Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Roughly 2 weeks...

2 words.

Twenty one.

Remember when I was saying I really hope that 11-speed never makes it's way onto mountain bikes?Well,leave it to the giant red umbrella of shit that is the Sram corp.and all of it's split offs to make quick work of that happening.Once again,TEAM DUMPED! presents to you,"We talk shit on what's in this article."

Why a single ring?-Pinkbike goes in depth about why running a single ring up front is scary to most people,mainly saying that not having a "bailout" gear frightens the general mountain bike homer.Same with not having a similar gear ratio of a double or triple ring up front and a 11-36 out back.Now,in my personal experience with a single ring set up i've found that the now standard 10-speed 11-36 cassette paired with a 32 to 36 tooth chainring gives you plenty of fucking gears to choose from.Sure,32-11 might not be the best for pinning it down the good parts of a trail,but most people who need a 32-36 for climbing aren't going to be wide open on the rough stuff all the way back down,anyway.A person of average fitness can push the 1 to 1 gear ratio of a 36-36 on the climbs,most of those people will also be taking a few stabs at the pedals whilst on a downward slope.So the 36-11 of which most world cup DH racers are running as their highest gear,is plenty.Pinkbike then goes on to say some shit about how this will make 29er's even better and how they're gonna take over the world with their mighty wheel size and ability to make first time riders into UCI race destroyers.

11 speed cassette.-So Sram being Sram they won't give out the actual spread of this revolutionary cassette,luckily Pinkbike was on the case and decided to say it's more than likely going to be a 10-42 spread with some quick math and the general uneducated guess that since all full suspension bikes are based around a 32 tooth ring,that it has to be that size.All I know is judging by the picture of Mr.French Enduro guy's bike,and using a bit of Pinkbike math by guessing that since it's a Cannondale Jekyll,which come stock with a 185mm rear post mount brake adapter,and comparing the cassette to the size of that brake rotor the largest cog size is way too fucking big and ugly.Also,sorry Pinkbike but the 10-speed chain probably won't fit and Sram will produce a XX1 11 speed chain just so bike shops will have to carry a $100+ chain that lasts for 300 miles so they can keep that one rich dude who's kind of a dickface and has a always spotless carbon Nomad with Crankbrother wheels happy.

New rear derailleur.-Here's the jist of what I got from reading that.You stole Shimano's clutch design,added an Avid roll-a-majig,and moved the cable anchor bolt back to where it should be and called it XX1.Fucking A+ to you,Sram.

Modified chain ring teeth.-While they don't tell you much,it appears as though they just deepened the valleys in between each tooth and added a little weird notch on the top of each one,too.Will it keep the chain on?Fuck no,not as long as there isn't an E13 LG1+ near the chainring.

None of this will matter anyway,nobody will actually get to ride it long enough to find out if any of what i'm saying is true because their bike will probably be hung in the rafters of my bike shop waiting on a replacement roll-a-majig piece or warranty XX trail brakes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No man's land.

I'm in a pickle.
Currently,nobody makes a trailbike frame that ticks every single little box on my list.I was riding,and do still own a fully custom Ventana frame that fucking damn near filled all those boxes.65 degree headtube with a 160mm fork,13'' BB height,17'' chainstays,23.5'' top tube and a somewhat pedalable 72 degree seattube.The only problem with said frame is that fact it pedals like dogshit,has a "big can" RP23 out back which makes quick work of the 6.5'' of travel,and the fact it has over 6'' of travel.I simply do not need anything over 5'' for where I live and how I like to ride.With that thought in mind and lots of time spent riding my hardtail,I decided to make the somewhat expensive leap into what those limey folk over the pond call a "hardcore hardtail".I snatched up a Ragley Bagger.Strikingly similar geometry to my beloved Ventana,but with only the slight flex of quality Reynolds steel to soften the blows out back.I've only got about 25 miles of ride time on the fucker,but her and my brain are currently entangled in a love/hate relationship.I fucking love being able to stand up and climb hills not having to give one care to my suspension eating copious amounts of the power i'm putting down.I love the fact I can pump the shit out of every little bump,dip,and roller on the trail.And I fucking love how it feels overall,buuuuuut,I can not for the life of me hang onto a line when shit starts getting rough.Most of you are going "well,fucking duh,you're on a hardtail."It's not that,because I can ride the same shit on my little 4x hardtail and be just fucking dandy.It feels like it has something to do with having an 18.25'' seat tube and a 160mm fork.I feel kinda high up.The front end is raked out there to all hell and the BB is low-ish,but I can't help but feel like my center of gravity is off.I'm not planted enough to make the bike do what I wanna do.Then there's cornering.I have nothing to push aginst,and under banger corners my effective headtube angle is like 70 and all my weight is sent forwards due to most,if not all of my 160mm being eaten up.The rear end becomes unweighted,I blow the turn,and end up nearly ball riding my top tube.This one's a weird one,she is.

