Monday, May 27, 2013


illustrating the quality of our blogging and our musical preferences in one picture.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

For Verg love TEAM-ROBOT



while all the internet is buzzing about stage racing, new wheelsizes and cameras that can make slow mo slow mo'er.
three punny humans Gordo, Grizz and Mikey have crushed all of humanity with this edit.
Mikey for President or at least "secretary of making people quit DH and retire to enduro in their 20's" thats a real governmental position we checked.
Rapid Fire: Mikey Sylvestri DH Blazing - More Mountain Bike Videos

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Gauntlet has been thrown down

Tim Zimmerman said that he's building up the sickest Diamondback Mission the world has ever seen. Tim is claiming a Death Star theme, which sounds like big talk from a guy who can't even name what gas they were mining in Cloud City. I challenge Tim's "best Mission ever" claim, and here is exhibit A:

This is my Sea Otter midpack machine, and I'm going to go ahead and say that this is the sickest Mission ever built.

Some highlights for you to think about Tim:

  • Zee derailleur, XTR shifter. Because I know where to put the quality. Derailleurs come and go, but that XTR shifter will be shifting like new ten years from now. I'm a baller on a budget.
  • Ditto for the Chris King Hubs and detagged Stan's Rims. I think I'll probably have to service the hubs sometime between the next presidential election and the Robot Singularity. Tastefully chosen in the blue anodized color. It's a different color than the rest of the build, but I think it's distinct and low key. They don't jump out and scream "look at me I'm an anodized orange handlebar."
  • Saint Brakes, because that makes sense on an all mountain bike, right? Okay, okay, just to be reasonable I downsized my rear rotor from a full 203 to 180. Fair enough.
  • 38 tooth ring, because if I'm going to pedal uphill I might as well be miserable.
  • 60mm stem, because this isn't a downhill bike.
  • Gravity Light downhill cranks, because if I wanted flexy cranks I'd ride for some other company. Also, I chose cranks in Gravity's "Ice Grey" theme, so as to remain new and shiny looking after years of abuse. Even the best black cranks look pretty tired after a full season of scratched and wear, but my Ice Grey cranks actually improve with age. That's science.
  • And of course, Kenda Tires.

Since this photo was taken at Sea Otter, I've thrown a dropper post back on there, added some more spacers under the stem, and switched out to a slightly more reasonable set of 785 XT brakes. I'm still running Kenda tires, and I'm still running that 38 tooth ring up front, which is pretty gnarly on steep Oregon rides.

Me and my Mission are going to go to Hood River today to go check out this enduro thing. I still haven't decided whether or not I'm going to race yet, mainly because I don't want to tarnish my perfect record.

Right now I'm 2-2 on Super D and Enduro wins, and that's a record I don't want to mess with. Here's the score board as it sits:

2012 Schweitzer Super-D: 1st place out of four pro men. A highly competitive race, obviously.
2012 Cold Creek Enduro: 1st place out of five pro men. Also highly competitive.

I'm an Enduro specialist.

So if you race enduro when you retire from downhill, what do I race if I retired from Enduro?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Your excuses don't impress me

When you tell me you have to take your foot off to do a "shoulder buzzer" straight air on your mountain bike, this is all I'm thinking of:

Philosophy, literature, and team robot

"The trickster is an important archetype in the history of man. He is a god, yet he is not. He is the wise-fool. It is he, through his creations that destroy, points out the flaws in carefully constructed societies of man. He rebels against authority, pokes fun at the overly serious, creates convoluted schemes, that may or may not work, plays with the Laws of the Universe and is sometimes his own worst enemy. He exists to question, to cause us to question not accept things blindly. He appears when a way of thinking becomes outmoded needs to be torn down built anew. He is the Destroyer of Worlds at the same time the savior of us all."

That + laser eyes =



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My heart died today

Burgtec, the ultimate NFG fad-ignoring company that built cool shit to survive the apocalypse, today sacrificed their integrity to the Enduro gods today and made an "Enduro stem." Which in the parlance of eras past would have been known as "a 50mm stem."

Also, in a move that is equally shocking but even more devastating to their loyal fan base, Burgtec announced their already stellar pedal will no longer be made out of solid unbreakable 22mm thick dick-crushing aluminum, it will now be made out of flimsy trend-whoring weak pussy-ass 17mm thick aluminum.

We salute you, Burgtec. You had a great run.

My new goal

I've been traveling a bunch, and I can never find the time or concentration to do my homework when I'm traveling, and at this point, writing for TEAM ROBOT is more like homework than fun. So there goes one more part of my life that I previously enjoyed.  Life is tough, what with free food, travel, riding my bike all over the world, having to hike runs for pro photographers, it's a lot for one guy to handle.

