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Swapping Bladders For Back Protectors - Dec. 6, 2021, 8:54 a.m.

great timing on this. I've been riding packless for the past three years now and really enjoying it. but I went OTB off a table top in August, and broke two vertebra (one needed fusion to fix), my shoulder blade (the coracoid process) and three ribs. I'm extremely lucky in that I will be making a full recovery and will be able to return to full activity.

but... when I do get back on the mountain bike, I think I will return to wearing a pack, and I was hoping to get one with spine protection. I have the Osprey mentioned above, and have put the EVOC Trail Pro 10 on my Christmas wish list, but something like this would make "upgrading" my current pack do-able.

I guess my only question is whether it is big enough to offer proper coverage in the event of a crash?

2021 Rocky Mountain Instinct C90 - Long Term Review - July 21, 2021, 12:19 p.m.

Mark Weir? I was just looking at the Trail Boss Light Casing with Slash Guard... this seems like the "just right" porridge... :D

edited to add: after a bit more digging, this also seems to be the secret sauce Schwalbe is dishing out with the Super Trail casing - 50 tpi, Snakeskin, Apex. 

Hutchinson too with it's 66tpi Griffus with Hardskin.

2021 Rocky Mountain Instinct C90 - Long Term Review - July 21, 2021, 11:40 a.m.

I'm running this combo (EXO+ w Tannus Tubeless), and have had more punctures this year than in the past 3 years combined. Each time a puncture at the tread. I'd been running DD casings for the past three years w barely any issues. I hadn't fully realized that EXO+ is a single layer of 120 tpi. I thought it was the same as EXO. I'll chalk it up to user error I guess, for not having done the research. I've never gotten along well with single 120tpi tires. 

About the bike... I remember rumblings in the good old days from armchair quarterbacks about how the pivot bolts attaching the seatstays and chainstays were one-sided rather than "pass-through". I can't tell from the pictures how these work, or whether the aforementioned system is really problem at all...

Ride Concepts TNT 2.0 Shoe Review - July 20, 2021, 7:22 a.m.

I bought my son the Livewires earlier this year. I've found they soak up a fair bit of water, and take a long time to dry, compared to my Shimano AM7, and even his Salomon running shoes (Kids Speedcross). This aspect of the shoe really surprised me to be honest, I thought we'd moved on from those days.

Pitching Forward: The Impact of Steep Seat Tubes - March 29, 2021, 7:28 a.m.

Do you think we could get some of the benefit of steeper HTA by shortening our cranks? When I looked at the GIF of you on the Evil vs the Geometron, it seems like you were pitched forward on the bigger bike. But a closer look at your knees show it dropping dramatically on the larger bike. 

I have a 75° STA, and 175mm cranks. I also have very short legs (28.5" inseam). I've been toying with the idea of shorter cranks, mostly for reduced pedal strikes, but I wonder if some of the benefits of a steeper STA might accrue as well?

Race Face Turbine R35 Wheels Long Term Review - March 17, 2021, 11:50 a.m.

@onawalk : Kanata Lakes is still active. Very active even. It's been officialized by the City and adopted by a great volunteer trail crew. It's very rough, and very flat.

@merwinn, re Camp Fortune: I suppose it depends on when BITD was... there's been some new stuff built in the last 7-8 years, but not a whole lot. It's still the core of "gnarly" riding in the National Capital Region though.

The biggest change in the area might be that the NCC finally has seen the light that mountain bikers are not going away, and are a legitimate group that needs to be incorporated into the land use plans. They were dragged in this direction kicking and screaming, but many old renegade trails are now being incorporated into the official Gatineau Park trail network, and there is even a brand new trail. They have an interactive map of the trail expansion plan (Phase 1 and 2 are complete)

In my group of buddies, we still say the area has the best collection of shitty trails in Canada, but it's certainly getting better.

Specialized Butcher T9 Tires - March 4, 2021, 7:07 a.m.

Thanks for the review. Could you provide a bit more information on carcass construction in Grid Trail vs Grid Gravity? (is Grid Gravity a full-blown DH construction? - low TPI, triple layer, reinforced sidewall? or more like DD and SG?

