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Got sticky suspension?

Posted by RL Policar On August - 19 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

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I believe the proper terms is: Stiction. This is when your fork isn’t buttery smooth, instead it sorta grabs or sticks when you’re squishing down on your fork or rear suspension. If you’re having issues, try this great product, it’s made by Finishline and it’s stanchion lube. Makes your fork and rear shocks super slippery.

I noticed that my KHS Lucky 7 was experiencing stiction the fork. This is common on Marzocchi forks, so I busted out my small bottle of this fancy lube and went to town.
finishline stanchion lube mtnbikeriders.com

Apply some on the felt pad that comes with the kit.

Then liberally apply on stanchions. After doing so, cycle or squish your forks up and down to ensure that the lube gets all the way down into the seals.
stanchion lube

That’s it! This should help your stiction issues on your fork or shock.

Titus Rockstar Alloy 29er Update

Posted by RL Policar On August - 15 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Not sure if you’ve ever experienced this but when you own something that isn’t quite the norm, it makes the item so much more special. Take for example one of my old motorcycles, an 81 Honda CM200 that I built into a Cafe Racer. It was really unique and cool because there weren’t many of them around. But in terms of mountain bikes, I kinda have that same sentiment when it comes to Bon Jovi AKA: Titus Rockstar Alloy 29er.

For starters the fact that it’s a boutique brand makes it even cooler. I’m one of those that still likes to remain an individual and not go along with the crowd. For those that know me, I do this with almost everything I do. So when people see my Rockstar 29er they do that face where their eye brows go up, lips pucker and nod their heads in approval.
titus rockstar 29er review
Just last week, The Moe, LadyP and myself went to spend a day at Snow Summit Bike Park. I brought along the Rockstar in hopes to see how well the bike would do in DH conditions. Mind you this bike was designed to be an XC rig, but because I want to be different, I put on a 140mm fork and have used this bike for gnarlier trails.

Here’s the Titus Rockstar 29er getting read for it’s first run.
mtnbikeriders.com titus cycles

We made a few runs through out the day and each time the Titus Rockstar 29er performed like clock work. Suspension was dialed in to soak up all the rough stuff and because it’s lighter than my DH bike, I was able to man-handle the bike even more. This bike really is a super fun bike and I’ve enjoyed every single mile I’ve ridden with it. Did I miss my DH bike that day?

Here’s a shot that LadyP took of me after jumping the little ladder step down at the bike park.
titus cycles 29er


ENDURO GEAR WHAT’S THAT
With the advent of a new mountain bike discipline called Enduro racing, which is comprised of stages, gear companies are now on the push to design gear suited to the needs and demands of the racer.
That being said Enduro racing is a longer distance time race where you are timed between each stage. Now I have not attended an Enduro race yet, but I do want to see what the hoopla is all about.
Now being an old Motocrosser and dirt head, I grew up all things motorcycles and the motorcycle Enduro racing aspect is about the same concept, but with moto you had to come in at certain times to the stages, to early and you would have points taken away, to late no points, on time you gain points. You had a time chart mounted to your bike and had to calculate each stage, all this while traveling through nice country sides.
So this is Enduro

THE GEAR
So for 2014 ROYAL RACING has come out with a line of Enduro specific gear designed to help the rider to obtain the most out of his or her race, to do so ROYAL RACING has not only blended light weight material to aid with keeping the rider cool and dry by wicking away sweat, but also to keep the rider comfortable as well throughout each stage or a long ride.
At Interbike we talked briefly with Jason Schippers of ROYAL RACING about the new gear, so we gave him a call and asked him if ROYAL was up for a review on their cool gear and he was more than happy to let us try it out and let our readers know about it, but rather than just test one or two items why not make it the whole ensemble that the top Enduro rider would take into battle.
Now we have to let you know just how serious ROYAL RACING is about their Enduro line. There is like 19 Enduro specific items to choose from. These items include shorts, jerseys, jackets and gloves. ROYAL also has base membranes and socks. This is a lot of gear to choose when setting yourself up.
In the end we choose the Stage Jacket, Stage Jersey, and Signature Short, finishing it out with the Quantum Gloves.
Now that were decked out in what all the cool Enduro kids are wearing let’s take a look at it all in the secret test labs and trails we go to.
All the gear is loaded with features to keep you going to your next stage or trial juncture.

