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Riding the 2021 Knolly Warden LT V2 - Nov. 14, 2020, 7:44 a.m.

Absolutely right on all accounts, but I've been finding with steeper seat angles ETT's been a more useful reference. A better Cliff Notes if you will.

Riding the 2021 Knolly Warden LT V2 - Nov. 13, 2020, 2:14 p.m.

I am hoping they keep 27.5 alive and pop out a new Endorphin. This is rad and all, but it's more travel than I need for my area of the country, but still want the pop and play of a smaller wheeled rig. About sizing, I've been migrating back to ETT measurements to get a handle on what I can expect the cockpit to feel. From some demo bikes I've been on this has worked better than looking at reach measurements. Going from a bike with a modest SA of 75 to the more aggressive angles on newer rigs, reach measurements may be the same, but man can it make you feel you're about to take a knee to the chin. Comparing ETT at least puts the hands and hips to a similar distance. I tried the methodology that Peter Verdone uses, but that seemed much more appropriate for the custom geo crowd. Plus manufacturers don't offer all the info necessary to calc with his method, at least not easily.

1 Bum, 3 Bags - Nov. 10, 2020, 6:38 a.m.

Mission was started by the OG founders of Chrome. Having used OG Chrome bags when I was a courier (after Timbuk2 got bought out and quit making the Tag Junkie, their largest mess bag), and when we switched it was a 'Whoa Nelly!' moment. Everything was laid out well and the quality was tops. It was comfortable in a way that a Tag Junkie could only dream of, even with a loaded mail bin tor two tucked inside. I would have no prob recommending any of Mission's bags off those years of practically living out of one. I have that Dakine 1L and it's a bit of a mixed bag (no pun intended. Honest. Why are you showing me the door?). You really need to plan what you bring, and minimize as much as possible. I like to carry a multi, chain, tire plugs and CO2 on most rides, in addition to the phone, snack(s), and minimal first aid gear. The space in there gets used up PDQ. Obviously it's not the tool for epics, but that's prob not the intent anyway. Also, that waterbottle holster is handy, but you HAVE to use the nipple lariat or you can expect your bottle to eject on rough ground.

Coming Back To Bash Rings (With Wolf Tooth CAMO) - Nov. 4, 2020, 8:09 a.m.

The bolt heads on the Camo bash look pretty tall in the pic. Do you spot any potential issues with chainstay clearance?

Is Cushcore Preferable to a Heavier Tire Casing? - Oct. 29, 2020, 9:53 a.m.

Yes. It felt damped in those chundery sections/rock gardens. One of the little kickers' landings was pretty blind as summer growth took over, so I ended up riding through it rather than popping until I could get out with a saw. I was able to run the 2.5 WT's down from 21 to 19, and it felt like the back was just shrugging off the rocks, way more noticeable when I started to run the inserts on the hardtail. So far, the only neg is the weight, but traction and control make you faster than losing a couple hundred grams. Confidence in your equipment counts.

Is Cushcore Preferable to a Heavier Tire Casing? - Oct. 29, 2020, 7:43 a.m.

1st thing, rad article. Thanks for keeping things interesting, AJ!

Recent convert here. I had been running EXO tires sans insert for some time until a botched landing left a rim bent and a couple threads in the tire casing snapped. When I ordered a new tire I decided to give inserts a go. First ride on the local loop had me sold, mostly due to one feature: a spot where you're wedged between a sandstone wall on one side, a river on the other, and a small boulder (2.5' or so) you need to climb over to keep going forward. Every time on that rock I would bang the rim with enough force to always pay mind to the potential splooge of sealant and air escaping. With the insert, no problem. The bike rides up it quite differently/confidently and silently. Couple that with some little rock garden booters that either have you landing clean if at speed or in the garden if not fast enough, and I totally groked what the inserts were doing.  The added support under hard turns in berms was just a Luxardo cherry on top of the dirt ice cream.

