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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
4th ride this week and this spring. Trails are just starting to firm up here in New England. Not a review but got my firsts rides in this year with a new rear shock (DHX) and new brakes (Juicy 7s) and so far they both are working well. The brakes felt great rght out of the box (had some slight drag for the 1st 15 min. I hve not played around with the shock settings yet as I want to set a good solid baseline with the factory settings so that I can better notice the changes when I start making them. Here are a couple pics from this moring's ride. Snow is gone and it feels great to be on solid dry ground again........

Sorry, no action shots because nobody else joined me this morning at 6:00am for the ride.
 

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Did you miss all the rain this week? That trail looks pretty dry and your bike pretty clean considering all the rain we've had (in western Mass at least) since Saturday. There was a real nice spell a couple weeks ago though- two weeks without rain in April almost made up for all the snow this year.

You've got the Nixon Elite (coil) up front, no? What length travel are you running and how do you like it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
miles e said:
Did you miss all the rain this week? That trail looks pretty dry and your bike pretty clean considering all the rain we've had (in western Mass at least) since Saturday. There was a real nice spell a couple weeks ago though- two weeks without rain in April almost made up for all the snow this year.

You've got the Nixon Elite (coil) up front, no? What length travel are you running and how do you like it?
We got the rain. This place in the pics is very wet and muddy until the snow melts but once all the snow is gone, it drains so well that most of the terrain is ridable all spring even the day after a downpour. There are other places that offer as good and even better riding but do not handle the spring rains as well and need a few days to drain out after a good soaking. I walked any of the mud sections (only a sum of about 50 total feet) to help take it easy on the trails.

This was latest start to a season I can remember due to the late season snows you mentioned.

I have been riding the Nixon Elite (coil) since August I think. I keep it set to 145mm. The transition from up to down is so quick on my local trails that I do not have the time to wind down the travel before a climb (although the Rapid Travel Wind Down feature on the fork is excellent) If I did stop to wind down to 100mm or something, by the time I looked up, my group would be long gone. If I came to a long steeper grind type climb I might try it but I prefer to get used to setting that I will be using most of the time.

The Nixon Elite is my favorite fork so far on the Spot (not that I have tried nearly as many as others have here) Because I don't wind down my travel, I really need to keep the A to C on the shorter side for climbing. The Nixon is very short relative to it available travel. I also really like the thru axle. I am not a finesse rider so I can absolutely feel the difference when plowing into rock gardens. Point and go. I highly recomend it.
 

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Cool. There's a place like that around here too; it runs a ridgeline so the drainage is great. Hopeing to hit it Sunday if we don't get a deluge tomorrow like we have the last couple times it rained this week.

I'm running a 130mm Firefly on my Spot and really like the TPC damping. I think it has a similar A2C as your Nixon but 15mm less travel. Do you not feel the head angle steepens too dramatically near bottom out with all that travel and a short A2C? The Spot is certainly manageable with a 130mm fork in the 512-519mm A2C range (Sherman or Z1), but having a 145mm fork with the same height could have that one possible downside.
 

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"is it at all climable?"
zilla, you are my hero! Your level of thinking is beyond me.
I'm more concerned about whether or not I can descend that! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bikezilla said:
Classic NE riding! Sweet! We need more East coast input. That rooted chute looks like a blast, is it at all climbable?
I am a terrible photographer. Whenever I takes pictures of terrain, it always appears less steep than in real life. This used to happen to me when I would take my camera skiing years ago. Anyway, the chute is actually very tough (but fun) to descend, easier dealing with the rock side vs the roots side (the roots run too close to parallel to the trail for my liking.) This is a classic climb here where every ride we all line up and take a shot at it with nobody usually making it (once or twice I think) and somebody usually getting hurt. It is actually much steeper than the photo suggests. Fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
miles e said:
I'm running a 130mm Firefly on my Spot and really like the TPC damping. I think it has a similar A2C as your Nixon but 15mm less travel. Do you not feel the head angle steepens too dramatically near bottom out with all that travel and a short A2C? The Spot is certainly manageable with a 130mm fork in the 512-519mm A2C range (Sherman or Z1), but having a 145mm fork with the same height could have that one possible downside.
I spend very little time navigating while near or at bottom out. I guess I never gave it much thought. I usually experience bottom out (or near bottom out) coming of steep rollers or landing drops--in either case it is for such a short period of time I never noticed the HA. I think if I was descending for a long time on something very steep I might notice it but here is mostly quick up and quick down. I will try to pay attn. next time.
 

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That's funny! I was looking at the photo thinking I'd rather take the side with the rocks just like you said. Sometimes the rocks can be larger obstacles, but more predictable to negotiate. Those roots can do mean things to your steering, especially when somewhat parallel to wheel path. Bike goes one way, you go the other...splat.

Gotta get to the East Coast one of these days....
 

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MARider said:
Whenever I takes pictures of terrain, it always appears less steep than in real life...This is a classic climb here where every ride we all line up and take a shot at it with nobody usually making it (once or twice I think) and somebody usually getting hurt. It is actually much steeper than the photo suggests. Fun.
I hear you on the photog thing. I've never been able to capture true nature of a section like that on film. No depth perception. Plus the trails are so tight it's tough to find a good spot to shoot from.

We have the line-up-and-climb-up deal all the time. Honestly, I get much more use out of my leg armor on the climbs than the decents.

