Slack Randoms: $1100 Ti Balance Bikes, Blockchain Carbon Frame Tracking & More

Feb 12, 2023 at 3:54
by Ed Spratt  
We use Slack as our workplace communication tool at Pinkbike and we have a #randoms channel that we use to share an assortment of videos and stories from all corners of the cycling world and beyond... We thought a couple of the moments from the past week were too good not to share with a wider audience, so here are some of the highlights.

Van Nicholas Releases $1100 Ti Balance Bike

Van Nicholas has joined the list of brands offering premium balance bikes as it launches the Ventus JR.

bigquotesTitanium’s lightweight but robust nature makes it the perfect material for very young riders because it is light enough for them to control easily, but tough enough to handle the rough treatment it will inevitably receive! Ralph Moorman, General Manager of Van Nicholas

The Ventus JR weighs just 2,322 grams although this comes at a cost of $1109. Find out more here.

Blockchain Could Track Sustainability of Composites for Bike Frames

Fujitsu and Teijin have partnered with V Frames and Advanced Bikes in Germany to promote recycled materials and track emissions across the cycling industry using a blockchain platform.

The project aims to create "digital twins" of composite frames within a blockchain platform so that each frame's life can be tracked. The hope is that this will create a greater awareness of the value of recycled materials and the industries current handling of carbon fiber.

Designing a Mountain Bike in Fusion 360

bigquotes00:00 Intro
01:07 Step 1 - Base sketch
04:32 Step 2 - Centerline sketch
08:33 Step 3 - Draw headtube
12:19 Step 4 - BB ST
14:47 Step 5 - Front triangle
18:49 Step 6 - CS centerlines
22:14 Step 7 - Tire clearance body
23:45 Step 8 - SS centerlines
27:46 Step 9 - CS body
29:36 Step 10 - SS body
31:20 Step 11 - Joining the dropouts and yoke
34:59 Step 12 - Conclusions

In this tutorial, we will design a mountain bike frame from scratch. The method I show is a simplified version of the way that I design bikes in fusion360. Just with any software, there is going to be a learning curve.

See the thread for additional instructions, files, and to ask questions:

- Break down the video into steps. You may need to repeat steps at 1/2 speed to understand
- Try not to deviate from the tutorial on the first pass. You can always go back and change the geometry and design later
- If you are stuck, try reverse-engineering the CAD
- Just with anything, you only get better with practice

Jack Moir's Swingarm Testing

bigquotesFirst test session on My new Capra. Day 1 was testing different length rear ends. Jack Moir

Audi Nines 2022 FPV Course Flyby

bigquotesJump on board for a flight around the 2022 site for Audi Nines. Which line you riding? GoPro

Thibaut Daprela and Hugo Marini Raw Runs in Combes, France

bigquotesJump in with the crew at Commecal for some rides during their team's first bike camp in the south of France. Good times with friends testing and getting some rides in for the start of the year. GoPro

Mastering the Slinky

bigquotesDid you play with slinkys when you were younger? Josh Jacobs has taken a childhood toy and turned it into a visually stunning art form. Slinky manipulation is a fairly new practice, starting around 2010. Josh got into "slinking" eight years ago when watching an incredible Chinese performer do things he never thought possible with a slinky. Now, Josh is one of the best slinky manipulators in the world. Wired

Building a Laser Chainsaw

Crayons Vs. 150 Ton Hydraulic Press

bigquotesReturn of original Worm Maker 5 000 000 hydraulic press tool! Super satisfying worms from oranges, cabbage, pineapple, candles and crayons! Filmed with super high speed cameras for high quality satisfying slow motion videos. Hydraulic Press Channel


  • 138 0
 Not that there was any doubt about a Ti balance bike being pointless, but the Vitus Nippy is £35 and comes in 400g lighter
  • 22 0
 I had both my sons on the Vitus. Now they are shredders
  • 2 236
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 5:16) (Below Threshold)
 Some of us really showing our age if we think 1100 is a lot of money Things have changed
  • 124 3
 @wheelsmith: yea but wages haven’t
  • 4 0
 Got my son a Vitus Smoothie,great bike. Upgraded the handlebar,stem and put on some Specialized Roller knobby tires and it's ready to hit the trails. Magnesium frame,nice smooth spinning wheels.
  • 13 0
 @wheelsmith: Yeah nah.
  • 5 64
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 12, 2023 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: just stop working for wages......before you just dismiss me, think about it. why let other people tell you what you can make? go work for yourself.
  • 19 0
 @Mtbdialed: I am quite happy with the wages I make, the schedule I need to make it, and the limited stress I have to endure for it so I’ll pass on your offer. I’m speaking on behalf of the majority that may not be as fortunate as myself.
  • 3 45
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 9:47) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: not what you make it's what you keep
  • 4 55
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 @jptothetree: most spend $1,100 on a fork, one mtb wheel, electronic shifting, and it's not seen as ridiculous.
Also it's normal to spend 8K or more on a bike.

