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10 Things I Loved in 2023: Seb Stott

Dec 12, 2023 at 9:37
by Seb Stott  
Shotgun Pro Child Seat

Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Seat

I've been riding with my daughter since she turned 2 but now that she's 3 she's really enjoying the Shotgun seat. Being able to share with her what I've been up to every time I've disappeared off for a bike ride has been wonderful. But the enjoyment she gets out of it, especially when zooming around berms or over lumps and rollers is the real appeal.

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Shotgun sent me the Pro seat, which attaches to the seat post and a special slotted headset spacer - I bought a spare of these so I can easily swap it between bikes. This design means it doesn't contact the frame, which reduces the risk of damage and makes it compatible with e-bikes. There is a little friction between the headset spacer and the steerer tube which you can feel in the steering at slow speeds, but this can be mitigated with a little grease or a fresh spacer. I'd also prefer a more secure way to strap my kid's feet to the foot pegs to stop them from bouncing out (I use the velcro shoe straps to wrap around the Shotgun seat's footpeg strap).

But overall, it's a fantastic product that opens up a new way to enjoy riding.

Price: $ 275 USD
More information: kidsrideshotgun.com



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TLD Resist pants

These have been doing a sterling job of keeping me dry this winter (and this summer) without becoming a sweaty, baggy mess. The fit is reasonably svelt without being restrictive, the material keeps water out pretty well and the thigh vents add a little ventilation for when you get too clammy.

Despite what many manufacturers imply, no fabric can expel moisture from within while keeping water out at the same time, because it has to be less humid outside for the fabric to breathe. So, in my view, the best way to make a waterproof garment less sweaty is to add physical vents.

The pockets are well-sized, the waist closure is secure and easy to use and the fit is nice and snug at the ankle. They just work.

Price: $159.99
More information: troyleedesigns.com



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Comrie Croft MTB Trails

I spent a few days glamping and riding at Comrie Croft this spring and thoroughly enjoyed it. The trails are not the most well-known but there's a good mix with some technical rocky sections, jumps and interesting singletrack climbs which are so often missing from UK trail networks. While the trails aren't the most extensive or spectacular in Scotland, it's a lovely place to be, with nice views, camping, and a great cafe and shop. It's well worth a visit.

Price: Depends
More information: comriecroftbikes.co.uk



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Hope 155 mm cranks

Hope aren't the first to offer short cranks, but they're one of the best-known brands to do so recently, which pushes the idea towards the mainstream. The 155 mm cranks opened my eyes to the fact that there isn't a good reason we've all been riding 170 or 175 mm crank arms on our mountain bikes for decades. The 155 mm arms had no discernable downsides for me (and I'm not exactly short) but offered noticeably more ground clearance and less fatigue on long descents.

Price: £290 / €360 / $365
More information: HERE



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TruTune

Understanding how this product works is complicated, but what it does is simple: it makes your fork less progressive. Yes, less progressive than no volume spacers at all.

Not everyone needs this - in fact, it's a pretty niche product - but there are some forks, like the 2023 RockShox Zeb in 180 or 190 mm travel, that are very progressive even with zero volume spacers installed. With a 190 mm RockShox Zeb set with reasonable sag, it's very hard to get past 170 mm travel. In cases like these, TruTune can allow access to more travel, reducing harshness and fatigue on big, repeated hits.

Price: £120 GBP

More information: REVIEW



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Vittoria Air Liner Light

Vittoria made big claims about their 50-gram XC tire insert. They said it could expand in the event of a puncture to fill the tire and provide a run-flat feature. My testing didn't support that particular claim, but the insert provides a useful boost to tire/rim protection for such a slim weight penalty. There's a subtle change to the tire performance, with a slightly more damped feel but no added harshness.

While it's marketed at the XC crowd, I've used it in EXO and EXO+ tires for rides where a DoubleDown would be more appropriate and been impressed by the added tire security. As I found in another test, it's not the weight but the rolling resistance that makes stiffer tires slower when climbing, so this combination makes sense for someone who priorities climbing speed but needs some protection.

It fills a gap in the market for an ultralight but still effective tire insert.

Price: €59.95 (per wheel, inc. valve & lever)

More information: REVIEW



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Croozer Vaaya 2 trailer

Bike trailers are super useful. I bought this trailer second hand because it's big enough to carry two kids plus a load of shopping and nappies in the back. It's not much good off-road (it's the old version without suspension and it's pretty wide) but for riding to the shops, nursery or even to the trailhead, it's just the job.

Croozer offers bespoke axles for different bikes that hitch directly to the trailer, but since I need it to work with multiple different bikes, that would be an expensive solution. Instead, I used the adapters that came with the trailer and are meant for quick-release skewers but drilled them out so a 12 mm axle would fit through. Then I bought a few oversized axles (12x148 mm to fit 12x142 mm gravel bikes and 12x157 mm to fit 12x148 mm mountain bikes). This left enough space on the axle to fit the adapter plus a few spacers to clamp between it and the frame. This makes it quick and cheap to fit the trailer to almost any bike.

