Author Archives: "Vernon Felton"
Specialized’s Camber is like the aggressive rider’s cross-country bike… or maybe it’s the cross-country rider’s trail bike. I still can’t say which, but I can say this: it hauls ass up climbs and hangs better on descents than it has a right to, given how little squish it’s packing.
I used to think electrolytes were just some foreign thing skinnier riders on even skinnier hardtails worried about. Like VO2 max, lactate thresholds and peak training—I really couldn’t be arsed with crap like that. Then I tried Nuun and, had to admit, I was wrong. This stuff works, is cheap and tastes surprisingly good.
We Americans have criminalized gluten, sworn off sugar, compressed bean curds into discs and called them “burgers”. And what happened to bacon? When did eating bacon become a crime? Let me suggest a solution, a means of balancing the scales: beer.
Forget leverage rates, shock tunes and all the high-modulus marketing BS, nothing—absolutely nothing—matters more than a good set of tires. Really. And when it comes to aggressive riding in wet conditions, it’s hard to do better than the Maxxis Minion DHF.
It would be sensational to call trail sabotage a massive issue, but recent events do indicate a certain level of animosity aimed at mountain bikers. This feature is intended to lend some perspective on what could be interpreted as a series of canary in a coal mine-type events.
Winter will not cut you a break, buy you a beer or be your buddy. Winter is cruel. She tastes like humiliation. But she might also be your best friend.
How safe are our streets? The good news–the risk of being plowed down by cars has declined over the years. The bad news? When you ride the street, you still have a target on your back and the legal system still isn’t doing enough to protect you.
The perfect place to ride isn’t some exotic locale, loaded with hundreds of miles of singletrack. Sure, we all wish we could live in Whistler or Moab or Finale Ligure, but most of us don’t and never will. The best place, then, is the place you ride most often. The place that soaks up your blood and sweat. The place where you suffer defeat one day and come back swinging the next.
People wax poetic about “classic” bikes and parts. I am not one of them. I’m not saying there’s no value to the past. I appreciate the artistry that made those old components a reality and I love the memories that come flooding back to me whenever I see some cool, rare quirky piece of mountain biking history, but do I actually want to ride that crap? Hell no.
There are lighter wheels on the market and a few that are lighter and less expensive, but I haven’t found any of them to be as durable as the Easton Haven. That’s why I continue to run these things, even though I’d love to see them grow wider in the future. Looking for a solid all-mountain wheel set? Check this out.
People fixate on the ride quality of a $3,000 carbon wheelset or obsess over how to shave another eighth of a pound off their 23-pound race rocket, but if you’re really interested in getting the most out of your ride, there are less obvious, but more important, items to sort out. Consider these the Ronnie James Dios of your bicycle. Underappreciated. Disrespected. Downright obscure. But in the grand scheme of things, so very important.