Ahead of his time: Stephen Hodge shows off some new/old tech, Roubaix 95. Photo: Sirotti

Ahead of his time: Stephen Hodge shows off some new/old tech, Roubaix 95. Photo: Sirotti

Dirty Innovators

by / / 138 posts

Ok all you roadies, listen up. You’re not gonna like what I’m about to tell you, but it’s the truth. And sometimes, the truth hurts. You ready?

Road cycling owes a lot to mountain biking.

“You what?!” I hear you screaming at the monitor in disgust. “Road cycling has been around for more than a hundred years, and the mountain bike for about thirty!” Well, nice theory, but bikes were ridden on dirt long before their tyres ever saw a sealed surface. But this isn’t about the chicken or the egg, it’s about the way technology crosses over from one discipline to another, and how similar, yet different aspects of the same sport inter-breed, cross pollinate and spawn innovations that better the machines we ride and the kit we wear. And I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that sleek road machine you’re riding now probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our dirtbag cousins.

It all took off in the early 90s; the mountain bike was undergoing its own metamorphosis, rapidly dropping the ‘klunker’ heritage and becoming lighter, stiffer and racier. The geometry was changing from slack and raked-out head angles to more sharply handling, longer and lower front ends. A little like road bikes, granted. The first big change up front though was the oversized headset and steerer tube combo, dubbed the Avenger by Tioga, the first company to bring it to market. The steerer increased from 1 inch diameter to 1 1/8″, giving the front of the bike more precise steering and a more solid feel over rough terrain. Soon, Dia Compe came up with the AHeadset, doing away with the threaded steerer and headset in favour of a threadless system held together by a stem clamped over the smooth steerer tube. There’s not a road (or mountain) bike to be seen with a threaded front end these days.

Having a bigger steerer attached to rigid fork blades made some difference to the mountain bike, but even more was needed up front to tame the terrain and reduce the pounding that riders’ arms would take on proper off-road trails. While some weird and wonderful contraptions briefly held court (like the Girvin Flexstem, as terrifying as it was), the obvious solution was to borrow technology from the motocross crowd, and the first suspension fork for bicycles was born. The Rock Shox RS1 was as rare as hen’s teeth, but when one was spotted in the wild the geek-out factor went through the roof, and any rider lucky enough to have one bolted to the front of their bike would be accosted for twenty minutes and bombarded with questions about “how it works”. In the space of a year, there were three or four different iterations of suspension forks on the market, most of them completely unaffordable to the Regular Joes that rode in the dirt.

Looking back at the suspension tech of those days now, the word ‘archaic’ springs (pardon the pun) to mind. The modern mountain bike is an engineering marvel, and I’m as amped on new technology now as I was in the early 90s. The sport has continued to push the boundaries and is constantly evolving. And road cycling has benefitted greatly. We’ve all seen the Rock Shox Ruby forks that appeared on the bikes of Paris-Roubaix for a few glorious years, even taking a couple of wins in the Queen of The Classics. The MTB forks of the day were mostly heavy, elastomer sprung and undamped, giving the effect of a pogo stick on the front of the bike. To try and put one on the front of a road bike was preposterous at best, a blasphemous disaster at worst. Then there were the failed attempts at rear suspension which disappeared as quickly as they came. But riders and teams were willing to try anything to tame the brutal cobbles of the Hell of the North, and if you didn’t have a Ruby fork then you were behind the 8-ball straight away. The fact that the bike would bounce around under pedalling load on the smooth roads was outweighed by the comfort and control on the cobbles.

But roadies being roadies, the extra weight and inefficiency soon rendered the Ruby detrimental to the performance of the bikes… but that comfort was welcome. How to get some shock absorption and keep the weight low? Carbon fibre forks were conceived, giving a smooth ride up front on the stiff yet light aluminium frames that were taking over the peloton at the time (another innovation gleaned from the mountain bike). If it worked up front, then why not at the rear too? Carbon seatstays were bonded onto the back ends of just about every bike that came out in the mid 90s. If it worked for the fork and stays, then why not the whole frame? The carbon bikes so ubiquitous today were spawned from the need for a smoother ride, without the weight and complexity of suspension. Thanks, mountain biking.

