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Thursday, August 16

I have come here to bury Garvel...

not to praise it.

Two topics, one post.

I forgot to mention one thing about the Pisgah Enduro™.  You should do it.

If a weekend of good times, big rides on marked courses, and convenient (and cheap) lodging in the Pisgah sounds like your kinda thing, come get some.  I still can't believe that so few people take up the bunkhouse option.  $40 for two nights gets you a front row seat to the pavilion, a full-on kitchen, private rooms, clean bathrooms, and a bunch of showers (albeit designed for a human 3.5 apples tall).  It reminds me a lot of a two day version of the Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race, minus the racing up hills and fewer (none?) people riding in spandex super hero kits.

And the other totally unrelated item?

I think I accidentally built myself a garvel bike.

It was not technically my intention to do so.  Mostly, I wanted to get the Industry Nine/NOX Carbon wheels off of the bike that I was using to get beer and ride around town.  Wearing out perfectly good knobs and spinning around on 32X18 is no buenos, but I just didn't wanna put too much effort into making a change.  So, I put out a half-assed feeler...

So nothing decent at first, but then some Hope hubs on Stans Arch EX rims at a great price... but all the way over in Lincolnton.... but the guy comes uptown for work sometimes...

I did end up having to carry them home from work one-handed, which made for an interesting ride on the tarck bike.  Upon inspection, I did find that the rear wheel had a little hop, a little wobble, and mebbe one rounded nipple, but the bearings were smooth and the price was totally right.  I then had 9/10 of the problem solved.  I coulda just dug some half-worn tires out from my downstairs murder room, but I wanted to roll around on something faster.  I placed my order with Maxxis, and a week later...

I went with the Re-Fuse 700 X 40 with TR casing.  I don't want tubes in my life if I can avoid them.  I coulda got something narrower, but I have to admit to being slightly intimidated by setting up tubeless shit higher than 50PSI.  Anyways, comfort wins.

Also...

quick releases instead of bolt-ons...

700 X whatever tube with a tire lever...

and a pump.  I doubt I'll ever flat, but at least I can go out into the night with nothing in my pockets other than money, my phone, and a copious amount of lint.

Yeth, mebbe this would be a good garvel bike, once the pedals are swapped to SPDs.  With Pisgah Monster Cross looming, I have a few things to consider:

Gearing.  I have no clue how to gear a 700 X 40 bike for climbing gravel roads in Pisgah.  I've done Monster Cross on 32 X18 with (mebbe) Ikon 2.2 tires in the past, but that was just the best I had without spending money.

I wished I wouldn't have given away the matching stainless steel cage.  An easy problem to resolve, aside from dealing with the regret.

That high post.  Sure the Moots post provides comfort, but riding without a drooper feels dumb.  I rode in to work this morning, and just pulling up to a red light undrooped feels trbl.  I can only imagine descending down a washed out garvel road at almost 40MPH would feel even worse.

All that, and I'm not wasting a trip to the mountains to shake it out.  If I can get out there in the next few weeks, it's with a "mountain bike" to ride "mountain bike trails" in the "mountains."

And then Watts also reminded me this past weekend that we talked about doing Monster Cross on a tandem, although we're always drinking beer when we have this discussion.  I've never ridden a tandem (other than a whippy clunker), and the idea of stoking and not seeing anything other than Watts's ass and also being terrified because I have nothing to do with controlling the machine?

Gads.

This bike also means that I'd have an almost reasonable option for the "road day" of the 2019 Tour de Burg.  "Reasonable" meaning the best option that I've had since I owned an actual road bike... which was a very long time ago.

At this point, the only thing I'd really like for the bike would be a Wart Fork™, so I can put a basket on it for beer fetching, but tracking down a steel fork with 15mm front axle and warts, the right headset lower (or bearing race), and a rack sounds paralyzing and prolly cost-prohibitive.

So this is it for now.

Wednesday, August 15

2018 Pisgah Enduro™: Part 2

Before the sun went down, Jim had made his way to our porch and told me that I was up on him by 3/4 of a second.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
Mills is totally not looking a homegrown porn on his phone.

I eventually made my way over to the results to see for myself... it was actually 3/4 of a minute.  He had gone down pretty hard on the Star Gap stage and pretty much wiped out the lead he had established on Rattlesnake.  We were neck and neck on the other two stages.

