Added a comment about feature Blue Ribbon Banter: Gwinning Killed The MTB Star 9/18/2013 3:03 PM

I feel like it's the other way around...yes DH at the elite level is serious, it's always been, but it's also a hell of a lot of fun! Enduro has become too serious in my books. Riders showing up weeks in advance to practice, people cutting courses anywhere and everywhere they can, people training like elite XC racers, crazy tactics etc...Not really my cup o' tea like I thought it would be...Long live DH!

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Added a product review for SR Suntour Epicon-X1 LO-RC 26 Fork 5/20/2013 12:39 PM
Added a product review for MRP G3 Chainguide 5/8/2013 11:01 PM
Added a product review for Banshee Spitfire V2 - 2013 Frame 5/8/2013 12:33 PM
Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/18/2013 5:46 AM

Hey David,

I did not get a chance to try a Medium. I went for the large as it had a similar reach and seat tube dimensions to my current rides.

If you were coming off a medium before and were comfortable on the bike, I'd think you'd enjoy the Bronson in a medium with a 55-60mm stem. The large would be a huge difference compared to your current setup. It's your call. I don't think you could go wrong with either at your height, but from what I'm hearing, I would probably recommend a medium.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Evan

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This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/18/2013 5:37 AM

I personally really like the Tennis Yellow, but both look good.

I think if you prefer to be stealth then Matte Carbon, if you prefer to be loud then Tennis Yellow. It's up to you.

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This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/17/2013 12:11 PM

I'm 100% on clips on the trail bike. Dirt jump on flats and mix it up (both clips and flats) on the downhill bike.

One thing to note (don't quote me on this) is that I recall the Santa Cruz boys saying that the frame is optimized around a 32-34 tooth ring. My guess is that the bike will tractor up climbs with ease spinning seated in a 22-24 tooth granny. It would have slightly more anti-squat (due to the gearing), but shouldn't be so much so that you get awkward pedal feedback.

Again, I'll have to ride it and get back to you about this. Your guess is as good as mine at this point...

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This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/17/2013 10:23 AM

Hey Luc,

That is an excellent question!

They did have Bronson's set up with triple rings however I did not get a chance to ride on one of these. I'll see if I can get some time on one with a granny gear to get you an answer.

Thanks,

Evan

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This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/17/2013 10:09 AM

Hey filthyanimal,

My experience on the Yeti SB-66 amounts to one day on the medium alloy bike set up with full XTR, Easton Haven Carbon wheels, and a Fox 36 160 fork.

Build kit aside, I choose the Bronson for aggressive trail riding/enduro racing and here is why...

We spend A LOT of time in the saddle! Although the Yeti pedals very efficiently with great anti-squat characteristics, the slack 71.7 seat angle (with a Fox 34 150) combined with the fairly short 17" chainstays puts me in too rearward of a position for efficient climbing. It made it a bit of a chore keeping the front wheel down and tracking up steep sustained climbs. This feeling was exaggerated further by the higher axle-to-crown measurement of the Fox 36 160 on my test bike.

When the going gets rough, steep, and fast my choice is still the Bronson. The Santa Cruz has very unique braking and suspension characteristics that seems to be more active deep in the stroke compared to the Yeti and most other trail bikes I have ridden. This helps to maintain traction, control, and smoothness of the suspension when things get gnarly.

As for carrying speed...the Bronson takes the cake with its larger wheels and unique suspension action. I was and still am surprised by the way the bike carries speed through bumps big and small.

But don't take my word for it...Get out there and try both bikes! Ultimately it is up to you which bike is better suited for your riding style and personal preferences.

One last thing to note about the two bikes:

Yeti SB-66C frame: $3,200 weight: 6lbs
Santa Cruz Bronson frame: $2,699 weight 5.3lbs (roughly 0.20lb change per size, so 5.5lbs for the size large)

Hope this answers your questions.

Cheers,

Evan

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This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/15/2013 10:57 PM

Hey Lee,

Those are great questions!

