Friday, April 29, 2011

Short vacation in NC!


WORS / Subaru Cup MTB Race Video

This video was composed/edited by Marty Tank of the Airborne Flight Crew. He is a finalist in the Subaru Cup Video Remix competition and he needs your help! It's pretty simple, really:

  1. Watch the video. The more views, the better
  2. Leave a comment. Go here to let him know what you thought. Again, the more comments there are, the better for Marty.
  3. Spread the word! Let your friends know about this cool video!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sea Otter 2011: Mega Recap Post

View of the expo. Photo Credit:
My mega recap post of the 2011 Sea Otter Classic is officially live on! Don't worry, the mega-length is mainly due to the multitude of images and not a multitude of words, so it's still pretty easy to digest!

In the recap, I cover everything from cool booths and products at the fair, to average people riding at the event, to different nutritionals I noticed, and I even include a few race photos.

Much of what I included in the post has already been covered here on GRT, but there is a good bit of new information and a couple of new photos as well. It'd definitely be worth your time to check it out!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sea Otter Classic Posts by the Flight Crew

Photo Credit: Tony Caruso
I have been posting blog posts like crazy about all of the awesome happenings at Sea Otter, and so have many of the other Airborne Flight Crew members. Check out some of their posts here:

In conclusion, check out this great video recap by Neal Bryant, professional videographer and Flight Crew member:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Is Mountain Biking?

Artistic video I found about the essence of mountain biking:

What is Mountainbiking about? from Filme von Draussen on Vimeo.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Airborne Flight Crew Racing DH

Left to Right: Marty Tank, Dan Lucas, McCall Shilling, Neal Bryant. Jerry Hazard not pictured.

Suiting up.
Rolling Out
Jerry Hazard during his race run.
Photo Credit


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Purely Custom Bashguard Photos

Details on this innovative bashguard to come in a blog post.


Friday, April 22, 2011

A Few Photos from the Pro Short Track Race

Sweating like crazy
Game face


Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Top 5: Best Mountain Bike Trails in the North Georgia Mountains

Pinhoti Trail

I just published a new blog post on detailing what are, in my opinion, the best 5 trails in all of North Georgia:

  1. The Pinhoti Trail
  2. Bear Creek
  3. Stanley Gap
  4. Bull Mountain
  5. Stonewall Falls


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SRAM 2 x 10 Drivetrain Review

If you believe everything that you read, supposedly the latest and greatest innovation in mountain bike drivetrains has been the new 2 x 10 shifting set-up. Frankly, I've been kind of skeptical as to if there are any real tangible benefits. In my eyes, 2 x 10 seemed to be just another gimic for the big drivetrain companies to make more money off of. Over this past weekend at Sea Otter, I was able to put SRAM's X7 2 x 10 drivetrain to the test over a 17 mile ride on hilly Fort Ord singletrack.

Yes, I was skeptical going into the test ride, but I was willing to give this new system a fair chance at impressing me and winning my allegiance. However, I did not expect to be won over quite so quickly and decisively!

I am incredibly impressed by how intuitive the 2x10 shifting system really is! 

With a regular 3x9 (or 8, 10, or 7...) I am constantly going over different shifting strategies in my head, verifying that I am in fact in the right chain ring for the cog that I want to jump into. "1 with 1-5, 2 with any cog, 3 with 5-9..." numbers seem to constantly stream through my head as I ride.

This is not the case with 2x10. Instead of focusing on picking the right gear combination, I was able to focus on the trail and maximizing my power input to the drivetrain and maintaining a good circular pedal stroke. The two chainrings do indeed easily reach each one of the 10 cogs on the cassette! All of the numbers and calculations are gone. With a 2x10, I can just focus on going up and down when needed.

Of course, for a really rolling course with big, steep climbs that come up fast it will probably still be a good idea to be in the appropriate chainring for the climb. But, I was also really impressed by how well the drivetrain shifted while under power. The chain jumped from cog to cog easily, but I was also able to shift the chainrings despite having them under a reasonable power load. I am sure that there is eventually a limit to the amount of power you can shift under, but with even just half-ways decent anticipation and shifting skills you will probably never reach it.