Still, I felt confident that the two stages on Heartbreak would play into Jim's favor, so I proceeded to handicap myself physically and mentally, resolved to the fact that I couldn't slide off a two man podium no matter how poorly I treated myself.  Not to mention, the rain kept on through the night, and the need to numb down my worries about tomorrow was strong.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
I don't wanna brag, but I'm pretty sure I was asleep on the couch in the bunkhouse before 11:00PM.  I did wake up with a slight headache and a reduced desire to participate in any form of being a human, but thirty something ounces of a coffee and a breakfast burrito gave me the energy to at least get dressed.

The sun is out.  Maybe it won't suck so bad.  I roll out with Daily, Mills and one-day rider Jesse at 8:35AM.  We need to be all the way out on the top of Heartbreak before noon.  Once we're off the pavement and into the meat of the hike-a-bike, I go forward on my own.  I was smart enough this year to leave my shirt rolled up and strapped to my fanny pack.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
Dry clothes and a jacket are a great thing when you're sitting on top of Heartbreak for an hour and a half.  I push past rider after rider, eventually nearing the top when I see a hiker coming down.

"You're the seventh guy coming up."

Oh no, you didn't.

I step up the pace, passing five more riders, making myself second in line to hit the first Heartbreak stage (after the top ten male/female riders get theirs).

Mebbe I got up there in time for a beer.  Mebbe two.  Mebbe.  And some warm bag-o-wine.

Noon rolls around, they begin to get things organized, and the bottom falls outta the sky.  I was ready to descend in a dry cotton t-shirt, but now I'm grabbing my GORE jacket and tiny hat and also break out my frown.  Heartbreak is gnarly enough when it's dry, but going down it in the pouring rain is gonna be nuts.

Brim of my hat pulled down, hood up under my helmet, I wait for my turn.

I push down on my right pedal, begin to roll, and shit goes sideways in less than sixty seconds.  I'm careening off the massive wet roots, sliding over the rocks, shitting all up in my shorts.

Come around the first tight right-hander into the real chunder gnar, one foot clipped in, the other dangling out in the air.   I managed to clip in right when I saw Chris out there in the pouring rain with his camera.

 photo cred: Chris R

 photo cred: Chris R
I'm probably only a few minutes into my run before the rain just up and stops, but the damage is already done.  My glasses are a mess, and the trail is a river.  I'm the most scared I've been on a bike in a very long time.  My brakes are skwonking and my hood is rattling over my one good ear, but I do my best to listen for riders coming up on me.  The bill of my hat is no longer trying to keep rain off my glasses but now just limiting my vision even further.  Without any more precipitation, my jacket is just holding in my moist heat...

I'm miserable, terrified, all over the trail, and all I can think is, "family, mortgage, job, family, mortgage, job..."

One rider comes past me and then another.  I get around one of the female riders, get into the Death Root section, opt to run it... and almost end up falling off the side of the mountain anyways.

Just.  Make.  It.  Stop.

I finally get to the end, immediately get my jacket and hat off, blast my glasses with my water bottle, make my way to stage two.  Who knows if the rain might decide to kick back up again, and the trails down here appear to be much drier.  I'd like to think the Death Rock (where all the spectators will be) is as dry as I remember when I walked up past it... hours ago.

I start my run, and although my confidence was fairly shaken higher up, I regain my ability to ride a bike.  I've been down this so many times, I know where to let 'er go and where to reel 'er in.  I do realize that I never readjusted my helmet after removing my hat and hood, so when I get the chance, one hand off the bars for a quick turn of the dial.  Safe'ish again, but on my mind the whole time now... "Death Rock, Death Rock, Death Rock..."

I can hear the crowd before I see them.  They're waiting for the carnage, the bravado, the Roman Coliseum of the Pisgah.  I roll in with great trepidation, somehow convinced that something might have changed since I scoped my line hours ago.

It hadn't.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
I lived.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
That is my absolute best Blue Steel look ever.

I hang out long enough to see Jim roll in, he taking the Death Rock with more speed than I, reaffirming the loss of grip on my narrow lead.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
Meh.

Mills, Jesse, Jim and I roll to the aid station, but then I leave for the last stage on my own.  I want open trail this time around.  Just me and my old friend Kitsuma, just like the good old days.

