Honest question

Is there a reason I can’t run an old Fox DOSS lever with any of the other cable-operated seatposts on the market? People hated the DOSS lever, but if you run it under the left brake lever it doesn’t suck. I’ve got a small pile of the DOSS levers sitting around from when I used to be cool, and I’d rather use a five year old shifter-style lever than a brand new paddle style lever.

Garbage.

 

Thinly-Veiled Godless Socialism

We asked around to see people’s thoughts on Raceface’s new no-questions-asked warranty program for their carbon wheels. Questions included:

  • What price effect will this unlimited warranty have on MSRP?
  • Who stands to benefit most under this new warranty regime?
  • Who will ultimately shoulder the additional cost of free carbon wheel replacement?

 

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

-Karl Marx

 

“Henceforth mammon shall floweth, from ye slow riders who foster hopes to procureth speed, to ye apes who go fast and break shit, with our hands as mere conduits for this righteous transfer of wealth.”

-Rob at Raceface

 

 

“#FREEwheelz4lyfeBOIZ”

-Dirtbags everywhere

 

 

“Huh? Oh yeah, I forgot I bought those wheels! Need to try those out. I think if I move around happy hour on Friday and my Saturday yoga workshop I could maybe fit a ride in this weekend. Have to talk to Andrea about picking up the CSA for me. That would be sick, though, haven’t been to Duthie in forever… sorry, what was the question?”

-Actual carbon wheel customer

Our Guarantee

Lately there’s been concern in the mountain bike industry about carbon frames and their environmental impact. Critics claim that carbon frame construction is resource intensive, produces large amounts of waste that cannot be recycled, and the unsustainable nature of production makes it unethical. “Ocean Fill” became the buzzword for this viral movement, implying that leftover carbon waste may ultimately end up floating in the ocean.

 

Peter Sagan’s brother decided to abandon a carbon fiber product launch after seeing how carbon waste was handled in Taiwan and China.

 

 

For us at TEAM ROBOT, that’s not a chance we’re willing to take. We don’t want you to live in uncertainty and fear about where your carbon waste may or may not end up. If you mail your leftover carbon production waste, broken carbon components, or outdated frames to us at:

 

TEAM ROBOT

5764 Georgia Ave NW

Washington, DC 20011

 

We will work around the clock to make sure your carbon waste products are dumped directly into the Pacific Ocean. You can rest easy with our guarantee, knowing with certainty where your waste is headed.

We’re also looking to expand into batteries and outdated cell phones.

DO NOT KILL list: Brent Martin

The news story below is the most important thing to happen in mountain biking this month. I know what you’re thinking, and yes: this is even more important than the updated Spacecraft+ goggle from 100%, with all new injected polycarbonate lens to increase visual clarity and protect against the demands of today’s racing conditions, now with four layers of race foam for the ultimate in sweat absorption. Yeah, it’s more important than that.

Brent Martin, boring granola eating wilderness advocate and recent DO NOT KILL LIST addition, lost his job for collaborating with mountain bikers on a wilderness designation process in NC:

AncientRedOak-1

You should read the article linked above, but here’s the TLDR:

  • Guy worked as regional director for wilderness advocacy group, whose region included Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.
  • Guy worked for years on new management plan for two NC national forests, including Pisgah, balancing wilderness vs. recreational designations.
  • Guy brought many parties to table, worked toward amicable & mutually beneficial outcome.
  • Guy was promptly torpedoed by major organizational donor who went above his head to get him fired.

As with everything policy related, the real story is longer, more complicated, grayer, and a lot more boring. Your TEAM ROBOT investigatory journalism department is hard at work sorting out those finer details, and please chime in if you have any relevant details to share.

What’s clear is that Brent Martin tried to work across the table and got fired for it. For that, we owe him a debt of gratitude, and a spot on the DO NOT KILL LIST.

Proposed: a Lemon test

Here’s a quick test to determine whether anyone actually wants your big brand’s proprietary OE suspension product, like autosag, RE:aktiv with thru shaft, Twinlock, Lefty, Brain, DRCV, or countless others. For that matter, you can probably apply this same test to your house brand OE parts, like Bontrager carbon handlebars or Giant wheels with Dynamic Balanced Lacing.

Giant Dynamic Balanced Lacing. Like this guy at Giant HQ, you’ll get really good at replacing spokes.

 

The question: Do you see a demand for your product in the aftermarket?

If you answered yes, congratulations! You’ve used the resources available at your company to add value for your customers. An example: instead of building another 150mm dual crown trail fork no one wants, Specialized outsourced to the smarter, better suspension nerds at Ohlins and were able to build a product people actually want. The market has embraced the Ohlins shock, and now you see their shocks and forks on bikes outside of Specialized OEM.

If you answered no, then you’re only cluttering your customers’ lives with difficult to service or replace bullshit. No one wants the product you’re selling, and your misguided attempt to differentiate from the competition is only begrudgingly accepted by your core customers, not willfully embraced. There’s a good chance you’re actually hurting sales, because a chunk your potential customers would prefer to buy from one of the big brands with a lifetime warranty from their local bike shop, but won’t do it because they can’t get the shock they want in a 210×60, or a shock that fits in your weird yoke mount thing, or one that you can’t put volume reducers in like a normal person.