2021 Transition Spur v. Santa Cruz Tallboy - Feb. 22, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

thanks for the review, I always enjoy NSMBs thoughtful and unique perspective on things. But (there's always a but?!), I'm starting to find there's always one thing missing in the reviews of these "new-school" short travel bikes... which you touch on but don't delve into. While these bikes have adopted "correct" geometry, and undoubtedly (as you mention) can go as fast or faster than bikes with more travel, they also don't have the suspension, and aren't specced with parts to deal with the impacts that they can now expose themselves to. The durability aspect is glossed over.

My opinion/theory is that people are drawn to these bikes because they are lighter and pedal better. If they are told they can ride in terrain just as gnarly as a heavier, squishier bike, why bother with all that heft? Durability, that's why. I had to talk a buddy out* of an Optic and into a Sight last year. He's always been on short travel xc bikes, but rides hard and fast. He was constantly wearing parts out. He wanted to try something with new-school geometry. I was able to convince him that the Sight is the better bike for him because it's built for the kind of abuse he dishes out. Lo and behold, he didn't need to replace anything on it last year.  

IMO, this point should be made more explicitly in reviews. You touched on it a bit (worn fork bushings), but didn't really attribute it to riding a lighter bike faster on smashier trails. I think readers would be well served by having this pointed out to them more often... again, just my opinion...

*And I say I 'had to talk a buddy out of it', but this was entirely for self serving purposes. Not only is he fast, but he's also one of those people that doesn't carry what he needs to fix his bike himself (i.e. a tube, a pump and a puncture kit), so whenever he breaks down, we all suffer, lending him the shit we schlepped around, and standing around getting eaten by bugs!

Rails to Trails - Winter Riding in Finland - Feb. 17, 2021, 1:34 p.m.

Guys, so this is happening to me now with the videos you post since you adopted the Vital practice of putting commercials before videos...

I'm any idea how to fix it? (I'm not tech savvy....)

edited to add: how come I can't paste a snip & sketch, or attach an image from my computer? essentially, Chrome said "this add uses too much resources so we shut it down".

Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Pedal Shoes - Dec. 16, 2020, 10:48 a.m.

I agree. I know what they're trying to say. But the way they are actually saying it is like nails across a blackboard for me! (first world problems, I know...)

Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Pedal Shoes - Dec. 16, 2020, 8:18 a.m.

I really like the look of these shoes, and they are at the top of the list to replace my Shimano AM7s when they eventually die. They tick what I'm after: not disco slippers, a cleat that goes far back, available without BOA, and (apparently) stiff enough to be good to pedal in. 

But good God, does it ever bother me to read "optimized for all [pedals, cleats, engagement]"... Like, it really irritates me. By definition, optimized is not universal. Try harder, words matter.

Outbound Lighting Hangover & Trail Evo Review - Nov. 20, 2020, 8:37 a.m.

Man, I love the look of that Hangover. I've always preferred a spot on my head (for the ability to see far down the trail), and a flood on my bar (for contrast and to illuminate the middle ground), but I'm starting to see the limitations of that theory: you need to be able to see at least some detail off to the side of the trail in the middle to far distance to pick your lines well. Just last night I tried to cut a flat corner inside and tight, and didn't see the log in the apex. I slid out onto my knee cap and shoulder... fun. but I digress. 

I would have already bought the Hangover, but I have to admit I'm worried about the run time, and how it would be impacted in the cold - I ride my fat bike regularly in the winter, down to about -18°C (0°F). I don't suppose the cell is replaceable out on the trail is it? It would be sweet to be able to carry and extra cell or two in my pocket and do a trailside replacement as needed...

WTB’s All-New Carbon CZR and E-Ready HTZ Rims Have Arrived - Nov. 16, 2020, 12:24 p.m.

Curiously, 29r only...

Is Cushcore Preferable to a Heavier Tire Casing? - Nov. 3, 2020, 11:28 a.m.

I think we're saying the same thing? wider tires need wider rims. so I say why not just stick with narrower tires and rims, and save the weight?

or maybe my point is that for heavier riders, or for going fast, wide tire/rims aren't really beneficial?

Is Cushcore Preferable to a Heavier Tire Casing? - Nov. 3, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

thanks!

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