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INTERBIKE 2013: COMMITMENT

Posted by Art Aguilar On October - 7 - 2013

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LETS TALK COMMITMENT

Commitment is a big word for some people, some will run from it, some will half commit and not fallow through, and some will go head long into it all the way knowing they have done their homework believing in what they are doing.
Now a lot of you may know already that GIANT BICYCLES has done just that, they have went head long into the 27.5 tire size for just about all their 2014 mountain bike line and have all but sent the 26″ mountain bike way of the Dodo (for our younger readers this is a saying referring to an extincted bird) except for their DH Glory and Reing X which I would bet will fallow next into the 27.5 line, after all their are others that are doing DH and Freeride bikes in 27.5 with some success.
For those who know GIANT this wouldn’t be the first time they have done this. In 2006 GIANT was the first manufacturer to bring the tapered headtube to market, known as OverDrive2. So you can bet that when Giant decides to do something big it won’t be on a whim.
Here is a look at why GIANT feels the 27.5 is superior performance without compromise and cool pics of the 2014 27.5 line.
IMG_9390
tech27-5_image1

Overall Bike Weight
Compare the weights of identically equipped bikes with different wheel sizes and you’ll see substantial weight differences. As expected, the 26-inch-wheel bike is somewhat lighter than the 27.5, and substantially lighter than the 29 (up to two pounds of overall bike weight savings from 29 to 27.5). Every gram saved helps you ride faster.

Wheel/Tire Weight
The overall weight of a 27.5 wheel set (wheel, tire and inner tube) is only 5% greater than that of an identically built 26-inch wheel set. Compare this to the 12% increase of a 29-inch wheel set and you can see how a seemingly small increase in diameter results in substantial weight gain—and poorer performance when climbing or accelerating.

Weight Comparison
Static wheel weight
Lighter wheels/tires result in a quicker acceleration and lighter overall bike weight – a win-win combination.

ANTHEM ADVANCE O TEAM

IMG_9386
tech27-5_image2

Snappier acceleration and a reduced angle of attack for a smoother, more agile ride.
Rollover
Increased wheel diameter decreases the angle of attack (the angle in which a round object intersects a square object). This is a good thing. A 29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does. In comparison, a 27.5-inch wheel rolls over the same obstacle 9.8% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does.
Another way to analyze angle of attack is the degree of impact—where 26-inch equals X degree, 27.5 equals X-4 degrees and 29 equals X-6 degrees. Again, a shallower angle is better—so 29-inch takes the win, with 27.5 exhibiting nearly the same performance but without the weight penalty.

TRANCE ADVANCE O
IMG_9382
tech27-5_image3

Acceleration
Arguably the most important benefit of 27.5 over 29 is quicker acceleration. This is the “snap” that a rider feels when they push hard on the pedals. It is affected not just by overall static weight but also where the weight is distributed throughout the wheel. The farther the weight is from the center of the hub, the slower the acceleration. So a similarly constructed 1000-gram 29-inch wheel is slower to accelerate than a 1000-gram 26-inch wheel—because the larger diameter rim and longer spokes place weight farther from the hub. The key to snappy acceleration is minimizing the weight of the outermost components (rim, nipples, spokes, tire, tube). As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel is only 1.5% slower to accelerate than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel, but a 29-inch wheel is 3.6% slower than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel.

TRANCE ADVANCE SX
IMG_9384
tech27-5_image4
A larger tire contact patch, increased stiffness, and optimized frame geometry improve traction, braking and handling.
Traction

The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction, which leads to improved acceleration, deceleration and cornering. As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel has a similar contact patch to the 29.

TRANCE ADVANCE O
IMG_9385
tech27-5_image5

Frame Stiffness
Lateral (side-to-side) frame stiffness can be affected by wheel size. To accommodate larger wheels, frame dimensions must be elongated. Therefore, a size medium 29-inch wheel frame has more lateral flex (bottom bracket and headtube) than a size medium 27.5 or 26-inch wheel frameset. Additional flex compromises handling under heavy pedaling or sharp cornering
Frame Geometry
The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to optimize geometry, especially on smaller frames. As the frame size decreases, headtube heights become higher (in relation to saddle height). On 26 or 27.5-inch frames, it’s less of a problem, but geometry limitations can affect smaller 29-inch-wheel frames.

