Ghetto Tubeless follow up…3 years later!

A few years ago we did a video showing how we converted standard tires and rims to tubeless, or some might call it “Ghetto Tubeless.” Since then I’ve converted a number of my bicycles to this tire system. One of them was my downhill bike, the Airborne Taka.  I had raced 2011 and part of 2012 with the ghetto tubeless and never had I flatted during those events. In fact, I had never flatted with the Ghetto Tubeless with the Airborne Taka.

Fast forward 3 years later, I’ve maintained the ghetto tubeless on the Taka and found myself at Snow Summit Adventure Park in Big Bear, Ca. This was actually my 2nd trip up there with the Taka with this tire system.

During our second run through the trails I distinctly remember my rear tire hitting hard against a sharp rock. I recall hearing the “DING” on the rim. Sure enough, I had a flat…or so I thought.

Here I am trying to pump the tire back up. I was planning on changing to a tube, but the Taka has bolts on the rear wheel and I didn’t bring a wrench. So I sat there pumping and pumping in hopes the Stan’s Sealant would start to work its magic. I kept hearing air hissing out of the tire, but I kept at it.

Eventually the sealant found its way to the leak and did it’s job by patching the hole from the inside out. You can see where this occurred on this photo. From the looks of it, I had “burped” the tubeless. This is means the tire broke apart from the bead and the seal came apart, causing air to come out. Lucky for me the tire resealed it self and within 10-15 minutes I was back on the trail!

This was taken 4 complete runs after I had initially flatted.

If I may add, Lady P was riding the KHS Lucky 7 with the same Ghetto Tubeless system on the tires. No flats that day!

So why do I keep my DH bikes (Taka and Lucky 7) with Ghetto Tubeless? Couple of reasons, for one you saw that its self sealing in most situations. Secondly, I like to run my tires at low pressure when riding downhill. Low means 27-32psi on the tires. This allows me better control and grip on some of the terrain that SoCal dirt has to offer. Not all my bikes have tubeless, but for my DH bikes, it’s something I make sure they have installed for situations like the one above









While at Sea Otter we ran into Loaded Precision Inc. If you have never heard of them they are a precision bicycle component manufacturing  company based out of San Diego California.
They make everything from handlebars, stems, headsets, seatpost, wheelsets, and hubs. This is a company that has a lot of really cool products. Their products stick out because of the beautiful anodizing and precision machining that is just a part of what and who they are and one of their products that caught my eye early on while at Interbike this last year was the AMXC grips No Slip Grips. It was this unique grip surface that was on them that made me stop and look at them. It looked like something that the military would use and I’m not just talking our ordinary military, but Special forces, namely our Navy Seals. Sure enough when talking with the guys at LOADED they did confirm this was a material used by them and in what way I can not say. The other part of the grips you have is the clean looking machining of their Lock-Rings & end caps.

OK I made that word up and what does gripsion mean, simple “Ultimate Grip”. I know looking at the LOADED grips one would think their just another pair of lock on grips, but I’m hear to tell you these things hook you up like a fly stuck on flypaper. LOADED was kind enough to give us a pair to test and seeing that I was racing the downhill at Sea Otter what better place to do a first test.
When you feel them for the first time bare handed you can tell off the bat that they do have a tacky surface on them, one I have never felt on a grip before. It almost feels gummy to the touch. With gloves on you get the same feel, so what is it with the surface that makes them unique. Well its the material of the grip, as I had mentioned earlier this grade of rubber is used by a part of our US military and what does the NoSlip Grip offer, no matter what the weather condition is, snow, rain, mud, dirt, or something like grease the LOADED  NoSlip grip ensures rider hand contact to the grip. This is as important to the rider as it is to a soldier gripping his weapon or vital item he is using in the field.


Once I fit the grips on and tighten them they locked on like any other lock on, but they do have an extra ring that comes with the grips that give them better lock to the bars, end caps go in with no hassle. Now I’m use to a fatter grip, but I really didn’t mind the feel of the LOADED NoSlip grips, yes they were slimmer, but they felt really good in the hand and with my gloves on you had no slipping at all.

Now I didn’t have any practice to get a feel with the grips, so my race run was a cold one with these babies and the first thing I noticed out of the gate was my hands were stuck to the grip till I would release them. On my run moving the bike under me, pulling on the bars to jump or maneuver was like having clips on my hands. After my run I thought about it and I was truly impressed with these grips, they preformed as stated.  Now I really like to pick apart a product before I will say this is the best thing next to ice cream or tacos, but I may have to lean this way.
I did want to give them one test while I was at Sea Otter, so I poured water on the grips and sure enough the water beaded right off the grip and when I  poured the water over my hand and grip there was no slippage. again “Wow”! I’m sold and as time goes on I will be giving these grips an extreme mud, dirt, water (again), and grease (well maybe) test for a long term.

