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2023 Cannondale Jekyll 1 First Impressions - Jan. 30, 2023, 8:05 a.m.

Had me at Crumb Buckets.

An Ode to Impracticality - Jan. 26, 2023, 12:59 p.m.

I'm not a dad, and I've got a buddy who'd likely demand that I joined his pseudo-team, but I'm definitely down for a couple adult beverages and a good chin-wag and about sending our old carcasses over questionable terrain.

Over. Built? - Jan. 26, 2023, 12:52 p.m.

It's probably not, but this reminds me of lower Godey trail in Merritt BC. I love the challenge of trying to out-flow the jank, but most of the friends I've ridden it with hate it.

An Ode to Impracticality - Jan. 26, 2023, 6:54 a.m.

I've bought a dirt cheap but brand new 26" Aurum frame in 2017 (6-year warranty!), and have been happily ripping it since, but with a 27.5 fork/wheel up front. Small rear wheel but really good geo. I just found a dirt cheap 2016 Aurum carbon frame to slap my parts on, so it would appear the 27.5 DH bikes are coming into the cheap now. 

No better time to buy a DH bike.

An Ode to Impracticality - Jan. 26, 2023, 6:48 a.m.

After further review, it's even more outstanding that between the 4th and 5th frame, the bike has contacted the front side of the landing lip, and bounced back to almost the exact same position. Absolutely amazing.

An Ode to Impracticality - Jan. 25, 2023, 5:29 p.m.

I'm 43 and haven't raced anything in 15 years... I'll see you at Mt. Washington for the SSM DH;)

An Ode to Impracticality - Jan. 25, 2023, 9:34 a.m.

10/10 bail. Outstanding.

An Ode to Impracticality - Jan. 25, 2023, 8:10 a.m.

The resonates, right to the core. I spent the bulk of my 20's working away for the sole purpose of racing DH bikes through the summer. When I begrudgingly went to post-secondary after getting about as far as I could with DH racing, I still kept the last race bike I had, but began a new chapter of increased exploration on trail bikes. It's all I had time for, and presented something new. And explore I did, riding zones all over the Island, trips with mainland friends to Tenquille, Chilcotins, 7 Summits. I convinced myself that DH bikes were dead, I was much better without the lift lines and bro-fests that came with the pure gravity side of the sport

Then I eventually moved to the mainland, joining the same friends I'd spent racing summers with, and found out some of them are still keeping the flame burning. Enough exposure that I hauled that 2007 Norco DH out of the closet, and found the finest/cheapest/most current used frame that I could bolt most of my parts to. Turns out the last 26" Aurum was surprisingly current, aside from chain stay length and wheel size, and affordable. The flame was lit, but I needed to appease my practical side, this 3rd mtb had to fit the budget. 

Weekly shuttle/bbq days, the odd day or 5 at Whistler, boys trips out to Merritt, the fire was now well past the incipient stage. It turns out that I just love smashing proper terrain with dedicated DH weapons, there's no other feeling like it for me. Right back to my 20's, every time. Eyes always on the buy'n'sell for the next affordable 2.0 update, this past holiday season brought me a '16 Aurum Carbon frame, again, most of my stuff swaps over. It's perfect. Fit and performance leave nothing to be desired. My time portal to 25yo me.

Appleman 2XR Cranks - Made in Minneapolis - Jan. 20, 2023, 10:08 a.m.

"I pedal at a really low cadence and noticed that going from 175 to 170 that it was harder to maintain the pace in the same gear."

I noticed the same thing, but still adapted, because I like the extra clearance for modern, low-BB, mid-travel bikes. I stick with 170 for trail, and 165 for DH where I don't really care much about pedaling performance.

Although the crank/pedal flex is somewhat of a factor, I think that if you measured the power loss between sizes, it would be negligible compared to other factors going on with a bike under pedal power. Also, not all that deflection results in power loss, since it's more of a spring system that would return at least some of that deflection as your power-stroke ends.

Min-Max: Brian's 2015 Kona Process 111 - Jan. 18, 2023, 7:51 a.m.

Loving the min/max. 

Did he upgrade the airspring in that fork? A damper upgrade is good, but by far the biggest issue with that generation Fox is the air spring. I've got the same fork, and after much conversation with Suspension Werx (7 different combos of upgrade possibilities), I went with just upgrading to the 2015 air spring + 2015 FIT seal head. Jame's opinion was "FIT damper in those forks were good, but the air spring was a pile of shyte".  $380 including the full rebuild, and it's an awesome fork.

Shootout At The Fantasy Factory - Jan. 12, 2023, 12:19 p.m.

Amazing image.

Hope Tech 4 E4 Brakes - Jan. 11, 2023, 3:01 p.m.

Same here, and that same misguided bias is what's prevented me from trying Hope in the 2 decades since. I really should ditch that. They were the ones with a single cylindrical reservoir with a dial on top. Leaky, hot garbage. They looked great though.

The New Specialized Hillbilly Tire - Jan. 11, 2023, 11:07 a.m.

Thanks! Not sure how I didn't find that the first time...

The New Specialized Hillbilly Tire - Jan. 10, 2023, 12:26 p.m.

Can Spesh tires be purchased directly from the Specialized website? From my quick first attempts, it appears that option is only available in the US... Can anyone confirm?

BELL SUPER AIR R AND SUPER DH SPHERICAL - Jan. 6, 2023, 12:44 p.m.

My half-shell helmet came with a clever solution. They installed a bunch of little pieces of adhesive-backed, fuzzy-side velcro to the foam where the MIPs contacts. No noise. 

It also provided a really easy fix for stopping the helmet from giggling around on my head when I've got a light attached for night riding. I just added some of the opposite-side velcro pieces to a few areas on the MIPS where the fuzzy side had been applied. I'm sure they will break away just fine in the case of a crash, but they hold things in place nicely (no dancing light beam).

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