November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Snow Ride

Dylan's back in town, which means long rides with lots of climbing (and trying to hang onto his wheel for dear life, even though he's borrowing a bike for the week).

This year's pre-Thanksgiving storm dropped a lot of snow on the higher elevations outside Washington, DC, so no go on charging through the rocky singletrack on the Massanutten Mountain ridgeline.

Cam - Post Race Interview

He sprints pretty darn well for a skinny guy!

Cam Leans on His Mtb Skills - Riding the Stairs 

Cam 1st at Supercross CX - UCI C2

Cameron and the Dodge family showing an amazing devotion towards getting to the podium! Great pics and commitment! Cam won in the final straight after unleashing a his sprint.

Awesome Autumn Weather for Mtb

Great fall riding weather this past week in perfect trail conditions and temperatures here on the East Coast. Second week of November and still riding in Vie 13 Kustom Apparel shorts and jersey without need for any arm or leg coverage.

Cam 3rd at the Derby Cup in Louisville

A great day #2 in Louisville! Cam Dodge gritted out a 3rd place in Louisville to continue his momentum towards Nationals.

Riding with Dylan at Pisgah

Dylan met up with the guys from Pure Energy Cycling & Java House and took them out to Pisgah for a great autumn ride in the mountains.  He took it "easy" on them during the first hour long climb...

Dylan Earns his Second Set of Stars and Stripes

Congratulations to Dylan and his Brevard College teammates on winning the 2014 D2 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship!

Dylan in the front/center

Dylan 7th at Collegiate Nationals

Congratulations to Dylan on his 7th this weekend in the XC at the 2014 Collegiate Mtb National Championships! He was part of Brevard College's national championship winning team in the team omnium.

Cam up to 3rd in ProCX Standings

Cameron Dodge jumps to 3rd in UCI CX standing for US! Big results for the "little engine that could!"

First UCI CX Standings for 2014/15 Season

As of late October, Cam's killer season thus far has moved him up to 59nd in the world rankings, up from 115th at the end of last season. He's also ranked as the 6th best US rider!

Cam Wins Day 1 of HPCX in a 2-up Sprint vs Todd Wells

Cameron Dodge was victorious again in Day 2 of HPCX in a mano-y-mano battle with Todd Wells. Both traded pulls up front to create separation and stayed away from the gun.

But in the last paved turn towards the uphill finish, Cam asserted an outstanding sprint that made it 2 for 2 on the weekend.

Thanks to all the fans and sponsors who continue to cheer and witness Cam to stardom!

Cam Wins Day 1 of HPCX

Cam gracefully avoided the chaos of the men's elite race, heading to a commanding victory on day one of HPCX. Full Report:

Pit bike at the ready (if needed)

Custom Velo for All Your CX Needs

Check out Custom Velo for all your CX tubular tire (and other cycling) needs - currently offering Challenge, Clement, Continental and Vittoria tubular CX tires and a whole lot more CX-related parts and equipment: 

Ellison Park UCI CX C2 - Cam 2nd

Cam continues his awesome CX season with a 2nd on day two of the Full Moon Vista's Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival:

Ellison Park UCI C1 CX - Cam 3rd

Local bike shop, local superstar in Cameron Dodge. Congrats and happy birthday!
Cam was 3rd in a stacked field at the Full Moon Vista's Ellison Park Cycloross Festival UCI C1 event:

Providence CX Festival - Day 1

Cam had a great race in the mud and rain at the Providence CX Festival (UCI C1 event), storming back to finish 5th in a huge pro field.

Cam Wins Charm City UCI CX C2 - Day 1

Cam wins today's Charm City UCI C2 cross race. He took the lead with 5 laps to go and put the hurt on the rest of the field using his mtb skills to take the lead through the sand and never looking back.

Granogue Cross

The only image other racers saw of Cam: 

Cam - Awesome 10th Place at Cross Vegas

Unlike last year when Cam started dead last in 74th place and ended up riding through the field to finish 21st, he got a third row start position this year based on his UCI ranking.

