When we're not sure what to talk about, there's always a whole bunch of questions to answer. Today's episode sees Mike Kazimer, Sarah Moore, and myself quizzed on everything from what riding socks we prefer, the bikes we've liked the least, bushing play, cables routed through stems, doing a Field Test in Florida, and even some long-distance relationship advice that you should probably ignore. We also hit on oval chainrings, Brian's 24lb (???) steel hardtail, how inexpensive disc brakes can sometimes be so terrible, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Got a question for the PB staff? Put it down below and we'll maybe answer it in a future episode.
THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 113 - YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY THE PB EDITORS April 1st, 2022
If you're looking for relationship advice, this ain't the place.
Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.
Field test in Florida? Skip the drug lords, strip clubs, sunburn & alligators - let me rudely suggest field test in western North Carolina. More trails than you could ride in 6 months from XC / mellow, rowdy to normal mountain trails, Kanuga bike park (designed/ built by Neko Mulally), Berm Park (opens April 23-free) and world class Pisgah. In eastern Tennessee - Baker Creek (Knoxville), Vee Hollar (Townsend) and Windrock could easily occupy you for weeks. Weather is perfect until July and even then - not that hot.
In fact, you could just open up a PB east office here - that's my vote. You need an eastern US field office I've determined. I'll get working on that.
I think whats up is that the PBcrew just needs to do a North American Field Test. There, that'll maybe make us all happy
I've ridden northeast NM and south/central CO a lot w/ buds there but neverSoCal or AZ...what would ya say are best bikes for that area or is that just still too broad to ask? Not a clue...everything in western NC is loam & rock, much like PNW...(hence this prob being white noise for PB field test...just wanna Meet the Mikes for 5 mins)
(Most time spent commuting on the road bike, followed by riding the E29).
I recently did the True Grit Epic in Utah. The winner was from NC. I heard him talk about how it was odd how he could trust the traction so much on the rocks, you just stick to everything because it is dry and there are no roots!
Wild about the NC rider...what kinda race is that btw or various classes? Gotta get out there sometime. The CO/NM stuff is great but its not just raw rock.
True Grit is a 100 (*cough* 805 *cough*) endurance race, a part of the NUE series in southwest Utah. Dirtwire TV was filming out there, I will see if I can find the video in a few.
I get my 3 seconds of fame at 1:29 (rolling past a walker). That section is called "The Waterfall" and most people walk it, as you can see in the video.
I finished 5th in Open. Pretty far behind the winner.
My typo above says 805, should be 85 miles.
I have a horse. I don't want my bike to be ANYTHING like a horse. God that would be a miserable mountain bike ride.
To the point about Outside making the race team happen, that's great, and I appreciate that the cost of Beta isn't a lot in the MTB world but I have an issue, I want my money to go to the thing I want to support! If I sign up for Beta it will be anonymous, so can't be directly funnelled to the team, it will cover a load of other costs before what's left ends up at its intended destination, the team.
Can we have a way of funding the race team without having to buy Beta? I am sure I am not alone in wanting to do the former but refusing do the latter.
Either something like GoFundMe which a number of racers seem to be using anyway, or even a subscription on Pinkbike with nothing behind it, as a funding mechanism? Although you may have backed yourself into a corner there promising to never have subs on this site. I may be run out of town for suggesting that, if that happens, so be it.
Could it be time to have a poll to see what people would prefer, might be worth it if there's something that would cause less discourse and still fund Henry FedEx Expressing his keys around the world?
There have been a load of mergers and acquisitions in all sectors over the past couple of years, with branding being the hardest thing to get right.
Have you considered the following in terms of branding, if pushing Pinkbike content into Beta?
* New users will potentially get lost / miss content - I have seen this with a podcast in the UK moving to a bigger platform
* You'll potentially lose listeners if you they can't listen on their chosen platform, i.e. not a website
* There might be a potential issue with sponsors at renewal time if the audience for the team is far smaller than Pinkbike which is what they signed up for
* Pinkbike is a brand regardless of where it is and if that's behind a Beta subscription, you're essentially putting a paywall (hate that term, but not as much as Brian, I'm sure) on Pinkbike
I realise someone along the chain of command will have a remit in the Outside deal to cross sell and grow the Beta membership numbers but do that by making it too good to miss out on as Beta, not by some sleight of hand (appreciate that's a dick comment, but it makes a point).
Creative options (many!) to support the race team seem to have been bypassed with a plea to join Beta & THAT will cover the team. Really? Who designed this? There are literally infinite ways to raise money for the team other than “join beta”… Pink bike racing team fundraisers, subscriptions, bike / parts raffles, product purchases, gofundme, sponsorships (repeating what u said), etc… There could be so many fronts to this that it’s incredible
Id kick in on any and many of these - lots of buy in just outta sheer PB love. not anti-Beta but really… Beta has no history, no established fan base, and no one has explained why a Beta subscription is the only way to help fund PB racing… as you noted, how much of that subscription $$$ can actually goto the team?
