Friday, June 26, 2009

Plushness is in the butt of the beholder.

So to speak.

Interesting post by GT has me scratching my head.

He is wrapping up the diSSent test period and says that he thinks the diSSent is a pretty smooth riding frame:

"First off, if you are thinking the typical “aluminum is harsh” thing, the diSSent isn’t that at all. I would put it on par with the stiffer steel frames I have ridden."

Captain Bob said, when he wrote about the diSSent:

"I would have to call this frame set steel with the looks of aluminum. Yes, it is aluminum but the feel is all steel. In fact it’s better than most steel frames I have owned or ridden."

Well I will be dipped! How can that be? I just built the Monkey back up with the same parts I had on the diSSent and it is certainly a bit smoother overall and the KM has a rep for being a bit of a rough riding steel bike.

If the steel frame that I was told is coming my way turns out to be vaporware, I may just try it again. I think I would run a 90mm stem to get my weight back a bit, go back to the Easton carbon h-bars and pick up a Ti seat post from Erikson. What did I miss? Both of them have ridden more 29er hardtails than I have so I appreciate their perspective.

I do miss the handling and the pedaling performance that the diSSent offered. I wonder if I miss it enough to try it again?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, to be normal again.

Where is the 29er line on this slidey thingy?

As a 29er rider, I typically face the "why are your wheels so big?" and "what makes them better?" questions. No worries, I am used to it and I have gotten over the 'evangelist' approach to answering the questions. I try to convert less these days. Guitar Ted has the opinion that we are headed to normalcy as 29ers begin to filter across the mainstay brands and more and more folks roll them out of the bike shops and into the trails. Cool...and not cool cuz I have to admit I do enjoy some of the notoriety of big wheels. Well, there is always the SS, at least until THAT is all normal too. Sigh.

But I won't miss thisparticular type of interaction, one that just recently happened again on a weekend trail ride. A friend of a friend shows up for a ride on his very racey 26" FS. All these guys are rocket scientists, real ones. Lockheed Martin, JPL, etc. So this guy looks at my bike and says, "those are really big tires!" I begin the whole 'explain the 29er thing' that needs to go along with the 'big tires' and he asks the "why are they better" question. I begin with the way they roll over things well, traction, etc, and he stops me right away and says "now wait a minute....I can understand the idea, but how much of the increased angle of the co-efficient approach vector applies...blah...blah....etc"

Now I am used to a good debate and typically I am long suffering and patient, but not that day. I have known this guy for just over a minute but that did not matter. I held up my hand, palm facing him, and said "OK, shut up and put away your slide rule. You are an engineer, aren't you?" He nodded. My engineer buddy next to us is cracking up at this point and the new guy looks like I just knocked his scientific calculator into the dirt.

I told him that until you have ridden one, you don't know. You may not like it when you do, but stop trying to tell me that what I know to be true from hours and hours of riding is wrong. Darn engineers. Stick to rockets, would ya? There you are paid to speculate and calculate, draw up charts, computer model, etc. Do you ever fly the rocket? No.

I, sir slide rule guy, am a 29er pilot. Fear me. Think 'The Right Stuff' or 'Top Gun'. I appreciate that Newton's Theory of Relative Dirt Clods says I should not be happier on big wheels cuz they are slow, heavy and awkward. Luckily I am ignorant of such things and because of this, I smile when I ride and pass folks whenever possible. Mr. Newton, thanks for the tasty cookies, but as for the rest? Meh.

Maybe one day this will end like GT predicts and 29ers will blend in and be just another bike. I hope so, cuz if this continues, I may go postal one day. Either that, or I need to quit riding with rocket scientists.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pea Soup, large serving.

So Cal in June can be quite gloomy and overcast. I love it as it makes for fine riding weather and it lets me pretend that I am in Northern Cal for a change.

Today I left home under cloudy skies and headed into town 15 miles away to do a local fav hill climb. By the time I got there it was full on windshield wiper weather. Well, I was not quite prepped for this clothing wise. As I was unloading it occurred to me that I could just beg off of the ride, but I have found the most rewarding rides to be the ones that offered a bit of a twist on the norm.

It was a good choice. The ride looked pretty much like this...

It was a hour long, wet and quiet climb. This was about as far as you could see in any direction. I had leg warmers and a head covering along with some upper layer options but no jacket. Meh. I can get cold and live.

