If you ever raced downhill or XC with your buddies then you may want to start a wager. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your group of riding friends are participating in a race, then why not bet each other a 6 pack of beer? Sure the event will rank riders based on their finish times, but to add some fun to it, do the beer thing.
Let’s say you all are doing a DH race; everyone is timed to see who gets to the finish line the fastest. So the premise is this, each of you has to bring a 6 pack of beer. Make sure you all keep it in a cooler so you can enjoy it after. Go race and once they post the results, see which one of you came in the fastest. Back in my racing days, there were a few of us who were in the same age group as well as same riding level. It was pretty fun to compete with each other to see who came in the fastest. Sometimes the times would differ by thousands of a second, while other times we knew that the fast guy in our group would win. However, there were times we’d see an upset. The fastest guys in our group wouldn’t always be fast. Often times they’d come in too hot during the race and crash, thus causing them to lose.
One of the things we figured out during our time DH racing was “slow means fast.” This mean that sometimes you have to go slow so you can go fast later. I’ll give you an example; there was a deep rutted turn that I was having a hard time on during practice. I talked to one of the Vet Pro riders to get some advice on how to handle it. He told me to just go slow. At first it didn’t make sense because you’d think I would have to go fast…I mean it’s a race isn’t it? He explained to me that if I go slowly on that section, I won’t risk crashing or making a mistake, and I could make up the time somewhere else in the course. Makes perfect sense right?
Alright, back to our bet for beers. Another game you can play is BettingTop 10 with your buddies. So all of you puts in $10 in a pot. If you or your friends make it on the top 10 of the top finishers, then you pay accordingly. But the higher you are on the list, the more money you get. So out of your group, let’s say one person gets 10th, another 7th, and another 2nd, then the person who got 2nd would get the whole pot. Doing this just ads some additional fun to your race experience. Besides, it’s a great incentive to do well for the next event.
So I recently acquired a new On-One Ringmaster 30t to install onto the Titus Rockstar 29er Alloy. But when I installed it with my existing drive train (chain and cassette), I started experiencing some chain-skippage and as you know, this type of skippage kinda does suck. With that newfound info, I decided to text a photo of what was happening to El Guapo of Planet X (distributor of On-One and Titus).
Notice how the chain was binding? El Guapo said that I need a new chain. So I took his word for it and ordered one the same day. I went with a decent budget chain, a KMC X10.93 10Speed. I picked it up for about $20. Once I got it, I installed it. Below is a photo of the new chain right before my ride.
I’m happy to say that El Guapo was absolutely correct! New chain totally fixed the skippage. But now I noticed that my cassette needs to be replaced. Looks like I’ll be doing that before this weekend. Anyhow, I want to give a big thanks to El Guapo from Planet X for his Suprese (pronounced-Soo-Preh-seh) knowledge!
” WELCOME 2012 !!!!!” Well the year is over and we got to test one of our last bikes of the year the AIRBORNE WINGMAN, so kick back grab your favorite drink and snack, and read on.
NEVER FLY WITHOUT YOUR WINGMAN Well AIRBORNE has done yet again by bringing out another super bike for the masses at a great cost and spec. We at MtnBikeRiders.com were fortunate enough to see this and two other new releases early this year, we were also able to do a little riding on the WINGMAN at this years Sea Otter on the pump track, and we were quit impressed with it.
GETTING THE CALL
One fine afternoon I got the call from RL that AIRBORNE wanted to send us a new WINGMAN to test, “OK but RL I’m not much of a Dirt Jumper.” “It’s OK Art you’ll do fine.” At this point I’m like OK what am I going to do to make this really cool bike look good under my care. I asked Corey Pond one of our team members if he would do some of the test jumping for me, but as luck would have it Corey had broken his foot at about the same time we received the bike for test. Great my number one test guy is out.
Well off to do some cool sexy bike pics and I’ll get to the test ride later.
PUTTING HER TOGETHER
As with all AIRBORNE’s the WINGMAN came to us well packed in it’s bike box as it would come to you. Now there is no real directions to do this, so make sure you have a friend or shop that knows what there doing if your not sure what to do.
The build is not to bad to do even though it looks like a lot to do. You will have to put together the basics you do to most bikes like the handle bar/stem, wheels, seat with seat post, and pedals. The one thing you don’t have to worry about is any cable routing for shifters or derailleurs. The WINGMAN is a single Speed freewheel.
A WINGMAN TO HAVE BY YOUR SIDE
After putting the WINGMAN together you will see many thing that make this a really cool Dirt jump/Street oriented bike. The frame is the first thing I liked when I seen it. I really like what a lot of companies are doing with tubing on bike frames.
