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Category: 29er

Titus Rockstar Alloy 29er Update

Posted by RL Policar On August - 15 - 2014

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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

Another example of great customer service: Airborne Bicycles

Posted by RL Policar On June - 3 - 2014

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.

Top 50 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get into Mountain Biking

Posted by RL Policar On May - 2 - 2014

As much as I love mountain biking, I realized there are some pitfalls to the sport. But I found these out AFTER the fact that I started riding. Perhaps if someone told me about them, I may have gotten into bowling or mopeds….ya I can picture…mopedriders.com….

With that in mind, don’t get into mountain biking because…

1.Expensive to get into.

2.Parts break all the time.

3.Parts wear out.

4.Flat tires.

5.Throwing up after a climb on your single speed.

6. Sweat.

7.Dirt.

8.Falling.

9.Getting hurt.

10. Ticks.

11. Poison Oak.

12. Bug bites.

13. Moldy water bladder.

14.Walking after your bike breaks down.

15. Driving 50 miles to ride 10 miles.

16.Loss of money.

17. Poor resale value of products.

18.Addicted to mountain biking websites.

19.Always looking out for a good deal.

20. Getting into online fights about what is better, 26,650, 29er.

21. Convincing the wife to let you go riding.

22.Trying to get the girlfriend into riding.

23.Hoping that your kids will become the next world champion.

24. Sweaty balls.

25. Chamois…how come it’s not spelled SHAMMY?

26.Bicycle that cost more than my car.

27.Garage becomes your own personal shop.

28. Can’t decide on which jersey to wear.

29. Cycling socks…you don’t need them. There’s no Sock-Police to tell you that you HAVE to wear them. Just use regular socks.

30. You don’t like people.

31. You don’t like douche bags.

32. You are a douche bag.

33. Racing.

34. Jumps.

35. Rocks.

36. Air shocks.

37. Tubeless tires that leak.

38. Too many types of lube to choose from.

39. XT, XTR,XO,X7,STX,KKK,ABC, BBW,DEORE,RED…too many product lines to remember.

40. Not being able to breathe after a climb.

41. Can’t bunny hop.

42. Can’t wheelie.

43. Can’t change a flat.

44. Can’t fix your bike.

45. No power tools involved when fixing a bike….pssh. mOaR POWaH!!!

46. Garage full of bikes.

47. 1Bed Room Apt full of bikes, no room for furniture.

48. Bike hoarding.

49. Excess parts…you’ll never need that 7speed freewheel again, but you hold on to it just in case!

50. Fun. Yes…it’s too fun.

But don’t you worry, I’m not a Negative Nancy, I did find one reason why you should get into it and it’s probably the main reason why I tell people to try it…and that’s #50…yep, It’s fun! I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a fun time riding with Lady P and my friends. From all the memories of racing, biking trips and the great conversations I’ve had over the years, I simply love mountain biking.

Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready Kit: Review

Posted by RL Policar On April - 28 - 2014

Not too long ago I posted a photo of the new Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready Kit that we received for testing. Since I’m a huge fan of Ghetto Tubeless, this kit caught my attention because it basically takes the same ideas as the Ghetto Tubeless, but it packaged up all in one bundle. It comes with all the things you need to go tubeless. From the Slime Sealant, Gorilla Tape, Valve Stems, CO2 cartridges levers and even a measuring cup.

 

Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready Kit

Taping up the rim with the Gorilla Tape included in the kit.

 

I used a tire lever to tuck in the tape and make sure I had a good seal. One thing you have to do is start from the valve hole and finish about 5-8″ after it. Then just use a razor to cut out the valve hole and install the stem.

Here’s the rim all taped and ready to go with the valve stem installed (not shown)

Valve stem installed.

I followed the directions on the amount of Slime to use per tire and proceeded to fill in the casing with the green goo. What’s interesting about the Slime is that it’s very slick but not too sticky. Unlike Stan’s, there’s no small particles floating inside the mixture.

Though the packaging stated “Tubeless Ready” I went with what I thought most people would be doing with this kit, converting their regular non-ust tires to go tubeless. Some may call it Ghetto Tubeless, I call it budget tubeless. Anyhow on the left you sea a GEAX AKA 29 (in which I know works for ghetto tubeless-previous article) and the other is a Kenda Karma. Notice the green Slime leaking out of the Kenda? Well that never sealed.

In fact the Slime sealant it self just wasn’t that great in sealing either tire. I tried to let it set up and seal in a span of a few days. Basically I’d air it up, shake the wheel around to get the Slime sloshed around towards the leaks, but it just wouldn’t hold. I’ve done tubeless before with Stan’s and usually it’s a pretty easy thing to do. But with the Slime sealant just didn’t work.

