44HQ Tactical Field Manual

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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Not just ANY Old Merlin standard

Back in 1999, I was between a few things. Working at a bike shop in Quakertown, PA and had just sent out my application to the design school RISD, when I bumped into the then Design Director at Bicycling Magazine Chris Neyen while on a day off mountain biking in Emmaus, PA on South Mountain in Rodale Press’s back yard. We got to talking, we arranged an interview, I got a job as an intern, and then got accepted to RISD so there were a bunch of decisions to make. Meanwhile as the internship moved along, my duties included helping Chris with Graphic Design, photo shoots, photo correction, coffee breaks and building a handful of bikes that were coming in ...

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WTB Resolute 42mm First Impressions standard

A little before WTB’s release of their new Resolute 42mm tire, I received an email one morning in my in-box to the tune of: “We want you to try these tires!” A brief run down of the 42mm tire had me intrigued so I agreed to have them send me a pair to test out. With the new Huntsman Ti Prototype just about wrapped up… it was perfect timing. Especially since I had refined the process and methodology of how I make my chain stays in Titanium! There’s a lot of nuance to how you shape and form Ti and make room for the ever growing trend of large volume tires. But I digress. With new tires and prototype in ...

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First Impressions X WTB Riddler 29 x 2.25 standard

I recently put a 1×11 drivetrain on my Marauder Ti prototype. I typically build all the Marauder prototypes for myself that can take both gears and be a single speed so I can see how different set ups work in the same terrain and riding conditions across different riding (SS vs Gears). When I built the bike, I also built up a rear wheel with an XD driver to take Sram’s X1 11 speed kit. I’m mostly getting some last minute testing in before I start work on the second Ti Marauder prototype. But with all these different set ups, I also try and see how different tires layer on performance. I’ve always been a fan of a rather large ...

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Respect the Mountain standard

I want to address trail etiquette, ethics and our collective responsibility as mountain bikers to The Mountain. I’ve ridden my fair share of single track over the years and and the more I frequent specific systems, the more I start to notice wear and tear. Some of it’s just what goes along with the territory as trail systems grow and more riders find their way to the trailhead. But other types of wear and tear is careless. I’m talking about trail widening. Cutting corners. B-lines. Etc. This kind of stuff is not acceptable. As mountain bikers we owe respect to the mountain we enjoy and we must take it upon ourselves to play steward to those trails. It all starts ...

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