The WINGMAN is a 6061 aluminum Hydro-formed tubing. The top tube has this nice aircraft kind of look to it with nice welded gussets on it. The rear triangle’s are just as nice with a set of lower chainstays that have a oval look to them that would cut the wind on your landing approach to the jump, the rear wheel drop outs are also artfully designed.
OK here’s where I see AIRBORNE Bicycle’s shine for all of us that only have a limited budget to work with. These guys will give you so much bang for you buck you must be just plain insane not to buy one.
The WINGMAN is spec out with a Marzocchi Bomber DJ-3 100mm fork that does a great job of handling the landing, you have Alex DP-17 double wall wheelset with Kenda Krad tires, Tectro Auriga comp hydraulic brake set with 160 mm rotor’s. Cranks are BFC-II cromoly tubular 175mm length.
Now as far as bottom bracket, hubs, and headset go these are of a basic kind. They work great for the job of dirt jumping (Besides who says you have to have the best.).
Now this is something to mention on the specs of the WINGMAN, this baby comes equipped with Funn components galore, Fatboy bars, Crossfire stem, Throne seat, Crossfire seat post, and Combat lock-on grips. Very cool.
TIME FOR THE RIDE
My first ride on the WINGMAN was at Sea Otter on there pump track. This was the first time on a pump track, RL also joined me and we had a great time. The WINGMAN ‘s short wheel base made it a very easy handling bike to ride around the pump track. I thought the layout put you right where you need to be on the bike while riding it.
My next stop for the ride test was the famous Sheep Hill in Costa Mesa. This is the perfect place to test a bike like this and with my one test rider Corey Pond out I enlisted the help of my buddy and coworker Gio Fogal from Italy, he had never rode the WINGMAN till that day and took right to it with little effort. “I like this bike, it feels light and has great handling.” stated Gio. OK he’s sold.
AS THE SUN SET’S
Well the new year is starting and its time to put this one to bed and so far when I’ve tested an AIRBORNE bike I always come back impressed, I like a company that can put the customer first when it comes to the pocket book and the package, and they did it again.
Now I can’t say everything was perfect on the WINGMAN, but what I did find wrong with it was so little it wasn’t that big a deal.
The first thing I noticed was how close the chain was to the chain stay. If your chain is loose just a little you will get chain slap and this bugs me to no end. OK what would be the fix, well how about a chain tensioner, OK,OK like I said this is a little thing. We did notice their is a small threaded hole on the right chain stay drop out. We weren’t sure if this was what it was meant for, but if it is cool.
OK that’s all I found wrong with the bike, I think that’s great if you ask me.
Two other things I like about the WINGMAN is, one the looks; The frame is just plane clean looking and eye catching. The grey aircraft type paint set up with the bright white parts makes it stand out. Two is well the price $669.95. AIRBORNE did a price drop on the WINGMAN , the original price was $799.95. WOW! you can’t beat that, while everyone else is raising prices AIRBORNE did the opposite. “Thank you AIRBORNE!” Job well done I can’t wait to see what you guys do next.
If you’re anything like me, we’ve got short arms like a T-Rex, so that means using stems longer than 60mm makes my back hurt.
For the most part, bikes come stock with a minimum of 90mm stems. I usually recommend swapping out the stem before anything else on a bike. Not only does this help out your bike, but it also allows for better control. One of my favorite stems would be the Dirty Dog Reaper. This stem is only 50mm long and great on your back because you won’t be leaning so far forward.
Then again there might be other factors why your back might hurt such as proper bike fit, medical history and etc. But changing out the stem might be the quickest and possibly cheapest way to find out if it helps.
If you didn’t know this, for 2012 we’re now offering all of our Team Issued MtnBikeRiders.com apparel to the general public. Currently you can order your items and we’ll have it hand-made right here in the USA, then we’ll ship it to you! Oh and get this, if you are interested in getting your name on the back of the jersey, we can do that! (small fee applies)
Our sizes go from Adult Small to 4XL, yep we have big boy sizes, cuz’ we don’t discriminate. To place your order, just hit the drop down arrow, select your size and you’ll be taken to Paypal to complete your transaction. For custom names, email us first! email@example.com.
On New Year’s Eve we called a mandatory meeting of the race team so we can get some photos and video footage to use to lure potential customers with. We were lucky enough to have famous film maker, Neal “Hollywood” Bryant as our camera man and producer. It was cool because he offered to just show up and shoot us and not even bring his bike. It took about 4 hours of riding a portion of the trail over and over again until he got the right scenes. Check out this action packed video!
Please help us welcome the newest member of the Race Team, Neal “Hollywood” Bryant. You may recognize Hollywood’s name “Neal Bryant” from the Airborne Flight Crew. We met Neal back at Sea Otter Classic and when he moved to Socal to work in the motion picture business, we hooked up with him at a race in Southridge. As you can see Hollywood has been initiated into the team by having him wear our highly acclaimed Pink Tuxedo.
