Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Yup its a single speed and yes it is rigid. Oh and the shot was taken at about 12700 ft.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
2 or 3 years ago my friends and I found a cool line back in the woods with what seemed to be an impossibly big jump at the end. Granted, we were 15, but it was still huge. We wanted to see someone hit it soooo badly, but as we checked back every once in a while, we just found that it had become more and more overgrown. As we progressed we began to consider rebuilding the jump, but never did. It remained the “Phantom Jump”. Recently, we showed filmmaker Josh Talatzko, and he was super stoked on it! He was totally down to help work on it so we could hit it for his movie “The Locals”. After a couple build days, many gallons of water, and lots of practice runs, it was ready to hit! It was really dark, so I only got 4 runs in. The first run I went off at almost full speed from the drop before, ditching the bike midair and landing basically to flat on my feet! Luckily I was ok, and the next 3 runs went much better! It’s a crazy jump because it’s got a full 6 and a half foot steep dirt jump lip, but with a 20 foot gap. The landing is a little harsh from the height, but nothing the Rampant couldn’t handle! We had a chance to head out there today so I could hit it some more. It’s definitely one of the biggest jumps I’ve ever hit, if not the biggest, so it felt really sick just to be in the air that long. I started to trick it with some tables, a 1-foot x-up, no-foot-cans, and wanted to tailwhip it. Justin got out his camera gear and I went for it!
I’ve never tailwhipped a jump that big, but I spun it fast, got back on the pedals, nosed it in, and rode out smooth! It was soooo satisfying riding out clean, as the jump has been somewhat legendary around here and I’ve wanted to hit it for so long! All I can say is watch for “The Locals,” as Josh kills it with the camera and already has some epic shots lined up for this jump! I’m sure this won’t be the only trick you’ll see thrown on it either!
Photo Credit: Justin Brantley
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I'll have more pics soon but so far here are links to some of the media visits.
the paradox here
Scroll down to see Zac's Legend
So we're slowly making our way back but stopped in to say hi to the guys at Tam Cycles in Mill Valley and grab a quick ride, and then play in Mark Weirs backyard before we head up to ride Ashland.
This years interbike sure will be a memorable one. I'll make sure I do another post with all the dirty little details like our booth not showing up, our demo tents blowing away and now having to sleep in the truck cause all the hotels from San Fran to San Rafeal are booked up... crazy I woke up with the smell of stale beer, feet, and ass. I've been in the same pair of boxers for 3days and i need a shower bad! Small sacrifice to pay for getting to ride this beautiful part of the world.
Sitting in a Starbucks in Novato but i should be home soon and will catch up with lots of pics and stuff.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
So I got the chance to bring my tractor to my buddys place with good dirt and I have been building the jumps for about a month every single day. Its gotta be hard just to look at the photos and understand what going on but their is about five different lines in their somewhere with anything from transfers to pump tracks, normal jumps and big berms, The big set was just started in thease photos but they are about 20ft gaps and 7ft tall lips and landing that stand about 12ft tall and go deep into the ground.
