Added a comment about feature Zerode Bikes Available in the United States 9/26/2011 12:52 AM
Varaxis

ianjenn, you make that sound like an achievement just to ride through all that. I often do runs like that on Mammoth on a trail bike (steering clear of Technorocks and Bullet). I was hoping for a much bolder answer, such as exclaiming, "I brake late on all my corners, braking bumps are nothing, steep really tight, twisty, and gnarly shit np."

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Added a comment about feature Zerode Bikes Available in the United States 9/25/2011 3:56 PM
Varaxis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2KRlsBwa9Q&feature=player_detailpage#t=70s

I am still curious about this bike's performance while braking.

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Added a comment about feature Zerode Bikes Available in the United States 9/25/2011 2:52 PM
Varaxis

Shop Mechanic, I had a similar experience. I was on my ABP bike going down stairs, almost at track stand speeds, modulating the brakes, and it felt like a smooth ramp on my ABP bike. Those square edge hits were like nothing. No wonder Gwin did so well on his Trek!

JK! Hopefully Shop Mechanic was JKing too.

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Added a comment about feature Zerode Bikes Available in the United States 9/22/2011 7:43 PM
Varaxis

@csermont: Pedal neutral aspect: http://www.rdrop.com/~/twest/mtb/pathAnalysis/#PCL

It's much too wordy to explain it. In a nutshell, chain tension wants to pull the rear axle forward. Vertical wheel paths don't let the chain tension affect suspension, such as found some dual links like Maestro and some 4-bars like FSR. C shaped wheel paths, such as found on single pivots (APP, faux bar, anything without a pivot between the main pivot and the axle) and S shaped wheel paths, such as some dual link bikes (VPP, DW Link, etc) will squat or anti squat depending on which gear you are in and the position of the suspension (hence why proper sag is so important on S shaped wheel path bikes).

It's easiest to picture chain tension's effect on suspension with a C shaped wheel path (single pivot/faux bar). The pedal neutral spot on this would need a chain line that perfectly cut the C shaped wheel path at the left most point of the curve. The axle pulling forward at that point wouldn't have any tendency to squat or anti squat. Using that as a reference point, drop the chain into the granny ring and the main pivot is now higher than the chainline. The axle will want to pull down to the lower part of the C--this is anti squat, which extends and stiffens the suspension. Now shift to the big ring and the chain line is now above the main pivot and wants to pull the axle along the upper half of the C curve wheel path, which compresses the suspension and causes squat. Squat and anti-squat are powered by your chain tension, which makes pedaling inefficient, as your power isn't all going into driving the wheel forward. Derailleur based shifting pretty much made such suspension popular--they pedaled fairly well and were much more active compared to URTs, which were the only other alternative, which featured no pedal feedback but weren't fully active.

Dumbed down even more, tie a string around a door knob with the door halfway open. The string is the chain, where you have it wrapped around your finger is the crank, the door hinge is the main pivot, the door is the chainstay, and the door knob is the cassette. Pull the string with it along the face of the door, with your hand near the door hinge, and it doesn't want to shut or open up more; this is pedal neutral. Imagine a top down view of the door and "shift down" by moving your hand a bit away from the door hinge into the door way and pull. The door wanting to close is anti squat. To picture shifting up, you'd have to run the string around the backside of the door to get on that side of the hinge and pulling will open it up, compressing the suspension causing squat. 100% pedaling efficiency would be where all your pulling power is trying to shear the door knob off the door, instead of pulling it closed or open (power is still lost trying to close/open even if the door is at its limit of how open/closed it is).

What Zerode does is get that chain to follow the main pivot, which is set just behind the gearbox, extremely high. This gives the wheel path that starts really low in the C curve, allowing the wheel to move back and up, responding better to big square edged hits which tend to cause flats, destroy wheels, "hang-up" (momentum loss) on vertical wheel path bikes. The wheel base (chainstay) lengthening also stabilizes the bike, allowing you to feel more comfortable at speed.

