MTB Performance: Intrinsic Motivation and Technology–What’s the Tie?

Image: Pixabay

Words by Amanda Wilks

Your MTB performance depends on two factors. One very large factor is your intrinsic motivation. Why are you in this game? What drives you? Is it a habit? An addiction? Are you doing it because it’s the thing you dream at night, you wake up for, and you want to do for the rest of your life? If that’s so, then technology is what will fuel your ambition and aspiration. Technology is the second most important performance factor. Carbon, computers, dropper seatposts, you name it, they’ll invent it.

What’s the perfect tie for your best MTB performance?

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Under Test: Time ATAC XC 6 Pedals

Shimano may have been the first company to successfully develop and market an off-road clipless pedal, but Time’s ATAC has been a favorite of many riders for more than two decades. Known for its easy engagement and superior mud shedding ability, the ATAC design has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction. Designed for XC mountain bike and gravel riders, the XC 6 features a hollow steel axle, composite body, and adjustable tension.

Does Time’s ATAC XC 6 still have what it takes for mixed-terrain use? Stay tuned…

First Impressions: Marin Four Corners Bicycle

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel bike gravel grinder touring Marin Four Corners Shimano Sora

Thirty years ago Marin Bikes got its start designing and selling bicycles in the eponymously-named county that’s home to Mount Tamalpais and and the iconic Repack race. And while the company has a deep history in mountain biking, Marin’s lineup also includes models for women, kids, pavement, and mixed terrain. If you’re a drop-bar aficionado there are plenty of bikes to choose from, including the versatile Four Corners ($1099 MSRP).

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Under Test: Wolf Tooth PowerTrac Chainring

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel bike gravel grinder wolftooth chainring 1x narrow wide
Image courtesy of Wolf Tooth.

Oval chainrings may look radically different than their round counterparts, but not all oval rings share the same attributes. Wolf Tooth Components’ PowerTrac Elliptical rings feature reduced ovality and more aggressive timing than the competition. Why? According to Wolf Tooth, the PowerTrac design offers more power and traction but without the uneven pedal stroke commonly associated with more aggressively shaped chainings.

Do Wolf Tooth’s PowerTrac chainrings deliver the best of both worlds? Stay tuned…