44HQ Tactical Field Manual

Trespassing standard

I’m sure we’ve all had our brushes with the law.  A recent article I read about a bikepacking trip in California left me scratching my head a bit.  I get it: Sometimes, you get to where you’re going and are met by a gate with a NO TRESPASSING sign. You’re out in the middle of nowhere. No one in sight. To go around this may be completely unreasonable. So you’ve got act now and request forgiveness later. Whether you simply just don’t agree with the law or you think it’s BS that a landowner has restricted access is immaterial. Most times, if you are caught, being respectful, explaining your situation and requesting permission after the fact is AOK.  Until it isn’t and you’re ...

Continue Reading

Terrene Johnny 5 & Wazia 4.6 First Impressions standard

Over the past 3 winter seasons, the weather here in NH has been getting more and more unpredictable. We’ll have drastic temperature swings overnight. Snow will turn to rain, then to freezing rain and back to snow. Huge melts which leaves terrain coated with ice. Then snow. Then rain, etc. Basically, our winters have been tough to get consistent riding conditions on a fat bike. I’ve been jonesing for a set of studded tires because of this trend. But what I’ve come to find in my neck of the woods is our local trails don’t get ridden all that much during the winter. Often times, I’m laying first tracks and breaking trail. We have plenty of snowshoers and hikers, but ...

Continue Reading

Marauder Ti FAT standard

Every year I try and build a new prototype to test new geometry out on the trail and try out new set up tweaks. This past season, I built a new mountain bike that totally had my mountain bike world turned on its head. I immediately went back to the drawing board and slugged it out in the heat of July, being forced to weld late into the night due to the high heat. But the result was what I’ve come to call “44WRD” geometry. From that new pair of bikes (I built one in steel and another in Titanium for a total of 4 prototypes this past summer) it got me to thinking a bit about how some of ...

Continue Reading

The Big Six! standard

I’m going to begin a new series of long overdue posts which will contain as historically accurate information about the Upper Perkiomen Valley and the three towns that were the stomping grounds of my youth: East Greenville, Pennsburg, and Red Hill. These will be categorized in a new group of posts called the Upper Perkiomen Valley. Anyone who is interested can click to the right on that category and sort all the articles. I’ll intermingle these with my usual bikes and builds and reviews but there’s so much history that I know and my father relays to me (and his father to him) about my hometown in Pa, I can’t NOT sit on it and not share it with all ...

Continue Reading

In Review: Maxxis 27.5 Rekon and Ikon 2.8 standard

Over the years, I get a recurring question: “Hey Kris, what are your thoughts about XXX tire?” One of those tires that keeps popping up is the Maxxis Ikon. I don’t know why so many keep asking me about this tire, but when it came time to choose tires for a new prototype earlier this spring, I decided to pair a Maxxis Rekon 2.8 up front with a 2.8 Ikon out back. I’d ridden an Ikon in a 29×2.3 paired with an Ardent 2.4 up front a while back but after a summer of riding, I swapped back to my trusted WTB’s. One thing that stood out with that pairing was the sidewall’s abrasion resistance. So with this new bike, ...

Continue Reading

Fruits of Labor standard

This past winter, I decided to build a new Marauder prototype to try out a few new to me concepts. Most important of these concepts was a short stem/long top tube with a slack front end. I was curious about what effect wheelbase played when it came to handling. During that same time span, I also had planned out a 3rd Marauder prototype in Titanium. Not much in terms of change in that bike but more of a refinement in how I was building with Titanium. Both of those frames were finished up early in the spring of 2018. I wound up building the steel Marauder, which had the longer/slacker concept applied to it first and it completely turned everything ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!