The kids love going in the trailer (which also doubles as a stroller) and without the kids, I've used it to pick up a big load of grocery shopping no bother. It almost acts like a second car for local journeys.

Price: €999 (new version with suspension)

More information: croozer.com



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OneUp V2 240 mm post

A longer dropper post is one of those things that you don't realize how good it is until you lose it. The field testers got some flack in the comments for coming down hard on bikes that came equipped with "short" dropper posts, but if you've ridden a post with north of 200 mm of travel, you won't want to go back. While I'm happy enough with 200 mm, OneUp's industry-leading 240 mm travel V2 post offers that bit more freedom to move around the bike when things get hectic. I feel less like a passenger and more in control.

I've been riding it for almost a year now and it's had no issues. It's nice to know there's a user-replaceable cartridge and a 2-year warranty. Plus, it's far from the most expensive dropper despite having the most drop.

Price: $229.50 USD w/o remote (currently $184.99)

More information: oneupcomponents.com



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The EX Enduro

Racing is an occasional affair for me these days, but I thoroughly enjoyed returning to the EX Enduro for the fourth time this year. It's a deceptively low-key event, both in terms of the number of riders and the jovial atmosphere in the pits, but with twenty-something stages and almost 5,000 m of descending over three days, it's no walk in the park. The trails include loads of natural singletrack, and while they aren't always the most technical, there are plenty of spicy moments thrown in for a blind race. Some biblical rain on day three added to the challenge, but there was a great sense of camaraderie and some good laughs with the other racers and journalists at the event.

I entered a few of the early EWS events, but the less serious grass-roots races are usually more fun for me and certainly more my level. It's not clear whether The EX will return in 2024, and if it does, rumours suggest it will be an e-bike-only event. That's probably a sign of the times. But given that the race has been partially uplifted in the past to help make the most of Exmoor's extensive trail network, doing away with the vans makes sense for the organisers and for those who have an e-bike to race. Personally, as I'm lucky enough to have access to both, I'd be happy to race it again with a battery or not.

Price: TBC

More information: the-ex.co.uk




Book: What We Owe The Future by Will MacAskill

I came across Will MacAskill after hearing him speak on Sam Harris's podcast, and after reading his first book, Doing Good Better, he became my favourite author. It's rare to find someone who cares so deeply about doing good for others and who is also hyperrational, critical and fiercely intelligent. I admire Macaskill for his unique ability to combine the head and the heart.

His first book opened my eyes to the power we all have to make a huge positive difference in the world if we use evidence to make the right choices, so much so that I took the Giving What We Can Pledge last year. His new book, What We Owe The Future, extends this thinking from what we can do for people in the present, to what impact we could have on the future.

Here's a book review from someone who actually knows how to review books.

Key to this is the dizzying idea that we could be very near the beginning of humanity, or very near the end. If things go well, there is potential for many trillions of future humans, plus the potential for living standards to improve dramatically, so a lot rides on getting it right. MacAskill argues that now is a pivotal time for the long-term future, as so much is in flux and we face several existential risks including climate change, engineered pandemics, AI and nuclear war.

But while exploring these risks can be scary, the message of the book is optimistic. By using evidence and reason and focusing on these under-resourced areas, we as individuals can have an outsized impact on the probability of helping the future go well.

Macaskill lays out a thought experiment that sticks with me. Imagine a European king in 1700 postulating that in 300 years the living standards of the average person would be as high as his own. He would have been laughed at. But that would have been a severe underestimate of the progress we've made. Even a king in 1700 wouldn't have had access to anaesthetic, vaccinations, antibiotics; transport that was faster than a horse, or knowledge that wasn't in his own library. If he had kids there was a good chance most would die young. If he was gay he couldn't love openly, and if he followed an unfashionable religion he couldn't believe freely. Thinking about how far we've come gives a sense of how good the future could be if we get things right.