Pivot at the chainline's counter arguments basically argue that there's still bobbing from acceleration (weight shifting towards the rear that compresses the suspension), despite being pedal neutral, due to there being weight (rider and main triangle) placed on the rear pivot arms. Hence why a lot more bikes are going more anti-squat recently, mainly for the bob-free ride that is popular these days, at a cost of less power going into driving the wheel. Since most people don't race XC (or anything else that requires lots of pedaling) on their bikes, the trade off seems acceptable, especially when they are only after fun and think bob isn't fun.

Shifting should be effortless under full load or no load (not even moving). I will note that this bike loses some pedaling efficiency through the gear hub though, due to planetary gear drag. Likely not as much as how much many other designs lose due to anti-squat.

I personally want to know how it performs under braking. I can't ride bikes that firm up or squat excessively under braking too well after riding my ABP bike for so long.

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Added a comment about feature Zerode Bikes Available in the United States 9/22/2011 2:32 PM
Varaxis

This is an old design that was deemed ahead of its time and is still probably ahead of its time, with this modern execution. One definitely to watch as it matures and gains favor, as I believe derailleur based shifting's days are numbered. I definitely think it's a smarter way to design rear suspension on a bike, from a suspension performance perspective instead of a normal XCish or AM trail riding perspective.

High pivot performance that swallows big square edged hits, about as close as 100% active as you can get with the chain forces not affecting suspension, without the pedal efficiency robbing and suspension stiffening anti squat normally associated with high pivots.

One thing that concerns me is the 135mm spacing on the Alfine hub causing the mid section to be overly wide and riders knees knocking into it. Probably a non-issue, as there are bikes with big rocker links making FS bikes that wide in that area.

Another thing that concerns me is how they got rid of acceleration based bobbing, if it's pedal neutral (having the chainline inline with the pivot). Actually, scratch that. I'm sure that really is only really an issue on inclines.

What's it weigh, frame+gearbox only?

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This feature has 22 comments.

Added a comment about video 2011 Champery World Champs Downhill Track Helmet Cam 8/30/2011 6:11 PM

Helmet cams make things look a bit flat, but that bottom section with the switchbacks looks crazy steep. Can't wait to see how the top pros ride it.

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This video has 6 comments.

Added a comment about feature First Ride: Yeti SB-66, The Super Bike 8/28/2011 11:10 AM
Varaxis

Chart orgasm right there for nerdy engineer types. Yeti's taking a huge step forward, IMO. It would have taken something like this to really make it worth switching from the lightweight simplicity of their modified single pivots, that's been tuned over the years to mesh well with the shocks available. I've been waiting for a pedal efficient dual link.

Also, great article Vital; best opening coverage on the SB-66 I've seen. Consider this a huge/rare compliment.

LaBourde brings up a good point that I was wondering too. Which 140mm DW-Link and VPP frame do those curves belong too. Not all VPP and DW-Link frames will have those curves to be able to group them all up.

While I'm not one to think that suspension designs become obsolete or antiquated, this gives me that feeling. I can't wait to test ride one just to test all its claims. I was left overall unimpressed by DW-Link, VPP, and Maestro so far, due to compromises in one aspect or another. I went back to my ABP bike after trying them. I want a good versatile yet balanced feel with high performance across the board--I can dream right? My ABP bike, Superfly 100, feels like that, yet leaves me wishing for more as other bikes edge it out in certain aspects and I want more travel too. Hopefully this turns out to be that dream bike.

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Added a comment about video Oregon Super D, Sandy Ridge Course Ride 8/23/2011 6:12 PM

Are you thinking of the start of Hide and Seek? Most videos of Sandy Ridge feature that trail.

Haven't been here, but other trails include Communication Breakdown, the more advanced 8 mile loop up top, which crosses Rippity-Do-Da into Hide and Seek. There's also "Quid Pro Flow", a fairly new trail that serves as an extension to the 338/jump line.

It seems a typical route for intermediates is to ride Homestead up, hit the jump line at the top a few times and then ride 338 and Hide and Seek, from reading a few blogs.

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Added a comment about video Oregon Super D, Sandy Ridge Course Ride 8/23/2011 3:47 PM

Most fun looking video of this awesome trail I've seen yet.

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This video has 7 comments.

