Monday, January 28, 2013

Rain-out consolation ride

Well, since the road trip was a wash out, Ed the Tall and I headed out on a Sat morning to a trail a hour or so away that should bear the wet weather pretty well.  We ended up getting 3 hours or so of single track riding on our single speeds, Ed on his beloved Selma, and I on the SS Stumpy with the new SID World Cup fork on there.

Ed had never been there and so it was a treat to show off the trail and it's joys.  We seldom get the chance to ride as much singletrack as you can handle in a day.  Typically the trails in SO Cal are pretty short in length, but this one goes for miles and miles.  The soil is mostly decomposed granite so it bears up well in wet weather.  We were dressed for some soup but it never really was too bad at all.  I am sure glad that we had a rack for the bikes though instead of shoehorning two sloppy 29ers into the back of my trusty 3.  I was using the Kuat NV Core rack and that was solid and stable for the trip.  I did have to take off my tool bag from the saddle to eliminate some handlebar interference.  Super easy to get bikes on and off...very nice.

Ed had geared down for the cancelled trip and I never did, so I was jealous of his 32x21 gearing and 180mm cranks.  I need to regear when I come here again.  34x21 is not enough for this trail and my old legs.  And I think I am moving back to 180mm cranks to see what that feels like after being on 175s for a while now.  We shall see.

We both had on those Gore Phantom II jackets we bought on sale and those have been just great for this season's use.  I peeled the sleeves off to see how it was as a vest and sleeves or not, the jacket is a great balance of water shedding, warmth, breathability, and, most especially, wind-proof-ness.  Love it.

The carbon Stumpy is a very competent bike and although it is not a 'trailbike' SS by nature, it never held me back.  The SID fork with the RCT3 damper was stunningly good for SS use.  I ran it in the middle platform position with the low speed compression dial two clicks 'in'.  Fabulous for the way single speeds are ridden.  I had a stable fork with basically no bob out of the saddle but it would move when I needed it to with only a feeling of 'firmness' to the travel.  Super, super, super and the open setting was so much better than the old Fox it replaced.

Sweet bike for sure.

I think that trail requires more riding and soon.  You can make this into a dawn to dusk trail day if you have the moxie.

Clean bikes...for now.

Gore Phantom jacket with sleeves removed.

Red version of that Phantom soft-shell jacket.

Brothers of the knicker.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Well this sucks...

...rain killed the road trip.  Was headed to Camp Lynda, but this changed all that.  All dressed up and no place to go.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carbon delivers the goods

This has been the longest time I have been on a carbon HT now, at least by a little bit, and the only time it has been a single speed bike and I am pretty darn impressed.  It is quite possibly the highest performing SS overall that I have ridden...light enough, stiff enough, very, very smooth riding, climbs like magic, aggressive handling but not over the top.  Great high performance all day bike.

Carbon is such a black box in many ways but if this is a good example of what it can be...and it looks to be exactly that...then we are living in a good time to be a bike rider in search of tall mountains and winding trails.

I still think that when you get right down to it that steel is still the best for value VS. performance in a hardtail bike but this Stumpjumper SS is amazing.  In fact, I think I need to go ride it again.

Be right back.