I stop at the turn into Kitsuma because there's nothing marking the intersection.  Vandals.  Saboteurs.  Assholes.  I grab the confirmation tape from the trees just beyond the turn and stick them closer to the intersection, but only after combing the nearby weeds for a discarded arrow or pieces of course tape only to find some but from the wrong event.

 photo cred: Chris R
I get to the start on Kitsuma, begin my run before realizing that I never squoze the sweat outta my helmet pads, and the jostling has it pouring down into my eyes.  I'm such a moron.  The first chance I get to ride one handed (again), I squeeze the juice out and get back to business.  It doesn't feel like as clean of a run as yesterday, and the cable on my drooper is so infected with grit that my saddle won't stay up in the pedally bits so I can keep my speed.  Meh.

I get to the bottom alive tho, done and dusted, but with the Pisgah Enduro™ under my belt, so okay.

Spaghettios, Coke, shower, beer, beer... pack my gear.  Jim rolls in, takes his timing chip over... and comes back with the news that I got him.  Somehow, I'd managed to add (albeit very slightly) to my narrow margin.  Not sure how that happened, but whatever.

We both get on the podium and pick the same Maxxis tire for a prize, so it all came out in the wash same same.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 

Tuesday, August 14

2018 Pisgah Enduro™: Part 1

Pisgah Enduro™.  Hard Ass Class (rigid/hardtail).  Because... why not?  Fun?  Two days in the woods with friends?  Better than being ded or sitting on the couch watching a Happy Days marathon?

Get up there Friday night with Bill Nye in the pouring rain.  Awesome.  Try to time our van exodus to check in between downpours, dodging rain drops and sadness over to the bunkhouse, and settle in to watch the rain from the porch.  It's looking like it's gonna be one of those kinda parties.  Eventually, Mills and Daily roll in, Jim... I think.  Things got kinda blurry as we tried to drink the rain away, and somehow we don't turn in until 1:00AM.

Ouch.

Up the next morning and the ground is moist like a can of Dinty Moore beef stew.  Sigh.

Only Jim and I are signed up for the hard ass class.  I've already conceded to defeat, but without a surprise appearance from Thomas "Hat Man" Turner, I'm guaranteed that second step (as long as I can finish). 

I convince the others to load up on the first shuttle ASAP when it arrives.  The loading is more orderly in the past, and it quickly becomes apparent that first on will be last off. 

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
Sorry, gentlemen.

We get shuttle up to Ridgecrest, and while the unloading ensued, I realized I needed to head to the port-a-pottie to unload a little myself.  When I emerge from the blue closet, everyone is gone or rolling out, save Daily who's holding my bike.  Meh.

We get to the top of Rattlesnake after a sweaty amount of effort that I always forget is coming.  Line up in an orderly fashion, and Shanna comes around with a bag of warm wine.  When in Rome...

Consume my wine, jump on Bill Nye's back wheel when he starts, and watch him ride away.  I always kinda forget how brutal of a shock to the system Rattlesnake can be, what with it's high speed, tight, chunderous start, followed up by even higher speed, washed out, rock strewn double track with hard turns to keep your brakes warmed up to proper operating temperatures.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
I get down to the bottom alive but also confident that Jim dusted me on this section.

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
He says he wrecked but only rolled around on the ground for a bit before remounting his attack. 

We head over to Kitsuma as a group and make our way to the top.  We decide to go in a non-spaced-by-a-minute-each group of three to make with the expediency of the day.  Bill Nye first, then Jim, then me.  I let Jim roll just outta sight and start my way down Kitsuma.

I know this trail very well.  Years of ORAMM and ORAMM-related preparing, I know where I can let things go, even on a rigid frok.  It was pretty rare that anyone ever needed to get around me at any of the ORAMMs I can remember.  I punch it on the couple of small rises, and come around a hot corner... and there's Jim on Bill Nye's tail.  I come up on Jim and ring my bell.

"Dicky?"

"... god dammit."

Jim doesn't let me come around, but why would he even?  I'm the moron who didn't leave a gap.  They end up getting a little space on me, and then I roll up on Bill Nye who took a trip into the weeds, letting Jim get around him.  I ride Bill Nye's wheel until the chunder favors his squish, and we roll into the finish seconds apart. 

At the bottom, it's all Coke and high fives and what's left of my pocket pizza.  We roll out as a large group to Star Gap.  On the way over, the skies start to darken.  A harbinger of potential doom.  I tell Jim that if things look like they're going sideways, I'm going every man for himself.  My prescription glasses don't work as well when they're covered in mud.

