Saturday, February 28, 2015

As seen on the Internet

"Have you ever rode a fat bike? How about a fat trike? Take a peek below at the all-new 'Fat Tad' prototype that landed in our shop yesterday. We haven't been able to stop test riding it since it was assembled!"

-Sun Seeker

Modern Ellsworth spotting

And I use the term "modern" loosely. 

Spotted in the wild. At an XC race though, so makes more sense. I love the classic lines and low stand over height. The best design is that which becomes almost invisible, Ellsworth being a go-to example of this principle. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Poll

Hey people riding ain't free and even ROBOTS gotta hustle from time to time. With all the big time web traffic the page is getting, we're looking to cash in on our years of genius. That's right, we're moving on up, deluxe apartment in the sky.

TEAM ROBOT has been approached by a number of interested, qualified parties looking to advertise on our fine blog. Check the poll for options and let us know what you think. If you have any other bright ideas feel free to post in the comments.

Finally got a piece of the pie.

Monday, February 23, 2015

This sucks

Pavers. Here's my theory:

Most people don't actually like riding pavers. It's clearly worse, dirt is clearly better, and given a back to back comparison even the lowest members of the human species would conclude that pavers on trails are a torture device straight from the seventh circle of hell.

I think there are exactly three people on the entire planet who actually like pavers, but they are prodigious advocates of belief system, traveling far and wide to share pavers with land managers everywhere. In the absence of good trail builders doing likewise, these missionaries of misery have been able to fill this information vacuum, spreading pavers to the ends of the earth, from Sandy Ridge to Colonnade to Mammoth Mountain to the Azores Islands in the picture above.

I firmly believe there are only three agents of the paver movement, but in truth I don't pretend to know what motivates these three people. Perhaps it's a genuine love of paver berms, but alternatively it could be a one-dimensional power trip and pavers are merely the instrument to consolidate power. Traveling the world to exercise their will on unsuspecting trail users quells the urge they've always had but never satisfied.

Maybe it's a small masochistic group installing pavers for their own use, to self-punish as an act of contrition.

If pressed, I'd wager that the paver advocates are part of some fringe religious group seeking to punish the sins of mankind, and in their search for a widespread system of pain and suffering as reckoning for our sins they talked to the people who invented speed bumps and highway on-ramp signals. Those ideas were already taken, of course, so they settled on pavers as their modus operandi.

This desecration comes to us from Steamboat Springs, Colorado from people who should know better.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Going straight to the source.

Dave Trumpore was trying to defend his affinity for the Cane Creek Doubtable Barrel (I just came up with that... I know, it's hilarious, right?), and then we turned our gaze to the new Push Industries rear shock. I asked him what he thought about it, and he said "why don't you ask Peter Verdone what he thinks?"

So I did.

"The shock looks nice enough. I hope that Darren can move forward with something like this. Still, Avalanche has always remained on the side lines despite making incredible parts and most people are utterly confused by CCDB/TTX shocks that they run scared from them. The market is truly ignorant and they don’t seem to want to learn.

Here are a few of my thoughts.
  1. “Murphy discovered that a rounded, parabolic shaped needle would control rebound flow in more even increments than a tapered needle would. Who knew?”
    This is a joke right? Ohlins has been doing this for a few years from my understanding. It’s something that I was proposing about 10 years ago.
    It’s always amazing the marketing horseshit that the bicycle industry is able to stomach.
  2. Hyperco is a great company. I got a lot of motorcycle springs from them. They were always rated within 2% as they claim. Still, Ohlins consistently made lighter springs that had a longer linear range. Obviously, the linearity is always within the rated stroke but it’s saying something when you get more. It would be nice to compare the weights of the Hyperco bike springs with the Ohlins bike springs. The fine 25 lb increments is a great thing.
  3. I like that they are showing dyno charts but they look a bit idealized. I’d like to see some independent tests. Still, nobody else is talking about dynos in the bicycle business so we can enjoy that.
  4. The large shaft is going to displace a lot of fluid. That may be a function of the design or a by product of thinking ‘bigger is better’ that comes and goes in shock shafts. Typically, shafts are small in diameter.
  5. The dual compression circuit and the parabolic needles are really the value here. Long travel bikes really like climb circuits for climbing. But this is a large coil shock. I don’t see why this is something even needed as the only real market is gravity.
  6. The lack of a bladder is underwhelming. I would expect that on a such a high end shock. The IFP is certainly not a selling point here.
  7. The lack of a negative spring is lame. Ohlins uses a negative spring. I belive that RockShocks has followed. It’s really the proper way of doing things.
  8. I would like to see a spring perch bearing of some sort. Even the delrin washers I use on my shocks would be nice to see here but they are lacking.

-Peter Verdone, 2015

There you have it people. Discuss.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NW Trail report, 2-17-2015

Everything's running.

Upper Bowl at Ski Bowl, Feb 17 2015. Photo by THE Brad Delzer.


Push Industries just released their new rear damper today.

It's a bold move, and there are a lot of interesting aspects to their decision to release a high-end coil-sprung damper built to order, intended for use on a narrow list of only long-travel trail bikes. The new damper raises many interesting questions, and can be the catalyst for so many thought-provoking discussions. Discussions about this specific product, but also discussions we as an industry and as consumers need to have about suspension in general. Here's just a few:
  • The place for high-end coils in a world where air springs offer so much performance and tunability, not to mention weight savings.
  • Shock shaft diameter- oil flow vs. friction.
  • The importance of incremental home tuning versus baseline settings from the factory.
  • The drawbacks of existing suspension platforms.
  • The benefits of remote custom tuning vs. the drawbacks of highly specialized products.
  • Empowering the end user vs. expertise and "the guild"
  • The benefits of US manufacturing vs. sourcing materials based exclusively on quality or price.
  • Economies of scale in terms of manufacturing.
  • Economies of scale in terms of R&D.
  • Global trade policy.
  • Hostility toward the "out group" and the sociology of xenophobia.
  • What is the essence of cycling: performance or experience? Competition or adventure?
  • The cycle of avant garde to mainstream.
  • Art vs. commerce.
  • The disappearance of the artisan worker in the modern world.
  • Man's search for meaning.

As usual, none of those discussions happened on Pinkbike today. Instead everyone and their brother came out of the woodwork to say:

This is how I picture everyone who talks about Double Barrels online. Dave/Lee Trumpore this includes you.

I don't know Darren Murphy personally (founder of Push), but I've had a few interactions with him, all pleasant, and I think I can go out on a limb here and extrapolate some of his thinking behind the new rear damper and subsequent pricing structure. For the benefit of everyone and their brother on Pinkbike, I've carefully prepared the following two graphs to help you understand Darren's confidence in rolling out his new product.

People who Darren is trying to attract with his new rear damper:

People who Darren isn't trying to attract with his new rear damper:

Do you like the colored font? I read that on another how-to-blog article. So many useful tips.