STAGE JACKET
When you look at the Stage Jacket it may appear to be heavy and not to breathable, but on the contrary this jacket adorns features that make it not only light weight, but breathable too.

Royal designed the Stage to take that chill off your body on a cold days ride. They have incorporated what they call DWR, technical fleece faced double weave Nylon fabric. It has a water repellent coating to shed that light drizzle, lightweight soft shell, and made to have a low pack size when it starts to heat up on your ride.
You will notice two long oversized zippers on the front of the Stage jacket. These act as pocket and vents to allow greater air flow forward, also strategically places to avoid your hydration pack straps.

On the back of the Stage you will also have a back vent that is also placed high above where your hydration pack will sit. Nice Lycra trimmed cuffs, waist, and neck.
One last cool little feature is the pocket you have on the inside of the Stage jacket for your IPod or other music device you may have. Now it may not be big enough to fit any of those new phones that are the size of a small TV though.

STAGE JERSEY

If you want to go Enduro racing this is the jersey to use. Right off the bat when you hold this jersey you can tell how light it feels. When most companies make jerseys to fit DH or XC, you won’t find anything in between with a feel like the Stage Jersey, this is what Royal set out to do by talking to some of the best Enduro racer in the world. What better way to do so then to hear, gather, and then sit down and come up with a great jersey for a new kind of racing discipline.
First they started with the fit, not to loose like DH and not too tight like XC with a somewhat slim fit. Next you need that jersey to breathe like crazy. Two large mesh panels on the sides to bring in the air, but that’s not all accompany that with T-DOT fabric, which is an active moisture body fabric designed to keep you dry and cool. Oh and speaking of more cooling, Royal put a front neck zipper which gives you the option to allow for more cooling.
Then finish this up with push up Lycra edged cuffs. “Way to go!!”

SIGNATURE SHORTS

What Royal did with their shorts was providing what they call a Pro level short with trail riding fit. I have to agree with this. The fit was great on the Signature shorts. One of the key features on the Signature Shorts is the DWR coating that is used on the Stage Jacket. This is great when riding in a light rain or early morning mist. You have strategically place stretch panels to aid in overall comfort, dual hook and loop waist adjusters, water proof stash pocket for that important stuff, and a detachable breathable inner pant liner that hooks to the Signature shorts with small liner tabs.
The pockets on the thigh also double as a vent if you have nothing to put in them, you will also see the drain tab on the bottom of the pocket area.


With the DWR coating, moister properties, and this matting of lightweight materials make for an excellent cool and dry short.

QUANTUM GLOVES
The Quantum glove is made to breath, be lightweight, and fit. Again off the bat these qualities are noticed. This a perfect glove to use on those hot days as well as a nice fall season ride.

The feature Royal incorporates is .75mm AX perforated stretch palm that is made of one piece of material. This allows your palm to breathe and let heat out; on the back side of the hand what looks like micro diamond pockets on the mesh panel is Technically Knitted Mesh. What I like about this, is how well the air flows through the back panel, which is great on a hot day when you want to keep your hands cool.
Lycra between the fingers, along with seamless finger tips and a small cuff area with expanded V panel assure a well locked on glove to your hand. Add a Micro Fiber wipe.
Now you have one nice Enduro glove.