All I want is a short travel(4 to 5''),slack,low,long and somewhat light bike.All with a top tube and seat tube length I can pedal.I soon hope to be on a third hand Specialized Stumpy Evo from 2011,set up with a 160mm fork and i'm wondering if it may be the closest answer to my hopes.Only time and what Specialized has left in scratch and dent frames will tell.To be continued...

Cassette crazy.

Campy started it a few years ago.There were spy shots of Sram doing it,too.Same goes with Shimano.There's special $600 chain breakers for it.Specific chain rings.Now theres even new freehub body standards and hub dimensions for it.What i'm talking about is 11 speed.

Now,I got into riding bikes with gears when 8 speed was still quite prevalent.You could easily pick up an 8 speed Dura Ace chain,XT shifters,XTR cassette,and if you prefered,a Sram X.7 8sp group.Chains were wide and stong,you could still gear your mountain bike down low enough to climb a fucking wall,and shifting rarely came out of adjustment and felt very mechanical.I really loved 8sp.I had the ultimate 8sp DH drivechain back then.XT shifter,Dura Ace 11-23 cassette,Dura Ace chain,and a short cage Dura Ace derailer.All kept in control by a 40(might have been 42)tooth Azonic chain ring sandwhiched in a MRP System 2.Shortly there after,8sp anything was scarce to find.Even scarcer than scarce if you wanted something high end.Everyone jumped to 9 speed.Shimano redesigned all their lines of product essentially ruining everything they produced by making it shift like a sideway STI shifter and rapidly rise up the cassette.Sram took hold and stayed king of the trigger style shifer for a bit.As did 9sp as a whole.Both companies stayed with 9 cogs on thie cassettes,redesigning their groups around that a few times over.While mountain stayed 9sp,Road went 10.Dura Ace,Ultegra and most of Campy's groups went 10.

Road was 10 and mountain was 9 and that's how it was.Untill Sram pulled the curtain off their utterly shit XX 10 speed mountain drivechain.Every other Sram group went 10,all the way down to X.5.Shimano followed suit and released XTR in 2 different forms,Trail and Race,both 10sp.XT and SLX 10sp was quick to follow.Shimano's 10sp mountain stuff is rapidly beating the shit out of it's 9sp brother with it's newly changed cable pull ratio,specially profiled cassettes and chains,not to mention the whole "+" thing.Here were are today,and the next big thing is 11 speed to be the road standard.Why? So roadies have another cog on their cassette so they can keep up that perfect cadance and heart rate to beat the top time on that one Strava segment?I give an enthusiastic "fuck that!".I just hope my little world of mountain bikes doesn't take hold and never let go.I don't want narrower chains,more delicate teeth on my cassette,and more gears to keep adjusted.All that and more for just one more cog?

My dream drivechain?We go back to 8sp cassettes and chains,but profile with cassette cogs and chain link plates ala Dyna Sys.Keep the shape and ergonomics of current XTR shifters,but ditch the index finger shiftability(honestly,who the fuck still shifts like that?)and the much hated by me double down click.Also,make the actual feel of pushing on the shifter paddles like XO,and use the cable pull ratio of Dyna Sys.Kill the front derailer,half guides,and any dual ring full guides.Offer only full guides that don't use a crank mounted bash ring,actually kill off anything that isn't an LG1+.Rear derailer duties would be handeled by a medium or short cage with a prety light spring tension and a "+" style clutch.There's no need for suuuuper high spring tension anymore,so why not make up shifts really fucking light action and let that wonderful little clutch keep the derailer and chain from trying to eat through your chainstay in one ride?And there you have it.Quiet,simple,and durable.

Oh,and just so you all know.I'll be blowing my whole bank account on all the new high zoot 10 speed Saint shit the second it hits QBP.So i'm a big hypocrite and will continue to eat anything Shimano force feeds me because it's so fucking good.