A rumble of thunder and I take off on my own.

At the base of Star Gap, I get into my long stride, "I got places to be" pace.  Get to the start of the descent, ask the riders that were up there waiting if they're going or trying to catch their breath.  They reply the latter, so I jump in ahead of them.  Once again, years of ORAMMing, I know what to expect here.  High speeds, tight switchbacks, pour out to an old gravel road, pedal my dick off until I see the finish line.

It starts to sprinkle, and I hang it out as much as I can all the way to the finish.  I can wait for everyone else once the timed sections are done for the day.  Roll out the long, sad portion of Jarrett Creek Rd alone, passing gassed riders along the way.

The final stage is super short due to a washed out crater from the June storms.  Pretty much a dead sprint for just a few minutes.  Before I start, I give some cramping dude all my remaining liquids and mustard.  I know I'll live all the way back to camp.

Bust out the stage, hang out at the crater waiting for my little friends...

 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
the rain starts to pick up, I do what I can to improve the impromptu dirt staircase of the side of the hill around the crater with a stick for a shovel.  The rain turns off, Mills and Daily roll up, I ask them if they wanna wait for Bill Nye and Jim...

"No."
 photo cred: Icon Media Asheville 
We roll back to Camp Grier to refuel, rest, prepare for day two, and maybe dig a decent hole to crawl out of tomorrow...

about the size of that crater.

Wednesday, August 8

Rumors of my death are highly exaggerated

Things have been s-l-o-w around here.  What can I say?

I did ride twice over the weekend... three times actually.  I got out for a solo ride in Uwharrie that kicked my ass, and then that evening, I rode to a party about seven miles from my house.  Woke up the next morning, ran, went out for another ride of much less distance at a relaxed pace with friends I haven't ridden with in years.

And then I was ded.

The humidity has been something else.  I thought I legitimately lost a decent amount of weight last week (after a halfhearted attempt to make it happen), but after a Monday of proper hydration, most of that weight was back.  I'd just gone a little too deep into my reserves... and I felt like proper ass.

It doesn't help that the Breck Epic is going on right now.  Not only is it one of my favorite places on earth to be, it's always been a sweet relief from Charlotte's punishing summers.  I really start feeling like I need it, you know?  I still very much appreciate that I live somewhere that I can ride 365 days a year, but some of those days?  Soul crushing.

So mebbe I didn't head into this week with a head full of steam.  I don't like writing off a weekend as "bad," but I felt like the riding was a bit of a chore at times.  A chore that I was doing a miserable job at in terms of how I'd like to be performing in August.

Aaaaaaaaaccck.

Don't know if I'll make the time to post again this week.  All extraneous efforts should be focused on getting ready for two days of the Pisgah Enduro™ coming up real quick like.  I'm finding it semi-ironic that as I try to narrow down my options for putting myself into a real hurt locker one more time before 2018 is over, it might be coming down to the Pisgah Monster Cross in September.  Seems strange to get my stupid rigid single speed ready for two days of downhill-oriented racing, and then I'll be swapping the same exact bike into a garvel grinder a month later.  The wrong bike for the wrong events at all the wrong times.

Let's face it.  Neither event is my strong suit, nor something I'd ever bother focusing on... but that's what I'm doing?

WTF?

To very loosely quote NIИ, "I hurt myself today (or some time in September), to see if I still feel."  It's been too long since I've been in that dark place of climbing up a mountain for a painful duration of time headed towards some "goal" simply because someone put a start/finish line banner up in the woods.

Also Pisgah Monster Cross because I can finish the course (notice I didn't say "race"), start in on Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever's supply of Oskar Blues, crawl into the back of the Fit of Rage sometime after dark, and drive home the next day with plenty of time to mow the lawn or fulfill whatever domestic duty awaits me.

That suits me just fine.

Friday, August 3

One town's very like another...

when your head's down over your pieces, brother.

The (rescheduled due to Mother Nature) Pisgah Enduro™ is just a week away.  I was hoping I'd have a bike with a squarshing fork attached to the head pipe before the race, but my head is literally down over my pieces.


More gold(en) bits for more colorful behk here, but no behk yet.

