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2020 NSMB Gift Guide - Week 3 - Nov. 26, 2020, 5:01 p.m.

Looks good, I’ve got a similar one. Definitely go for the 4-post version! I dry my knee pads, gloves and shoes on this thing. Gloves and knee pads can be machine washed on cold (even if the mfr says otherwise), but putting them in the dryer kills the grippy and stretchy bits pretty quickly. My stuff lasts until I’ve worn holes in it by using the boot dryer.

Shimano MW5 Winter Shoes: Reviewed - Nov. 17, 2020, 12:14 p.m.

Shimano really really really really really really needs to make a flat pedal version of this shoe.

Coming Back To Bash Rings (With Wolf Tooth CAMO) - Nov. 4, 2020, 8:58 a.m.

I don't get the trend toward running bigger than a 30t on a trail bike, at least for OR>WA>BC>Idaho>Alaska. Unless you live in Bend or are a racer. How often are we spun out in the 10t in a way that even remotely matters? Compare that to the amount of time deep in the pain cave on a not-really-cleanable pitch. The 30t also keeps you a click or two down from your biggest pie plate(s), getting more life out of the cassette.

I single speeded for years, so maybe I'm just weird and have tasted the joy of pumping the shit out of everything on the descents. Admittedly I get bored on flow trails, so maybe that's it. The masses certainly like the easy flow.

Based on the five gazillion people I saw riding Angels Staircase this fall and the hordes on a few other grunty high-country rides, I can't be that much of an outlier. Whistler xc is certainly funnerer with short gearing, same with a few grunts getting to the fun tech in Squamish.

Easy access flow trails and (awesome) dedicated climb trails are making everyone soft. GET UP INTO THE MOUNTAINS, and rock a 30t to make it more pleasant. {{I'm clearly feeling ranty right now... }}

World Cup Punctures and A New Face - 2020 Lousã DH World Cup - Nov. 3, 2020, 9:39 a.m.

Yeah, like all things bike it’s finding the right compromise. At some point weight or rolling resistance will cost more points through a season than one possible puncture.

For recreational riders, at some point more reliability will come at the cost of fun factor. Bikes are already trending toward faster, more comfortable, but less fun.

My Battle with Elbows (5 Elbow Pads Back to Back) - Oct. 22, 2020, 10:51 a.m.

Same here, elbow pads just don't work. I've owned 6 or 7 elbow pads over the years, and the only ones that didn't slip down were the massive OG roach pads that would bottom out on your wrists. Even then they'd leave the tops a little too exposed with my long arms. There's probably some out there that work, but I've long since given up.

Min-Maxing North Shore Rubber With The Bontrager G5 - Oct. 13, 2020, 8:39 a.m.

WTB has certainly upped their tire game in recent years. Where does their high-grip fall in the slimy roots/rocks traction spectrum? Closer to MaxxTerra or MaxxGrip?

It's pretty hard to go away from a MaxxGrip DHR or Ultra-Soft Mary on the front this time of year, but fun to try something "new".

Min-Maxing North Shore Rubber With The Bontrager G5 - Oct. 12, 2020, 9:33 a.m.

I share the same general frustration. From what I can tell, Bonty isn't even MaxxTerra level soft in their SE series, otherwise they look great. It's easy to find ultra soft front tires for my heavier smashy wheelset, but it's pretty limited for the long-days trail wheelset that I run most of the time. I'm in Seattle so our rides are often longer climbs, softer dirt, less rock, allowing lighter sidewalls.

Here's the entire list of ultra gooey super soft front tires in trail weight, that I know of.

  • Maxxis EXO+ MaxxGrip: DHR, DHF, Assegai
  • e.thirteen MoPo Trail. Amazing rubber, but I've got two beefs with it: too square for my 32mm rims (my fault for running stupid rims), and the center knobs are low so it doesn't brake well in goo
  • Conti Baron and Kaiser in Black Chili? I haven't tried them, and seems to be a love-hate with these.