XTC ADVANCE
IMG_9388

Their was quite the buzz around the GIANT both and it was great to see them back at Interbike. The Advance line was beautiful to look at and people were very interested in the bikes, with the reps super busy and questions being ask I have to say GIANT may have a very good year in 2014.
IMG_9375

FINAL NOTE
So you got a glimpse of the 27.5 tech and a look at GIANT’S Advanced Composite line, but if you don’t want the Advance bike GIANT also has their ALUXX SL aluminum framed 27.5 Bikes, and Frame sets for the ANTHEM XC and TRANCE in Advance composite, as well as ALUXX aluminum, so they have your taste cover one way or the other.

Commitment, a big word for most brands out there. Most will want to wait and see what and where the current trend will go before they commit major resources and time to something as big as this. GIANT has the resources, takes the time, and has always brought their brand one step further then most I have seen with a lot of bang for the buck.
You could go to GIANT’s website at giant-bicycles.com or see your local GIANT dealer today.

We want to say thanks to GIANT for the 27.5 Tech provided on their website and Mark Helms for the time at DirtDemo going over the 27.5 bikes.

KOALA BOTTLE TEST

Posted by Art Aguilar On July - 24 - 2013
A WATER BOTTLE AND CAGE WITH A NEW TWIST

A WATER BOTTLE AND CAGE WITH A NEW TWIST

KOALA BOTTLE & CAGE
I know why test a water bottle, its just a water bottle. Well you may say its just another water bottle, but that’s just a little far from the truth here. This is a whole new twist when it comes to a water bottle and its not so much the bottle, its also the cage.

You see this is a team, a combo. You can’t have one without the other, a team that goes hand in hand like cake and ice cream, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, The Three stooges, or Batman & Robin, The list goes on. The water bottle and cage have been together since the dawn of cycling time.

When we go to events its quite easy to miss things as well as not miss things and I must have walked by the Koala Bottle booth several times while at Sea Otter, but when one of the guys called me over to their booth, why not I’ll hear the spiel.
After I was explained how it works I was impressed with this product and just had to get our hands on one to test for MtnBikeRiders.com and our sister site BikeCommuters.com.

AN OPEN WATER BOTTLE CAGE YOU SAY! IT WILL FALL OFF WHILE ON THE TRAIL!

AN OPEN WATER BOTTLE CAGE YOU SAY!
IT WILL FALL OFF WHILE ON THE TRAIL!

CHANGING THE WHEEL
Well I thought you really couldn’t do any thing different to a bottle/cage combo, but the guys at Koala Bottle did.
If you look at the cage ( photo to the left) it has no arms around the cage to hold the bottle in and to look at it one would think it should just fall out, you ask why doesn’t it. Well I’m glad you asked. What makes this cage and bottle unique is the cage, the top of it is equipped with two strong earth magnets that are molded into the top of the cage and the bottle comes with a metal ring that once installed around the bottle’s neck will engage the magnets as you place the bottle close to them.

With a loud snap you will know that the bottle is locked in and will not come off. These magnets are very strong. The bottle has such a positive hold it almost feels like it won’t come off, but rest assured with a tug on the bottle it will snap off with no problem.

Another thing to tell you about in the cage design and it’s ability for mounting, if you look at the photo of it (on the left) you will notice the slots as well as the hole positions which is great  for a many number of frames, also on the mounting slot or rib area there are slots molded into it so you can use zip ties to mount the cage to a frame that may not have cage screws. I mounted the cage and bottle to my Giant Reign frame (see pics) to show you how it works. With four zip ties on the top tube it made for a very solid mount and on my trail ride the bottle and cage didn’t budge, even with a ride down eight flights of stairs.