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135 Comments
  • 163 11
 10 Things Seb Stott loved in 2023... 1. Fox 38 2. Fox 38 3. Fox 38 4. Fox 38 5. Fox 38 6. Fox 38 7. Fox 38 8. Fox 38 9. Fox 38 10. Fox 38
  • 11 0
 this comment made me laugh out loud
  • 7 0
 @bbachmei: It all makes sense now; it's the kids that decided for him the 38 is better at absorbing bumps at slow speed better
  • 6 3
 I like everything that Seb Stott doesn't.
  • 3 0
 @editor: @love4FLOW 1. Dylan 2. Dylan 3. Dylan 4. Dylan 5. Dylan
  • 58 5
 Damn it Seb I was going to put the Kids Ride Shotgun seat on my list.
  • 96 1
 Don't worry, if I ever get around to visiting HQ in Canada you can have a shot on mine.
  • 26 1
 Just put the Mac Ride seat on yours then Smile
  • 18 1
 I used a Mac Ride with my kids. Similar design but Canadian made, I believe. And the saddle is a better shape for holding kids in place
  • 4 1
 @seb-stott: I've got a basic version of this and agree with you it's brilliant. I take an alternative view on 'strapping' them to the bike, and have removed the rubber straps from the metal pegs. I figure if I crash we both need to eject the bike
  • 12 1
 @deciduous: MacRide for life!.. or at least until my littlest is pedaling herself around.
  • 8 1
 @blinglespeed: lower profile as well to help reduce helmet to chin interfaces
  • 14 1
 @blinglespeed: Agree, Mac ride seemed like the better option and thats what we went with. Better seat and the foot strap seem to work better. Also, did Kids Ride Shotgun just completely rip them off with the pro model? Its exactly the Mac Ride design...
  • 1 0
 I wish I’d bought the Shotgun Pro ages ago - only got it when my third child was three… I take her to nursery and then can ride the fun way to work after dropping her off and it barely gets in the way so I can still get air and corner properly. Secondhand value is good too so although they’re expensive new they don’t cost that much in the long-run.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: The dad-est of dad responses. Nice.
  • 22 0
 The Kids Ride Shotgun or Mac ride is the #1 way to get your kid hooked on MTB riding. The amount of fun that I have had riding some of my local mellower trails with my son is hard to describe. It gives them the sense of what mountain biking can open up for them and reminds me of what it's all about.... having fun! The screams to go faster FASTER, Hit the jump Dad, and endless nervous laughing coming from my 3-year-old is priceless. It honestly almost brings me to tears thinking about it.

Hands down one of the best MTB purchases of my life.
  • 3 0
 You have to try a wehoo before a traditional trail a bike. Much lower center of gravity. And they can pedal to help when they want. Easy access to snacks and drinks. First ride with our youngest, just screaming out the laughter. Also get a balance bike with real tires not foam. Next cannot recommend spawn enough for first bike. Especially if you can get it used. You will literally lose almost nothing to depreciation.
  • 8 0
 @fabwizard: the absolute biggest plus of Mac-Ride or Shotgun type seats is the level of interaction from having them upfront. You just don’t get the same level if they’re behind you.
Of course we’ll discuss when they decide to “help” with steering another time. . .
  • 1 0
 Never put it on my mountain bike, but the $80 Wee Ride from Canadian Tire got me through 3 kids starting 15 years ago, and the fairing always provided a little more piece of mind, plus the little deck is good when they inevitably fall asleep.

We've come a long way from when I used to fall asleep on the gas tank of my dad's motorbike!
  • 10 0
 @deciduous: The OG Mac Ride FTW. Going on kid 3 with it.
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: lol my interaction would have been non stop. I want to ride my bike dad. Wehoo was a great compromise.
  • 5 0
 I agree with others, the Mac Ride is a better product. The seat is a better shape at holding kids in place and it is way lower, so their heads are more out of the way. Our kids love it.
  • 2 0
 @bikes-nbeers: agree. Same experience. I’ll never forget these moments with my kid (and hope she won’t forget either).
  • 6 0
 @seb-stott: I think I exceed the weight limit.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: did you do a run of one of the new blue trails at Glentress a few weeks ago with that trailer on with no kids in it? The group of ladies I happened to be talking to at the time thought it was hilarious. Someone giving it laldy into a skills trail with a trailer attached to their bike isn’t something you see every day.
  • 3 0
 @mashrv1: I credit it with my fist kid riding a pedal bike at 3. She just got how to ride first time on a push bike after being on the Mac Ride since 18 mos.
  • 3 0
 You could always say Mac Ride since they came up with the idea for the spacer clamp first.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: yup we bought a used spawn for our third kid, he rode it hard for 2 years, then sold for the same price!
  • 5 0
 The Mac-Ride was my best bike purchase ever! It even lets me take my 4-5 year old along while my 7 year old is riding trails. I know several people with them that don't use them much. They have no idea what they're missing out on. SO FUN!
  • 2 0
 @johnny2shoes: someone in our community had their kids leg slip forward riding down a curb and it pulled her leg between the front wheel and fork crown causing a broken leg and nasty crash. I'd be real careful about no foot straps.
  • 3 0
 I almost want more kids (and I have 4) so I can keep using the shotgun/macride. Literally the MOST fun of all my bike rides. The ultimate bike ride hall-pass extender.
  • 5 0
 Shotgun is a ripoff of the Macride and the Macride is better made. Copycats are only good if they are better or cheaper and the shotgun is neither.
  • 2 0
 Put the max ride on your list. Krg stole their current design from them anyway
  • 2 0
 @SwiftFixBike: I’ve used both and the MacRide is my preference since the kid sits lower. Plus in thousands of miles of use I’ve never had to lubricate the steering bushing, just clean it. My friends KRSG squeaks unless you keep it lubed and it has noticeably more steering resistance
  • 2 1
 @SwiftFixBike: MacRide wasn't the first either. They're both heavily inspired by a previous design whose name escapes me at the moment. It'll come to me at 3am and I *might* come back and update this aha.

