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59 comments found

Uncle Dave Questions his Values - June 5, 2018, 10:28 a.m.

appreciate the honest approach from the NSMB folks on acknowledging that bias is real.  In general, I think you guys do a pretty good job on this.  I thought the alu vs. carbon Knolly article a few weeks back was excellent example of at least trying to take an honest look at one of the biggest biases in our sport \(carbon is definitely way better than aluminum\).

Less of an issue on your end, but I think consumers need to acknowledge their own biases as well.  I have several and have always been very picky in what I think is good or not.  For the first time in about 5 years I have a new bike and while its a top end bike, it is full of things I would normally thumb my nose at including house brand wheels, dropper, cockpit, SRAM Guide brakes and the like.  But I approached it with a more open mind than usual and... it is an excellent bike.

and finally, if I dont get to ride the latest and greatest every 6 months then maybe good reviewers and my excellent LBS do actually have some advice worth listening to.

Stiffer Isn't The Solution - Feb. 23, 2018, 9:25 a.m.

this, exactly.   dont give the manufacturers any ideas!

will be interesting to see how your Knolly Warden carbon vs. aluminum test will play out in this regard

Personal Rides: GeoMetron G16 - Jan. 8, 2018, 10:10 a.m.

I'd also be curious how tall you are - Nicolai has height recommendations in their geometry chart but Mojo doesn't.  

I agree with your comments about focusing on parts functionality, etc.  But, this is not exactly a cheap frame.  I dont believe there is a distributor in NA?  and so one is looking at over $5K for the frame from Mojo? 

an overall ride or test report at some point would also be great.  You indicate that overall its fantastic but would be great to know its strengths/weaknesses.  Just by the geometry, I assume its better at steep and rowdy and less so in tight or flat but that is an assumption.

great read, thx!

2017 Pivot Firebird Review - Sept. 13, 2017, 1:08 p.m.

love the rock roll picture!

I imagine Pivot is relieved everyone is simply grousing about the water bottle.  Because a 170mm travel bike that doesnt handle steep, rough terrain sounds like an epic fail to me.  If this type of bike cant do that well, then what is the point?  add to that flexy rear end and blows thru its travel...  it is a pretty bike though.

Dear Uncle Dave: All these kids are messing things up for me - Aug. 22, 2017, 2:54 p.m.

totally agree with this regarding fitness and skill practice.  I would also say who on earth cares if the "MTB elite" accept you????  what is an MTB elite anyway?   ride for you. with the bike, trails and time you have available.  and  with your friends if you like.  although you might need to get used to riding alone for a few years...  at some point you'll have your kids to ride with which is rather cool even if you are on the most uncool green trails!  and now that my girls are teenagers I am starting to get at least some of my time back and that is also great!

Trek Stache 29+ Retrial - Aug. 9, 2017, 4:25 p.m.

owning a Stache (rigid 5) and providing my 2 cents to the original review I have to say I thought this was a reasonable follow up and that your reasoning for doing so was clearly stated.  I certainly didnt get the sense you were being pressured by someone to change your tune.  I think its a great, but very rider and terrain specific bike in stock form.   that a better fork and  tires better suited to your terrain made a big difference in a bike's utility isnt exactly a shocking conclusion...

When A Broken Back Kills Your Stoke - July 18, 2017, 12:10 p.m.

serious injuries suck, no doubt.  aging doesn't exactly help either...  I suppose it depends how aggressively one rode previously but I dont think they necessarily mean one needs to slow down, sell the DH bike, etc.  My own experience was that a change in perspective and approach was required.  I now spend alot of time practicing skills now rather than just droning up and down the same old local trails.  I've worked hard on general strength, mobility and fitness.  and in a lot of ways I am a better rider than ever (maybe not saying much but still....).  I recall Kelly Slater stating that he felt his aging didnt really need to curtail his surfing; I thought that was a useful way of thinking.  That all said, I no longer ride anything  at speed the first time through, I stop and scope out any feature or difficult section before attempting, etc.  My risk tolerance for crashing is pretty low since I know recovery is difficult and odds are I'll lose a whole season of riding from a serious injury.  If that all makes me the slow, old guy down the hill on the fancy bike, then so be it....

