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Is Cushcore Preferable to a Heavier Tire Casing? - Nov. 2, 2020, 8:25 a.m.

I'm beginning to wonder if this drive to inserts isn't in part caused by wider rims. I'd been on i26 rims for the past few years, and in combination with 2.3 DD rear and 2.4 EXO+ (both DHR2s), I'd found a winning formula. It was the first time I'd ever worn a tire out before cutting it at the sidewall (which I find is not fixable). I weigh 217 (it's been pretty steady for the many years), and I like to think I ride fairly hard (not pro, not beginner). At the end of this summer, I swapped to i30 rims. 

In order to only change one thing at a time, I kept my pressures the same (26 front, 29 rear). I've found that I get more burping with the wider rims. I suppose it could be the different rims bead seats (went from Stans Flow EX to Chromag Phase 30), but I kind of doubt it. On my first week with the new rims, I burped the rear tire and dented the rim as I went through a significantly chundery section. (the rim now holds air just fine, but I'm still running fairly high pressure at around 30). A few weeks ago I finished a ride with a run down a very rocky section that's known to destroy DH wheels and tires (it's called the Dump...) I rode it gingerly, but managed to burp my front tire, which was a bit freaky in a high speed rock garden.

My theory is that wider rims create more volume in the tire. Since tires are essentially undamped springs, increasing the volume of the spring chamber is like running a more linear spring. As you hit things harder, the spring will blow through it's travel easier. This is my theory anyways. I can't help but feel that inserts are a way of countering this drawback. But so would simply running narrower rims.

I've been really interested in the Tannus inserts and been thinking long and hard about them. But I can't help but wonder if going back to a narrower rim would be lighter and more beneficial. I suppose I'd be giving up a bit traction by running lower pressure, but that's not something I'm really benefiting from at the moment anyways. At the same time, I'm willing to give EXO+ and Tannus a try to see if I can get the best of both worlds. @korc, do you know which distributor those shops are ordering from?

2-Minute Expert: How Gore-Tex Works - Jan. 24, 2020, 7:35 a.m.

2 things I think you missed in your write-up (but are in the article) - that were news to me: 

1. rinse twice and don't spin too fast (to avoid creasing). 

2. drying and re-activating the DWR are actually separate steps. Hang or use low heat to dry. Once it's dry, tumble dry for 20 minutes to re-activate the DWR. 

Thanks for the article, it's a good reminder. As a winter commuter in eastern Canada, the road spray, grime and salt can get really get into the fabric. I was worried washing too often would wear out the clothes too quickly. I used to aim for once a month. But I'll probably up that now. As a bonus, I find a clean jacket "pops" more than when it's covered in grime and dull. 

Now I just need to find a way to minimize the nano-particles of plastic that wind up in the ocean from all this washing...

Shawn Cruickshanks' BMW F800GS & Evil Offering - Jan. 13, 2020, 7:48 a.m.

can he haul the Evil with the Bimmer?

Spank Tuned 359/350 Vibrocore Wheelset Review - Dec. 16, 2019, 9:02 a.m.

Have you had casing cuts in your tires? I ran Oozy 295s for a few years and really liked them. 

But two factors led me away from them: I really dislike the name. I find it dumb to run a rim with a huge "Spank" emblazoned on it.  And they clear-coat over the decal, so it can't be removed. 

Also, I think they are so strong, that they don't deform under impact. I've cut quite a few tires (including a DD) pinch flatting them.  I'm not sure if it's that the rim sidewall is very strong and sharp, or the shape and angle of the sidewall, but whatever it was, I wound up cutting quite a few tire casing.

Uncle Dave: Saving the world with bicycles! - Dec. 11, 2019, 8:22 a.m.

I'm curious to know why you think Greenpeace is snobby and ineffective? As far as I can tell, they've kept the issues you speak of at the forefront of their work, keeping it on the political radar, and educating the public at large about the issues. without their work and efforts, I wonder how "mainstream" knowledge of climate change, pollution, and plastics would be?

150 days on Shimano XTR, OneUp, WeAreOne, E13, Yeti... - Sept. 24, 2019, 7:50 a.m.

wow, that's a lot of info to take in! But I read it all, because I have questions. which still remain. notably regarding the cranks. I recently came >< this close to buying some of the new XT cranks. But I thought I'd wait to see if any reports of creaky direct-mount chainrings surfaced. 

I want to try shorter cranks. I currently run RaceFace Cinch cranks, and have experienced some creaking. So has every single one of my buddies that has Cinch cranks. It's not bad, but if I'm going to change cranks I want that issue gone.

So... can you comment about Shimano's direct-mount chainring to crank arm interface? Any sounds emanating from it? Also, any word on whether the 12-speed teeth will interface with 11-speed chains?

thanks for the in-depth reviews...!

e*thirteen's New TRS/AT and LG1 MOPO Tires Reviewed - Sept. 12, 2019, 11:13 a.m.

I would very much like a comparison to the DHR2. And to know what the ETRTO is.

The Ibis Ripmo AF Has Landed - Sept. 10, 2019, 11:21 a.m.

I see white patches on those Maxxis tires...

Oakley DRT5 Helmet Review - June 7, 2019, 7:57 a.m.

regarding the stats about crashes... I would ask whether the severity of crash locations and potential damage matters more than frequency of crash location. As someone who landed on the top of my head rather violently last summer, I am convinced the helmet absorbed enough of the energy to save my neck. Point being, I'm not sure if frequency of impact location is more relevant to the desired outcome than location of impact.

all that said, this looks like a nice helmet. I hope it's still around when I am shopping for my next helmet.

Also, I'd love to see pictures of your forehead after a long ride with this helmet on... How long does it take for the marks to go away?!

ZIPP 3ZERO MOTO Carbon Wheels (RIDDEN!) - June 5, 2019, 1:21 p.m.

Thanks Tim. 

it's what I assumed, but wanted to be sure. I also was curious about the comparison to aluminium. It's the main argument I use to avoid lusting after carbon ("they're just trying to mimic the feel of aluminium, so why would I pay more for just a few grams - and even there, some strong AL rims are just as light?!")

I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts about the traction benefits... (I'm a heavier rider too). I wonder if there's too much of a good thing?

ZIPP 3ZERO MOTO Carbon Wheels (RIDDEN!) - June 5, 2019, 9:28 a.m.

Couple of questions:

"There is legitimately less vibration". Less than what? Carbon rims? Aluminium rims?

Re the deforming rim and de-tensioned spokes: straight gauge? butted? tension?

(not trying to be snarky, these are honest questions)

Are Tire Inserts a Solution or a Band-Aid? - May 8, 2019, 8:23 a.m.

What about Newmen rims out of Germany? They make aluminum rims whose walls are  angled rather than vertical... The marketing claims is that they did this to better dissipate impacts to the rim while the bike is leaned over. I'd love to try a set. Weight seems reasonable too. If only they were available in Canada...

We Are One Composites - 6 New Rims plus Bar and Stem - April 16, 2019, 10:06 a.m.

I recently listened to the Downtime podcast with Dustin Adams. I like where his mind is at, and I like where his products are heading. But I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed the Faction rim isn't available in 650b. I haven't bought into the wider-is-better mantra. I like 2.3 to 2.4 tires (60mm) and I'm happy with 25-26mm internal width rims.  I find that to be a happy combination of tire profile, weight, support, grip, and sidewall feel. I'd be willing to go to 27-28mm, but I'm not convinced by 30mm.

I have been hesitant to buy in to carbon rims, WR1 was the first company I'd been seriously contemplating. Maybe if I wait a little longer, the Faction will be available in 650B?

Tannus Launches New Tire Inserts For MTB - April 11, 2019, 12:43 p.m.

650b 2.3 Aggressor DD = 1050g

650b 2.35 Hans Dampf SG = 1065g 

Not sure where you're seeing such a large weight discrepancy? My experience with Schwalbe was with knobs ripping off. That was a long time ago, but I've also not really found a compelling tread pattern from them either. Magic Mary is grippy as heck, but I wasn't happy with rolling resistance.

Uncle Dave - Poorly Fitting Helmets and Junk Science - April 4, 2019, 7:15 a.m.

Yes! glad you wrote about this. I remember spending hours in the bike shops trying on all their helmets to find the one that fit my noggin the best (and that I could afford) back in the 90s. Now, I am someone who falls squarely on the line between medium and large. the mediums typically just barely fit, but seem small and sit on top of my head. the large's are, well, large. They have a little side to side play, and fit deep on my head. it's what I typically go for, but in this day and age of $300 helmets*, I wish there was an in-between shell size that didn't rely on a thin plastic strap so much to adjust for size.

*I can already hear the people yelling expletives at this price. I have a Kali Interceptor and a Leatt DBX 3 All Mountain helmet. Once taxes are factored in, they come out pretty close to $300. Having crashed on my head a few times now, and having my neck saved from severe trauma, I'm happy to shell out that amount of money. But I wish there was a broader range of shell sizes that fit better given the significant cash outlay.

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