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Shimano Derailleur Clutch Service - March 3, 2021, 9:33 a.m.

Maybe I missed it?  But I don't think you ever told us if the service actually fixed your shifting issues?  I'm assuming it did... but you know, horses mouths and all that.

Foxzocchi Z36 Coil GRIP2 VVC - March 3, 2021, 9:13 a.m.

I think part of the changes that I appreciated was how much more useable and tune-able the damper in the 2021 versions are.  I just never seemed to find a setting I was really happy with using the 2020 version, never-mind being able to adjust the damper to different days/terrain/conditions.  I also had the trapped-air-stuck-down issue a couple of times with that fork.  The first time, it took me awhile to figure out wtf was going on and it basically ruined a park day for me (so maybe some bitterness creeping in, ha).  Don't think I'll own a fork without bleeders in the future.  Had the same issue with a Yari and a Lyrik in the past as well.  And obviously, not with the Ribbon  Not a huge deal to remedy once you know what's going on and figure out how to remedy the situation, but a PIA anyway.

I've found with 2021 version... it was much easier to find a place that I was very happy with while at the same time still retaining the ability to change settings to accommodate different styles of riding, terrain and conditions.

And ya, fully agree... the 38 really is next level.  I just have so much more front end composure and confidence with that thing.  I'm having so much fun just throwing my front wheel into insane situations with reckless abandon and it seems to just sort everything out.  But it's even in the slower and techier sections of trail where I notice a pretty big difference as well where it just tracks and goes where I point it so much easier and it goes about it's job of soaking things up vs deflecting.  Something I didn't really seem to notice before the 38.  It just makes riding my bike easier... love it.

Foxzocchi Z36 Coil GRIP2 VVC - March 2, 2021, 8:48 a.m.

After owning a 2020 Fox36 Grip2, then a 2021 Fox36 Grip2 w/ VVC and now a Fox38 Grip2 w/ VVC... the differences between the 2020 Grip2 and 2021 Grip2 are surprising, the changes they made along with the addition of VVC, I think, basically makes it a different fork.  And then there's the version in the 38... which, crazily enough, is even better.

I actually didn't find the 2020 36 Grip2 that great of a fork (comparatively of course... it's still an awesome fork), I came from an MRP Ribbon Air and perhaps expected too much??  I could see why some people might have preferred Grip1 or even Fit4 to the 2020 Grip2.

As for the 2021 version.. I'm in love.

SR Suntour TriAir Rear Shock - Feb. 25, 2021, 8:42 a.m.

Yep, you're right.  Was on the fence and just bought one.  Everyone here should!

SR Suntour TriAir Rear Shock - Feb. 24, 2021, 3:40 p.m.

Yep, great to see Beta. I'm doing my part by watching all their videos and visiting the site daily... might even buy a subscription??

Oh man.. a revamped Dirt Rag would be amazing!  Though I think the culture has changed too much, but us dirt bags at heart can dream!

SR Suntour TriAir Rear Shock - Feb. 24, 2021, 8:37 a.m.

Not sure if you've seen Beta MTB yet?  The same guys from Bike Mag put it together after A360 Media pulled the rug.  They just did a good thorough review of the the new Prime as part of their "Beta Tests" segment (which seems to be the new version of the "Bible of Bikes").  Not the same quality, or as in-depth or nuanced as NSMB tests but still much better than a predictable Pinkbike test  - https://www.betamtb.com/bike-tests/beta-tests/the-beta-tests-banshee-prime-v3/

Fidlock Twist Magnetic Bottle System Review - Feb. 23, 2021, 9:57 a.m.

Noticed a couple people saying they lost a bottle with this system. Just thought I'd chime in and mention that after two years of hard riding, crashing and enduro racing, my bottle has never come loose... and it's in a pretty standard front triangle horst link set-up (lots of room for it to move if it could). Compare that with previous cages where I've had bottles get knocked loose from crashes and hard gnar riding semi-regularly. It was always standard practice after an unplanned dismount or particularly g-out inducing section of trail to quickly check that the bottle was still there. It's not even a thought anymore using the Fidlock set-up.

