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Added a comment about press release FOX Releases Updated FIT4 Damper and New Bearing Shock Hardware 8/14/2019 9:21 AM

This press release has 8 comments.

Added a comment about photo Voodoo or Not, Commencals are Winning 8/1/2019 5:12 AM
Voodoo or Not, Commencals are Winning

Here's the first look Vital did back in 2016 when these first started showing up on bikes:,10285/High-tech-Axxios-AXS-Anti-Vibration-System-on-Commencal-DH-Bikes,108105/sspomer,2

also their website:

Consider me skeptical

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Liked a comment on the item The Ultimate Storytelling Bike for the Ultimate Storyteller - Gary Perkin's Santa Cruz Flippertower 7/26/2019 2:50 AM

Thanks folks ... still remember meeting Spomer at a NORBA so many years ago and knowing instantly I’d met someone who got this whole MTB thing. Years of Littermag then Vital later and that still holds true! Cheers for the good times on this journey of bikes!

Added reply in a thread Discussion: Fork Damping vs Spring Rate 7/26/2019 1:49 AM

You mentioned in your previous post that your current setup feels great and is well balanced for flat cornering, which is fine, but it's going to mean a bit of a compromise on steep terrain when your weight shift significantly forward. I'll go out on ... more »

Added reply in a thread Discussion: Fork Damping vs Spring Rate 7/25/2019 1:04 AM

This one never made it to Pit-Bits but here's a shot of Aaron Gwin's personal settings

Added reply in a thread Discussion: Fork Damping vs Spring Rate 7/24/2019 1:50 AM

A couple things to add in no particular order some relevant some maybe not: 'wide open' does not mean no damping, it just means the least restrictive end of whatever damping range is available in your fork/shock. If you really want to know what wide ... more »

Liked a comment on the item Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 7/20/2019 5:31 AM

THIS. The harshness that people are trying to combat occurs because of the steepness of the spring rate curve and how close you are to the bottom - more tokens with less pressure will just make both of those problems worse. Seen countless riders dropping pressure looking for a more...more

Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 7/20/2019 5:00 AM

I know you know this already, but as a general rule for fork tuning you tend to use fewer spacers as you go up in travel. It might sound counterintuitive, but relative to their free stroke, shorter travel forks have a far larger positive air chamber than longer travel forks. This is because they use the same CSU assembly across the travel range and the bleed hole in the stanchions requires the air piston to start at the same point. At full compression a 150mm fork will have a 30mm taller air chamber remaining compared to a 180mm fork. I've seen riders go for longer travel forks so they can run them a bit softer and then chuck a bunch of spacers in there because at 180mm the air chamber must be bigger right? In relative terms the opposite is true (the positive chamber of a 150mm and 180mm Lyrik have identical volume at top out) and they end up riding right up against the ramp in the spring curve which can make for a harsh ride on rough terrain, and dropping pressure can actually make it worse.

This product_review has 57 comments.

Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 7/19/2019 12:44 PM

At least probably forever. Consider the range of bump forces you can encounter on a mt bike, combine them with braking forces and pedaling forces, extreme shifts in gradient and surface, factor in the huge effect slight changes in body position have on sprung weight (a rider typically weights 500-600% more than the bike), account for significant changes in speed, then balance comfort, stability and traction at the same time and it's always going to be a compromise.

This product_review has 57 comments.

Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 7/19/2019 11:44 AM

It’s still a touch misleading though since it shows all forks having zero tokens. The Luftkappe essentially is a token since the extra negative space comes at the expense of the positive side. The ‘cap’ is ported on the underside allowing the negative air camber to be that much larger, but at the expense of making the positive chamber approximately one token smaller. Given equal positive volumes the graphs would probably all look reasonably similar for the last 2/3 of travel (possibly with the Luftkappe fork having the flatter midstroke do to the negative chamber pressure falling off later?). Positive chambers being equal, where the Luftkappe actually gains support is from the ability to run higher pressures while allowing for a more supple initial stroke. This isn’t what is being shown on that graph.

Debonair works in a similar way, except without making the positive side of the spring smaller. Instead the extra negative volume comes from utilizing the hollow space inside the air spring shaft. Similar concept, slightly different execution.

There are a few claims in these comments that simply can’t be true, at least not without accounting for damper settings. Air springs have a ‘hammock’ in their middle stroke, where the effective spring rate falls off a bit before ramping up at the end. The cure for this is more pressure, but that means the initial stroke before the ‘hammock’ point will also feel a bit stiffer. This is why older air forks often left you choosing between a supple feeling off the top and a wallow in the middle, or a supportive middle with a slightly harsher feel at the beginning. All the various systems available today (EVOL, Luftkappe, Debonair, Negmeg, etc) are trying the tune the negative spring to overcome higher pressure used to minimize the midstroke wallow inherent to air springs, but to do it in such a way that the transition feels quite linear.

Shorter version: mid-stroke support does not come from a larger negative chamber, it comes from higher air pressure. The larger negative chamber is there to help soften the effect of that higher pressure.

This product_review has 57 comments.

