HOW ABOUT SUBSCRIBING?
I haven’t been able to find Mountain
Bike Action in any store or newsstand
around Lebanon, Oregon. I am behind
by several months. What’s going on?
We have very little control over which
stores or newsstands decide to display
Mountain Bike Action. You need to ask
the store if Mountain Bike Action can
be added to their magazine selection. Of
course, you can always subscribe. You’ll
never miss another issue and save $51
over what you are paying at the
newsstand. Operators are standing
by at (800) 767-0345.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
The picture of the seat tube angle
measurement in the February “Garage
Files” article demonstrates why a
smartphone is not a perfect tool. The
buttons on the side of the phone hold
the upper end of the phone body
away from the post, and you can see
the light gap wedge between the two.
That’s a few degrees of measurement
error right there. A smartphone is
pretty easy to use wrong. I bought
a $30 digital angle measurer and it
works like a charm.
The story and photos by Hansi
Johnson on fat bike riding really got
me fired up. The problem is, I live in
Phoenix, Arizona, and would seldom,
if ever, have a chance to try that type
of riding. Am I nuts to plan a winter
vacation away from Phoenix so I can
try fat biking?
Yes, you are a little nuts. Just kidding.
Methow Cycle & Sport, (509) 996-3645,
in Winthrop, Washington, specializes in
fat bike rentals and winter adventures.
We would point you in that direction.
I tried 29ers when they first came
out and found that early versions
steered like trucks, suffered from gearing issues and were excessively flexible. I kept trying them over the years
as they evolved and found that those
issues were solved several years ago.
I tried a 29er in 2011 and bought
one because it rolled over rocks/roots
so much easier than my 26er. After
riding it for several months, it occurred
to me that I had not crashed since I’d
gotten it. In the three years that I’ve
been 29ering, I’ve hit the ground far
less often, and endos have almost been
I live in Denver and ride the Rocky
Mountains, so having wheels that
run over and through stuff instead
of stopping and stalling is priceless. I
will never go back to 26-inch wheels.
I rode a friend’s 27. 5 and liked it,
so that could be a future option, but
26-inch wheels are no longer a
I had a great time on a wide variety of
26ers over the years and enjoyed them
in the right conditions, but I’m safer and
healthier on bigger wheels. I hope you
will add “less crashing” to your list of
advantages for bigger wheels.
I used to dream of my next bike with
a child-like enthusiasm. It’s going to be
lighter, faster and smoother. The boys at
the trailhead will all take note, and then
not see it again till the ride is over.
This year, I couldn’t find anything
that inspired me because I can’t justify
paying $8500 for a bike that has a mix of
Shimano XT and a $300 rear derailleur.
I purchased a full Shimano XT
Schwinn Homegrown (with college
money) back in the ’90s, and it was just
a little over $1000. This was a ton of
money, but I thought feasible because it
was a lightweight, aluminum, state-of-the-art bike.
I cannot fathom paying more than
$3000 for a new ride and will absolutely
not buy a $3000 bike that comes with
Shimano Deore or SRAM X7 parts.
This new world seems to be killing
my love for the sport I once enjoyed so
much, and I wonder if the bike companies know or care that they are letting
go of the generation that supported them
through the ups and downs.
I hope that I don’t have to sideline
my bike, as it is the sport I hung on to
through marriage, jobs, children and
politics, but who can afford a bicycle
Rapid City, South Dakota