Spring still hangs on if you look a for it a bit.

It was a quick drop back down to the truck. Wet all the way, spray in the face, the Conti Race Kings were very good here, although it never really got 'muddy',

Happy, happy...Joy, joy.

At home I was in the shower watching the dirt go down the drain and I was feeling absolutely satisfied. On the way out of the ride parking lot, I had run across a guy I know, all lycra and racer bike equipped, who was sitting at the traffic light heading home in the direction away from his planned ride. I yelled out the window and remarked about the weather, he waved and said, "yeah it sucks....just not worth it".

As I wiped the fog off of the bathroom mirror, I smiled and knew that he could not have been more wrong.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Old Men on the Mountain

A couple of weekends ago I joined a great group of guys for a men's camp out and ride on Mt Pinos in the Los Padres Forest. The weather was totally June Gloom and misty the night of the camping, but dawned sunny-ish and 45 or so degrees at the top of the climb, just under 9000'. Miles of singletrack, very digital...all up, then all down. Good stuff. Old farts can rage, dudes. Then we medicate. Got any Ibuprofen?

Phil, the mad scientist organizer.

Tents, bikes, trees...dirt. Ahhh!

Campfires, carne asada, beer, guacamole.

Breakfast, tailgate style.

Pre-ride muster.

I love these Elements. would be a killer 29er app.

So would this. Simple and taught. Good racing set-up.

Joe's sled. I sure like the way Big S forms those tubes.

Up we go.

And up...

Union break at the bench.

Almost to the top. Still pretending to be feeling fine. Thumbs up! Then we die.

Yes, it's a meadow.

We ran into KT and his gang at the top. A couple of them are getting ready for the Breck Epic 100. Go get 'em, fast guys.

From here it was a long, buff, descent on some fine singletrack. Pizza followed. Joe with the Spechy found he had left his hydration pack at the tippy top of the mountain...6 miles or more away and 2 miles past the last locked gate preventing a retrieval by vehicle. Bummer.

Great weekend. I need more of this type of stuff in life, but I will take what I can get.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back on the SS Monkey...for a little while

Since the grand experiment that was the diSSent did not work out for me long term, I threw the parts back on the KM and then promptly threw my back out. Two weeks later I was finally able to ride my SS again and so I pedaled the KM out into the wilds of middle Castaic with some of the boys.

It was interesting, now that I have something more to compare it to. First off, it is a fairly stiff pedaling frame, I mean it is a burly tubeset on there. But it did not have the snap of the other frame. It did ride nicer though, no doubt. Not a huge difference, but it was there.


It sucked big time in handling.

Big time.

So now I am perplexed a bit. At the price depth of the pool I am swimming around in, steel is likely the best bet. Even between $800 and $400 frames, in steel there is not a huge weight difference. But riding the diSSent showed me that subtle differences in dimensions and geometry can give a pretty drastic result. I am not sure why the diSSent felt so good, but I sure would not mind trying one of the ferrous versions someday. Maybe that would be the blend I am looking for.

So, I am heading toward another option and if I am not mistaken, it is headed my way now. Will this one be the combo of traits I am looking for in a moderately priced trail amigo? Will I like orange?

I hope so. I am getting tired of all this parts swapping and hand wringing. I just want to ride and smile.

Been busy in webness-stuff

Been kinda buried working on this...

It has been pretty interesting starting nearly from scratch using the SquareSpace format for web publishing. There are quite a few hours of work on that site and much more to come, but it has also been rewarding. At some point we will be moving to when the old site is off line. We are still moving content over and that takes a while, so there will be some parallel-ness for a while.

Guitar Ted, the Editor In Chief, Grand PooBah, Head Cheese, El Jefe, etc, is hard at work getting the content passed out to the world in waiting.

The result: Inspiration of the cyclist in you. Go ride a bike.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Making Memories

This weekend I was camping and riding with a group of old guys like me and we had a great time...cold nights, big trees, lots of climbing and lots of descending on some very high quality singletrack.

