Over the years we’ve had some friends come through the thickness of MtnBikeRiders.com. The Moe and I were pretty much the ring leaders of our group rides. He and I share the same style of humor and when we rip on each other, neither of us get butt hurt. We then met Art Aguilar who shared the same humor that we had, with that in mind, our bond was formed. Through many years of riding together we’ve learned how to make fun of each other. We don’t do it to be mean or to hurt each other’s feelings, but it’s a sign of endearment. Basically if we like you, then we’d make fun of you. It’s basic boys life kinda stuff.
I was just thinking of all the people that we used to regularly ride with and some of them left because they felt like we were picking on them too much. Um…no man, it just mean’s we really liked that person. I remember one guy who we used to ride with, he became a vegan and so I wrote a post talking about he went back to eating meat…well guess what. He got butt hurt and stopped talking to us. That’s just one example of extreme butt hurtedness that occurred due to our humor. There’s actually a lot more. If you really look at it, we may just be mean…and people don’t like it. Eh, all I know is this, my closest friends who know me the best as are also my riding buddies. Humor is a major part of our riding culture and I’m cool with that. Another way to look at it is this, we may just have thicker skin and know when a joke is a joke.
If you ever get a chance to ride with any of us, you’ll see that we’re actually down to earth, very slow, and we have such a great time out on the trails. We constantly rip on each other out of fun. Nothing super mean like teasing about each other’s wife/gf/bf, small penis sizes or our kids. But more so we tease each other about our lack of riding prowess.
Gary Parsons is an avid mountain biker and he also loves to go camping. He rides his local trails once a week. You can tell he’s a mountain biker based on his Instagram and Facebook posts talking about how he’s able to tame his demons with one mountain bike ride. Gary’s best assets would be his colorful wardrobe of expensive mountain bike clothing from brands like Fox, Troy Lee Designs, Dainese and many more. Gary believes that by looking legit on the trails, it will garner him trail-cred with the trail bunnies, or in other words, the LADIES.
Gary thinks that his pheromones that his body emits while riding his mountain bike makes the women wet. He was quoted saying; “I know that there’s an odor if you will, that my body excretes that drive the women crazy and wet.” When we asked Gary if he has proof they’re “wet” he basically said that some of the runner women he rides past are sweaty.
When we asked him to clarify what he meant by “wet” did he mean vaginal secretions or sweat? He said “Sweat! Vaginas secrete? Eeew that’s gross! Why would anyone want that?!” So it turns out he thinks that the term “wet” means sweat. Technically he’s right, but we believe he’s using it in the wrong context.
In addition, this odor or what he likes to call his pheromones is actually BO…as in Body Odor. Gary says deodorant is for sissies and that natural body odor is man-musk, which drive women crazy.
Alright so here’s something totally unrelated to mountain biking. The Moe got me a super cool present for Christmas! This here is a mini oak barrel. The purpose is to age your own whiskey, tequila and other booze. So here’s the deal, you’re supposed to pour in moonshine and let it age. But I didn’t have any, instead I took a bottle of Rebel Yell Bourbon that I received from my friend for Christmas. It’s a decent bourbon, but a little on the light side. I let it age in the barrel for a total of 2 weeks and boy I tell you what, the taste is incredible!
The booze became sweeter! Yep, I could taste hints of vanilla and caramel. The color also got darker, it went from a piss yellow to a darker amber color. There’s nothing better than pairing a good whiskey with a good smoke. In the photo I paired it with a Acid Cigars Kuba Kuba, which is a delicious medium smoke that goes well with any whiskey. I also like to take bites of chocolate to help enhance all the flavors while drinking and smoking. Damn…all this talk about booze and cigars is making me want some right now!
As you may have read from my previous POST, my bike broke and I bought a new frame. I found a Marin Palisades 29er on closeout from Ebay for about $130. I pulled the trigger and the frame came in.
I sat on building the bike up for a while because I had to order parts for it. I had to get bottom bracket spacers since I went from a 73mm shell to a 68mm. I also had to order a new headset since the Marin’s was larger in diameter than the Titus Rockstar. All that took a few weeks to arrive. Once I finally got the parts in, I got sick.
But laying in bed all day sick gets a man all bored and stuff. One can only watch so many hours of Youtube videos before he gets cabin fever. So I decided to get up, go into the garage and start building this bike up. I ran new shifter cables and housing, installed the new parts and got everything dialed in.