I knew it was a long shot that it would be here before the race.  I'm mostly bummed because my last mountain ride happened to be on Heartbreak Ridge and Kitsuma (which is like 3/4 of the race), and I was on my rigid bike that day thinking about how spectacular some moving parts between myself and the ground would feel.  The event will still be a blast, but I just wanna get back to ripping shit with slightly less reckless abandon.

I have little hope of winning the Hard Ass Class.  My buddy Jim is just faster than I am going down the mountain.  My only hope would be if he gets one flat, fixes it, immediately gets another flat... and then pulls out that Schrader valve tube that was in his fanny pack a couple months ago I kinda doubt he's replaced.  Then again, Thomas "Hat Man" Turner might show up with his one-two punch of jorts and skinsuits...

and his janky single speed...

and not only dominate his fellow Hard Asses but also make a whole mess of Endurbros head to Youtube on the next Monday looking for "How to Race Enduro" how-to videos.

Regardless of the odds that I probably get my dick beat all the way off the podium, I'm still pump-stoked about going.  This will be the first time I've done the race in years without the fog of the Trans-Sylvania Epic in my brain and legs.  We'll have a solid Charlotte crew with us, and as long as things don't get too ugly Saturday night, I'll come home with a couple of solid days of riding in the Pisgah and tales to regale all comers next week.

And yeth, Breck Epic starts on Sunday.

And also yeth, it hurts to not be there.  It's the only "race" I think I've done as much as I have WITHOUT any aspirations of performance ever, save Day One, Year One.  I love being there, and it's difficult to not have it be part of my "season."  The FOMO is always strong when I take a year off from my favorite place in the world.

You know what they say tho...

Wednesday, August 1

Are we good?

In the interest of being consistently inconsistent, I'll go ahead and do some overdue schilling.

It's been a few weeks since I received a goodie bag from HandUp Gloves, which is now a misnomer, being that they are now HandUp Gloves and Beyond.  They started making apparel... ummmm... I dunno?  A month or two ago?

They sent me a pair of the new Shreddin' Shorts, a Ridin' Hawaiian jersey, and some Party Time Lite gloves.

I immediately cut the sleeves off the jersey (despite one of the features being "added length to sleeves so you aren't riding in a muscle shirt") and brought it with me to Grand Targhee.  I wore it on the lift service day, and I can state for the record that I was the only person wearing a sleeveless Hawaiian shirt.   I wasn't sure if I was gonna dig it, but... inexplicably, I do.

The fit is slim enough that it doesn't flap all about. There are no stupid pockets on the rear, because if you've ever put more than a car key (sans key chain) in the back pocket of one of these modern day, button-up, casual jerseys, you know that it just pulls at the whole thing like a reverse face wedgie. Of course it's made from a sweat-wicking, breathable, 100% polyester, so it's not sticking to you like a cheap suit. Also worth mentioning, the buttons are big enough that you can fumble-finger them with gloved hands. Bueno.

The Shreddin' Shorts?


Sorry not sorry for still not figuring out somewhere in the new house to take better photos.  I never said this was a photography blerhg (mebbe running and also family tho).

For all-out mountain bike functionality, I still stand by what I said about the Gore C5 All Mountain shorts. They are hands down the best, feature-filled shorts for all day mountain bike cycle adventuring. They also make you look like an Endurbro, and mebbe sometimes that's less than bueno. The new shorts from HandUp are the ass-opposite of that. I like them so much that I asked for another pair in black, and now they're the only things I wanna wear at work right now. Way more comfortable than the Dickies I was wearing as far as heat, rubbage, moisture control, and overall cut go. The only downside right now is if I don't do laundry every two days, I'm stuck with Dickies again. Meh.  Fortunately, I've been told a third (and perhaps fourth) colorway will be coming soon.

And the gloves...


I'd already been rocking the Send It Lite gloves for awhile now. Both gloves are part of their new "Hot Glove" lineup.

I was a little wary about their claim that the "Air Lite Mesh Top is HIGHLY durable," but so far, so good.  I haven't been treating them kindly, and I haven't noticed a snag, abrasion, or point of weakness.  You're still wearing a glove on your hand when it's 90°+ (when I'd ride naked if it wasn't a trbl idea), but it's noticeably better than a regular glove without having to weaksauce the whole thing and wear fingerless gloves.

Fingerless gloves for mountain biking died when Ned Overend "retired" from pro racing and NORBA ceased to be a thing.