We camped at a spot that I have been going to with my son for years now. In fact, it felt rather odd to be there without him as he was off at summer camp with a big group from church. I was talking to one of the dads up there about how I had been bringing Christopher here to camp and ride The Jump Trail since he was a pretty little guy, back when he had a singlespeed 16" wheeled, chrome Schwinn bike. He could make the trail just fine since it is a mile or so downhill and pretty wide, with good sized 'speed bumps' to launch off of sprinkled through the length of the ride. But the uphill was beyond his abilities so I hooked a combo of a horse lead rope and a thick bungee cord between his frame and my seat post and I would tow him back up the nearby pavement and we would do it again. Shuttle by Dad, as it were.

Last evening I took my son, now 15 years old, 5" 10" tall, and riding an old Curtlo Action Tec that I built up for him, to a nearby loop that is perfect for him. It meanders up an old canyon on broken pavement with an easy grade, then returns on a narrow ribbon of singletrack that winds through the scrub oak and grass. No more tow ropes. He was nipping at my heels unless I turned up the volume and dropped him, so I stayed close for the buddy factor and let him think he is as fast a Dad is. No harm there.

Afterwards we grabbed some chocolate milk and 3 chocolate chip coookies (better bring one home for mom) and listened to James Taylor on the CD player in the family Suburban.

There are always the temptations to spend great sums of money on fancy things for our kids, things that usually sit broken or forgotten in short order. That misses the mark. It is all about time. Kids want our time. I could have just as well gone down to the park, shot hoops, and split a slurpy. Or gone fishing, to a ball game, or just about anything.

There will come a day when my little buddy is moved on to being a big buddy...he is about there now and I am very proud of him. And when that happens there will always be memories of tow ropes, camping, "whoo hoo" shouts of joy when he actually wheelied off of the jumps in the trail...and chocolate milk.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What if you could not ride...ever again?

The other day when my back went out, riding was impossible. Even breathing was too much to do without painful consequences. That seems to be improving as I rode last night, a very careful pavement ride, but it was a ride.

I missed my bike those 7 days off of the saddle. I was in the middle of some tire testing and a men's camping trip/ride was coming up, but more than any plans or obligations, I just missed it for it's own sake. I found myself looking at riders on their road bikes around town and thinking, "I used to be able to do that." I would drive by the local ride gathering spot for MTB rides and see riders gearing up and I felt detached...separated...distant. It was quite odd since I have been off the bike before for sickness, injury, etc. I am not sure why this time seemed so dark and different, but I found myself acutely aware of the fact that I may not always be able to do this cycling thing.

That sucks.

I hope that I can pedal a bike right up to the day God calls me home. That would be cool, but unlikely. Still, one can hope.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Something is missing... the 29er world. I have been ruminating on this for a while now. A recent peek at the Gary Fisher Superfly 100 pics that are flying around the net brought it back to mind again.

I assume this frame provides 100mm of rear suspension travel, hence the '100' moniker. It is obviously a race oriented bike and it will be pretty costly, all carbon and all with chi-chi lightweight parts on it.

Lets look at the evolutionary timeline of 29ers in the marketplace as I see it, anyway.
  • 29ers hit the mass market and single handedly revive the hardtail market. Folks actually get OFF of 26er FS bikes and go backwards in technology due to the bennies of the bigger wheels. Even full rigid becomes reasonable.
  • FS 29ers begin to get around. The Lenz Leviathan 3.0, the Racer X, etc hit the market with 3" or rear travel. They are equated to 4" or more travel 29ers in overall trail 'feel'
  • Naturally we want more...4" travel 29ers are everywhere and allow for a real trailbike experience on big wheels.
  • Some want more travel for an all mountain feel to the 29er. The market dips its toes in the deep end of the pool with bikes right at the 5"-6" range...DW Sultan, RIP9, Lenz Behemoth/Lunchbox, WFO.
  • Bikes get heavier, frames get heavier, forks get heavier, wheels get heavier, tires get heavier.
I wonder if there is a mis-focus here? Think about the best part of the big wheels: they allow you do do more with less contraption to the bike as a whole. The rolling performance, the forgiveness, the stability, the smoother ride...they all add up to the point where a steel hardtail is a fun bike again, even for old guys like me. But the gap between the hardtail and the 4" travel FS 29er is too empty IMO.

Let us say I want to do some endurance racing, long trail rides, typically not too techy, but not paved either. I value climbing performance but the rides/races are going to be very much more fun on some kind of FS, especially since I will use this bike for training rides and fun days too.

