Q: I am a long-time reader going back to the ’90s and the days of NORBA. I have enjoyed the information from your articles and the tons of gear reviewed, even the controversies of leaning towards reviewing crazy-expensive bikes over less expensive ones. A good balance has been found on bike reviews for everyone. Even more important than the future rants of e-bikes is the bigger issue of mountain bike access.

I have supported IMBA in the past and am really befuddled by the recent redirection of this organization’s support for the HR 1349. I read the Wiens letter, which states that they were working with land managers on access and to “protect” the land. I consider myself a responsible mountain biker and a good ambassador of the trails and people I encounter on my rides. Clearly it would be easier to negotiate with land managers with the HR 1349 bill signed into law. This leads me to believe the leadership has been usurped, and I question the direction of IMBA. Maybe I am wrong in my assumption of IMBA, how recently it comes across like an environmental organization. If that is the case, we already have the Sierra Club.

Would you do an in-depth article of HR 1349 and the reasons IMBA backed away from advocating for mountain bikers? I want to understand and support organizations that promote and protect mountain bikers’ privileges. Are any other good mountain bike organizations working towards trail access?

—“Podium Crusher”

A: We have been keeping a close eye on this topic and do intend to comment on it soon. HR 1349 has caused plenty of stir in the mountain bike community the last few months and is a topic that shouldn’t be ignored. We don’t want to get too political, but this bill will have a huge impact on the mountain bike community.


Q: So I have a 2014 Cannondale Trail 7 that I have been riding for a while now. I have upgraded many components, including an all-new Shimano Deore 1×11 drivetrain, new wheels and other less sig- nificant components that come with wear and tear, like grips. When I have been rid- ing recently, a recurring problem has been my suspension bottoming out really hard. It is just a spring fork and not really designed for mountain riding, so an upgrade has been on my mind for a while, but 29er forks are extremely expensive, with a lot
of them starting above $600. My bike was around $700 new, so I was just wondering if it’s a good idea to upgrade. If so, are there any cheaper options, or if I should just start saving for a new bike?


A: It’s great to hear that you’re riding enough to wear out your components. With a new fork getting close to the cost of your bike, you should consider saving for a new bike. While your Trail 7 has treated you well and been a good introduction into the sport, stepping up to a full-suspension like a Habit or Scalpel SE will be a better long-term investment and have more modern technology. Few things are better than “new bike day.”


Q: I’ve been mountain biking for about a year now and have been extremely rough on my bike and will need a new cassette. I was wondering if you guys could give me a recommendation of which kind of cassette to get. I ride a Giant Reign SX and ride it for everything.

—Jason M.

Photo by Sterling Lorence

A: This is an impossible question to answer without knowing what drivetrain you are using, but we can give you some are expendable components and made to wear out. That being said, we don’t recommend getting the highest-end cassette, unless you have to have the lightest gear out there. Shimano makes some high-quality cassettes at very affordable prices.


Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun. Start a subscription by clicking here or calling (800) 767-0345.

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