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Added a comment about press release The 2018 U.S. Open of Mountain Biking Will Be Held at Killington, Vermont, Aug 1-5 10/11/2017 4:11 AM
C50_taipeimtb_43_1385556690

Killington has stepped it up huge the last several years with their bike park and DH/enduro racing. The optimist in me really, really hopes this is their way of inching a bit closer to bidding on a World Cup.

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  • Vital MTB member sideshow
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Added a comment about feature WINNING BIKE - Jesse Melamed's Rocky Mountain Altitude 8/14/2017 11:02 AM
C50_taipeimtb_43_1385556690

We recorded a bike check with him in Aspen that didn't run yet (a bit redundant now), but he's 5'7, 150, riding a medium frame with a 32mm stem if I remember correctly.

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Added a comment about feature Richie Rude's Racing a 29er at the Aspen EWS 7/27/2017 5:41 AM
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Added a comment about news blog RESULTS: Aaron Gwin and Rachel Atherton Qualify Fastest in Lenzerheide 7/7/2017 12:19 PM
C50_taipeimtb_43_1385556690

Looks like Luca Shaw was 3rd fastest at split 4, might have a long sit in the hotseat tomorrow. On paper it's now Pompon who's 5 points ahead of Tracey in the overall!

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  • Vital MTB member Pininator
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Added a comment about photo Wheel Balanacing at the Syndicate Pits 7/7/2017 7:00 AM
C138_lenz17_mg_9972

I vaguely remember the Syndicate doing this a few years back for the high speeds in South Africa, but don't recall seeing it done for other courses. Have to wonder if the bigger wheels have anything to do with it? Just pedaling the bike full speed on a work stand a 29er seems to bounce quite a more than a 275 wheel.

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  • Vital MTB member Bigburd
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Added a comment about product review Conquering Moab on the All-New e*thirteen TRS Race SL Carbon Wheels 7/6/2017 3:42 AM
C50_taipeimtb_43_1385556690

I've been riding a set of these wheels for about 3 months now and would definitely agree with Brandon's assessment. Relatively light, stiff enough for getting rad on a 29er, but not as harsh as some other carbon wheels. Multiple tubeless mountings have been a tool-free, compressor-free affair. Oh, and that lovely e13 freewheel sound.....

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  • Vital MTB member bturman
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Added a comment about photo Remote Lock-out for Brendog 6/10/2017 4:09 AM
C138_fw17_x2_0247

Sounds like offset bushing hardware in the shock as well. Ben and Brendan talk about it a bit here: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/mtb-world-cup-2017-leogang-timed-training-video

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Added a comment about video Greg Minnaar is on Another Level - Fort William Winning Run 6/8/2017 3:36 AM
C138x104

Also yes because he was not the fastest in any split except the one with the boggy woods. He greased the (different) woods section last year as well and also won by over 3 seconds, in fact the total gap between between Greg's winning run both years and the 5th place finisher changed by just -.058 seconds. So essentially the entire podium the past two years fell on the same spread of about 4.7 seconds even with three 29ers.. Of course our eyes will see what we want them too, but it remains according to the clock he was only the fastest in the slowest, most awkward sector. Ft. William did nothing definitive to settle the 29er debate, which unfortunately means we'll have to listen to it being hashed out all over again this weekend in Leogang.

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Added a comment about news blog RESULTS: Rachel Atherton and Greg Minnaar Qualify Fastest at Fort William 6/3/2017 7:52 AM
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Some big names scattered all over the place. Got to wonder if with so many unprotected they dialed it back a touch, Minnaar included? Could make for some surprises on Sunday.

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Added a comment about slideshow Timed Training Head Games - Fort William World Cup MTB Downhill 6/3/2017 5:30 AM
C138_day2a

Greenland running a semi-slick in the rear! No risk no reward.

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/2/2017 10:52 AM
C138x104

I give him credit for admitting he hasn't had proper testing and that he's not ready to race the bike, but the rest came off a bit sour really. His team goes to greater lengths than most to squeeze every ounce of speed and performance out of his Demo. Custum geo, cutting braces on swingarms, custom linkages, a dedicated telemetry bike, and for some reason exploring wheel diameter as a means of going faster just isn't cool enough? Going faster = less safe, but being/feeling sketchy = okay? Fine tuning suspension with a computer for more speed/traction, fine, but faster rolling (allegedly) wheels crosses the line. So the bike's not ready and his testing wasn't how he liked but in the meantime look at all the World Cup field who has not so subtly spent the winter riding their 29 trail bikes. This move didn't sneak up on anyone, and while the advantage, if there even is one, is yet to be determined Loic comes off as a bit under-prepared. At least the f*ck 29er bit seems to be playing well with the crowd. For now.

