10 Products I Loved in 2021: Mike Kazimer

Dec 10, 2021 at 12:03
by Mike Kazimer  
As 2021 comes to a close, it's time once again to take a look back at the products that stood out above the rest. The Pinkbike Awards, which are decided by a panel of editors, are on the way, but in the meantime you'll also be able to read about our personal favorites, the items that left a positive impression on each of us. The concept was borrowed from our colleagues over at CyclingTips - you can read their lists here.



Kavenz VHP 16 review

Kavenz VHP 16

2021 was a year full of high pivot bikes, and I spent time on new options from Cannondale, Devinci, Norco, and Forbidden. It was the Kavenz VHP 16 that got the party started last winter, and it ended up being one of my favorite bikes of the year.

I'm a huge fan of the raw aluminum tubing and the overall industrial look of this VHP – there's something very appealing about its utilitarian appearance. The fact that Kavenz offers semi-custom geometry is a nice touch, allowing riders to get a dream machine welded up with their preferred numbers.

On the trail, the VHP 16 was impressively quiet, and an absolute blast to ride on tight, steep trails, which just so happens to be the type of trail that I prefer. It also offered up a ton of grip, something that tends to be in short supply here in the Pacific Northwest, especially when the ground is covered with a layer of slippery slime. Overall, Kavenz did a great job with their first bike, and it'll be interesting to see what they come up with next.


Price: Price: €2,495 - frame only, no shock
More information: 77-store.com/Store/Kavenz



Troy Lee Designs Skyline pants

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Pants

I know, there's nothing to see in the above photo, but just imagine that it's a picture of some of the comfiest mountain bike pants in existence. TLD's Skyline pants are light and well ventilated, which makes them wearable on all but the hottest of days. The fit isn't overly baggy or ridiculously tight, and there's plenty of room to accommodate knee pads.

Personally, the main reason that I've started wearing pants as much as possible when riding is the ease of post-ride cleanup. My fall and winter rides tend to be muddy more often than not, and with pants there's no need to deal with muddy knee pads or trying to scrub your legs clean before going inside.

I want to also extend an honorable mention to POC's Consort waterproof coveralls. Yes, they're crazy expensive. And yes, the fit could be less baggy in some places and snugger in others. But you know what? Those thoughts never even crossed my mind when I was out riding during the atmospheric river events that have been occurring with alarming regularity this year. Instead, I was very, very happy with how dry I was, and how the coverall design kept mud and grit from finding its way down the back of my pants.


Price: $109 USD
More information: troyleedesigns.com




Transition Spur Kazimer

Transition Spur

As fun as it is to ride big squishy enduro bikes, it's nice to be able to mix it up with a speedy little bike every once in a while. This season it was the Transition Spur that took on that role, the bike that I used for my longest rides of the year, and for those after-work hot laps where I wanted to cover as much ground as possible before the sun set.

I built it up fairly light without going overboard in order to make sure it could descend almost as well as it climbs – yes, grams could be saved by ditching the Code brakes, or going for the Stepcast version of the Fox 34, but I hate being underbraked, and the Grip2 damper in that fork works very well.

After a full season of use it's still going strong, and there are plenty more muddy miles in its future this winter. I'll probably swap out the tires for something with a little more meat to deal with the slop, but otherwise there's nothing else to change – there's a reason this ended up on my list of favorite things.


Price: $3,199 USD (frame only)
More information: transitionbikes.com




Maxxis Shorty

Maxxis Shorty

It looks like there's a bit of a theme going on in this list, and it involves finding traction on steep, loose trails. For that task, the new Maxxis Shorty is one of my top picks. The revised version is more predictable on hardpacked sections of trail (think rock slabs and roots), with plenty of grip for loose terrain, whether that's from mud or dust.

As I wrote in the review, “the Shorty comes into play when the mud gets deep enough to overwhelm the Assegai - its square knobs and more open profile allow it to keep digging in after the Assegai would have tapped out.” For me, the Shorty sees constant use from October until April, and then takes a break during the drier summer months. Shorty season means there's less focus on going fast and more focus on staying on the bike, and even that can be a challenge at times.

I like those perfect summer days as much as anyone, but I also take a slightly perverse pleasure in heading out in wet, nasty conditions just to see what happens. More often than not, a good time ensues despite the dark, dreary weather.

Price: $83 - $100 USD
More information: maxxis.com





Silky Big Boy

Silky Big Boy 2000 Folding Saw

Not only does this folding saw have one of the best model names in the business, it also cuts incredibly well thanks to its 14” blade. I haven't found any human-powered option that cuts smoother or faster, which is why the Silky usually makes its way into my pack after a big storm, just in case I come across some blowdown that needs to be taken care of.

I also treated myself to an electric chainsaw this year, the Ego Power+ 18. That saw's been super handy to have for the bigger stuff, but it's the Big Boy that sees the most use due to how easy it is to transport, and the fact that it's almost unnoticeable when it's in my pack.


Price: $75 USD
More information: silkysaws.com





Schwalbe Big Betty tire review

Schwalbe Big Betty

The Big Betty returned to stake its claim in Schwalbe's lineup this year, where its strong braking performance and good longevity earned it a place on my list of favorites. No, it's not the lightest option, or the fastest rolling, but I'm willing to overlook those traits due to this beefy tire's ability to dig in and hold on when things get loose.


Price: $94 USD
More information: schwalbetires.com





Specialized 2FO Roost shoe review


Specialized 2FO Roost shoes

For years it seemed that Five Ten's hold on the sticky rubber market couldn't be broken. Stealth rubber has become the benchmark that all other flat pedal shoe sole compounds are compared against, and for good reason. Recently, we've finally seen a few options emerge that are on par, if not stickier than what Five Ten offers. For the record, I've had good luck with Five Ten's shoes, it's just that part of me worried about what I would do if they ever left the mountain bike world. That's not exactly a reason to lose sleep at night, but it was still a concern that would flit through my brain every once in a while.

With the introduction of Specialized's 2FO Roost shoes I'm no longer worried. The SlipNot SuperTacky rubber is actually sticky, and the tallish hexagonal lugs provide plenty of traction, even on pedals without super tall pins. I'm not totally sold on the suede finish of this particular model, but they have been holding up reasonably well, although I did have to use a dab of Shoe Goo to fix some delamination on one of the toes. That seems to have done the trick and allowed me to put them back into regular rotation.

I'm sure Specialized have more options in the works, and now that the sticky rubber code has been cracked I'm excited to see what else gets released. Fingers (or toes) crossed that a model with a lace cover and slightly higher inner cuff is in the works...


Price: $120 USD
More information: specialized.com




Photo Tom Richards

British Columbia

Oh, Canada, how I missed you. One of the reasons I moved to Washington was to be as close to Whistler as possible, which made the border closure in 2020 a hard pill to swallow. As the summer of 2021 began I started to think that I'd need to come to terms with the concept of another summer without any A-Line or Dirt Merchant laps...but then things finally started to change.

The border restriction relaxed, and I was able to get over to start making up for lost time. The North Shore, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton – it felt amazing to be able to have those riding zones back in the rotation again.

Here's hoping that things continue to return to some form of normalcy. Bentonville, Akansas, may claim it's the mountain bike capitol of the world, but for me British Columbia is the rightful owner of that crown - I haven't ridden anywhere else that comes close to convincing me otherwise.






