Adam Van Winkle

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  • in reply to: What does your bike weigh? #258562

    Hardtail 2005 Specialized HardRock Comp- 25lbs

    Weight Pro’s:

    * Specialized Adrenaline 26×2.25

    * RaceFace Ride XC 720 mm bar

    * 2005 Fox F100 air fork ( by far the biggest weight savings and bang for the buck)

    * XTR 9 speed cassette… while it lasted. (this was surprisingly a big weight factor)

    Weight Con’s:

    * Heavy ass pedals

    * WTB Lazer disc xc wheels

    *3×9 drivetrain

    * My fat ass +200lbs.

    I wouldn’t base any purchases off of weight savings alone unless I was a serious contender in the race scene. That being said, some things really do add up and can make the difference of you cleaning that climb or pushing your bike up it.  I think that tires and wheels are the best spots  to save weight if you have the opportunity.

    in reply to: Shreditation: Mountain biking and mental health #253364

    Man, I had a lot to say here but I feel it’s best to just summarize it and spare the details. –

    I have to agree with everything I have read in the previous responses so far! Riding really helps me shed the stress of the weekly grind and come out covered in dirt and smiling. It doesn’t matter what is wrong in my world on a given day, a ride of any type will improve my mental state. An MTB ride through a beautiful trail area shaded by Redwoods and ferns of course has the most positive and lasting effect on my mental health but truly any ride will help SOME.

    I can clear my head and think clearly about any matter that has been bothering me OR I can leave it all behind and lose myself in the ride. On the other hand, riding can build a foundation for better mental health for long term effects as well. Like how taking my kids along for a ride can build stronger bonds between us and create lasting memories that have a sort of reassuring effect when I’ve spent too much time at work and I begin to worry about how they view their dad.

    I could probably go on but for the sake of others I’ll stop now haha.

    in reply to: Shreditation: Mountain biking and mental health #253361

    You are a humble servant to the good of mankind sir!

    in reply to: Shreditation: Mountain biking and mental health #253360

    ” Life is indeed better though my rose-colored Oakleys thanks to Mr. Santa Cruz and Heller! ”


    Awesome quote!

    in reply to: A Survey about Bike Brands #253358


    in reply to: Lost weight by mountain biking? #253354

    Ditto on using MTBing as motivation to drop weight and stay fit rather than the primary source of weight loss. I got dropped on a group ride that included a 12 year old and an 11 year old. I got dropped due to steep climbs that maxed me out so bad I couldn’t catch my breath. I decided that day that I needed to fix the problem: I weighed 255lbs (@5’10”) and I wanted to pedal up steep hills at the same rate people weighing 90lbs were doing it.

    I started researching nutrition and bike specific fitness and before long I came across the “Ask a cycling Coach Podcast” byt TrainerRoad (I dont work for them). I learned a ton about nutrition and hydration there and was also introduced to calorie counting there.

    I started counting calories and the weight started falling off rapidly. I dropped from 255 down to 245 in less than two months. Getting lighter helped a bunch but I was still getting smoked by steep climbs, I decided to try TrainerRoad since I can’t get to the trails on a regular basis where I live. I use an old roadbike mounted on a trainer in conjunction with the TrainerRoad app on my phone and BAM, I’m burning 500-800 calories within an hours workout that didn’t require me to leave the house and I can do it any time of day. This, in combination with eating right helped me get down to 201 lbs ( I’m still working on that last 1 lb to reach my latest goal lol)

    I saw improvement right away from learning about pedalling efficiency and after a few months of off and on training I have now cleared two climbs that I had never been able to get due to them being long and steep. I have decided to get more serious about it and be more consistent with the training now. I hope to knock down the last monstrous climb in my area by March next year. A climb that reaches 21% grade at one point and stays above 15% for the duration.