Balls was the Syndicate going all in at round 1 and committing where no one else would. Clearly the big teams were all testing 29ers this offseason to test the waters, or at the very least with an eye on World Champs. Logic's stance is the easy predictable one.

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/2/2017 8:24 AM
C138x104

All of the above is the same thing everyone worried about with 26 moving to 275. The difference being that this time around 29 has actually been used for several years now in tight, tech, slow, muddy conditions. It's a fairly known quantity, look no farther than Graves, Keene, Calaghan, Ratboy, Loose Dog, Kelly, Strobel. The EWS is far, far more related to DH racing than XC or trail riding and 29ers are everywhere.

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/2/2017 8:03 AM
C138x104

Is it not already? Did this change with the move to 275? How can we be certain it suddenly will with 29 then?

DH racing has regulations, that they are not the same as unrelated spots or different cycling disciplines isn't really cause for comparison. I can pick any number of regs in the sports you mentioned that are not present in DH that you wouldn't care for. Weight, tire tread, tire width, seat length, longevity of key components, etc. As I wrote above, if we are going to compare why not start at the most relevant: other forms of mountain bike racing. If we can't find a compelling argument for regulation there, what is the sense of cherry picking an isolated data point from an unrelated discipline? Especially if we aren't willing to adopt any of the other regulations or rational that comes with it.

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/2/2017 7:55 AM
C138x104

It's almost like we've learned no lesson from the whole 275 entering DH debates of 2013/14. It'll look shit, can't handle tight tracks, will ruin DH racing, not as much fun, I won't watch it anymore, there should be a UCI regulation, it's only a tiny bit faster so what's the point, real mountain bikes are 26. Seriously, search back a few years in various forums and you'll read word-for-word the same arguments used against 275 as we're hearing now about 29 and all of them are based almost entirely on an emotional reaction or personal aversion simply to the diameter of a wheel, nothing based on actual measurable empirical evidence.

There is (and was) lots of comparison to F1 and moto, but DH racing is not F1 or moto, and cherry picking a single data point out of a sea of regulation while ignoring the rest doesn't work. Yes F1 regulates wheel diameter. But they also regulate tire tread and dimensions, weight, longevity or critical components, physical shape of a car, power steering, gear boxes, fuel, etc etc etc. You can't make a convincing argument by choosing a single example that fits and discounting the rest. And that's most of what the anti 29 crowd is doing, and the vast majority of arguments against don't hold up under the slightest scrutiny:

The don't work for small people: see Danny Hart. They can't handle tech: see Luke Strobel, or any EWS race. The riding looks shit: See Danny Hart, Luke Strobel, The Syndicate, the recent Joe Smith cornering edit, Bryn Atkinson, the latest Sven Vs EWS recce vids, Ratboy, Loose Dog and the 50to1 crew, etc. They make it too easy by smoothing out the bumps or rolling faster: see telemetry, tire compound/pressure/tread, geometry adjustments, 200mm disc rotors, long wheelbases, a steady increase in travel over the past 20 years, all of which are aimed directly at the exact same goal. So why is wheel diameter off limits?

Finally, if we are going to compare DH racing to other sports/disciplines it only makes sense to start at the most similar. Zooming out from 'DH mountain bike racing' brings us simply to 'mountain bike racing' and from there to 'mountain bikes'. And what wheel size is used in mountain bike racing? In XC it went from 26 to 29 for the rolling advantage. In enduro it went from 26 to a mix of 275 and 29 in some cases based on testing and in other cases rider preference. So outside of DH racing, or simply asking what size wheels does a mountain bike have the answer will frequently be 29. Mountain bikes have 275 wheels and mountain bikes have 29 in wheels. They've been around for 15 years in other MTB applications, and were first raced at a DH World Cup in 2007, this is not some new tech that was just invented out of the blue. It's just taken this long for them to shed their image as XC only and the stigma that came with it. In all other disciplines of MTB racing the bikes run almost exclusively or significantly on 29in wheels, so from the UCI standpoint what compelling reason is there that DH mountain bikes should not be allowed 29 wheels too? Given all the other advancements made to DH bikes in the past few decades, many of which were met with resistance and skepticism at the time (suspension and disc brakes immediately come to mind) why the sudden adverse reaction to wheel diameter? Fear of the unknown? Not owning the latest and greatest? Feeling a bit embarrassed after spending so many years making fun the 29 lycra crowd and can't admit we were wrong (guilty as charged, but lets be honest, we were wrong)? Makes no sense at all to me.