Liked a comment on the item Tested: Vee Tire Co. Snap WCE Downhill Tire 7/18/2019 1:09 PM

Mold costs aren't going down, rubber prices aren't going down, labor costs aren't going down, production numbers are relatively small, and everyone wants a well paying job. The only way you will see the tire costs come down is if those factors come down too.

Added a comment about slideshow THE CLOSEST EVER! Enduro World Series Les Orres Race Slideshow 7/9/2019 11:39 AM
THE CLOSEST EVER! Enduro World Series Les Orres Race Slideshow

It would be super interesting to know who is gaining/losing time and where, but on 8-13min tracks with only a few hundred meters covers by the media it’s impossible to know without split times being available. I know quite a few racers who are curious to know as well but for now the only info available is total stage time. Riders might report that they crashed or flatted but there’s no data to show how riders are separated during the stage itself. Splits would be pretty cool especially if they corresponded to specific key sections of a track, but the substantial length, number, and location of stages is likely prohibitive.

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Added a comment about slideshow THE CLOSEST EVER! Enduro World Series Les Orres Race Slideshow 7/9/2019 7:15 AM
THE CLOSEST EVER! Enduro World Series Les Orres Race Slideshow

I'd recommend watching the full highlight video put out by the EWS.

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Liked a comment on the item WINNING BIKE - Richie Rude's Yeti SB150 7/2/2019 9:32 AM

Hey Jeff, there have been a few instances across the several years of EWS where the water stops have run out of water, and the race in question was one of them, these guys are coming through the Aid stations after several hundred riders, and sometimes they just run out. Every ews rider is told to...more

Added a comment about feature WINNING BIKE - Richie Rude's Yeti SB150 7/2/2019 2:28 AM

From 2016 EWS in Chile. Now go read the list of ingredients on that Alphamine he's about to scoop in that bottle and you'll see higenamine listed. In 2016, when this photo was taken, it was not on the list of specified substances but was added in 2017. You can draw your own conclusion as to how it may or may have not ended up in a water bottle in 2018, and the degree to which that constitutes either willful doping/cheating or negligence of WADA updates resulting in a violation of the rules.

Regarding 'specified substances' the UCI has this to say: "A “Specified Substance” is a substance which potentially allows, under defined conditions, for a greater reduction of a sanction when an athlete tests positive for that particular substance.

The purpose of the sub-classifications of “Specified” or “Non-Specified” on the Prohibited List is to recognize that it is possible for a substance to enter an athlete’s body inadvertently, and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision."

As for riders sharing water bottles being unlikely, I've done two EWS rounds this year. In Madeira I ran out of water at the last stage and drank from another riders bottle (ironically, I believe that bottle belonged to Forked Tongue but I can't be sure because he doesn't seem to want to put his real name to his accusations. It was mixed with Coke, a bit old-school but probably for the same reason someone might add a pre-workout mix to their bottle at the end of a race). At the most recent round I shared my own bottle with member of the CRC Nukeproof team because he ran out on the way to S2 and we didn't go back to the pits until after S3 (his smaller silicone bottle was empty, mine was still 3/4 full. Similar to Richie's his bike didn't have bottle mounts, and like Jared's mine did). It had some dissolved carbohydrate tabs in it that I bought at the grocery store next to the start line. They were tasteless. He didn't ask, and I didn't think to tell him because it just didn't cross my mind since I pop various tabs in my water all the time and it's reasonable to assume most riders are not drinking straight water all the time. The ingredients were in Italian, but Im sure there was nothing suspect about them.

I'm just a sample size of one, but have somehow managed to be involved in bottle sharing at every EWS I've entered. You're of course welcome to draw your own conclusions, but from 7 years of personal experience covering the EWS circuit it sounds entirely plausible. There are photos and videos of riders fixing each others' punctures, chains, and disc rotors; taking turns pushing chainless bikes down the road while the owner jogs to the next liason; forming pace lines to pull late riders make time checks. They share food, they share tools, they share spare parts, but somehow it's totally unbelievable that they might end up sharing water bottles?

Similar to the case with Maes, I see a distinction between being guilty of violating the rules and being rightfully punished for it, and a premeditated, knowing, and willful attempt to gain an advantage against the rules (doping/cheating). Sounds like the French anti-doping agency decided on the former, with a lot more information than anyone of us has, and who's more 'f*ck dopers' than the AFLD? What possible reason would they have to show even an ounce of leniency to a high profile American rider?

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Updated photo album 2013 Randoms 6/26/2019 1:50 PM
2013 Randoms

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Added a comment about press release Tioga Introduces the Edge 22 - A Front Tire With Double The Cornering Bite 6/24/2019 9:21 AM

Interesting idea but I’d be curious to know how it rides without center knobs. As I front tire it has to handle steering duties as well as cornering, and when weighted could end up riding on the side knobs since there is no tread down the middle. It’ll be interesting to hear to what degree this might affect steering response/control and rolling resistance. Good to see a design that dares try something new instead of mimicking what’s already out there.

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Liked a comment on the item Vital RAW - Richie Rude and Jubal Davis 6/24/2019 12:32 AM

It's north of Trinidad, Colorado.

Liked a comment on the item Yeti SB150 Custom 4/18/2019 11:07 PM

I like it, but wish it was more expensive.