Smashing Vancouver Island! - Page 3- Mtbr.com
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  1. #401
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    I got out to Cumberland BC for some mountain biking and camping. The Smash got a good work out on faster trails than my home trails and riding fast on trails which is always a bit challenging when you don't know what's around the corner. Sorry no ride pics as we were too into the flow to want to hold up and get the phones out.

    I've not been riding as much as I would like due to a nagging arm injury, but the Smash took care of me. I was a bit worried about my fitness, but I managed to climb within a few seconds of my PRs on some of the longer/steeper pitches. I shouldn't be surprised any more, but dang this bike climbs well for a machine that goes down so well.

    Going down I don't feel as one with the bike as I would normally this time of the year since I've been taking it easy on the arm, but I still managed to PR a few ~3 min sections by 20 to 30 seconds over my previous times. That was all Smash I was just along for the ride and trying to not to get in the way of the bike. I've fully adapted to the -1 deg headset now. I never think about the bike being slacker than it used to be. It just works.



    The Stooge Cycles Moto bars and slightly higher bar position really seemed to work for me. No issues on tech up or down, but my arm/elbow would normally have been irritated by the end of a ride with serious pounding/techiness, but this time it felt great. I haven't been able to say that for a while.

    I'm 100% on the 500lb spring. It's just working perfectly with the Vorsprung tune. Great traction/small bump all the time and I can't find the end of the shock off drops. I'll bring the 450lb spring to the GG PNW Meet Up if anyone wants it we can talk over a beer.



    I've been riding with a worn out rear tire and just making due, but I got tired of that so I put a new tire on the front and moved the front tire to the rear. It's so nice to have fresh rubber. I shouldn't be so lazy.



    I copied someone else's GG under the DT bottle setup and replaced the cage/bottle with a Fabric cageless bottle. Looks clean when I don't need two bottles and that lower bottle is totally secure even when things get rowdy. It's a little detail, but it's a nice touch.



    After helping a bunch of friends troubleshoot their droppers I'm glad my 9.8 has been trouble free. No maintenance. No drama. I appreciate the fact it's got a setback head every ride. That's a sweet option.

    So ya I'm stoked on the Smash and looking forward to another great summer of riding. If you are wondering when I'm going to upgrade to a Revved carbon Smash my answer would be no plans at all. This bike works so well for me there is no point even thinking about replacing it. Of course I'll get to enjoy my GF's Revved Smash at least vicariously.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  2. #402
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    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...d-roll-top-bag

    Anyone try one of these WT Roll Top bags in the new Revved frames? I'm looking for a tool carrying option under the shock that's not custom for my GF's Size 2. We may get her a custom frame bag, but I want to make sure she can roll packless this summer right away since her bike is arriving mid-season.

    Any other suggestions welcome.



    To clarify she'll have a 2nd bottle under the DT and the 1st bottle in the stock location under the TT. So this bag needs to fit in the space under the shock on a Revved Size 2 frame.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  3. #403
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    Smashing Vancouver Island!-sqlabs.jpg

    If you are keen to try some ergo bars and the hassle of trying to get a rare/small batch bar like the Stooge Moto from the UK doesn't appeal to you SQLabs has a US site and is sold on Amazon. For mountain biking they offer 12 and 16 deg backsweep bars in AL or carbon. All of them are 780mm wide. Note the rise in the spec seems overstated. So if you want a higher rise bar buy the max rise option and expect it to be a bit lower than the product page says.

    - AL 12 deg: https://sqlab-usa.com/collections/ha...-mtb-handlebar
    - carbon 12 deg: https://sqlab-usa.com/collections/ha...-mtb-handlebar
    - AL 16 deg: https://sqlab-usa.com/collections/ha...-mtb-handlebar
    - carbon 16 deg: https://sqlab-usa.com/collections/ha...-mtb-handlebar

    I'm going to put a 16 deg AL SQLabs bar on my winter bike and see how I like it compared to the Moto bar.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The Stooge Cycles Moto bars and slightly higher bar position really seemed to work for me. No issues on tech up or down, but my arm/elbow would normally have been irritated by the end of a ride with serious pounding/techiness, but this time it felt great. I haven't been able to say that for a while.
    Nice! Glad they are working out for you and helping with the nagging arm issues.

  5. #405
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    Smashing Vancouver Island!-4-parks.png

    I've been doing a $hitty job snapping trail pics on rides lately. I guess I'm just stoked enough to be on the trails that stopping the flow to score a photo doesn't cross my mind.

    Keeping with my stoke for not firing up my truck to ride my mountain bike we got out last Saturday and linked up 4 parks/trail networks from my house. Lot's of fun exploring the neighbourhood in a different way. And stopping for a pint of ice cold beer mid-ride was a nice reward for the extra pedaling.