The MacRide is really good, I've used both. My little guy has preferred the KRS (more bike-ish and he is solid enough to move around etc.) but both are great. My main wishes for both are that they could be simpler and use nicer hardware for the price.
  • 4 4
 @sb666: Kids Ride Shotgun is an absolute shit company. They just rip off small companies and do a worse design. They ripped off MacRide with the seat. Their tow strap is a ripoff of the TowWee which is a rad little company out of Fruita, CO that’s been making the tow straps for years.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: that’d be LOCT (Little Ones Come Too)
  • 5 0
 or Little One Comes Too, I forget which
  • 2 0
 @stubs179: that’s sort of an aggressive take.
  • 4 0
 Will put my vote out for the Mac-Ride as well. Best thing ever and keeps my kids in place better than our Shotgun did. Now I own two Mac-Rides and have ridden all over the US and Canada with my kids Smile
  • 1 0
 @johnny2shoes: The foot straps saved my 3 year old.. We were riding down a slight downhill with a few roots running across it (maybe a little faster than Mom would have preferred) her hands blew off the bars and she went forward over the bars. Luckily I was able to grab her with one arm and bring us to a stop one handed. Without those straps, she might have gone over before I could get to her.
  • 2 0
 @OC-Racing: same happened to my little guy… we were hitting little green trail table jumps and he was egging me on - it was the most fun thing ever hearing him giggle in the air. Eventually his hands blew off the bars and the straps stayed in place, all good. Definitely terrifying though, gotta remember not to let the 3 year old egg me on so hard
  • 2 0
 @sb666: Yep, we were on our second lap and had already done that section, she wanted to go faster... so we went faster... Apparently, the 3 year old shouldn't be the most mature person on the bike.. Smile
  • 2 0
 @sb666: thank jeabus chariot trailers have roll cages. I crashed way to many times with kiddos . Little ones laughing like crazy as they are hanging upside down from harness as I slowly pick myself up out of the dirt. I swear I crashed more towing that trailer for a couple years than I do in a decade on my own.
  • 2 0
 @OC-Racing: few similar comments on here thanks. Makes me think I should put them back on!
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: just the truth
  • 30 0
 Hey @seb-stott stoked to see you sharing your passion for cycling with your kids! I've gotta call out that your axle hack is highly suspect. We have extensively tested stock thru axles and the forces applied by kid trailers on thru axles. A stock thru axle does not have the strength in the axle tube or head sufficient to ensure the safety of your kids. Our Kid Trailer thru axles are designed to protect your bike and your kids. Specifically our axles are 4 times stronger in sheer and 7 times stronger in tensile strength than stock thru axles. Some of the OE thru axles we have tested the heads pop off with frighteningly low forces.

We at the Robert Axle Project absolutely love your technical articles here on Pinkbike. We hope you will amend this article and keep up the great work.
  • 9 0
 I put a Thule trailer receiver in my drill press and bored the hole out to 1/2” (not quite 12.5mm). Then used two different models of axle to try to sandwich this modified receiver cup between my steel hardtail dropout and the head of the axle.

With a nearly empty trailer and in a surprisingly short time, both axles failed. Factory bike axles just aren’t built like this.

Robert Axles fixed it once and properly. Can confirm this testing in real life.
  • 1 0
 Not sure whether I understand the hack completely, but it appears to me like as the trailer moves up and down it could unscrew the axle and cause you more than a little damage. Whatever you do, make sure it is Danny MacAskill tested. I don't recall him losing the trailer at some point.

Get a Follow-Me trailer as soon as a kid can somewhat ride a bike. It allows you to connect the bike when needed (tired kid, busy traffic etc) and let them ride on their own when they can. Not sure whether it works with 12mm axles, I only used the supplied axle nuts on a Nexus hub. It may already work on those flow trails and feels safer to me in situation where a washout (so that you have to bail) is more than a tiny bit likely than having my kid in front of me. Obviously having the kid in front of you is still great fun and builds a nicer bond than traveling with your kid on the backseat.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: my failure wasn’t with the axle loosening. One axle failed by the receiver effectively removing the axle end (like a bottle cap, it was a two piece axle). The other failed by effectively stretching the axle end to the point I didn’t believe it would be safe (one piece axle).