A quick scorecard:

And please don’t come back with, “It’s protected by patents, Charlie. How could an aftermarket company steal and resell a proprietary suspension idea?” I don’t know, go ask Raceface how they stole X-Sync and changed it just enough to skirt SRAM’s patent. Or ask Fox how they made a Double Barrel without infringing on Ohlins’ patents. Or ask Dave Weagle how easy it was to defend DW Link in court, or Split Pivot. When people thought platform damping was the shit, we had platforms from Fifth Element, Manitou, Fox, and Curnutt within two years, regardless of patents. The point is that eventually, somehow, the people always get what the people want.

 

Why does this matter?

Sticking sub-par house brand wheels on your bikes is bad, but at least wheels can be replaced. Proprietary suspension is like the little brother who always tags along. You put up with him because you have to, but no one’s ever sitting with friends thinking, “How much sicker would it be if my little brother Dylan was here?”

No one wants to hang out with Dylan. He’s the worst. You have to explain why he’s there to your friends, or even worse, to girls. And the only reason he’s even here is because Mom said he had to come. I hate Mom. She said she was gonna buy more Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but she never did.

 

“Hey Jarrett, I was reading ridemonkey and I think I could fit a Lefty on here.”

-no one ever                       

 

FYI

Your instagram stories are boring, no one likes them, and they make me want to stab my eyes out. Your life is only interesting when you capture the best, fakest, most curated split second version. Capturing those brief moments of interesting in your otherwise middling existence is the purpose of Instagram, so please, give me that or nothing. We all know this is what the rest of your life looks like:

Well, this minus the girls.

I’m excited that you’re coming home from some sweet trip, but that doesn’t mean I want to see a story of the plane wing as you’re landing, or you walking through the terminal. I’ve been on a plane before. Your plane wing looks the same as every other plane wing, and so does every airport terminal.

Your instagram stories are the reason for our water bottles:

TEAM ROBOT remembers: Sol Vista

Above: Krunkshox gettin some on Tres Hombres in ’09. Check the red spray paint send it lines, which were still innovative in ’09. +5 hp for demonstrating an excellent privateer team kit. -5 hp for purple handlebars.

This photo also captured the short-lived era where everyone rode flats. 2008 was the year of PFP (Peak Flat Pedal), with seemingly half of every local pro field on flats, and seemingly half the World Cup ranks too. It was a simpler time, an optimistic world with bright hopes for the future, with dreams of race-winning inside lines and foot-out drifts. I know I ran flats at Sol Vista. Eventually, most of us discovered we weren’t gifted with gobs of natural talent, we were typically faster on the main line, and we left our feet on most of the time anyway. Most racers eventually settled on the less romantic reality of running clips and just trying harder. Most non-racers followed suit and bought clips again, because rank-and-file bicycle customers always copy pros.

This year was the first of eight (maybe nine?) Aaron Gwin National Championships. So far, Aaron’s winning secret for National Champs has been not crashing. He’s pretty much batting 1000 if he A) shows up, and B) doesn’t crash.

Treating a painful condition

My friend Ben is a proud former van pilot and a current, reluctant Subaru Forester owner. Since getting the Forester he’s suffered from waves of pain, regret, and feelings of loss, like so many others before him. When you’e thinking about buying the station wagon, it all seems so practical: the lower gas mileage, compact parking spots are suddenly available, girls don’t think you’re trying to bury them in your basement… you know, standard van problems that go right out the window with a compact car.

Can’t do that in an Econoline.

But then time goes on, thoughts linger on the nostalgic and not-so-distant past, and regret sets in. A brief van forum surf here, a 3 am Adventure Portal binge there, and then you’re scrolling through Craigslist every day at work looking for used Sportsmobiles, and you start bargaining with yourself: maybe you can turn the Forester… turn it back into a van?

You try to imagine happiness in your new car, but your dreams and fantasies always drift back to the van; the one that got away. It starts with gravel tires so you can take the stupid car on forest roads without having to change a flat. Then you’re looking into storage solutions for the tiny econobox: a rocket box for the top, or maybe shelving options for the back. Once you move on to indoor bedding solutions, you have full blown Van-Affected Internal Detachment Syndrome, or VAIDS.

Too often, the outlook for VAIDS patients in the US is grim. With the current state of Big Pharma, low-dollar conditions like VAIDS mostly get passed by for new research and experimental drugs. Many patients can’t find a cure and have to resort to merely treating symptoms, like renting a van at astronomical prices for special occasions, or worse, buying a compact four-door pickup, with a worthless four foot bed and an extra row of seats they’ll never use. Industrious American VAIDS patients have been known to cross the border into Canada to buy a Delica 4×4, or travel all the way to Japan for a diesel five-door Hiace. These patients often have to smuggle the vehicles back into the US, or convert them to left-hand drive in hopes of avoiding detection by authorities.

Fortunately, some enterprising thinker in China has a low cost option for immediate treatment of VAIDS. This magical ” Proud Tiger Bed” can be had for your Subaru for the low, low price of $306:

Yes, this is a thing in China. Brought to your awareness via terminal VAIDS patient Ben Furbee:

https://www.englishtaobao.net/product/14269021286/