It seem both the "lost a bottle" comments mention is happened on their first ride. Now, I didn't have any issue getting used to the system (that I can remember) as I didn't find anything that needed "getting used to", it really is pretty fool-proof. But like AJ mentions, there could be something about getting used to how it connects that some people may just want to pay a little more attention to during their first ride?

I don't even need the extra space the Fidlock system provides, I just really love the way it works and once you're used to it, it feels like you can almost just sort of throw your bottle at those magnets and keep trucking without even looking.  Super fast and slick system.

AJ, quick question... interested in the new bottle cap, does Fidlock mention being able to just buy the cap vs another bottle? Do the caps fit the older bottles?  Don't see them listed separately on the site and the bottles without the mount are pretty reasonably priced, but it seems a waste to get rid of a perfectly good bottle when I'd just like the new cap.  Guess I could just buy a whole new system and sell my current (still in perfect condition) 600ml bottle & mount...

Max Flat Pedal Grip vs Some Slip – What Are Riders After? - Feb. 17, 2021, 10:34 a.m.

Used to be a flat pedal only rider... then I started enduro racing, So I switched to clips. I hated them and switched back almost immediately and was all like "Pfft flat pedals win medals bro!"  But later realized I didn't give them enough time or really get my shoe/pedal interface dialed in.  So I gave it another shot about a year later and committed to the switch until I was comfortable.

It's been two (or three?) years now... I am definitely faster in a race on clips.  I can trust that my feet will always be where I need them no matter how tired I am or if I've had a "moment" and unclipped and now clipping back in.  I hate flats in a race for that reason... even though I need to have a locked in flats feeling to be able to race hard, if I'm racing on flats I tend to take a foot off more and then sometimes won't get it back exactly where I want it yet I need to keep hammering to not waste time.  But the weird position means I'm compromised and slower, and need to wait for a break in pedaling or terrain to adjust properly... or I slow down and take a second to adjust... which also makes me slower.  Clips win here.  Also because enduro races almost never have the kind of gnar that I prefer flats on.

But, when I'm not racing I'm generally searching out gnarly lines... and even after 2 or 3 years on clips and even using worn out easy release cleats, I'm still not as comfortable on clips as I am on flats on really technical gnar.  I guess a lot of it is psychological for me.. but I miss having the option to either, without a moments notice, fully bail out of a line in anyway I choose, even if that means jumping forward over my handlebars... haha, or eject and toss the bike aside.  Admittedly these situations probably don't or won't happen as much (or at all) as they did back in say, 2008.  But it seems my mind is truly stuck in 2008 and I at least need to have those option in order to be as confident as I possibly can be.  I still almost never ride flats, but the other day I realized I need to try them again because I've started unclipping and using my clips like flats for some really gnarly lines, ha!  Which probably just makes things worse over all.

Also, I've never really gotten over the sacrifices the locked in cleat position has forced upon me.  Even though I run my cleats all the way back in my Giro Chamber II's, I'd like an even further back true mid-foot position for proper descending.  But, at the same time, I also like to be closer to the ball of my foot for pedaling/climbing than my current position.  The really nice thing about flats is that you can have a truly infinite range of foot positions depending on the terrain.

Hmm, think I just decided to put my flats back on my bike.... and then depending on how things go would probably put the clips back on for racing. (If or when racing happens again?)

Disrupting Lousy Warranties in Mountain Biking - Feb. 9, 2021, 9:25 a.m.

Part of the reason I like to try and buy from smaller more local companies is because dealing with issues or a warranty is usually much, much easier.  Being able to pick up a phone and have a real conversation with other like minded riders about what's going on pretty much always leads to being taken care of... in some way or another.  And generally, just being a nice person goes a long ways with these companies who have to deal with assholes wayyy too often.

I have lots of interesting warranty stories from my days as an amateur competitive snowboarder in the 90's.  I used to blow through equipment pretty regularly (I rode hard, but also the quality of a lot of the product back then wasn't quite up to the task, ha!).

The best though was after a season and summer of riding a pair of Burton snowboard boots.  For the first time in a long time, I didn't actually have to send them in for warranty replacement... they were perfectly fine.  But funnily enough I used to break so much equipment that, for a number of years, I had come to rely on warranting my gear every year to get new gear.  So I was kind of bummed, yes the boots were fine in that they weren't falling apart, but I had ridden them hard and they were worked... I needed new boots, what was I going to do!  So, I just decided to send them off to the warranty department anyway and see what would happen.  I packed them them up, but added a number of items that I hoped would help my case: 1. A nice funny letter explaining how much I liked their boots and really really wanted a new pair for the next season.  2. Two dairy queen coupons.  3. A picture of my current girlfriend (who was super hot).  4. Two porno mags.

