Metacomet's Comments

Added a comment about feature Shimano's Latest XTR Group Delivers Class-Leading Performance 8/12/2019 12:51 PM

XTR has never been, and will never be, about value for your dollars for a value conscious rider looking to max their experience while minimizing their expenses. So its not fair to hold it to that expectation.
The reviewer is holding it to it's intended standard. Which is being their flagship best possible performing groupset, price be damned.
If someone says "This is the best tasting tequila we have ever made and that you can currently experience". You are going to be expecting the best damn tasting tequila you've ever had. Very different from someone saying, "Hey, for $20, this tequila is pretty damned good!"

This feature has 55 comments.

Added a comment to jankan23's bike check 6/13/2019 8:18 AM

If I tell you, will you buy me a beer? Haha. I've used the nipples on some wheelset's before. They are really nice and add some subtle color which is unique for a brass nipple.

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This setup has 7 comments.

Added a comment to Martin_Vinje's bike check 5/8/2019 1:14 PM

How are you liking the Onyx SC? Coming off of another DVO fork, or is this your first one?

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This setup has 5 comments.

Added a comment about feature Vital Rides the All-New YT Jeffsy 29 1/15/2019 9:10 AM

Nuts! :-)
Thanks for the reply regardless!

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This feature has 38 comments.

Added a comment about feature Vital Rides the All-New YT Jeffsy 29 1/15/2019 8:12 AM

Any comparisons you could make between the Carbon Smuggler and this? They seem pretty comparable despite 20mm difference in rear travel. Smuggler pedal/climb better and make better use of pumping the terrain? Jeffsy should have a good bit more in reserve for rapid chunk while descending, but does it give it up a bit on the climbs and mellower trail terrain?

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This feature has 38 comments.

Added a comment about feature How to Make Everyone Happy with Rampage 10/30/2018 10:57 AM

I honestly don't think the riders would be griping about their lines scores so much, especially when they are all scored next to each-other. There just wouldn't be much to argue against if it was a consensus among their peers. Also remember that not all the riders are looking to kill themselves for the big W, and will make a line they are both comfortable riding and proud of. But now they will know what they are up against from the onset. I think it would be more inspiring than anything else.
As far as making changes real-time is concerned, I think it could be very achievable. When the venue is announced, and in the initial rider meeting before the riders commit to their lines, the venue is already broken down into "zones". The panel informs the riders and diggers of the judging criteria, as well as some rough estimate point value ranges for lines/feature in each of the different zones due to some obvious features. This would be enough for the guys to have a direction they are comfortable with to begin digging, based on what they want out of the comp. They are already doing this to a very large degree but there is zero transparency currently.
Then they plan their lines, the judges get a look at it, and further refine the line score range a bit more. As the build progresses and they see the size of the landings, the narrowness of the trail itself etc, and how many diggers are involved, it gets refined again and again. Plenty of opportunity throughout the process for the riders to build a run with winning potential, as well as encouraging and rewarding unique and ambitious builds. Imagine one of those big sends to a sniper landing, vs the runway strips they are now. It might not even need to be nearly as tall to be rewarded similarly. If the rewards are there and understood, it will all be a lot less guesswork and encourage much more creative digging.
Brendogs line was as wide as a freshcut singletrack, exposure and consequence galore, loose and narrow transitions, a f'ing huge canyon gap off a kicker that was as wide as a north shore skinny after coming out of a barely defined boulder filled singletrack, which then led directly into an off the wall chute to drop.

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This feature has 35 comments.

Added a comment about feature How to Make Everyone Happy with Rampage 10/30/2018 7:44 AM

I agree announcing a winner is kind of immaterial for the core fans, and I myself am really just most excited to watch the guys ride their creations and be stoked on their runs. The winning runs are also not always the ones that go down in history. If I think back, I can't picture in my mind a full winning run, but I remember the uniques lines and standout tricks between many of the riders. Those images and those crazy moments are what you take away from the event each year.
But I also feel like we have to come to terms with the fact that the whole event is made possible purely because it is a competition. Otherwise it would turn into an annual film project with far fewer athletes and less ambitious builds and riding. The incentive to the riders would be really diminished as the event would no longer have the career-catapult recognition ability that it does now. Careers are made from this event, not just prize winnings. Without the competition aspect, there would also be no set structure for televising it live. It has to be time-boxed for live streaming. The marketability of a competition is also what makes this a profitable endeavor for Redbull. You lose the sponsor, you lose the event. You'd still have freeriding, but you would no longer have rampage. The event is completely unique in the world as far as I am aware, and it would be better to find a format as similar to the current one as possible, that focuses on and enhances the things that make it great and attracts both the riders and the viewers.

This feature has 35 comments.

Added a comment about feature How to Make Everyone Happy with Rampage 10/29/2018 12:57 PM

Another aspect I have thought about is opening up each of the riders lines for anyone. This would be incredible. Not sure exactly if it should be done on finals day only, or during practice. Or at all. But I am intrigued by the idea.
If you take the format with the baseline scores, and someone stomped their own line and maxed it out but felt they could do better on another line with a higher baseline score in order to go for the win? That would be Crazy exciting and add an additional layer of spontaneity.
The rider would have to be crazy motivated to attempt something like that on an unfamiliar line, and I cant see it happening often at all until their last drop, but it would at least be out there as an option.

