Added a comment about feature Kona Introduces Five Fun New Bikes - Sea Otter Classic 4/26/2018 12:16 PM
C50

Thanks Konaworld for the reply, but as Ceecee stated its the actual seat tube angle that doesn't really work for me.

I have a 37.5" inseam and because of this I end up running a lot of seat post. Bikes with a slack actual seat post angle position me too far behind the bottom bracket for comfortable climbing even if the listed seat tube angle is relatively steep. Kona certainly isn't alone in this, the Trek Slash being another notable example that comes to mind.

For me it's a deal breaker that eliminates quite a few bikes from real consideration. That said, I also recognize that I'm an outlier in terms of my proportions, and that not every bike will work for every rider. I'm sure the new Process is a great bike, and I wouldn't hesitate to take one for a test ride, but its unlikely that it would make it to the top of my list when its time to shop for a new bike next year.

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Added a comment about feature Kona Introduces Five Fun New Bikes - Sea Otter Classic 4/25/2018 10:15 PM
C50

I don't want to be overly negative, but I feel like Kona really need to work on their industrial design language. I know that there are a lot of other important factors to consider when choosing a bike, but it does play a big role when it comes to making such a major purchase.

Other than the the Honzo and the Libre all of these bikes have a really awkward appearance to them. Further, the slack actual seat tube angle on the Process 153 would be and absolute deal breaker for me. I also wonder if the kink in the seat tube is going to be an issue when it comes to installing a longer dropper.

I want to like what Kona is up too, but most of these new offerings really don't do it for me.

This feature has 14 comments.

Added a comment about feature Vittoria's Air Liner May Be a Better Tire Insert, Plus the New Martello Tire - Sea Otter Classic 4/24/2018 9:22 PM
C50

The Airliner looks like a really promising take on a tire insert. Will Vital be testing it sometime this summer? It would be great to hear how it stacks up against Cush Core. What is the weight on an enduro sized (2.3"-2.5") insert?

Also Vittoria, your tires look interesting, but please consider releasing them in either a 2.5" or 2.6" size...

This feature has 7 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: 7iDP Project Knee 4/13/2018 12:42 PM
C50

You cover it somewhat in your review, but it would be great to get a bit more direct comparisons with the Sam Hill pads.

It look like the Project kneepads have a leg up as far as stability goes. I love the idea of a hard-shell that hangs up less, and I definitely prefer the idea of having a couple solid straps to secure them down instead of just relying on a leg warmer type design.

On the other hand, from what I can make out from the photos it look as well as offering more protection on the sides the Sam Hills also do a better job of protecting above the kneecap and the upper shin. Shin protection is a big deal for me since I find that I'll often get cut just below where my kneepads stop.

The final question is a comfort. If you had pick one for all day comfort which pad would come out on top?

All in all they look like a neat concept, but once you factor price into the mix it seems like the Sam Hills are the better overall choice...

This product_review has 4 comments.

Added reply in a thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/16/2017 8:39 AM

"IF we can make an insert designed integration, why can't we make a simply better tubeless tire? in my simple mind, i ask that all that weight go into a 175 dollar tire that is FRO. i would never run said tire all season on my little play bike, and it ... more »

Added reply in a thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/16/2017 8:24 AM

That's neat to see. Thanks for posting it. It would be great to be able to get some feedback from Minnaar or Marsh about how that worked for them. Based on the fact their not still using it I'm guessing that maybe it wasn't the end all be all... Having ... more »

Added reply in a thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/16/2017 7:58 AM

Thanks for elaborating on your idea, it definitely makes more sense to me now and its another valid way of looking at the problem. More than anything I was really just trying to provoke discussion. New ways of doing things come about by talking about ... more »

Added reply in a thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/16/2017 4:26 AM

"Considering we are already seeing $100 tires, I'm not sure there is enough room in the market for an insert-based tire. EG: It'd just be too expensive for something you throw away in a month or two due to wear, but I could be wrong." Cost is definitely ... more »

Added reply in a thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/16/2017 4:02 AM

I'm visiting my parents back home in Newfoundland so I get the feeling that I'm posting from a time zone a good bit east of most you. Anyhow, it's cool to have gotten up and see that a bit of discussion has sprung up. Too many interesting things have ... more »

Added reply in a thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/15/2017 2:33 PM

Not really what I'm thinking, but I believe that I did see something along those lines in the coverage from one of the bike trade shows once. My first post was pretty long so I'll see if I can clarify what I'm thinking and pull out some of the main points. ... more »

Added a comment about product review Tested: Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon Wheels 11/15/2017 11:09 AM
C50

Yup, you've got me pegged on that one; but I suppose it might take one over-thinker to recognize another one ;-)
I hadn't really thought about the way that CushCore would make the "air spring" of the tire more progressive, but it makes a ton of sense now that you've pointed it out and I can see that being a major advantage.