METAL RING AND MAGNETS ENGAGGED

METAL RING AND MAGNETS ENGAGED

TWO STRONG EARTH MAGNETS GIVE SUPERIOR HOLD

TWO STRONG EARTH MAGNETS GIVE SUPERIOR HOLD

FIT TO FRAME
Now depending on you frame this could be a problem. I have a small Giant Trance and the cage mounts are in a tight area. I could only use a 21oz bottle in this area and using a standard bottle and cage makes it very difficult to pull out. I do have to take my eyes off the trail at times to pull the bottle out or put it back into the cage due to how tight it is.
A blessing in disguise with the Koala Bottle. The fit was still tight, but that has nothing to do with the Koala Bottle and more with the frame lay out. This is what makes this set up great if you have a small frame like me. It’s just a side pull out and whoopy it’s out.

KOALA BOTTLE MOUNTED IN A SMALL FRAME. NOTICE THE SLOTS FOR ZIP TIE MOUNTING.

KOALA BOTTLE MOUNTED IN A SMALL FRAME. NOTICE THE SLOTS FOR ZIP TIE MOUNTING.

TRAIL TEST TIME

TIGHT FIT IN THE FRAME, BUT NOT A PROBLEM TO PULL OUT AND PUT IN.

TIGHT FIT IN THE FRAME, BUT NOT A PROBLEM TO PULL OUT AND PUT IN.

Now is the moment of truth, where we go and hit the trail and give the product the test of a life time. At MtnBikeRiders.com we take a product and test it to make sure it will stand up to guys and gals like you. We jump, ride, go over the roughest trails, smack, and trash to the best of our ability, because we know this is what you do when your on a trail
My first test was the mellow test on my Cross bike to see how it feels to use the bottle while pulling it on and off multiple times.
I found that after getting a feel for pulling it on and off I didn’t have to look down to see what I was doing. At first you will feel like its to hard of a pull, but it really isn’t and its a lot easier to use then the standard cage design.
If you have ever ridden a cross bike it can be quite bumpy, enough to rattle your teeth loose and to no avail the Koala Bottle stuck like a fly to fly paper. Test one complete. Test two was on the Trance doing XC riding and with the bottle in the upright  position as you see in the pics the Koala Bottle preformed great ( just like on the Reign) with know problems, test two was know complete, but the ultimate test, my go to trail to kill just about any product with multiple runs or just one, “ROCKIT”.

HERE IS THE KOALA BOTTLE MOUNTED TO MY REIGN WITH ZIP TIES

HERE IS THE KOALA BOTTLE MOUNTED TO MY REIGN WITH ZIP TIES

THE MACH 5 READY TO TEST

THE MACH 5 READY TO TEST

I pulled out the Mach 5 for this one ( my old DH rig ) a Giant Faith freeride bike. This frame is equipped with water bottle cage screws and the location is on the down tube facing the ground, which would serve as the perfect test to see if it would come off with ease. Most bikes will come with two bottle screw set ups, one on the down tube facing the inside of the triangle and one set on the down tube facing the ground.
The Mach 5 has it’s cage screws facing the ground and with 8″ of travel and one of the roughest trails in OC lets see what will happen.

THE KOALA BOTTLE CAGE IS UNIQUE IN THAT YOU CAN MOUNT IT TO JUST ABOUT ANY FRAME

THE KOALA BOTTLE CAGE IS UNIQUE IN THAT YOU CAN MOUNT IT TO JUST ABOUT ANY FRAME

RL and I set up on the rough sections of the trail, RL took up the camera and me on the bike. I set out to see if I could shake the Koala bottle off. On the first pass I went for the most bumps I could find starting off with a small jump, then pointing my tires for the roughest spots I could find. When I finished the first pass the Koala bottle was with me. My thought “AWESOME!” I couldn’t believe it was still on after that first pass.  I do have to say this test would be far beyond what most riders would most likely take this bottle and cage through, but just to see how much force it would take to make it come off we had to know.

THE PERFECT TEST POSITION

THE PERFECT TEST POSITION

The second pass again no problem. The third pass though was the breaker. I hit a set of deep ruts and popped up and landed so hard it was enough to wake me up. The bottle hit the floor and survived with a few scratches. The ring on the neck did snap loose from the joint, it is loose on the bottle, but seems not to be a problem.

