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Everything posted by olddbrider

  1. I have a little first-hand experience with this (well, second-hand, I guess). I have been on a number of rides with relatively inexperienced (or out of practice) dudes who were riding ebikes. In both cases, being on an ebike didn't make them any more likely to clear (or even attempt) a technical feature. They still got stuck on technical climbs and they still hesitated on technical descents. So, my experiences tell me that an ebike probably isn't going to make it possible for inexperienced riders to suddenly start riding really technical trails. In fact, they might be a hindrance in this situation. If a new rider on an ebike is trying to ride really techy trail, they are going to end up walking their bike a lot. And while that motor really helps on long, grinding uphills, it's really no fun to try to muscle it up a hill or over obstacles. Now, for an experienced rider I'd say yes, ebikes could make technical trails easier. Technical climbs, that is. Even in Eco mode (which boosts your power by about 10%, I think) the motor may give you just enough to get up and over that root or ledge, or get around that tight switchback where you might have otherwise stalled out. I've attempted a few sections on ebikes and I can say with 100% certainty that an ebike would help me clear certain obstacles or sections that I normally wouldn't be able to clear on my bike.
  2. Pffft. All you need are a couple of cinder blocks and a flimsy piece of wood to learn to jump!
  3. We were there a few weeks ago and the guy checking people in at the pavilion recommended that we park at the shooting range. Worked great for us that day, but on a subsequent visit we tried to do the same thing and the range was closed. Fortunately, someone from RPR was doing some work down by the jump lines and saw us as we were turning around to go back to the main parking area. He let us park in the open space inside the RPR fence, but I don't think that's going to be a permanent option. We talked to a woman at the range and she told us that they had plans to make it possible for riders to check in at the range so you wouldn't have to make a stop at the pavilion. I'm not sure about the timeframe, but it sounds like they are trying to implement some changes that will make things better for the mountain bikers - especially those that want to concentrate their riding on the jump lines.
  4. Manuals are high on my list as well. Mostly because I think they look cool as hell, but I do think they have a purpose as well. It might not be something you encounter that often, but manualing over a series of rollers allows you to keep up your momentum better than just rolling them (assuming you can't - or don't want to - jump them). When you see someone who has mastered the manual, they seem to "use" it a lot. Again, some of it is for show, but if you watch Jeff Kendall Weed, he uses the manual to unweight the front wheel completely and he just rides the trail differently than anyone with both wheels on the ground. The newest section of trail at Spider Mtn (Centipede) has a couple of big rollers followed by about 4 or 5 smaller rollers. I'd love to be able to manual through those last small rollers (and maybe gap the last 2) to keep my speed through that section. As it is now, I have to scrub some speed to avoid accidentally getting airborne. The other one for me is the whip. I've gotten pretty comfortable jumping, but I'd like to add a little style. I want the Steeze but so far I just have the eeze...
  5. Ah, ok. Been riding the line further to the east for a long time and recently noticed some progress to the west. I just didn't know it had a name... Thanks.
  6. Chuck, I think I cruised past you in the opposite direction on Suburban Ninja a couple of weeks ago. I think it was a Thursday evening and we were heading out for a night ride. Looked like you were heading back to the parking lot. I tried to say hi once I realized it was you, but we were already pretty far apart. Anyway, thanks for the mention! I definitely miss Spin City and I'm thankful for all the great folks I met through the shop.
  7. That new trail called Serenity that branches off just before you summit Mt. Lakeway is a blast. As of a few weeks ago it was still pretty loose, but once it gets bedded in it's going to be amazing.