Don’t let this Tom Cruise look-alike-on-a-bike fool ya…he’s pretty decent on these things we call bicycles. Here he is giving the Airborne Wingman a run.
But Hollywood is more known for his freeriding skills.
He did a pretty good job in reviewing the Airborne Taka, check it out.
Now that we have that all out of the way, you’re probably wondering how can a guy that came from Arkansas be called “Hollywood?” Well for one, he’s a cinematographer, film maker and camera man, plus he lives closest to Hollywood than any of us from the team.
So there you have it, Neal “Hollywood” Bryant will be racing for MtnBikeRiders.com in 2012!
BMX Cruiser Age 26-30
Beginner 4X – Ages 18+
Beginner Super D – Ages 18+
Mens Beginner 2 XC – Age 30-39
Racing allows me to physically and mentally challenge myself. This helps push me further and faster in all aspects of life. Every race and ride poses new difficulties to overcome while honing my skills. The uncertainty along with adrenaline makes every race an adventure. I got on my first mountain bike in March 2011 and have been hooked ever since. Since that point I have raced BMX, 4X, Super D, and Cross Country MTB. I am looking forward to 2012 to further my skills and take on some downhill. The team has been very supportive and have really allowed me to grow as a rider.
Sea Otter Classic DH
13th Cat 2 40+
Mountain States Cup #4 Chile Challenge – Angelfire New Mexico
1st Cat 3 (due to mix up, had to race cat 3 – my time would have netted me
a 4th in CAT 2)
Mountain States Cup #6 Full Tilt – Telluride CO
DNF – flatted before a launch, resulted in catostrophic crash
Fall Tilt in Telluride 12 hour Endurance Downhill
Oct 1, 2011 – 1st place, SOLO Amateur Open category. 5 laps ahead of 2nd place.
I like racing mostly because I love riding. The drive to push my limits of speed and technical ability finds a home with racing. I dig the competitive nature of course, but also appreciate the brotherhood among racers – everybody is of course out to the best they can for themselves and their team, but we cheer each other on too, hoping each rider can ride to the best of their ability on a given day. I love the adrenaline, I love the feeling of hitting a drop I’ve never hit before at speed, and dialing in new turns and lines, and putting it all together – and holding it together – for 3-5 minutes at time. Being part of a team is important to me as well, it inspires me to ride better, and at the same time – I hope that I can inspire others to ride and push themselves beyond.
7th place (Beginner Men 16-18)
Time 1 00:02:36.35
Time 2 00:02:38.25
I have only done one race thus far in 2011, but already I love it, for me it just evokes such a great feeling whether I am in first place or last place. Especially when I pull a great run. Also, it’s cool just to see the rest of the biking community come out and get the chance to meet new people and talk to them about anything and just have a good time. But, when it comes down to it and I am at the starting gate just the culmination of adrenalin, nervousness, sunshine, and what not just gives me one of the most unique feelings that I don’t think I’d be able to get anywhere else. And really a trophy or medal is always nice, but just getting the chance to be there and experience it is what makes it all worth it and what makes it just an unforgettable experience.
First overall 18 & over Men’s 4 Cross Beginner at Southridge USA Predator Night Series with Two First place, One Second place. 4th place in my first Super D race.
I’m a 45 years old, 4 Cross, Super D, Downhill and BMX.Started racing BMX in 1979. Advanced to Expert while riding with the top National rider in my weekly racing.
Class- Cat 2
Discipline- XC, and Single Speed
2009 Sc Velo Triple Crown Series – 1st Overall ( Cat3 )
2010 Sc Velo Triple Crown Series – 5th Overall ( Cat2 )
2011 Southridge Winter Series Race 5 – 1st ( SingleSpeed )
2011 Knobby Time Series – 1st Overall ( Cat2 )
I race for the fun of it. I enjoy challenging myself on and of the course. Weather its training with my
friends or giving all I got at the race, simply put, I just like to ride.
-Discipline: XC/SS, SD
-Southridge Winter Series: First Overall
-Over the Hump: 12th Overall (missed a few races & was short for overalls)
-SC Velo’s Triple Crown Fall Series: 4th Overall (Currently, one race remaining)
I like to go fast. But seriously, I enjoy the competition and challenge of racing. It pushes you to find your limits while daring you to see how far past what you thought were your limits how far/hard/long you are actually able to go. It brings your weakness to light and shows you where you need to work and improve.
I race because there’s beer waiting for me at the finish line.
DISCIPLINE: Downhill, Dual Slalom, Cyclocross P/T DISCIPLINES: XC, Super-D
Best for 2011:
SRC – 5th Overall Yr.
