Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vee Rubber Tires

Vee Rubber Tires: designed with crayons on napkins at Denny's since 2009.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This new bike from Ghost looks sick

Because I hate being able to access both my shock bolts at the same time. Also see: mud.

The designers are pairing a 170mm fork with 150mm of rear travel, because having 20mm more travel up front on a long travel application makes sense in some strange bizarro parallel universe, a universe I like to call "Germany."

When you have a stiff, minimal amount of suspension design in the rear, you want a big mushy pogo stick up front. Sort of like walking with one foot in one of these:

And the other in one of these:

Typically when I see a big disparity between front and rear wheel travel on a trail bike, my go-to assumption is that the marketing guy and product manager are trying to work around some awful shortcoming that engineering blessed them with, such as
  • an out-of-date head angle that's way too steep
  • a sad excuse for lazy engineering like "with these big wheels we can either have a reasonable chainstay length or long travel, but not both,"
  • or just a stubborn insistence that "XYZ amount of travel is enough for this application" even though XYZ amount of travel is clearly not enough travel for this application

When faced with any of the above problems, a marketing guy or product manager can easily turn a medium-ish travel bike designed for your average consumer into a "long travel bruiser for trail crushers" by just sticking a longer fork on it. In case you think I'm making this up:

Medium-ish travel bike designed for your average consumer.

"Long travel bruiser for trail crushers." And the people loved it.

This just cements my view of Ghost Bikes as a purveyor of high quality, well-thought out bikes with simple but time-tested suspension designs, like their downhill bike for Team RRP Ghost:

Translation: "I couldn't get paid as much in MX, and this downhill thing is easier too. Yeah I have to ride this shit bike, but try going to the U.S. and racing the AMA's. Have you seen Barcia or Roczen on track? It's a joke, all those guys in the states are savage. I can bang out wins in these local German downhill races all day long and that's money money money in the bank."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mountain biking

Morgan Taylor is once again trying to appropriate the wisdom of "the hardmen and minimalists" so he can synthesize it and spoon feed it to the average Joe, or in this case his girlfriend and slow old people. This time he's trying to convince everyone who still has a front derailleur that they'll totally be happier without it:

Someone needs to tell Morgan that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Anyone who's still running a front derailleur is either:

  1. A grainy old XC dude who legitimately needs more gears for his casual 100 mile rides.
  2. Someone who sucks at going downhill and(or) thinks he's going "as fast as you can go."
  3. So stuck in his rut that he religiously buys Miller Lite over Coors Light because he honestly believes "it has a smoother finish."
  4. All three of the above people in one being; the "unholy trinity" if you will. You might know this person as "Your uncle," "that one guy that always comes into the shop," or "Tinker Juarez."

None of those 4 types of people could possibly give a shit about Morgan Taylor's gear-inch calculations

But first a little background into where little ROBOTs come from. I started riding because of this:

Then I started doing this:

Now I also do a lot of this:

Between dirt jumping and downhill, front derailleurs were never an option. Around 2012 when I was building up my first trail bike I called Lars Sternberg and asked if I'd be happy with a front derailleur. He said "No," and I haven't run a front derailleur since. When I meet people who still choose to run a front derailleur this is what I think about:

And when I hear people like Morgan Taylor talk about 28 tooth single rings this is what I think about:

And another thing. If you're running any of these setups:
  • A 28-32 tooth chainring
  • A 10-42 cassette with anything less than a 38 tooth front cog
  • Any sort of "one-up" 40 or 42 tooth cassette abomination
Nothing you do can ever be referred to as "grinding" "pushing" or "turning over a hard gear." It's called "pedaling."

If somebody still knowingly chooses to run a front derailleur, your little graphs and calculations aren't going to change their mind, Morgan. That's like trying to bring actual medical research into a discussion about gluten. Ain't nobody got time for that shit.

There can only be one

The only thing anyone wants to see here is a bunch of rain for finals and Sam Hill winning by 7 seconds.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Everything I ever said about Germans and bikes

At least a passing resemblance

Tell me with a straight face that this:

Doesn't look at least a little bit like this:

"Charlie, just because it's not racing, don't make fun. What Brett Rheeder and Semenuk did in their final runs was almost impossible. You can't even imagine how hard it is. It's really impressive."

Yeah, for sure, no argument there. But you're a liar if you tell me that the stuff those aerobic athletes pull in that video is any less mind-blowing. I dare you to try the dual arm spins at 0:40 in the video and NOT tear your rotator cuff in half. Try those fast steps at 1:02. That's easily as hard as a flat spin 720 off the final whale tail at Crankworx. At least Semenuk had a whole run to warm up to that, he even busted one out halfway down his run. Homie with the fast steps went from zero to a thousand in a split second. Do you know how much stretching and warm up it takes to pull that stuff off?  It takes a lifetime to prepare for something like that. I bet you it was straight carnage at the 1987 Crystal Light Aerobic Championship, with hamstrings and ACL's blowing out like candles. Dudes getting carted off on backboards or carried off the field of battle by their fellow aerobic athletes.

The lyrics tell you everything you need to know. Like the sunshine, they are the champions.