working one.
Won't even say how many damn FDs I've got, not that I don't use them, still a big fan of a 2x setup, but just swapping over the loaner/rental bikes to the side swing ones, as they're so much better than the older design. FS still runs an actual 2x setup with FD, Unit has 2 rings and I swap manually if I need to, depending on what wheels/tyres I'm running and gearing on the wheels.

Plain Parts - Compelling Sentiments - Oct. 16, 2020, 6:56 p.m.

Yeah, I can see how that  would be a problem, unfortunately for me I live in a very small 3 bedroom house, so too much space to fill up with junk. Also I hate to throw stuff away as when you do, you generally find you found a need for it a week or two down the  road.

Sorry, XTR M950, 180mm, 104 BCD (once you cut off the big ring or you can get a custom ring from Garbaruk that fits as a direct mount), in what I consider damn good shape. Have 2 sets of the M760 in 175mm and then got the M780 in 180mm and liked the extra leverage, so was super happy to get these, so now both my main bikes run 180mm.

Plain Parts - Compelling Sentiments - Oct. 16, 2020, 11:27 a.m.

Oh man, Andrew, as someone who's been around bikes as you have, I'm a bit surprised if that's the extent of your "collection" :-( Some cool stuff and stories from a lot of you guys.

I've only been MTBing for 16 years (this year) and I still have my first set of XT M760 HT2 cranks I bought in 2005. They now reside on my '08 Monkey, now my commuter since getting an '18 Unit. Nothing wrong with them except one arm is slightly bent from when I didn't manage to properly hop a square 10" rock in the middle of a very narrow trail doing and bent the big ring completely onto the middle ring - a quick-ish stop at the side of the trail, two 5mm allen nuts undone and the cranks were off (used the needle nose pliers on my leathermaan to remove the pre-load piece), removed the chainring bolts and bent the spider arm back good enough to use the middle ring and finished that great 20ish mile ride on the Monarch Crest. I only run XT cranks on my bikes now, no better bang for the buck, longevity and super easy to service/work on IMHO. BBs are cheap and easy to change, bearings last longer if you just buy the proper bearings and replace the Shimano's once they're toast.

Just this year my friend gave me his broken 20 year old bike with full M750 XTR groupset with 180mm cranks, which I stripped all off to see what was still good. BB was very, very rough and despite being one that's "not serviceable", I went into it and managed to clean out the bearings and get some fresh grease in there, then I  got out the hacksaw and cut off the 44t big ring to give myself a nice 180mm 24/34 double crankset and it now resides on my 2012 PP Banshee Prime FS, which still is as awesome as the  day I got it. On the Prime also still resides my very first, true wide bar, a 780mm FUNN FatBoy which was bought for the initial  build of the Prime and it's still going strong.

Also still have my first proper FS MTB, a 2005 XL GIANT Trance, the first year Maestro came out, it was amazing and really got me hooked on MTBing, put well over 5k miles on it in the 3 years I rode it  until I got my first 29er in '07 and never touched a 26" again. Will never get rid of it, someday I'll get it up on the wall properly to look  at and remember what it did for me. Occasionally I build it back up if there's parts about, normally with a 650B fork/wheel, as 26" just seems so tiny to me now, but doesn't last long and soon gets stripped and put aside as the  little wheels just don't feel right to me anymore. Also still have the HOPE Mono Mini's I bought in '05 for the Trance, but they reside on a small loaner bike as I never found that they had great stopping power, but damn do they look nice.

When Mountain Bikers are the Saboteurs - Oct. 15, 2020, 5:59 a.m.

Good article. Quite interesting as an outsider who just saw Bookwus for the first time these past couple days ridden by Dale Stone in a FP view and it was gnarly. As someone who started a lot of the trails here, I welcome people doing maintenance, once it's to take a trail back to what it was like originally, fixing bad erosion and such, BUT filling in/dumbing down and making trails easier because their skills aren't up to the task, is just annoying as hell when you've worked years to build yours to be able to tackle those type trails. If you can't ride a certain trail, clean and don't want to work at it until you can, there are loads of other, easier trails most to go ride.

COVID DH World Championships – Leogang, Austria - Oct. 6, 2020, 8:37 a.m.

I think this will be even more of a "real" world champs, as it will really test to see who has managed to keep their training and prep up and can persevere under such strained circumstances. Not sure if we'll get it live down here as our ISPs are all out of the US, may have to try a VPN. Last weeks races in Nuevo Mesto did not disappoint.

COVID DH World Championships – Leogang, Austria - Oct. 6, 2020, 5:30 a.m.

Al, you might to amend/update the article to state that Rachel Atherton definitely won't be attending, she released that statement day before

As to the rest of it, I think that it's a legit race, if you wanted ti bad enough, you would have figured out how to get in the training and practice and those who have deemed it not "worthwhile" to attend because of the hassle, that's there choice, legitimately, as they could attend and, well, when you have a job and decide that maybe today you don't want to go in for that big thing that's happening because the weather's bad or whatever, sometimes you don't have a job tomorrow :-\

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