God Bless the Crazy Ones
If you're anything like me, you probably just go to the store, or maybe the internet, when you need something, and especially if you're in the market for a new suspension fork or downhill bike. Make my own? I can barely make a bowl of cereal for dinner, thank you very much. But there are folks out there who do have the drive and know-how to not just make dinner, but also a wild, single-sided suspension fork and an even more impressive downhill frame. Miloš Musil, a long time Pinkbiker from the Czech Republic, built his MM LSD fork using parts from Suntour, RockShox, Enduro, and even Cannondale, along with a bunch of homemade carbon fiber
. Canadian Jean-François Boivin was even more ambitious with his self-designed, carbon fiber Insolent downhill bike
that sees its homemade shock located inside
of the top tube and an Effigear gearbox.
The MM LSD fork and Insolent downhill bike are interesting, but one has to also ask, why? I mean, you can choose from any number of production forks and frames out there, so why bother? The answer is because Musil and Boivin could, which is the noblest reason of all. There's no real marketing agenda, no propaganda, and no plans to get rich; instead, they simply made the product they wanted to have.
Giant Factory Off-Road Team + DVO
Most of us can spot that DVO green from a mile away, but while the company's forks and shocks are an exciting addition to the big players that we're all used to seeing, they've waited until now to jump into a top EWS and World Cup outfit
. ''The relationship we have this year with the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is special because we are really focused 100 percent with Giant and their off-road program,'' DVO founder Bryson Martin said about the partnership. ''From XC to enduro to downhill, all we do is focus on the team—making the best suspension for the team guys and specifically for each bike model and segment.''
We'll see green on Giant's cross-country, enduro, and downhill team bikes, and I'd be surprised if our race photographers didn't spot some new developments in the pits during the 2018 race season.
Sam Signs with Haibike... to Ride E-Bikes
I almost put this one in the 'Bad Month' section, but then I looked at it objectively and thought otherwise. Here's the thing: for as good of a rider as Sam is - and he's very, very good - the guy probably isn't going to win a Crankworx event these days. Not with the likes of Rheeder, Semunuk, and Rogatkin doing their thing. But Sam has a huge online following and about a zillion fans, so he's obviously worth something to a brand money-wise, and he's also smart enough to see the writing on the wall when it comes to battery-powered bikes. That is, they're coming regardless of how much we (and I) moan about them. Pinkbike is still treading lightly when it comes to e-bikes, but I'd argue that Sam has made a forward-thinking, and likely correct, call
when it comes to a type of career that's very often short-lived and riddled with injuries.
More power to you, Sam.
The Dub Flub
If there's one fact that I've learned in the last twenty-something years of riding, it's that us mountain bikers don't much like change when it comes to so-called standards. That's especially true when decimal points and bottom bracket dimension are involved, which is a sure-fire way to start a fast-moving brush fire pushed on by the winds of hate in the comment section. Aaaaand that's pretty much what happened when SRAM introduced their DUB bottom bracket setup recently.
So, there are some good reasons for DUB, including less confusion over what fits what, sealing and (claimed) improved durability, as well as simplicity. I can get behind all of that as long as it pans out, but I'd argue that SRAM might have mishandled the release of DUB.
Here's what I would have done: nothing. Seriously, I wouldn't have even mentioned the bottom bracket and spindle changes to you guys if I was SRAM because, as we saw, the fully warranted weariness about this stuff will only generate anger, even if there are solid reasons for the change. Instead, I would have simply let DUB happen, probably without calling it anything. That tactic that would have eventually seen consumers and shops benefit and appreciate the change, just so long as the claims pan out in the long run. Anyway, our own Vernon Felton waded in to see what's up with DUB
, so check that out if you want to learn more.
Legendary Brand Closes Shop After 35 Years
American Classic was never in the Cool Kids Club when it comes to mountain bike companies, but founder Bill Shook came up with some interesting products over the thirty-five years they were in business. That came to an end recently
when they closed their factory doors in Taichung, with forty workers in Taiwan and the United States being given severance pay and let go. ''Their demise is being described as a “cash flow” issue,'' Vernon Felton wrote a few weeks ago when the news broke. ''The brand experienced declining sales in 2016, hoped to bolster things with OE sales and when that didn’t materialize, the funds weren’t there to keep things rolling.''
According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, American Classic is currently in negotiations to sell its trademarks and other intellectual property. That means we still might see the name, and maybe even Mr. Shook himself with some fresh ideas.
National Security Concerns Over a Fitness App
A lot of us bitch about Strava lines and Strava-ssholes, but it turns out that the US military has a far more legit concern: soldiers using Strava while working out have been uploading their efforts online. That wouldn't be a bad thing, but there's a host of somewhat secretive US military bases that have now been showing up on Strava thanks to their Heat Map feature. Even if the locations of these bases were known to other countries, I bet the Department of Defense isn't all that happy right now, especially because it's not like the data is anonymous - there are names attached to those little avatars.
I don't imagine that any rogue nations will be using Strava's data to do anything that nefarious, but it does raise a whole bunch of legit concerns that carry a lot more weight than the last Strava-sshole who just had to cut that one tricky corner. You're still a jerk, though.