Curiously neither loosened though I could totally imagine that too.

Zero issues with the Robert Axle - it uses a totally different axle end.
  • 53 24
 Sam Harris is an awful bigot and 'effective altruism'/long-termism is just a shield for tech bros to justify getting as wealthy as possible now, sacrificing helping people now for fantasies of the unknowable needs of those far in the future.
  • 8 6
 ^ couldn't have said it better myself.
  • 3 5
 Yeah, I have my concerns with Harris and MacAskill philosophy too.
  • 11 3
 Sam Bankman-Fried is one of the best know adherents of effective altruism. Using other people's money for his good deeds (funding the Dems and Republicans)
  • 4 5
 Will MacAskill however is a fantastic person and author that deserves some of everyone's time.
  • 3 7
flag pargolf8 (Dec 16, 2023 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)
 Tell me again why you care how other people spend THEIR money?
  • 6 1
 @pargolf8: because we’re human, we can choose, and sharing with others is the best we can be.

Too many people think like you, that’s why humanity is in such dire straits.

Think about it over the holidays, maybe you too can become a better human.
  • 3 3
 Holy shnikies I googled effective altruism. I had no idea this was a social movement! The concept is clearly delusional by nature. Elon’s like, “for my contribution to reducing human suffering I will play with spaceships”
  • 34 11
 Will MacAskill is a hack and his philosophies are deeply flawed.
  • 33 24
 Know nothing of this guy, but I get a huge whiff of BS based on the description. The argument that Seb describes starts on a false premise. The average person does not have as good of a standard of living as an 18th century king and things like violent acts of discrimination/intolerance/etc absolutely happen day in and day out. Just because you live in a metro area with a gay friend doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of places in the world where being a certain gender/sexual orientation, race, religion get you murdered or worse.

I realize I'm on a mountain bike website, but industrialization and neoliberalism are not purely good things and are not proof of "how far we've come".

Also that "giving what we can" pledge is incredibly flawed reasoning. Sure, give to charity if you want to, but elective charity cannot and should not replace state sponsored programs and is not a way to affect social/economic change.
  • 10 1
 I think his ideas are provocative and worth considering. Utilitarian moral philosophy is always controversial. No need to dismiss it though.
  • 30 3
 @ulnar-landing: Bruh, I’m a middle class guy and can wander down the street to the local supermarket and partake in various imported fine cheeses, fruits and vegetables from around the world regardless of season, crab legs plucked from the depths of the Bering Sea, and that really good white ale from Japan with the owl on the label. All fresh, free from botulism or worms, and affordable to me in vast quantities. The spice aisle alone would be worth that 17th century king’s ransom.

Then I can go to the doctor who can use a device to see inside my body in real time to figure out what’s wrong with me, and not only give me magic potions to help me feel better, but provide me with vaccines so I never get sick to begin with.

Then I can hop aboard a magic flying machine and go to a tropical island in hours without risk of shipwreck, scurvy, or piracy. In the way, I can read literally any book currently known to man on a screen that provides its own light and weighs as much as a banana, not that our king has ever seen a banana.

I’ll take that over battling consumption while huddled by the fire in a drafty-ass palace while I try to read the latest news from my far-flung colonies, written four months ago.

I’m deeply skeptical of the crypto-bro effective altruism ecosystem, and not everyone is as privileged as me, but I have to disagree with you on this particular point.
  • 8 12
flag schofell84 (Dec 15, 2023 at 13:10) (Below Threshold)
 @sfarnum: that's called anecdotal evidence.

there is ton's of data that says this techbro is wrong.
  • 8 6
 @sfarnum: we are talking about socio-economics, not just technological advancements. A king is not opressed nor is he exploited for his labor. A king does not go hungry. A king doesnt face housing insecurity. A great number of people do and to some extent the same process of industrialization that has led to the technologies you describe have also paved the way for suffering.

Obviously there are positives to all of this, the argument is just incredibly simplistic and starts on a false premise.
  • 7 1
 @schofell84: It isn’t anecdotal evidence: (“one time this happened to me”), it’s common knowledge (“most reasonable people would agree you can go into a supermarket in February and buy grapes from Chile”).
  • 5 4
 Yup. Effective altruism claims to be “the most rational” but in reality, the axioms are just the arbitrary whims of a bunch of rich white tech bros.
  • 4 1
 @sfarnum: one nitpick that is not necessarily critical to your point, but I think is important to know: Consumption is very much still alive. Tuberculosis is wide spread and tragically kills huge amounts of people even today. Even in the western world, latent tuberculosis is not uncommon which suggests a not insignificant number of active cases at any given time.

In 2022 the WHO estimated 1.3M people died of consumption and 10.6M fell ill with an active infection. Not good mortality statistics.
  • 2 2
 @sfarnum: that was a very funny, well put response Smile
  • 2 0
 @sfarnum: Ah yeah the ale with an owl is indeed pretty good, there's a red one brewed with red rice I think and it's pretty tasty.