Pre-race relaxation in Vegas

10th Place for Cam in one of the biggest CX races in the US
Post-race with Bart, Cam, Tanya and AK

Cam - Nittany CX Day 1

Opening weekend for a season of UCI cyclocross for Cam at the Nittany CX in Pennsylvania:

Mike - Wheelie at Fountainhead

August 30, 2014

Cam makes the cover of Bicycling Magazine!

They didn't let him ride in his Vie13 team kit, but still awesome to see him as the cover photo!

August 24, 2014

Long Term 2014 Genius 730 Mountain Bike Review

Here I’ll be reviewing the Genius 730 after riding on it for a season.  My initial thoughts of the bike after my first ride on it can be found here...

Here are the specs of the bike...


Genius Alloy / 6061 custom butted
hydroformed tubes / Tapered Head Tube
BB92 / IDS SL dropout for 142 x 12mm
U-Mono Link / rear 180PM
BB Height adj.

Front 130mm
Rear 130 - 90 - Climb / Shock 190 x 50

Fox 32 Float Evolution CTD Air
CTD remote damper with 3 modes
15mm QR axle / tapered steerer
reb. Adj.

Rear Shock
Fox Nude / SCOTT custom w. travel / geo adj
CTCD 3 modes: Climb - Traction Control -
Descend / reb. Adj.

Remote System
SCOTT TwinLoc Remote Technology
3 modes front and rear

Ritchey Pro Minus Tapered 1.5" - 1 1/8"
semi integr. OD 50/61mm / ID 44/55mm

Rear Derailleur
Shimano XT RD-M786 SGS
Shadow PlusType / 30 Speed

Front Derailleur
Shimano SLX FD-M670-A-E / DM

Shimano SLX SL-M670-I
Rapidfire Plus / 2 way release
Ispec clamp

Brake Levers
Shimano SLX BL-M675-B Disc

Shimano SLX BR-M675 Disc
180/F and 180/R mm SM-RT64 CL Rotor

Shimano XT FC-M782
hollowtech 2
40Ax30Ax22A T

Shimano SM-BB71-41A / shell 41x92mm

Syncros FL1.5 Tbar
Alloy 7050 D.B. / T shape Flat / 9° / 720mm
Syncros Pro lock-on grips

Syncros TR1.5
2014 / 4D forged / oversize 31.8mm
1-1/8" / 6° angle


Syncros FL1.5 / 31.6mm

Syncros TR2.0 / CROM rails

Hub (Front)
Shimano SLX HB-M678 / 15mm

Hub (Rear)
Shimano SLX FH-M678 Disc CL
12 x 142mm / DT RWS axle

Shimano CN-HG54

Shimano CS-HG62-10
11-36 T

DT Swiss Competition 2.0-1.8-2.0 Black

Syncros XC / Eyelets / 32H

Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO / 2.25
67 EPI Kevlar Bead
PaceStar compound
700 series: with SnakeSkin

Weights in KG
12.90 kg

Weights in LBS
28.38 lbs

I can’t really make any comparisons to other trail bikes, as this is the only one I’ve owned and I’ve never experienced any other. So this review will mostly be comparing the bike to the xc bikes that I have owned and the pros and cons of my experience with it.

The times I was able to get somewhere where this bikes shines rocks, roots, drop offs it was a blast to ride. I could ride into technical sections without a worry. After riding a hard tail for so many yrs it felt strange to be able to ride so fast through sections without being white knuckled and jarred. 


This was also the first yr I’ve raced a full suspension xc bike (spark 720)…. 

