I’ve been using a pair of the the high top TrailCross Mid Pros over the last summer and winter here in the South Island of NZ (=wet ++). They have been great; the high tops solve your gravel funnel issue as the gaiter is much snugger. They aren’t good for keeping water out, but it drains immediately and they dry by the next day. I have found them roomy and comfortable, with D30 inserts giving added protection from rocks and pedal strikes over the heel bones. There are no significant signs of wear. When it is really wet I switch to my clipless Fizik Terra Clima X2 which have an even tighter gaiter + a waterproof membrane. Similar feel otherwise.
I also love my Protaper bars but mine are the 20/20 carbon ones; 810mm wide, 20 mm rise and 20 degree back sweep. It’s the 20 degree sweep which I crave - just so much more comfort for sore old wrists. Pity they don’t come in a higher rise too. These work well on a 160mm Zerode Katipo; previously had the 720mm Answer version on an old Yeti ASR5c. Only recently discovered they had updated to this wider model.
Though primarily a runner, I've been hitting the singletrack since 1991, from Edmonton, Calgary and Banff and now back home in Dunedin New Zealand. At 60 years old I'm trying to learn to jump properly and handle the double black enduro lines after years of XC bikes. Got me Yeti SB5C and Zerode so can't blame the equipment!
The speed, the freedom, the company (or not) just makes every day worthwhile. I too aim to be pinning it into my 80s, health permitting.
And I want to be reading NSMB 'til the then, so keep up the great work.
An e-bike requires power from the grid, and unless this is all coming from hydro, solar or wind generation they are greenhouse gas producing vehicles. For commuting they make sense as an alternative to a car (more "fuel" efficient). But as a replacement for a human-powered mountain bike, they are introducing an entirely new source of greenhouse gas emissions. Sure, some people may use them instead of a car to get to the trails, or instead of a shuttle system, but many others already use them in the same manner as a standard mountain bike and drive to the woods/hills to save their electric "fuel" to maximise time and distance on the trails. Without doubt there is a demand for e-mountain bikes, just as there is a demand for V8s, large SUVs, motorboats, etc; people want cool fun stuff. Electric cars, trucks and boats make sense as an alternative to these forms of transport. However, the majority of bikers are already using the zero emissions, obesity fighting alternative to e-bikes, so why go backwards??
Yeti ASR5C with SRAM xx1 and a Lefty; Hope brakes, Mavic wheels. Light fast and a blast.
Original Ibis Mojo with a Rohloff hub on the back. Not the best weight distribution but never faltered for 5 yrs. +38 degrees Celsius to -35C (Edmonton, Canada). 5 oil changes and one chain the only drivetrain maintenance. And Ibis were great - asked them about grinding a bit of carbon away to allow clearance for the Rohloff and they said the 0.5mm I needed was fine by them!
No wrap but a few bits of 3M tape anywhere cables touch frame or I have straps for CO2 cartridges etc.
Wash after every dusty or wet ride; if there is dirt/sand/grit on the drivetrain I wash it off with a hose + bucket and re-lube as required. Keep bikes for 5-7 years, ride 5-6 days per week, and have never yet had to replace a bottom bracket, headset or suspension bearing as I make sure they are always clean and then serviced regularly.
Re-sale value is always “bugger all” by the time I come to sell a bike, compared to what $$ have gone into it. So if I am going to part with cash I just spend it on parts that I am going to enjoy using rather than worrying about frame wraps and cosmetic blemishes.