A hardtail is just about right, but FS is a very nice perk and if it is done right, is a welcome feature. So let us look at the FS bikes out there.

I don't want it to be heavy. 29 to 30lbs is stinking heavy for a race day bike if you are doing lots of climbing. Lets face it...most 29ers ARE big frames cuz we are big people, typically. I know that the frame is not the best place to lose weight overall but beginning with a 6.5-7lb frame is a big hit. I cannot afford the latest carbon scoots, what with 2000.00 dollar gruppos on them and 7K price tags. My Lev 3.0 is just over 28lbs with some decent parts, nothing too fancy. 27lbs is a good sweet spot to shoot for.

So, let's go shopping for that bike.

As we said...scratch hardtails. Yeah, a Ti hardtail would be smooth, but a really nice Ti frame is still a hardtail and costs a bundle. Forget 4" travel 29ers. OK, maybe the Superfly 100 will be a lightweight, fast pedaling fiend, but $$$$$ is the thing here. The bulk of stuff like the Big Mama, the HiFi, the new offerings from Rocky Mountain, Voodoo, etc, all tip the travel scales too far into the red zone. 4" of travel on a 29er is way more than most folks need in a race and or a fast feeling trail bike. My Lev with 3" of travel only hit it's limits on Porc Rim on Moab. The Racer X and the JET9 dance around the mark. The Lev 3.0 I have is very close.

So what is in the middle? Softails are almost there. The Dos Niner, the Curtlo frames, the Siren Song...they nearly fill that gap but not quite. What I want is beyond a bike that feels like a 'hardtail with a low pressure rear tire', the comment made about most softails.

Somehow this comes closer to my idea of what I am looking for:

Look familiar? Sure looks like the Superfly 100 to me. I know the Scalpel had teething issues with frame breakage, but the overall concept is what grabs me. Picture a Scandium 29er with a true pivot at the BB, maybe a set-up like the Big Mama with a shaped seat stay to allow for no pivot at the dropout. Give it a shock set-up with a short rocker so the shock is not a stressed frame member like the softails...maybe even the old K2 type look with a swing much travel? 3" as a max. Maybe 2.5". Enough to feel like a real FS but not enough to slow you in other ways. What is that sweet spot? What is the limit? I bet it is lower than most would think.

Keep the frame weight down as much as reasonable. If it is not light, stiff and fast, it will be dismissed as not enough travel to make it worth the effort. Make it affordable. Price it around the cost of a Big Mama or Dos or in between? Why do I keep using Salsa terms? Cuz I think they could do it perhaps better than anyone right now. What would the love child of a Dos and a Big Mama look like? I am not sure, but I would like to ride one and right now there is nothing like it except in my fevered brain.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

After all those miles...

It is good to have options. Siren Bikes owner, Brendan, shows off his answer to "Where do you put your hands?" Also, being used on Dave Nice's bike AFAIK.

from Siren's twitter feed.

Slower Than Snot goes long.

'Fixie' Dave Nice is heading out to the Divide for a bit of a spin. Dave is a very nice fellow and does stuff on his fixed Vassago that just amazes me. Links to his SPOT page at his blog. Wish him luck.

Pic from Siren Bikes twitter feed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

SRAM XX is out of the box

Extravagant, both in design and cost, but it is purty. Love the cassette, mostly machined out of one piece of billet steel. Art as bike parts.

Say hello to ten speeds in the dirt.

But is it a Bicycle?

and here.

So, why is it a bicycle, exactly?

From Websters:

Main Entry:

\ˈbī-si-kəl, -ˌsi- also -ˌsī-\
French, from bi- + -cycle (as in tricycle)

: a vehicle with two wheels tandem, handlebars for steering, a saddle seat, and pedals by which it is propelled ; also : a stationary exercise machine that resembles such a vehicle

Where are the pedals?

Misery Loves Company

And if so, I will share mine with the world. Pain. Pain of the "Ow, that really hurts" kind. Likely related to my crash a couple of months ago, my every so often cranky back has become really PO'ed at me and has nearly shut me down. Breathing hurts. Forget riding.

SO, I take a pill and feel better, letting the illusion of healing wash over me for a while, but this is not good. I am betting on disc issues and I have been there before.


Go ride a bike for me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Superfly 100

Pick one in your size. From Gary's Twitter feed.