And that's why Patrick has been the only one updating TEAM ROBOT.

Anyway, I finally realized what my new goal is for my racing "career." Previously, I had hoped to have a long and successful career, to grow over time as a rider and as a person, and develop over time into a consistently fast rider who could point to a finely honed knowledge of race craft and a deep understanding of what it means to be a competitor in mind, body, and soul.

But then I saw the Danny Hart 5.10 video "Hart and Soul" and the new Red Bull/Brook MacDonald self-congratulatory bro echo chamber "Born and Raised," and it hit me:

I don't have to be a consistently good rider to get a big movie deal. I just have to win one race.

By the way, Redbull TV has the most crazy long embed code in the world, and I can't figure out how to make it NOT auto play. Amateur hour.

Danny Hart wins World Champs = Five Ten movie deal.

Brook MacDonald wins one World Cup race = Red Bull movie deal.

In fact, being consistently fast actually seems to be counterproductive if you want to land the big movie deal. It's not like Red Bull didn't have another meteoric success story from a young rider to point to inside the Red Bull camp. You know, like if Red Bull had a rider who was developing into the winningest downhill rider in the history of the sport?  One who had already broken several records, who redefined the sport, and who only seemed to be getting faster year to year. One who broke a nation's piss poor record on the international stage and seems almost unbeatable when he puts his mind to it. AKA a true "champion," not just someone who won a race once. Where could they find someone like that on their roster?

No, I can't think of anyone either.

And please don't say "but Brook won Junior World Champs." First of all, he won in Canberra, which pretty much doesn't count unless you're Peaty, in which case we were all looking for an excuse to give him the medal anyway. Peaty earned that medal ten years before he ever won it in Canberra, and 2009 was more of a knighting ceremony than anything else. His name is "Sir Steve Peat," right? Realistically, if you weren't Steve Peat in Canberra, your medal should read "Sorta [women's/junior] Downhill World Champ, Kinda."

Second of all, no one really cares about junior world champs after you're 18. It's great news if you win it, but if you show up to a senior men's race the next year in a rainbow jersey you're not gonna race until you take the jersey off. And that's not even my rule, that's the UCI. It's kind of like showing up to a job interview with your spelling bee medal from the fifth grade. Sure, everyone's happy for you that you did so great as a kid, but this is the big leagues now and your kid medal doesn't mean shit anymore. You think I'm being harsh? Ruaridh Cunningham won World's in 2007, two years before Brook. Where's his "the Making of a Champ" movie deal? Exactly, no one gives a shit.

So when Red Bull says "the Making of a Champ" in referrence to Brook MacDonald, they're pretty much referring to him being a World Cup Champ. No, not a World Cup Overall Champ, Not a Worl Champion, they're referring to him being the Champion of a single World Cup round. And that's fine, I guess, but why that deserves a movie when Greg Minnaar has been winning races and World Champs and World Cup Overalls since before I went through puberty, and despite Red Bull rider Aaron Gwin's current campaign to be the best downhill racer in the history of downhill racing... it's puzzling.

I didn't watch it, but I only hope they decided to make the Brook movie so they can use lots of bulldog puns.

So yeah, basically I'm just jealous.

-Written by NW Cup Champ Charlie Sponsel

The kill list

It's crazy how close pearl jam is to the top of the kill list. They're not at the very top, but they definitely have a clear view of the top from where they are. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bar height + recent mtb trends + pro ho = compensating for something, probably skill

From Bob:

"fyi Matt Thompson runs TWO stem spacers. What's your problem?"

And he's right. Matty T has a bike check up on Vital right now, and the big guy has twice as many stem spacers as me. And he's running an XL frame, which in my estimation is Xtra rad. 

So I'm definitely falling behind in the cool guy "who can put their bars higher" game. On the plus side, I'm friends with Matt Thompson now on Facebook, so hopefully he can teach me his ways. I've got that going for me. 

In all seriousness though, my stem spacers are the most awesome stem spacers in the world, because mine were handmade in The Commander's garage. That's +5hp for sure. 

Plus I have spacers under my crown, so my bar height's way taller anyway. So really Bob's way off base is what I'm trying to say.

These are the things I think about on long plane flights and drives. I probably need a job or a girlfriend. Probably in that order. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Can we just mercy kill Ellsworth already?