Now, check out Hodgey’s helmet in the lead photo. Look kinda familiar? Well, helmets pretty much came from mountain biking, and the early examples looked just like that; round, few vents, not pointy at the back. And what do we have now? Round, sparsely vented, not-too-pointy ‘aero’ road helmets, that we are all crying about being ugly and unnecessary. But how cool does Hodgey look? Badass! It’s only a matter of time before we’re all wearing them, and possibly with visors. (In the 1999 P-R, several riders wore helmets with visors, including 3rd placegetter Tom Steels and Frank Vandenbroucke.) Okay, maybe I’ve gone too far there, but I saw a guy riding in an Air Attack the other day, and by Merckx did I think he Looked Pro! These helmets will be the norm sooner rather than later; after all, don’t we take our cues from the Pros?

There have been numerous advances that have come from mountain biking and are now seen as standard on road bikes; removable face plates on stems, wider profile rims, lightweight saddles, tapered head tubes, integrated headsets, external cup/press-fit bottom brackets, oversize bar diameters (and let’s not forget road disc brakes. You can’t fight it!). Black socks. Tall socks. If it wasn’t for the mountain bike and the innovators working in that industry, we might still be riding lugged steel frames with downtube shifters. Which would be ok with me, as long as I can still have my off-road wonderbike.

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// Accessories and Gear // Mountain Biking // Racing // Technology // The Bikes

  1. @The Pressure This pic could turn out to be deathless. @frank would dig that.

  2. @frank

    @Teocalli

    I was only the other week discussing with a mate whether we would see SRAM XX1 approach on road bikes with a single front ring.

    You mean a single 53T, right?

    Nah, 50T but with 10-32.

  3. @frank

    @Deakus

    You need to venture off road a bit, mate. You’ll become a much more well-rounded road cyclist.

    I came from the dark side….I used to MB but like a reformed smoker, or a born again Christian I am most vocal when it comes to the dirty dark past I once lived!

  4. @scaler911

    Completely off topic.

    I just spat my tea out!

  5. I might be pulling the wrong part of the pig here, but aren’t successful innovations meant to, you  know, still be in use? I can’t recall having any of the ugly crap in the article hanging off any of  my road bikes, and I’m sitting in the living room looking at two of them. Admittedly there’s no way I read that whole article, what do you think I am, a lunatic? but I’m glad you realised in the end that  mountain biking’s bad for your mental stability and should be left to the criminally insane and moral deviants.
    And if you didn’t come to that conclusion you fucking well should.

  6. @scaler911 That is quite simply wrong on so many levels!

  7. @minion

    I might be pulling the wrong part of the pig here, but aren’t successful innovations meant to, you know, still be in use? I can’t recall having any of the ugly crap in the article hanging off any of my road bikes, and I’m sitting in the living room looking at two of them. Admittedly there’s no way I read that whole article, what do you think I am, a lunatic? but I’m glad you realised in the end that mountain biking’s bad for your mental stability and should be left to the criminally insane and moral deviants.
    And if you didn’t come to that conclusion you fucking well should.

    +1 A-Merckx to that!

  8. @frank

    “This disk brake thing makes you like the guy at the party who took E and then told his best (male) friend that he always was curious to fuck him.”

    Holy shit that was funny!

  9. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/scaler911/2014.01.09.07.24.03/1//scaler911-2014.01.09.07.24.03-1-Cannondale.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1269 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1269): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@frank

    @scaler911

    Great article @Bretto. One thing missing, or perhaps it’s the subject for another article, is how MTB can help with your bike handling skillz on the road.

    My first MTB was a Cannonwhale with the “Pepperoni” fork. Stiff as railroad track. What it taught me though was that speed is your friend. Skip over the rocks, don’t hit them. Faster is safer. Learn how to relax while getting bounced around. I gave that bike to my parents, and anytime I visit them, I still take it out for a spin on the single track that’s all over central Oregon.

    While this photo is not my old Cannondale, it’s almost exactly the same.

    That’s a Red Shred. Those were awesome.