All A Twitter

Well, I have succumbed to the lure of social networking at another level: Twitter. I confess, I have tweeted and I sorta' liked it. Still figuring it out....I need to see how to add it to the blog far no gadgets seem to do the job. BTW...I am grannygear on the twitter site.

Also, I seem to have attracted a few 'followers' that all look like Eastern European, underfed models that want me to go look at their photos in some linked website. I think not. I found the 'block' button right away.

Some cool stuff out there to manufacturers, legends, loonies, and visionaries. I now know what Gary Fisher is doing minute by minute...TMI, perhaps? Perhaps. It is an odd thing, really, all this focus on what any one person is doing or thinking at any one time. Who is GF that I should care what kind of coffee he just ordered? Who am I that anyone would listen to anything I have to say?

Is it all narcissistic navel gazing? It may be. Perhaps I should tweet about it.

Good lord, what have I done?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Rigid 'Better Rider': Myth or Legend?

There are some well known mantras in cycling that are often thrown out there and not questioned once the words are laid down. Things such as 'thinner tires are faster off road', 'steel is real', etc. Here is another one: "Riding rigid makes you a better rider". The thought here is that suspension, especially full suspension, covers up a multitude of sins and allows for a rider to perform way above their abilities. Riding with less allows you to learn to do without. It also is a bit of a positional statement in that it allows the rider who eschews the modern benefits of squishy-ness to be a 'bit above' the less enlightened peons of the lower class.

Let us concentrate on the first statement and leave the posturing for another day. Does riding rigid really make you a better rider? Let us set the Way-Back Machine to the days before Doug Bradbury and Mert Lawwill and folks like them had the idea to add some shock absorption to mtn bikes that went beyond an aired down Ground Control tire and bent knees and elbows. Back then I remember having discussions on what rigid fork rode the nicest (some things never change). Suspension? Never heard of it.

So everyone rode rigid or they did not ride. We rode everything that we ride now and I often have the illusion that we rode just as fast as we do now with FS and disc brakes. Illusion, indeed. Without anything sitting between us and the trail other than a 1.95" knobby, we needed to be pretty smooth and careful. Pinch flats were a way of life until you learned how to unweight the bike at the right time. If your timing was off, *bang*...snakebit. So you spent a lot of time looking for the right line, but sometimes even the right line is messed up and rowdy. The end result was a bit of a cowboy routine where you took a lot of abuse, worked the bike for all it was worth, and tried like crazy to end up in the direction you were intending to go.

I learned a lot about bike handling. Having no suspension components to get in the way meant we had a pretty good 'feel' for how the bike was hooking up or not. Your tires felt a lot closer to your brain center without being isolated by 4- 5 inches of telescoping, articlulating parts.

Did riding rigid make me a better rider? Well, yes and no. I learned some very valuable skills that I carried into FS riding. But FS allows me to go further, use those skills in new and creative ways, and have a lot of fun doing it.

Let me take this one part at a time, trying to address some of the things I hear pitched out there as the gospel according to rigid.

  • You are better because you can feel the trail better: Well, there is something to that. You are keenly aware of your traction limits or where the tires are working or are not. But, the flip side of that is your limits are not buffered by suspension's ability to absorb irregularities in the trail. A tire off of the ground has no traction. Suspension is better at keeping your tire on the ground than your bodies wild gyrations to accomplish the same thing. Put them together and magic happens...body AND suspension.
  • You are better when you need to choose the better line instead of letting the bike do all the work: True. But...sometimes the best line is not the smoothest one. Maybe it is the line that uses one rock in the trail to pre-load the suspension, using it to unweight the bike and slide it in the air over to the rut that is a nice berm for a few feet until the next rut requires a quick hop and transition to the ledge dropoff that puts you on the line you really want to be on for the next corner. Can that be done on a rigid bike? No. You can't preload one unless you count your body and the 1/2 inch of tire deflection. The rut you land in will just as likely bounce you off line as the tire does its best to hook up and your own weight transfer tries to mess that up. You only have to be off your mark a little bit in a few places to be waaaay off your mark at the end of the billards game. There are lots of times that suspension gives you more reasons to have it then just being able to point, shoot and survive.
  • Riding rigid builds skills that you will not obtain if you have always ridden FS. Well, perhaps. You would be a bit keener on learning how to manual or bunny hop stuff that would be just a minor inconvenience on a bike with decent travel. However those same skills are still required to be a better rider on an FS, it just typically happens at a higher level of speed and commitment. Watch a video of a pro DH guy. They are working that bike for all it is worth.
  • "There is this guy who rides rigid that smokes all the guys on their all-mountain 6" - 7" travel bikes, even on the rough trails." Well, I can imagine there are individuals that are so skilled that they may able to pull this off. But I bet that they are working their butts off to do it, it is taking a big toll on their bod and their bike, and the guys they ride with are likely so-so riders. The amount of fellows in the world that can truly sustain this level of performance without destroying bike and body is a tiny one, I'll bet. Maybe less than one.
So, this is what I think. I think that line gets blurred when the emotional thinking of 'rigid is closer to heaven' gets in the way of the practical truth. Remember when I said earlier that I have the illusion that we used to go just as fast as we do now without all the goodies of today? Nah. Got a stopwatch? Cuz without that you have only your seat of the pants impressions. If it is true, then the route is not all that rough to begin with and you are still working pretty hard on the rigid bike to do it. Do this, keep going faster and faster...push it and see which bike limits out faster, or more likely you limit out on your ability to retain control. You know why crashing on an FS hurts more? Cuz' you iz goin' real fast when you hit the rev limiter and need to bail.