    I wish I could MTB often enough to use it instead of a trainer, but it’s not in the cards. I suffer during the week so I can enjoy the ride on the weekend a whole lot more.


    in reply to: going from 100mm to 70mm stem? #250714

    I have played around with this type of thing quite a bit. I have two older MTB’s both of which came with long stems. I have tried all the way down to a 35mm stem on my hardtail and it was great for bunny hopping and riding street. When it came time to sit and spin up a hill however, it was all over the place with the lack of weight on the front end. Ultimately I decided that a more realistic stem length was 70mm stem and wider bars (29″)since the geometry of the bike is more XC oriented anyhow. It struck a nice balance that I can still hop around with but not quite as easily as with the shorter stem.

    My full suspension bike was the same story really, I tried a 60mm stem with a bunch of stack and the front would pop up with incredible ease. This was super easy to jump with but I felt cramped and once again I found that the front would wonder all over the place due to lack of weight on the front end. I lowered the stack which helped but I recently moved to a 90mm stem. I have yet to try this set up but I expect a more balanced feel.

    Also, the bars on my FS have a lot of pullback or back sweep or whatever it’s called so it makes the reach even shorter.

    My advice is to get measured for a bike fit and go with the recommended stem length. You can go slightly shorter with wider bars but going super short will likely have the same effects I noted above. If you are comfortable now, maybe try adding spacers under the stem to give you more stack, this will also aid in getting that front wheel up.


    in reply to: Should I wear a helmet for biking? #240837

    I always wear a helmet when I’m on two wheels. I am pretty sure that I have used up all of my “Get Out Of Death Free” cards by now!

    When I was a kid helmets were awful to wear so I rarely made it past the end of the street with it on. I always hid it in the bushes. THEN one day I woke up in the street looking like “Two-Face” from batman after my front wheel came off during a high speed wheelie. I suffered some road rash and a light concussion ( in hind sight, I’m pretty sure I did anyway. My folks did’t take me to get looked at since I made it home under my own power.)



    in reply to: Clipless or Flats? #236068

    Rode flats for most of my life, tried clipless for about 4 months or so and developed a pain behind my right knee. Fell on my ass riding a wheelie while clipped in and that was the end of clipless for me. Back to flats. I liked the climbing benefit of the clipless but I like to hop around a lot and as a result I do  lot of bailing. I found myself not wanting to do any of that when I was riding clipped in.

    I just ordered those huge flats from Pedaling Innovations. Supposedly those are the bee’s knees.

    The “slide-a-bike”(?) part was awesome! Good thing you didn’t go with your bike dude, that could have sucked. Any other damage on it other than your tire?

    in reply to: Jockey wheels #236065

    Like someone else already mentioned, count the teeth on your current wheels before ordering. Also read the reviews on them, I just cracked a jockey wheel on my Sram X9 read D and finding a descent replacement that would be here quickly was a chore. I checked out those cheap anodized units on Amazon but the reviews featured a lot of trouble with them. Maybe consider the more expensive options like KCMC.

    in reply to: Anyone buy a bike from Bikes Direct? #235327

    I bought a 2012 Motobecane Fantom trail DS 26″ second hand about a year ago. The drive train (sram x9/x7 3×10) is solid as a rock. I have never owned a bike that shifts so consistently day in and day out. The Wheels are still true and the stock spec tires (Panaracer Fire xc) are still holding up well also. The rear hub has me concerned about longevity but I just bought a freehub tool so I can disassemble it and clean it out.

    The fork (Rockshox XC30TK) doesn’t like my aggressive riding style too much and the left side seal just gave up the ghost after my last ride.

    The rear shock (KS coil shock with adjustable rebound and Lockout) is pretty much crap. The lockout does work but the damping leaves one wondering just how bad those DNM air shocks from Amazon are. The selection of 6.5″ aftermarket shocks is pretty limited. Ebay has a few here and there but they seem to be less and less common.  So replacement parts and upgrades may be difficult in the future.

