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Dear Uncle Dave: Why aren't my chainstays longer? - Aug. 5, 2021, 7:44 a.m.

Fun topic.

As much as I enjoyed my previous bike, a Foxy Mondraker, I began to REALLY notice the lack of front wheel traction and the additional work it took to keep the front end hooked up. And I decided, right or wrong, that it must have been caused by the long 490mm Reach (finally a bike that fits!) combined with the short 435mm chainstays. Hen I shopped for a replacement bike specifically to change that aspect and found success, and consistently faster rides, going to an S5 SJ Evo with 448mm chainstays.

It's still a confusing topic for me and there is no such thing as the perfect chainstay length (consider the wildly different body weight distribution between a female and a male for example; or the different weight distribution based on STA & seat height alone) but longer than typical for a size large bike is much closer imo. 

BTW I did try the even longer chainstay length adjustment on my Evo but just couldn't quite get on with it. My shock seemed harsh when sag was set correctly & rear traction suffered.

Why does an adjustment in chainstay length through adjustable dropouts negatively effect leverage ratio? Can't you just increase spring pressure and end up at the same place?

Exclusive First Ride: The 2022 We Are One Arrival - Aug. 3, 2021, 11:04 a.m.

Bike looks fantastic!

One thing that has me a bit confused is the recommended 20% rear sag.  Presuming that the suspension works well with only 20% sag, the dynamic geo must be quite a bit steeper  than say my '21 SJ Evo at 30-32% sag (where it actually works well).

Also, the ability of your rear wheel to move downwards is quite important for suspension performance and the Arrival has quite a bit less of that travel (reverse travel?) as well to assist with keeping the rear wheel in touch with the ground, particularly on steep descents.

Would like to hear more on this topic.

The Weight Is Over - Aug. 2, 2021, 8:38 a.m.

I tried over springing my coil shock on my Evo and the bike was definitely more sprightly. But the suspension just hit a wall on drops and stuff and in the end, it was like my 158mm travel (Cascade Link) was more like a 110mm bike, so what's the point?

The Weight Is Over - July 30, 2021, 11:32 a.m.

Currently I'm building a new Spur for lighter trail duty's than my main rig and I went with new 11 speed Sram (XX1 cranks, X01 derailleur & cassette, GX shifter)

It saved over half a pound compared to 12 speed in the most important place not to mention significant $.

However I wouldn't want a 42t 1st gear at the 'shore or on my home trails where I go with my AM bike but my theory is that with such a fast light bike on pretty fast rolling tires (and running a 30t front as opposed to my usual 32t) and the lighter duty trails I to use the bike on, that the 11 speed will be adequate.

The Weight Is Over - July 30, 2021, 11:27 a.m.

I'm currently building my 3rd set of Berd wheels and they are phenomenal. Yah, they can sustain some damage over time but I damaged steel spokes constantly. 

Berd just rebuild a 2.5 year old DH rear rim under warranty for a very minimal cost for me (the hub was blown) and gave me all new spokes because of fraying, but yah know, there was nothing indicating that they were going to fail.

The Weight Is Over - July 30, 2021, 11:23 a.m.

Clearly not an option for most riders but I rode my buddies 180mm rotor equipped with Trickstuff brakes a couple of weeks ago and those were not just a little bit better than my 4 piston Maguras on 203/ 180. They were phenomenal and also, super light.

If you have the means there are lots of places to save weight where reliability/ performance isn't compromised. Not that brakes offer the best bang for the buck, there are better places.

The Weight Is Over - July 29, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

This is a good topic as most riders are comically over-tired (as in too grippy/ too slow/ too heavy of a tire for their needs) at a minimum. It's amusing watching guys install grippy tires so they 'don't slip' and then proceed to ride 20% slower everywhere.

I'm certifiable WW in that I always try to find the product that does the job but also has class leading weight when possible, and it doesn't slow me down.

Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 12:52 p.m.

I have a SJ Evo that's pretty trick and weighs 32#s. 

