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Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

For our daily drivers/AM bikes, I agree that the weight difference is minimal. I believe much of this is mental and as suggested fitness. For these bikes, we are already committed in our brains to go for a bike ride which includes suffering so having a heavier bike with more comforts is welcomed. 

For me, I generally prefer shorter travel, robust bikes, ie Evil trail bikes, that tend to weigh a bit more. 

I think over the years we have accepted that our bikes, even trail bikes, get a bit bloated and weigh over 30lbs.

And yes when uber fit, bike weight is a minimal concern, and the pedaling characteristics seem to have a bit more emphasis in relative feel.

As recently written here about the SC Blur, I kind of miss that light weight XC/trail bike that let's you just go hammer for hour and because it propels you so well, you are more encouraged to ride. That bike that excites to do a ride and fast when on the fence because of time or long day. 

It would be curious if you tried the SC Blur and reported back on your thoughts on weight after riding it.

Canyon Spectral 29 CF8 vs. Ibis Ripmo AF SLX - June 28, 2021, 8:40 a.m.

You bring up an excellent point that I have always been curious about, does the suspension curve before the sag matter much?  A lot of bikes claim progressive but most is before the sag. Once you get past the sag, the second 2/3rds of the progression is minimal. We tend to use the maximum to minimum value to define progression. I feel this is inaccurate, at least start at the 20% mark to the end. Is it really progressive if most of the progression is in the first 1/3rd? I don't think so.

Ignoring the overall progressive number, especially the first 3rd, does the curve shape matter or more the leverage ratio past the sag point? If the number is low and flat, then the bike leverage is reduced and the curve shape only modifies this slightly. Let's say two bikes have the same average leverage suspension curve number past the sag point, if bike A, has flat curve but lower number past sag, and bike B has linear progression, so less upfront and more at the end. I would assume Bike A is actually more progress because it hits lower number earlier in the travel.

Anyway, I looked at a lot of suspension curves past the sag, and they are often number overly progressive. The so-called progressive bikes have more of e-folding decay until the sag point. it seems the linear or flatter curves, often get to the lower numbers sooner and have even lower numbers in the tail. 

Coming back to Ibis....I have an Ibis Ripley V4 - fun bike, but like others, I find it can be harsh. I believe it is actually progressive because it hits a low number sooner, even though it is flat. I think this can make it harsh. With the light tune, it is plush in the initial travel but then overly ramps up making it feel harsh. I have never bottomed out the shock, but it sure feels like it. I recently got a different shock that uses more compression damping. It loses the initial plushness, but the shock utilizes the travel better throughout the strock. It doesn't seem to have the harsh ramp up like the fox shock.

Max Flat Pedal Grip vs Some Slip – What Are Riders After? - Feb. 17, 2021, 10:16 a.m.

I prefer flat pedals, as I like the flow that occurs between you and the bike. It is a symbiotic relationship, that forces you to be one with the bike and not overly control it by being clipped in. I watch some of my friends clipped do moves that you can't do with flats. I am envious at times, but I feel my riding is better with flats.

I tend to use 5.10 sam hills, and they are bit more comfortable from the start. Unlike the moon boats of the normal 5.10s. Many times, I break the shoes in before riding as i don't like the overly stiff initially feeling.

I feel most pedals are too grippy these days. I have the T-MACs, when the focus is downhill. For general riding, I prefer more foot movement. Even the T-MACs for DHing are too much at times.

I am overly picky when it comes to pedals. I thought original Point Ones were perfect, the newer ones were too grippy. RF pedals are pretty good though expensive and expensive for how quickly the bearings need replacing. I like the original Tenet pedals and the new ones are too similar to the T-MACs. I find some of the plastic pedals provide the right balance of grip. Some overly grippy pedals, I have gone and purchased small washers to reduce the claw length.

Your Next Bike: 2023 Edition - Jan. 6, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

I haven't gotten along with the new longer geometry bikes, and my riding has depreciated by riding these longer geometries. With that said, I do like the comfort of the longer geometry. My cornering is just not as good, because of properly weighting the bike. Therefore, I prefer bikes with modern geometry that have steep head angles to limit the front center. 

Surprisingly I feel much more comfortable on Specialized Enduro - it is just a big bike. The longer chainstays makes the geometry feel much more manageable. Now I would like this in a shorter travel bike. 