According to Jean Marc Jancovici, an engineer who's at the forefront of all those energy questions in France, each of us has the energetic equivalent of 400 slaves. Look for his conference on youtube, some are translated in english.
Holidays, feminism was made possible thanks to cheap energy, end of slavery as well (machines and robots (or overseas cheap labour) became more efficient than slaves).
If energy price gets through the roof, all those social progress would quickly disappear...

Also what bugs me in what Seb Stott wrote, though I don't know the content of the book, is that this progress was mostly possible due to fossile energies, with oil having an initial EROI of +100 now down to 8, and coal that had an EROI of 80 initially.
This growth and progress was only possible because of this and with EROI of about 1-10 now, I'm sceptical we can progress as much.
We may soon have barely enough left to keep the fundamentals working, and with climate going south...
  • 1 0
 @topherdagopher: I had no idea that the rates are that high globally, and just read that kids in the US today aren’t vaccinated against it because rates here are low. Doesn’t seem like a good situation. Thanks for pointing that out.
  • 2 3
 @sfarnum: 7% of americans can not get to a grocery store in February and buy weird grapes. They live in food deserts. That's if they could afford it, living in the most wealthy country in the history of the planet. We have a 12% poverty rate here as well. Those people can not afford rice beer either.

This is only in the US. Maybe your personal (anecdotal) experience isn't the same as everyone else on the planet, eh?
  • 2 0
 @schofell84: Techbro may be right on the king thing if it's based on mean figures, probably based on GDP, energy consumption or something. US is the wealthiest country but inequalities are possibly stronger there that anywhere else.
As Sfarnum said, even the lower class have TV, trucks, electricity, etc.
Just a 1400W vaccum cleaner is equivalent to 7 slaves pedalling on exercise bikes.
  • 2 5
 @sfarnum: this post tells me that you are an elitist a hole… truely fits with current mountain biking culture… I suspect that everyone can afford a new carbon bike ever year or two then kit it out with aftermarket crap that functionally does nothing…
  • 5 0
 @skidusty: Bahaha I said I *can* buy those things, as items that are generally available to middle-class folks within reason, not that I do. I haven’t been on a plane since 2009 and my only bike is a steel hardtail.

With the exception of good beer. I do buy good beer, but enjoy in moderation.

I think you missed the point of my post, which was to point out that most Americans lead more comfortable lives than the nobility in centuries past.
  • 3 1
 @schofell84: Did you read to the end where I note that that not everyone is as privileged as I? However noting that only 7% of Americans lack access to such things kind of proves my point, does it not?
  • 2 1
 @Will-narayan: I didn’t say any of this was sustainable, equitable, or just. I simply said that it is reality right now for most (not all) Americans.
  • 4 1
 @sfarnum: Never underestimate the desire of people to feel miserable.

Everybody in the Northern hemisphere is born a king these days - still they will tell you how bad their lives actually are. And that they can never do anything good, because they need every penny and every minute for themselves to just barely get by… and if they ever have a minute to spare, they will spend it on a Mountainbike website to complain about 10k$ bikes, because theirs cost only a reasonable 5k.
  • 3 0
 All of these writers/philosophers who are pushing this form of "altruism" are deeply flawed, whether they realize it or not. The system they buy into depends solely on some obscure source to their good deeds, which in the end, are selfish and not good at all. When you ask for the money/power to go to the already rich and powerful for the "good of humanity", then who are you really serving? We are all deeply flawed humans, so what makes one idea better than the other? If the author is a secular humanist (as most of these types are), then "might makes right"...and that is a truly terrifying foundation.
What we the readers need to ask these "moralists" is not what they think we should do, but what is their foundation for that belief. By what standard do they hold to those ideas, and do they hold up, with consistency, in their own moral economic system. I would argue that most, in fact, do not.
  • 10 0
 Mostly a fan of the OneUp post (low stack and overall length is definitely killer) but can't for the life of me get a full year out of a cartridge, and I ride once or twice a week from April to Nov....Had better longevity out of other (just as inexpensive) droppers. That and the need to lube it fairly regularly puts it in the "just ok" column for me. Not really sure why they are so widely loved....
  • 1 0
 Same. My two OneUps had slop, sharp edged dropper controls and finicky operation, while my two bargain bin Tranz-X seatposts have been fit and forget. Love my One Up stem and pumps though
  • 3 1
 It's a brilliant design, made cheaply. I don't "love" mine but I would buy it again over losing drop by going to a different brand.
  • 1 0
 I’ve had three and never needed to replace the cartridge?