OVERALL RIDE FEEL
Now I can’t claim that I have done an Enduro race in the gear that Royal has provided for us, so to perform a proper test I would do planed point to point type long rides to simulate an Enduro race so to speak. I had to get my old body temp up to sweat so we can see how all the material would work under pressure, as well as go out in the cold to see if it kept me warm too.
Seeing we don’t have too many rainy days here to test the DWR coating or cold days here in SoCal to give the Stage Jacket a hardcore test, we had to take what we could get and the Stage Jacket kept me more than warm enough. When I needed to cool off the large front vent/pockets when open were a god send to have and with my hydration bag on the straps were not in the way of the vent/pockets. The internal device pocket worked great for my IPod. The Stage jacket felt light and was functional throughout any ride.
On the hot days the Stage jersey was complete awesomeness due to the T-Dot fabric and the great vented panels. This was a great feeling jersey to wear while on the move. It would wick the sweat away and provide excellent cooling. The semi slim fit gave this jersey a better feel than a tight fitting XC jersey and far nicer than a looser fit DH jersey. The name of the game here was “COOLING” and the Stage jersey did just that.
The Signature shorts were just as good when it came to fit and function. The nice stretch panels and vent panels on the back of the shorts are well thought out for comfort on those long rides, excellent front mid upper vent pockets for extra cooling when needed were perfect. The stash pocket was great for a phone, keys, or that beer money you may need at the end of the ride. The padded liner that comes with the Signature shorts was super breathable and had a good padded butt area to keep you going.
All the waist snaps and waist adjusters held in place at all times with no issues.
Last on the list are the Quantum gloves. Now I don’t want to sell these gloves short by no means, but when it comes to my hands I want protection, these gloves feel so light on the hands it just feels weird to have them on. I’m used to a glove with knuckle, finger, and palm protection being a DH racer.
This is the current trend today, thinner, lighter, and a skin hugging fit, so when you really look at the Quantum gloves and how they look and feel on the hand and how they’re made to be, I get it.
The only issue I had with the gloves (this is not a design flaw, but my mistake) was fit. I wear a medium normally and this is what I asked for, so the glove were a little loose, so make sure you try on a set first to really make them feel great on the hand.
I now get why glove are being made in this fashion. I loved the way they feel. The thinner material gives you better feel to the bike. The back Technically Knitted Mesh panel offers some of the best breath-ability of any glove I have felt so far, the perforated stretch palm lets the hand breathe as well when hot to allow heat to dissipate from the palm, finger structure and feel was also top notch.

FINAL THOUGHTS
After putting in the miles with all of Royal Racing’s newest Enduro gear you can see that the home work was done on all of these products. When you listen to feedback and do the research this becomes a great key aspect to a company that wants to do it right for that Enduro racer and weekend warrior.
My hat is off to Royal Racing for thinking it through. They made it hard to really find anything wrong with any of the products we tested.
Prices for this cool gear is, Stage Jacket $109.95, Stage Jersey $59.95, Signature Shorts $119.95, and the Quantum Gloves $34.95.

We want to say thanks to Jason Schippers from Royal Racing for providing us all the great gear. You can go to royalracing.com or ask your local bike dealer for Royal Racing gear.

 

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Snow Summit Edit By Neal Bryant

Posted by RL Policar On July - 16 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

MtnBikeRiders.com Team Racer Neal “Hollywood” Bryant works in the film industry. He took his God-Given skills and made this sweet edit while he was at Snow Summit with some of his shredder friends.

Energy Bears by MtnBikeRiders.com

Posted by RL Policar On July - 8 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The last month or so we’ve been working with a lab to help us develop our newest product…Energy Bears! That’s right, ENERGY BEARS(tm). These Energy Bears were the brain-child of RL Policar (that’s Me! and The Moe). We wanted to develop a new energy chew that we are all familiar with. Jelly Belly came out with their energy beans so we figured that we should do something just as fun!

This is when we had this bright idea of coming out with the MtnBikeRiders.com Energy Bears. This High-Energy snack is perfect for anytime you need that extra push of energy. Whether you eat them before, during or after your work outs, Energy Bears will deliver all the nutrients you need to help keep you going.

Energy Bears MtnBikeRiders.com

What are Energy Bears made out of? We made sure that we sourced the best active ingredients to help you get the most out of each Bear. QRS is what we called our deliver system, basically that means QUICK RELEASE SUGARS. Simple sugars give you that push without the sluggish downside of caffeine laced products. It’s a natural energy high that actually tastes like candy! In fact Energy Bears uses both Natural and Artificial flavoring to give you that sweet, hot, cinnamon taste without it being too over powering.