Why Does the Spec on my Bike Suck? - May 9, 2017, 9:31 p.m.

I think another way of looking at it, and ending up in about the same spot, is that seems to be all about "bundling" now - like your TV cable (if you still have it) car option packages, etc.  Assuming the bike is of the style and geometry I like, I only really care about good wheels, top suspension and super brakes.  

Thinking of one of the big three brands that my favourite LBS sells and I have wandered about their website a fair bit.  If I want the 3 things above, I pretty much HAVE to buy the $10K+ model. uh, no thanks.  I dont think its just that brand, but the model pricing, components, value proposition is also not an accident.  

That said, maybe this is more a problem at the high end and/or for serious (picky?) riders?  because the same brand also has some excellent value bikes.  I bought bought an entry-mid level bike for a family member and for its intended use and cost is an absolutely fantastic bike.

2017 Trek Stache 7 29+ - May 3, 2017, 8:53 a.m.

thx, that does seem counter intuitive but good to know

2017 Trek Stache 7 29+ - May 2, 2017, 1:35 p.m.

I think a fair and helpful review Andrew!  I have also thought a slacker HTA would be better but its already more stable (sluggish?) compared to my 66*, 26", 160mm forked hardtail so I dont know if a slacker HTA with the huge tires would make it too unwieldy...

Question though, how do you feel the 29+ tire size compares to the 27+ like NSMB had on the Chromag Primer?  asking because if the differences between 27+ and 29+ are relatively minor, a bike like the Primer might offer a bit broader range of fun, especially on the aggressive riding end of things?  although you might need  29 and 27+ wheel sets to accomplish that...

thx

2017 TREK STACHE 29+ Hardtail - March 29, 2017, 8:20 p.m.

I havent experimented.  I tend to use things till they wear out and only replace if something really doesnt work.  so still just running the Chupacabras!   I agree the rolling resistance is very good.  I honestly dont think its any worse then my 26" 2.35 DHF minions.

2017 TREK STACHE 29+ Hardtail - March 29, 2017, 11:49 a.m.

looking forward to your ride review, a comparison of the 29+ vs the more common 27+ would be great as I have been curious about that.  my regular rides are still 26 (HT and 160 FS) and I got a Stache 5 last fall.  

for where I live, it is a fantastic wet weather, snow and winter bike.  the tires worked really well in the type of mud we have (i.e., I can keep pedaling vs hardly being able to walk on my 26" bikes with minions).  you can pad thru wet soft trails instead of digging trenches.  once snow is packed down a bit and if not icy, I think its better than a fat bike.  rolling resistance seems not much different from my other bikes.

I think its an excellent all round bike for beginner - intermediate rider or up to 2/3 - 3/4 speed for an expert.  but after that I suspect you're better off on a smaller tired/wheeled bike.  It is very sensitive to tire pressure and if a bit low any aggressive cornering is unnerving.   the big tires offer goofy fun traction but they are slow to transition into and between corners.  local terrain doesnt have rocks but I would be leery how long the tires would last riding sharp rocky terrain at speed  (they have been surprisingly durable on the dirt, roots and gravel I ride on though).  and the tires are $150/ea at retail to replace....

so I dont think this will replace your latest and greatest super-enduro sled but otherwise i think the last sentence in the article is likely a fair summary.

2017 Santa Cruz Chameleon - March 18, 2017, 5:56 p.m.

thx, hardly a delayed response!  agree re FS bikes.  My FS bike is 73 STA and I am quite happy with that.  I have relatively long legs but average height (5'11") and I ride flats.  I'm on a size L frame regardless of brand/model but I've always been able to make pretty much any bike work for me - not super fussy re fit details.  So I suspect I'd be fine.  agree its difficult to ask questions and offer advice about fit on the internet!

2017 Santa Cruz Chameleon - March 17, 2017, 11:35 a.m.

Andrew, can you comment a bit further about what sort of folks/riders might prefer the steeper STA?  asking because my older Stylus has 70 STA.  Its a bit of a bear to pedal because knees are always well behind the pedals (although my standing climbing has greatly improved!).  but as alluded to above all the new Chromags are 75 STA and so I dont know if I'd just be exchanging one issue for another if I were to move to a new frame.

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