    We ran into a crew on cross bikes and when they realized we were on a big ride with burly mountain bikes they started trying to convert us to their spandex sausage casing foolishness. Yup. The Smash is burly with dual coils and wide knobby rubber, but I can pedal it at a decent clip all day. Singletrack, fireroad, bikepath or city street....whatever The Smash gets it done and never complains.

    I'm not suggesting it's the best choice for XC racing or anything like that, but you can sit at home and analzye your fleet of 5 bikes to determine which one is the optimal rig for the ride at hand...or you can have a versatile bike like The Smash as your One-Bike-To-Rule-Them-All quiver and spend a lot less time analyzing and a lot more time outside riding.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  6. #406
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    For those Guerrillas that care about Size 2 frames [like my GF!!!] check out 4:26 in the video.

    Great to see one in production. Thanks to Rebekah G for pointing that out to me.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #407
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    Summer weather is in full swing here on the Island. At least as much summer as we get. Someone from AZ would probably wear a sweater on one of our crazy hot summer days.

    I've got some friends coming later tonight from Portland to check out the Island trails so I tuned up the Smash and got her out for a long ride yesterday to make sure she was dialed.



    Mostly awesome, but I don't know what it is with these SRAM Centerline rotors. I have gone through 3 of them in a year. They get bent and then start squealing. My rotor truing skills have so far just made things worse. I'm not smashing them into rocks...at least they show no impact marks so if they are coming into contact with stuff on the trail it's not noticeable. Maybe it's just the heat that they are dealing with on extended descents???

    Anyways I'm over them so I'll ride into town today and grab some Shimano XT rotors and see what happens. I use them on my other bike and have never had issues. **fingers crossed**

    The ergonomic changes I made to the Smash bars seem to be paying off. I'm continuing to amp up the shred and I'm not having any symptoms of tendinitis. That's like the first time in more than a year I can say that so my stoke levels are super high.

    Just in time since I have to do a bunch of riding next week showing the Portland Crew around and then the GG PNWet Meet Up in Bellingham.

    Smashing Vancouver Island!-hombres-ride-map.jpg
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  8. #408
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    First thing I did was change the SRAM to Icetech. I couldn't stand the sram turkey warble. They worked great with the Code RSCs. They are 203mm and not 200 though. I had to space them out with washers to get them to fit.

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    First thing I did was change the SRAM to Icetech. I couldn't stand the sram turkey warble. They worked great with the Code RSCs. They are 203mm and not 200 though. I had to space them out with washers to get them to fit.
    Good to hear I am not alone I really like the Codes just not the SRAM rotors.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #410
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    Smashing Vancouver Island!-gg-size-2-2.jpg

    For any Guerrillas waiting on Size 2 frames here is Rebekah G's TP from FB. Note the big water bottle and flipped shock. Looks like my GF will have a lot of water on board when she wants it as we'll put another bottle under the DT and then a tool bag under the shock.

    Smashing Vancouver Island!-gg-size-2-1.jpg

    Just need the bike now.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #411
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    2019 Revved Smash P0rn - Phoenix.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  12. #412
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    I skipped work yesterday and showed some friends from Portland around the trails in the Sooke area on Southern Vancouver Island. I didn't manage any actual riding photos, but I did get a trail side happy snap of the Smash in its natural environment.

    I got the XT rotors installed and it was beyond amazing to have strong braking with no sound from the wheels. Codes + XT rotors seem like a sweet setup.

    The Smash is riding great now that the rotors are sorted. I love it when a bike is humming along perfectly and I can focus on my ride and not think about the bike. It's just doing it's job quietly and there's no drama.

    A dual coil Smash is probably not the first bike that comes to mind for bigger rides with lots of climbing. But, it pedals so well I can't really imagine a ride where I'd want a smaller bike...especially when all that climbing pays off in a tough descent.

    Smashing Vancouver Island!-big-sooke-loop-map.png
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  13. #413
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    Skipped another day of work yesterday to get high with my friends. The Smash is running perfectly at the moment. Having a sweet bike and getting to peak summer fitness feels so great.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #414
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    Instagram doesn't just happen!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  15. #415
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    Truck loaded. There's just a ferry, international border and a short drive between me and the GG Bellingham Meet Up.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  16. #416
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    Size 2 TP shown above.

    I got to see the Revved carbon GG bikes in Bellingham this weekend. I gotta say wow they look sweet! The construction details all look were notch and they just look so darn mean.

    I'm not getting a new bike this year, but I still found myself on the GG site last night building up a virtual Trail Pistol! I didn't pull the trigger so my VISA card is safe, but I was tempted.

    One thing the old metal bikes do have going for them is all the amazing finish colours. They really stand out compared to the black, black or black finish options on the Revved frames. My two favourite Revved options were black with black decals or black with sliver decals. Both looked super classy.

    I'm not getting rid of my metal Smash, but I am more amped about getting a carbon GG now that I have seen them in person.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  17. #417
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    GG Bellingham Meet Up this past weekend was great. I didn't do a hard count, but it felt like we had 30-35 riders at the event. A solid crew for sure.

