Thursday, 25 December 2014

May E-bikes heal you

I have had it with electric mountain bikes, or rather with arguing about them, wondering what people have to say in that subject. Perhaps because I've also had it with converting people to what I think and that is the only thing I am willing to convert people to these days: to live and let live. I have read two e-cycle threads too much, one on Dirt website and one on a Swedish forum. It seems impossible, I know, but the growth of the supermassive black (a)hole in the internet, that appeared long time ago in the place of word "dignity" is accelerating. Aluminium, Disc brakes, air shocks, carbon, number of speeds, wheel size generated incredible amounts of pseudo intellectual garbage, mixed with dumb hate shyte that instead of repelling people, makes them gravitate towards it. Controversial opinion seems irresistible to be left alone. Here's what I think is the real issue in that subject, as with many others, I hope this article will shed some light on every discussion on the internet that got too long.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

LEARN TO WHEELIE IN 30 DAYS! Ryan Leech can teach

I wanted to let you guys know about a real great site that I am a member of since some time. The MTB trials and MTB movie star, and absolutely awesome guy Ryan Leech has launched a website called Ryan Leech Connection. I was fortunate to work with Ryan for 9 months on my private, personal integration coaching program.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Test: An Artifact of the past - SHIVER SC

Manitou, Rockshox, DVO and X-Fusion have brought upside down forks back to the mainstream. Under the peer pressure of internet to own such thing I decided to buy one, it's just that all those new beauties are the most expensive forks in their respective segments, so I had to satisfy myself with something else. It is an old dream of mine from times when I started riding, 11 years old dream to be exact: 2003 Marzocchi Shiver SC 120mm. I just had two rides on it and I will tell you how USD works, is it that flexy, is it that plush? It is also a great opportunity to reflect over the fact how far did bike suspension go from 2003 to 2014. Let's go!   

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The King is dead, long live the King!

I believe the World has it's way of balancing itself. Surplus causes vomit, uniformity rebellion, deficit creates need - as simple as that. (Modern) Enduro is burning real hard these days, and it was inevitable, because this kind of riding was close to most MTBers heart, no matter the place on earth. It's been there rising, like a magma chamber under a volcano, large races were there, bikes were pretty much there, but it was the Enduro World Series that caused the eruption. It gave the worldwide phenomenon status to it, it pinned it's identity, allowing everyone to feel proud of having a bike that is no longer a smaller penis of DH racer. More and more people feel that getting 6" bike is the most reasonable choice one can make when buying a new bike. While complete DH race pyjamas from TLD made you stand out until everyone in the line to the lift looked like Sam Hill or Steve Peat, the new breed of bicycle clothing got born manifesting itself in rather solid yet colorful, unmatching kits, padding and XC helmets, DH helmets and soft padding - mix of cultures that is, fun-freaking-tasteic!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Expensive bikes and gear - is mountain biking becoming off-road golf?

Few days ago on Pinkbike I was checking a photo report from 2014 Eurobike and someone made a funny comment under one of super expensive bike components: "Biking was a cool thing to do but I can't afford it anymore so I am riding MX". Are mountain and road bikes ridiculously expensive? Yes but... so what?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Test: Light Bicycle AM33 wide carbon rims

I am repeating this very often: A great bike is about the whole package, geometry and components, you cannot take one thing out of the formula and make it a deciding factor, sometimes a supposedly positive change can require more than one component replacement for the package to feel right. Things can get unbalanced. Then another mantra is that and everything in MTB is very subjective. Just because something feels fast it does not mean it is fast, and symmetricaly if something feels slow it doesn't mean it is slow. The first ride impression on those wheels have proved those points. Here is the review of the recent rims form Light Bicycle.

Test: Ultimate MTB Workout

We often get into buying speed, lighter parts, better suspension, optimized geometry, faster compounds. Those things surely make you faster, they may cut seconds of your race or Strava runs, but the truth is that vast majority of us are not seconds but minutes behind, to what is possible on a specific track in specific conditions. More skilled and stronger we get, the more fun is riding our bike - that is simple. Being able to scrub a table top on A-line is more fun than rolling on top of it or just jumping it and buying shit is not an effective way of getting from being scared to turn handlebars in the air, to throw whips and no handers riding 40k per hour. Being stronger allows you to enjoy your full skill level longer, if you get battered already 30 minutes into the 3 hour ride then clearly you are not having as much fun as a bloke who doesn't hit a wall after 4 hours. But well, buying stuff is fun and can be a good game on it's own, my Swedish forum friends (hello Nils) enjoy their shopping lives more than "that random grump" on the hill talking shit on eating less and riding more. So if we have the disease of MUST BUY, how about we think outside the box? How about we invest in the engine?

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Test: Absolute Black N/W chainring

During the last winter I've had it with my chain guides. First, the Hope chain guide including the fancy Integrated Bash Ring sucked at keeping the chain on. Despite using the clutch rear mech I was just dropping it on and on. Then on one of the rides the lower roller on Gamut P30 seized up permanently. MRP G2 Mini SL got screwed up in Hafjell, in a stupid slow speed crash the boomerang got bent and I have never managed to straighten it up so that the chain wasn't rubbing on the upper guide. That was just before i lost the lower roller to it... lots of bad luck aye, enough to turn my eyes on narrow wide chain ring...

I decided to try that hyped thingy before buying a new guide. There were plenty of options but I wanted to buy something made in Europe, and it happened that there is a Polish bloke in UK making those. He runs a small manufacture called Absolute Black making very nice looking components. So I gave it a try. I bought a beautifully carved 34t chainring fitting my old XTR cranks. The finish quality is top notch and it arrived quickly in very nice packaging. I like such approach to business.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Cairns World Cup - Who is going to win?

It always amazes me, why people want to know the future, what is coming. There are some relatively non-creative fantasies of what is going to come: who is going to win a race or a match. Most of us if asked about the sense of visiting an astrologist or a fairy, would use words like useless, stupid, delusion, mumbo jumbo, waste of money. Yet everytime a new race comes along, many of us "fans" predict future in the same manner, it's just that instead of horoscpes or cards they tell future from start lists, timed practice, qualifications:  Danny is going to win. In more popular sports, like football, tennis or F1, there are masculine fairies. They sit in TV studio and are called: "experts". There are also means of wasting money on future telling called "betting".

I believe that surprise is a bigger reward than "Hah - I said so!"  so just sit back and enjoy watching it unfold alright?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Say NO to Prejudgment! Kill the prejudice!

I recently read a book called Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Augustus Masters. A great book about the mechanisms that push us into unhealthy denial of our own feelings, like: "I was too harsh for my girlfriend today, I should not have shouted on her so much" - "it is because I haven't prayed too much lately, I am too weak in my faith, I am missing the leading power of God". Or more secular interpretation: "I overreacted because I am disfunctional, I grew up with a harsh father", or atheist interpretation: "I haven't read enough articles from psychology, how to control emotions, maybe I should have been more aware of the low atmospheric pressure causing me to be irritated due to diminished ability to focus - I am missing the leading power of Science". Maybe: "I should have taken a spare tube, I wouldn't be so angry after walking home for 3 hours in hard clipless shoes"

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Frame project update

Geometry for the "production" frame is ready. Main differences from current prototype are very slightly slacker head angle, lower BB, steeper seat angle, much more tyre clearance, 650B compatibility. Short stays stay where they are, just as the reach. After testing the bike with longer 417 mm stays I decided that 405-410 for 26" is just this bit more fun. Then by adjusting head angle I need to keep the reach as it is, in order to avoid making the front end too long. We have too many tight corners here to hang around with DH wheelbase :D

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

SOFT SIDE OF MINE: la famiglia, grandi emozioni e una bicicletta

I haven't been writing for a while, not that someone complained about it (pause), but I wanted to explain myself. A lot happened lately. First and most of all I got a second child, a son: Stanislaw. For international purposes let's call him Stanley, Stan :D Not that much to say about it. Then I had plenty of work and I learned loads of new things about architectural visualizations, but that came at a price of a nervous breakdown. Fortunately I have a great and strong wife, I have strong daughter and I am taking an integrity training program with Ryan Leech. Then I had the articles for Pinkbike, and I had to squeeze in some time for redesigning my frame. All that piled up in 3 months, has woken up so many emotions, freaking hell, it's hard to believe as I write this. Anyways, I realized that I arrived somewhere. In the last three years I have been on an emotional roller coaster. I had at least two "revelations" of who I am, what is this world around, kind of existentional stuff, but it wasn't until now that I found some meaning of "one-ness". After one of latest rides it came to me that I could incantate that fine line from the movie with Will Smith "In the pursuit of happiness". That line is: "that new chapter in my life, I call happiness". I felt it, for the first time, that everything fell into place, even though three years ago I would not call such situation as living a dream.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Crank and Sprocket

