Categories ArchivesOpinions on all things Bikes

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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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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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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THERMLX™ Branding Project standard

With the departure of True Temper as a U.S. supplier of bicycle tubing, many in the small niche of Bicycle Framebuilding had some concerns, including myself, as to who may fill that void. For myself, utilizing as many U.S. suppliers as possible is paramount not only for my own brand, 44 Bikes, but in a way I see it as a responsibility to support those who are committed to manufacturing right here in the USA. So when Vari-Wall stepped up to the plate with plans of producing high end tapered, seamless, air-hardening U.S. made steel tubing… I knew I not only wanted to be part of the project, I needed to be part of the project. So I reached out. ...

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Titanium : Looking Back and Towards the Path that Lies Ahead standard

So if you’ve been following along via Flickr and Instagram and reading along here via the 44HQ blog, you’ll have taken note that I’ve been working with and working towards offering Titanium as a companion material to the tried and true offerings in Steel. At first, I was hesitant to share my work and journey as I quickly began to realize that not only were potential customers really excited about the prospects about offering Titanium as a material choice but they were willing to wait until it was made available. Pretty much any time I’d share a little sneak peak at what I was up to, I’d get a lot of dialogue, questions and inbound emails asking “When is it ...

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