Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rethinking geometry

So I went on a nice Sat morning ride with buddy Steve. I wanted to hit a good three hour ride, but we needed to stay close to home base. So, we headed up a nice local climb that works ya pretty good. 1 hour and 45 later, I topped out, ate a P-Bar and headed back to gather Steve who was nursing some strained muscles and walking a bit.

The whole ride I had been considering my options that the last post hit on, what bike to buy? There is nothing like a ride to bring stuff into focus. You can chart numbers, internet debate, posture, and guess, but putting a wheel in the dirt is worth a lot more. I definitely need a sharp climbing bike. Most of them are that. But I also need to contend with, not really super techy descents, but fast and techy descents. We can climb for hours out west and then turn around and drop down an abondoned old doubletrack at speed. Not too many trees to dodge out here.

So, as I hit the singletrack, peppered with loose rocks and small drops, I was reminded of the you-better-pay-attention geometry of the KM. 72 degrees is a nice temp for a beach vacation, but it can be demanding for a head tube angle. I really don't find it scary, but when you are tired and things get sketch, you can be pinged off the trail real quick like. Better be on your game cuz big wheels will only do so much.

Makes me wonder about the Canzo and the 72/74 angles. Not sure that is in my best interests and I really don't get an FS bike with those numbers, not with the newer forks coming with increased offsets and reduced trail numbers. Of course, that is for my riding area and needs. YMMV.

So what FS bike climbs like a hardtail, is stiff, has a less than 70* head tube angle and a low BB height PLUS under 18" chainstays? Only one I can think of and has got a big 'S' on its chest. Hmmm.

Well, I am real sure that I don't have an 'S' on my chest. I am tired from that climb, but I was faster in the last 45 minutes than I was in the first hour, so my fitness is up. I have the Julian race coming up and I think I will be ready to survive the first loop and maybe...maybe the second. We shall see.

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