I'm not stating this bike is a good value for the price... however there seems to be a (mostly opinionated) fine line how $1,100 is viewed worth it or not
  • 1 54
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 10:10) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: if you're so fortunate why are you bitching
  • 32 2
 @wheelsmith: I have this weird phenomenon where I care about people other than myself. Doesn’t appear you are burdened with that attribute though.
  • 3 48
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 11:49) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: okay pinkers I'm so wrong sorry for speaking out $1,100 is a lot of money for anything bike related
  • 30 0
 @wheelsmith: It's definitely an OUTRAGEOUS amount of money for something that a child will outgrow very quickly. Surely you can understand that.
  • 2 59
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 12:40) (Below Threshold)
 @jptothetree: easy to earn that in a week nowadays
But yeah
  • 29 2
 @wheelsmith: you would give up a weeks worth of wages to buy a balance bike that your kid would use for two years max, when you could get the vitus for a fraction?
That just lacks common sense but I guess if you have money to waste it’s your choice. Either way suggesting people are old and out of touch because they don’t have an extra grand to throw away on a ridiculously priced bike is ignorant. Inflation has sent the price of everything up including necessities, like food and fuel, so after you’ve spent your wages on all the necessities that most people need to buy to support a family, do you still have an extra $1000 bucks at the end of the week? Do you support a family? Own a home? If you do and your wages have gone up to match inflation then you are fortunate. If your some bachelor with minimal expenses then you don’t speak for the majority and need to “grow up” Lol
You know because people buying balance bikes usually have families and other expenses, get a clue dude.
  • 8 35
flag DBone95 (Feb 12, 2023 at 13:36) (Below Threshold)
 Everyone complaining about an $1100 balance bike using their $1100 iPhone.... Delicious.
  • 30 2
 @DBone95: How is a pocket sized computer that can make phone calls and a balance bike for a young child comparable?
  • 6 0
 @wheelsmith: There is a plethora of factors that would make earning that amount of money in a week possible or entirely impossible
But yeah
  • 1 8
flag RedBurn (Feb 12, 2023 at 13:55) (Below Threshold)
 Kill TI
  • 3 2
 "This balance bike is suitable for children of age 3+." ???
  • 4 20
flag DBone95 (Feb 12, 2023 at 14:08) (Below Threshold)
 @jptothetree: We need neither, but want one yet not the other. It's always perspective. I promise, you, me and everyone else walking the planet can live without a phone shoved in front of their face most waking hours, just as a young child can live without a Ti balance bike.
  • 1 15
flag wheelsmith (Feb 12, 2023 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 @laerz: yes
  • 4 0
 I'm a buyer if they make it more slack and go super boost in the back.
  • 2 0
 But, but, the Ti bike has better geometry. Longer reach, longer wheelbase, steeper seat tube, and shorter chainstays. Haha.
  • 6 3
 I'm not even mad about that little balance bike, but it's ridiculous not to have a brake. My little guy had a spawn and he was already dialed on handbrake for his next bike with pedals
  • 9 2
 @DBone95: First off, I don't know what kind of job you have but the one I have requires having a smart phone. And it needs to be fast and reliable, so the counter-argument of a cheap phone is invalid. However, the cheap balance toy is perfectly adequate as a replacement for this absurdity. Second, a smart phone gets more in a single day that that toy will be in a week (probably more like every two weeks). Third, a smart phone is going to last longer than the child will use said toy.

If you're going to come in here and play devil's advocate, please try a little bit harder. At the very least, make it entertaining.
  • 1 0
 @jptothetree: Usually these "toys" are easily sold on aftermarket and used for years by different children.