    And yes – exactly about speed. Several Belgians and Frenchmen asked me how it was possible I was good at riding cobbles if I came from the US. The answer was riding a Bridgestone with no suspension over rocks and roots: full gas, big gear, float over the saddle a bit, and let the bike do its thing. The body is actually really good at observing shock. Certainly with the tech we had then, the Rock Shock was more useless than useful on the rocks and roots – you had to hit something so hard that you normally would have endo’d over it. Then it would help keep the wheels on the bus. But with that level of tech, having a small light frame bouncing around under you and using your legs and arms to absorb the shock was the way to go.

    let’s not forget the guys who cut their teeth on the World XC MTB circuit and went on to race, and sometimes win, some of the GT’s

    Cuddles – Sagan – Peraud – Ryder – and Tommy D to name a few.

  10. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

  11. @The Pressure  You want a fugly helmet? I started MTB many years ago and this Etto was  my first ‘proper’ lid. Bombproof it might have been but it really didn’t match my kit. I fear the Air Attack will grow on me, as a winter commuter helmet though

  12. WTF is up with posting photos on the iPad? It’s there when I submit but gone on the post appearing in the timeline.

  13. I’m sorry folks; I know I’m hijacking the thread, but it’s Friday afternoon and this nutritional innovation has got me pissing myself with laughter.

  14. She Does It Right – Gravity Mafia from MWM Associates on Vimeo.

    Can’t hate all the cousins…..

  15. @PeakInTwoYears

    @The Pressure This pic could turn out to be deathless. @frank would dig that.

    *sigh*

    @piwakawaka

    @frank

    @Teocalli

    I was only the other week discussing with a mate whether we would see SRAM XX1 approach on road bikes with a single front ring.

    You mean a single 53T, right?

    Nah, 50T but with 10-32.

    *slightly more exasperated sigh*

    You mean a single 53T, right?

  16. You’re welcome!

  17. @brianparker77 We’re going on another ‘wood’ tangent…

  18. @frank

    @piwakawaka

    @frank

    @Teocalli

    I was only the other week discussing with a mate whether we would see SRAM XX1 approach on road bikes with a single front ring.

    You mean a single 53T, right?

    Nah, 50T but with 10-32.

    *slightly more exasperated sigh*

    You mean a single 53T, right?

    I can kind of see the point of a single ring on a mountain bike where there’s so much other shit going on that the smoothness from small ratio gaps is going to be lost but for me the smaller the gap between ratios makes life so much nicer that I’d never consider going single ring at the front.

    Granted, I’d like to use the little one less but until I can ride like Museeuw, it stays for I am weak.

  19. Disc brake units will become more aero, that’s a given. They’ll also become lighter- as might the discs, given what I’ve heard of late via people who really do know (so not on the internet…).

    they’re on my commuter. It’s a pretty heavy beast, often laden with panniers. Stops in the rain like it does in the dry. Took my number  1 to work and back last summer a few times. Rim brakes. One day, got caught out with a thunder storm day. Nearly went through junctions.

  20. Twenty years ago, I built the masterpiece you see before you. In a world of sketchy full suspension designs (Trek’s ‘diving board’ bike was still a thing) this frame was special. Doug Bradbury-designed and honed to production perfection by Answer, the frame was (and is) a historic work of art. Gorgeous welds, intricate CNC machining and suspension travel that was neutral enough for cross country yet long enough to win the 1993 UCI World Downhill Championship in the hands of Jürgen Beneke (on an identical design produced by Marin).
    It served as my main mountain bike for a decade, then becoming a casual bike for many years, until finally it did a heroic tour as a ridiculously inappropriate road bike all last summer. It will continue on with flat pedals and forever hang in my garage in a place of honor.

    1993 Manitou System FS, XTR / GripShit X-Ray

  21. @Chris

    @frank

    @piwakawaka

    @frank

    @Teocalli

    I was only the other week discussing with a mate whether we would see SRAM XX1 approach on road bikes with a single front ring.

    You mean a single 53T, right?

    Nah, 50T but with 10-32.

    *slightly more exasperated sigh*

    You mean a single 53T, right?

    I can kind of see the point of a single ring on a mountain bike where there’s so much other shit going on that the smoothness from small ratio gaps is going to be lost but for me the smaller the gap between ratios makes life so much nicer that I’d never consider going single ring at the front.