Books & Music

Last year I had Robert Caro's The Power Broker on my list, and was amazed by how many people contacted me to say they'd read, or really wanted to read that book. It turns out that reading isn't totally dead, which makes me very happy. This year, I continued my Caro kick and finished the first volume of his massive Lyndon B. Johnson biography, The Path to Power, which also makes it onto my recommended reading list. Some of my other favorites from this year, in no particular order, included:

West With the Night, Beryl Markham
Beyond, Stephen Walker
Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker
Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh
Moonglow, Michael Chabon

My dream job (other than the one I already have) is to be a correspondent for NPR's All Songs Considered – I'd happily listen to new music all day and then discuss it on a podcast. There was no shortage of good music this year across all genres. Mdou Moctar popped up a lot, and recently I've been on a 200 Stab Wounds kick. I'm not usually the biggest death-metalhead, but this Ohio-based band absolutely shreds. Plus, not only do they have an amazing band name, their albums have titles like Piles of Festering Decomposition – I can appreciate their dedication to the genre.






287 Comments

  • 226 37
 bEnTonViLlE iS wAy BeTtEr ThAn WhIsTlEr!
  • 218 34
 fuck walmart
  • 70 0
 Genuinely curious -- does anyone actually say this seriously?
  • 232 1
 @bloodytesla: no one is serious, not even the marketing folks at the Bentonville Tourism Board. It's just a ruse they devised to get attention and appeal to the people who don't know any better.

Unless you were referring to "f*ck Walmart", in which case lots of people say that seriously.
  • 84 8
 @bloodytesla: Yes. I love having to pedal to clear features on a downhill trail.

Bentonville sucks.
  • 18 7
 @blaaaaaaaaaah: Says everyone wearing Rapha clothing
  • 161 8
 @bloodytesla: I moved from Denver, Colorado (there 11 years) to Bentonville last summer.

Summary: I am much happier on a daily basis in a more laid back bike friendly (yes friendlier than Denver) area. I ride more now on a daily basis than I did in Denver due to traffic and overcrowded stale Front Range trails. Are there ski lift DH trails here? No, but there is some shuttling not far in Eureka Springs and I get to Winter Park or Whistler a few times a year with exception of COVID mess.

In addition, I have more access within a 50 mile radius and the NWA region is only growing trails thanks to Walmart money. I hated Walmart as much as the next guy till I move here. The Walton Foundation advocacy is top notch.

Now, all that said above, Whistler still is my favorite place on Earth. The whole PNW has a tremendous thing going for it that is close to impossible to reproduce when it comes to terrain.

Yes, the 'MTB Capital of the World' is a cheesy marketing ad thought up by the Chamber of Commerce. Almost EVERYONE hates it. However, the vibe here is great, everyone is friendly and I couldn't be happier.
  • 9 97
flag jakewashere (Dec 10, 2021 at 13:29) (Below Threshold)
 Anyone who needs proof of the poor education system in the U.S… here it is.
  • 1 8
flag hamncheez (Dec 10, 2021 at 13:34) (Below Threshold)
 @bloodytesla: Yes, haha
  • 9 3
 Everywhere that isn’t Bentonville in Arkansas is either great or has the potential. Bentonville is an excellent place to progress your jumping skills for a beginner/intermediate rider but not much more than that. The back 40 next door in Bella vista is also a solid xc/trail system. There’s no good reason that there can’t be a dozen more Lake Leatherwood style systems within the state. But yeah the MTB capitol of the world statement is ridiculous.
  • 8 0
 @CuyunaHTmn: Nicely stated. That said, the recently finished Mad Hatter area has a steep jump line similar to Rainmaker at Trestle if you are familiar. The Hutely Gravity Zone recently finished in Bella Vista is also a good jump zone, blue level jumps. Few other larger/more advanced jump lines in the works. Is it Whistler? No, nothing is that level. But, as you mentioned, almost any locale has protentional for fun trail systems that can offer something a little different than the next area. And we can all agree....the slogan is super lame. Not a single person I know likes it.
  • 26 1
 @bman33: Yeah, 100% agree.
Denver is not a very bike friendly place despite all the marketing around it, aside from being flat it's downright dangerous to ride a bike around, roadies are regularly getting hit by drivers and land managers are not friendly to mountain bikes. Denver is the "Queen City of the Plains", it's very flat despite what Vail Resorts, City and County of Denver, and Colorado Tourism want people to think. Want to live close to mountains and in a city with all those amenities? Check out SLC among many others.
I fully support people moving out of state and if you're considering moving to Denver, or Colorado in general, you should really consider other places as well. We have no water, no dispersed camping anymore because it's so damn crowded, regular wildfires causing the the air quality to suck even more than it already does, there's no oxygen so be prepared to be out of breath all the time, the trails are filled with horses and their shit, and the cost of living is ridiculously high, especially if you want to live relatively close to any mountains.
Bentonville sounds cool. It sucks here, if I didn't have so much family here, I'd seriously be looking into leaving too.
  • 25 0
 @bman33: That was my experience in Bentonville. The terrain was ok, the trails made about the best possible use of it and were immaculately built to boot. The vibe though, that was sweet. Rolling down All American on a nice evening right through the middle of town while families with young kids walked along the greenway and 8 year olds shredded on tiny MTBs was awesome. It literally felt like a scene out of a movie.
  • 17 1
 @chacou:
Everything you just said about Denver is exactly what SLC is growing through right now. SLC is projected to be the No.1 housing market positioned for growth in 2022. Small condos similar to mine in my complex are currently selling at 200% of what I paid for it.. There is nothing special about it and I live on the west side. The bike trails are overcrowded and the traffic to the ski resorts is ridiculous. The solution for the ski traffic is to spend $1 billion of taxpayer money for a gondola. The drought in Salt Lake continues as well as throughout Utah. The Great Salt Lake is drying up. On some days, Salt Lake leads the nation in air pollution. The inversions here suck.

Bentonville sounds great to me too. I read an article where Bentonville will pay $10,000 to move there. Anybody on Pinkbike want to buy my condo for $1 million. Please contact me.
  • 8 0
 @hskr101: Agree on SLC. It has become too crowded and salaries aren’t really keeping pace with housing, if you can even find a place to live. Dare I say it’s become overrated.
  • 9 0
 @hskr101: a gondola lol that sounds about as moon shot as the fabled monorail along I-70 people out talk of
  • 2 0
 @chacou: @kskr101 Oh damn...the 'monorail'. Idaho Springs, Georgetown and every other small stop off prior to Silverthorne would reject it, IF approved and the money appeared magically, the environmental impact 'studies' would take 25 years and none of us reading this now would care anymore, and what ever station to board the monorail would extraordinarily crowded, parking/getting to that would be a mess, pricey, etc. Not super familiar with SLC shenanigan's, but sounds like they are Denver's up and coming little brother. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @hskr101: I hear you. Good thing we already got in the housing market a few years ago! My friends who finally have their down payments saved up want to start buying, but as of 2020 its hopeless. Its as expensive as California now.
  • 9 0
 @hamncheez: I saw a great bumper sticker in Salida that sums it up.
“Blame your local custom home builder”
  • 5 2
 @jakewashere: if anyone needs proof of the anger coming from a Portland mountain biker here it is
  • 3 2
 @stevemokan: Not people that actually go to walmart. Only west coast snoots.
  • 6 0
 @bman33: I left the Denver area about three years ago for many of the same reasons. It’s not a bad place necessarily, but ever more crowded, wildfires every summer, cost of living through the roof. It’s a catch 22–people who love escaping to the outdoors move there and then crowd all the camping and trails anywhere close to population centers making it difficult to escape. Bentonville looks like a legit nice place to live if you can live without big mountain riding.
  • 17 0
 @CuyunaHTmn: yes, there are so many options beyond Bentonville that are excellent. I live in Fayetteville and things here have gone from good to great in the past 2yrs (plus we have good dirt, and a bit more elevation). Devils Den monument trails are terrific. The trails at the passion play are fantastic. Mt Nebo, Ponca / headwaters… there are a lot of great choices.

