New posts

mikeynets's comments

17 comments found

Night Riding Needs: The Blackburn Dayblazer 1500 - Oct. 15, 2021, 4:54 p.m.

I always try to double up gear for multiple uses and I've looked into several headlamps/flashlights like the Nitecore HC35. Mounting is always the catch, though.

Could you share the plans for your 3D printed helmet mount? I've never printed anything myself, but figured it's something I could send to a person or shop that has a printer?

The Noobs Guide to Bikepacking - Part 1 - Sept. 5, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

In some moments, the handling of my bike while loaded has been better than unloaded. Definitely slower steering, but planted! 

You touched on it a bit here and maybe you'll delve deeper in the follow up articles, but securing your handlebar load is key. I prefer as low as possible taking into consideration fork travel and cable routing. I use a Rockgeist Barjam harness which is similar to the blackburn harness you use and it accepts almost any dry bag. But the best part to me is that it uses voille straps that go around the fork crown. Bag is not going anywhere! I don't know if that's unique to the Rockgeist design, but def worth looking into modding this for other bar bags if not already a part of the design.

Have New Standards Made Bikes Better? - Aug. 25, 2021, 9:47 a.m.

Respectfully, I didn't read any of the selfishness pointed out here in Quinney's op-ed piece. And I also didn't hear any "just take it from bike companies" attitude either. I thought Henry was saying, maybe not so clearly, that bikes have largely improved over the years and we should focus on that rather than all the misses along the way. To your point though Dave, yeah, I don't think many of the "standards" introduced since 2011 are directly correlated to better bikes, but I would say it's part of the design process to tinker with all sorts of aspects of component specs, materials, geometry, etc. Can we all agree geometry trumps everything else?

It's true — no one is forcing anyone else to buy anything based on new standards. With maybe the exception of 26" wheels and tires, it's not that hard to keep doing your thing on "outdated" bikes.

Case in point, my own sorta recent frame purchase and build: Banshee Spitfire frame. Several things about this bike show that standards or trends that act as de facto standards can be a limiting factor or are easily worked around. Consider:

• I'm using perfectly serviceable wheels built on 142mm DT 350 hubs. Banshees come with swappable dropouts for 142 or 148 hubs. Those wheels and just about every other component was easily swapped over from a previous frame. 

• It's a 27.5 bike, supposedly obsolete or soon to be if you read the interwebs. 

• It's a "short" travel 27.5 bike at 135mm — supposedly niche or just plain out stupid. Works for me.

• Trunnion mounted shock. Am I unnecessarily now forever at the mercy of Banshee's design choice here? Well, for the foreseeable future with this particular frame, yes. But I was fully aware of that going in.

• 31.8 stem and handlebars. Not hard to find, I have several different ones from SQ Lab, Spank, Renthal. 

• I use a 150mm travel dropper on a size large frame. From what I hear everywhere, that's 50mm too short. Thing is, I have short legs. 

• Drivetrain is 11 speed with cranks, chain, derailleur/shifter, chainring and cassette all different manufacturers. Works like a charm. I don't plan on going to 12 speed unless every part of the drivetrain fails at the exact same time.

Point is, that bike works for me. Some newish standards, some not new. It just works. I had to buy the right components for MY bike and that's on me. But that's always been on everyone with THEIR bike, no?

We are all locked into subsequent choices based on our previous choices. The standards that apply to anyone at any given time aren't ALL the standards, just the ones on your own gear.

The NSMB Podcast: Chris Porter (Pt.1) - June 1, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

I have a Banshee Spitfire V3 which at ~31 lbs is neither light nor heavy, just average. And I find the suspension on it (DPX2 Performance Elite and RS Pike with a Luftkappe) highly functional and well set up for my weight and riding style and locale.

I recently did a short bikepacking trip and after slapping some loaded bags on the bike and riding it aggressively on some steep and rocky trails, I expected it would be a little less than optimal — I didn't adjust my suspension at all, just added a couple extra PSI to my tires. But I came away thinking the extra weight made the suspension work even better than usual! Now I'm thinking I need to adjust my suspension when unloaded to mimmick how it road with an extra ~10 lbs.