Anyways theirs a bunch of photos of the new jumps and shot of me riding my small set
hope you enjoy
COMMENT i wanna hear what you think
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Fam Jam in Folsom was last weekend and it was sick! As soon as we got out of the car we were blasted by heat. Hearing different guesses about how hot it was, I saw a thermometer and it said 104 F!?! I got all signed up and started riding. The heat wasn’t bad, thanks to all the ice cold free drinks everywhere! The course started with a roll-in to full sprint into a wooden lip with a step-up/left hip landing. Then there was a roller to big straight jump to another roller to a steep left hip. The first wood jump was closed for most of practice so I got all my tricks on the other stuff out of the way and dialed in. Once qualifying came around, I did the run I had been doing in practice, which was a bermslider over the 1st jump, t-whip on the 2nd, and a 270 on the 3rd. They announced the results and I ended up qualifying 2nd, so I was pumped on that! We got some more practice as the clouds rolled in and it cooled down a little. I got tons of questions about how I like the Amp frame, and with only good things to say, people seemed stoked on it! Some even asked me if I had other Banshee frames and how those rode, so I told them all about the Rampant! The sun began to go down, and the lights came on! All of the clouds made for one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen! Of course, Justin was on it, getting the sickest shots of the 2nd jump with the epic lighting. As it got to be time for finals, we got ready on the roll-in. The format was best run of 2 counts, so I planned on doing a somewhat conservative run for the first, and then trying some gnarlier stuff on the second. My first run went perfectly as planned with a 1-foot x-up on the 1st, a t-whip over the 2nd, and a 270 1-foot x-up on the 3rd. For my second run, the plan was a no-foot-can on the 1st, a flip on the 2nd, and a 270 tailwhip on the 3rd. I was nervous about the 270 tailwhip, as I’d just learned 3-whips at the step-up, and haven’t taken them to dirt yet. It was time to drop in, so I sprinted into the wood jump, nailed the no-foot-can, and realized I hadn’t flipped the 2nd jump from the 1st (only from the roll-in mound in practice). I thought I would take 2 pedals like I did from the roll-in, but ended up overclearing and sliding out. Oh well, guess that’s how it goes. I watched Cam do his run and it was time for the podium! I ended up getting 4th place, so that was cool! My friend got everyone’s best run on film, so I put the clips in order from 5th place to 1st. I’m the one with the red shirt.
And of course, some insane shots from Justin, with a flip from practice and a tailwhip from my first run.
After the comp, the park was still open, so I did a redeemer flip! I rode until the park closed trying some new things on the jumps like flip 1-foot x-ups, super-seaters, and downside whips. All in all it was a long, but awesome day! We began the long journey home, making the necessary stop at In’n Out, running out of gas, sitting through road work traffic, and finally getting home at 3:30AM! It was well worth it though!
Photo Credit: Justin Brantley
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
A few days ago Mike, Cob, and I met up with filmmaker Josh Talatzko and photographers Dan Guetter and Justin Brantley. We did a huge shoot at the Cliff Jumps for Josh’s upcoming full length biking film. I don’t wanna give anything away, but some pretty gnarly trains went down. Josh set up several cable cams, with one passing directly over the top of the last jump. Definitely much more filming to do, as today was only the first full day, but based on seeing some of the shots on his camera, I CANNOT wait to see how it turns out! He’s planning on doing sections at all of the major spots around the Aptos area so it’s gonna be legit! Anyway here are a few behind the scenes shots!
The man behind the lens, Josh Talatzko
And this is only the intro shot!
Choo choo, train time!
Doing a t-whip a few feet away from the camera!
A little taste of the scenery.
Photo Credit: Justin Brantley
Friday, September 11, 2009
Banshee describes the Scythe as a bike that simply put, just works. That it definitely is, but unfortunately it is overlooked by a lot of riders as its stock geometry is more on the freeride side of things.
Using a 8.5 x 2.5 shock over the stock 8.75 x 2.75 shock, the geo settles to something in the right ball park for dh. Here is my experience of the first 3 months on the Scythe with this set up.
Parts are all transferred from my rune previously, I did have to build up a new wheel set as the rear is a 150mm for the scythe. Wheels are ZTR Fows laced to Hope Pro 2s, i cannot believe how light these wheels are, definitely gives the bike a very different feel. Easy to move around and accelerates well. Nothing special about the rest of the set up really. The build comes to around 37lbs with tubes, and just under 37lbs tubeless.
I could go a bit slacker by taking the fork up to 8 inches but the geo it working fine the way it is now. The bike was easy to get used to, single pivot in the back, nothing fancy going on in the links, nice geometry all made it a very simple machine. Nothing that will catch you out and surprise you, i felt right at home on it.
I am really impressed with the 2009 dhx, its quite an improvement over dhxs of past. Due to my light body weight, it normally means i am not able to run much compression damping using the pro pedal and boost valve before it felt really harsh on the higher speed hits. Not the case with the 09 dhx, it's almost a pity that they are replacing it with rc4 already.
This combined with the light wheels and simple frame make for a very good ride, it really feels glued to the ground and has loads of grip. A good mate of my agreed too, said it rides better than his full on dh bike.
There isn't really any particular thing to shout about with this bike, that's not to say it's dull or rubbish. There are no fancy linkages in the suspension, clean lines that are functional as opposed to being pretty.
It's the whole package that makes this bike a great bike, one thing comes to mind when i think about this bike. What santa cruz used to say for their super 8: it's like a sharp axe in a world of broken chain saws.
At the end of the day it passes the biggest test, it puts a huge smile on my face!
the purpose for his visit was not purely social, he came to show off his "Spitfire" trail bike protype - which looked very sick!!
above: Keith pretending to be a bike mechanic in the Freeborn Esher workshops...
above: Keith with his Spitfire in the Esher Shore bike park
above: the Spitfire prototype in all its glory...hmmm ;)
above: my stepbrother Sam Rogers and the latest addition to his family, Roxy, check out the Spitfire - by the time Roxy is old enough for biking, Keith will be designing anti-gravity bikes, a la "back to the future"!
Keith and I spent some time checking out the brand new Esher "pump track", which was running very sweet (its slightly different to most pump tracks in that it has 6 foot elevation changes and 50 foot long berms!) on my Mythic Rampant - unfortunately no photos as we are keeping the new track under wraps until its opened in Easter 2010
we setup the Spitfire with pro-pedal and lowered the fork and as far as trail bikes go, it actually handled the pump track pretty darn well!
I also had a good blast around on the Spitfire and despite being a size too large for me (at 5'10" I would ride the medium) my first impressions were that it felt tight, light and pedalled very quickly
Spitfire is looking very good already, and Keith has some changes to make before production, it can only get even better
Thursday, September 10, 2009
So I got my Amp frame all built up about a week ago and thought I’d share my first impressions. As I got on it, the first thing I noticed was how low the front end is. My old frame didn’t use an integrated headset so I am pumped on having one. Upon riding it around in the bike shop parking lot, I realized how low the bottom bracket is, so I knew it’s going to corner like it’s on rails! By the time the bike was built, it was somewhat late in the day. I took it to the Post Office jumps though, and was very impressed. The frame’s overall lower center of gravity, along with it’s slightly longer top tube allowed for a much more stable ride than my old frame. I made it through the set first run, and then started tricking. I was able to pull all of the tricks I normally do with ease, and we got a few quick shots on the new line as it started to get dark. I would have filmed more, I was just having too much fun riding!
The past few days have been spent riding and shooting different spots with photographer Justin Brantley. As you can see here, he slays it with a camera!
That’s about it for now. The Rampant is all built up as well. I still gotta work out some kinks with the rear brake but I’ve gotten to ride it a little and already know it’s going to be one of the funnest bikes I’ve ever owned! It feels sooooo fast on trails and jumps effortlessly! More on that later though. For now, here’s a pic of it!
Well, I’m off to Folsom tomorrow morning for the Fam Jam! Super stoked, it’s gonna be sickkkk!
Thanks to Banshee, Gamut USA, and Scotts Valley CycleSport for getting me all set up on the new rides!
Photo Credit: Justin Brantley
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
A couple of weeks ago James and I went to the West Fernie Dirt Jumps. I forgot my knee brace at home so I was on camera duty. James got to ride with a bunch of the local 12 year olds.
(If you can not spot James, he is the bigger guy on the left.)
We had a great summer or riding and hope that the snow does not come too soon. There are a couple more trails that I want to ride before I head back to Taiwan.
Rob and Jim
Monday, September 7, 2009
While back in Nelson last week I got two good rides in on the Paradox, one on Paper Bag, and one on Seven Summits.
Paper Bag, is a technical descent oriented trail that starts out with a lot of up-and-down before dropping the vert in short order. Me and my buddy Waz used to ride it on Saturdays in high school to shake off the hangover. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden it clear minded. The Paradox was great for the initial part of the trail with lots of speed and direction changes. Now-a-days, people just ride the downhill portions and push on the uphill portions. The Paradox brought me back to 2000, when free riding included climbing. She made it up most of the tech portions with little effort from me. I bitched out on a few things, but mostly because I was feeling tired and just didn’t have the drive that day. Plus it was super hot. I like how stable the bike feels on uphill switchback corners. It does feel bigger than a 26’er but still somehow still fits. It feels more stable and like there’s more room for error – forgiving I guess.