The regreasing is more regular than I’d like, but it’s 10 minute job max. For the price, weight, stack height and serviceability, it’sa great package
  • 6 0
 I've had my kid on a MacRide since he was 2. He's now almost 6 and I think that I may shed a tear when he's finally too big for it.
It's accounted for countless good times from trail riding and building ( little kids love getting dirty) , to grocery runs and school pickup / drop-offs.
If you are a parent that loves to ride I can't say enough good things about these kid bike seats.
His skills also leap frogged way ahead. No training wheels and comfort at speed right away when he's on his own bikes.
  • 8 1
 The MacRide is $50 cheaper and comes with two headset spacers for two bikes.
  • 1 0
 And it’s the og

Krsg is a ripoff!
  • 4 0
 I just missed the Kids Ride Shotgun era with my kids... but damn have I had fun with Yepp seats and for the last 6 years a big cargo bike. There are plenty of parenting memes about losing your hobbies to your kids... hell no. I ride bikes, play bass, workout and read books. That's what I do. I'm also a father of two, and those glorious little rats are part of the hobby now. Cargo bikes and little adventure rides, both my kids play drums so I'm raising my own rhythm section, my daughter especially like to lift with me, and my son is a voracious reader.
  • 1 0
 @Glenngineer engineer here who rides bikes, plays bass, works out, reads books but has an extra child instead of a cargo bike! And they’re just starting with their forays into musical instruments (the drum kit is in the studio at work so guitar, keys or bass would be more convenient…)
  • 5 0
 To all the new parents on pinkbike: the double kid trailer is the place to put your money. We used the expensive jogging stroller for only about a year. Trailer does everything and more.
  • 1 0
 Don't know much about the double kid trailer but I can comment that if you plan on having more than 1 child, the jogging stroller is a waste of time and money. You might get some use out of it with your 1st, but once you have more and can't put both kids in the same stroller, guess what, that jogger is going to be gathering dust in your garage like mine is.

anybody want a free jogger stroller?
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott for the Airliners, do they provide any type of sidewall support for cornering? I am asking because alothough Cushcores do, MAN they are a pain in the ass when you want to change a tire and I hear Airliners are a bit easier to deal with.
  • 7 0
 thanks for the love 3 super glad you had a great time here!
  • 3 0
 I made my first trip there this year and loved it too. Good vibe, natural feeling trails and nice people. Keep up the good work.
  • 3 0
 I rode Comrie Croft years and years ago not long after it opened. It was really rough cut in singletrack and still pretty soft (might’ve been the first year even), it’s cool to see trail networks like that grow - I’d love to come back and see what it’s like now
  • 12 6
 Thanks for the book reco!
  • 5 0
 So if you use the trailer to get to the trailhead, do you just leave the kids there while you go for a blast?
  • 5 0
 Kind of risky, right? The trailer could be easily stolen.
  • 2 0
 At 194cm I couldn’t agree more with the 240 mm one up dropper. I had to actually shim it down to 230 which was a novel concept for someone who has rolled his sleeves up since puberty because tall sizing leaves a bit to be desired. The only down side is now with a slammed post it’s hard to clamp my kids seat on there…alas the unintended consequences of Henry Quinney’s dream of “all drop” from his spire review a few years back.
  • 3 0
 “ a lovely place to be” pretty much sums up Comrie Croft. There’s even a *whispers* cracking big gravel route that starts/finishes there
  • 1 0
 Comrie is arguably one of the best bike parks in the country. The variety and intensity of the trails is near perfect. It also has a fantastic cafe/shop and bike shop staffed by really genuinely nice people. I love the place Smile
  • 10 5
 Sam Harris jumpscare, oof
  • 1 0
 I can really relate to most of the items on this list. Especially the Shotgun style seats (I have a Macride) and trailer - they're great for sharing your passion with your wee ones, and making bikes a part of their lives. And definitely agree with the book recommendation - it has the ability to transform how you think of the future, and makes a great argument for doing good.
  • 3 0
 The video with your kid riding down the flow trail made my day. I now feel that I have complete permission to scream with joy every time I ride my bike.
  • 1 0
 Had the Mac-Ride with all three boys. They were first to market and hands down, a great company. When they had a slight, perceived risk of a safety issue when I got the first one – I think 6 or 7 years ago? they offered the updated version for free or a full refund! I took the replacement and kept the original as it was completely safe.

Shot gun, if I'm not mistaken, started out with a top-tube mount and a handlebar mount, and now it it looks like they 'stole' Mac-Ride's seat-tube/steertube mount. That's the main thing that makes Mac-Ride better!

