Breaking News: random whitetrash more creative than Anthill and Mind Spark combined

You say drones and cable cams, I raise you Arizona Iced Tea grip tape and shitty minivans.

Okay, okay, someone said I complain too much on TR, so let me say something positive for a change. I think the average Anthill production displays more creative risk-taking than The Force Awakens.


This is one of 2000 posts by @stevepeat, making me wonder how many days of his life Steve has spent tagging on instagram? Even on Hootsuite, I think you still have to do unique tags on every post. If it’s 2 seconds per tag, and 20 tags per post, it would be 22 straight hours of tagging.

No free lunches in mountain biking.



Free advice

Taking a photo of you on a bike in a Santa suit isn’t original or compelling or funny. Stop doing it.


[Editor’s Note] This Sam Pilgrim video would be the notable exception, but only because it operates on a different comedic principle, one I like to call ” fat suits are funny.”


And just to throw a curveball in there, Sam looks like he might become the first major rider sponsored by an Ebike brand, in the form of the thoroughly-German-but-never-heard-of-it-before brand Haibike. He’s hardly the first rider to dance with the devil; Schleybletop, the Alien, and the Broastal Crew have all picked up their Ebike paychecks.

But, to continue this strained analogy, Sam would be the first rider to marry, have kids, and set up a white picket fence with the devil.

Attention Pinkbike: This is not a headline for an opinion piece

Here’s a fun game: Below are two examples of actual opinion headlines from the New York Times today, and one example of an opinion headline from RC and the team at Pinkbike. See if you can guess which one is which.

  1. “It‚Äôs time for Congress to fix loopholes in a gun control law meant to save women‚Äôs lives”
  2. “The Great American Tax Heist”
  3. “I went on a bike trip once and some stuff happened”

Tough game, I know.

Now, to RC’s credit, there was an actual argument buried deep in his article. Yes, after 10 winding expository paragraphs to introduce his themes and characters, he finally got around to the totally uncontroversial and uninteresting truth claim of “I like natural resource preservation.” After that, he even said he disagreed with the president regarding policy. Groundbreaking stuff, to be sure.

But I had to spend almost 1000 words scratching my head, checking and rereading the headline and byline, and trudging through a seemingly pointless narrative before reaching any discernible thesis. Maybe this was a sort of bold, experimental style that was wasted on my untrained eyes, a sort of gonzo journalism by RC, where the writer puts me in his shoes, seeing and feeling the turn of events in real time from his perspective before arriving at a jolting, contentious, in-your-face indictment of the status quo.

But probably not. It’s an editorial on Pinkbike, after all, and Pinkbike editorials are as interesting and controversial as a discussion about file cabinets:



“Most people use a bigger file cabinet than they need. They’d have more fun with a smaller file cabinet, because they’d have to be more creative with the space.” -Mike Levy


“I use the biggest file cabinet I can find, and you should to, no matter how many files you have.” -Paul Aston


“File cabinets should be more inclusive to women.” -Pinkbike editorial board, at least once a year


“I made a file cabinet once in my backyard, like 30 years ago, and I know Jeff Steber.” -RC



While we’re on the topic of things I hate, I hate this:


Is it, Ross? Is it THE interview? Just for fun, here are four other Greg Minnaar interviews I found on Pinkbike in a few seconds of browsing:

So Ross Bell’s Minnaar interview isn’t THE only Minnaar interview. Is it THE most special? Apparently not, because two of the other interviewers had the stones to claim the title of “THE Greg Minnaar interview.” So that means three different Minnaar interviews each claimed to be THE definitive Minnaar interview.

Well, at least no one else on Pinkbike uses this trope.

Oh…¬†wait… never mind.


Attention Pinkbike: not every article needs to be THE most important article in the world. In fact,¬†only one article gets to hold that distinction at any given time. Most of the time, it’s just an article, and you know what? That’s okay. How about this for a headline:


An interview with Greg Minnaar



Pinkbike Interviews: Greg Minnaar



2017 Recap: an Interview with Greg Minnaar


or go with a more honest title

You can’t get him to say anything bad about anyone, and yeah this interview is kinda boring: Greg Minnaar


I would call “THE interview” THE most tired trope in mountain biking, but in reality it’s just a tired trope. Among the many tired tropes, it’s podium material at best, and that’s only if we’re talking a five-deep regular season podium. In a sea of overused journalism tropes, it’s realistically not World Champs material. Maybe on a good day.

“THE interview” is like the Troy Brosnan of annoying MTB tropes. It’s always there, ever present and in the mix, but it’s never really at the top of the list.

425mm chainstays still suck

Canyon just debuted their sick new Park Bro bike, and like every Park Bro bike before, it features a 425mm chainstay length on all the sizes. Checking around the industry, this has become the standard freeride Bro Brah size since the original Demo 9. The Kona Process 167? 425 chainstay. Rocky Slayer? 425 chainstay. Commencal Supreme SX? 425 chainstay. Literally every pedal bike from Transition, the ultimate Park Bro brand has 425 chainstays.

In the Canyon Torque lineup, from the smallest bike to the largest front center grows 96 mm, or 9.6 cm, or 3.8 in, or 0.11 yds, or 0.00006313 miles, or 14%.

For those same bikes, rear center grows 0 mm.

And the front center is at no risk of being called “short.”


I’ll extend an olive branch here, and concede that 425mm chainstays can be fun in certain circumstances, like if you’re building a dirt jump bike, or you’re 5’4″, or you suck at riding, or some combination of the three. But if you’re riding somewhere above walking pace, and are at or above global average height, and we’re talking about a full suspension for trail riding, 425 chainstays suck.

For the most part, bikes suck less than they used to. Suspension, tires, brakes, and (for the most part) geometry have all converged around some quality numbers that make sense for most riders. Chainstay length, however, is still determined with a dart board, or by monkeys with typewriters.

Your front center/rear center ratio determines your weight balance on the bike. Changing one number directly affects how the other number feels when you’re on the bike. You should probably change both numbers at the same time. This could be the next REVOLUTION!!! in geometry:

XS/SM: 425mm

MED: 430mm

LG: 435mm

XL: 445mm

XXL: Whatever Greg Minnaar is running this week

How to build trails that suck: #1 Don’t use dirt

After moving 20 yards of dirt for your landing, who has time to build a proper dirt lip? You sure as hell don’t. No, you have to get to work ASAP cranking boneriffic hands-up tuck no-handers. You need to wrap this project up so you can catch the last golden leaves of fall in your nicely framed photograph, highlighting your cute hammock and lack of creativity. Sure, there’s a gently sloping hill in the background, full of easy to mine dirt just waiting to help you build out a good lip, or where you could have routed the jump line to ad some natural contours and a dash of originality.

But no, you don’t want to do that. You want to go straight through the middle of a flat ass, boring ass yard, hack together a pallet and what I assume is old plywood from a deconstructed mini ramp, and build a lip that’s guaranteed to dry out and crack immediately when the sun comes out, crumble at the top where you only built the dirt 5 inches thick, and disintegrate when the wood rots from the inside out and rapidly looks like shit. But trick jumps are sick, right, bro?!?

There’s a difference between digging dirt jumps and digging trails. Trails are art, and they’re a labor of love year after year. Dirt jumps are built quickly, ugly, and in the most obvious, boring way possible by tank top wearing meatheads so they can huck shit “training” for contests. Cool dude.

But hey, this isn’t just a tip for little-bike jump builders. You can lower the quality of any jump anywhere by framing it in with found materials instead of using more dirt and building it the right way.¬†And remember, it’s not just ugly, it’s also dangerous if someone finds themselves off line. So you’re not just being lazy, you’re also an asshole.



You can make small jumps worse.


You can make big jumps worse.


And everything in between.


This one isn’t finished, but it’s particularly egregious. This is the KILL LIST in jump form.




“What‚Äôs worse ‚Äď Brakes that squeal or gum wall tires?”

Gum wall tires. Squealing brakes may or may not be your fault, but the same isn’t true about your decision to buy gum walls. I’ll use this borderline unforgivable example from one of my favorite people in the world, someone who, unlike you, is on the DO NOT KILL list. He took what would have been a wonderful, tasteful build and did… this:

Et Tu, Brute?


To review:

  • The correct number of colored anything on your bike is two, and that includes frame and fork lowers.
  • Stanchion color doesn’t count. It’s like blue jeans: at some point, for some indeterminate reason, everyone agreed it’s okay to pair with anything.
  • Color-matched anodized components are a flag that says “packfill.”
  • The correct color for stems, handlebars, seatposts, rims, spokes, and tires is always black.