Just after my first article on Pinkbike I have been contacted by two blokes passionate about starting their own bicycle service place in Cambridge UK. They asked me if I could redraw a crankset drawing I made for Sheman-Oh leak. They wanted their logo on it... I got pissed off! Show some respect to the poor artist ok?! Did anyone ask Leonardo: "Hey mate, love your stuff! Listen, I buy that Lisa´s portrait over there if you paint me moms face into it!"  

Mnah just joking :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Buyers guide to Perspective

I tried to put into this picture as many issues as I can think of. These are things that must fall into place in order to achieve the elusive "optimal performance".  We are all after optimization, even if we think of getting a do-it-all bike, it has it's specifics and well we must optimize it so it can do as much as we ask it to do... rider, machine and element must match!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

WAKI - leak #4 - ButtSX dropper post

Disclaimer: That is the 18 rated content - very poor content in all possible terms - you may feel that you lost time by viewing it. Viewers discrecy is advised.  

Dropper posts are causing a lot of stir in the MTB world. There are very few things invented in recent years that have changed the way we ride bike to similar extent as remotely height-adjustable seat posts. Off course there are circumstances in which it doesn't do much good for a rider, but for most of us, it is a genuine game changer. However taking positives aside it seems to be a bit of a contraption that doesn't work as well as many could wish and there is plenty of room for improvement. Servicability, cable routing and lever operation is on the top of the list of issues that people have with these things and those Michael J style versions with levers under the seat don't really utilize the full potential of such device.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Nice to get some attention :)

I started this blog to let things out of my head, to make it a show room of my bike-related creativity and stupidity. I will try to channel it through here, instead of just being around internet forums and comment boards.  But well this trolling has brought me here, and I don't know where will it lead further, but I am enjoying the process to a great extent. I use to run those Waki-leaks, where I am showing some funny drawings of supposedly top secret projects in bike industry and recentyl I kind of stopped. It happened for a reason, because I got in contact with Pinkbike and they agreed to show my work. I've drawn plenty of material but you will have to wait until it pops up on Pinkbike main page on every 26inch-th of the month :)

That grinds my gears: B-rap mentality

Two weeks ago or so I saw this "Brap - Bike - Rap" video. It wasn't anything special, two girls fooling around, doing something slightly silly but definitely enjoying themselves, thinking they have some good reason for doing it. I really could not care less, watched it and moved on. Quite honestly I've seen or heard thousands of other things that felt under the category "I just wasted 4 minutes my life". I personaly think I waste much more of my time everyday in mental masterbation and I am pretty sure others do that as well, surfing on the dumb-phone, playing video games or watching  movies on TV.  So nothing to blame the girls really...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Waki farts - Gee Achmedton

Nothing to Gee, I respect the guy and enjoy watching him ride, I wish him all the best of luck, but this picture on the left, by Paris Gore cracked me up, I just couldn't let it go...

Arguably Yours: Wacek Kipszak

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

BIKE TEST #2 Santa Cruz Blur TRc

In December 2007 I have bought a Santa Cruz Nomad. It was a bike that embodied everything I ever desired - ultimate versatility, a true do-it all bike, a bike that I can take to any place on the planet and have fun on it. Quite honestly it did just that for those years, I was very happy with it's performance and it looked fantastic. It was a dream bike, I dreamed about since I started riding in 2001. But a lot has changed since 2007, the bike went through two complete transformations in componentry tailoring it more and more to how I used to ride. Last year I came to a point when I decided that I need a new frame. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

WAKi-leak #3 - Trike Aero-kit

Companies like Canyon, YT or SR Suntour are now flooding the market with cheap yet quality products and the big companies are getting weary. They realized that their products may be way too expensive in comparison, and their sales may drop. People might just go for something at a half price that is just good enough to do the job. Just before the Christmas I chatted with anonymous senior engineer (I will refer to him as Mr Oslo) that used to work for one of the worlds most iconic bike brands, the "Trike Bicycles Mexico". He has given me blue prints and a spy-shot of the lost child of his life career, a truly ambitious project: Trike Aero Kit! A project that could turn the tide for the big guns!