Currently however, I'm building a weight weenie Spur for the light trail days and the dog days of Summer in TX. Don't think the 6-8#s lighter is going to make much difference in the speed of the bikes, no I believe the real differences to be in the wheels and tires that each respective bike will run.

The Evo has real tires (that still roll not too badly), inserts, and a DH layup rear rim. 

The Spur is getting a custom set of 1150 gram wheels and 750 gram XC tires. It was important to me to maintain a lot of separation between these 2 bikes capabilities and intentions.

However, we have a local rough-ish XC loop that I take my wife and kid to. It's a good location because it's 1 way, no pets allowed, I won't put a foot down anywhere and it's not crowded. It's also decidedly more suited to the Spur. The plan is to time my laps out there on both bikes, and also swap the wheels/ tires to determine how this alters the times for each bike. Heck I might even try and add the weight difference to the Spur to assess the difference that makes. Will the Spur be as slow as the Evo if I strap 5-6#s to the frame and run the wheelset/ tires from the Evo?

I dunno, but that's my Hypothesis.

Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 12:41 p.m.

If you want more bike fitness, you might get more absolute biking fitness riding less and applying some targeted workouts instead. I know, not as fun.

If you basically hate working out, try downloading a timer app to do interval training sessions of only about 10 minutes. It's called a 'Tabata' and allows you to go really hard  in intervals for about 10 minutes. You can do 2 a day at different times if you prefer. All out. Pick your exercise for that Tabata (i.e. rowing, sprinting, jumping jacks, burpies, etc.) and I think you'll see some noticeable improvements in on bike fitness within 2 weeks and a big difference after 8 weeks.

Combine it with some chill stretching or foam rolling.

Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 5:34 a.m.

Below is the order of importance when it comes to climbing speed (assumes geo & AS are the same)

1) Rider Fitness

2) Tires (a. tread pattern b. compound c. weight)

3) Unsprung Mass

4) Overall Bike Weight

It's not that bike weight doesn't matter. It most certainly does and nearly every segment of the sport tries to reduce weight where possible. It's just that there are usually easier gains available.

My recommendation is to just put together a little home gym routine, and figure out the fastest rolling tires that provide adequate traction for you. That's 80% of the equation right there.

Also, it's not hard to have robust carbon fiber AM wheels at under 1700 grams, certainly more robust than any Al wheel at that weight.

The NSMB Podcast: Chris Porter – Big Mouth Strikes Again - July 12, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

My opinion in really heavily built extremely capable bikes are that, outside of a few extreme cases, slower overall. There is no doubt that double crown forks, DD tires, coil shocks and so on feel great and improve how a bike feels. 

Problem is this crappy 1/4 hp meat motor I'm working with. It feels every scrap of weight and rolling resistance, to the point that too much of that stuff prevents me from maintaining my inertia and flow state at ideal levels. I've tried both ways for certain and find a lose very little on the downs being very cautious regarding weights and rolling resistance, but gain a whole bunch every where else, particularly with the burly tires.

The NSMB Podcast: Chris Porter – Big Mouth Strikes Again - July 9, 2021, 11:35 a.m.

Good stuff although I don't always agree.

Bontrager RSL Trail Handlebar-Stem - July 8, 2021, 10:03 a.m.

Personally, I'm not picky on the roll of my bars and I'll likely buy these for my new WW DC build once I can find them for 15% off or something.

Had been waiting for an integrated set up that had good compliance and looks like it's finally here.

Also that headlight mount could be quite useful because it's tough to get those things pointed straight with a clear shot of the trail.

Thanks for the review.

Burgtec Josh Bryceland Ride High Handlebar (+ other bits) - July 7, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

If you keep your bars straight up and not rolled back, there is no effect on effective Reach if no additional spacers are added under the stem.

The All-New 2022 Norco Range C1 - June 24, 2021, 4:54 a.m.

It seems these HP bikes are great for Enduro racing & DH but I have yet to read a complimentary pedaling review of any HP bike. Sure I try and ride 'Enduro Terrain' but I don't want to go any slower on the bits in-between pretty much ruling out these bikes for my purposes.

Always fun to read about the new stuff though.

Could see a HP being a great fit for an e-bike as well.

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