I've been thinking about this and I agree with you that here on the shore, for loamers, EXO is plenty for most riders. I'm 200 lbs and don't have trouble with EXO casings if I run 22-26 psi front and rear and am not smashing into things like a spazzy teenager. Now that I've said that, I'm guaranteed to be changing tires on the next five rides.
Several years back we reviewed a gucci-spec'd GT with an alloy frame and a ~6-7k price tag. Opinions were split about whether readers were a fan of that concept or not. Credit to GT for trying it out, but they didn't repeat it the following year, suggesting that - at least at the time - the market was not ready for alloy frames with a high end spec at a price point that would see a carbon frame with a middle/compromised spec.
It's an interesting discussion. I'm sure market research would show a difference in market opinion about this as the years have gone by. Alloy seems to be making a bit of a comeback in the mid/high end, but once you're spending 6k or more, it seems like most buyers want a carbon frame, and that 6k can become 8k pretty quick and sales may not suffer much at all in between the two. I'm just speculating - we need data - but I suspect I'm right based on the number of 6-8k bikes I see which are almost all carbon.
The up-spec derailleur is one of the oldest spec tricks in the book. Actually, it's by far the oldest. So it's a holdover, but I agree with you, it'll take a brave Product Manager to buck that trend, but someone can make hay if they go for it.
I've never seen an XT caliper spec'd with resin only rotors. Are you sure you've seen that? For sure it's an issue at the SLX level or below, but I'm uncertain about it where anything labeled XT is concerned. Please point it out if you know of an example because that's super egregious and maybe deserving of a little ribbing. I agree with you that brakes trump tires, though. Easier to swap tires at the shop, or wear them out and replace, for sure.
Look where you're going (SIDEWAYS in his case)!
I see what you mean but I think it's just that he has really good technique and keeps his head level, which makes it seem like he's looking back more than he actually is.
It's not often you see a trail with that much variety. Almost hard to believe that's all in one descent.
Oh man that bike build vid was hilarious.
Riding different trails and with different people has definitely helped for me in the past. Ditto switching back and forth between clips and flats. Anything to shake up the routine puts my brain in a different place and helps me to reset.
Not ones we can discuss other than to say that, like the rest of the riding in Bellingham, they were awesome.
Steep ones ;)
(can't say anything more than that)
Damn you, Tim, I just spent 10 minutes speed-watching Kranked 5.
Not only that, I think I saw an image of the jockey on the top step of the podium ;)
Quality, Dave Smith-approved non-sequitur.
So many classic lines in here.
Drone, I guess? Hard to imagine any other way. Too many direction changes for a cable, definitely not handheld, no way it was done with a wheeled vehicle of some sort. It would be cool to see a making of for this one - what a great sequence. Reminiscent of the Coastal Crew's breakout segment in Kranked 8 - Revolve.
Hi Brad, I feel your pain, having recently been dinged $75 on about $300 CAD worth of apparel. If you live close to the border, renting a PO box or just using a package reception service (I use Package Express and it's great) is a great option - you usually only pay $2 / wk per box they hold for you.
It is unlikely the PI folks would have the answers to the duty question as that's determined by the customs agent that clears it, although it also depends what shipping method is used (couriers are better than USPS for some reason - except UPS).