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Joe Barnes Launches Hazzard Racing - April 22, 2019, 6:21 a.m.

Lots of people going into their own teams this year, will be interesting. Wish this guy all the best, always enjoy watching the Dudes videos, think they will be popular again. Wondering if he's not going to be missing out on possible revenue by not hosting them on YouTube? Not sure if Vimeo have any sort of compensation thing in place, but think it's something he should take advantage of via YouTube, as guessing any extra $$ he can find will help.

X-Fusion Trace 36 HLR Fork - April 11, 2019, 5:19 a.m.

Hey Andrew, kind of surprised to read you didn't like this in the 36 iteration when you so loved the 34 version, kind of weird. Long for the days when people weren't thought as being so simple or plain stupid and there was the ability to choose your POS and NEG air pressures to suit you riding style.

Have a must be 7 year old Trace RL2 and was looking to upgrade to the RC HLR damper, so just wanted to confirm that this is this version of the fork, nothing to do with running it in the 34 version. BTW I guess I clas as a light rider, going about 180-185lbs kitted to ride.

Dear Uncle Dave: What happened to "ride don't slide"? - Feb. 27, 2019, 5:52 a.m.

Happy to know that I'm not alone in my thinking, I could have easily been the author of this piece, word for word. Maybe I'm just old and cranky, but have had enough of the energy swill drinking crowd and all the brap, brap videos of people destroying trails only to "look cool" :-\

Soma Dream Handlebar Collaboration - Feb. 27, 2019, 4:31 a.m.

Another great piece by Andrew about a product on the fringe, that maybe shouldn't be so fringe ;-)

I'm one of the people who got an SQ Lab bar because of Andrews review of them, but first I tried a Salsa 11 degree bar and didn't find it much different to my regular 9 degree, so got the 16* SQ bar and now need to replace the bars on other bikes because I just don't want to ride a bike that doesn't have one.

As far as adjustment time, it took no time at all. First ride I rushed to install them and tried them as close to the rec setup, but it felt weird, and that was on a friends "skill park", so then I fiddled with them and ended up rotating them back a good bit further that spec and have been loving them ever since. Ride them on a rigid 29+ Unit, ride everything I would ride on my FS, don't ever even think about the bars, except how good they feel if I hop on someone elses bikes for some reason.

I went 10mm longer in the stem initially, but have since gone back to my original stem and it's OK, think 5mm would work perfectly, can definitely feel the difference in steering speed between the 50mm and 60mm stem when I first was sawpping, but now being back on the 50mm I've gotten accustomed to the bit faster response and have no issues, better for more technical riding and sitting more upright isn't an issue because of the position the bar naturally outs you in that lends itself to a more upright seated position.

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 - FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Feb. 16, 2019, 4:27 a.m.

Yup, will have to agree, love my 10spd Shimano, Deore, SLX, XT or XTR over the newer 11spd stuff. Heck I only switched to 10spd middle of 2016 to get the clutch feature, that's really all I wanted, so can't see moving to anything more until I can no longer buy 10spd stuff at a reasonable price. All my personal and loaner/rental bikes run it, everyone who rides one of my bikes is always impressed.

Running the same setup as Andrew's wife, 10spd XT shifter with 11spd XT RD, but only running a 42 extender cog on an XT 11-36 cassette with 11t dropped. Needed a new RD, no sense buying a 10spd when 11spd is about same price and when I'm forced (maybe) to 11spd, I'll already have that.

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 - FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Feb. 15, 2019, 5:29 a.m.

Another great looking offering that's not in the flock following all the rest of the mountain dew/red bull sheep. This is a sensible trail HT that will have wide appeal, my only question is on the sizing/reach, why so short? A 463mm reach for an XL, is quite short/small, it was small/short 5 years ago, that's the only thing I can see wrong about this.

Have you tried to fit regular 2.3" 29ers wheels/tyres in there yet? Agree they should offer an XXL if they stick to those reach numbers and also they should go 29+ : people just don't understand how awesome it is until they actually try it, love my 29+ Unit.

As to the resin only rotors, don't see the issue, I have them on several bikes, with resin pads and they work absolutely fine, have had no issues at all running with Deore and SLX brakes - mine are the 6 bolt though. Granted no severely aggressive riding on the bikes with them, but I've given them a go and pushed them a bit to try them out and as said, no issues.

Tire Gauges - Blackburn Honest Digital Vs. Accu-Gage - Jan. 22, 2019, 5:12 a.m.

Very good question. From what I've seen in videos, a lot of them use the Topeak Digital one, I have one and it's worked well for years, but only does full PSI, so have to guess if you want in between - want 12.5 PSI, then take it to 13 and bleed it out till it falls just under and guess from there :-\

Giant Swage Lock-On Grips Review - Jan. 16, 2019, 6:58 a.m.

Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah, wasn't sure about the tapering or biggest diameter on them, but look like a reasonably priced option compared to a lot of the other grips out there - haven't been so impressed with Ergon these days, ran them for about 10 years before.

Giant Swage Lock-On Grips Review - Jan. 16, 2019, 4:55 a.m.

Hey Aj, did you measure the diameter of the grips? Curious how big they are. My fav current grips are the Oury lock ons, the rubber is very thick, comfy and grippy and they're big for my big mitts. Was also looking at the grips from SQ Lab, think the 30X ones would be the ones I'd try.