I fabricate a lot of the trail signs for the region on my cnc router, and it’s staggering how many signs I make. The rate at which new trails are being built here is impressive.

I rarely drive more than 50 miles to hit our ‘remote’ trails, there’s not much traffic, and I can ride to trails from my house in under a mile. I have a single speed, a ‘downcountry bike’, and an aggressive trail bike- and there are trails here to enjoy them all to their fullest.

Having said all this, it’s no replacement for ‘real’ mountains. Colorado, Pisgah, Utah… it helps to get out of town a few times a year to mix things up. I find myself seeking out things like loam, high alpine views and terrain, and long epic rides that don’t get anywhere near civilization. It’s hard to justify ‘mtb capitol’ without these things…

But it’s a very nice place to live if you love bikes.
  • 3 1
 @jakewashere: indeed Jake. Thank you for highlighting your point with your post.
  • 1 0
 @blaaaaaaaaaah: Amazon da bomb?
  • 8 4
 Nope. You guys all have it wrong. The southeast sucks. Everybody here is a bible banging Trump supporter, you can't buy beer on Sundays, and there are zero good trails. Stay out west. Please.
  • 3 0
 @Stoaks: but have you seen Jarrod's place. Wink
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Well, Denver blows. Bentonville is rad, but there aren’t mountains. They have great hill flow.
  • 4 0
 @bman33:
I couldn't agree more. I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas and there a are so many choices for riding within 45 minutes. Old school rocky single track, check. Long XC, check. Sweet flow trails, check. Hubs with mini jump lines, check. The only time of year where riding is a challenge is the spring mud season caused by freeze/thaw. There is a great community of riders and you can find your niche, whatever it is.
  • 8 0
 @bman33: I would second this 100%. I live 2 hours from NWA (no it’s northwest Arkansas). You can’t try to compare it to Whistler, that’s a joke. It is pretty awesome though and growing at an insane rate. The amount of ongoing trail maintenance is pretty incredible and only made possible with a steady stream of Walmart money. If you’re a good rider it’s fun but not all that challenging. There are some challenging areas outside of Bentonville though that are great. I do believe some less experienced riders would rate it higher than anywhere I’ve been though. Here’s why: The trails are mostly groomed smooth flow trails and regularly maintained. Perfect for less skilled riders. The trails are weaved through the town which is cool. The riding community is super laid back and very friendly. There’s no local bro culture creating a barrier for new riders. There are all ages, all abilities, all types of bikes, electric or otherwise. It’s very inclusive. I can’t say that about the places I’ve ridden in the PNW. So it’s not better for me, although I’m very thankful to have it, but I think it is #1 for a lot of people. It’s worth a winter time trip. Just my 2c.
  • 5 12
flag Tvcraig (Dec 11, 2021 at 10:35) (Below Threshold)
 @50105010: Comparing Arkansas and the west seems silly. Do you get amazing views at the top of a long climb in Arkansas? Can you even see over the trees? Can you climb above a tree line and see for 50 miles on a clear day? Arkansas is Hill Biking, not mountain biking, and these comparisons seem ridiculous, on top of the fact that everyone misses the fact that Arkansas is in the South, you all can have it, and I hope more and more people move there.
  • 3 1
 @Tvcraig: I live here and 100% agree on all of your points.

In the winter we sometimes get some “nice” views but it’s nothing like out west. Not Even Close

NW Arkansas is a weird mix of south and Midwest. I’m here for a job that I love, but if that job existed out west I’d be there. I feel lucky that it’s as good as it is, but everything is relative.
  • 2 0
 @Tvcraig: I never talked shit about about West, lived there 11 years. I am happier than. Denver by far. I agree Whistler and PNW are my favorite trails and said as so in a previous post. Insult here if you like if that is your thing. I love writing all different areas and happy pretty much everywhere with good people and good mountain bike buddies
  • 4 8
flag wyorider (Dec 11, 2021 at 13:27) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: Walmart money=lame machine built trails.

I’m sure the pace of life is great, but (at best) that part of Arkansas is 10-15 years from a local community of trail builders who will do something worth riding (like Ahab, Hangover, or for a Front Ranger, On The Rocks).

Road riding in Fayetteville area is good…….
  • 1 3
 @chacou: Denver is congested, but trails are good and the road scene is solid.

Arkansas DOES have decent road riding…….
  • 2 1
 @hskr101: Unlike Denver area, SLC has meh trails.

Hella good skiing in the Wasatch, but that’s gotten awfully crowded.
  • 3 6
 @basic-ti-hardtail: your handle says it all. If you want to ride lots of mellow trails, Arkansas is good. So is Spearfish. Plenty of Flatcountry/Dadcountry trails.

If you want to get more rad, not so much.
  • 7 5
 @Tvcraig: Chattanooga has built some rad stuff. Arkansas is home of Flatcountry/Dadcountry meh riding.

It’s like the Olive Garden or riding. Huge portions but what you’re getting isn’t all that great.
  • 9 1
 @wyorider: you haven't ridden half of what NWA Arkansas (Fayetteville, Bentonville, Bella Vista & more) has to offer if you think it's all machine built. Yuu obviously haven't
Come on down I'll show you around. We can have beers see if Yuu can keep up . The shit talking is lame and you will notice at no point did I shit talk other areas. Almost everywhere has something to offer.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Ditto, moved to Bville last spring after two years traveling around the country riding all the cool kid spots, including PNW and Sea to Sky. When it came time to land somewhere for good, Bville was an easy choice for all the reasons you mention. And to all the haters... It's an aspirational title!! The trail builders here are working hard EVERY day to bring that claim closer to reality. Heart Walmart $$
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: If you roll in for the weekend and only ride the most popular green/blue trails in town, I can see how one might get that impression. But if you actually spend time here, you'd come to find that your comment is way off the mark. There's tons of quality chunky tech stuff. I don't say this lightly, I've ridden Squamish, Moab, Bellingham, AZ, CO, etc. plenty enough to speak to the comparisons.
  • 3 0
 @wyorider: if you look further up this thread, I mention that I ride an aggressive trail bike (ripmo) in addition to the SS hardtail. There are plenty of accurately rated blacks and double blacks here… including some downhill trails with shuttle service that make a lot of trails out west feel tame. The quality of trail building is very high.

I’m not trying to make the point that it’s better than other destinations… just different and a lot more diverse than most people think.

I’d be happy to show you around, or share the list of more exciting trails that are mostly outside of the typical tourist areas.
  • 2 0
 Man, everyone is arguing Bentonville vs Denver vs SLC vs PNW when Vermont is right there!
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I'm headed to Vermont this summer for the first time- super stoked. I'd love any recommendations outside of Kingdom Trails and Cochran's you have to share.

@wyorider what trails should I ride if I find myself in / around Laramie?

@mikekazimer You gave credit where credit is due to BC, and somehow this turned into a debate about NW Arkansas. Sorry!
  • 3 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: I stayed for a month in Waterbury so any recs would be for that general area. But there was enough within an hour to keep you busy for....a very long time.

First, get a VMBA membership, because it's good karma but also because it gets you free weekday bike park passes, shop discounts and access to Little River State park (more on that later).

Places to ride:
Perry Hill- not a huge system, but good elevation and every trail is killer. Slabs, tech, flow, everything
Little River State park- just one or two flow trails, but best flow trail you'll ever ride
Cochrans is sick but you knew about it
Burke Mountain in Kingdom Trails, make sure to the top trails, amazing
Stowe trails- didn't get to Cady Hill, but supposed to be sick
Mad River system- didn't get to it but looks huge and saw a few shuttle outfits
Killington ofcourse
Bolton Valley is supposed to be super techy and sick, but didn't get to it, etc.