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

JUMP TEST

JUMP TEST

THE FINAL THOUGHTS

After taking the Koala Bottle and cage on several test rides ranging from cross, XC, and DH (which is a test beyond what most would do) it proved to be worthy indeed. Great mounting ability, easy to get in and out of the cage is what this is all about.
True the water bottle and cage have not changed much, but if you could improve on one of the oldest cycling combos around and make it better the guys at Koala Bottle have done it.

The bottle and cage combo come in two set-ups, one in a 21oz. bottle and cage for $27.99 and one in a 24oz. for $29.99. Now this may sound like a lot, but when you consider a price for a high end cage or insulated water bottle, then the Koala Bottle and cage is a not a bad deal.

Please watch the Koala Bottle Test HERE

You can contact Koala Bottle at koalabottle.com

Our FTC Disclaimer

Demo Rides: Trek Superfly Al and Niner S.I.R. 9

Posted by Matt D On May - 16 - 2012

A couple weeks ago, I got the opportunity to drop by the Paul’s Ride for Life event, which centers around a charity ride that raises money for life-saving organ transplants. While I found out about it too late to join in the ride (which seems like it might be a cool thing to do next year), there was also a Cyclefest event sponsored by a local shop, the Bike Lane. As part of that, there were not only tables and booths for cool local organizations like MORE and FABB (join one or both if you’re in the area!), but demo bikes on hand from Niner, Felt, and Trek. I got to try out the Trek Superfly Al (geared) and the Niner S.I.R. 9 (singlespeed) for a few minutes each.

I tried the Niner first, and man… it was a fun bike! You can probably trust the word of a man who owns one more than mine, but in the few minutes I got to tool around on it I was very impressed. The geometry felt really natural – the bike was responsive without being twitchy – and it didn’t feel too hefty despite the steel frame (853 Reynolds, for those who might be wondering!).

Niner S.I.R. 9

When I got on the Trek, I noticed immediately that it had a different approach than the playful Niner. The Superfly (in all editions) is billed as a race-oriented XC bike, and it shows in how it rides and handles. It was a nice bike, but I didn’t really get that grin on my face that I look for when testing a bike out. To be fair to Trek, part of this may have been because the brakes on my test bike were REALLY dirty and noisy, so I was distracted by that for much of my ride.

Trek Superfly Al

This was my first real experience testing out multiple bikes at a demo event (I was supposed to have a 2nd a couple days ago, but it got rained out), and it was a lot of fun! I’m sure many of you do this when you can, but I’d encourage everyone to attend demos when possible – it’s an easy way to check out one or several bikes fairly quickly, whether you’re looking for a new ride or not!

Airborne Goblin: Out of the box

Posted by Dan Burdett On May - 8 - 2011
Got a package this week!

Got a package this week!

I was out of town this week for work, and when I came home I had package waiting for me from Airborne Bicycles.

I was planning on meeting up with RL and several other riders first thing Saturday morning for a ride at Whiting Ranch, so I spent some time to get the Goblin assembled and ready for a ride the next day. For those of you out there who have never built a bike, here’s a quick look at how the bike came, and how much assembly was actually required. I took pictures of each part as I unwrapped it and it came out of the box. Upon opening the box, the wheels were on top and the first thing to come out.

Opened the box!

Opened the box!

As you can seen the the photo, the ends of each hubs had plastic guards to prevent them from damaging any other components in the box during shipping. The wheels were also zip-tied together to prevent any unnecessary movement while still in the box. The wheels are equipped with SRAM’s new 10-speed cassette. This is the number one thing I have been looking forward to about this frame is being able to spend some extended time with the 2×10 system. I have demo’d it before on several other frames, but only a ride here and there. The wheels both have 160mm Avid rotors. Having removed all of the protective packaging, I set the wheels aside for later.

New Sram 2x10 drivetrain

New Sram 2x10 drivetrain

Avid 160mm rotors

Avid 160mm rotors

Individually wrapped were a few smaller components such as the skewers and the saddle, already mounted to the seat-post.