Lo and behold... about a month later a box showed up with a brand new pair of next year's boots!  Along with a letter from the warranty department telling me how much they enjoyed my little care package and thanking me for the "inspirational product" to help them get through "long hard" days... haha.  Damn... wish I saved that letter.

Now this was back when warranty departments at even some of he bigger companies were just a bunch of young snowboard bums like me, I don't think I'd get the same response now... would I?

David Fournier's Well Ridden Yeti SB150 - Feb. 5, 2021, 9:07 a.m.

Love the attention to detail and "anal-ness" of the bike/set-up/part selection. But those dirty ridewrap edges and chain are making my right eye twitch! Hard to look at some of those close-ups.. haha. My bike is no garage queen and I've been know to not clean it for a couple of rides every now and then. But if I was pushing her out on the catwalk you better believe I'd be breaking out the toothbrush, microfiber towels and Meguiars!

Although, as a counter to my own comment... does bike and it's state, does give the impression of a well used and loved machine...

David Fournier's Well Ridden Yeti SB150 - Feb. 5, 2021, 8:56 a.m.

Does that work well??  Obviously it works... but I had always heard/thought that there was a fair bit of technology/engineering in the chains that make these 12 speed systems work well and that it wasn't a good idea to use opposite brands chains with another brands cassette?

Obviously lots of people are running Sramano hybrid set-ups, but again, always though you had to at least match the chain and cassette brand?

David Fournier's Well Ridden Yeti SB150 - Feb. 5, 2021, 8:49 a.m.

Huh, interesting... I've had almost the exact opposite experience from the 38. I've found the switch from the 2021 Fox36 to the 2021 Fox38 has resulted in less vibration and feedback at my hands. It sort of feels like the fork is bouncing around less and getting pushed around less... it tends to just do it's job vs fight impacts that aren't perfectly aligned with the fork. The fork does less of thumping and twanging... which isn't something I noticed much until using the 38... the thing just decreases the "drama" for me and has been letting me ride faster for a similar level of feedback and work. The fork is just so supple, it feels more comfortable to me. For me, I've been describing the differences as similar to the differences you feel when you hop on a DH bike, (more pronounced obviously) which obviously feels far more comfortable and less dramatic at the same speeds as my enduro which allows me to pick up the pace considerably. Or when you go down to a more light trail bike with something like a 34 on it and you start feeling every little impact and you feel much more vibration and buzz at the hands.

I have heard, with the differences in volumes, air springs and pressures from the 36 and Lyrik to the 38 and ZEB, it's taking people some time and tweaking to get them set up properly... some people are ending up quite far from the recommended settings. Though I didn't seem to have much trouble and am not far off Fox's recommended settings.

Should You? Tire Insert Pros and Cons - Feb. 4, 2021, 8:40 a.m.

Just as a little counter to the longevity of CC vs TT... I ran CC for about 6 months and at the end, they were becoming petty cut up with a bunch of cuts right through the insert.  I'd estimate they would last me another 6 to 10 months or so??  Tannus after a longer period still looked like new... have now idea how long they'll last and how they might break down over time... but so far for me, it looks like they'll last far longer than CC.

POC Crave Clarity Riding Glasses - Feb. 1, 2021, 1:54 p.m.

Yep, I've also got a set of Tallcan's that I've also been wearing this winter and I don't think I've noticed them fog up yet.

POC Crave Clarity Riding Glasses - Feb. 1, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

For considerably cheaper, Ryders make glasses with their "Fyre" lens. Ryders have some kind of partnership or ownership situation with Essilor, so they get access to their lens tech. And holy shit, these things are just so good. Living and riding through PNW winters I can say that their anti-fog tech... is very, very good. I toss these on at the beginning of my ride and don't touch them until the end.

And Ryders always seem to have some kind of sale going on... so if they're not on sale right now, sign up for their newsletter and just wait.

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