Point being, and I think we both agree on this: supporting PB racing through just a beta prescription is pretty weak, and I’m just surprised this seems to be the only method and there’s no other discussion about other options
Come show the Midwest some Pinkbike love! Michigan gets my vote for XC Field test, CH and Marquette have great elevation changes and no gators. Win win
It all depends on your needs. For me, 12 speed is ideal. I could get away with a wide range (10-46 AT LEAST) 10 speed on my trail bike, but I would rather even go with a wide 10-50 14 speed on my XC bike, but my current 10-52 12 speed is just fine.
I love when I tell people I'm riding 25 front & rear...that's 25 w/ Cush and 25 tubeless. It requires explaining.
// WARNING: Shilling for the luxury sock industry //
Think I only got them due to being on sale originally, but I really like the Rapha ones - very good at thing of being warm and comfortable but not getting too hot. Totally sold on them now. And, Kaz, really like they label L and R - shapes to your feet with use. For your predicament get two pairs the same and pair them LL and RR.
But, yes, you don't need all of the best most expensive gear, but sport specific and stuff designed to wick sweat and not chafe. You can always look at what the fancy ones are made of and use that as the benchmark for something more budget / in sales.
First of all thank you for answering my questions about brands offering bike customised build. It makes sense.
I have a question specific to the Specialized Stumpjumper. What would be the difference in the ride feel and the bike's ability between the carbon frame with flex stay versus the alloy with it's four-bar Horst link (all other parts being equal)? And probably most importantly, would anyone, outside pro or tech editors, would notice the difference? especially if the suspension is probably not set up correctly, the tire pressure is off and those latest Yeti shorts are riding up your arse?
Does his rider friend who is far from being the Isaac Newton of trail riding would notice the difference in ride feel?
Similar to drivetrains where it is regularly stated that Deore operate exceptionally well relative to XTR with weight being the main difference. How do the three tiers of suspensions in both main brands differ to each other in ride feel and ability? I appreciate they may have different dampers or adjustments but how much is marketing BS vs true tangible performance enhancement. Paraphrase as you wish
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Sorry if that's done you out of a question, @mikelevy, or maybe just saved you some research.
As far as alloy, Orbea makes an alloy Oiz with a decent build kit. Scott has an alloy Spark (not the RC race bike).
Other than that, off the top of my head the Kona Hei Hei, Giant Trance 29, and Stumpjumper all have alloy versions.
Along those lines, is it the UCI or Whistler who is dragging their feet getting on the calendar? Wasn't there rumbles of having a WC DH at the Creekside zone or whatever its called? Seemed to be talked about for a couple years a while ago but it seems all but quiet now.
More slow speed compression is what you need to hold that fork up. It's a game changer on the Lyrik.
Needed some low speed compression dialed in to hold it up for sure, though.
Plus the 50hr service of the Rockshox cost nothing in parts.
1) Beta: These video reviews are so incomprehensibly bad. I don't think I've been able to get through a full one in years. I tried watching a video of a bike I was interested in (Evil Insurgent MX) and after about 2 minutes, I realized these guys/gals are in a completely different talent threshold than myself and will thus have a completely different ride experience. Their opinion is almost entirely worthless to me. It isn't my intention to sound arrogant, but to share further, I then found the Beta review of another bike I own (Offering V2) and sure enough, this 40 year old dude and two (won't guess their ages) women might as well have been talking about a completely different bike than the own I owned. Their discussion on the climbing portion was accurate (it's a DW bike that climbs well), but as soon as they started talking about pointing it downhill, it became apparent that I have nothing to gain from listening to this group of three riders talk about picking their way down a hill.
The format is also just so cringey to me. Why on earth would I want to watch three people on bar stools drinking craft beer talk about bikes? I'd happily sit on a barstool with two of my friends and talk about our bikes, but that isn't something to watch.
2) I used to pay attention to PB reviews, but they've gotten so stale and always leave out the most critical piece of information as to why I should listen to anything a reviewer has to say: "Why should I trust the reviewer?" I know PB has a couple of certified hard chargers (Henry/Seb), but how fast are Mike and Mike? What about Alicia? Why should I (an admittedly total try hard) think that you can properly convey what I will experience on the bike?
