44HQ Tactical Field Manual

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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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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