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This feature has 35 comments.

Added a comment about feature How to Make Everyone Happy with Rampage 10/29/2018 12:45 PM

I really really really do not like the idea of constricting the individual rider/builder creativity. If I think back over the years about what things were the most disappointing with Rampage, most of it comes down to the judging, practice time, and all the unfinished business. The recurring themes that are always emerging are the following:

Grandiose Problem: The judging seems completely out of context when there is no baseline established. The riders have no idea what they are up against with their lines, and the judges are starting from 0 and playing the conservative game until the first, and sometimes even as the second runs are being completed.
Grandiose Answer: During the build period, and again once the lines are finalized, the judges should be establishing the baseline score for each of the runs on the mountain. Boots on the ground, they are looking at and walking the lines and determining the point value for just riding each of the lines. This gives the judges a chance to look at everything holistically and communicate to the riders the baseline points for their lines. If they trick features or completely flow everything at warp speed, depending on the trick and the feature performed on or the speed they did it with, it adds value above the expectations of a completed run in accordance with their baseline.
This also gives the judges the chance to really reward a crazy unique and technical line that is sketchy as hell to just ride, and also appropriately reward a completely independent build. The more manicured and collaborative flow-style jump lines could have an appropriately low baseline score and require some next level tricks everywhere to get near the top.
This would really level the playing field between the different styles, and the riders would know what they are up against and if they have a genuinely competitive line or not. They could also communicate this to the viewers ahead of time in the preshows, and as the riders are dropping in for their runs so the viewers have some idea what the hell the riders are being judged on.
The judges, along with some key other non-biased outsiders like previous riders such as Tippie and Berrecloth are the ones who come up with the agreed upon baseline scores for the lines.

Problem: So much unfinished business. Every year. I Cannot stand when a rider isn't able to put down a full run because they are putting it all on the line on their first drop and inevitably they blow something up.
Answer: Why not give the riders three runs, and let them submit their best for judging? If they are completing runs, they will already know they met their baseline score or better, and the viewers will know this too. If they believe they can improve their score as they see the other riders executing their runs, then they will drop again and try to do a better run and remain competitive as they could kind of gauge the runs from the other riders. This would add a lot of suspense for the viewer, and encourage riders to take their second and third runs if they are really in the running for a winning score. And for the others they would still know they are good with what they've done. Three would be ideal and give all riders the best chance of getting at least getting a score on the board with a complete run.
Letting the riders choose just one run to submit, would also take the pressure off the judges as it would all be finalized at the end of the event once all of the submissions were in and they have the full context of all the submissions. A lot less pressure on the judges, and a lot less pressure on the riders with more of a climax at the end. Show the replays of the submissions during the award ceremony and then reveal the winner. Would be thoroughly fair, and would feel more like a fest series type rider session where they each get to put their best foot forward, showcase their abilities, and not feel like they are being undervalued because the criteria wasn't clear, or due to judges under immense pressure and without the required context to make a fair assessment on the spot.

Problem: Not enough time to practice and rest.
Answer: An additional practice day, followed by a rest day prior to the event. Riders are guaranteed a practice run and get their baseline scores finalized. Then they let their bodies rest for a day. Everyone then clearly knows what they are up against and what they might need to do to win and can form a gameplan.
Seriously. for everyone's safety. This should not be so rushed

Problem: Wind and weather f'ing their runs.
Answer: If all else fails and they can't put a successful run down due to wind, they can fall back on and submit their completed practice run for the baseline score. Maybe with a deduction if its due to crashes in all of their finals runs? Not a perfect idea, but considerably better than the current practice

I think it really comes down to the viewers and the riders all wanting to see the guys get to do their full runs, get scored fairly and logically, survive, all of the creative and mind bending awe inspiring riding on full display, and a "winner" to emerge in the end on top of a sensible leaderboard.

This feature has 35 comments.

Added a comment about video Brendan Fairclough's Rampage Line POV 10/29/2018 8:25 AM

Favorite Rampage run in a long time. Maybe ever? This has so many incredible elements and end-to-end looks scary and technical as hell. Even the transitions are a lot more natural and loose looking. I know he went early. I know many other riders had some HUGE runs. But this embodies Rampage, freeride, and mountain biking in general much more than the highly manicured drops and trick jumps. Realistically, how many of the other guys would have ridden this? They all spoke of it as one of the most technical and scary lines on the mountain. How can that not be rewarded significantly more, maybe even top 3?

This video has 10 comments.

Added a comment about feature A Better XTR? Vital Rides the New Shimano M9100 Group in Crested Butte 7/26/2018 10:09 AM

Did they mention at all why they dropped their Direct Mount derailleur standard? I liked the design personally, and the hangers that were built to accommodate always seemed a lot more durable and less prone to getting bent out of shape so easily. So many hangers are unnecessarily flimsy. The DM standard at least seemed to help that issue for the brands that adopted it.

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This feature has 43 comments.