I definitely agree with you about the "need" for consumer level telemetry for the level of granularity that we're talking about. It's great that shockwiz is on the market now, but with the move back to coil springs it would be great to have a system available to work with them as well. There was a Kickstarter product called Suss My Bike that got some press on Vital a couple years back that I was optimistic about, but they seem to have gotten stalled out which is really to bad. There is a definite gap in the market there and digital tech is getting better all the time so I'm sure that someone will offer something up in the not so distant future.

To go back to wheels and tires, with the advent of tire inserts I've been wondering if it might make sense to take a new look at how tires are designed. If we design wheels, tires and inserts as part of an integrated system, instead of as separate units, I think that there might be some real weight and performance gains available. And maybe, just maybe, we would see less World Cup and EWS races being decided by flat tires.

I've actually been thinking about this quite a bit and wrote something up on it, probably at least partially because I'm a big Greg Minnaar fan. If you or anyone else is interested in taking a look at it I just posted it up in the vital forums and I'd be really curious to hear what other people make of it.
https://www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/Do-tire-inserts-mean-its-time-to-rethink-tire-design,9949

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This product_review has 35 comments.

Liked a comment on the item First Look: Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon Wheels 11/15/2017 11:01 AM

For what its worth - I wasn't paid by SC. Yes, SC is an advertiser on the site but Vital goes to pretty crazy lengths to keep their reviews (and reviewers) objective. Separation of Church and State if you will.

I"m a "consultant" for the company. I have a job outside of...more

Started new thread Do tire inserts mean it's time to rethink tire design? 11/15/2017 10:58 AM

This is just a little side project that I've been toying with, but I've been wondering if with the advent of tire inserts (CushCore etc.) it might make sense to take a new look at how tires are designed. If we conceptualize and design wheels, tires, ... more »

This forum thread has 56 replies

Added a comment about product review Tested: Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon Wheels 11/15/2017 2:18 AM
C50

Really interesting conversation going on here, I've definitely wondered some of the same things while trying to figure out a weight/cost vs performance analysis with regards to wheel, tire and inserts combinations. I haven't ridden CushCore yet so Jeff please correct me if I'm wrong, but my thinking thus far is is to draw an analogy to the different parts of the suspension stroke.

In that line of thinking I'd compare CushCore to the small bump sensitivity and compliance offered by the top of the stroke. CushCore allows you to run lower pressures while keeping the tire supported and that should translate to much better compliance to trail chatter and the smaller "hits" that it causes, trail surfaces that cause your tires feel skittery and lose traction. Having a great wheel with a tuned ride quality like the Santa Cruz's might be the equivalent of your mid-stroke, adapting to to slight undulations and changes in camber as well working with the small bump absorption offered by the cushcore to soak up the bigger irregularities, the type of events that normally knock your tires off line. Having a wheel that is compliant without being too noodlely might be though of as the difference between having a well supported mid-stroke vs a fork that dives through its mid-stroke too easily. Like GeorgeMichael said, I'm really just thinking through this aloud so please correct me if I'm wrong.

As a final note, no it doesn't sound like you're shilling for CushCore, more so just that you've found a product that really offers some notable benefits and you're being straight forward about stating it. Other reviewers such as Cam at NSMB.com have pretty much have the same thing about them https://nsmb.com/articles/cushcore-inserts-shore-tested. Besides that, you've done enough honest and well though out reviews here to earn the benefit of the doubt, when you rave about a product it rings true, because you are thoughtful and critical about what doesn't work as well.

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This product_review has 35 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon Wheels 11/14/2017 12:10 PM
C50

Thanks for the great review. As another bigger guy its always great to hear a review from someone who puts a lot of force on things.

A couple questions and thoughts:
First off, unless I'm missing it somewhere, you've included rim weights in the review, but no complete wheel weights; that seems like pretty important information that should be added in.

Moving on to questions about CushCore, what made the installation so much easier on these rims? I'm assuming that it had something to due with their interior shape, but I'm curious to know if you can point to anything in particular? Beyond that, you said that it was the biggest "biggest performance increase" that you've added to a bike all year, but you only used them for 3 weeks out of 6 months of testing? Was that so that you could give a review of the wheels without it being overly influenced by the performance gains of the inserts, or was it because the total wheel wight with the inserts was just too much for full time use, even with the performance that they offered? As a final question on that front were you using the Double Down style casings with the inserts, or did you find that you were able to get away with a lighter exo type casing?