There is so much!
  • 3 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: Hello, Vincent. I heard you talking about signs at the last ride but didn't realize you made the trail signs. Cool.
  • 1 0
 Salt lake SHITTY
  • 1 0
 @bman33: It's on the list, my dude. Thanks for the heads up.
  • 2 0
 @bloodytesla: No. It is not even worth talking about. Side note - lots of corporations are dumping cash into Bentonville.
  • 3 0
 @hskr101: You mean Wastch Angeles?
  • 3 0
 Best place in the world to ride ? I'm assuming you haven't mtb in New Zealand ?
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Thanks!

Feel free to hit me up if you’re ever headed to NW Arkansas- I’d be happy to send you a list of my favorite trails / show you around.

The best tip I have for this region is to talk to locals about what’s newly built and go there... Partly because the level of trail building is so high, and also because our soil has a lot of rock in it (to put things mildly). As a result, the character of trails changes really quickly as weather and riders break up the surface and those baby heads emerge.

In Fayetteville where I live, we have a dedicated club that does a lot of hand-building- it turns out hand-cut trails hold up a lot better than the majority of machine built stuff. Many of the pro builders are now mixing machine / hand-built trail, and better maintenance means that lots of trails are being re-built too.
  • 2 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: No worries! Vermont is a special place. No immediate plans to hit NWA, but I'll be sure to reach out if we ever end up there.
  • 1 0
 @Ajorda: Bold of you to assume a Gnard could actually clear DH features anyway
  • 3 0
 And what do professional freeriders know about good riding anyway ?!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRW8dEyGKts
  • 1 1
 @bman33: So you are comparing a city population 715,000 to one of 54,000, and conclude the latter is less crowded.
  • 3 0
 @Wilhelmritter: not at all although that is a fact (thanks for putting that out to the class). My point is it's less stressful here and the growth is managed better than denver. In addition, my comment on the crowded trails in the front range specifically targets Jefferson county and they're poor record on resource and trail management as their City grew as well as the greater front range. They've been seeing this come for 20 years almost in their trail management is not kept up
  • 2 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: Cady Hill and Adams Camp in Stowe are some of the best trails in Vermont. Cady is most flowy - check out Flo for a great bermy jump line trail.
  • 2 0
 @Ajorda: Ho-lee-f*k ain't that the truth.. I'm a recent transplant from British Columbia - and currently (trying to ride) in FLA.. same energy.. I'm depressed.
  • 3 0
 @wyorider: You’re right Denver is congested and there’s a strong roadie scene, huge Strava office downtown. Lots of spandex and jorts. I used to live downtown and ride around the Queen City a bunch and doing all that roadie stuff. I wasn’t commenting on the scene of roadies though, I’m commenting on the support from the govt and general population. It’s dangerous to ride a bike on the roads in Colorado and especially the greater Denver area. Cyclists are hit all the time.
Regarding Denver’s MTB trails there are none last time I checked. Aside from Ruby Hill Bike Park and the jumps off 6th & Feds both downtown. Officially Denver has no mtb trails on their mountain parks lands and they are not friendly to adding any. My community is home to many Denver Mountain Parks, I’ve tried many times to open up a dialogue with the city and they have no interest in supporting mtb trails.
The neighboring counties do have some, even a few bike only directional trails, be prepared for those to be crazy crowded on any weekend though. Here in Jefferson County, the land managers are not the most welcoming to mtb user groups as most trails are mixed use and some even are being converted to hike/horse only from mixed use.
My point was that there’s probably better locales, more friendly to mtb, than Denver marketing might lead you to believe lol
  • 2 0
 @chacou: I spent a lot of time in Denver for work and was confused how sparse the mtb trails in the front range were, compared to what they could be. And every trailhead parking lot in CO is overloaded every weekend. And the roads to get to those trailheads are overloaded. I have lots of friends in Denver so it was originally high on my list, but there are just too many people now, too much traffic, too many breweries if that's possible! IDK it became obnoxious to me, not worth it.
  • 2 1
 Don’t bother riding in the PNW. It sucks. Vermont and Arkansas are waaaay better… seriously, go there instead.
  • 2 0
 @Hairymountainbeast: Wait, I want to change my previous entry. Arkansas sucks too, really bad, in fact we're hideous. Don't come here either.
  • 169 0
 Cool - I played 200 stab wounds really loud, and my neighbours liked it so much they threw a brick through my window so they could hear it better
  • 7 0
 That sir is absolutely marvelous, bravo did it have a note tied to it w/any requests?
  • 48 1
 You sure you don't just like the Kavenz because it kinda sounds like Kazimer?
  • 17 0
 Mike VHP Kravenzer
  • 33 0
 There's no msrp on British Columbia? Was that intentional? I'd love e to get one in rotation for the 2022 season.
  • 29 0
 It's priceless Smile
  • 30 0
 It’s hella expensive.. Bring Cash
  • 1 2
 @mikekazimer: beat me to it....BC is Priceless!
  • 6 0
 @DizzyNinja:
BC = Bring Cash and Big Climbs
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: guess I'll use my visa
  • 1 4
 @DizzyNinja: Anything that can be paid cash in Canadian dollars can‘t really be that expensive. Somehow I‘m not able to locate a parcel service to bring it over here, otherwise I‘d get two or three.
  • 5 5
 @DizzyNinja: not sure what you consider pricey, but I recently moved from kamloops to Colorado (temporarily). I will never again consider anything in bc expensive, Colorado is a mess of overcrowded, mediocre trails with terrible dirt, low salaries, expensive living, and high crime rates. Did I mention over crowded? Washington is the same except for the dirt part. See also: Oregon and Utah (not including virgin). Montana is not bad. I try to make the best out of America while I’m here, but I miss bc everyday and will move back as soon as absolutely possible. But to anyone else reading this, bc sucks, stay away. End rant.
  • 2 0
 @tfriesenftr: Where in Colorado, you sound like you are generalizing an entire state for one area. I am all for people moving out of the state, so please keep your encouragement to move away going.
  • 1 0
 @tfriesenftr: dude, chill, it’s just a joke
  • 1 1
 @Tvcraig: please don't tell @tfriesenftr about any of the good CO spots. Everything is crowded. Everything is terrible. Talk amongst yourselves.

I actually wonder if this is the same dude I met at a trailhead a while back, who dismissed Colorado trails as nothing since they weren't CaNaDiAn BlAcKs. Fun guy.
  • 1 0
 @Tvcraig: yes that was a pretty large generalization on my part. I’ve rode a lot of Colorado, I’ve been fortunate enough to find locals who show me some secret spots and some of it is really good. Carbondale and snow mass are my closest locations, I also spend time in Crested Butte, Loma, Junction, leadville, and trestle. Had some fun days at Trestle. The locals are usually friendly, so in return I will continue to discourage anyone from visiting
  • 6 0
 @TheRamma: no that wasn’t me, I would never disrespect a trail network to the locals face. I hide behind the internet for that.
  • 1 0
 @tfriesenftr: Yes, and everyone please don't come to New Mexico. It sucks! (especially don't come from Colorado)
  • 1 0
 @tfriesenftr: Colorado is a big state with some pretty awesome trails, something tells me you probably had your mind made up before even getting there.
  • 1 0
 @tfriesenftr: ha, fair enough. It was a pretty funny comment, definitely became a running joke on that ride. "Too bad this isn't a Canadian black..."
  • 28 2
 Do you guys like Rick Beato on YT? Great way to get into the technical aspects of songs/music....it's helped me understand why some songs resonate with me more than others...I love music but have 0 understanding of the technical & production aspects...
  • 5 0
 Love RIck. That last interview with Tommy Emmanuel was killer.
  • 4 0
 I love his channel!
  • 4 0
 Yeah, if you like Rick Beato, check Adam Neely also!
  • 1 0
 @Sirflyingv: Cool, will check out
  • 3 0
 @Sirflyingv: thanks for suggestion....awesome channel!
  • 2 0
 @Sirflyingv: huge Adam Neely fan here too, goo suggestion!
  • 2 0
 Agree on this thread, there is a lot of good musicians in Youtube that do a great job of demystifying all this theory stuff
  • 2 0
 If you like Rick Beato, definitely check out The Session with Christian James Hand, which is a less technical, but possibly more entertaining approach to song breakdowns. He uses the "stems" (individual tracks that make up the song, e.g. drums, bass, guitar 1, vocals, backing vocals, etc.) to deconstruct well known songs and reveal layers of brilliance that you didn't even know were there. The "Hook" by Blues Traveler episode was kind of mindblowing.
  • 27 0
 Thank you so much for your support it means the world to our small team.
  • 6 0
 @Giacomo77: I've been involved with mtb-ing close to 35 years. The Kavenz VHP16 is the highlight of all those years, well done.
  • 1 0
 I think I want one, but no sure I wanna go to 29 (even mullet).
Also I'm dead broke.