The SQLab 60X Saddle, Steep Seat Tube Angles, & The Banshee Titan - April 13, 2021, 9:39 a.m.

Indeed, Andrew has been an incredible source for all sorts of bike bits that make a difference: I am happily using an SQ Lab 30X 12* bar, Sensus Swayze grips and trying out a Soma Dream Riser bar for a bikepacking/all-the-riding-besides-the-trails-I-ride-most bike — all thanks to him!

The SQLab 60X Saddle, Steep Seat Tube Angles, & The Banshee Titan - April 12, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

This article — like most of your writing Andrew — is very interesting to me. Here are some thoughts I had:

  1. Your article highlights how important the interrelationships of geo numbers and components are to comfort on the bike, and how it's not really clear on paper. For example, I hadn't put much thought into the idea that a saddle could work/not work well for the same person on different bikes. I have a Chromag Trailmaster on my Banshee Spitfire and it's pretty good, but I think I could still find something a little better (this is kinda an endless quest for me.) I tried a SQ611 (non-active) and it was a torture device for me. I recently put a WTB Koda on a rigid hardtail and it feels pretty good, but I think swapping it to my Spitfire and the Trailmaster to my Solaris might be the secret sauce. That'll happen this week. But it's funny that you get on with the SQ611 and the Koda whereas I can't stand the 611 and enjoy the Koda. 
  2. Also hadn't thought too much about a loss of power from steeper seat angles and getting too much on top of the BB. I always figured there was enough adjustment in saddle placement that it could get worked out in fitment. I've felt slower climbing lately but chalked that up to getting older and a little loss in fitness. Maybe it's exacerbated by the steeper STA on my newer bikes, though? I have a short inseam for my height — 30" @ 5'10" so my seatposts typically are never super extended out and behind the BB to begin with because I usually go for a larger frame as I'm almost always between M and L in most brands. Though with the Cotic Solaris, I went for a M. Definitely something to consider though. Also wonder how pedaling style affects optimal saddle fore/aft placement?
  3. The dropper housing also runs on top of the lower link on my Spitfire, but it's not really touching it. It's up against the shock cage. If anything, it' resting on the lower shock mount. I've had the bike for just shy of year now and it's fine. No visible wear to either housing, link shock or mounting hardware. FWIW I live in the Bay Area and while we don't see nearly as much rain as you do, I ride in all conditions including lots of dust.
  4. I have a 170mm PNW Rainier in my size Large Spitfire. It's inserted all the way and just barely fits, but it fits. Not sure if the insertion is different on the Titan, but just mentioning the PNW post as an option for frames with short insertion limits. I think the newer posts from PNW have even shorter insertion lengths.
Banshee Titan - Part One - Jan. 14, 2021, 7:37 p.m.

Keith @ Banshee has said the best way to approach mullets for Banshee frames is from the 29er platforms. I'm certain he knows more about bikes in general and definitely Banshee bikes than I do, but I have a V3 Spitfire and for my goals, I think using that as a platform for a mullet makes a lot of sense. As bike bike sits now with a 150mm Pike, I'd like a little more stack (moved all parts from an older build, no wiggle room on the steerer tube) and also wouldn't mind the slightly higher BB. Definitely don't need to change anything, but changing things up is fun.

Best of 2020: Trevor's List - Jan. 11, 2021, 1:35 p.m.

I'm building up a rigid 29er that will definitely see it's share of spicy mtb action, but also a fair amount of time on mellower, longer rides on fire roads (bikepacking and/or gravel-bike type terrain.)

For the longer, less chunky rides, how would inserts work with higher tire pressures? Or would that not even really be necessary? Just thinking about efficiency over the long haul on really big days.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Dec. 3, 2020, 9:42 a.m.

DPX2. It's been great for me. Granted, it's the only shock I've run on it so I have nothing else to compare it to.

Knolly Bikes Chilcotin 167 - First Look - Dec. 2, 2020, 12:32 p.m.

I've read your explanation of this before — on your website and maybe in some comments too. I'm average height (177cm, ~5'10") but with a short inseam for my height of 30" and a 0 ape index. On almost all my bikes, my saddle ends up just a tiny bit above my bars.