    The trails were super fun to ride and with guides there was no reason to pull out my phone every 5 mins to check trailforks. There was just enough rain in the last few days to keep the dirt at hero levels without getting muddy. In fact it's the first time I've been in Bellingham when it wasn't uber dusty and loose.



    It was great to meet everyone...some folks for the second time after the Oct 2018 Moab GG Meet Up. See so many fine GG bikes in one spot.....especially all the new Revved carbonium frames. And get to explore the trails. Josh and his lady threw an awesome BBQ on Saturday night for everyone.

    Good times!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  18. #418
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    Hey Vik, when you got a min. to respond I'd welcome your feedback. In regards to handle bar sweep angles, and rise, and SQL n such.

    I'm reading some reviews on SQLlabs site about 12* vs 16*. Some of the 12* reviews suggest considering going straight to 16* bars. Some 16* reviews hint at only going to 12*.. I see some saying this has helped with finger numbness, which is my primary issue with bar layout currently. And possibly/likely related to ulnar nerve pressures, which is also mentioned.

    I understand how more sweep can be more comfortable, esp. as bars get wider, but what are the cons of increasing sweep? It sounds like you've been able to adapt, I'm sure I would too. But curious about what it changes, esp in high speed or technical scenarios, if you are able to explain it some?

    I also saw someone comment about the 'rise' in SQL bars being less than how others may measure it. So, I'm looking at their "45mm rise" bars. I currently have a 20mm rise, and feel like I could use [5-10?mm] more (all my spacers are underneath the bar atm).

    Also wondering about stem length changes due to the increased sweep? I have 35mm diameter stems in 50 and 40mm lengths, and currently mostly prefer the 40mm, but for longer, pedally rides I feel like a 45 or 50mm may be more comfy..but I like how the 40mm feels when pointed down and the added responsiveness of the shorter stem. I have no 31.8mm stems, so would have to get something new, and wondering where I should start? 45-50mm? since the sweep will bring the bars 'back' further yet? Or maybe its only a few mm further back with the sweep, I dunno?

    I should probably get in touch with SQL as I get closer to a decision, but I welcome real people/world feedback as well.
    '18 Guerilla Gravity Smash 140/150 29"
    '05 Giant Reign 150/130 26"

  19. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotax7 View Post
    Hey Vik, when you got a min. to respond I'd welcome your feedback. In regards to handle bar sweep angles, and rise, and SQL n such.
    I'm happy to provide some feedback, but a disclaimer - bars are super personal so I think the only way to find out how they work for you is to try.

    When I have had hand numbness issues in the past I moved to Ergon grips with wider support areas and brought my bars closer to my saddle to take weight off my hands. I have had numb hands with 45 deg sweep bars.

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Ergon-GA3-...Mountain-Grips
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Ergon-GS1-...n-Racing-Grips
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Ergon-GP1-...-Comfort-Grips

    I found that massive sweep [ie 45 deg Jones bars] does not make me happy on steep techy terrain, but is great for non-technical touring. There are folks who like these bars for techy riding including Jeff Jones himself. I found that the 16-17 deg sweep bars [ie. SQLabs or Stooge Moto bars] definitely felt a bit odd at first on techy terrain, but were fine after a bit of riding to allow my body to adapt. No real cons other than you may or may not love the new ergonomics.

    We were charging pretty hard [for me] at the BHam GG Meet Up last weekend and I spent zero seconds thinking about the fact I was on 17 deg backsweep bars.

    I never got around to trying the 12 deg backsweep SQLabs bars as a friend wanted them so I sold them to him. I kind of regret that as I would like to check them out and I may order another set and see what I think.

    The 17 deg backsweep bars did make my cockpit feel a touch shorter, but I was fairly stretched out anyways so that was fine and I didn't change the stem. I've read about some people wanting a longer stem, but others keep the same length stem when moving to more backsweep. I'd say if you feel the cockpit is currently roomy stick with the existing length stem. If you feel a bit cramped currently bump it up to the next length.

    The SQ Labs bars are not as high rise as spec'd so definitely get the highest rise option. The Stooge Moto bars should be available again this month and the are 17 deg backsweep and they are a true 38mm rise.

    This isn't that helpful, but my plan with bars is to just buy whatever I think might work. Try them out and then see what I like. I can sell/trade the ones I don't like to someone else and often bars that I don't like on bike A end up working on Bike B so having a few bars in the quiver to try out is helpful.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  20. #420
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    One of my Vancouver Island riding buddies died unexpectedly this week. That knocked me back on my heels emotionally for a few days, but when the weekend rolled around I dusted off my Smash and got 7hrs of saddle time on the trails.



    I don't know a better way to remember a fallen mountain biker than to turn the cranks on the trail and appreciate this great sport and all the amazing folks you get to spend time with in the forest, mountains and desert.

    Get out there ride your bike with your friends and enjoy every moment you can.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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