Skewers

Skewers

Saddle & post

Saddle & post

The last and largest part left in the packing was the frame itself. This was definitely the longest part of the unpackaging process in that there was lots small pieces of wrapping attached to the frame. Each tube has its own wrapping to protect it from damage. The frame in its entirety was also attached to cardboard supports in the box to keep it from moving during shipment. The frame already had the fork, bottom bracket, cranks, headset, stem, seat clamp, grips and brakes installed as well as the the derailleurs mostly installed. The rear derailleur still need to be attached to the frame, but all the cables and hydraulic lines were already run and in place.

Goblin frame fresh out of the box.

Goblin frame fresh out of the box.

I attached the rear derailleur to the frame and straighten/aligned the front fork and the stem. While the stem was already install the bars were in installed on the stem, so the stem needed to be opened up to put the bars in place. Next the skewers needed to be placed in the wheels, so the wheels could be set into the frame. Once the skewers where in place, the protect plastic parts to keep the brake caliber from compressing needed to be removed. Once that was done the wheels were ready to be installed. FYI- Be very aware when seating your wheel that they are fully recessed into the dropouts. Losing a wheel while riding really sucks!

Almost complete

Almost complete

With the wheels installed that left the saddle and drive-rain as remaining parts in the box to be installed. I took a quick stab at the estimated saddle height and tightened down the collar. Then I completely removed the chain from the frame and wrapped it around the two largest cogs to confirm it was the appropriate length. I ended up taking a couple of links out. Once the chain was installed the rear derailleur needed to be adjusted. The only must have tool to put the bike together was really just my allen-wrench set. Two things that are not included in the box, were pedals and a water bottle cage. I stole those parts off another bike. I made some adjustment to cockpit of the Goblin to make it ready for me to ride. I moved the brake levers to the inside of the shifter and also moved both the shifters and levers much further in toward the center of the bars so that the brake lever is position so that I can brake with solely the index finger. I tend to do all of my shifting with my thumbs, and positioned the shifters accordingly as well. After spinning around in front of my house the final adjust I made was to the position of the saddle by sliding it futher back, away from the bars.

The Goblin was now ready for it first time in the dirt!

Fresh from its maiden voyage.

Fresh from its maiden voyage.

The full specifications and geometry for the Goblin can be found here on Airborne’s site. Stay tuned for for more pics and info on the Airborne Goblin!

Sette Serum

Posted by Chop Chop On September - 30 - 2010

Sometimes we here at MTNBikeRiders receive letters from Santa about this time of year. Usually it’s kids writing to Santa wanting to get a new bike for Christmas but let’s face it, Santa ain’t got a clue when it comes to bikes. Santa will usually forward the letters to us to read and make a suggestion for a new bike. Below is a perfect example of just such a letter. Billy, from the USA, wrote Santa asking for a new bike that he could race! Well we just happen to get in a new Sette Serum Pro for a long term test.

Letter from Billy, USA

Billy, here is a video I shot just for you. If your a good kid, maybe, just maybe you’ll get a new Sette Serum for Christmas.

Quality is priority #1. The tubes fade in several places from a visible carbon weave to a flat black which is completely different their older frame the Phantom. The carbon is 3k High Modulus which means high quality. There are only a few carbon bike manufacturers in the world and you can be sure that this frame was produced in one of them. With a 5 year warranty, you can’t wrong.

Fade to Carbon Weave

Full spec kit is priority #2. The bike has Shimano XT everything except for the brakes which are Avid Exlir CR. Tires are Kenda Small Block 8, a great all around choice. Front suspension is provided by a Fox 32 F RL which is indubitably one of the best.

Da Business

Stiff. Lightweight. Fast. I will be testing this bike on real trails but during the neighborhood test, all the kids got smoked. I have seen others weigh the frame by itself at 2.7 lbs and this bike weighs 22.5lbs, really light!

Artistic Framework

The bike is available for purchase now at a retail price of $2250 and the forums are already abuzz about the new frames. If your a good kid like Billy, maybe Santa will bring you one too.

The Serum for your ailment

I’ll be testing this bike for a while and my first order is to fine tune the cockpit. Once that is completed and this heat wave we are experiencing fades, I’m gett’n on this thing for sure.