Schwalbe is laying an egg by not offering ultra-soft in their promising looking Super Trail casing. The Mary is a such a great tire in the winter if you're willing to lug around Super Gravity.

Worth Every Penny - Sept. 30, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

I'm due for a new helmet. So I take it the Oakley fits narrow heads fairly well?  Your noggin shape looks similar to mine, and the glass holder might be a killer app. I'm a pair of glasses away from being able to ride packless on many single water bottle rides.  Too sweaty to wear glasses on the ups unless humidity is quite low.

2021 Kona Honzo ESD - Sept. 24, 2020, 9:47 a.m.

Looking at other reviews, they say the stays adjust from 417-433. Not terrible in the longest setting, but 8-10mm longer would be a better range. 

NS Billet or someone like that could easily make longer dropouts for this rig (make 'em 180 post while you're at it), if there were enough demand. Or Kona could just do it, but that doesn't seem to be Kona's way.

My heart and my budget are having one hell of a battle over this bike right now. Haven't had the wants this bad in a long time.

Paul Aston's 210mm Do Everything Nicolai G1 - Sept. 17, 2020, 9:31 a.m.

"I mostly ride downhill" 210mm travel bike that can pedal. Proof that enduro is the new freeride. Looks fast and fun as hell for those who like to pedal up fire roads and also ride a lot of shuttle/park. I used to ride a VP-Free for this reason, which was a great idea, poor execution, but maybe we're finally getting there? 

I'm considering going down in travel from my 160/170, just for a little more pop and fun now that good geo is available on smaller bikes. I'm actually looking for more challenge so I don't have to ride at break neck speeds to get clicked into "the zone". But hey, cool to see folks pushing the envelope for how they like to ride. It's bikes like the Geometron and people like Paul that have pushed the industry so I can find a shorter travel bike that is slack and long. 

Intrigued by that straight edge through center of grips method of setting stem length, especially with 12-16 sweep catching on. I roll back my Deity Blacklables because I can't (affordably) find a 12 sweep in 800mm and I needed + sweep due to elbow tendonitis from trail building. And now I just like the extra sweep. I've struggled keeping effective stem length consistent, and this method looks like the ticket.

Fit Before Fashion - ProTaper’s 76mm Riser Bar - Sept. 16, 2020, 1:29 p.m.

There needs to be more 12* options out there. I suspect we'll have more choices in the next 1-2 years.

I'd buy a couple of them tomorrow if I could find 12* sweep, alooomineeeeum, 800mm wide, 35-50 rise, 31.8 clamp. Heck, I might even compromise and buy a 35mm thiccccc bar (and stems). Still not interested in carbon bars. Ever.

You Should Try a Friction Thumb Shifter - Sept. 11, 2020, 3:02 p.m.

Metacomet Nailed it. I completely shredded the side knobs on a Dissector in 2 weeks, and that was on fairly loamy late winter Seattle riding!

Dissector center knobs with DHRii side knobs and MaxxTerra would be a winner for people who want fast-ish rolling for long rides, but also want wet traction and versatility. Or just give us the Aggressor in MaxxTerra so it's not a dry-only tire.

Shimano SLX Drivetrain Review - Aug. 26, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

I’ll take bushings in the pulleys every day and twice on Sunday. Way more reliable. (GX grumble grumble).

Tannus Armour TUBELESS Inserts Tested - Aug. 21, 2020, 1:55 p.m.

Run what you got, how you want, and give no f***s what others think. The weirdos, lone wolves, and oddballs are why I love this sport. I hope we don't lose that.

6 Months with the 12sp Shimano XT Group - Aug. 19, 2020, 9:29 a.m.

Curious about the X01 cassette with XT drivetrain idea. X01 cassettes are light as a feather and seem to go forever without wearing out, as long as you're not in the easy aluminum cog all the time. Is the 12 speed spacing the same between brands? I used to burn through XT cassettes pretty fast, but that was a couple generations ago. The aluminum 45 worries me, I'm in that gear a lot more than the 50/51.

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