I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to sound arrogant or cocky, I just know my own talent threshold and I really struggle to figure out which talent band most PB reviewers fall into. I wouldn't trust a dude bro at a shop I've never seen ride to help me pick out the bike I'll spending thousands of my own dollars to race that year, so why should I trust you? I know not everything is about racing times and pedigree (I know a lot of racers who would be absolutely terrible bike reviewers), but it would be nice if we even had visual cues to gauge whether or not your riding styles is something we even jive with or relate to.
The only bike review videos I trust are FreeHub Mag (because I watch him ride and I know he's pushing at a respectable pace, cornering well, etc.) and (I admit this is odd and I take his reviews with a grain of salt) Jeff Kendall -- maybe because he just exudes the epitome of bike control?
I get you have to cater to all crowds and talent bands, so maybe continue to let Beta reviews be the god-awful things that they are, but can you evolve Pinkbike bike reviews to include more actual riding? You have access to so many test bikes at a time, what if you did a POV run on the bike in question, and a POV run on the bike you're comparing it to? That would be a lot more impactful than just having two or three summary paragraphs talking about idler drag or what have you. Or maintain a standout bike in each category that you do a compared POV run to. Run a Spesh Enduro as the "control" and compare it to a Norco Range.
I appreciate everything ya'll do at PB, I just want to encourage you to evolve so that you can maintain the attention of some of the more talented people on this site, and not just all the newcomers who have joined this site in the last 2 years.
Matt Beer is a former Canadian national DH champ.
Sarah Moore has raced in the XC World Cup.
They’ve got some fast folks, but maybe they need to put that stuff on their staff bio pages or something.
I'm relatively certain most of the people on staff at PB are better than average and I know some are outright bad asses. I think the heart of the matter here is that I think there's just a much more valuable way to review bikes that can appeal to a wider audience.
Just out of curiosity what is your skill level? local level pro class at an Enduro race top in the expert class?
Just kidding. I've stood on the podium at a pro BME race *but* the Yeti Factory boys were all at an EWS, so if they were there they all would have pushed me to tenth. lol I've qualified for EWS, but happy to acknowledge that was pretty lucky as I think I just raced an EWS gold quali where some talented dudes didn't show up.
In all seriousness though, having the top 1% of riders reviewing bikes will obviously be great for knowing how capable the bikes really are. That doesn't really help the 99% though for the reasons you mentioned (it'll be a different experience for them). I think having middle ground is good, and their current reviews cover most bases. Matt is a fricken beast, and is easily one of Canada's fastest and most composed riders. I've heard Mike Kaz is pretty quick, as is Henry. I struggle to enjoy most of Kaz's reviews because they are very cookie cutter/ bland. That being said, having so many similar reviews really made the Norco Range review shine (as it should). They have the XC grounds also covered as was mentioned above.
1) Username for sure checks out. I wear 100% clothing, and drink whey protein from a blender bottle after every ride before I even pull out the strava to check how many KOMS I stole.
2) I think that riders in the "top 1%" will be able to better understand what a beginner is looking for and can still provide just as good of a review for beginners while also being able to give context to great riders. Whereas a rider in the top 65% will not be able to give a review to someone in the top 1%. And now that PB/Beta have merged, Beta can better cover the bases for beginners.
3) My biggest complaint is not that the current crop of PB editors are not talented or appropriately sick (and I hope that's not what @mikelevy gets from my comment). The heart of my complaint is that the format as-is does not showcase enough riding and needs to evolve to ideally include more riding content and could especially do better comparing bikes back-to-back or in comparison to a control bike. More riding footage in reviews would also give us the ability to decide whether or not we can take the reviewer's experience with a grain of salt, or if we would have similar outcomes on the same bike.
Kaz, Levy, Moore, Leggett and Park are absolute Joeys
A guy i ride with who is decent but not great loves his enduro, especially after reading a glowing review. i looked at his bike and he was running full compression front and rear and 35 psi in both tires.
I asked a question from the other end of the spectrum regarding the team's abilities a little while back that got an answer, probably somewhere in the 105 - 110 episode range, there was a short but interesting chat Mike to Mike about what it takes to be a good reviewer and how being an absolute beast on the bike can be a disadvantage as a reviewer. I'm at the beginner / slower end of the spectrum (and will not be going Beta, thank you very much, you can keep that suggestion!) and therefore have to apply a conversion from a professional rider (if not racer) to my plebian level. Fully appreciate your point but perhaps riders at your end of the spectrum would need to do likewise based on the relvative reviews of bikes / kit that you know? I enjoy the reviews, even of bikes I'd never buy, but would like to see more riding - if the current format is what works for most then maybe even if that's post credits adding in some runs?
As for over at Beta, Travis Engel is the one I trust the most amongst the regular crew.
I wish pinkbike had someone sendy on staff that weighs over 90kg/200lbs.
