Categories ArchivesOpinions on all things Bikes

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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What Season? Hunting Season! standard

Every year, with the coming of fall I’m looking to the state’s resources on when one particular season starts: Hunting Season. And we’ve got our fair share of seasons up here in the Great State of New Hampshire. It runs the gamut with Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, but then there’s those pesky intermediate seasons like Black Fly Season. Or Mosquito Season. Or Horsefly Season. Or Mud Season. Grilling Season. And of Scotch Season! But each state has outlined on their Fish and Game website’s when Hunting Season starts and stops and of course there are different layers of what kinds of game and “artillery” us Mountain Bikers’ need to be aware of when in the woods. And I think ...

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WTB Riddler TCS 45mm // First Impressions standard

WTB Riddler TCS 45mm Tire // The big question? How’s it compare to the WTB Nano TCS 40mm! Back in March of 2014, I received an invite from Wilderness Trail Bikes to test out a pair of their newly reintroduced WTB Nano tires in a 40mm profile. I was excited to say the least. Not only was I excited but I also gained a friend and eventually a client on the other end in return. My first 29er I built sported WTB Exi Wolves 2.3’s and the very first Huntsman was more of a monster cross type set up running WTB Nano’s in a 1.8″ profile. I always loved how the Nano’s spun and dug into loose dirt roads and ...

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Tested // Marauder + WTB KOM i29 standard

Back in 2006, I purchased my first 29er wheel set and frame (a Surly Karate Monkey). The wheels were a pair of Salsa 29er Delgado’s laced to a set of DT Swiss 240’s which had a width of somewhere in the 30mm range. What I loved about these rims was their width was a touch wider and that really helped to spread the tire casing to give you overall a really different ride quality. Shortly after this, Salsa introduced their Gordo 29er rim which had a 35mm width. I built a second set of wheels using the Gordo’s laced to another set of DT Swiss 240’s and given that extra width, the ride quality was even more comfortable. What I ...

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WELL TESTED : 7Mesh Glidepath Mountain Bike Shorts standard

I recently ordered my second pair of 7Mesh Inc’s Glidepath shorts. I was so impressed with my first pair I ordered last year, I decided I had to have another since they were always in the wash! I can’t speak highly enough about this piece of kit but first a little back story about how I came to be wearing these shorts… I got my first mountain bike around 1989 or 1990. I saved up for a good summer and then some… Mowing my fair share of lawns and shoveling my fair share of walkways. Ironically I still didn’t have enough. My Dad being the good Dad that he is on the way over to T-Town cycles said: “Kris, if ...

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Wheel Summary standard

So this is the first 27.5 “Plus” bike out the door of 44HQ.  Really pleased with how this one turned out and I think it’s a high time to give you the cliff notes version on wheel size… If you’re not “hep” to what a Plus sized bike is, here’s the intel you need to know. The mountain bike wheel size was based on a 26″ wheel because that’s what the early pioneers had access to: Lot’s of Schwinn cruisers which had 26″ wheels. However the 26″ wheel has one bad feature: That small wheel size needs constant pedaling to keep it going. Any amount of obstacle sucks the momentum out of it. Early on, a few were playing with the ...

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