Sea Otter 20 Ten: Titus Carbon X

Posted by Chop Chop On April - 20 - 2010

Sea Otter Twenty Ten presented Jer and I with a world of carbon framed bikes. One striking design was the Titus Racer X Carbon with its “X” shaped frame and its modified four bar suspension design. Designed as a pure XC race bike designed for those racers not looking to get beat up by the common Scandium framed hard tail and still looking for a stiff, efficient frame that can take the edge off the rough stuff. Titus was represented in a big way with lots of demo bikes available to the public and media to ride on the buff trails of Monterey.

Playing in the grass of Sea Otter...


I demo’d the Carbon “X” with a mid level build kit. As with any bike, set up is quite a personalized thing. The cockpit was certainly not set up for me and the tire choice did not suit me at all. The demo bike came set up with a negative rise stem and a riser bar, weird. Tire choice on the demo were Continental Mountain King, I’ve ridden these tires before and do not like them. These are all personalized items and I will focus just on the frame and its qualities.

The bike was extremely light, no official figures were available but if I had to guess I would say it was around 24-25 lbs. First thing I noticed was how it accelerated. The bike would move forward with no hesitation with each pedal stroke. Climbing was easily accomplished with the rear suspension maintaining traction at all times even with the very worn Mountain Kings. While climbing I did notice the front wheel was very light and would easily lose contact with the ground. Could be the frame was slightly to small for me or just the overall set up. Descending scared me with the cockpit setup, negative rise stem and riser bar; I was too far over the front wheel. One section we took was a very sandy descent with many stair steps; Ya I took it slow.

The X from the X


Overall the bike was very stiff, light and efficient with very little bobing but it was there. The trails around Sea Otter are pretty smooth with very little rocks; unlike what I am use to with our very rocky San Gabriel / So Cal trails. I really need to get a long term demo and set it up for me and my riding preferences. I wouldn’t recommend running out and buying this bike w/o first demoing it and having it set up for you. This bike is race specific and shouldn’t be the only bike you own unless you are a racer only and have no need for a trail bike. In my opinion, there are bikes out there can hang with the “X” on the race course and be allot more versatile on the trails with your buddies.

Race Report – SRC Winter Series XC Race #1 Jan 9th 2010

Posted by Moe Ramirez On January - 13 - 2010

The winter holidays came and went all too quickly for me.  I had dreams of a 3 month off-season but the 1st race of the 2010 winter series was approaching quickly and I decided to treat this as training for the bigger races from March to May. It was a beautiful day with temps in the 70s and as usual Don Jackson and his crew at Southridge Racing do an excellent job in providing a fun race environment. I noticed more entrants in the younger categories, it’s great to see more kids getting into this sport!

For Sport, the course was the same as November’s Southridge Challenge – three,  5.5mile laps.  This was gonna be a challenge as  I do better on the longer courses at Southridge, they have more singletrack and downhill that suit my riding style and help me make up time on the stellar climbers in my category (Sport 27-34).  Climbing is my weakness, I have a gut and at 185lbs (5’8″) I’m heavy/stocky for an XC racer. I even have a habit of blowing up in races by sprinting from the start line for too long!  After about 6 weeks without training, I knew that I couldn’t hold a sprint very long. So when Donny counted us down and we took off, I dropped into third and planned to keep the leaders in site.  We climbed to the water tower and the leaders gradually pulled away and I fell back a few more positions leaving me a panting, sweaty mess as I mushed my way up the hill. I recovered in the single track sections to regain third and moved into second on one of the long downhill sections. My strategy became clear.

On the way to the asphalt road for the water tower climb

On the way to the asphalt road for the water tower climb

I held second to start the next lap and as we climbed to the water tower I was passed again, but I kept my competitors in sight this time. Through the single track I was flowing and managed to close the gap as we approached the downhill where I previously passed. We start heading downhill and I’m cranking hard, building speed to shoot past #2 and eventually the race leader. Next is a short uphill I desperately climb and barely manage to keep the wolves at bay into the next downhill singletrack section where I can build a gap. I finish lap two and begin lap three. I don’t see anyone as I begin to grind my way up to the water tower, my right knee burning in protest as I try to put some power down. After negotiating some of the rolling hills near the water tower as I grit my way up the last climb before the single track, I look back and see 2nd place 10 yards back and attacking! I attack, he knows he is close and is trying to catch me. I sprint, my legs grow thick and heavy with lactic acid, my lungs burn as I sink into oxygen debt my pulse fills my ears, I can only hold this pace for a moment more. I put about thirty yards between us as crest the hill and bomb into the single track. I pedal all the downhills and by the end I enjoy a 2 min victory! Before you think that I was lying about not being in shape, I finished in 1:12:51, in November I finished in 4th with a 1:10:52, so that means that the fast guys just didn’t show up for this race and I’ve got some work to do.

1st XC race win, Sport 27-34

1st XC race win, Sport 27-34

I’ve got to thank the team sponsors for their help, Evomo and Hoss for the cool clothes, IceToolz for the tools and Serfas for the glasses and Ergon for the comfort.

I thought Kermit was for kids

Posted by Jeremy Yang On June - 4 - 2009

Kermit is not only for kids, my friends. It’s also for mountain bikers too. Meet my Kermit Green Niner Jet9.


Waiting to rock!

I’m in New Bike Euphoria (NBE), so I can’t really give you any detailed comments on the Jet right now unless you want to hear me gush. Oh, you do? Well then… why didn’t you say so?

The Niner Jet 9 is the best pedaling FS 29er bike I have ridden and I have ridden quite a few. OK, a bit of an overstatement as some of those DW Link bikes I rode were really good, but they were not set up quite right or the trail I rode was just blah, so I can’t compare it. Not to take anything away from the rest of them… although I will take something away from the Gary Fisher HiFi (WAY TOO FLEXY)… but the Jet9, on my home course and nearly dialed in, was extremely efficient both in seated and standing climbs. The rear feels planted even when I’m out of the saddle. Very little wheel slippage on standing climbs which can be momentum killers.


Posing

To top it off, I never flicked the propedal on. I was extremely surprised by this. Wait, nix that. I doubled back to get to a steeper, short climb and had to ride uphill on the road a bit. I turned on the propedal for that road section. But other then that the propedal stayed off. This is a very nice change because in most other FS bikes if you don’t engage the propedal, you’re feeling Mr. Bob all the way up the climb.


Rear seat stays easily clears a 2.2″ Captain

The bike is nimble. You won’t see many Jet9′s built up with bigger tires (2.35″ front/2.2″ rear), like I did, because the Jet’s purpose is definitely: race/XC/trail in that order. I’m not a racer, although I will on occasion, so I built mine to be more trail and less race oriented. You won’t see any carbon bits, chopped flat bars or skinny tires on my Jet. But even with non-racy parts, the Jet is quite nimble. It handles well on the descents and carves up singletrack very well. It is definitely not G2 nervous, but it’s not slow handling as was the case with some previous 29ers.

OK, so all this was based on a first ride, and more of a shakedown (is everything working properly) type of ride. Also NBE was definitely at work here so please take everything written above with a huge grain of salt.

By the way, I’m still thinking of a name for the green machine.

And of course, every Niner comes with a subtle reminder:

In the meantime, my personal build, for those of you interested:
Large Niner Jet 9 in Kermit Green
Rock Shox Reba 29 Race with pushloc at 100mm
28 hole Bontrager Rhythm Elite wheels with DT Swiss 370 hubs
Shimano XT cranks
Shimano XT brakes
X9 shifters
X9 r. derailleur
XT f. derailleur
Alligator ilink derailleur cables
F: Panaracer Rampage 2.35 setup tubeless (a non-tubeless tire)
R: Specialized Captain Control 2.2 2bliss
Thomson Elite
Sette clamp
Chirs King headset
Truvativ Stem
Truvativ Handlebar
ODI lockon grips
Crank Brothers Candy SL
Lezyne L. Caddy (awesome bag, by the way)
Purple carabiner
Generic Black Cowbell

Sea Otter 2009: Sette’s Carbon Frames!