I actually have a hypothesis on this, and its contrary to the bike industry's current approach. When Leo and SteveM argued about bike length.... a number of valuable ideas were posed. The first by Leo which said weighting is associated with the vertical movement of your body, which I agree.

However, I have short legs and hence my weighting is a bit limited in the vertical movements, so I need additional horizontal movements, and this is takes a lot more work and muscles to control the longer front centers of bikes. 

Most of the people that I know that have minimal issue with the new longer geometry tend to be taller or people with longer legs, which supports Leo's statement.

I actually feel the chainstays should be longer for shorter people (ie short legs) as front centers grow. At the moment, the CS lengths increase for taller riders, which I do believe there is a more comfortable feel. I feel taller riders can probably get by with CS with longer front centers will less issue.

Is Your Riding Posture from 2006? - May 27, 2020, 8:55 a.m.

Great article! I have been slow to adapt, but part of this is what I will refer to as the intermediate geometry, which falls between old school and new school. Bike companies have been making bikes longer and slacker incrementally. I get it, get people use to it and then make it slightly longer. However, this intermediate geometry that mixes old school and new school riding posture doesn't work as it requires a lot of work/balance to maintain control and grip. It took me a while to figure it out.

I moved up to a newer school 140mm geometry and my riding suffered. I went into bike depression, my skills and confidence fell apart. Because of this, I went backward toward bikes that optimized older riding positions. However once you taste the longer geometry, you recognize its benefits, but it needs to work for you. 

Along the way, I got the Specialized Enduro 2020. I was scared of this bike because it was even longer. I thought there is no way I can ride this bike. Even though this bike is a beast, my riding position moved more forward and with more confidence. I am loving it and I needed that step further in geometry to improve my riding position. Surprisingly, I am in a similar position with a shorter travel Ibis Ripley V4 because of the steeper head angle, longer reach. They support each other in similar riding positions. I have tried other bikes and find a lot of the 140-150mm travel bikes have geometries that fall between the Enduro and Ripley V4, and these bikes are actually harder to ride. The reason they are harder to ride, is I believe the positioning forces you into an older school form, yet you need more weight on the front for grip. The bike fights your instinct and weighting. It becomes a difficult balancing act.

Therefore, bike geometry will influence riding style, it forces you in position based on balance. You will know immediately whether it forces your butt backward or if you are more forward and balanced. Even if I wanted to change riding style, I couldn't because of weight balance.

I am bike nerd with geometry. I know what I like with respect to fit. I can adjust weighting with spacers, stem, bar rotation etc, but some bikes force you into position that is very difficult to overcome with reasonable stem, bars, etc even when you know what you are trying to achieve.

2021 Transition Sentinel - April 28, 2020, 3:59 p.m.

Awesome - thanks!!!!

2021 Transition Sentinel - April 28, 2020, 12:17 p.m.

What happen to the long-term review of the Enduro?

Dear Uncle Dave: COVID-19 has me down. Should I ride my bike? - April 2, 2020, 8:17 a.m.

Get into routine, routine, routine - ASAP!!!! I am kind of lucky that I can remotely work from home, but it has become much harder, it is not as efficient but I am figuring it out.

In California, we have been in lock down for a few weeks now. At first, I got caught up in the shelter-in-place zombie land, sleeping in later than normal, not a lot of energy, just blah. I had to break this!!! I recognized this and forced myself to get up early and take shower like any normal day - this helped a lot! Rolling out of bed into the office, was not good for my mental health.

Now I wake up early (6am), and jokingly commute from my house to my house - but it is true. I get on my road bike exactly like I was commuting before and just end back up at my house - haha. This is what I did on a normal workday. Then I go into my office and work! Now my energy is back to normal and feel good. I still go for easy mountain bike rides in the evening with dog/family, but the routine was key for mental stability!!!

Because I am working at home, I will do a 30 minute spin at lunch again fresh air and exercise.

Get back into routine - it helps a lot!

Close Your Eyes & Cut Your Bars - March 27, 2020, 6:03 p.m.