Also, it needs to be noted that this system is also lighter than a standard 3x9, which I'm sure all of our inner gram counters will appreciate!

The only gripes that I did have with the system were that I did notice the lack of a few of the gear choices. I noticed the higher granny gear, but since I was aboard a hardtail 29er I didn't really miss my lower option all that much. However, on the speedy downhills I was really yearning for a larger high-end gear to maximize my momentum and push that speedometer up as high as possible!

Bottom Line
You could be an absolute beginner or be a wee bit on the dumb side and still be able to shift this drivetrain like a professional! So far, SRAM's X7 2 x 10 drivetrain is hands down the best-shifting drivetrain I have ever ridden! The older high-end components (X0) comes close, but it still didn't shift as well under power or nearly as intuitively. 

I am looking forward to receiving my new Airborne Goblin in a few weeks, and then I will be able to put this drivetrain to the test over a longer period of time to see how it endures the wear-and-tear of rowdy East Coast singletrack!

Your Turn
Have you ridden 2x10? Write your thoughts below! 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sea Otter Style and Speed Track (Video)

The big dirt jump
New this year at Sea Otter is a "style and speed" event that is comprised of a pump track, a couple big dirt jumps, a timing machine, and a panel of judges all rolled together.

Pumping the rollers
In the berm



Monday, April 18, 2011

Camp of Champions Airbag (Video)

Tail whip
Camp of Champions is one of the premiere mountain bike camps in the world and is suitably located in Whistler, British Columbia. This year, they brought down their massive air bag down to Sea Otter for anyone to try their tricks on.... free of charge!

Everyone from seasoned dirt jumpers to prepubescent kids were dropping in and launching out into the air, enjoying the nearly absolute lack of consequences no matter what the landing looked like.

Dropping in

Tail Whip 2
Photo Sequence, shot #1: take off.
Photo 2: Backflip Attempt
Photo 3: Inverted
Photo 4: Landing not looking good
Photo 5: No consequences



2011 Fox Suspension Photos

Fox's new suspension lineup. 

I love the new deep tan/gold color!
DH shock.
Fox Talas
Fox Van


Industry Nine Photos

These wheels are a work of art and art insanely light!

Look at all of those color options
Industry Nine really has almost every color imaginable.


Thoughts about Sea Otter While Descending into Chicago

O'Hare International Airport
How exactly am I supposed to write about the entire scope of my experiences at Sea Otter? My time out there was so action packed, so filled with new contacts, products, conversations, trails, riding styles, and overall experiences that I am having a difficult time processing it all. This may be a bit early to say, but I think that Sea Otter will again prove to be a significant step in my mountain bike career.

What the exact aftermath of the event will look like, though, remains to be seen. I look forward to working with many of the people that I met there for the first time, as well as the others that I had known from before. Based on my awesome interactions with those people, I think that the bike industry is headed in a very positive direction, and I’m happy to be a (small) part of it!

Unloading and unwinding is what I really need to focus on before I can really begin to write the detailed posts that I want to write. I think that sifting through the hundreds of photos that I have taken will help me to organize my thoughts and posts, so expect to see a random assortment of photoblogs in the near future. However, I hate to wait too long after the event to write though, as I tend to forget the true passion or impressions I had at times in the past. The same can definitely be said for trail reviews and the like.

I truly hope I can find adequate time to complete this unloading, unwinding, and writing this week. I don’t arrive in Georgia until 10 o’clock tonight, and I have class right away at 8 a.m. in the morning. It is going to be a rough start to the week!

Moving neon lights above a walkway at O'Hare.
I’m not sure how many posts I’ll be able to publish over the next week. It may be a lot, it may be a little. If you aren’t caught up on all of the Sea Otter action that I’ve posted so far, be sure to visit the Sea Otter tag and check out those posts!

PS I hate descending in an airplane. The pressure just continues to build up in your ears until the sides of your head are going to explode on the people sitting on either side of you. It never seems like the pressure equals out easily either, it always takes a half an hour or more to return to normal. I guess that is one of the many prices you pay for traveling 500 miles an hour across the country.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Miscellaneous Photos from Sea Otter, #1

Niner with a lefty.

So many delicious flavors of peanut butter!
Cool coffee mugs.




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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

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