Not trying to be a sh!t stirrer, but isn't saying "your saddle height is significantly higher than the stack measurement from the top of your head tube" similar to other companies saying effective and actual seat tube angles meet at X spot in space? I know my inseam is short for my height, but I can comfortably ride most medium or large frames with this saddle to bar relationship. So I'm average sized I'd say, but maybe built like a Neanderthal! 

Banshee lists 3 different heights for seat angle — I think that's a good practice.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 23, 2020, 3:56 p.m.

I only have a few months on the V3, but so far, yeah it feels exactly like that.

(Will There Be) Revenge Of The Nerd Brands? - Nov. 23, 2020, 2:05 p.m.

Couple of days late to the thread but as a very happy owner of a V3 Spitfire, I can say the adjustability of the frame wasn't a huge draw, but the modularity certainly was. I had a perfectly rock solid wheelset I pulled off an older frame that was non-boost. Being a value (min/maxer if you will) kinda guy and liking to build bikes up with exactly the parts I want, I saw this pile of really nice and curated just-for-me-by-me components on my old Norco Sight, I knew frame only was the only way to go. 

And yeah, like has been said many times in this thread already, having something a little different than everyone else is appealing. And having that thing be different AND look really good is alright too. And interacting directly with the designer/owner of a company is another plus. Supporting small businesses, one more check. 

But all those points come second to the ride itself. I'm not saying XYZ bike from bigger companies aren't going to ride as well, but the geo of the Spitfire was exactly what I was looking for and the KS2 suspension has proven to be legit. 

To Andrew's original point though, small bike companies need to maximize the advantages they do have as smaller businesses. That may be being nerdier or offering more adjustability or whatever, but being nimble is their baked-in advantage and that can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. Actually making their bikes adaptable as they are making their businesses adaptable does has a nice symmetry, though.

All the Small Things - Oct. 21, 2020, 4:58 p.m.

Ha. I get mad listening to the Daily too, but it's aptly named. Can't do without. 

If I did podcasts while riding, it would have to be funny or about music — maybe the Trap Set.

Question about those earbuds — do they ever fall out while riding?

Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack - March 29, 2018, 6:07 p.m.

Why not waterproof? I guess weight and/or cost. I don't really care about waterproofness though because the only thing in my pack I would mind getting wet is extra layers — which I'd most likely be wearing in a downpour. If I happen to bring a camera, I'll put that in it's own dry bag. 

+1 on Camelbak reservoirs. Especially the bite valves. Not crazy about the screw on fill caps, but I can deal. I had a Deuter res that had a zip top like the Osprey and I liked that feature a lot, but it was made out of a stiffer plastic which I didn't dig.

Defying Convention: SQlab 12º and 16º Sweep Bars - Feb. 9, 2018, 3:55 p.m.

I have 50 miles on these bars (and some new ESI Chunky grips) and while I can't say my hand pain is gone, it's not worse. It's been less than a month though, and years worth of accrued damage to my hand so I wasn't expecting anything earth shattering.

I also got a steroid injection in that time and it didn't do anything — my dr. anticipated I had a low chance of seeing improvement.

I was coming from 760mm Spank Oozy bars and a 50mm stem on a large 2016 Norco Sight. I'm just under 5'11 and the reach on this bike feels perfect to me, though I haven't spent much time on any of the new longer reach bikes.

I didn't cut down the SQLabs bars figuring 1. lemme just see how they feel at 780 for a while and 2. with the added backsweep, the difference between 760 and 780 probably feels less than 20mm. Rode it through some of my tighter local trails and only dinged one tree so far. . .

I also didn't change to a longer stem. I have a 60 kicking around somewhere, but in all honesty I'm not that picky or sensitive to notice 10mm difference. Or, maybe I would notice it if it was glaringly off, but it isn't and so far I'm stoked on the SQLabs bars. 

I'm still holding out for a longer trial period, but I do think there's a little more "give" to these bars than the Oozy bars. Maybe it's just in my head, or a recency bias or recent purchase bias, hard to say.

17 comments found

Forum jump: