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The Sad State Of The 'Because I Can' Mountain Bike - July 14, 2022, 1:22 a.m.

@andrew I heard of Reform about a week after buying that saddle. I probably would have tried them had I known sooner. However, I also reached a point where I wasn't willing to spend any more time or effort trying out mail-order experiments even though SQ Lab was high on my list of possibilities. This is the reason shops exist, and good ones have saddle demo programs. So I went to the best, most-focused shop I could find and I used two hours of their time, inventory, and expertise. If they had a saddle that worked for me, I was going to support them and walk out with it. 

Again, I'm not a big fan of the S company ever since their ruthless enforcement of the Horst link patent in the early 00s, but until about a month ago, Spec earned a spot in such dealers by being one of the few brands that supported dealers exclusively. That matters a lot for customers that aren't us ubergeeks on bike sites and forums - which include a lot of very dedicated cyclists. Lots of folks that put in 1000s of miles a year aren't particularly technical, don't want to waste ride days trying out experimental or quirky gear, and need a shop to support them. That means obscure brands with no retail presence aren't even in the running.

I think judging people that effectively subsidize industry R&D, keep shops alive, and generate a healthy used bike market just because they aren't spending enough time online to know about boutique options is well, kinda shitty. I think there are plenty of ways to encourage your audience to support boutique brands (which this site does a lot of) without putting down fellow cyclists.

The Sad State Of The 'Because I Can' Mountain Bike - July 12, 2022, 10:26 a.m.

I keep trying NOT to buy specialized gear, and I keep ending up with it. 

Ended up with an Enduro in 2020 bc at the time it was the only frame with the geometry I wanted and the suspension kinematics I wanted, and a few details that I prefered to the Geometron (SWAT box, water bottle fit, a touch of weight). 

After spending $1000+ cycling through saddles for my roadie (and recouping maybe a few $100 on ebay), I went to the fanciest shop in Seattle and spent two hours demoing saddles on the rollers. I tried every other saddle and couldn't help but walk out with a Sworks Power Mimic. First road saddle that has *ever* been comfy for me - but a price tag I literally lied to friends and fam about.

With (again roadie) shoes, I've tried Lakes and found the craftsmanship and materials kinda "garage-y" and the fit didn't work for me at the opening of the upper anyway. I am currently in Shimano wides, but have to say the latest Specialized Torch release sounds like a philosophy for fit that sound *perfect* for my foot.

I'm on board with the jist of the article - if you care that much about the hobby to spend that kind of money, make it special - but I also don't ding people for buying the expensive *mainstream* brand because in most cases that shit is expensive and prevalent for more reasons that just brand and availability.

Chromag Rift Knee Guard - July 8, 2022, 11:04 a.m.

@Ryan, how would you describe your leg shape? I'm finding that knee pad preference is a lot like shoe preference, in that it really depends on your individual physiology. As someone with "chonky" legs - big quads and calves, relatively wide/stout knee joint compared to leg length - many knee pads are either uncomfortably tight or get pushed up by my calves and down by my quads. I've settled on Fox Enduro for a decent fit, but they're thinner than I'd like.

The Haf-Clip - June 11, 2022, 4:08 p.m.

That seems impossible... can you elaborate on how a helmet could snap handlebars? Any chance they were damaged at some other point, and failed from pulling on them during the climb?

2022 Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension (Gravel) - June 11, 2022, 3:44 p.m.

Sure, there are more niches or subcategories than ever, but bikes are also so much more versatile than ever. This is good news - we can have more fun, in more places, on fewer bikes. My gravel bike does road better than any of my old road bikes, and does boring Mt. Tam singletrack better than my overgunned enduro bike. My overgunned 170mm enduro bike pedals better than any of my old trail bikes, and does downhill almost as well as my old DH bikes. The newest gen of 150mm, slacked out trail bikes are even more versatile and basically can ride anything off-road from rolling XC to DH park, and still make it fun (if not competitive).

It's pretty easy to have two bikes (say, a rigid Grizl and a Stumpy Evo) and be able to have fun and keep pace on any surface in the world (short of snow or sand). That's rad. 

Side note - the ski world has paralleled this. My 108s can cover everything from railing groomers to powder in the trees and are light enough for BC. Still need two pairs of boots/bindings to get what I really want both in resort (boot stiffness, safety) and BC (lightweight, articulation), but can ski essentially the same planks x 2,  so I'm never having to relearn.

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Shocks - May 28, 2022, 11:28 a.m.

I now have HBO front (Mezzer Pro) and rear (EXT Storia), and this setup is many miles ahead of my last (2019 Fox 36 GRIP2 Factory, 2019 DHX2 Factory), I'd be very hard-pressed to decide whether it is more important in the front and rear. Seems to me it's important in both, so when using the word "ultimate" to describe your products, you can't credibly really debate if it's *less* important.

I'm not sensitive or tuned in enough to know which of the features between my current and old Fox setup is making the most difference, since obviously there are many differences between the two, but I'd be hard-pressed to go "back" to forks or shock without HBO. Ditto for IRT/dual-positive air chambers - I'd have to really believe in the mid-stroke support from a single chamber. 

As someone with chronic left wrist/hand issues, the buttercups are the most intriguing part of this launch, but aren't enough to make me switch.

We Are One Arrival - Long Term Review - May 24, 2022, 10:21 a.m.

It's just so pretty, I want to want it. 

Not sure the riding style suits me, though (and I'm not in the market anyway until my Spec Enduro is broken or worn out)... I can't imagine at WAO's scale they have any kind of demo program, do they? With such a different take on the compression curve, it sounds like the sort of thing you have to ride to understand.

DELIUM Tires - Rugged, Versatile, and Cheap! - April 22, 2022, 1:25 p.m.

Same for me in Norcal - Exo+ front and rear, with Tannus insert in the rear. DHR F & R, or Dissector R for California summers.

Deniz's Excellent Adventure to Sea Otter - April 13, 2022, 11:30 a.m.

The JPS livery has never gone out of style and looks good on everything. That's a dream paint job for any toy of mine, someday.

Parked Projects: GeoShift -2° Vs. Budget Hardtails - April 4, 2022, 7:13 p.m.

Yeah, I vote for keyed stems and steerers too. We may get them by default along with internal routing systems, but that's not really a tradeoff I'm excited about.

Lazer Jackal KinetiCore - March 30, 2022, 10:30 p.m.

Which helmet fits your narrow/long oval head? I find it endlessly frustrating that neither the MFGs, retailers, nor media have put in the work to catalog their respective head shapes. In the motorcycle world, the media started noting this, and the retailers picked it up - now I know I'm an "intermediate-to-long oval" and have a "Shoei" head. Because of that, I also know I fit AGV and a bunch of others, and if I go to Revzilla, I can even filter options by head shape. Why does this not exist in the bicycle world?

2022 Transition Spire Review - Feb. 20, 2022, 7:26 p.m.

I've got the Spec Enduro at 3.25kg w/o shock, so .25kg heavier than the Spire carbon, i.e. 1/2lbs between the two. I'll have to defer to you if you weighed the two EVOs. I was just going on what was told to me by Fanatik Co.

Weight is pretty subjective, but if Nukeproof can make an alloy enduro frame good enough for Sam at 2.5lbs lighter than the Spire, I feel okay calling the Spire heavy. Maybe a better comparo is a Geometron G1 at 3.6kg w/o shock, .75kg or more than 1.5lbs lighter.

2022 Transition Spire Review - Feb. 18, 2022, 11:29 a.m.

Yeah, the carbon frame is REALLY light for the category at 7.6lbs (3.45kg) w/shock, but the alloy frame is REALLY heavy at 10.6lbs (4.81kg) w/shock. Air shock is typically bang-on 1lbs (.45kg). Not sure how that happened. '22 Spec SJ EVO is a 1lbs diff between carbon and alloy; '22 Nukeproof Mega 29 is actually the same weight for the two materials. Both of those alloy frames are about 7.25lbs (3.3kg) w/o shock, or 2.5lbs lighter than the Spire alloy w/o shock at 9.6lbs (4.4kg). Weight isn't everything - I think the 1lbs diff on the SJ EVO is irrelevant - but 2-3lbs is pretty hard to ignore.

2022 Transition Spire Review - Feb. 18, 2022, 11:14 a.m.

But pretty much every MFG is reporting 100%, so if you want to compare apples to apples you should use that. I get the merits of reporting after sag, but recognize that it is not the common usage so you should specify, e,g, "only 12% progression, post-sag."

For the record, the charts on their site show -(2.34/3.02)+1 = 22.5% for small/medium frames, and a little less on the big frames, so I'm assuming their claims are correct and you can examine the full curve there if you'd like. By my eyeballs, their 30% to 95% progression is -(2.36/2.78)+1=15%

Fishing Reels & Four-Bar Linkages - Jan. 21, 2022, 9:47 a.m.

I'm with you that I prefer to MTB, but I'm in SF so the closest MTB that's worthwhile is a 30min drive without traffic. I can pedal out my door on the gravel bike, crank up to Hawk Hill, and take little side excursions on the Mt. Tam trails that would be epically boring on a full MTB, and be back at my apartment in about the time it would have taken me just to do the out-and-back commute to a MTB spot.

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