44HQ Tactical Field Manual

Dropper Tech: Internal vs External standard

Here’s a question I’ve been getting a lot recently as more and more clients spec droppers with their mountain bike builds: Why no internal routing? Some builds will have internal routing while others will have external routing. No one ever asks me about this though: So how tough was it to set up that internally routed dropper? But when it comes to that cable running up the back of the post? Man, I get a lot of questions why. The reasons are actually pretty simple and logically straight forward. So let’s take some time to talk about it. Let’s first start with internally routed dropper posts. I’ll use Thomson’s Covert dropper as an example as that is the dropper (no ...

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SUPERBOOST standard

Earlier in the year I put together a post just after completing the next iteration of the Marauder in a titanium prototype. You can read that post here. What is special about this bike is I used the pre-existing 157mm TA standard paired with an 83mm shell width. This is technically an existing DH standard which Pivot tweaked by adjusting the flange spacing of the non-drive side to move it outboard a bit more to stiffen up the rear wheel build and subsequently re-marketing it as “Superboost”. Which I think took some by surprise as a “new” standard. It’s quite the contrary. And when paired with that 83mm shell width (another existing standard) you get perfect chain line and a ...

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Tubeless Repair standard

Every once in a while, I’ve err’d in my line choice resulting in a good hard rock strike. And every once in a while, POW… I’ve punctured one of my tubeless tires. Some will seal right up by rotating the tire to the lowest point and allowing the remaining tubeless sealant to work it’s magic. But every now and again, the hole is just too big for the sealant to work. If it’s early in the ride I’ll unseat one side of the tire, install a tube, inflate (and many times I can’t get the tire to reseat which is fine) and get back home so I don’t do any damage to the rim so I can patch the tire ...

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How NOT to Cook a Corner standard

When I first started mountain biking in 1989, I was continually scouring for information on “how-to’s”. How could I climb better? How could I corner better? How could I tackle tech better? Magazines were THE source for all that intel since it wasn’t like East Greenville, PA was the mountain bike mecca of the world and there were experienced riders I could rub elbows with for beginner riding techniques. So I’d read up on the latest article I scored and then head to the trail to practice sections on my ride. One of those things I learned early on and honed was how to corner. It seems easy enough. But layer in some tech and there’s some points you really ...

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Number 88 standard

Each year I do a bit of volunteer work locally to give back in some way to the cycling community. I’ve been helping out with simple stuff with the Hampshire 100 / H100 (Registration & Sweeping courses) as well as helping with the Rose Mountain Rumble / RM,R which is a fundraiser for local conservation efforts through cycling. With the switch of race direction to Crotched Mountain for the former H100, I was able to offer up more help so they put me in charge of organizing all the sweeps this year for the Crotched Mountain Hundred / CM100 and putting together a plan to solve issues that have popped up in the past for the H100. Mostly that sweeps ...

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Lyme Literate standard

Somewhere in 2012, I contracted two lyme co-infections. However, I did not get any of the known initial tell tale symptoms: Bullseye rash or high fever to name two. If I was bitten by a tick, I did not catch it in my usual tick-check post ride. I pull so many ticks off myself throughout the summer season and happen to live in one of the most heavily infect states let along counties (Hillsborough county show up as something like 80% of ticks tested being carriers of one or all of the tick-born illnesses). The routine is part of my regiment: Check legs post ride. Strip down buck naked and do another check. Hop in the shower and hose down. ...

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Let’s Talk About PLUS standard

One of the challenges I faced with this build was accommodating two separate wheel sizes and tire sizes. Some have asked me why I chose the DH standard of 157 Superboost for a hardtail. Well, this should help to explain where I’m headed. That’s not to say all hardtail’s from here on out will sport this standard, but there’s a strong reason why you would choose this over Boost 148 or 12×142 with a 73mm bottom bracket shell width. It’s unfortunate that another standard was created in 148 as the existing 150 / 157mm standard was pre-existing and when paired with an 83mm shell width, the chain line is exceptionally good. And with these two existing standards you literally and ...

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Into the Weeds with the Marauder Ti standard

So upon getting home from the maiden voyage on the new Marauder prototype, I sprang into action. There were a few small things I needed to take care of… immediately. First and foremost was the tires. I was not feeling my choice which up until that first ride I was excited about. Second was an issue that was a first for me which was some backpedaling derailment via the XT M8000 drivetrain. Third was a simple change in saddle height. Fourth was setting up the fork properly and dialing in all the settings. Last but not least was then to take the bike out for a good long ride in mixed terrain to see how she performed. Let’s get into ...

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Marauder TI Build Check standard

I took this past week to put my nose to the grindstone and finish this second titanium mountain bike prototype. By Thursday at 10pm the frame was finished and Friday afternoon the bike was built up. I have been wanting to try out Shimano’s XT M8000 so I had been sitting on a whole XT M8000 drivetrain for a few months in preparation for this build. The big differences from the first prototype were more to do with process and approach. I had tweaked how I was making chain stays a bit more getting bends in just the right spots but I also wanted to use the DH standard of 83mm bb shell width coupled with the 12x157mm TA rear ...

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Wolftooth Remote Light in Review standard

Early in 2016 I had built a new Marauder prototype for myself that ran gears and had an option for single speed. Mixed in there, I also wanted to give a dropper a try as well since I had finally been able to offer 34.9mm seat tubes for 30.9mm seat posts/droppers. This is something I had been working towards and refining for a while so with that next prototype, I definitely wanted to allow myself for a few different set up options to test out additional platforms. After speaking with friends and clients everyone pointed me towards Thomson as the choice for a dropper. Droppers have refined over the years, but Thomson’s Elite dropper was tried and true: It just ...

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