Ellsworth bikes look even worse than they ride, well maybe that's a little harsh they look like a broken mspaint abortion of a kids crayon drawing of a mountain bike, and they ride like an Ellsworth mountain bike from the 90's.

its like AIDS and Cancer got together via "pinkbike chat" and were all like "hey bro lets totally make a bike company" and they did, but that was 67 years ago, and they have been making the SAME god awful bike over and over again year after year.

we at TEAM-ROBOT in an unprecedented act of mercy take pity on Elsworth bikes. Allowing them to kill themselves before the robot apocalypse and save us all a lot of trouble.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The "Don" is still better than you.

outside of proving the fact that Downhillers who don't make it can just retire to "enduro", Neil kills it with this video.
Black Jeans check
the Stooges check
flat pedals check
stupid wheels check

all the elements are there for a fun little video.

oh yeah and Neil is a badass on any bike.(most notebly a shitty Azonic recoil from about 2002)

all he needs now is a redbull helmet and no personality, a full season of getting his ass kicked by nameless french guys and he can be the UK's Curtis Keene.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Name drop

Dude, I have Carson Storch's phone number now. He's, like, famous and stuff.

Realistically though, now that Carson's on the DF5 team, my days are numbered. Mid-pack results + cutesy ironic blog + writing something thought-provoking once every six months does not compete with 720's and double tailwhips.

Friday, May 3, 2013

For the guys who think Danica Patrick is hot

Once she got pole at Daytona and we realized that maybe, just maybe she really could drive, it was the final piece in the puzzle.

Finkle is Einhorn.

Einhorn is Finkle...

Light bikes

I ride my road bike a lot. It's a good way to train, and I love getting out and getting lost in the backwoods and side roads around Portland. Plus, being a mountain biker in Portland it's pretty much a hour and a half drive to get anywhere you would want to ride, and sometimes you just need to ride right now. Riding your ride bike out of your driveway is a huge upgrade over three hours in a car. I'm a baller on a budget, so I've been riding my Dad's 61cm 1983 Fuji Team,

One of the most productive things I've done in a long time was riding Diamondback's top of the line road bike, the Podium 7. It's a full carbon frame designed by Kevin Quan, who apparently is like the Dave Weagle of carbon road bikes, it's got full Campy Super Record, Carbon wheels, and the complete bike weight is 14 and some change. Basically it's baller as shit.

Really the only thing that could make it better is Dura Ace 11 speed, which a) I have no idea whether it's actually better or not but I am required by contract to say it, and b) is a pretty small difference in the grand scheme of thing. Campy 11 speed vs. Shimano 11 speed is sort of like choosing between Mountain Dew Baja Blast and a Mountain Dew Baja Blast Icee at Taco Bell. Which is better? It doesn't really matter, you're so close to perfection already that the difference is negligible.

Anyway, Verg and I went on a ride through the Berkeley hills last week on our bourgy-ass Diamondback bikes, and surprise- those hills are really steep. The ride ended up taking almost three hours, and we only rode about 20 miles. That means we weren't going very fast, because it was pretty much climbing the whole time. Here's a quick breakdown of my experience in Berkeley:

But here's the most important thing I learned on that ride: being tired on an $8500 wonderbike with carbon rims feels exactly the same as being tired on my 30 year old steel clunker.

That feeling, when you just know your tires flat or your brake must be rubbing or maybe you broke a spoke? No, that's just you being a dumbass. You're just weak, and you're looking for an excuse. And that feeling- the feeling of being tired and weak and needing an excuse- it feels exactly the same on the best bike in the world as it does on a crappy bike.

So get a bike that fits, get a bike that will be dependable, and get a bike that you like to ride.

The bike isn't riding like shit.

I'm riding like shit.

Jeff Hanneman. January 31, 1964 – May 2, 2013

Sad news, we lost Jeff to liver failure yesterday.

these are some of the songs Jeff wrote. R.I.P Jeff.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ten things we learned from the new NS Bikes Prototype In Action video.

1. Poland sucks.
2. ixs helmets suck more than Poland.

3.we have all been clamping carbon bikes into work stands wrong for some time now, and apparently under utilizing the ball end of allen wrenches.

4. ns bikes needs to get Chazz riding for them. now hear me out, they have a proto dh bike being developed by a mid pack racer that's regularly loosing by 13 seconds to guys on evils. Chazz has been doing that for the past couple of seasons.
5.poland sucks.
6. norco paint job plus commencal\fsr equals sales. marzocchi out of business yet?
8.putting a CaneCreek Double Barrel band aid on cancer doesn't make it go away.
9.if your bike doesn't have an integrated seatpost clamp you shouldn't be riding. could say that poland is the New Jersey of Europe but thats not true because anywhere in America is a hundred times better than poland.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


this is pretty much what its like to be a member of team robot.