Sunday Randoms: Crankworx Whistler 2016

Aug 21, 2016 at 19:45
by Vernon Felton  

2017 Marin Hawk Hill

Consider yourself warned—this is not a boutique bike. It is not—I repeat—not dripping with suspension you can tweak six ways from Sunday or a carbon frame that weighs as much as a mouse fart. The 2017 Marin Hawk Hill, however, is affordable and smartly spec’d for its price, which makes it worthy of a bit of digital ink. The bike will roll into bike shops this fall with a sticker price of $1,800 (CAD) and around $1,500 (USD).

Crankworx Saturday Randoms

Crankworx Saturday Randoms

The aluminum frame offers up 120-millimeters of rear suspension via a fairly straightforward rocker link and “faux bar” system. It's nothing revolutionary, but it’s nicely executed all the same. Thoughtful touches often lacking at this price point include ports for running an internal dropper post line and convertible rear drop-outs. The Hawk Hill comes with a 135-millimeter quick release rear wheel, but easily adapts to any 142x12 rear through-axle. Wheel size? 27.5.

As for suspension, a RockShox Recon fork and X-Fusion O2 Pro RL get the job done.

Hand Sanitizer and Fist Bumping

Perhaps the most obvious trend at Crankworx Whistler this year was the upturn in fist bumping and the near demise of the traditional handshake. One could argue that fist bumping, the most en vogue variant of giving dap, is simply part of a larger cultural trend towards knuckle pounding.

That’s a reasonable argument, to be sure, but I can’t help but suspect that at least part of the uptick in fist-pounding can be explained by the fact that, on a subconscious level, most of us realize that if you shake hands with 100 other sweaty dudes who have limited access to bathrooms, you're just asking for a good case of cholera.

Crankworx Saturday Randoms

Crankworx Saturday Randoms
Men, at the best of times, can be cavalier with the concept of personal hygiene. You drink three beers after a long, hot day on the hill and suddenly you’re high-fiving everyone within a square mile of you...and by the time you’re done doing that, your hand is a veritable Hot Zone of its own.

Which is why you need a bottle of this stuff. Because, yes, maybe the guy you just shook hands with just touched his genitals. Hell, after three or four beers, maybe you’re that guy. Either way, it pays to buy a bottle of sanitizing gel and work on your fist-bumping technique.

Specialized Ambush Comp Helmet

Specialized’s Ambush helmet is one of the lightest and best ventilated of the “enduro-style” half-shell helmets on the market. At 316 grams, the Ambush feels like a cross-country lid, but offers a whole lot more coverage. The Ambush, however, also doesn’t come cheap. You can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $220 (CAD)/$180 (USD) for that particular lid. The new Ambush Comp ($160 CAD/$120 USD), however, offers a lot of the same function and will sell for considerably less dough, despite the fact that when it comes to weight and venting, the helmets are said to be nearly identical.

Crankworx Saturday Randoms

The most obvious differences between the Comp and its pricier sibling is that the Comp does not route the chinstraps or integrate the Mindset 360 dial adjuster within the EPS liner. If that last sentence has you scratching your head, check out the picture at right. The Comp helmet is the black helmet.

Do these differences actually reduce the helmet’s performance? The helmets ultimately meet the same standards. The higher-end Ambush will likely prove a bit more comfortable, but the Comp, with its simpler construction, will be easier on the pocketbook. Always a good thing.

Crankworx Saturday Randoms

RockShox Suspension 101 Classes
A lot of mountain bikers have a love affair with gear. They obsess over the prospect of buying some new widget with novel damping circuitry, a softer compound or higher-modulus carbon fiber. Fewer riders are equally keen on learning to adjust and maintain the latest, greatest widget they just bought; that's unfortunate because even the best $1,200 fork on the market will ride like absolute crap if it's improperly adjusted. Which is why I found it heartening to see riders tromp up the stairs each morning to attend SRAM's daily RockShox suspension clinics. At each clinic, gurus of all things squishy explained both the theory and the practical aspects of setting up your suspension. Damping, spring rate, volume adjustments...they covered it all and they did if for free. Pretty damn cool.

Crankworx Saturday Randoms

Crankworx Saturday Randoms
Unless you grew up twisting a throttle, chances are suspension tuning either proved (or still proves) mysterious to you. Suspension tuning is not the most intuitive subject, which is why groups of riders assembled each morning to get the straight dope on the subject.

Crankworx Saturday Randoms


  • 74 2
 idk guys, can we just skip the hand sanitizer and go right for the KY? let's do bro stuff...
  • 19 2
 bro lets bro out! ill love to do all sorts of bro sutff with you bro!

  • 8 1
 @fercho25: Even watch 'My Little Ponies'?

  • 7 1
 i just wanted to play game cube and drink natty ice, bro
  • 7 2
 @Thustlewhumber: no bro im not into that, I enjoy beefy muscular man playing with balls, but ill bet @WAKIdesigns is a Hardcore broni. you should ask him.