Here’s the tech on the grips.
Material: NoSlip rubber / Clamp: CNC 6061 Alloy Lock-Rings & End Caps / Weight: 118g / Clamp Diameter: 29.5mm / Length: 130mm / Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Gold, Green








To have ultimate grip from LOADED and their AMXC NoSlip grips the msrp is $29.99.  Yes this may be a little on the high side for a set of grips, but well worth it if you ask me. They come in five colors, so I’m sure you can find a color to make you stead look cool.

You can go to the LOADED website to check out all their cool products at
We wish to thank LOADED PRECISION INC.

Interbike 2012: Meeting with Airborne Bicycle’s Jeremy Mudd

Art Aguilar and I had the pleasure in meeting with Brand Manager and ultimate cool guy, Jeremy Mudd. We talked shop about everything Airborne. But he made us pinky swear not to make some of the news public. Basically there’s some BIG changes in the line up that we’re super excited about. One of the things we look forward to is testing out the new Goblin. This came about because we mentioned that the our staff test rode 29ers during the Dirt Demo and we all had such great experiences with it. In fact it was Art’s first time on a 29er as well as Khoa and Lady P. With that in mind we’re hoping that we get the new Goblin in the next few weeks.

Jeremy also talked about the highly anticipated Toxin and the new Taka…yes I said new. Another bit of news that we heard that we aren’t allowed to divulge is this…ready? Airborne is coming out with…Doh! I can’t say! I made a promise. I’ve already said way too much. By the way, we wanted to congratulate Jeremy on his awesome weight loss. Did you know he dropped 40lbs!

Jeremy Mudd and Art Aguilar.
He started eating right and riding more and magically that worked! I was very inspired by his progress that I made a promise to him that once Interbike is over that I’d get on my weight loss regimen once again. It was great to see Jeremy, kinda bummed that Eric McKenna couldn’t make it out, but I guess someone had to run the Airborne World HQ during the week of Interbike.

Airborne on display

Here you see the highly coveted, Team Issued Airborne Ranger jersey by It’s on display at Elite Sports in Orange. Ca.
ranger jersey

Up next is Team Racer, Corey Pond and the Airborne Wingman. You can see both, Corey and the Wingman at the Dainese D-Store in Costa Mesa, Ca.

If you didn’t know, Race Team is proudly sponsored by Airborne Bicycles.

Win RL’s Airborne Taka!

You read it right, you can win my personal race bike, the Airborne Taka. It saddens me to announce this contest because I simply love the Taka. However, due to health insurance issues, I am having to give up racing downhill. Rather than having this beautiful bike sit in my garage collecting dust, I’d much rather see it go to a good home.

There’s nothing wrong with my Taka, in fact, I even have the Cane Creek Angleset installed with a 1.0 degree off-set.
taka contest

In order for you to win this, all you have to do is leave a comment below. All comments will be held in purgatory in order for us to filter through the spam. If you’re a legit comment, we’ll approve it. We’ll randomly choose one lucky winner from the comments.

We’ll be announcing the winner this “Sunday”. Good Luck!

Lower priced Airborne Bicycles for 2012? Hells Yeah!

Got some news from our team sponsor, Airborne Bicycles.

Consumer-direct brand Airborne Bicycles announced its 2012 pricing today, according to the company’s website. And while prices across the industry are going up, Airborne is proud to offer lower retail prices than ever for 2012, with no reduction in spec.

At $1299.95, for instance, the best-selling 2011 Airborne Goblin 29er is already rated “equal to or better than bikes costing hundreds of dollars more” by Dirt Rag magazine. The 2012 Goblin keeps the same spec but drops an additional $150, to just $1149.95

Or consider the Airborne Taka DH machine, which Mountain Bike Action calls “(the) best deal on a downhill bike we’ve ever tested” at its original price of $1499.95. For 2012, Airborne takes that “best deal ever” pricing down even further, to just $1299.95.


“It’s not about making bikes cheaper,” says Airborne Director Rick Vosper. “It’s about distributing bikes smarter. Bottom line is, it costs Airborne the same to make a good bike as anyone else. But we can deliver it to the cyclist at a much lower price because direct-to-consumer distribution is so much more efficient.”

Since Airborne doesn’t use model years, the new pricing is effective immediately on existing products, and is anticipated to continue throughout 2012 as inventory is refreshed and new models are introduced.

Complete pricing information is available at

In Decline Magazine

We touched on this a few weeks ago when we first heard that some of us were scheduled to appear in the June 2011 issue of Decline Magazine. Well I finally tracked down my own copies, one to read and one to save. In the photo you’ll see (from left to right) team racers, Corey Pond, Art Aguilar and yours truly. The article talks about the Shimano Winter Series that Southridge Racing Company has been putting on the last 20 years. We really are blessed to have this organization and venue to ride. Big thanks to Mike Lord, photographer extraordinaire and of course Decline Magazine.


The caption on the photo.