Voila! I’d like to introduce you to….MADEA!
Yes her name is Madea, just like Tyler Perry’s Madea. I named her that because she’s a tall bike! This is a small, but with the big honkin’ fork, I can’t even touch the ground flat footed unless I’m practically off the bike. I’ve yet to ride Madea, still recovering from my cough, but soon…soon.
Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s my busted frame. This was my Titus Rockstar 29 Alloy. The unique part about this bike was it had a carbon rear triangle. I thought it was sorta cool and stuff, but I’ve always been weary of carbon parts due to them breaking.
As you can see the brake mounts ripped off the seat stay. Fortunately Art and I were finishing up our ride. The oddest thing is that this happened while I was going up a hill…I recall hitting the brake and then I heard a snap.
I’ve reached out to Planet X, the parent company of Titus Cycles and all they said was “bummer.” Ever since they closed down their US office, they’ve sorta sucked. The frame was out of their warranty period of 2 years and they didn’t have any spare parts to sell. After that I reached out to 2 reputable carbon repair places and both turned down the job because they said this was a high stress area and didn’t feel good about the longevity of the repairs.
So that left me stuck without a bicycle to ride. Funny thing is, I haven’t ridden much at all in the last few months. But on that day I told myself that I should get back to riding again since it was so fun. Well what’s a fella gotta do to get back riding? I didn’t feel like dropping over $1000 on a new bike. I tried looking for frames, but most of them were out of my budget. I settled on a hard tail aluminum Marin Palisades 29er Trail frame from Ebay for a cool low price of $130. I figured I could just transplant my parts over to this new frame and keep riding.
Maybe in the Spring or Summer season I can hustle up enough money to get a decent bike, one with a better warranty…
What is Thanksgiving? Well according to Wikipedia, this is Thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.”
Wow never knew Thanksgiving was celebrated in some of the Caribbean islands or Liberia, who woulda thunk.
For my family and friends, like most, it’s a time of gathering to enjoy each other’s company, reminisce with family and friends, and of course we can’t forget the “BIG MEAL” we so look forward to each year.
Aaahhh, that beautiful bird is what I crave. The smell as it’s cooking throughout the house is what I can’t wait for. That part of the crispy skin the taste soooooo good when you peel it off to eat it up.
If you’re the one that carves the bird up, its mandatory that you have a taste or ten before serving it up.
After we give thanks its time to pile on all the trimmings, have a the second round , oh hell let’s make it three rounds of that stupendous meal.
AFTER THE MEAL
OH the tryptophan dive into the abyss we have after the meal. There is no avoiding it, how do we beat it.
Forget about it, just let it happen. Enjoy the cascading effect of that feeling of blissful sleep, for the next day you ride. YES RIDE TO WORK IT ALL OFF!!!
This is the part of Thanksgiving where we at MtnBikeRiders.com get together to hit the trails to work off all we ate the day before. Its fun in a group, but one doesn’t need a group to go out and take advantage of the holiday and get some rides in.
So if you can get some friends together or you go out by yourself, go have a great holiday ride, because when you get back you have all those great leftovers to dig into.
From the staff of MtnBikeRiders.com we wish you a, “GREAT THANKSGIVING AND BE SAFE!”
Meet Brett Chad Michael Smith, or as he likes to be called, “B-Shizzle.” Yes that really is his name and if you don’t call him B-Shizzle, he would prefer you call him by his full name. Back to the subject, Brett claims that mountain biking is his “fountain of youth.” He likes that he can stay in shape, hang out with younger riding buddies and wear cool mountain bike related clothing. His favorite ensemble would be big-dark sunglasses paired with a flat billed trucker hat where he tucks in his ears inside the cap, a mountain bike brand t-shirt to show his favorite bike brand, Dickies work shorts, riding socks that has some funny saying like “BEER:30” and a pair of Converse All-Stars.
Brett likes to try and meet younger female mountain bikers while riding or when he’s shopping for outdoor gear. He often will use the pick up line, “you got everything you need?” He figures he’ll approach women who broke down so he can have a to get a conversation started. But if that fails, he’ll also say “Good morning” to women who are running by. Each time he does so, his ego grows. Little does Brett know that 90% of the women he says hi to can’t hear him since they have their ear buds on.
