Great article as always Andrew. I love the shout out to mental health at the end. You are right about the comment section as well. I typically avoid comment sections as they tend to be a forum for spewing bile but NSMB is an exception as you pointed out. Happy new year and all the best to you and yours and all the other readers.
Update: they are offering to sell me a crash replacement. While I'm not necessarily surprised, I am disappointed. I just don't think a bike costing 6k should break from what's essentially a tip over while at stand still. If it does then IMO 1. It's not designed well enough for its intended purpose, 2. It's the wrong material for its intended purpose, 3. The company should have a no questions asked replacement policy for at least one year from purchase, or 4. It's only realistic for those with very deep pockets who don't have qualms about buying a new frame on an annual basis. While I'm fortunate enough to be a high income earner I still cannot justify this kind of expense, never mind the hassle of being without a bike for a significant portion of our (Short) riding season in Alberta. I think I'll be selling this bike once I get the replacement and looking to go back to aluminum. Maybe NSMB could put together an article on high end aluminum bikes that rival the best CF rigs out there?
I'm still waiting to hear. Thing is even if they replace it, now I'm going to worry about it happening again, and I firmly believe I shouldn't. I am 45 and don't ride crazy shit anymore. IMO a MTB needs to be tough enough to withstand minor falls like mine. Sure, it can get scrathed, or sustain other cosmetic damage, but it should remain safe and rideable after the type of minor falls that are so common in this sport. Personally after this experience, even if they replace it for free I'm thinking of selling the bike and picking up a Knolly Fugitive or something similar in Al to replace it.
When carbon started to appear more and more on the scene about a decade ago I really wasn't sold in the idea. Road bikes for sure but MTB? Way to many opportunities to sustain impact damage. Fast forward to 2017 and it seemed like CF really had become the primary material for frames suggesting the industry had figured this out so I bought my first CF MTB. So yesterday I was out on an epic old school XC ride and had an awkward fall at basically walking speed or slower when I got the front wheel stuck in a rut. The kind of fall I've had countless times in my riding career. Fell on my side and managed to break the seat stay on my bike. I haven't even got a full season out of it. Aluminum might have dented but it would still be rideable IMO. I think a MTB costing this much should be able to deal with these kinds of expected falls. It's what happens to most riders. If we are honest most people who can afford these machines won't be hucking big gaps etc but they will have many of these types of falls. It's left a really bad taste in my mouth.
I agree. Pedal assist E-MTB (I don't know about throttle controlled e bikes since I have never ridden one, but at least on the surface they seem to be more mini motorbikes than bicycles) has a place and brings many advantages to the table including serving as an equalizer for riders of varying fitness and age, providing a more environmentally responsible alternative to shuttling, making winter riding fun again and so on. I do not own one, and I was totally biased in principle against them, until I rode one. To anyone opposed to them rather than try and convince you through words I suggest to just go ride one. It fundamentally changes your views and opens your mind to its potential while allaying your fears of trail destruction etc.
Totally depends on your budget. Best place for trainer reviews is dcrainmaker.com. To make the biggest impact you need to train with power. If you don't have a power meter then I would suggest getting that for your bike and a dumb trainer and follow a training plan. If you have more cash to lay out then you can substitute a smart trainer. Tons to read about, but IMO the most important investment to make first is a power meter for your bike which will be useful both inside and outside.
Yes. There are theoretical risks to this collar. Mostly that of forming blood clots. Any time blood flow slows it's more likely to clot. A clot in the veins draining the brain can cause a type of stroke. I think in a hockey application where you can remove it or loosen it between shifts that's less of a concern, but I can see bikers wearing these for hours at a time.
The other thing though is that in other areas of human physiology, raising pressure in the venous system tends to result in transient effects. For example in people with low blood pressure I can get their blood pressure to go up for a bit by raising their legs. That effect will wane after a short while however, probably because veins tend to be stretchy and as they distend the pressure will fall. That's why I wonder if a sudden premptive squeeze by the collar in response to a sudden deceleration might actually be more effective. The theory here is to elevate the intracranial pressure at time of impact. If that is true then you really only need this to be happening for a fraction of a second. The other cool thing would be that you don't need an actual impact. Just a sudden deceleration or acceleration. As Cam mentioned you don't actually need to hit your head to sustain a concussion. Sudden deceleration/acceleration forces seem to be enough. So if that is true then this should be really applicable.