But still expensive for sure for the pleasure of the parent, not the child at the end.
  • 4 1
 A Rolex is pointless too.....yet here we are. G shock is 35.0 also.
  • 3 0
 That Vitus is a great bike. My parents got it for me and I still ride it as an adult.
  • 1 15
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 11:41) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: I have never been more stress free, than I am in the comfort of directing my own destiny.....and how much money I make.

Fortune isn't an item you win by luck. you create fortune. fortune is just the outcome of dedication and willingness to fail.

all those "people not as fortunate as you" are perfectly capable, they just lack the commitment to take a chance on themselves. lots of people like yourself are mentally trapped by fear and lack of belief in oneself.
  • 4 3
 @Mtbdialed: LOL thanks for inviting me to your TedTalk today. I aint scerd or lacking confidence and ambition. I make well into 6 figures, work from home at my own hours, rarely travel for work, get to spend a ton of time with my 2 toddlers, and I can go on a MTB ride whenever I want. I am regarded as an expert in my field at 37yrs old and I provide guidance to multi-billion dollar companies. Life is good.
  • 5 0
 @Mtbdialed: Try preaching to people in 2nd and 3rd world countries. I'm sure they just aren't dedicated enough and that's why they have no money.
  • 5 0
 @Mtbdialed: Well off people generally are well off by making good financial decisions. Buying a $1100 strider bike when a much cheaper one will do at least as good a job (especially considering this one has no brake mounts) is probably not a good one.
  • 3 6
 @LaXcarp: sounds like you could make into the 7 figures with a bit of drive and ambition!
  • 2 5
 @jptothetree: LOL. those countries have the status they do for valid reasons. If you feel so bad for their lot in life, why don't you send your salary to one of them to help out????
  • 3 0
 @Mtbdialed: What are the valid reasons? Curious what your knowledge of history is like.
  • 3 0
 @Mtbdialed: damn dude you just don’t give up. Money is not the goal of my life, happiness is.
  • 1 10
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 16:13) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: it's mostly because you are full of shit.

you began with saying that (implied heavily) unfair wages are why most people are kept down. Then later attempted the humble brag of "I make well into the 6 figures", which is cute....

so I think you do care, A LOT, about money. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but then to try and be Ghandi in your latest retort, is hilarious.
  • 2 12
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 16:16) (Below Threshold)
 @jptothetree: poor resources(food, water, minerals, timber, etc), poor governance, poor cultural ethics to keep governance in line, and poor education.

Ghana was never going to be the US, in terms of economic might, regardless of any social ills you want to heap on white people in their oppression. lol

it isn't history that determines 1st, 2nd, 3rd world, as much as it's geography and culture.
  • 3 0
 @Mtbdialed: I’ve learned not to accept criticism from someone I wouldn’t accept advice from. Good luck in life
  • 1 8
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 16:21) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: .....and now you know why you make 115K and think you are just rolling in it!

good day!
  • 4 0
 @Mtbdialed: you sure think you know me well for some dbag across the country
  • 1 6
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 17:37) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: simple people are easily figured out, regardless of distance.
  • 2 2
 You have a very narrow view of the world, and this is why Americans are laughed at abroad. Not that Americans like you actually care (which is the problem)
  • 4 0
 @Mtbdialed: Case in point, I easily figured out you're a narcissistic douche that thinks anyone who doesnt do things his way is beneath him
  • 2 15
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 17:57) (Below Threshold)
 @jptothetree: tell me you have never been abroad, without telling me you have never been abroad......

I have stepped foot on 5 continents, 50+ countries......Never been laughed at for being an American(outside of France, but those stinky f*cking surrender monkies can all choke to death on cigarettes and bad chocolate all they want....I am sure we will have to save them from the Russians soon enough). 99% of the time? tons of praise, welcoming arms and good times with people that kind of envy americans and their lives.
  • 1 7
flag Mtbdialed (Feb 13, 2023 at 18:17) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: oh garsh, the ol' Narcissist zinger! the common fall back for the mental midget that cannot come up with anything better.

I never cared how you did anything, chief....just that you likely are sucking at the way you think you want to do it....
  • 2 0
 @Mtbdialed: No i would say the reason you hear that a lot is because its true
  • 2 0
 @Mtbdialed: Whatever you say Wink
  • 2 5
 @LaXcarp: I never said I hear it a lot. Your desire is not my reality.

