A new series from TEAM ROBOT

The ultimate plan with the relaunch of TEAM ROBOT is to sell out, make gobs off advertising revenue, and wipe my ass with 20’s while rolling in piles of free bike parts or bathing in champagne. Obviously there are a lot of steps between here and there, but for any site the surest path to that big time advertising revenue is to consistently create new content.


The bummer is that creating new content is hard. Original ideas are time consuming and difficult to iron out, and their arrival is usually unexpected. It’s a rare person who can sit down and create on the spot. ROBOTS are no different. Herein lies the beauty of a repeatable template: You figure out a pattern that works once, and then when you need to create “new” content you just change a few details from the last article and BLAMMO! you’ve got new content. Technically speaking, these Buzzfeed articles qualify as unique content:

14 Photos Of Albert Einstein That You’ve Probably Never Seen Before

18 Photos Of Albert Einstein Being Super Chill

The titles are just different enough to be new, without requiring any actual work. I think the hardest job for Buzzfeed is deciding which photos go where: of the 18 photos of Albert Einstein being super chill, probably you haven’t seen some of them before. Similarly, it’s likely that some of the 14 photos of Albert Einstein you’ve probably never seen before also depict Albert Einstein being super chill. How do you choose where to put them? And who guards these important decisions? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Chill, and never-before-seen. Decisions, decisions.

And in that spirit we bring a new series every Wednesday: Ask TEAM ROBOT. We don’t have any actual questions from readers this week, because we don’t have any actual readers, so for this week I made up questions. With that preface:




Dear TEAM ROBOT, what rotor sizes should I run on my Giant Reign? I’m currently running Shimano M785’s with 185mm rotors front and rear. They seem fine, but my friends think I could save around 150 grams by going with smaller rotors and the new four piston XT’s. For reference, I’m 5’11”, weigh 178 pounds, and most of my local trails around Salt Lake City aren’t crazy steep.

-Dave Daverson from Ogden

Because you’re asking a stranger on the internet, I assume you already know your friends suck. I didn’t bother to look up rotor vs. caliper gram weights because, basically, who gives a shit what your brakes weigh. If I could install car brakes on my bike I would.

If you weigh more than 125 pounds you should have a 203 on the front, unless you enjoy that feeling of screaming and crying on the inside, death gripping your brakes as you slide irreversibly into the cold embrace of death, in an instant bargaining with your chosen deity while also contemplating the mysterious finality of bodily annihilation. If you’re into that sort of thing, then maybe saving a couple grams on your brakes is the way to go.

Mahatma Gandhi: a fan of 203 brake rotors and not not a fan of hate.

Let’s also acknowledge that your current brake choice is actually pretty good. 785’s are one of the better mountain bike products of all time. Cheap, reliable, powerful, and light, you could find them on everything from true XC race bikes all the way up to some of my friends’ ill-conceived downhill bikes. You could probably slap a 203 rotor on the front of your current XT’s and call it a day. If you intend to ride somewhere steeper (or better) than Park City, a 203 on the back wouldn’t hurt, either.

But if you’re going to upgrade, Dave, you should skip past the 4-pot XT’s and go straight to Zee’s. You’re never going to find yourself mid-ride thinking, “Man, I wish I had less brake control.” The weight difference between the 4-pot XT’s and a set of Zee’s is marginal, and while I haven’t ridden the new M8020’s, I’d be willing to bet the power difference isn’t. The M640 has proven itself as an insanely powerful and nearly maintenance free alternative to the Saint, with the same ceramic piston at half the price, whereas the new M8020 is a beefed up version of the bad sequel to your current brakes.

Price to performance, the BR-M640 is phenomenal. The only knock people have is that it lacks modulation, and in mountain-bike-speak the word “modulation” is code for “I suck at brake control.” Here’s a free tip: get better.


One small qualification: none of this applies if you’re from Socal, where the summer dirt turns to concrete with loose marbles and dust on top. Riding on Socal marbles-over-hardpack is a bizarre, awkward dance, and one of the few places on earth where brake modulation may matter. This is one of many reasons why most Socal web edits suck. Here’s TEAM ROBOT’s advice for riders in Socal dealing with brake modulation issues: leave. You live in hell on earth. Leave. If you have the ability to leave Socal and you choose to stay, that makes you complicit, and there will be no mercy when THE ROBOTS come.




Charlie, this “Ask TEAM ROBOT” format is played. Pinkbike ran the same sort of “Ask” column yesterday, and I think “Dear Abby” has been going since maybe the 50’s? It’s been four days since your last post and this is what you’ve got? WTF.

-Tanner Millenialsen

P.S. you were never fast

Great question Tanner! Yeah, this is pretty much as good as it’s gonna get. At some point, and I don’t know where this rumor started, people got the idea that I’m a wellspring of original ideas. Not so much. TEAM ROBOT was always a reheated leftover of someone else’s better idea, with a sprinkle of upper-medium quality creative writing on top. As far as content and quality, we continue to promise nothing to our readers, and on that promise I think we deliver.


P.S. I know

A visual metaphor for my racing.


Ask TEAM ROBOT questions can be left in the comment section of any article with the header “Ask TEAM ROBOT,” or emailed to TEAMROBOTKILLSYOURFACE@gmail.com. Otherwise I can continue to make up questions.

13 thoughts on “A new series from TEAM ROBOT

  1. Dear Charlie,

    Why can’t people figure out how to adjust their High Speed and Low Speed compression? It’s literally based on frequency…

    Unrelated: My Team Robot shirt which I received in July 2014 about a year after buying it now has holes in it and looks like shit. I recently absent-mindedly wore it on a day I flew internationally, a move not well received, based on the looks people gave me. 7/10 would recommend.

  2. What’s worse – Brakes that squeal or gum wall tires?

  3. “Ask Team Robot”

    Does your return mean that Harrison and I can finally have our Endirt jump video from frisco? Also do you still stand behind your wrong opinion that my red stem was super lame?

  4. Ask Team Robot

    Can you find out how much cocaine Toby Henderson was on during his interview with Vital ?

  5. Are plustires the worst thing ever to happen to mountainbiking? They aren‘t even any good on ebikes!

  6. TeamRobot Mailbag… (there, now you sound less like PB).

    TeamRobot – Now that Gwin has been able to fleece a number of no name brands for a bunch of money and posts a lot of selfie insta-stories with v-neck t’s; Who is the more suave DH racer – Minnaar or Gwin?


    Shit. Forgot the header…

    TeamRobot Mailbag… (there, now you sound less like PB).

    TeamRobot – Now that Gwin has been able to fleece a number of no name brands for a bunch of money and posts a lot of selfie insta-stories with v-neck t’s; Who is the more suave DH racer – Minnaar or Gwin?


    Hey Robot, since higher education, a job, and vagina have all recently been introduced into my life, I’ve been finding it hard to get motivation to ride. Which of the 3 should I abandon so I can go back to being the moderately fast loser I once was?

  9. Ask Team Robot

    Santa Cruz Hightower or Specialized Enduro 29?
    I like a really progressive, almost impossible to bottom out feel.

Leave a Reply