New posts

ZHendo's posts

1062 posts found

July 16, 2014, 3:26 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
RS Monarch or Cane Creek DBInline for Enduro

Not on a Specialized, but I experienced some limitations of the CCDB's Twin Tube design on my Spitfire - I was getting a ton of high speed compression spiking on square edged bumps. I talked to Craig from Avalanche Suspension and he explained that the CCDB's valving results in a series of oil-restricting blowoff valves. It works fine on linear suspension designs, but bikes with funky rates (many dual link bikes, for example) can overwhelm the compression circuit and get a "spiking" feeling.

I found a Fox CTD Factory for $200 and shipped it off to Avy, where he gutted the Boost Valve and replaced all the valving with a new shim-based setup for less than $200 shipped. Shock should be arriving any day, but all reviews that I've seen say that the custom setup is a game changer. I would have sent in a Float X for the rebuild, but it's a damn expensive shock paired with a $300 price tag on the rebuild due to the new adjuster knobs, etc. Hoping that I don't overheat the CTD too easily (Craig said it's unlikely…), but I really enjoyed the conversation around the application of the CCDB for different suspension designs.

March 12, 2014, 9:34 a.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
I'm baaack

I rode a Nomad Carbon and I'm now on a Banshee Spitfire. With a DH background, I think the Spitfire could fit the bill nicely - pedals pretty well, especially using the climb switch on the CCDB, and is an absolute riot heading downhill. Mine is set up with 650b wheels and I think they provide a great platform on which to build up a shorter travel bike.

Of the bikes you mentioned, the Warden takes highest marks in my book followed by the Altitude. I've always been intrigued by Knolly's designs, and the Warden has gotten very good initial reviews. The Altitude is a solid frame, nothing too remarkable about it, but its pretty, seems reliable and has good geometry.

March 5, 2014, 11:41 a.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Carbon frame vs. higher end components

I don't think you can apply the same logic between road and mountain bikes when it comes to carbon. On a road bike, there's no comparison - with a bike that requires ultimate efficiency and stiffness, a carbon road bike will provide all that plus a degree of weight savings and vibration damping that aluminum simply can't match.

With mountain frames, I think the line is slightly more blurred. Yes, a carbon frame of equivalent intention will in most cases be lighter, stiffer and provide better vibration damping than an aluminum counterpart. It will also likely be much stronger and not degrade as rapidly overtime due to a high and in some cases nearly unlimited fatigue life (no work hardening, etc). But, like other people have said here, your ability to feel the reaction of the frame to the riding surface are muted by suspension action, high volume tires, etc. Personally, I sold a Nomad Carbon for a Banshee Spitfire and don't miss the carbon one bit. Sure, the Nomad may have felt a hair stiffer in some extreme situations, but the rear suspension action is better on the Banshee. I would take better quality suspension and wheels over a carbon frame any day.

Feb. 13, 2014, 9:48 a.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
NSMB - 2014 – Enduro / Trail Bike Thread

Finally done! A couple months of waiting for parts but finally finished up the wheel build and finished the complete build last night. She's a 2014 Spitfire v2 with 650b wheels and the updated, actually functional 650b dropouts. Not sure on weight yet, but I'm guessing it'll hover around 30 lbs.

Jan. 31, 2014, 12:14 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
NSMB - 2014 – Hardtail Thread

Most fun I've had on a bike in a while. Built 'er in August, only change is a white 2014 XFusion Slant 150 instead of the noodly Revelation RL.

Nov. 27, 2013, 11:52 a.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Commencal vs Evil

I'm buying the bike through industry connections from my job, and unfortunately Devinci does not offer ProDeals to people in my line of work.

I am also looking at a Pivot Mach 6, that may actually be at the top of the heap at the moment.

Nov. 18, 2013, 10:05 a.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Commencal vs Evil

I'm in a bit of a predicament here…the evil is supposed to ride amazingly well, and considering that my house is a 5-10 min drive from their office in Seattle, it's a hard opportunity to turn down. Kevin of Evil has been ridiculously responsive to all of my emails and has shown awesome customer service, but the horror stories retold by the people who owned Revolts have me a bit concerned (as you guys have been saying).

I have never ridden a Commencal, and I can't find any dealers that might even have one in stock. It looks like a nice frame and is substantially less expensive than the Evil, but the general lack of presence in the US market means that the company may be a bit hard to deal with if anything goes wrong. I know they have a US distributor and have been in contact with them, but I'm always a little bit skeptical of the reliability and longevity of support from super small distributors for foreign brands.

Nov. 16, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Commencal vs Evil

I'm looking at getting a new rig for backwoods rowdyness and some enduro racing next season. Anyone have any opinions on the Evil Uprising vs the Commencal Meta AM 650?

March 16, 2013, 3:28 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Grad present to myself - which Chromag?

In my search for frames I also came across some Euro options, namely the 2Souls Quarterhorse 29er, Production Privee Shan 26er and Stanton Slackline 26er - all sweet and about the same price as the Chromags or less after being imported. Choices, choices…

March 16, 2013, 3:17 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
NSMB - 2013 - Enduro/Trail Bike Build thread

New wheels and fork on, all cables finally zip tied - ready to party after a few months of bummer weather

March 15, 2013, 3:26 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Grad present to myself - which Chromag?

Just caught a view of the Tonic Fabrications Barnstormer - definitely another frame in the mix with the Chromags. Its hard for me to say what the primary use of this bike is really going to be, i.e. where I want to compromise. Tough choice, I appreciate the flow of advice

March 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Grad present to myself - which Chromag?

Thing is, I'm 6'1 so a large is necessary…

March 14, 2013, 5:47 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Grad present to myself - which Chromag?

Hey gents,

I'm looking at getting a hardtail to sit next to my Nomad Carbon as a little college graduation present to myself. I have a signing bonus that I can use to buy it, and I should be able to hang some pretty nice parts on it as long as I don't go too crazy. I've dreamt about owning a Chromag since the beginning of high school, and I think its time to act - the question is, do I want a Surface, Samurai or TRL?

I live in Seattle and ride a lot of, well, everything. I've been riding for over 12 years now and though I may be racing enduro a bit, I have a lot more fun pedaling way out into the woods and enjoying the natural features. I'll be tooling around on slalom tracks a bit and maybe hitting some smaller, smoother jump lines, but definitely nothing too crazy. My main intention for this bike is to have a reasonably light bike that I can take into the backcountry and just tool around on without feeling held back from hitting jumps and drops where I see 'em. Keep in mind, I have my coil sprung Nomad for the bigger stuff, but I'm looking for a hardtail to get back to my roots and make things both simple and interesting again.

Given that little description, do you have any advice as to which frame I should buy? The weight difference between the TRL and Samurai is supposedly around half a pound now, and though I haven't ridden the Surface I was pretty impressed by my dad's Banshee Paradox. At this point I'm leaning towards the 26ers just because of the stouter wheels and quicker handling, but if anyone could shed some light on the Surface too that would be great.

Cheers.

March 15, 2012, 1:17 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Heathen asks out loud: Is the 26er hardtail dead?

If I still owned my old 26" hardtail, I would probably be on the 26er side just because I loved that bike to death. Its a different riding style, and I think that things are definitely shifting over to the 29er side. While after riding a few 29ers, I do miss the "flickability" of a 26er hardtail, I think that for anything from all mountain down to XC, a 29er hardtail makes a whole lot more sense.

I convinced my dad to buy a Banshee Paradox because he refused to buy a 26er hardtail. His buddy had a 29er, and he swore it made him faster. I didn't believe him because the early Intense Spyder29 and some other (forgettable) hardtail I rode were just flat out uncomfortable to ride at speed. I saw the numbers on the Banshee and figured, hey, short stays and slack HA for a 29er, why not give it a shot.

6 months later, I like the bike more than his Intense Tracer. It reminds me of the hardtails I grew up riding with the responsive and stiff back end, but the riding position is far more upright and comfortable and the 29er's ability to roll over gnar is great. Cornering requires a slightly different approach and a little more upper body language, but the bike responds well to counter steering and once you get it leaned over, there is traction for days.

Do I think that long travel 29ers will ever be a load of fun? Not necessarily for me, but a 4" travel 29er with a low BB and slack head angle will be able to handle much of the same that a 5-6" bike with a similar spec would be capable of. The big hoops do have more flex, and random jabs at the pedals don't give you the same acceleration that a 26er does. That doesn't mean that you can't wheelie, hop and flick a 29er hardtail around a trail. Try a Paradox or bike with similar geo and you'll see what I mean.

All in all, yes, I would love to own a 29er hardtail for trail and all mountain duties (set up with a single ring). My priorities have changed since I first started riding, and now full suspension bikes are more viable than hardtails as main, everyday rides. I would never, ever replace my Nomad Carbon with a 29er, but I would certainly add a 29er hardtail to my arsenal.

March 15, 2012, 12:56 p.m.
Posts: 1,062
Joined: Jan. 25, 2006
Giveaway: Your favourite day of the year, Daylight Savings!

No bullsh!t, the reason that March 14th, Daylight Savings, is genuinely my favorite day of the year is because that means my winter hibernation is finally almost over. The "winter layer" I put on from watching too much TV, crushing sixers of Newcastle Brown, eating soul food to help keep my spirits up during grim Northwest winters, and not quite finishing that agonizingly boring spinning workout can finally be melted away doing the things I love most. I get to dust off the bike and start wrenching with a purpose, I have time after classes to go for a ride in conditions that aren't apocalyptic, I get another hour on the hill when I snowboard on weekends, and I get to start daydreaming during finance classes about spring riding trips. Whistler, Moab, the Shore, Pemberton and Downieville are all high on the list this year, and I finally can start planning them. Daylight savings means that my tires will soon be floating through loam, not splashing through inches of black mud. It means its time to finally scratch that winter-long itch.

1062 posts found

Forum jump: