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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. 



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.

Schwalbe ProCore Revisted - Aug. 27, 2019, 6:54 a.m.

I really like pro core but you shouldn’t use it with carbon rims and I believe this is why it fell out of popularity.

Are Tire Inserts a Solution or a Band-Aid? - May 8, 2019, 7:31 a.m.

ProCore worked well on my DH bike with aluminum rims and was relatively light and simple to install. However, it can't be used with most carbon rims which is a bummer!

INTERVIEW - Santa Cruz Engineering Mgr. Nick Anderson talks Megatower - March 21, 2019, 8:03 a.m.

I agree! Demos are waste of time and potentially money. There is so much that goes into setting up for personal preference. You can't achieve that in that in a short period of time.  

There is always excitement for a new bike arrival, but then there is reality of - this is going to take some time to dial in. There are micro-muscle adjustments and muscle memory. Yes, you get to the 80% solution quickly its the remaining 20% that takes time and the most critical in determining if this bike works for you.

The newer geometry has been eye opening to me. I have always been stuck in smaller is better until recently. I got an Evil Offering. I love the longer geometry. However, I learned that I had bad riding habits that I developed on shorter geometry bikes. I realized on a short geometry, based on weight distributions, I could easily compensate with bad riding form. On the longer geometry, bad form shows its head very quickly. In practicing better form and technique, I realized that the size was a little less critical, but preferred the longer geometry. The longer geometry requires more focus, but that makes it a lot of fun because when you nail it - wow does it feel great!

INTERVIEW - Santa Cruz Engineering Mgr. Nick Anderson talks Megatower - March 20, 2019, 9:51 a.m.

Great article Cam (and that's for fixing my account as I can finally post)!!! I appreciate the inclusion of sizing in your previous article and following it up in this article. I feel this is typically ignored other than broad statements. I understand the reason to ignore sizing as the focus is on the bike review, not its size. However these days sizing is critical, even if preference differs amongst riders.

I also find it ironic that SteveM puts effort into educating the biking community, which generate tons of responses only to ignored the following week. Spelling out the importance of front center or that reach alone is not the sole descriptor of bike fit. Recognizing the fact reach is dependent upon stack height and head angle - therefore not all reaches are comparable. Lee McCormack suggests the hypothenuse between reach and stack. Lots of good info out there - again with different supporting facts.

I gather from Nick statements above, that sizing is almost order 1 based on his preference of the MT over the Bronson, with bike travel/wheel size being second or third.

With sizing becoming so much more critical, its unclear how many of the recent group reviews (Bike Bible, Pinkbike, etc) achieve an actual review, where folks of various dimensions discuss the characteristics of bike. I am not even sure of the validity of the results. I know these reviews are not gospel, but they are helpful nudges toward getting the right bike.



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