RECENT HEAT: So Brian’s Marauder came together after a slight delay on one last part from the good folks at Shimano. Some times things come together nice and smoothly. Some times things take a bit more time with a delay on a part. But they always are worth the wait! But let’s be frank… I love me some curves in my mountain bikes. However, nothing beats a straight up New England Hardtail. Traditional diamond. Low slung top tube. Some modern touches like disc brakes, 12x142mm TA and a robust 34mm fork. I recently “upgraded” from my now measly 32mm Fox 120mm travel Talas to a Fox 34 FIT4 Float. You point my bike and it plows through lines now. Odd what 2mm of stanchion girth can do. Yes a slight weight penalty but completely overshadowed by the added stiffness and sure footed performance gain. Brian’s Marauder sports a 34 and those stock decals are a near perfect hook up with the orange powder. (And I do love this orange powder I’ve been using on a few recent builds!) Details include a full Shimano XT M8000 1×11 drivetrain (30t x 11-42t), Thomson Dropper and 90mm stem, Industry 9’s new Trail S wheel set, WTB Trail Boss for rubber, ODI Lock-on VANS Grips! and of course ENVE’s wide riser bar. Race Face Cinch and Wolftooth Drop-stoppery for chainring retention. And let’s not forget Cane Creek’s formidable 110 head set. Listen kids. If you’re not running Cane Creek. You’re not mountain biking. You heard it here first. The King is dead ATMO. Let’s get in close: And a little peek at that drivetrain and Paragon Machine Works direct mount hanger: I really need to get a better light set up. Either that or invest in a set of hoods instead of umbrella’s but as you can see, there’s some hot spots. I’ve been meaning to try some white foam core reflectors on the ground to see if I can bounce some light to even things out a bit. Next time! But here’s the party end (business is always up front): Till next time, enjoy and keep shredding!