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


The good news is you probably have no idea what you’re talking about, so you might very well be happy with either bike. There are dozens of variables in bike feel, and most riders haven’t ridden enough bikes with enough different setups to actually tease out which variables affect what, beyond the basic ones like frame size, spring rate, BB height, etc. Most riders that get really descriptive about suspension curves, anti-squat percentages, or high speed compression tunes are really saying “I rode a bike once that felt good, and I’ve also ridden bikes that didn’t feel good.” I guarantee you 75% of TR readers and 95% of Pinkbike readers couldn’t take the Pepsi Challenge and tell me the difference between a 66 or 64 head angle on the trail, a Lyric or a 36 on the trail, or small variations in rear suspension leverage rate.

Rear suspension designs are all incredibly similar now. In 2017 we’ve ruled out most of the really wacky shit, and most rear suspension designs these days are, ceteris paribus, rideable (recent phallic¬†monoshock¬†carbon DH bikes excepted). I’m not saying I want to ride a Cube,¬†I’m just saying suspension curves aren’t the reason Cubes are unrideable. Modern suspension designs aren’t homogenous, but every design in 2017 is converging on some very similar characteristics. They’re shooting for a steady falling rate, they’re typically optimized around a 32 chainring for fairly similar anti-squat¬†numbers, axle paths are pretty similar (with the exception of a few high-pivot designs), and overall progression and leverage rates are pretty similar from bike to bike. For instance, we don’t see rising rate designs, we don’t see 2:1 shock rates anymore, and with the advent of trunnion mounts, you’re not going to see many teeny shocks, either. Things are better now.

“It kinda felt like humping an exercise ball, or like someone used a soft-close drawer slide as the damper against this¬†800-pound spring. AIDS? Can it feel like AIDS? I haven’t had AIDS, but I think that’s what it’s gotta feel like.”


Having said that, you picked two notable exceptions. Santa Cruz VPP trail bikes have had a very distinct regressive/flat/progressive curve since… forever? But don’t trust me, ask Uncle Joe¬†about VPP rates throughout history. The new Nomad would be the only SC trail bike that fits your bill because it borrows its linkage from the¬†V10.

Specialized has always had a painfully flat leverage rate, from the Demo 9¬†to the alloy Demo 8, right up to the current spaceship-seatmast Demos and fancy 2018 Enduro 29er’s. The reason Troy, Aaron, Loris, Loic, Finn, and Miranda all ran custom links is because… drumroll please… the bike is designed by midpack engineers who think Gypsy at Northstar is THE testing ground for DH bikes. They literally *just* changed the leverage rate on the 2018 Enduro, but only for 27.5, because apparently 29er riders don’t hit jumps.

Every team rider has a custom link to get away from the stock configuration. This should inform you about Specialized’s design goals and ideal customer.


The fact that you cited either one of those bikes and then asked about “impossible to bottom out feel” leads me to believe you have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m not saying small differences between suspension designs don’t matter- they do. The whole premise of this site is that, no matter what engineers, tech writers, or marketers tell you, everything matters. I’m just saying that, based on what little I know about you, you’re probably not the¬†princess and the pea. If you want a good bike, you should buy the one with the amount of travel and wheel size you need, that fits best based on the geo chart, and then play with air pressure and reducers til it rides like a bike. Seriously, I defy you, stick some volume reducers in the Hightower or Enduro, then take some volume reducers out of a YT Jeffsy, and tell me with a straight face you can feel a difference in progression. (Hint: you can’t)


“The 5010’s alright I guess, but the top end of the leverage curve just isn’t giving me enough support.”


If you really can’t decide between the LT or the Enduro, you should buy the Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz isn’t perfect as a brand, but they’ve always let you run whatever shock you want, they never went to press fit BB’s on their mountain bikes, they gave the world Ratboy and five years of Rennie, their marketing manager just won whip off worlds, they never made an awkward break up vid for Sam Hill, and (as a percentage of revenue) they’ve poured more money into World Cup downhill than anyone. If you’re ever choosing between two fairly equal products, buy from the brand that makes mountain biking better. If you had to take hard-earned money out of your pocket and give it to either Roskopp or Sinyard… hmmm… tough choice.


None of those were scrubs


Eliot’s a smart guy. He knows a¬†lot¬†of things.¬†I think he knows his rear tire wasn’t sliding up the jump face on any of those “scrubs.”




Shut up, James. You’re not helping.


Whatever man, I’ve been on this “scrub” thing for years now. Just let me have my¬†grudge in peace, James. You make me wish I’d never even found the “word bubble” feature in Preview.


Okay, fine: