So the April 2010 issue of ozzy ripper mag [R]evolution has hit the shelves. I’m pretty stoked because, as well as having a boatload of good content, I have loads of my writings and even a full page shirtless picture of me rooting my BB.
Pages 14 and 15, write up of the Stony Hills jam I did, and yup somehow I managed to get a full page shot. I had to be careful doing the write up for Henrys jam because he didn’t really want to have much publicity for it, but he agreed if I did the jam some respect it was ok. So I suppose an event report that reads more like a opinion piece and a picture of an old dude doing no tricks fits the bill. I dunno about the title though, I didn’t choose it but I figure Revo like a joke and Henry will understand.
In February this year I travelled to California and got to meet a true gentlemen and legend of the sport, Carter Holland. I spent two days with him discussing everything and anything. The result is this interview which I am super proud of. It is a very mature piece that doesn’t read just like a Q&A. It started out as a piece about the break up between Blk Mrkt and S&M awhile back, but I had to be very careful about how I approached it. Carter was very nervous about it, but again I think I managed to paint the picture without incriminating anyone.
Like I said I’m super proud of this work and it really marked a statement of how I will be approaching writing this year. Testament to this is that an edit of this interview was picked up by Dirt Mag and will be appearing in a forthcoming issue.
I really want to do a series of big and heavy hitting interviews this summer. I have a list of people I want to ‘do’. Not all are obvious choices and not all are successes and heroes in the typical sense, but have alot of character and I believe will highlight broader social issues and help locate mountain biking within wider contemporary culture. One of the top people on that list is Nathan Rennie, arguably the greatest downhiller of our time, a character with such depth, and some would say strengths and flaws in equal measure. However, upon opening Revo I saw that JT has done an amazing candid interview with him that really goes into some nitty gritty shit about the past few years. Eye opening stuff. Go find it NOW.
Another piece I did for this issue was a review of the Fox 831 fork. I’m not a typical reviewer of technology, and I think that there’s far too much techno babble, gargon, acronyms and catalogue regurgitating that goes on in reviews normally. I’m a feelings person so I wrote how I felt. I have attached the raw words from the review below for you to judge yourself.
I have had a female friend read the magazine and email me saying that it is “without doubt the sexiest review I have ever read. It really got me hot under the collar. I don’t know if I need one, but I want one.”
Anyway, Revo is sick. As well as lots of race coverage, plenty of opinion pieces, road trip reports, deep interviews, and good shots of roosty schralping on every page, Kelly McGarry also made the cover and got a two page Q&A. Both shots are by Camilla Stoddart from our journeys to the secret spot in Otago. I found the spot, made Kellys breakfast, pinched Camillas arse, and dug the lip with my own fair hands, so basically in my own twisted egotistic megalomanical mind this issue should be renamed [S]EBOLUTION.
If you wanna see for yourself what a misguided idiot I am, or just to check out all other the amazing content in this issue of [R]evolution then your in luck because you can download or read it online from today onwards. Yup, Revo are embracing the future faster than most of the big name international mags. This also means if you are currently stranded in the West Indies then you can still read it all. Go to THIS LINK and have a browse around the digital newstand.
THANKS FOR LISTENING
THE 831 REVIEW
The 831 fork primarily came about to meet the demands of Fox sponsored athletes who like to go big or fast on jumps and pumps. In the past the riders and racers had been running special Fox forks like spaced down 36s or even open drop out 32s. Then when Fox redeveloped the 32 chassis with 15mm bolt thru axle there was an opportunity to produce a fork that was light enough for racing and tough enough for dirt jumping duties.
The 831 therefore uses the 32 chassis but scaled down to 100mm travel and contains a modified damping cartridge that is specifically valved for firmer compression damping to aid those gate starts and heavier landings.
Ok, that’s the spiel but what about the drunken opinion, the weak metaphors and the senseless sexual innuendos that differentiate this review from a catalogue description? Well I would hate to disappoint you, so here goes.
Testing these forks was like hooking up with a chick. There are three stages. There is the first glimpse of the hottie across the room, then the first drink together, and then the grope. Bare with me, I promise it will make a sort of sense. Come travel on this tale, and together lets go in search of more than this hotties vital statistics. Lets find out if she is an ideal late night call, a demented cling on that’s hard to shake, a sweet and shy double-crossing hussy, or the casual affair that turns into a six-year relationship.
