44HQ Tactical Field Manual

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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Just Ride standard

Over the years I’ve heard stories, read comments or caught a whiff of something to do with what kind of gear or bike people are riding. This vs that. You “need” this. You “can’t” have that… Luckily I’ve some how dodged this proverbial bullet on any of my own rides. I do get questioned or rather grilled at trade shows about my own bikes and how they’re put together along with what components I’m spec’ing and why. But of late, the frequency of these tall tales and commentary seems to be intensifying. I’m not sure what the cause is. Perhaps it’s because we do enjoy a lot of technological advances in the cycling industry just within the past decade let ...

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Community standard

It’s taken me a bit of time to digest this one. I caught a whiff of this as it was unfolding. This article is a really good short from my pal Selene Yeager at my old Alma Mater of Internshippery Bicycling Mag. Give it a read and take pause. If I may expand a bit, let’s take this quote as a spring board: “We’re just an irreverent group of dudes who thought it was funny and we wanted to get some traffic.” And there in lies the biggest problem. Let me break it down for anyone who just doesn’t get what all the “to-do” is about: If you own a business, you represent not only yourself, but an ethos and ...

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Huntsman Ti standard

Late this summer and into early fall, I completed my first pair of Titanium prototypes. One Marauder SS and one Huntsman 1×11. I actually finished the Huntsman first but forged on as my excitement built around my first titanium mountain bike… After all, I am a mountain biker at heart. Well, that left the Huntsman to be faced and chased at a later date. I had some time on my hands between some builds these past few weeks so I chased the bottom bracket one week along with a pair of client builds and then reamed the head tube on a separate weekend morning when I had some time. Then came the job of reaming the seat tube, which I ...

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Procedure standard

PROCEDURE: A series of steps followed in a regular definite order. Synonyms include: Course of action, plan of action, action plan, policy, series of steps, method, system, strategy, way, approach, formula, mechanism, methodology, modus operandi, MO, technique; routine, drill, practice, operation. Editors Note: I particularly like “Plan of Action” as it implies that, in this case a fabricator, must set out a path towards an end goal which requires trial and error, all executed by definitive action. There is no idleness in procedure; only one of industriousness, critical thought, and creativity to achieve improved result to solve a problem.

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Weather standard

I know a lot of you have been experiencing the same odd weather as we have here in New England. This winter has been exceptional in the sense that temperature swings have been quite dramatic. So much so I could wear shorts one afternoon and then be ensconced with goretex and layers of insulation the next. I’m talking 65° and sunny on a Monday and 5° and bone chilling on Tuesday. Needless to say it’s been tough riding this past winter. We’ll get really great snow but followed by rain or freezing rain the next which essentially throws that days enjoyment out the window. We did get a streak there in January and into early February where it was consistent ...

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Oranged 27 Plus standard

So it appears that Plus sized bikes have finally worked their way east into the collective conscience of my client base. A good majority of my clients call home here on the east coast. A good majority also hail from the mid-west too and if I were to take a guess, that’s where the majority of Huntsman builds have accumulated. But with Plus comes the advantage of traction, control, improved cornering capabilities, and ride quality all packed into a wheel size that’s just a bit under the diameter of a 29″ wheel. So that also makes it a really interesting wheel size that fits a lot of different rider heights. A lot of my clients here on the east coast ...

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A time to get political… standard

Like many of you, I’m a fierce advocate of conservation and preservation of our natural world. I volunteer a lot of my time and expertise to local conservation efforts and projects right here in my little corner of New Hampshire. It’s something small I do and I help where I can on a local level. But recent actions south of New Hampshire have been giving me pause as of late, and one such issue is public lands. If the locations which host our trails and more importantly our remaining open space are not maintained and preserved for future generations in perpetuity, we will lose access to that which we all hold so dear. I’ve been struggling to put into words, ...

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What I See standard

Occasionally, I take a picture of what I see. Not what it is that I happen to be working on, but what I “see”. A lot of what I see is often looking past the surface. And that gets at the type of work I do. It’s the type of work that requires you to listen with all of your senses. It’s the type of work where reliance on intuitive motion is essential. But it’s also one which requires a foundation of skills and a foundation of movement achieved through patience of time and dedication. It’s an immersion of your faculties. That type of motion where tool and muscle mate as one to an end purpose. A union of coexistence ...

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2016 in Review standard

2016 has had plenty of hills to climb. Reviewing my Flickr archive, which is pretty much where I catalog all of my work at length in addition to the words written here, there’s been a lot of great bikes that rolled out the door, an enormous investment in time and machining in making new tooling and most likely my favorite side project: Titanium. Overall I’d say that material has been incredibly rewarding as it’s been putting all my skills to the test and when I’m learning something new, I’m feeling the most fulfilled. It’s great to challenge your own process, problem solve and improve upon your own skill set. We had scheduled some bikepacking trips in between July and August ...

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