Cal-State series- 4th Overall
Marzocchi Predators series- 5th Overall
Fontana Nationals- 5th place
I have been racing Downhill since 1997 and I have seen the sport grow and wither, but in all I have never wanted to stop what I do for a couple of reasons, one it’s the people I have met alone the way and the people I meet now. There are no fake people I have ever met on this journey. We all like what we’re doing weather were racing or on a trail ride. Number two is the racing, the thrill of pushing your bike and yourself over any course. I like the feel of the drive and the passion of racing. This is the reason I have done it for so long.
Sport DH 27-34
2009 SRC Downhill Champion
2010 Fontana City National
2011 Shimano Winter Series-3rd, and 5th Place
2011 SRC 3rd Place Over All DH
I love riding bikes and racing for MtnBikeRiders.com just makes it even more exciting. I typically go out to the races to have fun, and if I get an award for doing well, then that’s just icing on the cake! Our team is made up of an excellent group of guys who have the same mindset and core values. I’m a bit of a fashion bug when it comes to racing. I like to show up at the races with any number of my MtnBikeRiders.com jerseys, it could be my tuxedos, Evel, RAD Racing or my team issued. I figured, if I’m going to race, I might was well look good while I’m doing it!
Well the year is at a close and our racing is also at a close, so I took the time to go on line and check out my fellow MtnBikeRiders.com teammate’s finishes on Southridgeusa.com and well I was quite amazed at our amount of top ten finishes. We also back those up with great overalls for the end of the year.
Now first and for most, I want to say thanks to AIRBORNE BICYCLES for sponsoring our team and thanks to RL Policar for getting this together for us earlier this year, also a shout out to the guys at Marzocchifor helping us set up our suspension. “Thanks Ronny!”
Our team did do some upgrades to our TAKA’S, but not much, if anything the main upgrade we did was the CaneCreek Angle headset which gave the TAKA way better handling, some did suspension while others kept it simple and all mods worked great. Something I plan on talking about on TAKA REVISITED later.
PODIUMS GALORE Our team has nine of us that raced for most of the season. The DH department has five racers consisting of yours truly, Art Aguilar, Corey Pond, RL Policar, Wes Castro, and Moe Ramirez.
In the XC/ Super- D department we have Dan Burdett, Nick Diblasi.Late in the season we pick up Stacey Stone for 4X and as you can see we have a well-rounded team that covers all disciplines.
Now looking at what we did as a team this year really amazed me I sat down on the SRC website and counted all our top ten finishes and found that I was VERY surprised, we landed 36 top ten finishes as a team and out of those 28 of them were top five podiums, 7 were series overalls, and 5 were SRC top year end season overalls with our own Wes Castro taking top honors with the number 1 plate in his class, “Way to go WES!!”
With Wes Castro taking the number one plate home in the beginner 35-42 DH class for the year, Art Aguilar took 5th overall in 43-50 expert Dh class. RL Policar took 3rd overall in the beginner 27-34 Dh class. Stacy Stone took 5th overall in 4X, and Dan Burdett took 2nd overall in single Speed 34 under.
All I could say is this was one kick butt year for us.
THINKING BACK FOR A YEAR Corey Pond had some injuries this year that kept him out on and off for the year, but he’s planning to have a great 2012 year.
As a whole we did quite a bit for our sponsors and I feel we succeeded. In a whole, we had a great time hanging out, talking bicycles and racing. We added some new faces to the team mid-year, Stacy Stone raced 4X and some Super-D, also we have Nick Diblasi who is racing Super-D. We added another rider to the DH roster, young gun Bryan Doney for 16-18 DH beginners. So next year will be fun to see what’s around the corner.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO AIRBORNE
AIRBORNE BICYCLE’swas our bike sponsored for our team. They provided TAKA DH and 29er GOBIiN bikes for us and I think I can speak for the team when I say that in a market saturated with $4000 race bikes, we proved you don’t need to have the most expensive bike out there to get the job done, so a big hats off to the AIRBORNE crew, Rick, Jeremy, Eric.
I look forward to a race filled season with a great team for 2012.
Is this your view every time you ride?
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “If you want to ride faster, ride with fast people.” Ya that’s sorta true, but dude, that’s a ton of work! So my solution, find SLOW people to ride with. That way you’ll be the faster one of the group! You can usually find newbies who are first starting out in the sport at a local trail head. Just tag along with them and you instantly will be the faster, if not the FASTEST rider in the group. Check out how The Moe uses this technique. Notice he’s around some slower riders…yes slower than The Moe. But look how fast he is compared to them!
So forget riding with faster people to get faster, too much work! Just find slower people to ride with, so much easier. Try it out, I guarantee you’ll be the fastest in your next group ride.