44HQ Tactical Field Manual

Huntsman SuperTrail Prototype standard

When we first moved to NH in 2006, it became quite obvious to me given the giant cache of dirt roads right from the shop doors that a skinny tire road bike just wasn’t going to cut it when it came to my local terrain.  In response, the Huntsman was born.  Ironically, that first Huntsman had room for big tires.  As my road riding style and preference of terrain progressed year to year, so did the trends and availability of appropriate parts.  These days, what is available for us to play with is quite amazing.  The result has been a standard Huntsman build that typically has room for 40mm tires, 1x or 2x drivetrain option and 2-3 water bottles.  Pretty ...

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Laywire 101 standard

Back in 1995, when I was a Sophomore at Penn State University, I was across the street from the Jewelery Departments studio spaces in the Arts and Architecture building’s shop space. Well outfitted woodshop dovetailed to a metal shop. Over on the metal shop side, I noticed a big Miller TIG Welder. When we all were given instruction on the various machines to use on our own, the tech at the time said he’d be happy to show any of us anything that was not covered. I immediately requested lessons on the TIG welder. Naturally, the rule was I had to first learn how to arc weld, which I already had some experience from 7th Grade metal shop… yes, you ...

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Tack Sequence standard

Over the years I’ve been asked about my weld sequence.  I’ve been asked it enough times and I’ve written it enough times that I think it’s about time I make it permanent here, in ink, on the 44HQ Blog.  Apologies for the radio silence for some time.  With all that’s been going on, I’ve honestly not been in the mood to do much writing.  Building and riding have been what my focus has been but I think it’s time to start writing again.  I’ve got lots to share and I haven’t not been thinking of writing.  But I digress.  Let’s roll up those sleeves and get into it! You won’t find much of anything online about this sort of stuff. ...

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1UP Quik Rack in Review standard

The first rack I ever had was a Yakima roof rack. Mounted up on my old aqua Honda Accord! (Also my first car…) You know the kind: Trays, towers, clips to adapt to your car. I was working at Nestor’s Full Cycle bike shop in 1998-99 in Quakertown, PA. Every year, they had their annual swap meet where they’d sell leftovers and such from the previous season. They allowed employees to sell their ski/snowboard gear during the weekend. Conditions in PA were getting atrocious during the winters and I decided it was time to let go of my Ride board, bindings, and boots along with all my gear. Thing is, Nestor’s then allowed you to use those sales for in-store ...

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Marauder Ti UTE standard

As a kid, I was a Boyscout. I was a member of East Greenville Troop 108 and my friends and I in the Apache Patrol raised hell every month on our troop hikes and campouts. You see, our troop was a bit special in the fact that we had a very dedicated scoutmaster, Karl “Moose” Winsch and his assistant scoutmasters were equally dedicated. What made our troop special was we had a log cabin and several Adirondacks (aka lean-to’s) deep in the woods just outside of my home town of East Greenville, PA. And every month, we’d have some sort of thing planned for a weekend that started on a Friday evening and went through till Sunday morning. Some times, ...

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PNW Components Dropper in Review standard

Early in the Fall of 2018, one of the founders from PNW Components reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their dropper posts and their Loam Lever. Sounded like a fun project so after a few questions I settled on their Bachelor Dropper in 150mm of drop and 30.9mm compatible post. The post arrived just in time for the real cold here in NH to settle and the first snow to hit. The wait was on for snow-free trails. Fast forward to Spring 2019 and the trails were dry and that meant rolling up my sleeves on this PNW Bachelor Dropper. After a good solid 3 months of use, I’m ready to give ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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