Here’s how bad it got. After about 4 days of trying to get my tires to seal, I gave up and dumped out the Slime and replaced it with Stan’s. Guess what, that held. It worked so well that I’m currently running Stan’s sealant with the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready Kit.

Now I can’t certainly say that this kit is a flop. Actually it’s pretty clever to package up all the things you need to convert to tubeless, but it’s that Slime Sealant that makes this kit pointless. The retail for this kit averages to $50. But what if we do the math and create our own kit, could it be cheaper? Keep in mind that the kit comes with C02 cartridges, and tire levers.  However, if you were to get the basic things you need to go tubeless, then it’s going to be way cheaper.

Stan’s Sealant: $15

DT Swiss Tubeless Valves:$15 ( for a set)

1″ Gorilla Tape: $4

Total of $34.00

Ghetto Tubeless is even cheaper

2, 20″ presta valve tubes: $12

Stan’s Sealant: $15

Total of: $27.00

So take it for what it’s worth, the Slime Sealant didn’t work for our test, but the kit is a great idea. If you decided to go with the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready kit, go ahead and get a bottle of Stan’s Sealant with it.

FTC Disclaimer

In a recent study done by Brown and Stone Research Group, they found that the mountain bikers who brag about “climbing is my favorite” don’t actually like it as much as they let on.  Dr. Brown stated, “Mountain bikers who say that climbing is their favorite is just an attempt to throw people off from their lack of downhill skills. In fact, they don’t like climbing at all. If anything they see climbing as a necessary evil to mountain biking.”

climbing sucks

In addition, Dr. Brown noted that the word “climb” irritates most mountain bikers in general. In fact 86% of mountain bikers agreed on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most), that when they hear “climb” during a conversation about a ride, they are more prone to irritability. “We even had 10 individuals that stated the word bugs them because it uses a silent B in the word. They all agreed that if the word is going to use a silent letter, it should just be eliminated. Their suggestion would spell; “CLIM” with a long I.”

All done…almost!

Posted by RL Policar On March - 25 - 2014

Ok kids, I now present to you the world famous…BURT REYNOLDS…again!

Here he is in all his glorified glorehh! You like his new bars? Those are the On-One Midge bar. I think I bought the last one since I checked this morning, they were out of stock.
redline d600 burt reynolds

This bar tape you see, it’s the On-One Micro Fiber Bar Tape. Easy to install, comfy on the hands, legit on the looks. The tape it self makes the bike look uber-fierce.
on one bar tape

I say that it’s almost done because I’m having chain skipping issues. Could be the chain I’m using because the line is perfect. Basically what happens is when its on the stand, it works fine. But as soon as I put pressure on the pedals, it skips.

Want a peak?

Posted by RL Policar On March - 20 - 2014

Don’t worry I won’t call you a peeping tom….Anyhow, do you remember the other day I posted some sort of Surly Singulator and a cog? Well here’s a sneak peak on what I’ve got going on. Here is Burt Reynolds in all his awkwardly gloriness!

Behold! A very confusing looking 29er mtb that sorta looks like a cross bike but not really.
burt reynolds redline d600

Before I go on with the build progress, let me fill you in on some history about this build. You see, the other day, our very own Adam Spik and I were working on LadyP’s new Titus Rockstar. I mentioned that I wanted to sell my 10speed shifters, derailleur and cog since I just wasn’t a fan of it. He said he’d take them. I told him that we should just do a trade. My 10speed Saint stuff for any single speed parts he has. You’re probably thinking that he made out in this trade, ya probably, but he’s a homie and homies help homies. Anyhow with this trade I received a Surly Single Speed kit, Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes and rotors as well as a couple of cogs. Well now that I think about it, I may have gotten the better end of the deal.

Ok, let’s go back to the main reason why we’re here. We’re you wondering why it’s missing a front tire? Well the other day I was watching that show Hoarders Buried Alive and that got me motivated to do some spring cleaning in my garage. I’m actually what you call a Bike Hoarder. I’ve got well over 15 bicycles in my garage and shelves of bike parts. So I make myself watch Hoarders to keep me in check. Apparently I may have inadvertently thrown out my front tire and tube during my TV-Inspired surge of cleaning since I didn’t want to be a hoarder. So now I’m sourcing a new tire…

Right, now that you see what I’ve got going on, there’s already a few changes that I’ve made to this configuration. First up, I ordered me some Midge Bars and a luxurious set of micro fiber bar tape from Planet X.Why the Midge? Well just look at it! It’s bad ass. Besides the shallow/flared out drops allow for better control and leverage.
midge bar planet x
I’ve also swapped out the stem for something shorter, I’ve got short arms so it doesn’t make sense for me to be all stretched out on the bike.