  8. I'd suggest getting there as early as possible. Lift lines are typically very short until 9:30 or 10, then get pretty long for a couple of hours, then get short again once people start taking lunch breaks and heading home. I've been dozens of times, but I still typically warm up with a run down Itsy Bitsy (green). It's fun and flowy and gets the blood pumping. When you are ready to take a step up, I'd suggest Antidote. It's a jump trail, but everything is rollable and once you start getting comfortable the jumps on that line are really fun and not intimidating. A word to the wise, after you make a big, sweeping left on Antidote, watch your speed as you go into another left turn with a roller. It's very easy to get pushed off the right side of the trail and into the trees. Vipers Den is what I would call the techy blue line. It doesn't have any big features, but it's got some chunk and can be sorta gnarly in spots depending on your speed. Lots of people seem to get freaked out by Tarantula because of the wood features, but everything is rollable. If you are going to try to get up on the wall ride, commit to it. When I see people crash there it's because they don't have enough speed and don't lean their body. Recluse is a short flow line on the middle 1/3 of the hill. It's super fun with good berms and a few tables and rollers you can double if you feel like pushing it. Venom is the blue jump trail on the bottom 1/3 of the hill. Big tables at the end, but there is a somewhat technical section at the beginning that trips up a lot of first-timers. There are multiple lines, but my approach is to go high as you approach the left turn, then hug the right side of the trail as you go down the steep section. At the end of the chunky stuff, there's a really fun rock drop on the left if you're into that sort of thing. Sticky Icky (single black) is really fun, with a couple of advanced sections. If you want to get a taste of it, ride the first section from the top to the first road crossing. If you feel comfortable at that point, just know that it does get progressively more technical. If you aren't feeling it, you can always bail at the road and go hit any of the other trails to your right. Last weekend, Sticky Icky was pretty blown out from the race, making it a little less fun than it normally is. Hopefully, today's rain will help with that... Stinger is a beast. It's steep and technical with a couple of high-consequence features. Again, you can ride the first part of it to the road to get a taste of what you're in for, but just like with Sticky Icky, it gets significantly more difficult after the road crossing. There's a very steep, chunky section followed by a small drop to a wooden ramp. For me, the best line is to go just to the right of the little tree that precedes the drop, then just let her roll off the drop and then get on the brakes quick because there's a hard left right after the ramp ends. After another steep, technical section you'll come to the big waterfall feature. Probably a good idea to stop and take a look here before sending it. They have made a smoother line on the far right that goes right between 2 trees. It's not easy, but it's much less intimidating that taking the original line right down the middle over a series of rock ledges. That's probably more info than you were looking for. Sorry. Getting the bike on the lift seems to confound a lot of people, but I think they make it harder than it needs to be. As you get to the front of the line, stand your bike up on it's rear wheel. Put one hand under the seatpost and the other on your stem. As the lift goes by, hoist your bike slightly off the ground and put your front wheel over the hook. I feel like it works best with the handlebars of each bike pointing out - away from the center of the chair.
  9. Now THIS is my kind of Trail of Lights!
  10. You know that feeling when you come across a feature and think, "There's no way I can ride that."? This guy doesn't. Especially on an e-bike...
  11. I'm not so sure this was a mistake on the part of whoever assembled this bike. Older dropper posts often attached the cut end of the cable with a pinch bolt at the bottom of the post and attached the cable to the lever with the head of the cable. As mack_turtle mentioned, this made it difficult to get proper tension on the cable (without the use of a barrel adjuster at the lever) and made it more likely to have a failure due to the pinch bolt/cable connection failing for some reason. Most newer posts attach the cable to the post using the cable head and then have a pinch bolt at the lever for the cut end of the cable. It's WAY easier to get the cable tension correct with this setup.
  12. Someone actually got me a wallet made from recycled tubes years ago. I thought it was super nifty until I actually tried to use it. Cash works fine, but the friction between plastic and rubber made it basically unusable for credit cards.
  13. Replacing hydraulic brake hoses on a frame with internal cable routing and don't have one of those fancy Park hose/cable routing tools? Use heat shrink tubing to attach the end of the new hose to the existing hose! Yes, this requires you to cut the hoses, but you were going to have to do that anyway with internal routing. In my case, I drained the DOT fluid from my old brake, cut the old hose at the caliper, "sealed" the cut end with duct tape to minimize spillage, cut the new hose near the lever, installed the little plug Magura includes to keep mineral oil from leaking, attached the end of old hose and beginning of new hose with heat shrink tubing, carefully pulled the old house out from the front of the bike while feeding the new hose from the rear, cut off heat shrink tubing, trimmed new hose to length, and did a quick bleed of the rear brake. Simple, right?
  14. If you had prior experience with Snail I'd tell you that the older stuff is more beginner friendly. But since you've only been there once that wouldn't be much help. The best I can say is that from the starting area (near the wood ramp at the top of the climb) there are 4 kind of distinct paths that lead you back down to the hike and bike trail. Looking downhill, the one farthest to the right takes you over that big wood tabletop feature pictures in the Morealice post above. That feature is completely rollable, so I'd call that beg/int level. Immediately after that, there's a wood berm that directs you sharply to the right. Follow that and you'll come to the line that's been there the longest (I think). It basically splits off into 2 drops - the drop on the left is more beginner friendly in my opinion, the one on the right is a little bigger, has a slightly sketchier landing area, and feels like there's more of a chance of clipping a tree. Once you hit either of those drops, you're at the bottom of the gully and there are a couple of options as you make your way back to the hike and bike trail but none of them are particularly gnarly (still super fun, but not scary for most intermediate riders I would think). Back at the top, the 2nd line from the right is going to take you through a little chunk and then basically meet up with the line I just described if you veer to the right just behind the wood berm. It leads into the drops I already mentioned. This is also a beginner friendly line. If you were to continue in more of a straight line at that wood berm, you'd come to the wooden drop that shoots you into the step up on the other side of the gully and then to the drop along the ridge closest to 183. This is not a beginner friendly line. Back at the top, the 3rd line from the right also starts out with a little chunk, then has a wooden ramp that isn't too scary, followed by a wood/dirt roller/jump, followed by a semi-technical downhill section that leads to the bottom of the gully. I'd call this more intermediate just because of the wood ramp and the somewhat technical/steep section. The left-most line from the top is actually the way most people get up to the top, but part way down is where some new trail veers off to the right and leads to the steep ramp and huge drop. I'd call both of these features advanced with the drop being a big step up in difficulty/consequences. I didn't mention anything to the left of the climbing trail, although I am seeing trail being built there. I'm not sure what the plans are for those trails. I rode them a few weeks ago, but they were very fresh...