Jay mentioned that DHing on the Paradox was a little like brining a knife to a gun fight. While I don’t disagree, it is important to note that a knife can be just as deadly as a gun, when used properly. The DH portion of Paper Bag was more challenging on the Paradox than on my FR bike (obviously!). However, everything was still rideable, but at a lower speed and with a little more deliberateness with regards to choosing a line. You can’t just point and shoot in the steep and loose, but you can choose a careful line and pilot the bike down. Of course, the Paradox is not intended to be a gravity bike, but my point is, it’s still capable, though it doesn’t excel at DH oriented riding. I found myself lofting the front wheel just a little to smooth out the transitions of the many steep rock drops/chutes. A square edged rock managed to put a nice flat spot on my rear rim. I was waiting for the hiss of leaking air for the rest of the ride. Somehow the flat didn’t occur till we were already down – but it was right at the flat spot on the rim. Strange. Always remember to carry a spare 29r tube in your pack if you usually ride 26 bikes – or at least a patch kit.
Side note: If anyone wants to check out Nelson trails, pick up the detailed guide book Roots Rocks Rhythm from one of the many stores on
Seven Summits is definitely an epic XC/AM trail that everyone should try. It has become reasonably popular (especially for a Kootenay trail) and we’ve hard of people driving 8 hours from
Overall, I think a little bit of the vulnerability I felt on the descents was due to the Scwalbie 2.1 Little Albert tires. The have a very rounded profile. So, although you get a longer contact patch with the 29er wheel, it is also narrower with these tires. I don’t know what that does to the entire contact area – might be equal to or even less than a 26er with fatties at low pressure. I want to try some different tires soon. I have a feeling it will completely change the feel of the bike. The little Alberts are great for ripping the shit out of tacky and loamy singletrack, but when the going gets tough (steep and loose), they left me feeling a little exposed. Jay, what do you think of your set up? Didn’t you pick some 2.3’s or even 2.4’s? I can’t remember.
This afternoon, I spent some time monkeying with my cockpit set up on the Paradox. I rocked the handlebar forward a little bit, so the curve of the bar would be more upward, and less backward. I also moved my brake and shift levers further away from the grips. I fussed over the Reba a little bit and increased the compression damping a few clicks. What a difference! I felt a lot more confident in my braking and overall body positioning on the bike. The greatest benefit was the fork adjustment though. I’m not overly familiar with RockShox, so it takes me a while to get them dialed the way I like them. With two clicks (from fully open) the bike felt more stable when adjusting my weight and braking – less pogo stick action. It bunny-hopped way better and felt better launching lips. And, I didn’t notice any loss in bump absorption. Does anyone have any advice on how to set these forks up? I’m all ears. I sure wish I’d had my bike set up this way for Paper Bag and Seven Summits – I would have ridden better for sure.
Oh, I stopped by Hardcore Bikes today and threw the Paradox on their scale. She weighted in at 28.66 lbs (13.00 kg) with the build I described before plus a little bit of dirt and with my steerer tube still an inch above the top of the stem. Oh, I also changed the front derailleur to an X9 with the high clamp – and there is more tire clearance now.
Anyway, this afternoon, me and my buddy Dustin went and sessioned some Mill Creek Trails (back in
While I was back, I also met up with my buddy Travis Hauck (the NRG rep) and did a heli-drop to Burn and Beyond up Kokanee (on my FR bike not Paradox…. sorry guys….). This trail starts at the top of
Should be a fun fall, with tackier trails,
Oh, by the way I remember reading a post on the blog a while back all about the Scirocco. In the comments, a few guys were jonsing and couldn’t find any to buy. Good news my friends. I was at Sacred Ride in Nelson and noticed a Scirocco (not sure what size) hanging from the rafters for CAD $350, so there you go!