Now get back to work and make something of yourself! You're almost 40 and think middle-middle class is the pinnacle.
  • 1 4
 @jptothetree: see.....easier once you just submit, right?
  • 5 1
 @Mtbdialed: For someone who has traveled as much as you claim, it is shocking how little you know of the world and how little empathy you seem to have. It's not a good look for you as a person, honestly.
  • 1 0
 This Vitus Nippy will just not do for my baby dentist. He commands the best Huggies and he will command titanium under his untrained butt!
  • 1 0
 @tauren58: if I'd have given it to my daughter she'd have looked at it and called it boring because grey is officially one of the WORST colours (her words) and never ridden it
  • 69 0
 It's finally here! The moment the 999$ Specialized Hotwalk Carbon has become the budget friendly alternative
  • 28 0
 The hotwalk that is currently 50% off because they can't sell them?
  • 5 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: so next years' downslopecrossdurocountry model can come out. Its full suspension and 200g lighter
  • 4 6
 @inked-up-metalhead: If I remember correctly, the initial run of these sold out almost immediately. Likely to bike shop owners who had kids, and also wanted to display something in their window. Lets be honest, if you walked by a shop window and recognized it, you'd go in to have a look.
I mean, if you had a buddy who just had a little one, and a bunch of mates went in, its a pretty cool, but understandably useless gift, but so is all kids stuff really.

They're $1300 Canadian pesos, and sold out online here.
Where are they 50% off right now?
  • 5 0
 @onawalk: seths bike hacks/berm peak recently did a review video, and he said they were half price. If I'm wrong, fair enough, I retract that statement.
  • 1 3
 @inked-up-metalhead: This is how unfounded rumours start

like I said, if you can find me one for half price, let me know.
  • 1 1
 @Laststandard: Deadly,
When I try to put one in cart it says not available, not sure if its a regional issue, or if its actually out of stock.
  • 3 0
 @onawalk: so unfounded...
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: I got to put one in my cart now. Maybe Speshy doesn't want to ship them internationally.
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: I'll give ya props for that
  • 38 0
 The only thing dumber than a Titanium balance bike is blockchain anything
  • 9 1
 Is a blockchain what the mafia put on your feet before tossing you into a river? If so I wouldn't call it dumb it seems pretty effective.
  • 24 1
 No kidding, if the aim is sustainability why the hell are they using blockchain, it’s a colossal waste of energy.
  • 27 0
 Blockchain doesn't add anything to the concept of digital twinning!
  • 14 2
 This is my biggest pet peeve. Block chain is essentially worthless outside of crypto currency. It just gets hyped and buzzworded to death.
  • 28 0
 @plustiresaintdead: crypto is worthless too though
  • 23 0
 Blockchain for the environment is a huge joke
  • 5 0
 @plustiresaintdead: and doesn't it use a lot of computing power (read energy) so how is that eco friendly?
  • 4 0
 @BarryWalstead: It depends on which method you use, proof of work uses a shit tonne, but there are other more friendly methods.
Still a dumb thing to use in 99% of situations.
  • 11 2
 @Sn0rk: Do you mean proof of storage, which is more energy efficient but turns SSDs and their valuable raw materials into garbage e-waste in mere months, or do you mean proof of stake which relies on a significant amount of proof of work having already been done and further Ponzifies the whole scam architecture?

Blockchain adds nothing of value to society for any application. It's either fuel for defraudment, or at best a useless waste of resources.
  • 4 0
 @Sn0rk: At least the Ti balance bike can be reused or recycled
  • 7 0
 One other thing blockchains don't solve is incorrect data being added to them in the first place.

