Category Archives: Reviews
Well Used: White Industries VBC Cranks
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Even I was a bit skeptical about the ability for my Geekhouse Woodville to throw from a 50t to a 32t consistently, using White Industries’ VBC cranks. But more importantly, I was interested in seeing how the crank arms and rings would hold up to daily use. Well, the front derailleur still throws just fine and they haven’t shown much wear at all. Go figure.

With around 10 months of heavy use, as you can see, they’re still kicking and show very little ‘tooth decay’. There’s very little crank arm rub as well. My Woodville is primarily my around-town, errand getter, bar bike and my go-to ‘big fuckin rides’ vehicle of choice. It’s been camping, tackled the MSOJ and blasted through tons of 1-track.

I have to admit, these are some of my favorite cranks I’ve ever owned.

After receiving emails from people, asking to see updates on the drivetrain, I shot a few yesterday. Check out more below.

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Apr 7, 2014 14 comments
An Ode to the EE Cycleworks Brakes
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I catch a lot of flack for saying things like “these are the best brakes” and “I’ll never ride another set of brakes again”. Rightfully so. What I’ve learned in the past is to say things like “these brakes impressed me, both in design and stopping power” and “modulation is king!”

Writing product reviews ain’t easy, especially when a company gives you their product to test out, which is not the case here. I bought these brakes because I believe in supporting the US-manufacturing economy.

EE Cycleworks is a small shop, that produces a handful of components, all of which are incredibly well-designed – from an aesthetics standing – and from what I can tell so far, are easy to service.

Check out more below!

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Apr 4, 2014 2 comments
I Finally Received My Spurcycle Made in the USA Bicycle Bell
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Yesterday I received my Spurcycle bell in the mail and immediately installed it on my Geekhouse Woodville. With all the madness of SxSW enveloping Austin, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The packaging is well thought out, the bell is simple, all metal (save for some rubber bushings) and the black finish almost disappears on a my handlebars. I know a bell might not seem like that big of a deal, but I am stoked on how great they look.

Now I just need to put one on the MTB…

They’re in the process of shipping all their (10,000) Kickstarter backers at the moment, but there is a pre-order going on now with a spring ship estimate. Head over to Spurcycle now to reserve one!

Mar 12, 2014 17 comments
Chris King Tamper at Wright Bros Brew & Brew
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I’ve always wanted a Chris King tamper, but never had the use for one. A good espresso machine is way out of my budget and besides, I like socializing at coffee shops and supporting the business. I’m lucky to have two shops close by here in Austin, one of which being the Brew & Brew. It’s a half beer, half coffee bar and it just so happened they were in need of a new tamper.

Last week, I brought them a brand new red Chris King Tamper (thanks guys!) and yesterday, during the full nuke sunset, I went by to shoot photos of Megan, the barista using it. I can’t promise epicness, or bikes, but the tamper is damn fine.

Did I mention they have all the colors of the campione del mondo in stock now?

Check out more below!

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Feb 5, 2014 7 comments
Review: The Specialized Edition AWOL Transcontinental Touring Bike
Specialized Edition AWOL Transcontinental

As someone who has everything he needs in a touring bike, I’ll admit that I was a little apprehensive to spend a weekend on the new Specialized Edition AWOL Transcontinental touring bike (due out in late February). Honestly, it just didn’t seem like my kind of rig. I like cantis, the feel of a traditional drivetrain and the look of a 110mm stem.

Now, from what I had seen of the AWOL, it was the exact opposite and that bothered me. A lot. First of which was the riding position. The bars were level, or even higher than the saddle, due to the massive head tube and positive rise, 80mm stem. It looked like a MTB, not a touring or rando bike with its compact geometry.

Next up, a Gates Carbon Belt Drive and an 8 speed Alfine hub – there’s no way that gear range would be wide enough! The bike relied on TRP’s Hylex single speed hydraulic disc brakes. Up until this point, every hydro disc system I’ve ridden on drop bars has felt horrible, especially when compared to my XT and XTR setups on my mountain bikes. Even my SLX on the fatbike felt better…

My opinions aside, the bike still intrigued me and one thing I’ve been trying to work on is separating my somewhat arrogant opinions and being more open minded about product reviews.

When Erik told me that he really wanted to do a ride that was mostly dirt on the AWOL, I figured what the hell? Up to this point, the AWOL has been showed on road, not off-road. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe some of my opinions would change and I’d have to pull my foot from mouth.

That’s exactly what happened. Check out more below!

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Jan 15, 2014 111 comments
The PiNP Top 10 Albums of 2013
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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that in lieu of Tuesday Teardown, I’ve started a #PiNPLP hashtag. I wish I could stay on top of reviewing music, but it’s been increasingly difficult over the years. What I have been on top of however, is expanding my catalog into some pretty strange and obscure acts.

Here’s a disclaimer first: PLEASE go out to your local record shop and have them order these albums for you if you’re interested in including them in your own catalog. They could really use your business.

This year’s Top 10 Albums of 2013 is hardly all metal but there are some very dark bands in there. I’m pretty stoked on this list, so check it out, in no particular order below!

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Dec 31, 2013 8 comments
The 2013 PiNP Holiday List

Look, I already feel a bit self-conscious about how much PiNP encourages our consumer habits but it’s a part of life and I’d rather direct you to some legitimate holiday goods, then have you read some bogus list elsewhere. Most of these products on this list are in my personal collection and have become staples in my day to day life.

Some notes: Buy local if you can, your local bike shop probably sells gift certificates, so support them first and foremost. Most of these products are more “lifestyle” than cycling-related but there’s more to life than bike shit, right? Finally, most of these products are made in the USA!

Check out a few choice products you could buy this holiday season below!

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Dec 9, 2013 13 comments
Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC with SRAM XX1
... and yet, this bike just crushes.

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of sampling the MTB industry’s best 29r’s on the market. All of which, I might add, are exceptional machines and with the right parts and group, can easily be tailored to your riding style and home terrain. While my Indy Fab rigid has proven to be more than fun on my local trails here in Austin, it’s still a rigid bike, limiting not only the lines you can take, but the speed at which you can take them. The latter being one thing I’ve found out the hard way: the faster you thrash, the harder you crash.

One might argue that riding a new bike on unfamiliar trails is a true test of the bike’s performance and the rider’s ability. While I’ll surely agree with that, seeing as how my experiences with many 29r’s have been on new trails, I will say that ripping your local trails on a new bike is the true test. Especially a more than capable ride like Santa Cruz’s Tallboy LTC. Add a Sram XX1 group and ENVE‘s tubeless-ready wheels and you’ve got more than enough reason to thrash fast.

At this point, I’ve spent enough time on a Tallboy to back my bold claims and even with this bike’s accumulated accolades since its inception, I don’t think anyone will disagree with me.

Check out more of my Trail Tested review of the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC below!

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Dec 4, 2013 56 comments