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andrewbikeguide's comments

366 comments found

Varying Degrees Of Engagement - May 15, 2023, 2:49 p.m.

On a good ride one's tyres are the only contact points with the ground so they are always priority one (on a less successful ride there are a lot of unplanned contact points!!).

Then bike contact points with the body

Then everything else depending on budget.

Varying Degrees Of Engagement - May 15, 2023, 2:40 p.m.

And six dabs of Dumonde Tech grease (after a good clean every 500 km) makes I9 Hydras tolerably quiet.

Enduro Maxhit Stainless Steel Headset - May 8, 2023, 9:24 a.m.

Builders can be odd people however such as those builders that only offer a 30.9 mm seat tube rather than 31.6 mm (essentially the same weight dropper but without the seat collar pinch issues) essentially choosing to use what is easier or cheaper for them to source rather than use what is best for the customer.

I am not saying it is the same decision making process with the HT head set spec however there is some weird in the world when it comes to choosing HT length, especially on L and XL frames in longer travel uses. It is pretty easy to imagine that there are going to be some horrible forces going into the head tube on an XL 160-170 mm travel bike.

Enduro Maxhit Stainless Steel Headset - May 8, 2023, 9:18 a.m.

I had some issues with RWC Enduro ceramic bottom bracket bearings and they just replaced them with no quibble what so ever. A couple of photos so that they could see what the issue was and new bearings in the post the next day. They paid for one set to go back to them so they could work out what was happening (external seals letting contamination into the races which did something weird to the grease). 

They were insanely smooth when they were new but decided that they were not worth the hassle. 

My BBInfinite Ceramic WS2 bearings/ bottom brackets on the other hand are still running issue free.

7mesh - Ankle to Neck - April 5, 2023, 12:46 p.m.

I really like 7mesh but they seem to have some strange and illogical design decisions.

All Glidepath/ Flight path garments: 90% of the world are right handed. So 90% of users are probably going to put their cell phone in the RH zip pocket and their other "trail stuff" in the LH pocket. So why is the little mesh pocket for keys and credit/ medical card/ bike park pass sewn into the RH pocket (so it can catch on the phone every time it is used)? 

To be fair Norrona and Fjallraven do this too. 

Slab short: finally a short that did not have belt loops to dig into a guide's lower back under the rubbing (yes even the best fitted packs do it) of a guide pack. Except they decided that it only needed one pocket, on the right (so FU left handers of the world). WTF again?

Because most mountain bikers do not have a cloth bag for their glasses, a SPF chap stick, $20 note and a car/ house key to put somewhere safe whilst they are riding?

WTF were the product testers doing and thinking?

Inseam: cycling tends to attract the more athletic build but so some reason the industry is obsessed with short fat man leg lengths on trousers. Please make Mediums and Larges in standard (30-31") and tall (33-34") inseams. Like Norrona and Fjallraven do........ and NF also (finally) do (DP4), except if you want their winter trousers in which case you can suffer from hipster mud ankle and wet shoes!

SwitchGrade - Tilting Saddles - April 1, 2023, 6:36 p.m.

Or you could assume that they live in an area where they spend a significant amount of time climbing in the 10-15º + zone.

For example; Howler - 55 minutes for a decently fit rider, probably 50% of that it in a 12-17º range, the section from the ATV gate to the Howler is more in the 17-30º zone.

My rule of thumb for saddle angle (nose down) is 1º for every 3-5º of average climbing gradient (a bit of sit bone support and personal preference) and yes I have a properly fitted SQ-Lab saddle so I can sit properly, push against the saddle for power and slide forward on a flat comfortable nose for micro adjustment of centre of mass over base of support.

Within that range is the allowance range for height, saddle/ bar delta, leg length and actual pedalling ability (there are a lot of very good descenders who are rubbish pedallers).

And with a good saddle (rounded rear and non hooky nose) on a dropper the nose down angle becomes irrelevant during the descent. Sure the nose up angle does give a nicer leg touch point for getting seriously near out of shape on a descent but one has to compare the energy benefit of a good climbing set up for the 55 minute effort versus the slightly improved saddle angle for the 12-20 minutes of descending.

Lost In Transmission - March 24, 2023, 8:34 a.m.

But it is also based on the 'ego driven?' requirement to have a 10T cog (to brag about gear range), some thing that three years of AXS based tracking indicates I used for about 45 minutes of 1100 hrs of riding!

Personally I would like an all steel cassette (but I can live with 52T being alloy as I choose my chain ring to ensure that 'first' gear really is a "bonking badly or carrying a guide pack up another 15% climb" bail out gear) and a range of 50 - 14T with much nicer shift spacing across the 12 gears. Why not be like Shimano (coughing heard in the board rooms) and offer an athlete cassette (52-10T) and a weekend warrior/ normal human cassette (52/50-14T)? As long as it does negatively affect my suspension I don't care if I have to run a 30T or 28T front chain ring whilst the pros and 24 year old ego driven enduro-bros are stomping their 32 or 34T chain rings.

One of the things I like best about the Transmission is the better spacing across the four lowest gears (52-44-38-32) compared to the Eagle cassette.

AXS is amazing and the new T-type derailleur is a pretty impressive bit of engineering. It is way easier to set up but novices and "I don't read the instructions" types might still struggles as it requires knowing the chain stay length, reading a chart and counting links. If one can manage that then it is even quicker to set up than AXS Eagle is.

As to the pod: "Since I don't mention the 'POD' anywhere else. It's backwards compatible to all other AXS drivetrains and folks either like it much better or much worse than the previous shifter. Test ride, then decide" - possibly the truest words ever written by AM. With Matchmaker and with the Infinity loop bracket there is no position (that I can find) that is an ergonomic improvement on the AXS paddle shifter (either version). It is as if someone decided that the mechanical shifter was the greatest invention ever made and went about designing a shift pod to emulate it, ignoring all the advantages that electronic, almost effortless, shifting might offer.

2023 Rockshox Flight Attendant - Feb. 8, 2023, 8:31 a.m.

No just the oil that sits in the lowers drains out when the rebound knob/ bolt is removed. No damper bleed required for the lowers service.

2023 Rockshox Flight Attendant - Feb. 8, 2023, 8:29 a.m.

Nah it would reduce battery life and the speaker would be a potential ingress point for dust and damp.

2023 Rockshox Flight Attendant - Feb. 7, 2023, 11:59 a.m.

I think the hesitation for the pros is the loss or lack of ability to adjust HSC on the fly. Whilst it seems like a small matter when they are racing for seconds over 5-7 stages it obviously makes a difference. Probably more at rounds where there is a significant difference in track characteristics between stages. For mere mortals the fact that the basic HSC setting is neutral is probably good enough. 

The Flight Attendant system is awesome and it makes a noticeable difference on long technical climbs where the systems shifts itself extremely quickly and always seems to be in the right mode. I have spent about a year testing the difference between the different settings and "off" on trails that I know well and ride regularly. It is long climbs like Nimby in Pemberton and Yummy Numby up to Bring on the Weekend in Whistler style of trails where one really feels and sees the difference. 

Denis point about batteries is fair but it is easy to keep on top of with the notifications that come through the AXS app. I average about 20 hrs for the front suspension, 35 hrs for the shock, 175 hrs for the pedal sensor. As each AXS component battery is meant to be supplied with a charger it is easy to end up with the four chargers one 'needs' to charge a Flight Attendant bike's worth of AXS batteries simultaneously:

It makes such a difference in efficiency that I quite often choose to ride my Sight (155 rear/ 170 front) on trails that would seem to make more sense on my 2020 Optic (125 rear/ 150 front).

Fezzari Kings Peak - Feb. 2, 2023, 6:31 p.m.

My new go-to tubeless set up for Mulefuts:

Use the SunRingle rim strip to plug the holes.

Use Tuck tape (yep the red, tyveking my house stuff) all the way to the edge of the rim bed making sure that you cover the little weld air bleed holes that are in the bead groove in the rim.

Strong light and cheap, stick that in your axiom Keith!!!

And it holds air like a champion.

Fezzari Kings Peak - Feb. 2, 2023, 6:16 a.m.

Rider = 188 cm/ 95 kg (6'2"/ 205 lbs - old money)

2020 Sight ~ 34 lbs = Code RSC  running sintered pads on 220 mm HS 2 rotors (or 200 mm TRP R1 rotors @2.3 mm thick)

2020 Optic ~ 32 lbs  = Code RSC  running sintered pads on 220 mm HS 2 rotor front & 200 mm HS 2 rotor rear 

2021 Borealis Crestone (one of the those old school geo fat bikes) ~ 25 lbs = Level T running sintered pads on 180 mm rotors.

As Agleck7 intimated fat biking is different, even the best snow and most aggressive studded tyres doesn't offer up the same level of anchor drop that the best loam and mountain bike tyres. Lower peak speeds and generally less steep and adventurous terrain.

Appleman 2XR Cranks - Made in Minneapolis - Jan. 20, 2023, 6:08 p.m.

The only immediate criticism/ observation is that choosing a 104 x 4 standard means the smallest chain ring is 30T. 

Fine for a fit rider dealing with Whistler/ Pemberton/ Rockies/ Alpes & Madeira type climb grades but not really small enough for fat biking or bike packing. Exactly the type of bike that a shorter crank that encourages a higher cadence might benefit from.

Perhaps a "spider"/ carrier that allowed the use of DM chain rings would open these cranks up and make them more versatile.

Continental Kryptotal Tires - Jan. 19, 2023, 11:18 a.m.

Too true re the non Protection APEX or Black Chilli models.

Until Covid messed with supply chains the Premium Conti tyres were also selling for $75-85 dollars so until last year they were also significantly cheaper than the so called equivalent tyres from the other brands.

Not that they would ever admit it but one wonders if the cost of living (energy costs in Germany) has driven the price rise to $120 ish per tyre or someone on the Conti Board had a profit epiphany "Can you believe that the Americans* are paying $135-145 for a tyre, we can make more money if we put our prices up!!"

Either way they still represent great grip/wear/dollar.

*everyone in North America (Canada and USA) is an "American" to a European unless they have travelled to Canada (or worked with Canadians).

Continental Kryptotal Tires - Jan. 18, 2023, 7:27 p.m.

I used to see it every day. 

And it is about every brand, it is easy for someone to think that I am "picking a brand and being a d*&k about it" with Continental but I do try other tyres and I meet a lot of riders and listen to their experiences with their tyres.

I also happily ride Michelin and if I couldn't get either I would ride Butcher T9s or e13 for a bit. I wouldn't be as "don't have to think about the tyre performing" happy as I am on my favs but I would still have a boat load of fun and probably not crash any more than I already do because of the tyres.

One would think that riders would try something different in the hope of finding a better tool for the job but the fear of buying a lemon or riding something that has a learning curve or a slightly different behaviour is really off putting to people. People would rather use the same and either moan about the wear/ cost or doggedly defend their choice regardless of the contrary evidence.

There are a lot of riders who hold a 'die in a ditch' strength opinion about all sorts of aspects of mountain biking based on a sample size of one.

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