I am always tinkering with bar, stem, spacer set-up, and bar rotation. I find bar rotation makes a big difference in finding the natural position to ride out of the saddle, whether you are weighing in front of the axle or behind the axle. Some bikes feel better riding in front, some behind. I find when you hit the neutral spot in middle, steering gets weird, as if the front end isn't weighted properly.

I tend to run narrower bars for years ~760-770mm. Recently got tried wider - move the grips that have an integrated out end out a bit- 785mm. The increase in power and control, just feels right and bunny (j-hop) hopping feels way more natural and easy. I able to clear the big mud puddles now - haha - but true!

To Ride or not to Ride During a Global Pandemic? - March 19, 2020, 7:44 p.m.

I live in California, south of the bay area in a shelter in place county. We are allowed to bike as essential health activity. I am very happy for this. I am working from home now and figuring that out. I live 10 minutes from the trails and taking advantage of the opportunity. Everyday, I now enjoy the lunch time ride with the dog and fresh air. However, I am not pushing it. I usually hit jumps and push the downhill speeds. These days, I am Just enjoying the pedal, fresh air, scenery, and mental break. The dog is loving this as well. I am happy to report folks are respecting the social distance. Instead of flying by each other, I and others are stopping and allowing for adequate passing space. It is an interesting recognition of the situation and acknowledgement of maintaining this activity.

As a person with asthma and a bit older, biking helps my lungs so its critical for me to maintain some exercise particularly now to stay healthy for when the high statistical likelihood of my encounter of the COVID 19 happens. 

Stay safe everyone!

2020 Ibis Ripley - Long Term Review - Oct. 29, 2019, 10:44 a.m.

I got a Ripley V4, when it first came out. First Ibis does a lot of things right, simply frame layout, can install long dropper, water bottle, its relatively light, internal routing is easy. Not a big fan of Ibis colors or graphics.

It's a down right fun bike! At one point, I was considering going back to 27.5 wheels to have a bit more fun, as I was missing certain riding aspects. This bike changed my thoughts. It is very fun for a 29er. Though I never rode BMX, I refer to this as my BMX 29er.  

I agree with Dave. Its a true "trail" bike and works best when you keep it in its lane. Many trail bikes blur the line into AM and in doing so take some of the fun away. The travel, stiffness, lightness, etc - keep the bike more on edge which is rewarding to ride on regular trails. I don't grab this bike for riding more aggressive (I have, but) as I find it not as enjoyable. 

I also notice with the Ripley geometry (can't explain why) that I ride it in more a new school approach - i.e. over the front.  This is part of the equation that makes it fun.

Personal Rides: AJ's New GeoMetron G1 - Oct. 9, 2019, 8:31 p.m.

Thanks AJ!

I just got the 2020 S Enduro. I am amazed at how playful and balanced it is. I was riding an Evil Offering for about 8-9 months, I liked many aspects of it. However I was constantly fighting the geometry with corners and trying to maintain good balance. It required a lot of focus and attention to weight properly. My DH speed ultimately diminished as well as my confidence in the steep, technical trails. Many times I felt out of position and required what felt to be major shifts in body positions. I thought it was me and that I couldn't ride the new school geometry. I almost swore off longer geometry because of my experience with the Offering. I actually went back to shorter geometry only to feel cramped and uncomfortable. I was lost and bummed with my riding.

With the Enduro and its longer stays, the bike feels extremely natural and very intuitive to ride. I am not overly weighting the front. I can drive and control the bike with my legs and core. The Enduro is 1.6 inches longer in WB and I love how it corners. It is eye-opening! The numbers suggested a ride behavior that are not valid. it has changed my view on geometry. 

Cheers!

Jamie

Personal Rides: AJ's New GeoMetron G1 - Oct. 9, 2019, 12:50 p.m.

AJ - is this your only bike that you use for XC to DH?

Schwalbe ProCore Revisted - Aug. 27, 2019, 8:40 a.m.

Sorry - only asked with respect to carbon fiber rims, as it is should be okay with aluminum. They said the carbon fiber layup is not designed to provide the structural support in that direction (inner ward to outward) owing to the high pressure of the pro core inner tube.

Schwalbe ProCore Revisted - Aug. 27, 2019, 7:18 a.m.

Thanks I have generally asked and majority have said no. Again I think this has been death of pro core. If people are running them on carbon fiber rims they are being more discrete to not avoid warranty issues associated with their social media.

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