  15. Just checked the parts bin and I've got a black, 30.9 seatpost you are welcome to take. It's not super long - ~270mm, but if this is for an 8 year old I'm guessing you don't need anything super long. It's got a slight setback. I'm in Cedar Park and you're welcome to come grab it today if you are interested. Let me know and I'll IM you my address and I can just leave it outside for you.
  16. Looks like something Sam Pilgrim would slap together in his driveway with a hammer, some allen wrenches, and a cinder block.
  17. Having spent a lot of time at Spider Mtn over the past couple of years, I'm way more comfortable in a full-face helmet than I used to be. I still go without the chin bar when I'm riding pretty much anywhere else, but I could see myself wearing something like this for trail riding. Definitely would've helped that guy who face-planted into a tree on Snail a while back...
  18. Sure, the chin bar is slimmer, but the overall ventilation of that helmet looks pretty bad. Plus, it needs a visor. Can you even enduro without a visor???
  19. I just ordered a new set of Magura brakes from Merlin. I placed the order on a Sunday afternoon and they were here by Tuesday. $27 for shipping via DHL. The same day I ordered the brakes I ordered rotors and a bleed kit from Tree Fort Bikes in Michigan (Merlin didn't have any 203mm Magura rotors in stock). Free shipping on that order, but it arrived 2 days after the brakes. I would have paid to get that stuff here sooner but Tree Fort isn't currently offering next day or 2nd day because the carriers aren't consistently able to deliver stuff on time. I'm sure it depends on what you get from Merlin, but I felt like $27 for 2 complete brakes was pretty reasonable, especially considering their price was about $15 less per brake than anywhere else. Now, if I was ordering a $30 pair of gloves I'd never consider paying $20 for shipping (unless I really needed them in a hurry, of course).
  20. The time change and all this talk of lights prompted me to dig out my old lights (NiteRider MiNewt and a first-gen MagicShine) and see what condition they were in. To be honest, I was fully expecting neither battery to hold a charge given that both of these lights are over 10 years old and haven't been used in at least 5 years. I was also a bit worried about even trying to charge the batteries, especially since those early MagicShine batteries had some, uh, let's say, issues. So, I got my trusty metal bucket and put it on the back porch and started charging. Surprisingly, neither battery exploded or burst into flames. Both indicator lights turned green after a while so I hooked up the lights, turned on a fan to keep things from getting too toasty, and fired them up. The NR burned brightly (well, as bright as it can) for 90 minutes, then started to fade over the next 30 minutes. It was still technically on after 2 hours but I'm not sure how useful it would be on a trail at night at that brightness. The MagicShine was still going strong after 2 hours with no noticeable drop in brightness. My setup certainly won't be as bright as some others mentioned on this thread, but hopefully it will allow me to keep doing at least one after-work ride during the week.
  21. All too often, stories about bad customer service dominate reviews and forums, making it hard to know whether the company really has bad customer service or if the comments are just dominated by a small number of vocal critics. Don't get me wrong, I'll post a bad review if it's warranted, but I also try to make a point to leave reviews/feedback when I receive exceptional service as well to balance things out. I recently had a great experience with DVO and I thought I'd share it with the forum... I noticed some side-to-side play in the upper/forward shock mount area on my Ripmo AF. In trying to diagnose the cause of this play I needed to remove my DVO Topaz shock, but I wasn't sure if I needed to let the air out of the bladder as well as the main air can. I called DVO to find out. First surprising thing was that an actual person answered. I explained the issue I was having and asked my question, but rather than just giving me the answer and hanging up, the guy spent some time talking through my situation. By the end of the call, he had offered to send me new bushings (just in case that was the cause) and an extra set of spacers that are slightly wider than what is spec'd for my frame (just in case the shock mount was out of tolerances). I had my credit card handy to pay for this stuff, but he never asked for it. That was the second nice surprise. A few days go by and I get an email apologizing for the delay. A few days later I get a package and not only did he include the mounting hardware we talked about, he threw in a DVO beanie (I'm guessing to apologize for it taking a few extra days). Surprise #3! Anyway, my experience with DVO was great and I'd highly recommend them the next time you are considering purchasing a fork or shock. Any other stories about great customer service?
  22. I haven't seen anything about work days posted lately, but there is still some work being done out there. The launch pad and first jump look to be complete and there's now a pretty scary looking ramp with a dirt landing right after that. I'd call myself an intermediate jumper - comfortable with all the jumps and drops at the church - but that second feature scares me. It's all still closed to riding as far as I know...
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