Unfortunately, this year's longer routes had to be cut short due to the painfully slow pace we had in the snow. We only reached the bottom of the Bobblet's Gap climb before deciding to get on Route 11 and then Bike Route 76 for the long pull back. We leave you with some landmarks you will see along the route, in beautiful Botetourt County.
In the tech industry we've heard the word "disrupt" so much we vomit in our mouths a little every time it is said yet again. The disruptors, excuse me, companies in question do typically do just that. Yet, like anything in the tech industry it becomes so highly saturated it is hard to discern who is blowing smoke and who is not. Its quite interesting the mountain bike industry, being as tech hungry as it is, does not fall susceptible to the disruption phenomenon as often. When it does happen, it happens hard. Enter the OneUp Components dropper post.
Up until this post came out we had some undeniable truths exerted onto us about droppers.
The OneUp Components dropper unsheathes its sword and swiftly cuts down each of these points in one fell swoop.
As YT has proven to the entire industry, price still is king. Even in an industry where something as inconsequential as cranks can be sold for $1000, if you want to do volume, you need to cut prices. WalMart, Amazon, ect. have displayed this on an astronomical scale, and as much as we would like to think our industry is different, it is not as much as it seems. Do not get it twisted, I loved my $400 9Point8 dropper post to death and really did believe it was worth that price, but at the point where I can have 2 of the OneUp posts for the same price, my brand loyalty simply falls away to my wallet loyalty. The $200 price point is more than fair for something as simple and crucial as a dropper post.
One picture above you will see my Ibis Ripmo, and why it is such a remarkable bike, regarding seat posts. The seat tube is not bent, meaning that the post can be inserted almost down to the bottom bracket. You'll also notice how short it is. This is a size large, I'm 6 feet tall, and I could actually go over 200mm! Okay enough swooning over a bike that already has enough hype to feed the industry for many moons. Even if the Ripmo did not solve these problems the OneUp dropper solves them on both ends.
The max insertion length for the 170mm drop post is 243mm and for the 150mm is 223mm. This is quite short and ensures that even if your seat tube has a bend in it (Stumpjumper riders know what I'm talkin' bout), you will be able to get your max drop. OneUp did not stop there in ensuring the post will fit its rider, because each post's drop can be adjusted. (170mm down to 120mm, 150mm down to 100mm) This is achieved by a simple install of their $10 shim. Given the price point and the adjustability this sounds like a no brainer for companies to spec this post OEM with their bikes. I suspect Fox and RockShox are concocting some tough negotiating points to keep their posts slapped into each new bike that rolls off the showroom floor.
As someone who does almost all his own work, (I'll cut fork steerers, I don't chase threads) this post being user serviceable is crucial. I've been on one too many rides with people who are on a static post while waiting a week or more to get their droop master 9000 back from being serviced. OneUp sells a simple, fully sealed, cartridge for $80. At this time I can't find anything on installing it, but I will take this as a good sign and assume nobody has had to yet. In all seriousness, not dealing with seals and replacing the entire internals in one full blow sounds like a dream. Of course, you could always elect to take the path I have and have a full blown replacement ready to be shoved in there at any point.
Astounding price and features aside, the post's design gives off a no-fucks-given yet still elegant aura that I find on few products, cycling related or not. The fact that the height measurements (pictured above) are not lines with numbers, but the phrase O N E U P C O M P O N E N T S is both badass and genius. Its much easier for me to remember: Sentinel stops at the "O N" and Ripmo stops at the "O N E U P." Beyond this the seat rail clamps simply have an arrow indicating which way needs to be oriented forward.
You call it an anecdote, I call it info from "in the field", but I have seen this dropper post sprout out of more and more seat tubes every day. I've witnessed people trash their non standard (read: not RockShox Reverb or Fox Transfer) posts such as the Thompson, E13, and 9Point8 in favor of this dropper. The OneUp dropper has truly disrupted this corner of the industry, one that desperately needed it.
So you just finished a ride on new-to-you amazing trails, trails bearing signs of obvious hard work at the hands and McCleods of diligent volunteer stewards. You’d love to volunteer, but you’re just passing through. Even were you local, spare time is tough commodity to negotiate. LuvTrails, an app in development, addresses this and many other quandaries and barriers to great trails and upkeep thereof.
What can you give, if not time, that all trails--everything really--needs? Money, yes! LuvTrails provides a portal to make donating to the trail or trails of your choice. With geo-locator feature, it “knows” where you rode, gathering useful data for further analysis, but first and foremost, LuvTrails makes it easy to donate. Not only that, say you visit a use fee system like Carvins Cove in Roanoke, Virginia. LuvTrails can handle that transaction, in addition to functionality to facilitate donations to the local club that maintains and builds in that system apart from the use fee.
LuvTrails CEO Arrie Rossouw… collected Canyon Topeak pro Jeremiah Bishop in Harrisonburg and journeyed to Roanoke for a presentation at Downshift Bikes as a stop in the LuvTrails US promotional tour. Arrie, from South Africa, lives amongst tremendous trails on mostly private tracts with varying use fees and payment protocols. One often crosses boundaries onto multiple properties during a day’s ride, making responsible payment a cumbersome and improbable thing. This may have been the inspiration behind LuvTrails, yet capabilities beyond this handy process streamliner are still being realized.
Survey: how many apps are loaded up on your phone? How many do you use? For an app to fulfill its noble mission, it must be functional and used, and Strava sets the standard as the best live activity app going. Automations for push notifications when your ride’s done (How’d you like your Dragon’s Back experience today? Would you like to donate?), or setups that automatically draft a specific amount per mile ridden are available. The key may be seamless flow with your activities, including potential touchpoints with Strava.
Donations flow to local clubs either designated by land management, or have adopted or most provides for a trail or area. There’s plenty to be worked out, but plenty has been already. Besides unveiling a killer app, Arrie’s quest is in search of investors to make LuvTrails fly, so if you’re so inclined or perhaps know someone, tag up with Arrie through Facebook or the website.
Meantime, check out a semi-functioning demo version in the Apple App Store now, and on Facebook and LuvTrails.com.