Going back to the fountain of youth; even though Brett continues to age each year, he maintains that this sport helps him feel young because of the new words he’s learning from his younger riding buddies. “I learned terms like fleek, on point, sick, the gram, amazeballs, baller, bye Felicia, yolo, fanboi/fangirl, hot mess, humblebrag and kicks!” Said Brett as he sips his double IPA during this interview.
So, a few months back when we were having all this rain, yeah SoCal had “RAIN”!! Can you believe it…
With all this rain we had it was hard to get out for one good day? You have to hit it before the rain came.
I was able to do some CX riding (Cyclocross all) with the bros, which lead to a slight trail mishap (injury story soon).
Well one particular Sunday a few months back was the window of opportunity to finally try out something new. I got a call from a friend of mine to come out a demo a new GIANT mountain E-Bike. I jumped at the chance to try this new bike out. The tech of E-Bikes has come a long way, but we still don’t understand the whole thing about E-Bikes. Throttle or pedal assist?
OPENING YOUR EYES TO NEW THINGS
We have never really crossed the gap of the mountain E-Bikes here at MtnBikeRiders.com and before I go into what the bike was like on the trail, I have to say a little something about this new market as well as what you will see in the future of MtnBikeRiders.com.
Not only will we do the standard stories of product reviews on mountain bikes and products, fun stories, and how to’s, you will see us bridging the gap into new niches such as Gravel bikes and mountain E-Bikes, and Cyclocross. Maybe even some Adventure Biking.
If it’s made for the dirt we want to bring it to you because playing on dirt is fun.
We also want you to know that we are not here to change your minds, only inform you as best as we can. Ultimately once you have done your homework, you will make the decision to what best fits your needs on the trail.
I know there are those out there that are fully against any kind of E-bike, no matter what it’s meant for.
After posting some pics and doing a live vid on our Facebook fan page (MtnBikeRider.com Facebook fan page / Please go and like) of the ride on the new Giant Full-E +1, I was kind of taken a back at the comments.
“You’re cheating!” “Its called a motorcycle!” “Really a motor?” “The motor does “ALL” the work and you just sit while it goes.” I was like, ” people relax!!”
That all being said, please keep an open mind and always go demo something new.
Remember, you never know till you try something new you might just end up liking it.
Hell I was never going to trade up my 26” bikes for that new-fangled 27.5 stuff or a 29’er (not for me, I’m height challenged). Now all my bikes are 27.5, see!!
OK, so let’s look into the 2017 Giant Full-E +1. For the most part, I say “MOST” because it is a mountain bike.
It has cranks, pedals, chain, shifters, gears, suspension, wheels, you get the picture.
The Full-E +1 is equipped with top of the line parts you would expect from any high-end bike for trail riding at this price range. Big names like, Shimano, Fox, Schwalbe, and Giant’s own parts to round it all out.
What’s the exception to this bike, well that would be the Giant SyncDrive Sport , 80Nm, 500Watt motor powered by Yamaha.
You could say this is the only thing that would be associated with a motorcycle is the name of the company that made the electric motor.
This as I said is a bicycle, you have to pedal it up hills, on straights, and wherever you would pedal any other bicycle. There is no throttle on it like some E-Bikes. The Giant Full-E +1 is a pedal assist motor. In order to get the benefits of the pedal assist you HAVE TO PEDAL!!! Yes pedal, so if you’re a lazy person wanting to sit and hit a throttle you’re out of luck.
Now the Full-E +1 frame is made with Giant’s ALUXX SL grade aluminum to give it a stiff ride, 140mm rear Maestro suspension with a FOX Float Performance DPS, Trunnion mount shock, front suspension is handled by a FOX 34 Float Performance, 15mm thru-axle, OverDrive fork that is 140mm. Sizes range from Small to XL.
The cockpit is setup with Giant’s own GIANT CONNECT handlebars, stem, seat, and Contact SL Switch Trail dropper seat post.
Wheels are again Giant’s own hoops and hub systems, with Schwalbe putting the rubber on the ground for you. Drivetrain and brakes are all Shimano XT, SLX, and M615 brakes.
Let’s talk about the heart of the dive system, I mean pedal assist system.
Giant as always does their homework and when they decide to bring out a new product, Giant makes sure it works the first time. This system works quite well, now I will admit I don’t have a lot saddle time on E-Bikes and coming from a moto background I do know power. This pedal assist motor feels really great when you’re pedaling your heart out up the hills.
The Full-E +1 is equipped with;
• Motor – Giant SyncDrive Sport, 80Nm, 500w, system powered by Yamaha.
