44HQ Tactical Field Manual

25 Years of Going Forward standard

It was 1985 or 1986 and my best bud and I were headed to the Upper Perk Pool to play a little session of Home-Run-Derby followed by a dip in the pool. However, we had to head to Kuhn’s Drug Store before heading to the little league diamond. We needed some big league chew as our stocks were low. Kuhn’s was an old drug store with a set of large glass display windows with a set of steps inside that led you up and into the store. There was an old soda fountain and bar to your left, drug store in the back and magazine rack to the right. Old exposed wooden floors creaked with every step. The bell rung ...

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Ovaltined standard

So here we go! Old technology is new again. Or is it rather Deja Vu all over again? It seems this is a theme when it comes to the world of cycling parts and technology. Every once in a while something comes back. Take flat mount for example or… more apropos, oval chainrings. Biopace anyone? If you’re a product of the 1990’s mountain bike craze like I am, then you know these suckers all too well. My first mountain bike had these things on them. I wore them down to points none the wiser for their apparent knee damage inducing pedal strokes. But today’s oval rings are definitively NOT what Biopace was technologically speaking. They’re quite different. A recent client ...

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Creaks standard

Any cyclist can attest to that nagging noise that develops over the course of a season of hard use. I’m no stranger to this oft times head scratcher. Sometimes the problem is quite clear. Diagnosis is quick. The repair a minor bump in ones time spent. However, there will be the occasional creak, crick or groan that develops over the course of a ride that requires a bit a more judicious approach. These are the kinds of noises that can drive you mad. For me, I’ve had quite a few noises over the course of my riding career. The past 4 rides proved to be one of these cases! It goes back a week or two. A client had picked ...

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It’s Spring and that has me thinking of Track Days standard

Every spring, without fail, that crisp air and clear blue skies and the smell of fresh cut grass instantly transport’s me back in time to afternoons spent on the Upper Perkiomen High School’s track.  For a passing moment, I’m struck by how my senses are alerted and my mind is filled with memories from days past out on that old cinder track.  Back then, this was a time for me to stay fit and gain speed for when Fall arrived and Football season was in full swing.  When I was a young tike, and I was at my grandparents house in Red Hill, PA, there were often tall tales of sports at the dinner table as my Grandfather recalled his ...

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Prototype Season 2018 standard

It’s that time of year again when I take all of last seasons observations and time out on the trail and funnel those experience into the next round of prototypes. I have one steel build planned as well as 2-3 Titanium mountain bike prototypes planned. Why so many? Well, I’d like to try a few subtle changes out mostly fiddling with some drivetrain and dropout spacing but also fiddle with wheelbase a bit. I feel as though I’ve pushed the geometry to a point where I know the working range of what performs in different terrains pretty well but now I’d like to make subtle adjustments to other details to see how those affect the geometry decisions if they are ...

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In Review: Thomson Elite External Dropper standard

So I’ve spent enough time with my Thomson Elite Dropper to give everyone that is reading this a solid opinion. In one word, reliable comes to mind. It just plain works every single time I’m out on a ride. There’s no play in the head. It doesn’t click or creak. Action is smooth and responsive. It goes all the way down. It goes all the way up with a nice audible “snap”. And it goes anywhere in between. Let me expand a bit more below. When droppers first hit the scene, none of my bikes were A. capable of running a dropper cable routing wise and B. no one built a 27.2mm version. Fast forward to about 2015 or 2016 ...

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Freshly Minted Marauder standard

Just finished up a build yesterday for a client across the pond. This one’s coated in Prismatic’s “China Mint” powder coat. Parts spec includes Sram Eagle XX1, Shimano XT M8000 Brakes, Thomson bars, stem and dropper, WTB Saddle, Maxxis tires (Rekon front / Ikon Rear / 2.8’s), White Industries cranks, bottom bracket and headset, Fox 34 Float, and wheels laced by Southern Wheelworks with Nox Kitsuma’s and I9 Torch Classics. Speaking of White Industries, these M30 cranks are something else! This is the second set I’ve had a chance to work with and they’re growing on me. Very similar in design to Race Face’s Cinch system. The pre-load mechanism is all alloy which is a nice touch (RF’s used to ...

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Mountain Bikes of 2017 standard

So 2017 has come and gone.  Typically I get a lot of requests for Huntsman’s.  I heart is really in mountain biking and whenever a mountain bike comes into the list next…  I can’t say that I do not get a bit more excited.  Seems word got out in 2017 and I actually made 3 times more mountain bikes than I did road bikes!  That’s pretty exciting I have to say.  I love every bike I build but like I said above, I can’t help but get just a bit more excited when those wheels will be touching single track.  Let’s take a closer look at some of these trail beasts! First up is this frame set which is ironically ...

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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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