My Stumpjumper EVO is the 26" version built with Easton Haven Carbon wheels and my dream kit.

Wheel size plays a role in the awesome ride of the Bronson, but I can't say exactly what amount. My best guess would be 25-30%. It is definitely not just the wheels!

It's the combination of everything that makes the Bronson such a great bike (wheel size, geometry, suspension design, shock tuning, suspension travel, materials, weight, stiffness, balance, etc.). You'll have to ride one to see for yourself what I'm talking about.

Will you be at the Otter? If so, we should meet up.

Cheers,

Evan

This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a comment about product review First Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon 4/15/2013 4:42 PM

What Veach said...try them both! I did and they are both great bikes. I really enjoy everything about the Bronson. It pedals well, climbs well, corners well, jumps well, etc. etc...It ticks ALL the boxes for me and that is a rarity.

This product_review has 23 comments.

Added a new video ONE LAP: Evan Turpen, Pro GRT Fontana, 2013 4/2/2013 3:24 PM

The second stop of the Pro GRT happened last weekend. Located 45 miles East of Los Angeles, Fontana is far from the big mountain venues which will be raced on later this season. Smack dab in the middle of an urban area, what it lacks in elevation, it makes up for in uniqueness. Fontana is 50% downhill and 50% flat out pedaling. Bike and component choice are key here. Go too heavy and you lose out on the pedaling. Go too light and you risk blowing up or flatting. I actually love it when you have to weigh all these options. It makes things interesting. I brought my 29 pound trail bike and my 37 pound DH bike. After walking the course Friday, I opted for my DH bike, and never looked back. The course was arguably one of the most technically challenging and steep routes that Fontana has ever utilized. Near the top was a tricky, rocky spine section that had MANY riders crashing and rethinking their approach. Hands down the best rider I saw through this section was Canadian ripper, Kyle Sangers. He had a beautiful rhythm line that was super precise with just about zero tolerance for mistakes, yet every time he cleaned it so smoothly and perfectly. He made most everybody look like a hack through there. Fast forward a bit further down the course and things got steep. A fairly long, rough waterfall section filled with boulders and loose dirt had you on your toes. Enter too fast and there was no way you'd make the bottom left hand turn. Enter too slow, and you still might not make the bottom turn. It was a tricky section with the most spectators gathered here come race day. After about a minute of true DH racing you were spat out onto "The Wall" and the next minute or so of pain and suffering began. 58 pros signed up to compete and come Saturday's seeding runs, none other than Mitch Ropelato on his 29ER TRAIL BIKE finished first. That is not a typo. You heard right. He seeded first on his 29er. Myself, I decided to take it easy on my seeding run, save my legs and lungs for my race run, and seeded mid-pack in 26th. On race day I had a fairly clean and consistent top section, but still felt like I could have gone a touch faster. Onto the wall and I paced myself a little too much. I went about 95% instead of 100% which is a big no-no and I was kicking myself for this. A proper race run here will drain the life out of you and will have you seeing stars and nearly blacking out on the wall. I did not experience any of this. Oh well, there's always Sea Otter. 11th on the day for me, roughly 5 seconds off of the podium. An improvement from my 13th place finish at Bootleg. And about that 29er...Mitch pinned those wagon wheels to the max, laying down some serious horsepower to take the win. I heard rumors from eye-witnesses of his run and they said it was like he had a whole different gear on the wall compared to everyone else. Warp speed or something...I believe it. The clock doesn't lie. He bested his seeding run by a couple seconds and took the win from fellow Specialized rider, Aaron Gwin, by a comfortable margin. An interesting and exciting weekend of racing at Fontana. Wheel sizes galore. I can't wait to see how everything pans out at Sea Otter in 20 days. Will big wheels dominate?