I don't think you, dear reader, are this stupid but just for the sake of argument, imagine you use a blockchain to track your supply chain. It doesn't prevent people in your supply chain from lying (because people still do that). And now whatever incorrect information they've added is permanent. You can't fix it, because the point of a blockchain (and one of the main reasons it's dumb AF) is not being able to change it after the fact...
  • 4 0
 @plustiresaintdead: it’s just essentially worthless, full stop.
  • 29 5
 That ti balance bike is the exclusive domain of the asshole. There is no value prop, it is pure waste, regardless of your financial status anyone willing to waste so much is an asshole.
  • 3 0
 I can’t help but to think these and similar are just the creations of marketing departments for the shock value and the concept of any publicity is good publicity.
  • 13 0
 Is anyone else tickled by the irony of using blockchain to track environmental friendliness? Does it include its own environmental impact in that record?
  • 1 0
 Mobius loop of carbon abstraction
  • 12 0
 The original,finnish hydraulic press channel just never gets old!
10 min well spent... ;-)
  • 5 0
 I love HPC
  • 1 0
 The recent 'grinder attachments' have been wild. So little safety measures too. I wouldn't be within 50ft of those things when it starts spinning.
  • 13 2
 Did anyone send an envelope in by the 31st to get a list of advent calendar winners?
  • 2 0
 I got my prizes already ?
  • 15 7
 2 mins 20 seconds to cut down a 6 inch tree with a laser when you could do it with a battery chainsaw in literally 5 seconds, and not have to push it over onto your house. Jesus wept.
  • 7 1
 don't ruin this for me
  • 36 0
 Somebody sounds mad they don’t have a laser that can cut down trees…
  • 3 0
 I think you're missing the point
  • 4 0
 @joeshackleton: Right?? It's part of Dr. Evil's plan to de-forest Canada with bears with freakin lasers on their heads...
  • 10 0
 that fusion360 tutorial is the reason my household chores won't be done
  • 2 0
 I need one in TinkerCAD
  • 6 1
 It's mid-February. I know we're most of us a little stir crazy (the slinky vid proves it). OK to ask about that Advent contest winner thing?
  • 6 0
 If all else fails... SLINKY!
  • 5 0
 Weird flex but OK
  • 4 1
 Waste of Ti. Like who is this for? And why does staff at pinkbike care about this useless shit. How about reporting on something actually interesting, eg.
  • 1 0
 I could see that ti push bike sitting in a garage sale 30 years from now being picked up for 100$ . 500$ with inflation . Being enjoyed by its 11 th owner .
Nothing wrong with making a relatively indestructible bike that you can pass on to the next generation of grams.
  • 4 0
 Is the blockchain 11, 12, or this new vaunted 13-speed?
  • 2 0
 Blockchain has only one speed: slow...
  • 3 0
 Environmental activists : “ open pit mines are the worst” ,

Audi Nines “ hold my beer”.
  • 1 0
 Thanks to whomever curated these videos , it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday morning watching the rain outside while procrastinating a bike ride.
  • 1 0
 Still waiting for a full suspension balance bike.... I know everyone says you should start on a hardtail, but I'm not so sure.
  • 1 0
 I too want to be an important member of the burgeoning slinky manipulation community. That's one more thing I didn't accomplish in life. shit.
  • 1 0
 Never thought i'd see 'slinky manipulation' on Pinkbike. Best not to give the userbase too many ideas on this lonely Valentines day.
  • 1 0
 This reminds me of the street vendor in Vancouver who had the $100 hotdog. All marketing strategy and an attempt to generate buzz.
  • 4 4
 Building a Laser Chainsaw - and i quote: we don't need that kind of negativity around here.

basic safety's "negativity" now, gotta win that darwin award
  • 1 0
 At least this is somewhat more drop proof
  • 3 3
 doctors and accountants will be "adds to cart" like.......

  • 1 0
 How to make mountain biking more affordable:

take up chess
  • 1 0
 Spelling mistake: Commecal
  • 1 1
 came here for a hazy, highly emotional understanding of blockchain and it didnt disapoint.
  • 2 1
 i wish i was a dentist..
  • 5 8
 Is there a brake on that balance bike? If not, you'll need to be rich to afford the hospital bills when your kid rides into traffic or down a ravine.
  • 2 2
 Not sure why this is getting downvoted. I think it's criminal that push bikes can be sold without a brake. I've seen kids bail HARD on push bikes if they get some momentum going. My son jumped on one of his friend's Strider bike that didn't have a brake and crashed badly. Would you ride a mountain bike w/o brakes?
  • 1 2
 @woofer2609: Downvoted because they just don't, and kids usually start with a coaster brake anyway, lacking hand strength at 2-3 y/o to pull a hand brake. Not rich but insurance came in handy when my kid #2 did ride into an immovable object at speed on her Strider. Didn't blame the bike!
  • 2 3
 @twozerosix: Why didn't you have the foot brake installed on your daughter's Strider? Strider sells one as an option, but Iit should be standard. It's negligent.
  • 2 2
 @woofer2609: nah, more attentive parenting beats a rudimentary foot brake

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