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Pistons & Pivots - Brad Lever's Mountain Goat Fuso 4X4 - Aug. 10, 2021, 5:17 p.m.

Well there is no denying that is a sick rig.

Minor Threat - Chromag's Latest Bike is for the Groms - Aug. 2, 2021, 8:39 p.m.

“Aluminum has a lower strength-to-weight ratio than steel, meaning that more volume of aluminum is required to make a frame that holds up to our strength standards. This is why you’ll notice that the tubing used” 

Can someone explain this a bit further? I thought aluminum tubing has thinner walls and larger diameter compared to steel to achieve needed strength for a frame. And it appears this generally results in lighter aluminum frames than steel. I am speaking in generalities because i must be misunderstanding something somewhere.  The jump from “strength to weight” to “more volume of aluminum” has me a bit confused. 

And the bike looks awesome, cant wait to get a matching set of full suspension chromags for me and my (currently 2 year old) son in a few years.

Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 6:44 p.m.

I haven’t owned a serious mtn bike that weighs less than 33lbs/ 15kg since 1999. One factor i think of but never hear discussed is how a rider adjusts/ automatically trains to get used to the bike weight they ride. If i only ever rode sub 30lb bikes a 38 pounder would feel real heavy all of a sudden. Also being 200 lbs+ myself, i can agree the rider weight to bike weight ratio makes sense.

Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 6:44 p.m.

I haven’t owned a serious mtn bike that weighs less than 33lbs/ 15kg since 1999. One factor i think of but never hear discussed is how a rider adjusts/ automatically trains to get used to the bike weight they ride. If i only ever rode sub 30lb bikes a 38 pounder would feel real heavy all of a sudden. Also being 200 lbs+ myself, i can agree the rider weight to bike weight ratio makes sense.

The FrankenCamber: A COVID-Era Bike Build - July 2, 2021, 11:18 p.m.

From hoarding bolts and fluctuating self perception of mechanic skills to frakenfixing my son’s  bike (at least the mounting bracket for his toddler seat) I could relate to the details and enjoyed your writing Cam!

Mixed-Wheel Puzzling – It's About More Than Clearance - June 30, 2021, 7:24 p.m.

I believe that rather than focusing on either wheel independently the mixed wheel effect is a product of the difference in radius between the two. Things are way more dynamic when riding, but to simplify, if two wheels of different diameters (and radius) are tilted at the same angle, the smaller one will complete the same degree of a turn with a shorter circumference or arc length. This translates to a smaller rear wheel completing turns faster than a larger one. So on a mixed wheel bike, the rear end will complete turns sooner than a comparable bike with a sized up rear wheel. This is my layman’s physics interpretation of what i think is going on. I’d be interested to hear who agrees or has a different take.

Mixed-Wheel Puzzling – It's About More Than Clearance - June 29, 2021, 7:22 p.m.

Agreed about demos. I was on a 2011 Reign X from ‘12-‘18 when i bought the Guerrilla Gravity. It was the first modern geo bike I rode and I liked it right away. The improved kinematics made it really easy to like and the rest i got used  to easily enough. From there i added a shorter stroke air shock to the mix so between the two shocks i have 4 travel options plus coil or air. 

For the ESD, the sliding dropouts have allowed me to learn how different chainstay lengths impact handling. 

I still haven’t decided on my optimal geo although it will obviously be different for each bike and its primary use. Thanks for the great article to keep me thinking about all of this!

Mixed-Wheel Puzzling – It's About More Than Clearance - June 29, 2021, 9:05 a.m.

I converted my 27.5 GG Megatrail to mixed for a number of reasons and it has been great. After adding a Honzo ESD to my quiver i wanted the HTA on the GG to be a bit slacker than 65.5. Also the Z1 on the ESD made the Ribbon on the GG feel noodly so i wanted to size up stanchions to a stiffer fork. I also found the BB to be a bit low for my liking in slack mode. So now in low mode the BB is 7mm higher than it used to be in tall mode. HTA is 64. Reach stayed about the same as i had room to move spacers to lower the stem. Everything about this geo change is great, although when riding hard berms on flow trails i need to keep the shock open, when locked i feel a bit too high above the bike. The mixed wheel effect is real. I can make much tighter turns and had to relearn the feel to some degree in order to not oversteer some turns i could barely make (at speed) before. It has been a great experiment. I may go back to 27.5 front wheel with the 29 fork just to play around with things but anticipate i will always have at least 1 mixed wheel bike in rotation from now on.