We did a dozen plus trips to Golden after my best bud moved there, the scene was huge and the local riders were all awesome. Couldn't wait to get back each time.
But honestly nothing on this planet can prepare you for the general skill level of mountain bikers in the Sea to Sky corridor. I have randomly followed pro women there that rode lines that I couldn't begin to get my head around. Bumping into super stars male and female that leave you too star struck to speak coherently is a regular occurrence lol.
Unless you're there and are in the top tier of riders, it's pretty tough to speculate accurately about your talent level being above the local rippers, like Alicia, Matt, Christina, etc.
A friend of mine upgraded from a hard tail to an carbon Orbea Occam and it took over a month of me nagging to get him to set up the suspension to his weight. And that was just to recommended settings, no testing, no further adjustments
Terrible jokes aside, do people read that nonsense? I hop over there once or twice a week to see if there is anything decent, and tbh I usually come away laughing at the articles like I listed above. Now in all fairness I'm not actually reading them so if it's satire, then tell me to shut up.
Maybe there is a market for these articles, but it just... doesn't seem to fit that of the pinkbike target audience, so I wonder how much overlap (and utility) would there be for 99% of "Pinkers" to get an outside+ membership.
Why do most full suspension bikes have less travel in the rear than the front. Why don't they just match the travel. For example, the Nukeproof Reactor is a 130 mm in the rear and 150 in the front. Wouldn't it make more sense to match the travel? Even if you compare to motor sports like trophy truck racing they actually have more travel in the rear then they do in the front. What would be so different about MTB that we would need less in the rear?
The only decent riding I found was in the Jacksonville area. That said, I haven't been to the panhandle, and I bet it's decent there, given the terrain and outdoorsy culture. The Jacksonville scene is cool, Katheryn Hanna park has very well-built trails, and there are a few smaller places with nice features around the city as well. It's worth bringing a MTB if you're going to be in the area anyway, but it's a terrible place for a field test, because the riding conditions are so uniform. It's all relatively smooth, twisty singletrack, which is good fun to ride, but very hard to learn much about a bike's brakes or suspension on.
That said, FL - at least the NE part - is a really great place to own a hardtail. I had the original Specialized Fuse at the time, and something like that (or even an XC hardtail) is just perfect for those trails. I imagine other places in the deep south and midwest US are similar, so a field test focused on how to maximize fun on flat trails wouldn't be a bad thing. I find that really fast tires, like XC race tires, are key to keeping speed up and making flat trails fun.
After waiting a few months I am going to receive my sentinel next week in Bellingham. Kazimer, do you still ride the sentinel? I know you did an in depth review on it but I just want to hear how it compares to everything you’ve ridden so far in the PNW terrain. GIDDY UP!
I am also down for extended podcasts where the team talks about other random stuff, UFO’s, music, formula one, Etc.
I live & ride in Utah where we have trails of clay mud to red sand -- wondering what bike cleaning routines, choice of dry/wet lubes, how often are you pulling out the toothbrush to clean components or do you pull a Sam Pilgrim (insert obscure reference of him cleaning a bike with a monster energy drink) method?
I live & ride in Utah where we have trails of clay mud to red sand -- wondering what bike cleaning routines, choice of dry/wet lubes, how often are you pulling out the toothbrush to clean components or do you pull a Sam Pilgrim (insert obscure reference of him cleaning a bike with monster energy drink) method?
Honestly though, I’d rather they go to Santos and have San Felasco remain less known, personally. Plus they would probably enjoy the Santos tech features more than our humble XC trails.
P. S. Levy it's pronounced height. Should make things easier haha
How many fibers are intertwined in a Shredded Wheat biscuit?
How many times did the Batmobile catch a flat?
It sounds to me like they are a Cycling version of the UN they say a bunch of things and like being bossy and spending money (making it) but they never really do anything useful.
It regulates everything from venues to weather calls, health (accidents & injuries) and can you have a motor on your DH or XC bike (ad infinitum) to course taping, team rules, rider & team / privateer rules and in fact - its so far (x 1000) more than you have probably researched that its' probably worth researching 1st before calling them all "old white men" since there are young people & women involved, all pretty much experienced if not lifetime riders.
Without UCI rules & regs / world cup (and other) MTB events would look like some Shucky the Clown junk that it actually used to be.
Its easy to be irreverent and flippant - I often am, but it pays to do homework before putting a bullhorn to your face to yell stuff you're not informed about. There would be no World Cup anything the way we see it today without UCI, so you are simply saying stuff without any real information. Its like saying you don't wanna pay taxes for potholes on US interstates because they're not in your state...just nonsense.
Seriously - it'll take you hours to go over the site - www.uci.org/the-uci/2QDMyzhoBXyWbVrsxge0EH.