2021 Norco Shore A1 - First Impressions Review - Oct. 15, 2020, 10:24 a.m.

This was back in the days of 2x9 drivetrains. 22x32 FTW! The Hustler's main pivot was right in line with the granny. The bike floated over stuff in the gear that saw the least use. Heady days in early years of full sussers. Much was to grok still.

2021 Norco Shore A1 - First Impressions Review - Oct. 15, 2020, 7:26 a.m.

Right on all accounts. Brake jack on long travel HP bikes is well known, and the bit about how chainring size affects suspension came to light to me on my old Cove Hustler. The first time I got it into an area that required tech climbing in the granny I was absolutely blown by how much the sus opened up compared to pedaling in the 32, just sucking up holes and roots without fanfare or pedal kick. It was a feel I wish I had in that 32.

When Mountain Bikers are the Saboteurs - Oct. 15, 2020, 7:15 a.m.

Nodding approvingly over the morning cup. There's a local system that's had several rocks removed from the trail by unknown folks. On one hand, yes, it'll make the trail faster. On the other, controlling a rider's speed is half the intent as it's a multi use trail. On another hand, it was possible to keep a bit of speed if you bump jumped the rocks, so it shows it's likely due to the rider's skillset and trail vision being at fault. The part that really doesn't compute is why anyone would mess with signage in addition to dumbing down the trail. Those seem a bit at ends with each other. And thanks for the refresh on the Pipeline advert. That trail looks like a helluva good time, and one of the reasons I venture out three hours from home when I get the chance: to get to the good and tough dirt as opposed to the flowy stuff much closer. I've yet to see a vid of Wade that didn't have me smiling.

6 Months with the 12sp Shimano XT Group - Aug. 19, 2020, 6:30 a.m.

Fairly well confirms what I expected out of the group, it works without much fuss. I am curious if the cassette galled into the freehub body as happens with HG setups. Did those individual cogs cut into the body?

BRAKE LESS AND LET THE BIKE ROLL! - July 28, 2020, 10:01 a.m.

Me? Jumps. In the last four years or so I have just gotten so worry warted about jumps, especially the new school variety that are popping up all around, the big, long tranny table tops. Coming from a BMX background, having learned 360's on on a 97 Kona Chute with a 130mm Z1 and Tioga 66's over a proper box jump,  and learned suicides on an old Bontrager Race, it just maddens and bums me out that I'm breaking before the tranny that my friends are banging over. Mentally I KNOW I can clear it, but there's a gut reaction to slow the f down and not do so. Currently trying to peg down a weekend day where i can drive the hour to the closest jumps and just session the line most of the day, to work like Stella and get my groove back. The screwy bit: drops? Yeah, pretty much not an issue. Just a total one dimensional mental wall.

My Favourite Push-On Grips - July 13, 2020, 9:42 a.m.

Using spray adhesive I've just had to use an air nozzle on the compressor. Requires a bit of wiggling, but that's expected. I've been able to reuse the grips without issue.

My Favourite Push-On Grips - July 13, 2020, 6:19 a.m.

Chromag's Semenuk grip has become my fav. The extra length allows me to keep the bars stock at 780 but set the cockpit up like the 760 width I prefer, giving me that oh so tiny bit of extra leverage out on the ends when climbing that requires a bit of horking on the bar. I used to secure my grips with tubular cement but have since moved on to spray adhesive. Spray the bar, let it set, then a quick 360deg spray in the grip to put em on. I've had no need to wire them to the bar after winter slush or other seasons' rains.

The Only Drivetrain That Matters - July 6, 2020, 8:06 a.m.

Pert near nailed it. MS with it's trapezoidal rather than square splines supporting near every cog on the cassette is an improvement on the HG interface. That alone makes it cost effective when producing cassettes at all pricepoints while getting rid of the only real downside to HG freehubs: the galling the inevitably occurs when the loose cogs cut into the freehub body on alloy freehub bodies.

Hidden Colabs - July 2, 2020, 11:12 a.m.

Yup, the Al version. It was a helluva deal, but not THAT much of a deal :D

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