• Sensors – Giant PedalPlus 4-sensor technology
• Display – Giant RideControl EVO, grip launch control with walk assist, mini USB charger
• Battery – Giant EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah rechargeable Lithium-ion
Now what is cool about this system is that you have three modes for the system on the display.
When you turn it on the display has ECO, NORMAL, and POWER. Each mode gives a different feel when you pedal. ECO mode has more resistance when in use, but when using ECO you save battery life.
NORMAL mode has better assistance and will of course use more battery. Hit that POWER mode and pedal the cranks you really feel the Full-E +1 go. This will use the most battery life of course.
One other great feature with the Full-E +1 is the button for the grip launch control with walk assist on the handle bar. This allows you to get off the bike and when you press the button the bike will go at a slow pace to assist you when say you have to go up a very steep hill (perfect when you have to “Hike-A-Bike”).
The Display also has a built-in rider computer to help track your miles and ride info. You also have a USB charge port for your lights, pretty nifty I’d say.
All in all this bike is laid out like any other, but with the pedal assist.
I wanted to go to a place where I could really use the pedal assist motor. I wanted to see if this was really all worth it or not
I was told by the Giant rep to meet out at “The Luge”. Now I hate riding there and if anyone in SoCal has ridden there you would understand. It’s one big fire road climb up, up, and UP some more. Not my cup of tea at all, but what better way to see how Giant’s Full-E +1 works.
Now this is the first time MtnBikeRiders.com has tested a mountain E-Bike on our site and the first time I have ridden a mountain E-Bike, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
After a quick going over the controls with Giant rep Mark Helms, it was really quite simple to operate the three modes, so off we go to start the climb on the paved road to the entrance of the fire road, climbing of course.
The first thing I noticed was how the pedal assist motor really helps on the climb. Mark Helms encouraged me to play with the power modes, Power Mode being the best and most fun and I’m here to say it was. You really got going in a climb.
Normal mode was not to bad either, you could feel the slight resistance in comparison to the Power Mode and it worked great on the climb.
ECO mode was a lot slower in the get up and go department, however pedaling in this mode would save the greatest amount of battery and you feel the burn (man I’m getting a workout here).
OK, “I LIKE THE POWER MODE” … The bike feels fast in helping you climb up the hill and I hate climbing PERIOD!!! The pedal assist motor made climbing fun and as we were able to pass some people riding up the trail I couldn’t help but feel a sense of resentment, or maybe that was guilt on my part. The funny thing I noticed was, when we would stop these riders would catch up to us within a couple of minutes (these were riders that were in obvious shape) and pass us by as we were resting.
We hit some steep hills a couple of times, again fun, fun, fun!! As Giant Rep Mark Helms put it, “Riding uphill on the Full-E +1 is like descending a fun signal track.” You are moving at a rate of speed that’s actually making climbing fun with all the benefits of getting in shape, this is exciting and makes me want one just for that fact.
Bottom line is, I liked climbing on this bike!!
Going downhill on the Giant Full-E +1 is no different than any other mountain bike, of course it may weigh a bit more than your average Enduro bike, maybe more like a Downhill bike and going downhill at speed was a blast. You really don’t feel the weight at all.
The Full-E +1 has great handling skills. You can carve the turns with ease, it handles the jumps great.
Giant put together a great bike with geometry that feels like a cross between their Trance and Reign, add the full active Maestro suspension with its Trunnion mount and you have one stable bike on the descend. 140mm of travel front and rear make for one plush ride.
The Shimano XT drivetrain worked perfect as always and the Shimano M165 hydraulic brakes took care of business in the stopping department. The Schwalbe tires did a great job of holding you on the ground and Giant’s cockpit made the ride solid with their own Connect stem and bars, Contact seat, and Contact SL Switch Trail dropping seat post.
OK, so I finally got to try out a top of the line mountain E-Bike and I have to say I’m very impressed with the overall ride, feel of handling, and performance of the system.
Now this was only a two-hour test ride and not a full “run it through the ringer” test review that we would normally do, I just had to see what it was like and see if its worth all the hoopla. We at MtnBikeRiders.com have not bridged the gap of the mountain E-Bike and with the advent of more E-Bikes being made and the prices coming down we want to keep you the readers up to speed on the newest anything made for the dirt.