Mixed-Wheel Puzzling – It's About More Than Clearance - June 27, 2021, 10:01 p.m.

I remember lure of the beast of the east having a high BB to clear logs and other obstacles but never heard about the mixed wheel feature. That was back before the internet went mainstream so it was really hard to find details about these things. great article by the way! The only danger is it making me want a G1 even more.

Andrew's 3.5 Best Kids' Bike Upgrades - May 10, 2021, 11:38 a.m.

Thanks Andrew I love your kid kit articles. My mini shredder is only 2 so the only experience i have to add so far is a horn or bell (safety and fun).  And some kind of storage bag to stow the gloves and snacks, and to make the bike just like dad’s. Peace!

Alternatives for Shimano Brake Pads - May 2, 2021, 9:04 p.m.

I picked up a new honzo with deore 4 pot brakes in November. The front pads never bedded in but the rears did. I called the shop about the issue and they claimed they send all new bikes out the door with fully bedded brakes (so it was my error according to them even though I received the bike with neither set bedded and the rears worked in just fine). I stubbornly rode the bike with a crappy feeling front brake u til I finally replaced the front pads with galfers today. I cleaned the rotor with isopropyl before and did a quick/ partial bed in on the street and they are already feeling better than those pre-contaminated pads that came with the bike. I wonder what happened with those, but the rear shimano pads bite well as do the new front galfers.

Winning the Dropper Post Arms Race - April 21, 2021, 10:46 p.m.

I have been running the one up v2 in 180 for 2 years with the occasional bushing clean/lube and add a few (tens of) psi and no further issues. Another brand to mention is tranz-x. Their stock post on my honzo has been flawless for its first 5 months and ~300 miles of heavy use. Not too many miles yet but lots of post-drops within those miles. 

On a related note I’ve been running a KS Lev on my fat bike with about an inch of air leaked squish for 4 years (100mm total travel). It was a hand me down from a different bike. I tune the seat height to the “sag”. I even have a second identical post with no issues but prefer the one with some cush. Granted the bike doesnt see tons of miles each year and i know its a bit risky but dang it takes the bite out of that rigid ride.

Building A Better Kids' Mountain Bike Drivetrain - April 13, 2021, 9:14 p.m.

This article and the ensuing conversation are awesome! Not applicable for my 2 year old and his strider yet, but gets my gears turning for future builds and continues to justify my big ol box of spare parts (drive train components and lots of other stuff), i hate throwing out old parts that still have life left, even if its a chain stretched to 0.5. More importantly: good chain lines, shift action, and gear ratios for my up and coming grom. Thanks for the insight Andrew.

Going To 14 Speed - March 16, 2021, 9:34 p.m.

As the thumb shifter is on my rigid fat bike it sees a lot off  bad conditions. I use it for snow rides and as my “muck bike” so yeah it is overdue for a good cleaning and relubed if not new shift cable. I should have thought of that! But I couldnt remember if the thumb shifter ever felt much better although given your confirmation i know to check it out. Thanks!

Going To 14 Speed - March 15, 2021, 9:58 p.m.

If the grip shifter can be cut down so i can get my hands on a full solid grip, then reposition to shift the inner ring i’d be very interested to try. 

I also like my 11 speed shimano thumb shifter in friction mode on my rigid fat bike to increase the old school flavor. Although whether in friction or index mode it is very difficult to push the thumb shifter from smallest cog to the next few gears, seems due to ergonomics but also the force/ leverage(?) needed. Not a big problem on my slow going fat bike but I wouldn’t like it on a higher performance FS bike.  Do you have any input on how to improve this?

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