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The longest gap between World Cups in, forever

July 10, 2024|News|

Wow, what a weird season this is. The last world cup, at least in the traditional European location, has ended. And when is the next one? Guesses? September 27-29. That’s a single week shy of THREE MONTHS! WTH? Is that really the best they could do? The world champs is the last week of August, and there are the usual national champs, but most of those are actually happening this weekend. How weird it will be for all those who didn’t make the Olympics (which is most). Do [...]

Les Gets, meh

July 8, 2024|News|

Maybe it’s because I remember waiting in line to talk to Kate Courtney and get the whole Scott team autograph a poster, at the 2019 Snowshoe, WV World Cup. Maybe it’s because I just like to root for the USA riders, but either way, it is nice to see Courtney pushing hard at these races. It’s also nice that she’s not blowing half of them off for “altitude training” as it seems everyone else is. Now granted, she is not on the Olympic team, and will likely not [...]

MTB on an indoor trainer, maybe?

July 5, 2024|News|

One thing that really irks me about indoor training is that I have to ride a physical mountain bike, on a screen with a virtual mountain bike, but on a virtual road surrounded by 99.9% virtual roadies. Many of us mountain bikers don’t own a road bike, don’t ride one, and have no reason to pretend we do. Zwift is the giant in the room, and they offer a few mountain bike avatars, which is cool, and years ago added one single XC type trail that required steering [...]

Have we reached peak XC tire?

July 3, 2024|News|

WTB announced a true world cup level XC race tire. Which is kind of odd, as WTB has been a prominent tire maker forever, literally. They used to have several great XC tires, in fact, I still have a few 26” tires that I kept around for some reason. But you certainly haven’t seen them sponsoring any top XC racers in what seems like decades. So why now? I guess XC has crept back into popularity again? With Yeti coming back, which is all that’s coming to mind [...]

Sram releases GX replacement

July 2, 2024|News|

I normally would think coming out with cheaper products could only be a good thing. Except in this case.So we already have three levels of Transmission wireless groups. They kind of stuck with the tried and true, GX at the lowest end, then XO for the mid, and XX and XXSL (why on earth not just keep it XX1?) on the high end. Great. They of course dropped carbon cranks from XO this time, leaving them only to the XX and XXSL. Which actually, makes sense I guess. [...]

30 years ago – World Champs Review

June 28, 2024|News|

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. I’ve been checking out tons of BMX racing photos, articles and bikes from when I was a teenager. I was just as obsessed with early bmx bikes and racing as I am now with XC mtb. Go figure. So all this nostalgia about old bmx also morphed into nostalgia for old mtb xc racing and bikes. I have a 2nd gen Answer Manitou fork sitting on my desk. The first commercial model that were released after Doug Bradbury turned them over to Answer [...]

Tour de France for mountain bikers?

June 26, 2024|News|

I know I always say I focus only on XC mtb, but I must admit I enjoy watching the TdF every July. Back when Lance was the star, each Tour was an exciting event for us US viewers. But the Tour has a decent history of mountain bikers tearing it up in France. Cadel Evans is probably the most successful former XC racer at the tour. He was one of the best in his years on the World Cup before moving full time to the road. Unlike modern [...]

Pidcock again? Chris Horner has a point…

June 24, 2024|News|

For any of you who kind of follow road racing like I do, I occasionally watch ex-pro Chris Horner’s youtube channel where he makes daily posts and gives his opinions on races, and whatnot. Having been a pro for a very, very long time, through the “iffy” years of the sport, I tend to take what he says with a bit of salt as they say. But still, he makes good points. His recent video discusses why he doesn’t understand what the heck Top Pidcock is doing, and [...]

I hate man made XC racing tracks. There. I said it.

June 20, 2024|News|

I don’t fully understand why they keep making XC mountain bike tracks so “difficult” for the world cup. The latest new course, Crans Montana in Switzerland has many man made giant rock features, wood bridges, even a dual skinny wood ledge thing that looks ridiculous. It’s going the same way as BMX tracks did. When I raced bmx, the tracks were built with all dirt, with jumps and berms you could pedal over if you wanted to, and starting hills that as a parent, you’d be fine letting [...]

New Chisel FS is the coolest XC bike in years

June 18, 2024|News|

Wow, didn’t see this coming. There are still plenty of full suspension mountain bikes made in aluminum. The problem is they are usually the lowest, heaviest in the range, or downhill grade monster bikes. Very few if anything in between for us XC types. There are reasons to want a truly lightweight aluminum, read, non-carbon bike frame. They are usually cheaper, they should be anyway, I’d say more durable, and could likely last a lifetime with no worries about fatigue to the carbon or cracks hiding beneath paint. [...]

Val Di Sole World Cup – one boring, one not

June 17, 2024|News|

Wow, Nino got number 36. I won’t bore you with the details, go watch it, or at least the highlights videos if you can. Nino lost only to the mighty Pidcock at the last race. He looked very, very solid. So I was assuming he’d do well this weekend too without Pidcock being present. He pulled a PFP and took off early and didn’t slow down until he won. The womens race was quite boring I’d say. PFP took off, and everyone lined up behind her and it [...]

Sam Gaze has come a long way!

June 14, 2024|News|

No spoilers from todays XCC races at Val Di Sole, but the interview after the mens race was awesome. Sam Gaze was featured, and if anyone remembers how this guy sounded and acted 5-6 years ago when he first broke on the scene, you’d be happy I think. He beat Nino in a famous sprint, at a time when NO one could beat Nino it seemed. Here comes Gaze, with a perfect build for power, and won. But his attitude, outbursts, and whatnot seemed to overshadow his talent [...]

All mtb sunglasses should be like this

June 13, 2024|News|

There, I said it. Photochromatic lenses that go from clear to tinted are the best for most typical forms of off road biking. Unless you are on gravel type roads or on double track with no shade that is. But for the type of riding I do in the upper midwest, they really are superior. I have many pairs of Oakley glasses, even a few very expensive prescription glasses. And when you are coming in and out of the woods as most races I attend, having clear lenses [...]

New Scott Spark with Flight Attendant

June 12, 2024|News|

Ever since I tried for a year to replace my rear shock, this being on a 2016 Trek Top Fuel 9.8, I realized what a nightmare it can be. The model year 2016 was the only one that had the Monarch and Sid XX system using Xloc – the lockouts on both shocks are hydraulic, just like the Reverb dropper post. So two hydraulic cables go to each shock. Honestly, I love how that works. The large button onder my left grip triggers the lockouts with very little, [...]

A solution to weird feet?

June 11, 2024|News|

For all of us out there that have one or two weird things about their feet, this new company might be just the ticket. 3D printed shoes? Perfectly fit to your individual feet. Sign me up!I have yet to find a truly all day comfortable mtb shoe. I was a SIDI believer (the cheap model with 3 velcro straps only) for years and years. Then magically, the shoes were too small. Did my feet grow that much? Apparently so. So I began looking for something else. All the [...]

PFP is gone…

June 10, 2024|News|

I have a love/hate relationship as a fan, with Pauline Ferrand Prevot. I love how she is all business. Train on her own, pick just the races she wants to win, and usually shows up and does just that. She’s never cared about the overall World Cup for some reason. I find this odd actually. She clearly likes to collect titles and championships. So why not grab at least one overall World Cup title to go along with the others? The key for the overall is clearly being [...]