So, does the FS mask poor skills? Yeah, somewhat. I have had the FS save my sorry butt a few times, times that would have likely pitched me on a rigid bike. But a sucky rider will be a sucky rider on whatever he or she is riding. An FS allows them the illusion of being better than they are, but it will catch up to them sooner or later. Will going back to a lesser bike make them a better rider? Maybe. Maybe not. They may just crash more, but at least they will be going slower when it happens! If they truly want to improve, they will need to grow some skills regardless of what they choose to ride.

I do think that having more than one bike to ride is a good thing, especially if one is a hardtail or rigid. I would go rigid on my SS but my wrists are pretty junky from years of falls off of skateboards and whatnot, my shoulders are scarred up and my back is held together with glue. If I lived where things were less rutted and rocky, I would do it cuz I love the way it feels climbing and I enjoy threading the needle on a bike with no squishy parts. Maybe some day I will do it anyway just for fun, but I will have no illusions of grandeur about it. I will just enjoy the ride like I do on my FS.

My thoughts anyway. Yours may differ.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Rise of the SS Chunky Monkey

I spent an hour tonite swapping parts back on to the Karate Monkey frame. Basically everything that was on the Dissent went onto the KM. Unfortunately some extra weight came along with it. The BB7s are quite porky compared to the Avid V brakes, so even though I swapped out the chunky Thudbuster for a still kinda heavy SR seatpost, the bike still ended up at 28lbs, 7 Oz. Sheesh!

Where is all the weight? Well in lots of little places. The wheels are not light, the DT Swiss rims are 30 grams heavier than a Stan's Flow for goodness sake and the hubs are like an XT grade grams wise. Tubes don't help either. I bet I could drop a 1/2 pound a wheel with some careful spending.

BB7s are notoriously heavy but really are not all that bad compared to lesser $$ hydros. It is all about the cash flow, baby. Less grams = more cash. They are likely to stay in place for a while.

The Groovy Luv Handles are waay heavier than the carbon XC bars, but so far I am liking them on the SS quite a bit, so that is that. But, if I change my mind, the Easton carbon XC bars will be back in place.

The sus fork is a porker. The RST M-29 has been a great performer, not just 'for the money' but better than its cost would suggest. I understand they are not so well represented these days with the closing of the US distributors and the website and phone support, but RST is still around regardless. I would like to pop a used Fox or maybe even a classic Reba running at 80mm. That would shave 1/2 a pound. if I get a replacement for the Reba on the Lenz, I would swap the Reba to the SS.

There are little things like a thick Surly rear cog, the non-weight-weenie-buns-of-iron torture saddle, the SPDs that are less than feathery, etc.

Oh yeah, the over 5lb KM frame is a bad start.

I would like to get to a 25lb SS ride going. Less than that will cost me too much money, but with wheels and some wise parts replacements over time, I think I can get there.

In any case, I am very curious to see how the time spent on the DiSSent will have changed my perspective on how the KM feels. We shall see on tomorrow's ride.

The SS Monkey is back and rolling fat (literally).