Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy April 23rd

This is still funny:

Still faster than me

I'm 90% sure that Claudio's blind run-through was faster than my hypothetical qualifying run if I was there. That is to say my hypothetical qualifying run if I didn't crash 1-3 times.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Exciting Opportunity!!

If you want a chance to win the worst tires in the world, head over to Vital and vote for this week's photo of the week:,701

Yes, you too can ride a scaled up version of the same tires HB rode back in his course cuttin' days:

And by scaled up, I'm referring to the 29" and 650b tires. If you get the 26" version, they're literally exactly the same tire HB rode in 1990.

All of the 26" Panaracer Fire tires in existence were made in 1991 after HB won World Champs, and this contest on Vital is just another attempt for Panaracer to get rid of them. When people buy Fire tires they ride them twice and then throw them away, and the Panaracer people go to the dumpster, clean the tires up, repackage and resell them. And the cycle continues.

If we're going to split the hair, I think HB was on a Smoke and Dart combo at Worlds in 1990, but that's neither here nor there.


"Anka Martin was on the recently announced Juliana Roubion, a 150mm carbon framed ride that shares the Santa Cruz Bronson's geometry."

So it shares the same travel, geometry, dropouts, pivots, tube shapes and diameters, greaseports, headtube, and seatpost routing as the Bronson. What a coincidence.

In other Enduro-related news, this also sucked:

Nice try Canyon, but I can still see you.

"We're back bitches" -Eddy Merkin

I would classify Verg and Kyle from Eddy Merkin in the "life coach" category, right up there with Patrick, Todd, and Jim Karn. Read up kiddies, and get yourself learned.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


A few observations:

1. If Lawlor doesn't change the formula for the next videos, we're going to be listening to a lot of Eric Carter this season. Eric had a lot of insights and inspiration to share with us, with Aaron, with Troy, there was even a part in the video where some guy at the gas station was filling up the rental team van, and EC just kept telling the random South African guy to believe in his dreams and keep working, that he deserved to live up to his potential and to never give up. Inspiring stuff.

And I learned EC really likes Specialized hats.

2. Aaron Gwin is still very much Aaron Gwin. And he's really fast. Troy is still an amazing rider, and the fact that 110 pound Troy got 5th on the flattest track of the year is nothing short of incredible. This is Mitch Ropelato's first full World Cup season, so that's pretty cool. We at Team Robot are expecting big things.

3. Aaron and Troy both got to the podium on a one-off 650b Specialized Enduro Evo, which is crazy. Smaller travel, custom modified to run bigger wheels, probably all sorts of cool tweaks to get the head angle and BB height the team guys wanted. This is the first time we've ever seen a 650b Enduro Evo, 650b wheels are starting to break into the Specialized lineup, and now this bike wins the first World Cup of the season. And Specialized didn't mention any of that in their 7 minute recap video. So far in this paragraph I've talked more about the bike than Specialized has.

They never mention the bike. They mention Gwin's good seasons, bad seasons, his first win ever on this very track, his training, his breakfast, but no mention of his bike.

See if you can identify the subject of this shot. Hint: it's not the bike.

What I find interesting is that Specialized doesn't sell race seasons, wins, tracks, training, or breakfast, they sell bikes, but bikes are the one thing they don't talk about in their own video. Clearly they think the bike isn't good news or good press, and they don't want to mention it. Somehow this amazing winning bike is an embarrassment for Specialized, because it's a little out of the ordinary or because it doesn't exactly fit in their own neat and tidy Morgan Hill-centric version of the world. In other words, this video is classic Specialized.

How is this bike not good news for Specialized? They should make that exact bike available and market the hell out of it. They should talk all about what they did to get Aaron the best bike possible, and then they should say it was the best bike possible; according to the results, it was. They should have all the industry guys test ride Gwin's exact race setup from Pietermaritzburg. They should talk and talk and talk about that bike, but instead of learning about their world cup winning bike I learned that Aaron Gwin really likes peanut butter and oatmeal for breakfast.

And raw walnuts. Mmmm... walnuts.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I was posting a comment about legal and illegal trail building on a blog somewhere else, but before my comment could post I had to figure out how to deal with this:

But... I can't?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Random Earthed Segment sighting

While extremely migratory and elusive, Earthed segments can be found from time to time in an area where videos are known to often congregate, an area we know as "youtube." But as quickly as it can be found in "youtube," it will be gone, chased away by its natural predator, Warner Media Group. This one is perfect, a 2006 Pila World Cup sighting, with domination by a young Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough. Experts could not identify who won the women's race, and unanimously no one cared who won 4x.

It's fascinating to watch the Earthed Segment in a brief moment on youtube, but it's important to remember that it's a fraction of the beauty and majesty of a wild Earthed segment in its native environment on DVD.

Set an Earthed segment free today. Buy Earthed on DVD.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Killing it

A big time life-winner. Team Robot approved.