    Granted, I’d like to use the little one less but until I can ride like Museeuw, it stays for I am weak.

    I hear you @frank, but I think 50×32 is a reality for most of us but 53×32? Us mere mortals aren’t pushing that up 10%+ anytime soon, I like the idea of one ring up front and no front derailleur and front shifter, but that cassette ain’t gonna be pretty unlike this.

  22. I hope SRAM introduces the 10 tooth for the road.

    (Frank can look away now) a 10-23 11 speed to a 50-34 sounds might nice to me.

  23. @piwakawaka Forgive my ignorance, but if you’ve got the 32T ring for the 10+% grades on either set, why not the 53T big ring?

    This from a Pedalwan who owns one old steel bike with a 52/42, 12-28 cassette 1055/6 group-san, so I’m genuinely trying to learn…  your DA cassette sure is purty.

  24. @Weldertron

    I hope SRAM introduces the 10 tooth for the road.

    (Frank can look away now) a 10-23 11 speed to a 50-34 sounds might nice to me.

    Sure it’d be pretty but you couldn’t climb anything appreciable with it.

    I could be entirely wrong about this but I suspect that it’s the close gear ratios that are most valuable to road riders as distinct to mountain bikers. On the road it’s most important to keep a relatively even cadence whilst responding to subtle variations in the gradients.  On a mountain bike, it’s just more important to have the range to ensure you can actually get over that 25% pinch.

  25. I can climb anything so far with my 34/23. I prefer the 34 and keeping my 23 to a 25 or 28. The 10 would be nice for being able to keep the 50.

    If you’re talking mountain bike, my trance has a 22-36. I have gone up some pretty steep walls with it.

  26. @Chris

    +1. There’s no way I could ride 1×11 with a 10-32T cassette; I get pissed off if I don’t have a 16T sprocket on my block now, the gaps in 11-32 would tip me over the edge.

    @Weldertron

    No to the SRAM 10T sprocket as well. It’ll just wear out faster and that’d be 3 free hubs to change. No thanks.

    @ChrissyOne

    Nice Manitou, a very shiny blast from the past. Is it an original one or the Mk2 that used the Manitou2 forks at each end? Looks like the later so must be…1994? I have a Cannondale Super V from the same year hanging in the garage.

  27. @ChrissyOne

    Nice Manitou, a very shiny blast from the past. Is it an original one or the Mk2 that used the Manitou2 forks at each end? Looks like the later so must be…1994? I have a Cannondale Super V from the same year hanging in the garage.

    The bike was originally the Manitou 3 front and rear. The M2 was the purple fork, this was the blue one, and yes it was 94. Later on I replaced the front with a Mach 5, because, speed racer. That one has a oil damper and a little bit longer travel, too. I also replaced the elastomers in the rear with Speed Springs. I had originally put Magura hydraulic brakes on it, but I was never very happy with how they worked (they felt very wooden), so around the same time I did the fork, I put XTR V-Brankes on it.
    The front wheel is still the original I built 20 years ago, a Mavic rim and a Pullstar hub, when straight-pull spokes were a curiosity. The rear hub was originally a Nuke Proof, but it turns out Nuke Proof wasn’t Chrissy Proof, so when I spoke pulled out of the flange, I built a new one with an XT hub.
    Other bits include a Chris King “NoThreadSet”, which I have never serviced since I built the bike, a White Industries titanium floating BB, which I just replaced the bearings in over the summer. Answer Hyperlite bar and Hyperends, and that gorgeously CNC’d Manitou stem (with it’s now irreplaceable 1 1/4 steerer diameter).
    I still adore this bike. It fits me like a glove and tracks like a samurai sword. I put slicks on it and road it over 2,400 km on the road over the summer.

    Loved that Super V! Very nearly bought one around that same time. Never let go of it! =)

  28. Live USA CX championships streaming online today. It’s a great time to be into niche sports!

    http://www.cxmagazine.com/elite-cyclocross-nationals-live-coverage-2014

  29. @andrew

    @piwakawaka Forgive my ignorance, but if you’ve got the 32T ring for the 10+% grades on either set, why not the 53T big ring?