It looks like a sorted frame, well done!! One day...
  • 18 0
 Really enjoying the switch to EGO tools. No trips to the gas station to fill jerry cans 1/2 way through jobs, don't have to worry about carbs gumming up, fuel stabiliser, and ear protection (for the most part). They won't replace a professional's Stihl but they are solid for the average person.
  • 21 0
 Totally. And I can use the same battery to power my lawnmower too.
  • 2 0
 The Ego hedge trimmer has been doing serious work for me this year. Ego is a good set to get.
  • 2 0
 Had to resist buying the multi head tool with hedgetrimmer and pole saw combo at the black Friday sales. My line trimmer and mower are awesome. Put battery on charge while tidying up lawn. Trim then mow. It is amazing how much they get out of the batteries.
  • 3 0
 Around here, professionals are starting to use battery powered Stihls. Mainly for inhabited areas where noise and exhaust fumes are not appreciated.
  • 2 0
 Would love to use electric but too much stupid iron bark around here, need 70cc minimum saw to get through it
  • 3 0
 @Ttimer: Perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. Just wanted to acknowledge that they can't compete with high end gas saws at certain tasks.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I have 4 ego tools and zero issues so far. Loved the mower so stocked up when HomeDepot Canada put them on clearance.
  • 2 0
 We don't have EGO tools here, and I was using Makita 18V system since long time ago. For trail work bought a MUC256 chainsaw with 25cm/10" bar. Fits nicely in a surplus tactical backpack along with 3 batteries. I've cut trees that are much bigger than the bar length, but the batteries go very fast in that case.
  • 2 0
 Hell yea, I just replaced a 20 yr old Honda snowblower that finally broke with an EGO and what use it's seen so far has been great - I just wish they had treads.
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: I cut ironwood all over my lot with my Stihl battery saw, it's the chain that takes a beating more than the chainsaw itself
  • 1 0
 @MatLax00: from what I can tell the stuff you call ironwood isnt the same as the iron bark we get over here, which is almost twice as hard, far moreso if its been felled by forestry and well seasoned, any weaker saw just bounces off it or jams constantly, but yes you also need to sharpen your chain after every 12" you cut through absolute headache!
  • 12 0
 I agree with your trail tool assessment. Both great options and more bikers with a folding saw keep the further out there trails running awesome. I've also been liking the Silky Gomboy. It fits in a hip pack and can take out most stuff ~8" or less. It's great for those primitive trails after the chainsaws go through to handle when a small tree falls, take out a branch that is robbing flow, or remove a bunch of saplings are starting to impede on your bars.
  • 11 0
 Oh yeah, I treated myself to a Silky Gomboy this fall and previously was using only hardware store inexpensive folding saws. It's like a tree laser by comparison to the cheap saws and didn't cost that much more.
  • 4 4
 I prefer to take a manual chainsaw with me (Nordic Pocket Saw). More compact than the Silky tool.
  • 4 0
 @vinay: Yeah, I have used those too and has a place, especially with larger trees and a bigger group. The trouble I find is 1) it is a huge pain by yourself 2) It binds when loaded and can be a pain to get out when that happens. Either way, taking out trees is good! Whatever works for you.
  • 3 1
 Big +1 for the silky. Whenever my friends come out to dig with me they always want to use it. It's not even mine though, I steal it out of my partner's SAR kit when not in use.
  • 8 0
 @husstler: if the gomboy is a laser beam, the big boy is is like a lightsaber. Treat yourself!
  • 1 0
 @jasbushey: Yeah, depending on how the fallen tree is suspended by other fallen trees or other stuff, it may or may not clamp the saw. As always, visualize what happens when you cut something off. Like whether something might swing your way but now also whether it might clamp your saw. But usually pulling sideways (so not primarily cutting the bottom of the trunk but the far side instead) reduces the likelihood that something like this would happen. But the advantage is just that it is compact. I can keep it with me and stop on a ride when come across such a trunk. I also carry a smaller pocket knife for overhanging branches that may cause people (or me) to wander from the narrow singletrack and cause it to widen. Because of covid-regulations we could no longer organize big group maintenance sessions and instead decided to take this approach and see how it works out. There is still someone going out with the bigger electrical cutting tools (he recently made the transition from fuel powered to electric) but just doing this kind of stuff ourselves increases the interval between his sessions.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I'm considering one of these as a complement to my little Corona 10" folding saw, basically a cheaper Silky. It's been great for 8 years and fits on my butt bag nicely, but there's times I want/need something a bit more, and don't want to have to hike back in with my big pack and electric chainsaw on another day.
  • 2 0
 @chacou: Yeah, for a while I used a folding saw from Fiskars. I use the chainsaw and pocket knife for now on my rides and if it turns out to be inadequate I'll try to fit in the Fiskars again. But it is a bit less convenient thought I don't think I could bring a saw as big the Silky mentioned along on a ride.
  • 3 0
 @chacou: IMO the silky big boy is best for trees 8-12" in diameter can get through in 5-10 minutes. For trees 12"+ this is where the hand chain and a partner is likely better if chainsaw is a pain to get in. In these cases it can take anywhere from 10+ minutes to get through. We got through an 18" one this year with 4 guys taking turns in probably 30 minutes. Your Corona would be good to bring too in order limb the tree prior so you can get better leverage. But if you are by yourself I haven't found the chain works well.
  • 5 0
 Yep- +1 on the Silkys. I have a Pocketboy and a Bigboy and have used the Katanaboy. All are excellent. I find my go to is the Bigboy. For debris clearing rides I just toss it into the clipped (un-expanded) waterbottle holder on my Dakine hotlaps hip bag and it fits perfectly.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: it works really well for this. Recommended
  • 1 0
 Agreed. I’ve got the same one as mike, and damn, the design rips like no other. One of my best tools to pack for a trail ride.
  • 2 0
 Silky saw + loppers = fat bike trail goodness.
  • 1 0
 Indeed, best trail maintenance saw out there. Fits in a camelback and can take out most trees that don’t require a chainsaw
  • 1 0
 My Bigboy saw doesn't leave my backpack,We cut a huge tree, which was blocking a trail. Diameter was longer than the blade itself , I couldn't believe we could cut throu but 45minutes later job was done! Amazing saw , maybe the best MTB investment I did for years...
  • 13 1
 i wanna try those specialized shoes, cuz adidas has made a mockery of the stealth rubber. RIP 510
  • 18 0
 I got some new 510 impacts this year and they are as good as the ones they replaced from 2016 plus they haven't fallen apart after a full season which is a bonus
  • 3 0
 I picked up a pair of new Freerider pro's after finally wearing out my 7 year old Freeriders and I can't stand them. The new rubber has horrible grip. Such a shame
  • 4 1
 I’ve ridden both the 2FO and new model freerider pros this year. Both have held up nicely.