PS, I'm biased, but Vital has by far the best comment discussions. They aren't the longest but they're definitely the most civil and thoughtful. Cheers to that.

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/1/2017 11:50 PM
C138x104

I try to avoid the F1 comparisons to DH as they really have little in common aside from both involving vehicles rolling on tires filled with air. That said, a significant number of the F1 regulations and restrictions being bent to fit the anti-29 argument are in place to keep a teams relative advantage in check, discourage cheating, and keep the racing close and competitive. No one wants to watch one driver 20 seconds ahead or the whole field strung out with zero passing. The regs are there with the goal of keeping mass start racing close, competitive, and entertaining. Non of this applies to the time trial format of DH.

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Added a comment about video Why Loic Bruni Won't Race his Prototype Specialized 29er at Fort William 6/1/2017 11:48 AM
C138x104

I'm having trouble with the argument that bigger wheels somehow offer too much control or stability, coming from a team that spends such a significant amount of effort suspension testing with a dedicated telemetry bike in practice, with the goal of achieving better stability and control. And what if the bigger wheels are faster? It's not like they ride themselves down the track. That extra speed will still need to be controlled in addition to the steep price to pay for mistakes that scrub momentum as the bigger wheels do not accelerate as quickly. I'm not sure I'd agree that making it a bit easier for the bike to go faster suddenly makes riding fast easier, though I will certainly agree that the tracks are in significant need of improvement.

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Added a comment about feature BIKE vs. BIKE - Richie Rude's Yeti SB6 27.5 or Cody Kelley's Yeti SB5.5 29er 5/31/2017 11:48 AM
C50_taipeimtb_43_1385556690

It's an unbadged tire, which for Maxxis usually indicates proto or pre-production. If I remember correctly it's a 2.5/29 with a Double Down casing. Currently I believe DD is only available on the 2.3/29.

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Added a comment about photo E*thirteen Tire Plasma Sealant 5/27/2017 4:16 AM
C138_ltr_0049

The orange glow is from the red roof of the Santa Cruz tent. It was definitely more white than anything else. On the black tire the residue looked a bit blue in person but camera sensors see things their own way sometimes. It is most definitely e13, I watched Iago's mechanic open the plastic pack and pour it in.

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Added a comment about video SVEN MARTIN VS. MADEIRA - Enduro World Series Stage Mash-up Comedy 5/12/2017 12:36 AM
C138x104

Blame the editor. Plenty of choice words were left on the cutting room floor. Not for PC reasons as much as trying to keep the overall length reasonable and Sven's other comments are more entertaining than a string of f-bombs. The recce rides have always been full of banter among the group (which unfortunately doesn't get picked up on the gopro) and less about cursing our way down the hill.

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Added a comment about video What's the World Champ Think? Danny Hart on 29ers in DH Racing 5/6/2017 12:32 AM
C138x104

I read this all the time too and have to scratch my head a bit. I've really seen no evidence of this at all other than than the odd section like what was done to 100m of MSA last year (and if anyone can remember back to the old MSA start straight from 2007'ish they've actually added about a dozen corners over the years to just that section alone). MSA has always been the freeway of the circuit going back decades. Ft. William remains relatively unchanged since its a permanent track, though rumors of a new lower section this year. Leogang added new tech bits and tightened corners, Lenzerheide added corners, Andorra has countless corners and very few pure straightaways. My guess is that camera placements often chosen for maximum recording time are limited to the straighter sections of each track, combined with the fact that riders now tend to take the most direct line over and through rather than around rocks, stumps, holes, etc gives the impression that tracks are getting straighter. I've seen chicanes put in that riders still figure out how to straighten in ways the track designers never anticipated. So to some degree it's the bikes and the riders themselves who are also straightening out some parts of the tracks, though running the same tracks year after year on the same racing line doesn't do much to help. That said, I fully support a return to more Schladming-like designs. #MoarRoooooost

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