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Mountain Biking Can't Get Better Than This... - July 3, 2019, 12:04 p.m.

The sentiment of this post really resonates with me, and it's been stuck in my head all week. It feels like our sport is really at its peak (and I don't see any end in sight.) I've been riding mountain bikes since the late 80s, having been aboard all manner of designs and competed in a variety of disciplines. There has been so much positive change, both from the standpoint of bikes and their components, the breadth of great bikes available, to popular acceptance of bikes in our Western culture, to advocacy and its natural outcome - trailbuilding and bike-specific travel destinations*. It's really striking and uplifting. 

One little nerdy bit I thought I'd share that seems to pertain here: I have a graph in my mind that I dreamed up a few years ago. It relates to Cam's statement about improved personal riding performance as time progresses. Imagine a bell curve but skewed left. I imagine how the graph represents how our average speed** on a bike likely increases pretty quickly early in our riding careers and perhaps hits a zenith at some point (as it does for me) when we're our risk-taking behavior is at a max/life responsibilities are at a min. I imagine that the line of the graph tapers off gradually (avg speed decreases) as years go on. But in my mind, there are upticks in this graph after the high point as it moves to the right and those are - for me - related to breakthroughs in specific bike features or tech. For example, full-suspension bikes, even at their crudest in the early 00s, permitted me to ride a lot faster than my double triangle Stumpy S-Works with its 72' HA and 74' SA. Then came along slacker geo and more fork travel, such as on my Rocky Pipeline. A little faster still on my RM7...then onto a Banshee Scream, and a Cannondale Gemini. Then faster-forwarding quite a bit: I put a KS dropper post on my trail bike and riding changed yet again. Then I hopped from 26" wheels of my SB66 to a Remedy 29. Now I am on a 170/150 travel Slash. Like Cam, I feel I am cornering faster than ever, climbing reasonably well, and handling the steep terrain of Western Washington at least as well as I ever was. 

Halfway through my 42nd lap around the sun, I'm eager for the next breakthrough! How 'bout you?


* There are obviously several other phenomena in our sport like the beast that is Social Media, widespread access to streamable competitions from around the globe, democratization in tech to permit small builders to compete with more-established brands, just to name a few.

**Just to choose a measurable factor for the purpose of this example. One might also select race results, or days ridden per year, or % time spent on black diamond trails.

Introducing the 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower - July 3, 2019, 9:43 a.m.

Quite a treat to see this new chassis out in the wild last week. It rallied everything that was thrown at it - though I can't say that I was *too* surprised. Choice spec, smart geo, and a skilled rider all combined to make for a lot of big smiles and high fives. 

This new silhouette is really growing on me. I predict it will be a big hit given its versatility. As for the tan color, I thought it looked super sharp in person - more like tapioca than desert sand, but that's just me. The orange decals on the fork legs and the MarshGuard were smart esthetic touches, as well. 

If I had any nits to pick from the details that SC shared, it'd be the seemingly short list of rear shocks that will fit, and the lack of size-specific rear triangles. Lastly, it's a bit of a head-scratcher to me that they offer a size small with these big wheels. If I was the product manager, that column would simply say "See Bronson".

Escape to Tassie with Keegan Wright - July 1, 2019, 4:30 p.m.

Haha! Great vibe, and I love the very inventive trailwork!

The New ROCKSHOX REVERB Stealth Ridden - June 25, 2019, 11:28 a.m.

My guess is that it's the same cap they've been using for years elsewhere, now just updated with 'vent valve'.

Now I get to wondering what shop rats think of this significantly-longer service interval. My favorite tech feeds his family on Reverb rebuilds. (Shameless plug for Butter Suspension)

The New ROCKSHOX REVERB Stealth Ridden - June 25, 2019, 11:26 a.m.

Oh duh. I saw this image with the accompanying text but my mind went to "he's already removed the knurled cap, now on to something else." That doesn't make any sense. But as you know, I've got a 3 week old depleting my already-limited cognitive abilities. lol.

The New ROCKSHOX REVERB Stealth Ridden - June 25, 2019, 10:43 a.m.

That was my experience as well - when bled properly, my Reverb worked great. I've since moved on to cable-actuated posts though, and don't imagine I'll ever go back.

The New ROCKSHOX REVERB Stealth Ridden - June 25, 2019, 10:39 a.m.

Vent Valve looks like a great feature, though it's peculiar that the knurled cap appears to be buried so deeply into the top of the post. Does it require a tool to access? I understand that mnfrs usually refrain from caps and bolts that require tools so as to reduce the chance of over-torquing, but this looks like a bit of a hassle that could have been avoided.

Brakes *IN* Your Handlebars? Magura Launches the MCi System - June 20, 2019, 5 p.m.

I bet this system will work great for commuters and other landlubbers. But for us dirtbags? Nope.

Also, kudos for keeping an open mind. Little doubt in my mind that some facet of this will soon apply to something we CAN agree on.

Jordie Lunn Blasting a Decoy - May 14, 2019, 4:34 p.m.

My hope remains that Washington State remains analog bikes only. I'm not going to actively hate on offroad ebikes, I'm just going to continue to celebrate the status quo.

Are Tire Inserts a Solution or a Band-Aid? - May 9, 2019, 9:15 p.m.

Knocking on every piece of wood I can find - I just had the first puncture in oh 3-4 years? I'm 105kg in riding kit and on carbon wheels. I feel I'm the only person not bitching about EXO casings - they work just fine for me. Haven't felt the compulsion to spring for inserts - DHF/HR2 on 30mm wide hoops, running 25/28 F/R is supportive enough with great traction in the PNW.

As for the growth in this market, I have to confess I'm pretty cynical. When I think about the majority of these projects (save for procore) I think they're seriously overpriced - it's just a bit of foam. ~$75 a wheel? Please.

OneUp Releases Full Cockpit & Dropper Post Lengths Covering 100–210mm - April 12, 2019, 3:03 p.m.

With innovative gear like this, we're truly in a golden age of bikes.

Tannus Launches New Tire Inserts For MTB - April 12, 2019, 3:02 p.m.

I'll stay tuned for a long term review but color my skeptical. Relying on tubes sounds like a step backwards. Then add more mass? Meh....

WTB Launches Two New Aggressive Tire Options - April 9, 2019, 7:46 p.m.

Doubtful they'll change *my* game but they do look promising.

Bontrager Flatline MTB Shoe - April 3, 2019, 7:13 p.m.

After seven seasons my Five Tens are finally ready for the big shoe pile in the sky. I will definitely give these a test. If the size 48 fits as well as I hope it does, I'll snatch up a pair. (And for those that don't know, Bonti's fit guarantee means I have 30 days to return 'em.)

It'd be fantastic if they also offered these with an SPD-compatible sole. Trek, if you're listening.... they'd go great with my Slash!

Introducing the Forbidden Bikes Druid - April 3, 2019, 7:02 p.m.

Looks absolutely awesome. Fit and finish appear to be tip-top. I too have been following them for some time and now very eager to get on one. Here in Bellingham, WA it looks like Fanatik Bikes will have a demo day 27 April. I hope an XL is available for a lap as I am +3 on the ape index.

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