I prefer the freeriders, as the thicker heel & sole in the 2FOs makes me feel not as ‘in touch’ with the pedals
  • 3 0
 I have the 2FO DH flat pedal shoes and they are hands down the best flat pedals I have ever ridden. I run Chromag Dagga’s and sometimes it feels like I’m clipped in.
  • 2 0
 @bravefart: that feeling you dislike in the 2FOs is probably one of the reasons I really like them. Ridden Impacts almost exclusively for years and years, so a big fan of being happy that as long as I’m on the pedal I’m all good.

Agree with the suede comment above though, but also that it’s standing up surprisingly well (although definitely wouldve got the DH version if they hadn’t come out 5mins after I bought mine)
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Well they were purchased back in 2011 so wouldn't expect to see much of a change. They did change the shape around I'm going to guess 2014 and the new shape isn't great for me so I'm looking forward to trying the specialized when my current pair wears out.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I had some from 2010 and 2013, didn't make a difference to my wide large volume feet
  • 1 0
 @makripper: I had a pair that were at the oldest 2014 and they were a very different shape. Much wider in the toe box and could wear my normal. Shoe size. Didn't ride much back then so they lasted a while. Bought a new pair 2 summers ago and they were much narrower. Had to go up half a size and they're awful to hike up stuff in. I have weird feet but have heard lots of people say they have to go up half a size in the new shape.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I didn't notice. I'm anywhere between 9 and 10 depending on brand
  • 1 0
 Bought my first pair of freeriders a couple of months ago having been a spd’er for life. Knee injury has caused a temporary change.
They are crap.
Years of reading how good they are and wham. Disappointing
  • 1 0
 They are great!
  • 3 0
 Yes, in many aspects Adidas is killing the 5.10. brand in my opinion. The "innovative" new models all use Stealth Phantom I think, which is useless compared to S1. Also they don't get mountainbikers are not the same crowd as football or jeezy bros...
  • 1 0
 Not true. Love the new 5 10s and I've been wearing them for 15+ years. The old ones were well made but heavier.
  • 2 0
 @bravefart: I have the same problem with the 2FOs. The 2FO sole is sticky, but the thickness makes me feel like I'm on a platform above the pedals, unfortunately. I have pretty stiff ankles, so I can't drop my heels enough to counteract the feeling. Otherwise, a nice shoe--shoe is more durable than 5.10.
  • 1 0
 @muumuu: yes well put. I really miss the feel of the shallow, flexy soles on my old freerider elements. I felt like I was one with the bike, they almost curled around the pedal interface
  • 7 0
 Didn't officially make your list, but agree 100% on the EGO electric chainsaws, picked up the EGO 16" late spring to take care of things around the house and clean up some stealth trails after winter. I already have a trimmer from the brand so that helped my decision, since I can exchange the batteries. The 16" w/ the 5aH battery, and carry a 2.5aH as backup cuts fast, is silent, lightweight and breaks down/goes together quickly. Really a great little chainsaw IMO.
  • 8 1
 @mikekazimer: I've been disappointed that you have barely mentioned the Kavenz VHP16 since you tested it and have seemingly discussed other brands to greater extent. Being a proud owner of a Kavenz VHP16 myself it makes me happy to see it make your Top 10 2021 list and puts you at #1 of my Pinkbike presenters list (@mikelevy is relegated from 1 to 3 after discovering his love for gravel bikes)
Kepep the good work up for 2022.
Bikeflog
  • 9 0
 The transition spur is vaporware. It’s not for sale and never has been in stock.
  • 9 0
 Bentonville-158th best place in the US to mountain bike????
  • 8 0
 yes! pinkbike needs more metal
  • 3 1
 Iron Maiden tickets went on sale today.
  • 6 2
 Moab is great, Sedona has some great trails as well.
BUT, I don’t go there because the riding is better than BC.
I go there when I want a change of scenery and some dry days to ride.
There’s something about finishing a ride and not having to spend the next hour cleaning off yourself and your bike.
It’s been raining two months straight so far this fall in BC.
  • 1 1
 oh wow it's raining in BC Big Grin It is raining ice in AB so no riding at all
  • 4 0
 Hmmm,
"After a full season of use it's still going strong"

Ahoy Mike.
This is an expensive bike! If today's norm is to get expensive bikes that hold only for a season, then surely something's wrong...
A bike at this price range, should be capable to last for years.

Am i wrong?
  • 2 0
 I guess no one was interested in 'best products from 2015 that I still use'
I would be, actually. But it would have to be products that can still be bought, so that would be difficult (except second hand).
  • 4 0
 Aw that music is dope. Stumbled into them at a festival last month and been playing them, Tinariwen and all the Senegalese blues almost everyday since - definitely one of my music too 10s this year too Smile
  • 4 0
 Surprised and delighted to see this pick on PB.
  • 3 0
 Tinariwen rips, huh? First heard/saw them on kexp live sessions a few yrs ago and loved them. Good story, too.
  • 5 0
 @mountaincross: Yeah me too. Kaz is actually a refined connaisseur of pretty good things, and I'm both happy / surprised to discover his artistic very good tastes. From gnawa to death-metal, that spectrum is OK for me Wink
  • 1 0
 I enjoyed that too. In contrast here’s some angry 70’s Ethiopian funk you may appreciate. The first track is a favourite of mine. m.youtube.com/watch?v=TCpiaKDJX7A

@mikekazimer
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: Kaz is a man of taste and culture, clearly!
  • 3 0
 I'm gonna lob out a free invention for anybody to manufacture and all I ask is that you send me a free one after you've sold a profitable number of units: You know how we have frame pumps that wedge themselves into a bike frame, and minipumps that we can attach to our bottle cage mounts? Somebody needs to make a frame-saw or mini-saw. So you can just always have a saw attached to your bike, for clearing trails when the vegetation gets in the way. Just make sure it locks closed so we don't get dismembered when we crash while carrying it.
  • 3 1
 All of those caro books are truly excellent. He does an excellent job covering such complex and manipulative men and the lives they lived. The Johnson book series is quite the epic and thought provoking read. Sounds like you like the topic of flight as well.
  • 2 0
 Shorty 2 should have been even better if was wider than actually 2.2. What a shame maxxis back at its olds demons.
Bought to replace 2.25 Michelin mud for more confort and versatility but I got an expensive tire wrongly marketed (2.4 "wide trail" is a joke on them)
  • 1 1
 Personally I find even Michelin come up small...granted I switch from a 2.8 DHF to a 2.6 Wild Enduro so it should be smaller but I mean it's wayyyyy smaller. It looks smaller than even the 2.35 Magic Mary I had on before the DHF. The good thing with the shorty is the grip, it's not a comfort tyre but grip wise it's ridiculously good. Personally I'm finding these Michelins over-rated, not bad by any means but not amazing either. Also to think the 2.8 DHF is huge compared to the 2.6 Wild Enduro and then yet the 2.8 DHF is tiny compared to a Kenda 2.8. These tyres sizes are all over the shop, I though it finally got fixed but it seems different brands are still coming up with wildly different sizes. I would say on the bigger side Shwalbe and Kenda are producing tyres at least as big bigger than claimed....Maxis and Michelin are coming up more conservative. Just a shame I don't like the casing material on Shwalbe, it's harsh, uncompliant and yet bouncy and undamped both at the same time even in lighter casings. Michelin seems very well damped though feels slightly harsh, Maxxis tends to give the best trail feel but also the most squirm from what I have experienced so far.
  • 3 1
 @Danzzz88: maybe measure these tyres, not just say "looks bigger/smaller".
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: but anyway Michelin is more accurate. I bought my shorty 2 with a Michelin wild am2 in sight of a combo shorty front/am2 rear. Even still packaged (flat) there was one bead on each side of width gap, it was clear the shorty isizes smaller. Disappointed of reviews saying the shorty is an actual 2 4 and the new wild am is a small 2 4. Total BS! So I keep my mud Enduro 2 25 and the shorty up front and it mesures the same!!
  • 2 0
 I'm in such agreement over pants in wet weather. And full length tights for CX. It was a stupid badge of honor to alway wear shorts. Always. The simplicity of throwing your clothes in a bag and using a baby wipe on some of your face is so nice.
  • 5 0
 That Big Boy also looks like it would be useful if you encountered unruly stabby hikers
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer

Mike, you should treat yourself to a little Spur-duro before you pass her along. It's a great DC bike in stock form. But throw some real dampers on both ends and let the magic happen. I have a 130 Pike with a HC97 and an Ohlins TTX in back. Let me tell you, I'm smiling ear to ear after taking that on a rip. The big air can fits. It's magical.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer 's Spur is simply a thing of beauty. Peak mountain bike build and performance. Would kill for just an afternoon atop it. That said, don't even dare relay to me what the build cost would be for it at MSRP.

That said, I skipped the Skyline pants for Fox pants, and found my happy place with FlexAir. Maybe because I'm in SoCal and not the PNW. Have you ever got on with Fox pants, Kaz?
  • 1 0
 Everyone watch the Silky Saw video! This is what you do when you find debris across the trail. Get off your bike and try to remove it. Don't ride around.

It blows me away how often we stop and trees that look like they weigh a ton can easily be pushed off the trail, yet you can see dozens of tracks going into the bush to avoid it.

I have a Fiskars saw with a 12" blade in my pack for the ones that need it and it is surprising how thick a tree can be cut through with that blade. Thinking of upgrading to the Silky.

Bottom-line: trail karma is real. Take care of your trails!
  • 1 0
 Yo Kazz~
I've been really enjoying all the podcasts! I feel like we have some similarities when it comes to riding and such. If you ever make it down to Moabylon I'd love to show you a couple trails. Peace & Grease in the new year~ @Rasquatch13
  • 3 0
 The Fidlock water bottle was our favorite 2021 addition. That water bottle will never leave you at any DH park
  • 2 0
 The year was a blast on my VHP16 (speced with MM & BB) riding it with the 2FO!!!
But i listened to Implore and The Secret, though.
Metal for my bike, Metal for ears!!!
  • 1 0
 Those Skyline pants are the best. I bought one pair for fall riding, now I have 2 pairs and will wear them even if it is 60-70 degrees out. Just so comfortable and like Mike said, clean up is a lot easier on muddy days.
  • 2 0
 I just realized this is the first time in decades that I can headbang with out an instant headache. Here’s to no post concussion syndrome.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree with @mikekazimer. Love my Spur. The perfect bike for 90% of the shit I ride.. still dialing it in . Gets better every ride.
  • 1 1
 Bentonville is fun but its Theme Park / Disneyland / Hamster-trails bike riding vs anything really wild & authentic in Colorado, UT, CA or PNW or real east coast mountain trails. Bville trails are well made, fun, and in fact so much that its tough to even decide where to go or get to know anything.

Not hatin’ on it but its the difference in actual “mountain” riding and just rolling around in a labyrinth of human-made silicon implants that while fun is just too developed and commercial- kinda like Wankermart

Anyway: not to bash, I meet buds there to ride annually but to compare it to Whistler or Pisgah, PNW or Monarch Crest is laughable. Its like comapring fine art to cartoons and the fine art in this example is not Bentonville
  • 3 0
 Saint Vitus is a killer venue....
  • 1 0
 Those 2fo roost get very wide on the forefoot after some rides. I really appreciated my freerider pros after the short journey to specialized.
  • 3 0
 Got your Wolves in the Throne Room tickets kaz?
  • 1 0
 The Silkys are great. I've also got their 650mm blade Katana Boy, not really something you bring on a ride but it is a beast.
  • 2 0
 200 stab wounds!! Ohio boys getting it! Columbus had the best metal scene in the 90’s.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Did you ever get into the Hardcore Metal or Hardcore Straight Edge scene of the late 90s in CT? Your music suggests a .... maybe?
  • 3 0
 I sure did - I was a straightedge ska / hardcore kid. Glastonbury had a good crew, and we'd drive all over the state to see shows. Bane at the El N Gee Club in New London was one of the best ones that I can recall.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: That is awesome. I was peripherally involved through my siblings and I was briefly related (through marriage) to one of the members of Ten Yard Fight out of Boston. In those days in CT the scene was pretty intense from what I have heard; my brother had a lot of scars from his time at shows in Fairfield County, CT and Coney Island, NY.

I ended up going to a few shows (I was only 15 at the time). Notably Hatebreed at some shows around Bridgeport and Earth Crisis. I can imagine Bane was amazing Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Anyhow, mountain biking is great but my siblings chilled out and both are long distance ultra-marathoners. I think that we have a genetic need for intensity in my family.
  • 2 0
 Anthrax - Norwalk, CT FTW!
  • 1 0
 If I mention @mikekazimer s name will Transition find a Spur to sell to me?

Knock knock, hi Transition, Mike sent me..size large Spur please with a Deore build. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 "[The Big Boy 2000 is] almost unnoticeable when it's in my pack."
super practical to deal with a jerk on the trails in an instant!
  • 1 0
 I used to live a block from St Vitus. shitty place to live for mountain biking, amazing place to live as a metalhead. saw, so, so many good bands.
  • 2 0
 Overalls are no joke. The best for snowboarding. Can see how they'd be nice in pnw winter
  • 3 0
 More death metal recommends please Pinkbike
  • 1 0
 Anything Maggot Stomp
  • 1 0
 Suicide Silence
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Thanks for posting the list of books! I'm looking forward to reading "Beyond" & "Homesick for Another World"
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer I'm just here to say that it's nice to know there's another Moshfegh fan out there. If you have not read My Year of Rest and Relaxation, give it a spin before they make a crappy movie out of it. Smile
  • 1 0
 That 200 stab wounds album is awesome! Knew Kazimer was into heavy music from the podcast but that one still came as a surprise
  • 1 0
 Also: main point here is thanks @mikekazimer - this is a great list and with good books & sound to look into as well. Thanks for all you & the PB crew does
  • 3 0
 Big UP for 200 stab wounds!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer
Hey Mike,
After spending time with both the Optic and Spur, which one did you prefer for your "downcountry/trail" riding?
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the recommendations @mikekazimer, duly noted and excellent taste. Now, can you fix me up with a Spur? None to be had in the UK.. swap for a Bronson?
  • 1 0
 On the topic of mullet bikes.. I can recommend milleting gravel bikes. Slightly larger diameter front tyre to back. Ton of fun.
  • 2 0
 I do hope to make a pilgrimage to BC one day. Would be a treat.
  • 2 0
 I want to see what other PB contributors love as well
  • 2 0
 You'll get to really soon - those articles are in the works.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: is Quinney loading up on shrooms to get full-on incomprehensible???
  • 2 0
 Mdou Moctar has a bit of a Khruangbin vibe but with a Mid Eastern slant.
  • 1 0
 Trying to imagine the meeting where everyone decided to go with the name Silky Big Boy 2000.
  • 2 3
 I usually love people, not products. I use, appreciate, and even cherish a well made long lasting product. But I wouldn't say I love objects. I love pets too. Anyways, odd headline.
  • 1 0
 When is the canyon torque review dropping?
My finger is hovering over the add to cart button!
  • 1 0
 Damn, I want that saw for a self defense weapon. Looks like a serrated katana!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the music tips. I paid them both forward. Long live long rides.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: any thoughts on the Kavenz vs the Raaw Madonna?
Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @KennyWatson: the Raaw Madonna was my second choice, one of the contributors was the low BB height on the Madonna. The idler does magic also Wink
  • 1 0
 @bikeflog: yeah, I debated between a jibb with coil or Madonna with air.
I picked the jibb as I was worried about the bottom bracket height (I ride lots of chunky jank on the north shore and hate pedal strikes).