Added a comment about video Replay: Men's Downhill at 2011 Val di Sole UCI World Cup 8/21/2011 2:11 PM

Danny Hart's run was F'ing wild. 97:35

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This video has 10 comments.

Added a comment about feature Danny MacAskill's 2012 Five Ten Signature Edition Shoes 8/21/2011 3:23 AM
Varaxis

Looks like it still has the CA plate. Looks like a "Grey/Black" Freerider just in "Black/blue". It has the same mesh over the toe, instead of the perforated leather. That mesh can blowout from toes or from catching on thick brush or whatever. I guess it keeps your feet better ventilated for low speed open environments when doing "urban trials/freeriding" or whatever you call D-mac's riding style.

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Added a comment about feature Five Ten Cool Hwip Clipless Shoes 8/20/2011 12:15 AM
Varaxis

Why a clipless interface with 5.10 soles? Cause it sucks walking in most other clipless shoes, with their super hard lugs that you end up walking on the tips/edges of your shoes with? I dunno, it's been a while since I've been on clipless, but I think that's one reason why I didn't like it.

I'd like to go back to clipless one day, but not with roadie shoes with lugs attached to the underside.

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Added a comment about video DirtTV: Val Di Sole WC Helmet Cam 2011 8/19/2011 5:10 PM

Doesn't look like the course changed much since the legendary Sam Hill world championship run. The top qualifying time from this year and the time Sam Hill (and Steve Peat) posted from that run is only off by a second, with the qualifiers this year being faster.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uxa2t8onfo

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This video has 4 comments.

Added a comment about feature Gloves, Body Protection Required at La Bresse 8/4/2011 2:05 PM
Varaxis

Well, I personally like the benefits armor and I hate poorly designed armor that's simply uncomfortable and makes you not want to wear it. This is more of a Yes and No deal for me...

Hate to see it required, but it protects the pros since they're at substantial risk pushing it to the limits. If it slows them down in regards to pedaling performance, better to slow 'em all down to make sure they're racing responsibly. If it makes them take even greater risks and go even faster, that'd be amazing from a spectator's perspective.

By requiring it, it'll likely force a push for higher quality armor. Something you'd want to wear on a more regular basis. If something really good trickles down to consumers that's a great improvement over what's currently available and doesn't cost an arm or a leg (is that a pun?), I'm all for it.

I know some kids that don't wear gear, basing their stance that pros don't wear it. I've seen some kids get hurt pretty bad, though armor probably wouldn't have helped much. I'm actually out for an injury right now for a week or two and shouldn't be riding, but still am. I know it's gonna heal poorly, but I can't stay off the bike. Wonder how much I could've mitigated the injury by wearing some good armor.

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Added a comment about video Santa Cruz Head-To-Head: Windham 7/11/2011 2:49 PM

Gwin!

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This video has 3 comments.

Added a comment about feature Win a Fox Racing Downhill Kit - Vital OTB, Windham 7/6/2011 11:52 AM
Varaxis

Aaron Gwin 2:24.65
Tracy Mosley 2:45.40

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Added reply in a thread BRAD is riding his Blur from Santa Cruz all the way to Whistler 7/4/2011 7:45 AM

That bar thingee-ma-jig from April Fools that turns gravity machines to pedaling machines, after you replace your rear shock with it, might have come in handy. JK JK :D

Added a comment about slideshow Prototype Specialized Pedals on Fairclough's Bike 7/3/2011 12:08 AM
Prototype Specialized Pedals on Fairclough's Bike

His vocab is screaming for help. I'd like to help him, but mine's not so hot either. At least his actions speak loud enough to cover for his lack of words.

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Added a comment about video Markus Stöckl Sets New Downhill Bike Speed Record 5/31/2011 5:52 PM

The video seemed a bit anticlimactic. Maybe it was because of the dudes in spandex hugging each other.

Maybe if he was using that speed to cross a 100+ ft gorge... I guess when I saw Evil and bikes, I thought of Evel Knievel.

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This video has 8 comments.

Added a comment about photo Number 154 4/14/2011 11:54 PM
Number 154

He's giving everyone he passes by dual middle fingers.

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This photo has 1 comment.