Try it at Home - SR Suntour's Fork Demo Program - Jan. 15, 2019, 10:18 a.m.

Thanks for the reply Andrew. Yes you are right, forgot this was the older version F34, never did get the travel indicator above the Kashima print at the top of the stanchion, newer ones use full stanchion. Called Suntour and they confirmed A2C and said the increase in the new Boost forks was to help give clearance with the built in fender.

Try it at Home - SR Suntour's Fork Demo Program - Jan. 15, 2019, 9:32 a.m.

Andrew, sweet find, this is the sort of thing that will get them into the market, or at least give them a good chance. Curious what travel you got the fork set at and if you can confirm A2C at that setting? Looking at the A2C listed on Suntour's site, it seems they have taller A2C heights than say Fox or RS - just measured my 2014 F34 29er fork @150mm travel and get 555mm A2C and Suntour lists the Auron @160mm of travel at 580mm.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Dec. 31, 2018, 5:35 a.m.

Well, I've had a few good rides on the 16 degree bar on my rigid 29+ Unit and all I can say is that it's a bar, it feels that natural to me, nothing weird, no trouble in tight stuff, at speed, but my thumb is sure loving the lack of pressure being put on it. This bar will stay on my rigid, now to get some rides back on the FS to see if I need to order another one.

Agree with you Andrew on maybe not needing to lengthen the stem to compensate for the bigger sweep as it doesn't require as much elbow bend, so you end up sitting up about the same, although I am running a 60mm now instead of 50mm, but would like to try a 55mm, as I tried the 50mm and the steering seemed quite a bit faster, 60mm a bit slower.

Handlebar Width & Staying Gracious - Dec. 21, 2018, 4:17 a.m.

First up Andrew, another good one.

Now onto the premise, I mess with my setup all the time (can't understand how you're like me and live with glue/wired on grips, lock ons are a must) and I recently bought a SQLabs 30X 16 degree bar after trying a cheaper Salsa 11 degree bar (also after reading your review of them) and it not being enough. Really liking the position it let's me get my hands in without needing so much elbow bend, great for all the pedaling I like to do on flats, rolling, climbing and haven't noticed any downsides descending, all of course on a rigid Unit. Now wondering if it's going to feel weird when I hop back on my FS with only 9 degree sweep bars.

Agree with playing with bar rotation, not everyone is the same and while the intended design might work for the engineer who designed them or the rider that inpired them, you might prefer a slightly different angle. To me it's amazing the amount of people who bring bikes to me with bars rotated forward so far that there is no upsweep, actually there's down sweep and much less back sweep and when I "adjust them" they are amazed at how much better they feel and make the bike handle.

As to the actual article, yeah, it's PB and RC, take both with a BIG pinch of salt. Something that I noticed so long ago watching the EWS was Issabeu's bar width, could never fathom how someone who barely breaks 5ft tall can run the same width bar as I have on some of my bikes and I'm 6'2". In her case, I personally think she'd be much better off trimming 20-40mm off her width, she always looks so pulled over the front because of that wide bar.

As to your current setup, actually looks quite fine with those longer lever blades for me and one finger braking with hands all the way out to the edge of the grips ;-)

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Dec. 17, 2018, 9:24 a.m.

Just thought I'd chime in with my impressions on these bars so far since I just got and fitted the 16 degree on Friday. Initially I was a little skeptical of spending $80+ for a bar and not sure, so I opted for the Salsa 11 degree and honestly, compared to my regular 9 degree bars, could not really feel anything, so put it on my Monkey that does commuting duty.
Last month I injured my thumb quite bad and was off the bike for a good few weeks and definitely could feel the pressure out on the thumb when gripping the bars and decided to order up the 16 and give it a go. Initial install I think I had it rotated a bit too far forward, brought it back a bit and now feels good, can definitely feel less pressure on my thumb. Hand position does not seem to feel weird to me, but have not been on a proper ride yet with them, just some tooling about and commuting (they're on my 29+ Unit), hoping to get out for a ride either tomorrow or Wed, so will report back on how they handle the tech and a 3+ hour ride.

Just to add some info, I was running a 40mm stem and moved to a 60mm stem after using a few feet long straight piece of wood against the back of the bar and realising how much further back the 16 brought the end of my grips compared to the regular 9 degree. Not sure if this is how it wqill stay setup, but as a starting point, does not feel bad at all, but a good, tech ride will help cement the setup.

Actually, the Bike Industry kicks Apple's Ass - Nov. 16, 2018, 1:38 p.m.

Absolutely agree, the replaceable drop out system with stays already shaped to work with all standards is a BIG plus for Banshee, and tweak the geo a bit.

One thing that you should note though, the 148x12 Boost drop outs are the 650B/Long drop out designed to make the Rune/Spitfire able to run 650B or the Prime/Phantom run 29+, so your stays will be about 1cm longer than with your current 142x12 drop outs. Another option you could try is using the 150x12 drop outs and just clamping the 148x12 hub in and then you would need a rotor boost spacer to get the rotor to where you need it, RD will be fine, just a bit more inboard than if you were running a 150 hub, nothing you can't adjust it to work with.

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