Mac-Ride for the win!
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: Those TLD pants look long enough for you, but would they fit me? I have 33/38 in jeans. All pants I try on are at least 2inch too short
  • 1 0
 Can someone give me the rundown on short cranks? I have had 170mm on all my bikes, since I didn’t really think about it. I like the idea of descents being less fatiguing… talk to me.
  • 3 2
 /\Highlight: If you're currently using a big chainring that can be downsized for the ascents, short is all upsides. Otherwise, it's a long walk.
  • 1 0
 It's like doing deadlifts or kb swings with a staggered stance vs parallel/normal stance. You're going to be more stable and better able to recruit all your big muscles symmetrically in the normal stance
  • 2 4
 Nothing but upside...at least go down to 165...170 is pointless and just results in pedal strikes.
  • 1 1
 Idk I have no doubt they're better and have advantages. But I also have a hard time believing the average joe rider is really noticing that big of a difference in 10-15mm, or 1-1.5cm. Didn't think much of it until I thought about swapping for hundreds of dollars and staring at a ruler to see what 1-1.5cm really looked like.
  • 3 0
 @donaarblitzen: most of my rides have steep climbs that I can *just* climb with my current chain ring and 50t cassette. Given that you lose 10% torque from 170-155, I'd have to drop at least one ring size, maybe 2. And I've noticed changing chain ring negatively affects the anti squat and kick back. So I'll stick with having to occasionally replace bent pins
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex:

Yup.

Climbing steep mountains that we have just enough gearing to make is probably all of us.

Can't recall last time saw someone locally running a too big chainring that had room to drop a couple of chainring sizes.
  • 2 1
 As a note. Trailcraft bikes sells their short cranks waaaay cheaper than hope. But not sure strength.
  • 2 0
 Sure. Yet another money-grabbing, marketing-driven trend in the mtb world. They work really well for not pedaling much, though.
  • 1 0
 So dude, you’re asking a question in a social media site where no two people can agree … you’re gonna get mixed messages, goes without saying.

I started riding short cranks long before it was a thing; 125-150 mm cranks on mountain unicycles, so my experience with short cranks is deeply ingrained.

On mountain bikes, I typically ride 155-165, depending on what is available, on my Zerode Pinion I run 160mm, Lenz Fatillac GX 165, NS Evo 155.

Spend some money on yourself this holidays, $150 for GX 165’s or $200 for Canfield 155-165.
  • 1 1
 @mountainsofsussex: your thinking is off, you’re no losing torque, you’re gaining turnover speed and efficiency.

Ask yourself why motorcycles can run higher RPM’s and are quicker than a car.

Do you wanna be a truck or would you prefer to be a sport bike ?
  • 2 0
 @sanchofula: it's literally physics, shorter lever = less torque. If you don't believe me, try undoing the wheel nut from your car with a 6" wrench rather than a long breaker bar. There are tests that have been done, mainly with road bikes that show you can produce the same power with shorter cranks, but as you say, you need to spin faster, which means lower gears
  • 1 1
 @mountainsofsussex: but it is horsepower that accelerates you. Which is torque multiplied by rpm.

So even if you make less torque, if you're rpm goes up enough you will accelerate faster.
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: shortening crank lengths effects your gear ratio in exactly the same way a move from 27.5 to 29 does.

Ultimately you can compensate by going down a chainring size and running higher cadence, but many bikes have very limited chainring range. My Rallon can only go down to 30t, so 165mm cranks about as short as I can go unless I run it mullet full time.
  • 2 0
 @twebeast: ah,ok. Didn't think about chainring limit.

There is also a top speed limit as well if you are using smaller chainring.
  • 2 0
 @yoimaninja: but you have to consider that it brings your feet together twice that distance, one increment per crank. So going from a 170mm to 155mm crank puts your feet 30mm closer together. That should be pretty noticeable!
  • 1 0
 I love the Kids Ride shotgun seat. I have Kids Ride Shotgun 2.0. The only thing I don't love is the handlebars don't work with really high rise bars (75mm Ergotecs). Also no shims for 22.2mm bars.
  • 2 0
 I'm gutted about the oneup 240mm dropper. I bought a 210mm one about 2 months before they released it.
  • 10 0
 Console your self with the knowledge that it's significantly heavier for 30mm of extra drop that you probably don't need.
  • 2 0
 As someone preparing to be a first-time dad, I think the shotgun seat is awesome.
  • 2 0
 FLAK is spelled without a C. It's derived from the German word "FLiegerAbwehrKanone" which means Anti Air Gun.
  • 1 0
 Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Seat. I'm hearing these might become illegal in some US states. Can't speak for all.
  • 2 0
 I loves me some Sam Harris Making Sense
  • 1 0
 The Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Seat needs a 150mm Dropper!!
  • 1 0
 Nice to see a shout out for Corrie. One of my favourite places to ride.
  • 1 0
 *comrie
  • 1 0
 Seb, great list, happy holidays!
  • 1 1
 Managed to fit the Oneup 240mm into a medium Knolly and it's glorious.
  • 1 1
 That book will be celebrated by liberals everywhere!
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