I like it but I still sometimes daydream about a banshee titan, or Madonna. The kavenz is sorta in that category as well.
  • 2 0
 Mdou Moctar crushes! Totally digging the Dick Dale vibes.
  • 1 0
 @mhoshal: it's better to remain silent and to be thought a fool than speak out and remove all doubt.
  • 1 0
 That Kaven is a BEAST! I wonder if 'semi custom' includes my chosen wheel size combo, mini mullet? Probably not...
  • 1 0
 I found a folding saw and some shears that fit in my swat box. Absolute trail maintenance weapon
  • 1 0
 Never expected to see death metal appreciation in a PB article. Slave To The Scalpel is a ripper for sure.
  • 1 0
 A bunch of you suckers fell for the Bentonville bait and they got more press than anything in the article...
  • 1 0
 You‘re making it really difficult not to love you, Kaz3
  • 2 2
 Them silkys fell like they're gonna fold in the middle if they jam, and not the way they're supposed to. Sketchy as
  • 3 0
 Cutting technique plays a big role in the silkys. If you are feeling it bind, stop and go out from the opposite side.
  • 17 0
 If you’re bending blades, you’re doing it wrong. It’s a pull-saw…but I do know what you mean.
  • 1 0
 How is Big Betty compared to DHR II and Butcher on the rear?
  • 2 0
 Braking traktion is really good, I've the feeling, it breaks out earlier but still well to control
no punctures the whole season
Overall I would recommend the Betty :-)
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer : where are the Spesh shoes $94??
  • 3 2
 E-Bikes make the list next year?
  • 1 0
 Troy Lee charging $109 for a set of DPM trousers?
  • 1 0
 awwhh yeaahhhh, silky big boyyyyyy
  • 1 0
 +1 for mdou moctar... great band
  • 1 0
 That saw looks like a freakn weapon!
  • 2 0
 “The Jack Hawk 9000”
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer - you gotta get down with Sanguisugabogg, Dead as Shit is a great start.
  • 1 0
 do you like to run the shorties front and rear ?
  • 1 0
 I knew Kaz was a dex build
  • 1 0
 No lycra cycling shorts with extra thick chamois?
  • 1 0
 Coming in the Levy top 10 guaranteed
  • 1 0
 Kazimer is the man! Love his opinions
  • 1 0
 201 Dalmatians...........
  • 2 1
 So... Bentonville's biggest selling point is its proximity to Whistler?
  • 1 1
 It’s the Steamboat of mountain biking. Or the Olive Garden of mountain biking.

Loads of mediocre spec-built trails.

But for Gumby’s who can’t hack better/harder riding, they can brag to their non-biking friends about their destination riding trip. Just like having that Steamboat day ticket wicket on your Columbia Bugaboo jacket all winter.
  • 2 0
 Silky is the best.
  • 1 0
 Prefer the Silky Katana Boy myself
  • 1 0
 The weapon!
  • 1 0
 no love for the new converge record?
  • 1 0
 You might have loved those products, but we loved you Kaz!
  • 1 0
 Mdou Moctar makes me rip harder than any metal band.
  • 2 1
 West Virginia Sucks. Just saying.
  • 1 0
 I approve Mike's music taste!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the Modu Moctar find. I am really digging them right now.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer and your favorite brakes of 2021 would be…
  • 1 0
 if you like Mdou Moctar, you should listen to Bombino!
  • 1 0
 Mdu Moctar and band- the real sultans of swing.
  • 1 0
 Whistler is in Canada but it’s not Canada
  • 1 1
 mountain bike capital blah, blah, blah. how is no one talking about 200 stab wounds?!
  • 6 9
 On the topic of music, everyone should go listen to An Evening With Silk Sonic. It brings back funk in a modern way with Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, and it's all I've listened to since it released a couple weeks ago
  • 24 0
 Sorry, you pretty much lost me at Bruno Mars - I can't stand him. I'll try to keep an open mind and give that a listen, though.
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: wait no "King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard", I mean yeah they only released 2 albums in 2021, so...
  • 3 0
 Anderson Paak, to that I'll say yes. Lovely to play too.

Here's a random favourite : Balthazar - Losers. (no, finns don't only listen to metal)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub82Xb1C8os
  • 9 0
 @chacou, for sure, I'm a big fan of them too - they were on the Spotify playlist I shared earlier in the year (www.pinkbike.com/news/the-pinkbike-podcast-episode-68-mountain-bikings-unsung-heroes.html). Might be time for a year-end favorites playlist.
  • 2 0
 The tune in the article reminded me of some early Malevolent Creation tunes. Definitely pretty. As it is 2021, it deserves a mention that Carcass released an album again. Also, don't forget to raise some horns this Monday in memory of Chuck Schuldiner. Insane it's been twenty years. Who knows what beauty he could have brought us in those years?
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: since were way off topic, my top 2021 spotify songs for riding. #1 Steve McQueen by Sheryl Crow.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlywcuw-1TU
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: oh missed that. You might like Iron Reagan as well ironreagan.bandcamp.com/track/miserable-failure (or their other projects Municipal Waste and Cannabis Corpse)
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: You should check out Archspire.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Seriously haha. "An Evening With Silk Sonic". Hmmm... Thanks for heads up on 200 Stab Wounds though Kaz. Man! Awesome. If you get a chance, see a metal show at Saint Vitus. It's wild.
  • 1 0
 I love seeing what people are stoked on music-wise. I'm going to check out these suggestions, and leave one of my favorite finds of this year: SLIFT - Ummon youtu.be/KJoLGNu5BFY 3 Frenchies making some pretty big sound. Pro tip, it legitimately sounds better if you play it LOUD.

@chacou I second Iron Reagan. Those guys are fun, good call.
  • 1 0
 I have never heard of the Silk Sonics but I know who Anderson Paak is from watching him on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. If you have not watched this, I highly recommend it. Anyway, i just listened to the Silk Sonics and they are fantastic. They remind me of growing up in the early 70s listening to Curtis Mayfield.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: great music taste Mike! nice to see I’m not the only weirdo in Bellingham that loves death metal, African guitar, and neo-psychedelic music. Check out soukous African music - Nyboma is a great band. Now if we can ever get any of these bands to play in Bellingham…
  • 1 0
 Kublai Kahn - The Hammer
  • 5 7
 10 Products I hated in 2021;

Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Mullet Bikes
Lastly.. Mullet Bikes
  • 2 0
 why's that?
  • 3 3
 @vhdh666: They look horrific!
  • 3 2
 The mullet bike-a cynical ploy by the bike industry to sell the same consumer base another bike.

In this case, it has neither the agility of smaller wheels or the (in every other way) superiority of bigger wheels.
  • 3 3
 Mullets are just for riders scared to go full 29er.
  • 2 2
 @wyorider: Totally agree. The benefits of both wheel sizes are canceled out by mixing them up.
  • 1 0
 love this blog
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