@PaulLehr stick in smb melee and ill make you my bitch
  • 1 1
 I will crush you in melee. I bet you don't even main Fox.
  • 3 1
 Does it come in litre bottles??
  • 10 4
 @fercho25: bingo! Ever since I started wearing that in the bedroom, my wife can't stop screaming my name:
  • 2 1
 @fercho25: can I get directions to the brodown please? I heard there was a serious brodown.
  • 2 0
 @L0rdTom: Btich please, Kirby ftw!
  • 2 0
 I swear I live for the comments here ..................L.M.F.A.O
  • 1 0
 #guylove #scrubs
  • 34 2
 I am very jealous of the class rock shox gave... I wish I could of attended.
  • 4 0
 Yeah for sure. Be nice if they did a facebook live or webinar online where you could listen and ask questions...
  • 1 0
 @dhx42: Webinar would be an awesome idea. I'd pay for a q and a webinar session!
  • 32 0
 When Marin's budget frame looks more sleek and stylish than all of their high-end trail bikes...
  • 27 3
 I don't even need a bike, and I want to buy that Marin.
  • 20 1
 After just looking at the Hope HB.211, I think I'm gonna need some of that hand sanitizer...
  • 14 2
 This is Bull#hit... Mountain biking is becoming way to expensive, how can anyone afford to ride anymore. $1800 for a full suspension mountain bike???? I will have to take out a second bloody mortgage. Who the hell has that kind of money.
  • 11 0
 Would be nice to post sram suspension clinics videos on PB.
  • 10 0
 Really hoping we start to see some more quality budget options like the Marin on the market in the future!
  • 10 3
 Sorry but I don't consider my genitals to be more dirty than anything else. They're covered in skin just like the rest of my body.
  • 9 0
 I don't know dude, does the rest of your body leak piss after the mentioned three beers? And whilst we're at it, they're not far from our sweaty cracks either.
  • 9 0
 I'd still feel more comfortable just shaking your hand...
  • 2 4
 If my genitals aren't too dirty for my wife's mouth they shouldn't be too dirty for me to touch without washing.
  • 8 0
 That marin is badass!!!!
  • 4 1
 My other half had an Ambush helmet. It fell on the floor in the car park from waist height and broke right through in 3 places. I know they are designed to deform under impact but i can imagine that it would have done a great deal to protect her head in a full speed crash.
  • 3 1
 Maybe she had previously cracked it?
  • 77 0
 How tall is she?
  • 1 0
 If it split like that and was in good condition I would expect Specialized to replace it. I have an Ambush and it has saved my ass on many occasions...tbh it has so many dents in it now that it I probably should replace it.
  • 1 0
 @CircusMaximus: no its was almost brand new
  • 1 0
 @ecly13: only 5ft 8
  • 1 0
 @flarezfx: Specialized said they would only offer their crash replacement which was 20% off a new one. We replaced it with a Troy Lee A1. Its a shame cos i have the Specialized Carbon Dissident and love it just felt a bit let down by the Ambush.
  • 4 0
 @flarezfx: you're supposed to wear it on your head
  • 2 3
 @CircusMaximus: this may be the funniest comment ever on pinkbike
  • 2 2
 Did she crack a nut and then kept going?
  • 8 2
 Ill pass on the bro-fisting thanks!
  • 5 0
 Marin looks much cooler without that huge chunk of aluminium between the upper tube and seat tube.
  • 4 0
 That solid gusset on previous marins is pretty fugly, amazing how much of an aesthetic differnce it makes. This bike looks a lot like a first gen ReignX. Nice, clean and simple.
  • 3 0
 Agree! Looks way better than the more expensive models.
  • 5 0
 Good job Marin!!
  • 3 0
 Maybe? No, it's a definite...I'm typing this with one hand.
  • 2 0
 "Now Kills 99.99% of Germs"...
Sorry, but my Genitals are so special that are included on those 0.01%.
Useless Gel!!!
  • 3 0
 4 items. You guys must have partied hard on Sat...
  • 3 1
 That is the best name for a hand sanatizer ever!
  • 2 0
 Do one sanitizer..smell the cheese.
  • 2 0
 Why aren't Race Face suing Specialized for using the Ambush name?
  • 2 0
 I dont touch my genitals. I caress them.
  • 2 0
 You realize that you are only reinforcing my point about the hand sanitizer....
  • 2 0
 I can't sleep.
  • 1 0
 Is the hand sanitizer enduro specific?
  • 1 0
 nope. Definitely Boost though. We didn't need this product until Boost came along...
  • 1 0
 props to Sram & RS for putiing on these clinics
  • 1 0
 I think Waki is drunk lol
  • 2 3
 2nd or 3rd article about the comp helmet missing the weight of said helmet.
  • 6 1
 @jrocksdh Unless I actually have the helmet in hand and can weigh it personally on my digital scale, I generally refrain from listing a weight. It's a new helmet and hasn't made it into our hands yet for longterm testing. When we do get test samples, I'll let you know what it weighs in at. Thanks for asking.
  • 2 0
 @vernonfelton: but they usually have a sticker on the inside proclaiming weight? That could give the readers an idea at least?
  • 1 0
 @makripper: The regular Ambush weighs around 300 grams (there's variance from helmet to helmet). My Ambush weighs 316. The Specialized representatives at Crankworx said the Ambush Comp should weigh nearly the same.
  • 1 0
 @vernonfelton: wow that's better than my old hex that needs replacing! Thanks!
  • 4 0
 @vernonfelton: before you get it in your hand, can you sanitize first?
  • 2 0
 Mtbr stated 300g for the comp and 280 for reg ambush.
  • 3 6
 I want that hand sanitizer... that'll make a great christmas present for people.
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