It has also made technical rocky roots sections much more comfortable but there were differences.  My xc bike is carbon and had some lighter parts, narrower rims and tires so I was not comfortable trying to do the same stuff I did on the genius like big drop offs. The genius has a wider space between chain/ seat stays so it will accommodate bigger tires and the angles are steeper making it more comfortable on decants (made me feel less like I might go over the handlebars) 

There were several times when I hit jumps and lost control, started sliding out around a corner or found my self going faster than I wanted into a technical section but the big tires, extra suspension and slacker angles made it all OK they save me. All the sections where I had in the past thought to my self “ I’m not sure about this” I was hitting without even thinking. The bike increased my self-confidence and made me feel like a superhero while riding it. Some footage of riding with teammate Jeff....

All the benefits do come with a down side. Trying to ride it at the same pace that I normally ride my xc bike was exhausting. The extra weigh and big slow rolling tires feels like I’m riding through mulch or sand on the climbs. 

If your riding party pace with friends than it won’t matter too much but if your trying to keep up with your xc racing buddies it could be hard; especially if there are long stretches of fire road or pavement included in your ride.

While it may be a slower bike a cool thing about it is that you can ride it everyday.  I could comfortably ride the genius daily off road even on super easy rest days without getting beat up. Being able to stay in the saddle and do a easy spin while off road was a strange feeling that I had never experienced before. 


An upgrade that I would suggest if you are considering purchasing this bike is a dropper seat post (the higher end geniuses come with one but the 730 dose not I put on a rock shock reverb dropper post) and some wider tires (I was using 2.4 continual trail kings, the bike came with 2.25 knobby nicks). I feel the dropper post and wide tires did as much (if not more) for making the bike handle confidently as the 150 mm of front/ rear suspension. Being able to move my weight around more efficiently improved my cornering abound ability to deal with steep terrain. The big tires improved breaking, cornering and improved stability. 

The bike comes with Scott’s twin lock remote lock out lever. It offers 3 modes of suspension (locked out, half locked out, and fully unlocked). I did notice that the lock out was very sensitive if I was in full lock out. If I bumped it by accident it would jump to half unlocked mode when I didn’t want it to. I thought this might have been an issue with just my bike (because I set it up wrong) but my teammate Jeff who was also riding a genius with twin lock also had the same issue. I’ve used the twin lock on my xc bike without this issue occurring. It’s possible Jeff and I both had this set up wrong but I think there may be another issue linked to dealing with the extra travel.

The Syncros XC67 rims that came with the bike were durable (no issues with the wheel coming out of true or broken spokes). They are 27 mm wide which is a bit   wider than an your average xc tire (normally about 24mm wide). Jeff was riding Stan’s flows (which I also run on my training xc bike) they are 29mm wide.  I think Jeff was happy with the way they performed ( i know i have been very happy with mine, they have lasted 2 yrs of hard riding with out any issues and are still going strong).

Unlike the flows the Syncros XC67 where very hard to set up tubeless.  I installed Stan’s yellow tape on the Syncros rims and spent about 2 hours and when though the majority of a 1 liter Stan’s tubeless sealant container trying to make it happen. I finally got one wheel to hold air but ran out of patience before getting the other. I wouldn’t recommend trying to set them up tubeless. 

Comes with a Fox 32 Evolution CTD air Fork and Fox Nude shock. This was an upgrade from last year’s genius that came with the same model fork but a DT Swiss rear shock. In my opinion DT Swiss dose not make suspension that is as smooth as Fox. You can read Nathaniel’s review of last yrs (2013) 730 Genius here…

I am 6 feet tall and I was on the fence about choosing to go with. I decided on the 27.5 size because I wanted a quicker handling bike. I was worried that with the extra suspension and longer chain stays that the handling would be slow unless I had the smaller wheels.  I was happy with the decision but I think I’m at a height where 29” wheels would have been fine too. 

I am overall happy with the bike.  I think the 730 or 740 models are the best bang for the buck when compared to the other models in the genius line. However like I mentioned earlier in the review adding a dropper post and larger more durable tires would go a long way in making the bike handle better.

here are some pics of the bike specced the way it came (except for the ESI grips and the Continental Trail King tires)...

- Mike