If you ever get a chance to review the We Are One Agent wheelset, I'd love to hear how they compare to these. I haven't had a chance to ride them yet, but I'm hoping to line up a pair for next season. They've certainly put a lot of emphasis on tuning the wheels for ride quality in their online material. Their warranty isn't lifetime, but they do offer a 5 year no questions asked warranty, and 50% off of replacement cost after that. Combine that with stellar prices -$1200 with Hope hubs, and $1625 with Project 321s- and the fact that they are made in North America by a company that genuinely seems to care about lessening their environmental impact and I'm pretty sold...
They don't have the same resources behind them as Santa Cruz, but I like to root for the little guy, so I'm really hoping that they have been able to achieve a similar ride quality.

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This product_review has 35 comments.

Added a comment about feature Rob Warner's Commencal Meta AM V4.2 11/12/2017 12:40 PM
C50

Such a great character! I honestly couldn't imagine the world cups without him announcing them. I think him and Cam McCaul together would be an announcing dream team, it would be great if Redbull could make that happen at some point! And I have to say that I respect him that much more for sticking his neck out just a touch and saying that he doesn't agree with Trump's politics.

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Added a comment to ShavedGori's bike check 11/9/2017 4:57 AM
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How do you like the Revolution grips? The concept behind them is really interesting, but the price of admission is high for a set of grips. I'd love to hear a users thoughts on them... or a Vital MTB review!

This setup has 5 comments.

Added a comment about product review Purpose Built Top Level Enduro Bike, But Beware of New Shock Technology 9/15/2017 11:21 AM
C50

I'm no fan of proprietary parts either, but when Trek introduced the knock block it actually struck me as a good idea... To the extent that I am considering putting the Acros version of the idea on my next bike. That said I've never interacted with a knock block equipped bike in real life so maybe there is something that I'm missing here.

The main benefits I can see is never having your fork over rotate after dumping the bike in a crash. As a pure bred race machine this makes sense to me. While racing I have had crashes where I have to flip the bars back 180 degrees before I can get going again. This is just one more thing to do that costs seconds while the clock is ticking. Obviously the best thing is to simply not crash, but if you can build in a simple feature that can minimize the potential time lost in a crash that seems like a good thing to me. Being able to run run shorter cables and clean up the cockpit a bit and since you don't have to allow for the over rotation of the fork seems like an ok knock on benefit benefit.

Like you said its not a make or break feature, but I would be curious if had any more thoughts to share on why you're opposed to it, especially since as I understand it it doesn't require you to use a Bonrtager stem.

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Added a comment about video Intersection | Micayla Gatto's Mixed Media Ride 9/7/2017 12:27 PM
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Cool vision and neat execution of it... Think I would have liked to see the art overlays taken even further into the surreal/psychedelic realm, but really that's just and opinion and everybody has got one.
Props for doing something different!

As a side note, it's kinda funny to notice that she's rocking the pink and red jersey and helmet from Ferda girls... Like she said though, colour rocks!

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This video has 1 comment.

Added a comment about feature Transition Patrol vs. Patrol - See How the 2018 Compares 8/28/2017 9:33 AM
C50

As another taller rider, I'm excited to try these out. No way to say for sure without having ridden one, but based on what I've heard so far I'm seriously interested in a Sentinel as my next bike. As far as the seat tube angle is concerned, the actual seat tube angle doesn't look crazy steep, like on say a Pole, so my intuition is that once you have 180mm + of seat tube extended up from the frame that it will still be a reasonable pedalling position. Overall it seems like fighting the front wheel less and not being so deep in the sag while climbing will make up for whatever is lost.

In the end, pedalling position can be further tuned by moving the saddle on its rails. Its not a widely available option, which is too bad, but 9.8 offer interchangeable 0 layback and 25mm layback heads on their Fall Line posts allowing riders to really play with what works for them. I haven't checked with them on this, but it also looks like you could run the 25mm layback head in reverse if you wanted to experiment with steeper seat tube angles. My one concern right now is that on an XL the 640mm top tube might be a bit short for me when combined with a 40mm stem. That is also a product of the steep seat tube angle, so like you said there are no free lunches, just good compromises.

Out of curiosity how tall are you and based on the numbers would you see yourself on a L or an XL?

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This feature has 44 comments.