Try some Vittorias. The Martello in particular. The G+ tread compound and extremely durable casing are rather impressive.
The clamps are exactly the same as the stock ones. They just put an arrow and 'Front' on them for those that can't work out you can switch them around.
I wouldn't say I'm as giddy as, for bring to your and other readers attention that this post is seen with other branding and in other brand bikes. It's more of calling Bontrager/Trek's bluff for trying to make customers believe they have been doing some good R&D on making a new post, when in fact they haven't. They've just bought an already well established post in the market and put their branding on it, which I believe is a bit miss leading. Yes I know the bike market is full of it, but consumers have the right to know that the extra coin they slap down for a new Bontrager branded post pays for the marketing guy's salary and no real work from Bontrager.
Hi Andrew, I hate to burst your bubble on the Bontrager seat clamp, but it's a stock clamp for that post that's used by other players, but with different branding of course. All my sub $4k CUBE bikes in my shop have the same post, but with CUBE or RFR written on them, SDG uses the same post with SDG on it. Syncros too. Its been around for 3 model years in CUBE bikes already. It's a Tranz X as far as I can work out. The only difference between the Bontrager and the CUBE one is the price. You pay an extra $50 for the Bontrager logo. Nothing new at all.
It's exactly the same post the comes in a bunch of different branded bikes. They seem to work fine. I sell the CUBE branded ones for about US$200.00, so that makes the Bontrager one $50 or 20% over priced for their logo and sticker. Don't be sucked in by their marketing and paying more because of it.
New XTR is going to be released on Saturday 26th.
Great article and great to read about someone that really seems to care about the quality and durability of his product. The question I have for him is why is there such a large amount of poor quality production and control of finished products form many of the big producers. Case in point, the Big S making frames where the headset bearing cup in a carbon frame is 0.8mm bigger than the supplied bearing, making it impossible not to have a continually lose headset, but other smaller makers can make the fit so exact that you have to use a press to get the bearings into the carbon head tube. Same with pressfit BB's. The only reason they creak is the hole in the frame is to big for the BB unit. I see this everyday in my workshop and having to explain to customers that their bike is really not that well made and will always have issues, gets a bit tiring, especially when the big manufactures bikes are actually quite over priced for the quality.
Total marketing hogwash from Sram yet again. Are XX1 cranks noticably stiffer than XTR that use a 24mm spindle? Never heard anyone complain that was a problem. Never even trying the Enduro BB is such a ignorant attitude to something that works pretty damn well. Do your home work before bagging others products that try to fix a problem that should never have been created.
You got to wonder why people wear headphones when they ride? You miss so much.
I've been in the bike retail business on and off for 27 years and this is what I have learnt. The best way to make a retail shop work these days is to have a real point of difference to your local competitors. Having a high level of experience in repairing modern bikes (lots of training for your staff) knowing where to source the correct parts, having the right tools to do the job (very important) and charging a price that goes with the quality of service you provide, are the best tools to have to making any shop profitable, as well as not carrying to much stock. You're not going to get really rich running a bike shop, but you make a lot of people happy along the way and it's generally a fun environment to work in. Maybe do a little stock market dabbling on the side for some extra fun coupons!
I've been using a 180mm travel 27.5 36 since 2015 and no the bike isn't more raked out than running a 170 or 160. Once the sag is set you just end up with a lot more negative travel, which works great for keeping the tyre on the ground and a much bigger air chamber to dial in the spring curve you want.
TRP has been around for about a decade, mostly making high end brakes for triathlon and TT bikes. Great to see a new player in the disc brake market. Consistency is the biggest issue I have with brakes when you are really pushing them.
That RS shock remote looks like it was stolen off a lawn mower, a cheap nasty lawn mower. The first over the bars crash and that thing will be history. Please can we stop the remote madness. It's just more crap on the bars and more crap to fail.
Mountain biking and travelling go hand in hand. For many of us, in the beginning mountain biking was about going places in the mountains, using a bike for transport and discovering new and cool places. When you have ridden everything in your backyard, then it's time to go and explore other backyards. I've run a small bike travel business for about 15 years and the enjoyment of exploring new countries, riding different trails and experiencing other cultures never fades, plus the buzz you get from showing others a good time, makes the humping of bike bags and excess baggage well worth the effort.
Thanks for verifying my comments Andrew. Funnily enough I'm riding a CUBE from Germany at the moment. Most of their bikes come 2x and to be honest with you, the people who buy them from me really appreciate that they come stock like that. Most of the purchasers are in the second half of their life, so not wanting to make riding any more difficult than it needs to be, if you know what I mean.