Energy Bears are only 150 calories for a serving of 5 Bears!
Energy Bears
So the next time you feel that you need an energy pick-me-up, grab some MtnBikeRidrs.com Energy Bears! It’s going to help you get to BEAST MODE…or should we say…BEAR MODE?!!! Get it?!

If you’re interested in placing an order for our first batch, please send us an email: infoATmtnbikeridersDOTcom. We’ll send you 10 Energy Bears for the low cost of $2.00+$1.00 shipping US Only.

A Must Have tool: Pro Grabit

Posted by RL Policar On July - 8 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Pro grabit
So are you wondering what this thing does? Well it’s simple, it helps you remove stripped allen heads with ease. I’ve actually featured this tool before. But recently I used it on my motorcycle. I needed to remove a engine guard, but the allen heads were stripped on the screw.

This was the screw that I removed by using the Pro Grabit.
pro grabit

5 years ago, I demonstrated how well this Pro Grabit works on this video below. I paid $20 for the little kit, but have used it in various applications through out the years. Trust me, get one of these and it will pay for itself in no time!

Kali Camp

Posted by Dan Burdett On June - 10 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

This past week I had the opportunity to attend Kali Camp, an informal riding and product info session in Big Bear, CA for Kali Protectives. Most of the guys rolled in late Wednesday evening to the quirky local cabin where everyone would be staying. This cabin even featured a pool table; however, the carpeted surface made it less than ideal. Around a dozen guys including a couple Kali sales reps and the owner himself, Brad Waldron, were there.

Loaded up with Bikes

Loaded up with Bikes

The priority was getting saddle time in, so first thing Thursday morning everyone headed out for a XC grind on to a local trail called Hanna Flats with an added climb up to Grey’s Peak. It began with a 15 minute fire-road climb before to get to the start of the single track that was the start of the real climbing. From there on it was mainly rolling single-track with what felt like more up than down. The group was a strong set of riders, and by halfway through I was cooked. When it was all said and done my Garmin clocked the ride at just over 20 miles and just less than 2500’ of elevation gain.

View from Grey's Peak

View from Grey’s Peak

Post ride everyone headed back to the cabin to clean up and relax for a bit. While hanging out and chatting, there was a chance to discuss existing and future Kali products and technology. There were a few product sample of take a look at and put our hands on while we were there. The Avatar2, a super light composite full-face helmet, was an example of existing and currently available product. Next a prototype full-face helmet was passed around that is in the final stages of development and should be ready for production in the next few months. Sorry no pictures of the forthcoming products! There were other future products that aren’t quite ready for prime-time, but hopefully will be soon.

Overlooking Big Bear Lake

Overlooking Big Bear Lake

The next day the guys split up and went to another XC loop or the ride the trails at Snow Summit. I was planning on hitting the lifts, but a combination of pressing work and a bit of exhaustion won out in the end. If you have not been up to Big Bear for either XC or gravity riding you are missing out.

Not too long ago this happened…

The axle broke on my rear wheel. This wheel set came off LadyP’s Airborne Hobgoblin. But I’ve since sold the frame. However, I kept all the other parts to the bike. So when this happened I wasn’t quite sure where to go to find a replacement part. I didn’t see anything online that would render a place for me to buy a replacement axle.
broken axle
So I did the only thing I could do, I contacted Airborne Bicycles and spoke with Eric McKenna. He’s been our long time friend of the industry. I told him what happened and asked if he knew where I could BUY a replacement axle. He simply asked for my shipping address so he could send me one, for free. Wow! Even though I sold the Hobgoblin months ago, he still provided me excellent customer service! How cool and rare is that? I mean, c’mon! How many companies would support a former customer who doesn’t even own the product any more…

About a week later I received a new axle and my bike is back on the trails!

Big thanks to Eric, you’re one class act. It’s customer service like this that gives a brand a great reputation in the business.

