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Grand Rapids // Michigan

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About Me

I build my bikes from piles of parts, and count and cut every gram along the way. It all adds up!

My Bikes

I support the tariffs, and I'm disappointed that this article only provides the perspective of companies that are reliant on China for manufacturing, not the industry as a whole. These tariffs are a great blessing for companies that hire American engineers, manufacture in America, assemble products with American labor, and sell products to Americans. To…
Great review, have to agree with every point you make! My Wahoo Bolt has been flawless over the last thousand plus miles. The battery life is awesome, the data is very accurate, the amount of settings are great, the iOS app/bluetooth Strava sync feature is so easy, and it never acts up on a ride.…
A lot of good info here, and thanks for the effort in reaching out to the sources and incorporating that first-hand insider knowledge! Just a note on the costs of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is actually incredibly cheap -- about $10-40 per frame in raw materials. That said, the price difference in types of fiber…
Thanks for the coverage. This is a really heavy drivetrain! I think mixing and matching with GX Eagle components, particularly the crankset, may be a strategic move. Unfortunately that won't be happening on OEM builds, likely.
Very true, come to think of it! As bikes get larger wheels and the efficiency of full-suspension increases with optimized kinematics, the courses have to step it up. Still, as you note, most XCO courses seem quite easy with only very short technical sections which get most of the coverage. While too many technical features…
budgetbiker   on Jun 9, 2018
replied to Department Store Bike
Welcome to mountain biking!  I started riding on a Mongoose from wally and totally destroyed it on my second singletrack ride.  Then I rode a Huffy Loma from Meijer and totally destroyed...
budgetbiker   on Jun 4, 2018
rode 14.6 miles at Luton Park Trail

Monday motivation via Strava
budgetbiker   on Jun 2, 2018
rode 25.1 miles at Cannonsburg State Game Area

Summer only comes once a year — awesome morning! via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 31, 2018
rode 13.4 miles at Luton Park Trail

No medals??? Crushing. People go fast nowadays. [edit] - oh wait, I did get a medal via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 28, 2018
rode 44.6 miles at M-20 north

North Country Trail plus via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 27, 2018
added a map of Lightning Bend
budgetbiker   on May 26, 2018
rode 5.6 miles at Lightning Bend

Cute singletrack. Had trouble finding the rest. via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 19, 2018
rode 4.2 miles at Merrell Trail

Lil funride ???????? via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 14, 2018
rode 9.5 miles at Merrell Trail

One of those days... ???? via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 5, 2018
rode 11.9 miles at Yankee Springs

Awesome via Strava
budgetbiker   on May 1, 2018
rode 12.4 miles at Merrell Trail

Bizzy dizzy and hot via Strava
budgetbiker   on Apr 28, 2018
rode 8.8 miles at Merrell Trail

Speed machine is ready to rip!!! ???? via Strava
I build my own bikes for this very reason. I pick my favorite frame, every component is as good as possible at doing exactly what I want it to do, and I know everything about my bike. Very satisfying! For those who like brand names and don't have time to build their own bikes, I…
Interesting explanation, really? I've heard about rotors being hot enough to dissipate rain or boiling water off of calipers, but a rotor hot enough to crest the energy barrier for starting a fire would kill your pads, boil your fluid, and probably therefore throw your levers to the bars.
budgetbiker   on Mar 23, 2018
rode 8.9 miles at Cannonsburg Ski Area

CSGA - still riding cheap bikes via Strava
Greg, thanks for noticing this and asking some very original questions! You're spot-on, this sounds like affiliate marketing with low reward and low return. What are their commission rates -- 5% I'm guessing? My LBS would give 20% off any day I walked in the store, and as you say, this won't cost Ellsworth a…
So it may never dry out, but the utility of the sealant will decrease over time as the kevlar fibers in solution are packed and get stuck. This applies to all sealants that use solid mediums suspended in liquid. There just isn't scientific long-term testing data to determine whether latex-based sealants or bead/fiber-suspension sealants perform…
Good luck with the Marji! I'm a southern Michigander and it's almost a swear word at some Local Bike Shops -- "you're doing the MARJI?" I know a few folks who've done very well in this race, and they all say this is among the very nastiest endurance races out there. If you want to…
budgetbiker   on Mar 17, 2018
rode 26.7 miles at Shearer Rd Trail

Saturday gravel via Strava
budgetbiker   on Mar 15, 2018
replied to Where to buy spokes?
My backyard trails are also no one's destination, but there's always lots of gravel, two-track, and forest road in striking distance all set up for adventure. Still there's a grain of truth in it, that somebody somewhere is eager to ride our trails which we all take so for granted.
budgetbiker   on Mar 6, 2018
replied to What makes a god MTB wheel?
Ah, Aaron beat me to some of the points!  ^^.  I agree with Nick that wheels are almost invariably the lowest quality component specced on mass-produced bikes in the budget price ranges....
budgetbiker   on Mar 6, 2018
commented on Buyer's Guide: Budget Fat Bikes
Note that the BD Quigley is no longer sold due to issues with the frames cracking, poor design. Also note that some of these bikes can be found much cheaper than list price (i.e. Fuji and SE bikes in particular), I bought an F@R for $599 from Amazon (!!) and put on 1,300 miles before…
budgetbiker   on Mar 5, 2018
replied to Anyone buy a bike from Bikes Direct?
Well said, I feel ya!  I get the impression though that a better job on the frames would make BD a much more amazing place.  Frames are heavy and old-school geo. Specs...
lawmanfl, maybe I can answer some of your questions. 1) Sellers on eBay and Amazon of unmarked frames are often dropshippers, go to Aliexpress or Alibaba and buy directly from the source. ...
+ 1 other
budgetbiker   on Mar 5, 2018
replied to Anyone buy a bike from Bikes Direct?
Everything was properly tightened before the ride and I didn't notice any looseness during the ride. The skewer looks slightly stripped, but I wasn't able to refind the cap, I'd bet that...
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