So, what is my assessment of Giant’s Full-E +1. “FUN!!!” This is a bike plain and simple, you have to pedal it where ever you are going. The pedal assist helps to make the climb easier, but not really.
OK I may sound as if I am contradicting myself a little by saying an E-Mountain bike makes things easier. “SEE I knew it!!” Well no, it helps to climb faster, yes, go quicker on the flat trail, yes, however you are doing this by having to “PEDAL” and I mean “PEDAL” everywhere. So what’s the advantage of all this, well You’re now training or riding harder.
I found myself overlooking the speed and started seeing the benefit of an E-Mountain bike.
I got one hell of a workout just at the point of going anaerobic, yet was able to continue on. If we hadn’t stated our ride late I would have gone on longer to till I ran the battery out.
When asked how long the battery last, Giant Rep Mark Helms made mention with a full charge on his FULL-E, he took it out on a full days ride with a combination of a 6000 feet of elevation gain in total with a 37 mile ride with no problem. So depending on your mode your in you can have a great day of riding.
The next question is, do I need an E-Bike or can I do without. Let’s face the truth, when you’re ready to spend your hard-earned clams on a new ride and you’re looking at about the same price as you would spend on any high-end mountain bike without pedal assist, with bells and whistles ($5,300), you want to make sure this is what you want.
I can say from my short ride on the Giant FULL-E +1, I would for sure add this to my quiver of bikes.
If you are going to be purchasing your first bike and not sure what you may want go and try one out, you might just be surprised that you may like it.
Giant has two models, the FULL-E 0 SX ($7,700) and the FULL-E +1. ($5,300). Again as I said, these are priced at the same level as any high end mountain bike today and you are getting a lot for it in my opinion.
Thank you, GIANT BICYCLES and Mark Helms, for the great time on letting MtnBikeRiders.com see what your E-Mountain bike was all about.
MtnBikeRider.com readers, if you are interested in trying one of Giant Bicycles New E-Mountain bikes out, you can visit your local Giant dealer to find out if they have a demo on hand or go to GIANT Bicycles website at
giant-bicycles.com to see when they have a demo day come near you.
Well this will be the last year in Vegas and day 1 was great, big crowds, great products to see, and it looks like the E-Bike crazy is still big here.
So sit back and check out INTERBIKE 2017 at a glimpse.
ROTEC CYCLES IN THE HOUSE
John Sullivan is one guy who has kept a dream alive in my opinion. ROTEC Cycles came into play in the late 90’s early 2000’s. With the likes of Eric Carter and Geoff Scofield (ex BMX pros and legends) at the helm racing a bike that was unique to the norm.
I’m not sure of the story of how John Sullivan took the ROTEC name and went from there ( a story for another time).
He made changes from the original adding the Mert Lawwill’s famous rear end design that was on Yeti and Schwinn at one time, which brought gold to both companies I might add.
Refined, tweaked and made to conquer the meanest World Cup courses the new ROTEC 29’er and 27.5 will do just that.
Sitting on this new ride one can only feel it has the soul to grab gold.
ROTEC’S OTHER BIKES
ROTEC has also has their PARK bike. You want to have fun hitting the slopes, jumping, and all around fun this is your ride.
On the horizon John introduced his new Carbon XC frame. Clean looks, we can’t wait to see this built up.
ALPINESTARS IS AN “A”
Alpinestars knee and elbow protection is top notch.
Alpinestars has the gear and they have the gold from champions like Gwin, with the dedication they carry over from the racing heritage, Alpinestars is here to protect you.
GREEN GURU GEAR
Look as mountain bikers we have a need to be able to carry our beer, well Green Guru Gear has solved this problem for our need to bring our favorite suds with us. Insulated or none insulated, made from reusable materials these guys got it going on and made in AMERICA in Colorado.
KALI HELMET TECH AND SOME NEW PADS
Talking the tech on KALI helmets was one thing we have always wanted to hear and it was great to have a minute or two to hear it.
We also got to see and feel the new knee pads that KALI introduced as well.(yes they look like someone’s out there, but with a touch different)
NEW KALI KNEE PADS
You may think these look like someone else pads, but they are made different and have added protection.
Last night Interbike had the Media Product Preview Dinner. This is where you get invited to see some new stuff and vote on the thing you like the most.
New innovative things from electric bike products, protective gear, security locks, just about anything.
Dinner was great, beer with a good meal, in all this was nice. It’s funny we never bothered to go to this in the past.