    This from a Pedalwan who owns one old steel bike with a 52/42, 12-28 cassette 1055/6 Group-san, so I’m genuinely trying to learn… your DA cassette sure is purty.

    We’re talking a single ring up front, hence a 10t out back and a 50t as the single up front, although as @Weldertron says

    “I hope SRAM introduces the 10 tooth for the road.

    (Frank can look away now) a 10-23 11 speed to a 50-34 sounds might nice to me.”

    The 10t makes a compact group set viable.

    I am now riding 52-36, from a 53-39, and have gone from a 12-28 to 11-25 on my climbing wheels and the 11-23 seen above on my 404’s, 11-19 is a straight block and very sweet then it’s a 21 and 23.

  30. Watch the move at 1:04 and on and slow mo at 1:50………

  31. @ChrissyOne

    @ChrissyOne

    Nice Manitou, a very shiny blast from the past. Is it an original one or the Mk2 that used the Manitou2 forks at each end? Looks like the later so must be…1994? I have a Cannondale Super V from the same year hanging in the garage.

    The bike was originally the Manitou 3 front and rear. The M2 was the purple fork, this was the blue one, and yes it was 94. Later on I replaced the front with a Mach 5, because, speed racer. That one has a oil damper and a little bit longer travel, too. I also replaced the elastomers in the rear with Speed Springs. I had originally put Magura hydraulic brakes on it, but I was never very happy with how they worked (they felt very wooden), so around the same time I did the fork, I put XTR V-Brankes on it.
    The front wheel is still the original I built 20 years ago, a Mavic rim and a Pullstar hub, when straight-pull spokes were a curiosity. The rear hub was originally a Nuke Proof, but it turns out Nuke Proof wasn’t Chrissy Proof, so when I spoke pulled out of the flange, I built a new one with an XT hub.
    Other bits include a Chris King “NoThreadSet”, which I have never serviced since I built the bike, a White Industries titanium floating BB, which I just replaced the bearings in over the summer. Answer Hyperlite bar and Hyperends, and that gorgeously CNC’d Manitou stem (with it’s now irreplaceable 1 1/4 steerer diameter).
    I still adore this bike. It fits me like a glove and tracks like a samurai sword. I put slicks on it and road it over 2,400 km on the road over the summer.

    Loved that Super V! Very nearly bought one around that same time. Never let go of it! =)

    I agree about the Maguras, never did like them – heavy too. My ‘dale had XT V-brakes and they were excellent. Eventually got replaced with a set of brakes and levers I machined at Uni – they didn’t work any better but did look quite nice.  Pulsate hubs were well ahead of their time, both my MTBs have nigh-on identical Hope straight pull hubs on at the moment, much better than J-bend spokes For strength although it does make the hubs a bit heavier. The rest of the stuff (CK headset, White Ind. BB, Manitou stem) very nice as well.

    I did sell my Super V once to fund my first proper DH rig*. Found it years later on eBay still owned by the guy I sold it to. It’s mine again now and it’s staying that way!

    *Don’t worry, I’m over it now.

  32. @Fausto

    I did sell my Super V once to fund my first proper DH rig*. Found it years later on eBay still owned by the guy I sold it to. It’s mine again now and it’s staying that way!

    *Don’t worry, I’m over it now.

    The big reason I moved on from the Manitou was for disc brakes. I bought a Santa Cruz Blur in 2003 that’s still my main mountain bike. Also a great machine, but I didn’t build it, so it doesn’t have quite the same romance for me.

  33. CX racing has also now had an effect on the road. Even now hydraulic brakes also from the mtb brothers. CX has given us disk brakes and tubeless tires.

  34. @The Pressure

    @scaler911 LOL Is the customer @Steampunk?

    Nah, Steamy would never wear his bolo tie with flip flops.

  35. @Pedale.Forchetta

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

    Somehow I miss this shot of Johnny T earlier. Was a scrolling too fast? Drunk?

    No matter, thank you for the Awesome. This is the guy that made the whole thing happen for me.

  36. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/ChrissyOne/2014.01.10.09.16.27/1//ChrissyOne-2014.01.10.09.16.27-1-44267_437336263239_1576394_n.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1269 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1269): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@ChrissyOne

    Twenty years ago, I built the masterpiece you see before you. In a world of sketchy full suspension designs (Trek’s ‘diving board’ bike was still a thing) this frame was special.

    You had me…

    Doug Bradbury-designed and honed to production perfection by Answer, the frame was (and is) a historic work of art. Gorgeous welds, intricate CNC machining and suspension travel that was neutral enough for cross country yet long enough to win the 1993 UCI World Downhill Championship in the hands of Jürgen Beneke (on an identical design produced by Marin).

    Then you lost me…

    It served as mymain mountain bike for a decade, then becoming a casual bike for many years, until

    Then you had me again

    finally it did a heroic tour as a ridiculously inappropriate road bike all last summer.

    And then a part of me that can never come back to life died. Seriously, WFT? Pray tell you have photos of this.

    1993 Manitou System FS, XTR / GripShit X-Ray

    That thing is the ultimate 90’s MTB Kule, minus the disc wheel.

  37. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/topfunky/2014.01.12.13.28.06/1//topfunky-2014.01.12.13.28.06-1-image.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1269 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1269): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@G’rilla

    One way to respect the rainbow stripes: win the Belgian national championships while wearing them.

    http://www.cxmagazine.com/nys-wins-belgian-national-championship-european-race-roundup?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CyclocrossMagazine+%28Cyclocross+Magazine%29

    …and then Ruin it all by violating Rule #95. At least he’s wearing black shorts.

    (And yes, while Rule #95 is already in the US edition of the manuscript for The Rules, it has not yet been formally announced here. But I bet you can guess what the Rule says.)

  38. @G’rilla

    Live USA CX championships streaming online today. It’s a great time to be into niche sports!

    http://www.cxmagazine.com/elite-cyclocross-nationals-live-coverage-2014

    It was fun watching Katie win her VVth National Title. Unless my math is wrong, that means that in the last decade, she has ridden in her standard team kit exactly once per season – during the championship race itself.

  39. @frank

    That thing is the ultimate 90″²s MTB Kule, minus the disc wheel.

    Sadly, I didn’t know how to build a disc wheel, Tomac have mercy.

  40. @frank Hmmm…

    No half and half bar tape job?

    Empire waisted skinsuits are no allowed?

    Rider should stay on top of the bike, not the other way around?

  41. @G’rilla

    @frank Hmmm…

    No half and half bar tape job?

    Empire waisted skinsuits are no allowed?

    Rider should stay on top of the bike, not the other way around?

    +3

  42. @frank

    And then a part of me that can never come back to life died. Seriously, WFT? Pray tell you have photos of this.

    The road conversion was not extensive. I couldn’t change the bars, because that’s a 1 1/4 steerer, so I can’t change the stem. And with a simple pinch bolt to hold the bars in place, there was really no option to add drop bars.
    Really all I did was put slicks on her and crank the seat up as high as I could.

    Foothills trail, South Prairie WA

    Gig Harbor WA

  43. Wheels Mfg just developed a threaded bottom bracket that fits into a PF30 bike and doesn’t require adapters to work with a 24mm crank shaft.

    It’s more expensive than either a comparable quality threaded bottom bracket or a press-fit bottom bracket, but it might solve some of my bottom bracket problems (easily removable and replaceable for cleaning).

    http://wheelsmfg.com/pressfit-30-to-outboard-bottom-bracket-for-24mm-cranks-shimano.html

  44. Holy Cockrings!

    Mountain Biking can give you an erection! …………………. for 5 weeks

    Mountain Bikers Priapism: A Rare phenomenon  http://www.imj.ie//ViewArticleDetails.aspx?ArticleID=11789                                                          

  45. I enjoy mountain biking as well, but removable face plates on stems, wider profile rims, lightweight saddles, tapered head tubes, integrated headsets, external cup/press-fit bottom brackets, oversize bar diameters, and even shock absorbers had all been used on BMX bikes long before they were experimented with in mountain biking,

    So Road cycling owes much to mountain biking, and mountain biking owes more to BMX. 

  46. @G’rilla.   http://praxiscycles.com/conversion-bb/

    If you’re running Shimano Hollowtech 24mm this is worth a look

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