    Other than that, I have no other problems to report. The bike is solid and can take a beating (I am 5’10, 235lbs and I enjoy getting my tires off the ground.)

    in reply to: iPhone bar mounts #220397

    I use a “Rhino Mount” on my motorcycle. I would use it on my MTB for XC rides if it weren’t  such a pain to take it off my Harley. As for the read out option, I use “map my ride” by under armor and it reads out every mile I think. I didn’t know I could adjust the read out though, I think Ill bump that up a bit. I used to use Strava but I found M.M.R. easier to use for other things like jogging and hiking. Plus some of my family is on it in other states.

    When I get to a new trail I am always so anxious to follow the paths blazed by others so that I can enjoy the best of the area and this is when I want to look at my phone for maps. With that being said, I recently rode Joaquin-Miller Park  for the first time and I wish I had chilled out and just went exploring. I didn’t stop to look at trail markers or anything. I eventually just started following other riders around instead of digging in my pocket every 10 minutes. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had just cut loose and wondered around in there. That place is awesome if you are in the SF Bay area b.t.w.

    in reply to: Favorite Songs to Ride To? #209770

    Like most others I dont listen to music while I am riding trails, however I do use fast paced or hard hitting music to keep me going when I am training on steep fire roads.

    I songs that keep me going:

    “Sabotage”- The Beastie Boys ( more of a hauling a** song than grinding up a hill though)

    “Back In the saddle again”- Aerosmith

    “Paradise city”-G&R

    “Enima”-Tool (especially when I am feeling disappointed in the human race)

    “Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor ( just kidding)

    “Walk”- Pantera

    Just about anything from Rage Against The Machine.

    And I always like to start off any ride by jamming with my man Muddy Waters -Mannish Boy gets me fired up each and every time without fail.

    in reply to: Longer or Shorter Crank Arms? #207219

    Been wondering about this myself. My cranks are creaking like an old barn door and I have been thinking about upgrading (not too hard to upgrade from 2005 entry level gear)  I had read something along the lines of knee pain correlating with not having proper crank length. Any truth to that? If I am in the saddle for an extended climb I do get knee pain. I switched from SPD back to flats recently and noticed that the move required some seat adjustment to bring me back into the comfort zone. No more low back pain but the knees have been abused and let me know pretty quick when I’m over doing it.

    also since were on the subject; what crank set would anyone care to recommend? Current set up is a 2×8 (third ring bash guard).

    in reply to: Best used bike find ever #204607

    I had a cousin try to sell me a specialized epic for $100..  needless to say I was skeptical of the bikes legitimacy and did not bite. Sometimes I think about it but my morals are still in tact lol.

    in reply to: What if John Muir had a Mountain bike? #204605

    I am not familiar with Edward Abbey but I think I will be soon. I like that quote!

    in reply to: CRAFTING TRAIL IN THE 21st Century #204209

    How does one go about gaining permission to implement a new trail? Where I live in California most of the MTB “trails” are fire roads. We are mostly forbidden from riding anything remotely resembling a trail with precious few exceptions. I have always been interested in learning about the process to introduce new trails.

    in reply to: Buying used mountain bikes #204204

    I bought a used 2005 hardrock two years ago and I have upgraded EVERYTHING (barring the cranks and BB) on the bike. 90% of the upgrades came from pinkbike or craigslist. Even getting the big parts like forks and wheels for $100 each, I will say that Jeff is right. I now have roughly 600 into the bike. I know that I would not have an air fork nor hydraulic discs for that price new but I would have overall more modern bike.

    If you do go for it, just ride the hell out of it and enjoy. I have yet to cause any real damage to this bike (bent a pedal) doing small jumps and drops, wrecks.. I am 250lbs so that frame can take a fair amount of punishment. I have been on rides with nice new bikes in the group and I kept up just fine on my 8 speed dinosaur.

    in reply to: Mountain bike bar ends: Yea or Nay? #204202

    Nay, Like most other guys have mentioned here, back in the day of narrow bars and long stems they were useful but I’ve got two pairs collecting dust in a bucket as we speak and that is likely where they will stay until I throw them out.

    ** On second thought I might hold onto them as they might become  valuable relics of mountain biking history like the Hite-Rite.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 60 total)