A while back Lady P and I were riding Rockit in Aliso Woods. This is a fun rock garden that we’ve ridden before. As we entered the trail, I see a little lip off to the side and I decided to take it. Boom I launch of it, land the rear tire first and then the front. I keep rolling but eventually I come to a stop to make sure Lady P was ok. Yep, I do that. I will stop at mid descent just to make sure my main squeeze is ok. Anyhow, as I’m waiting I hear a hissing sound. I’m thinking, “Oh great…flat!” But upon closer inspection I didn’t have a flat, but I had a blown rear shock!

Can you see what’s wrong with this photo?
Titus Rockstar, blown rear shock

To borrow a line from Bill Murray in Stripes, “BLOWN UP SIR!”
titus rockstar

Immediately I contact El Guapo over at Planet X/Titus. Mind you this was on a Saturday morning. He was actually at Sea Otter working as an exhibitor. I didn’t think he’d respond until Monday, but within a few minutes, he asked what happened and began the warranty claim for the rear shock. Come the following week, I was sent a #RMA and a shipping label so the shock could be sent back to Rockshox.
Blown out o-ring.

Not quite sure how my shock blew up like that. But it took about 2 weeks for Rockshox to send me a replacement. Yes I said a replacement. Oh by the way, El Guapo actually offered to send me a “loaner” shock until I got mine back from warranty. But I declined his generous offer since I had other bikes I could ride.

So this is my NEW shock. It’s similar to the oem shock, but the newer year model.
rockshox
Rockshox Monarch RT3
So there you have it…a story about great customer service by El Guapo. It’s not like the Titus Rockstar failed, but he was on it when it came to getting an RMA from Rockshox. The whole process was painless, yes it was inconvenient to have the shock blow out. But I’m glad I had El Guapo on my side facilitating the warranty claim.

2013 Trek Fuel EX7 Review by Jerry Landrum

Posted by RL Policar On May - 13 - 20141 COMMENT

Long time reader Jerry Landrum had asked us if he could submit a Guest Review of his 2013 Trek Fuel EX7, below you’ll get a chance to read all his findings.

This full suspension bike is a much improved ride over other similar bikes that I’ve ridden. I had tested the Giant Anthem and the Specialized Camber 29er both of those bikes were full suspension as well. Being the Specialized Camber was a 29er I really can’t do justice in the comparison to my 26in Trek Fuel ex7. The Giant Anthem during testing just felt cheap and clunky the shifting was rather weak and clumsy.

When I got on the Fuel and felt the smooth ride, fluid shifting and the Trek specific DRCV. Sitting on this bike at first was like the feeling you get sitting in a new car just said to me “this is your next bike”. The full floating rear suspension makes almost any trail feel nice and smooth; I can roll over rocks and roots without getting too off balance. The Shimano components go great to compliment this bike for its price point. They do not include Shimano brakes instead they went with Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic brakes. For me these work just fine, after about 25 miles of trail riding you begin to hear noises from the suspension and internal parts almost make it sound like a mystery where it comes from, but as advanced as this bike is breaking in, sounds are normal.
Trek Fuel EX7
The TLR wheels by Bontrager roll very fast and smooth on any surface. I was a bit skeptical about the Bontrager xr3 expert tires as in the past they have been less than dependable. However, Trek recruited a new tire designer and I can say these tires have impressed me for sure they will and can like most tires wash out from under you under various conditions but so far for me this has only
happened once within about the first 20-30 miles of riding it. I was already set on replacing them before giving them their fair chance. I am happy to have them on this bike, not saying I won’t replace them later but for now they are great.
Trek fuel ex7 review
The CTD (Climb/Trail/Descend) option for this bike which is included is truly amazing once you get it dialed in just right; Fox suspension makes this great the only complaint I have is not being able to switch between them via cockpit shifter. I have seen them on other bikes, but this option was not on the available for my Trek…yet. As far as the wheel size issue debate this model year was the final that they will make the ex7 in a 26er, now it is a 29er so I was able to get the last 26er Trek will make for the Fuel ex7.

Overall this bike is not for those looking for less than stellar performance for the price you get an amazing bike that you can add a few upgrades to down the road to make it even better while not having to feel like a new bike is needed. I would recommend this bike to anyone who has a budget for their next ride. For those looking to buy this one it is likely reduced right now down from full price of about $2599 to around $1999.


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