I do have to thank Jack “Ghost Rider” Sweeney for donating the set of Tektro drop brake levers to this build. He did have a concern that they wouldn’t have enough leverage to work with the mechanical brakes I had. Fortunately, they were a matching brand and actually provided all the reach that I need to ensure proper stopping power.

So for now that’s where this project is at. I’ve bee subjected to waiting for parts once again. However, once I get those things in, I’m hoping to get Burt Reynolds back on the trail in no time!

Why oh why do I like to torture myself…

Posted by RL Policar On March - 14 - 2014

So there I was in my garage looking at the bare frame of a machine that I once belovedly(not sure if that’s a word) called…(say it with a deep voice) BURT REYNOLDS. I was saddened that it just hung there on a hook, not being used. I started having flash backs of the fun filled rides we had together. How we rode some of the toughest hills and how he never broke down on me and how he simply would make me smile every time I rode him…wait…that sounds too much of a bromance. Well if that’s what it’s called, then call me guilty!

Anyhow, I got this idea to reinvent Burt Reynolds once again with parts laying around. So here’s the first clue on what I plan on doing with him….
burt reynolds

Ok by now you should have guessed he’ll be a single speed once again. But not just a single speed…a different type! Yep. If my plans fall into place, I should have a very unique Burt Reynolds by next week!

A built with love

Posted by RL Policar On March - 10 - 2014

Not sure what I did on the title…It was supposed to read “A Bike Built with LOVE.” Eh anyway, let’s continue with our regularly scheduled program…As you may have previously read. I bought a Titus Rockstar Carbon 29er for LadyP as her Un-Valentines present. Much like any other person who would like to buy a Titus Rockstar, I went to the Planet X website to order one. I picked the size she needed (small) and hit Add to Cart and bought it. But before I checked out of their shopping cart, I had left a memo to have “El Guapo” draw me a unicorn…

I get the frame a few days later and here’s what I got.


More on the other side.
rockstar titus
This was inside the box.
titus carbon rockstar

Ok so after some time waiting for parts to arrive and issues with having to bleed brakes, I finally finished it! Check it out kids!
carbon titus rockstar

I love how it came out. The color scheme worked out great. Black and white is so classy.
carbon titus

custom carbon rockstar build

Here’s LadyP with her new bike on it’s maiden voyage.
Ladyp mtnbikeriders.com titus rockstar carbon

So if you’re wondering what’s so special about this build. Well, let me get started! For about a year LadyP rode the Airborne Hobgoblin 29er. Great bike but one of her complaints about it was the 2×10 drive train. She just couldn’t get used to the gearing on it. About later on in the year she spoke to a friend of ours who bought a carbon Rocky Mountain. He could talk for hours on the benefits of carbon and by that time she had drank enough Kool Aid to be convinced that she NEEDED one.

That spawned a hunt for a great deal for a new frame. I figured we’d harvest the parts from the Airborne Hobgoblin that we bought a year ago to build up a new bike. After some time window shopping, I finally had the funds to decide on the Titus Rockstar Carbon. I spoke to El Guapo at Planet X and he gave me industry pricing and in about 3 days, the frame arrived at the World HQ of MtnBikeRiders.com.

Right away I started building the frame up. One thing with the Rockstar is that it has internally routed cables. That meant that the hydraulic hose for the rear brake had to be cut and reinstalled. It should have been an easy process, but somehow I botched that job and Adam Spik helped me fix it.

Rather than going back to a 2×10, I sourced some used but in great condition parts. I went with a SRAM 3×10 drive train.I figured LadyP would love the fact she has a granny gear now. For the most part, the groupo from the Hobgoblin was transferable with the exception of few small parts like the bottom bracket, seat post and front derailleur. For those parts, I ended up buying them new. The total build took me about a few weeks to complete, simply because I was waiting for parts to arrive.

At the end of the build, the bike weighed in at 27lbs. Not bad considering it’s a FS 29er. But I’m sure weight weenies would balk at the idea of a 27lbs carbon bike. For that reason, I have considered upgrading parts as they break or depending on how much of a good deal I can get. But I told LadyP that breaking parts intentionally won’t count…

Here’s a photo from our most recent ride, Titus Twins!
aluminum and carbon titus rockstars

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