The classic HandUp fit that I've come to love, mesh back, more laser cut ventilation holes on the palm, and still zero padding.  I only wish they were doing the 'Merica tan/orange/olive camo gloves in the Lite version, because they'd match my new behk when it comes...


But just saying that makes me sound like the dick that upon hearing that Maxxis is launching yet another new tread pattern in yet another new size, my only response is "Yeah, but when are you going to make a Rekon in 2.7 with Double Down casing, 3C rubber compound, inverted siping and a green hot patch?"

I'm all caught up in my schilling now, so mebbe I can feel comfortable and go back to cashing all these checks that have been piling up.

Monday, July 30

Srsly. Where was I?

For those checking in on the family time/running blerhg...

I did visit family over these past few days.

I did go for a run (or two) over these past few days.

For the others, I know that was difficult (like math) not hard (like rocks).  Now back to bike-related content.

The pile grows...

Buying a complete stock bike last year was extremely pleasant in its simplicity, sorta like ordering a #5 Double Quarter Pounder® with cheese, fries and a Coke (Super Size, natch).  The only problem being that I ordered with my eyes and not my stomach and was left with minor indigestion and some belly button-pondering regret.  My older (and equally refined and also asshole'ish) palate just prefers doing things à la carte.  What some call "picky," I refer to as "knowing what I like, so fuck off and eat a bag of dicks also."

When you own a single speed, there are so few things to sweat (drive train-wise), so why not over-scrutinize your chain line down to the millimeter?  With the Fibonacci Spacer Kit from Endless Bike Co, you can't get any more scrutinizery.   I've blerhged about these before in the past, but they're worth bringing up again.  A precise chain line will keep things as quiet as possible and help make your expensive (or not so much) chains, rings and cogs last longer.  It doesn't hurt that the anodizing is done in the same Easter egg dunking juice as Industry Nine spokes and hubs, so there is no better matchy-matchy bits for the discerning single speeder.  If you're the piss-up-a-rope kinda single speeder that doesn't give one piece of the most smallest rat shit about chain line, gimme a call.  I have a few decade's worth of collecting spacers from torn-down cassettes in various Ziploc bags... around here... somewhere.  I'm not kidding.

Call me.  Come over.  Bring a flashlight.

I also ordered some Gold(en) ano ti rotor bolts from TruckerCo, mostly because I couldn't halp myself.  I already needed to order more toobless juice, and with me, it's either on board (and also bored) or overboard with no life jacket and a Rum Ham.

Myself, I choose Rum Ham.

I'm too old to ride a bland bike, and when you don't have a shit ton of money tied all up in Eagling yourself, you too can focus on the little things. 

I also picked up a gold(en) AF bottom bracket from Real World Cycling.  A true testament to how much I love these things is that they are in no way, shape or form a "Dick Supporter."  I mean, technically Endless Bike Co isn't either anymore, but some things are just worth the money.  I've been using them for... I dunno?  Seven years.  All the way back to the one that is still on my Stickel beer fetcher right now.  Reasonably priced, easy to service, and the one that I got comes stock with Enduro(™) angular contact bearings.

Why angular contact bearings?

"Deep groove radial ball bearing cartridges are not designed to be "adjusted." Any inward or outward pressure on the inner races put them out of alignment with the outer races, forcing the balls to ride up the side of the groove and exerting greater pressure on the races. This results in increased friction and premature wear. Since almost all outboad crank sets exert some inward pressure on the bearings when installed, it only makes sense to use a bearing designed specifically for such loads. Angular contact bearings result in 100% ball engagement when properly pre-loaded."

This image (and some imagination regarding how bottom brackets bearings actually handle loads) should make that blather more logical:

Basically, angular contact bearings better align your balls with the double thrust. What's not to like?

I'm a bit bummed that I didn't order their Realube Bearing Compound at the same time I ordered my bottom bracket.  I really have faith in their products, but I still have a few year's worth of Park Tool PolyLube 1000 and a random tube of Manitou M Prep loaded in an old grease gun that I need to go through first. 

Yeth, piss away money on gold(en) ti bolts (knowing that I have at least 2-4 wheels worth of non-ano ti rotor bolts somewhere around here, prolly next to those cassette spacers), but keep squirreling away some Manitou fork grease that is definitely older than my daughter but not as old as the Bass Boost boombox in my bike room (that's not so much a room but a dark place behind the kitchen where I fix bikes sometimes and also keep outdated lubricants and ti rotor bolts).