The first glimpse is like the first time you open the box and see the forks. One look at these forks and they scream class and sophistication. There is no lowbrow naked lady stickers, no wacky paint schemes, or techno babble figures. Just the timeless Fox attention to detail, quiet elegance and obvious build quality. These forks are the lady you see walk into the room wearing the understated black dress. The lady who silently screams style and taste. Self assured but not smug; confident without being arrogant. The kind of lady that turns the room empty as you become mesmerized by watching her gracefully shimmer from the entrance to the bar.
You find yourself drawn uncontrollably to the bar where she sits upon a barstool. Before you even have a chance to compose a game plan you are there next to her, just breathes away from her. You buy her a drink and slide it towards her but your tongue is tied and unable to function. Then in a surprising moment she turns to you and strikes up a conversation. She is more than just friendly and amiable; she is interesting and exciting.
You talk about compression damping and lock out, and she eagerly replies that as well as that she possesses low-speed compression damping that is easy tweaked on the fly, that she has lock out force adjust and that now her rebound knob is on her bottom. You are stunned at her complexity and look her up and down only to see that yes, she is FIT (Fox Isolated Technology).
She tells you that she comes stock to take abuse with 100mm of travel but that if you strip her naked she can be persuaded to take between 80-120mm of travel. You are smitten and the sexual tension is palpable so you jump off your stool and lift her up from her stool. You are surprised that even with her full bust and feminine curves she is very light indeed (3.83 lbs for the 1 1/8” steerer version). Maybe lighter than all your previous girlfriends who disguised their chubbiness well under clever clothes and make-up. Instead this beautiful and clever lady is light enough to throw around the room but sturdy enough to give back as much you can give her.
You have had enough talk and now it’s time to go play and this lady wants to play outside. She wants a roll in the dirt and she tells you she is born for riding…
This is where I should hold myself back from continuing down this metaphorical car crash, it’s will only get me into a sticky situation. Instead lets get back on track and take things down a notch or two.
I will tell you that the ride (on these forks) was satisfying. It’s hard to get excited about the performance (of the forks) when lets face it we have simple needs. The surfaces which dirt jumpers and gated racers ride upon are smooth and manicured. Dirt jumpers aren’t looking for the performance enhancing advantages of racers, or the comfort that trail riders seek. Basically a fork for dirt jumping just needs to be able to sit up well in its travel on the take off, and then take out the blunt end of impacts when we don’t quiet calculate our trajectories correctly. The fork worked as well as it was needed to and there were no nasty surprises within the stroke but that’s as far as an appraisal a fork for dirt jumping should need to go. By nature of the beast, dirt jump forks can only be remarkable if it is remarkably bad.
Maybe gated racers will appreciate the sophistication and choices of having such adjustability and tuneability with their forks, but that advantage is lost on dirt jumpers who pump a couple tonnes of air into their forks, check the rebound isn’t lightning fast and then they may never touch those dials again.
And to those dials, hidden in their beautiful complexity is a lurking demon and that is that they make the fork sit very proud. I had to take to the FIT adjusters on the right side leg with a bench grinder before my bars were allowed to turn a full circle. The Lock Out flip is the main culprit and even after grinding it down several millimeters I was left thinking why? Why do I need a lock out on my forks? This one blue dial seems to be an unnecessary leftover from the forks other life as a trail fork (remember it’s the same chassis as trail forks in the FOX 32 range).
The fork is considerably more expensive than other forks in this category and for that price you do get the peace of mind that having a FOX product brings with it. The quality of manufacture is top notch, the weight is super low whilst maintaining strength, and you do get all the bells and whistles. However I can’t help thinking that having all that extra tuneability and adjustment is lost on 90% of the potential market of this kind of fork. Perhaps dropping the gubbins would allow the fork to drop some dollar off the price tag.
In the end I think this beautiful lady is out of my league. It is an exquisite super model of a fork. It is a charming, sophisticated and dependable companion. It is up for a good time and will have you doing all the nasty things you want to do. It is a Foxy bitch, but like all ladies it has a few hang-ups. She needs her sharp edges filing, and she is going to cost you a small fortune to get her from the bar to the bedroom. If you do manage to lure this gorgeous creature then you will have every red-blooded male staring enviously and asking himself; “how did he manage to get her? He looked bloody ugly going through the jumps.”