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Added a new video ONE LAP: Evan Turpen, Reaper Madness 2013 3/18/2013 12:59 PM

So it's been almost two years since I've ridden or raced a downhill bike and I thought the Bootleg Canyon ProGRT would be a good way to get back into it. With over 50 pro men entered including, Aaron Gwin, Logan Binggeli, Mitch Ropelato, Mikey Sylvestri, Art Babcock and many more, this was a competitive race. The course was a challenge for all. Long, rough, rocky, steep, loose and pedally were all words that could be used to describe it. Over the course of the weekend, ruts and braking bumps developed making it feel like a proper DH course from top to bottom. With Gwin making his first appearance on his new Specialized ride, everyone was curious to see how he'd go. This would be his first race back since World Championships last year and admittedly he had just recently got back on the DH bike. Qualifying in an uncharacteristic 4th place, nearly 7-seconds off the pace, all eyes were on Mikey Sylvestri and the KHS duo of Logan Binggeli and Kevin Aiello come the finals. Was Gwin really beatable? Gwin set a blisteringly fast 3:46 and change, bettering his seeding by almost ten seconds, but only a couple seconds faster than Sylvestri's number one qualifying spot. There was a sense of intensity in the air at the finish. Everyone could feel something was going down. Kevin Aiello was next and couldn't best Gwin's time. Then it was Logan's turn...he was on pace. It was going to be close, really close. I don't know if it's the 650b-wheeled KHS DH rig or the massive destruction Logan has had racing the Fontana winter series, but he pulled the victory, by a mere 16 hundredths of a second! All eyes next went to Sylvestri. He was fast, real fast, but seemed to fade slightly at the bottom final sprint and eventually fell just off the pace of his quali on a 3:48 for 3rd place. I swear though that Mikey is the wild card and will definitely pull out a big finish sometime this season. Hopefully when it most counts. Pretty sure he was one of the only pro's racing on worn out tires, too, at least what I could see on the rear while pushing up for my race run. He's got pace and I've got faith. As for me...my first race back went well. I guess quite a bit better than I could have expected. A crash in seeding put me in 28th. Then taking 18 seconds off that time to secure myself a top 20 finish in 13th. I was happy and feel like there's a lot more left in the tank. One thing is for sure though, DH racing is alive and well and it's going to be one amazing season! Can't wait to see how it all unfolds...

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Added a comment about news blog CALIFORNIA ENDURO SERIES ANNOUNCED FOR 2013 12/12/2012 1:47 PM

dirty booger - The California Enduro Series will be open to all those that want to race.

With the enduro at Demo Forest it was extremely tough to narrow down 177 entrants to 50 (due to permits). Telling 127 people that they couldn't race wasn't something I wanted to do, but it had to be done.

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Added a comment about news blog CALIFORNIA ENDURO SERIES ANNOUNCED FOR 2013 12/12/2012 10:10 AM
Added a comment about video Joe Barnes: Never Growing Up 9/11/2012 5:33 PM

F#$%ing awesome edit!!! Really liked the filming and vibe...Looking forward to riding with you at Trans-Provence this year Joe!

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Started new thread 2011 Transition TR450 Size Large 9/5/2012 4:44 PM

My amazingly beautiful, fast, and dialed 2011 downhill race bike... -2011 Transition TR450 size large hand-polished -Fox DHX RC4 custom race tuned for the TR450 -RCS Titanium spring -2012 spec. Kashima Fox 40 RC2 with Ti-spring -SRAM X.O short-cage rear

... more »

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Added a comment about feature First Look: 2013 E*Thirteen and Chub Components 8/27/2012 7:59 AM

My XCX Cranks have been absolutely awesome! Very stiff, very light, very smooth, and they didn't break the bank. Can't wait to try out the new TRS cranks in the future. Keep up the good work guys!

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Added a new video Evan Turpen riding "Private Idaho" 7/24/2012 11:01 AM

New black diamond connector trail "Private Idaho" at China Peak Bike Park. California's newest lift-accessed bike park! Open weekends through September 16th. More info at: www.bikechinapeak.com

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