Posted by Jeremy Yang On April - 20 - 2009

Met up with Brian and Mylo of Sette at Sea Otter. They were displaying their two new 26″ carbon frames, the more XC oriented Impulse and the very racy Phantom. The Phantom comes as either frame only or fully built up. The fully built Phantom has an amazing spec sheet for the money, $2,699, a real value for an under 20lb rig.


“Phantom” written in on the top tube. Very subtle against the carbon


I’m a big fan of carbon weave, so I thought I’d throw this picture in


An interesting touch on the seat stays. Excuse the dust/sand.


Another low-key Sette graphic on the Phantom. Attention whore RL getting in on the photo shoot.


The Sette Phantom, fully built. An absolutely sick bike at under 20 lbs

The Sette Impulse was not built up, but the frame was on display:


Sette on the downtube in white against the carbon fiber weave


Sette Impulse, a more XC oriented bike with a frame weight of 2.9lbs

For more info on the Phantom, click here.

For more info on the Impulse, click here.

Trek Demo Day, Part II

Posted by Jeremy Yang On March - 12 - 2009


Gary Fisher Roscoe III

Round number 2 was on the Gary Fisher Roscoe. I had to wait a little while for this one as some dude drove from Vegas to test ride it. That’d be 4 plus hours of driving each way!

Before we get going on the review, I have to preface my thoughts on the Gary Fisher Roscoe with this statement: My riding style is not the one that is being targeted by the Roscoe. I am definitely more of a XC/Trail type rider while the Roscoe with its five and a half inches of travel is definitely shooting for the All Mountain crowd. I have ridden AM type bikes but I am just too timid to really get the best out of them, the Roscoe included. Also, the Fullerton Loop is not an AM type trail so I’d definitely read my thoughts with this information in mind.


Wide hydroformed top tube makes for a much stiffer frame

On our second run, we hooked up with John from Jax Fullerton. He jumped on the Superfly I was riding while Full Squish Randall got on HiFi 29er and I got some seat time on the Roscoe. John, by the way, is a great mechanic and happens to be a very good road racer as well.

My first thought when I got on the Roscoe is that this baby is stout. The hydroformed tubing is thick. The first tube you notice is the top tube which is much wider than any other top tube I’ve ridden. This definitely lent a bit of stiffness to the whole bike that I’m sure is useful when you’re hucking off 6 foot drops. You really can’t tell the thickness in the pictures on Gary Fisher’s website but the top & down tube are wide. The tapered headtube is also different going from 1 1/8 inch to 1 1/2 inch at the crown of the fork. This design is supposed to increase the strength between the headtube and fork, but nothing on the loop was gnarly enough to test this.


Proprietary Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) shock made things plush

Coming off the hardtail Superfly I also immediately noticed how plush the suspension travel was. It was almost like night and day and rightfully so going from the racey Superfly to the AM Roscoe. The proprietary Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) was smooth and felt good on all the extra credit stuff I threw at it. I also got some time on the HiFi 29er later on and the 4 inches of travel on the HiFi doesn’t have nearly the plushness of the Roscoe’s DRCV shock. Not even close.

The Roscoe does not like for the rider to stand up and hammer out climbs. Every time I tried to stand and climb I immediately felt like the Roscoe telling me to sit back down. The bike is definitely more of a spin, spin, spin type climber which I think is fine and lends itself well to this style of mountain biking.


White bikes with white forks always look good to me. The beefy tires were a bit too aired up for excellent grip

The steering was not as slack as I remember other AM rigs I’ve ridden. The last time I rode an AM rig I distinctly remember that the steering was very slow which is great on the descents as it made things a bit more stable. The flipside to this is that it slowed things down too much for me on the switchbacks and tricky sections that require more finesse and less of a plow through mentality. The G2 steering on the Roscoe, however, seemed to give the best of both worlds as it still had some pep through the tight stuff but retained its stability for the downhill.

As you can probably tell I am a little high on the Roscoe. I think this is mainly because 1. the bike is really good and 2. the 10 mile Fullerton Loop is too short to shake out the bike entirely. More time on the bike is definitely needed to draw definitive conclusions.

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