Smokey...it's an EC thang, Kinda like wearin' Timbies Friday nights.:D
 

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MARider said:
I am a terrible photographer. Whenever I takes pictures of terrain, it always appears less steep than in real life. This used to happen to me when I would take my camera skiing years ago. Anyway, the chute is actually very tough (but fun) to descend, easier dealing with the rock side vs the roots side (the roots run too close to parallel to the trail for my liking.) This is a classic climb here where every ride we all line up and take a shot at it with nobody usually making it (once or twice I think) and somebody usually getting hurt. It is actually much steeper than the photo suggests. Fun.
Its not just you. Photos always make the terrain seem flatter than it really is. I'd definitely try to climb the rocky side too. The rocks usually give great grip, while tires can slip more easily on the roots. Plus, the root on the right side at the bottom is probably about a 1.5 foot vertical drop, as opposed to an incline you could ride up, right?

I think I've taken maybe 2 photos that give a hint of how steep/off-camber the trail really is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
justen said:
Its not just you. Photos always make the terrain seem flatter than it really is. I'd definitely try to climb the rocky side too. The rocks usually give great grip, while tires can slip more easily on the roots. Plus, the root on the right side at the bottom is probably about a 1.5 foot vertical drop, as opposed to an incline you could ride up, right?

I think I've taken maybe 2 photos that give a hint of how steep/off-camber the trail really is.
Nice pics. I can really see the steepness. I have teaken pictures in the past while snowboarding some steep terrain (Tuckerman's Ravine, Mount Washington, NH) only to have it come out looking like an intermediate trail. Others photos (by better photographers) of the same run look just as steep as they do in person.

When we come down this trail, we come down over the rocks. When we try to go up, we usually try to split the rocks and roots at the bootom and the stay left the rest of the way. You are right the the roots drop almost 2 feet. Only problem is the rock there to the left of the roots is a straight down 1.5 -2 foot edge. Usually down as a big nose down on the way down (hard to set it up as a drop as you are already at a very steep pitch so pulling up becomes difficult.) and presents a straight wall to overcome when climbing. Not impossible, just not the most succesful way on average to date. The chute is a pefect example of terrain unclimbable on a HT but sometimes doable on a nice FS. Maintaining traction once past the roots/big rock at teh bottom is the issue. We usually plow into these and then try to keep the rear planted with traction and then just muscle it as hard as possible to get to left and up. Funny thing is I have only made this climb once in my life and I did a couple years ago on my Blur. I was shocked. Fun.
 

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MARider said:
When we come down this trail, we come down over the rocks. When we try to go up, we usually try to split the rocks and roots at the bootom and the stay left the rest of the way. You are right the the roots drop almost 2 feet. Only problem is the rock there to the left of the roots is a straight down 1.5 -2 foot edge. Usually down as a big nose down on the way down (hard to set it up as a drop as you are already at a very steep pitch so pulling up becomes difficult.) and presents a straight wall to overcome when climbing. Not impossible, just not the most succesful way on average to date.
I'd like to try that. Looks doable in the photo ;) Is there a line just to the right of the big longitudinal root, going up?

Much of the time I have a nagging feeling that the Western orientation of this board means that people don't always understand where I'm coming from with my riding. So when a post like this comes along I feel like "Hey! Someone gets it! Thanks!" For example, what you say about not having time to mess with travel adjustments: Where I ride, at least, a place like the one in your shot typically represents the whole climb. Then you go down the other side. Then you climb again. It all happens about as fast as I'm typing this. Same deal with your comment about doing a "nose down" over the root. I freely admit I'm about the worst jumper on the planet, but this is partly because there just aren't that many places to practice when your local topography is sort of like a bunch of steep waves studded with rocks and roots, and with a big tree sprouting up every six feet in all directions. So I've gotten fairly competent at "nose downs." ;)
 

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Why Climbing is Easier

SMOKEY said:
"is it at all climable?"
zilla, you are my hero! Your level of thinking is beyond me.
I'm more concerned about whether or not I can descend that! :D
But look at it this way: Climbing is actually much easier than decsending because you can see what the heck you're doing! (I hate the way having to get off the bike and scout an unfamiliar steep decscent interrupts the flow of the ride.)
 

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Nice Pics Justen... even those are x-times wider and longer than what I usually see in a climb. Great depth though!

QC and Mar, you fellas are truly relating the flavor of riding around here. We try to climb this isht because, well, we have to. There's plenty of others waiting just down the trail.

The first time I saw Mar's shot I immediately thought of a climbing line starting on right side, and crossing back and back again. It'd probably take me half the season of trying before I'd even get close to making it though.

Going down, there's plenty of possibilties. I'd like to try the line in red (dashed part means jump over, hopefully) Of course without actually seeing the trail, I have no real idea what's doable in either direction.



It's interesting you've only been able to clear this on you Blur. I think this is the kind of terrain the Turners really shine in (in both directions). Have you tried using the same tires? Hey, what tires are you using anyway? Just curious what folks are spinning out this way.
 

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Nasty little section, it looks more like a roll in than a drop though, at least to me:D I would think to the left of the rock(rider perspective) on the red line and stay away from that root.
 

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Double-R, That's pretty steep. I don't think I could air that out w/o some rather reckless speed. It looks more like a roller to a whimp like me.

SS, I like the first part of your climb better than mine. It's an easier turn. But it depends on how steep the approach is there. That big root is so close a little body english could make it a problem.

Wheee...virtual riding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
rroeder said:
How about this line for some air, the bike knows the right line :D
The bike is actually almost parallel (vertically speaking) to the trail where I have it for the pic. It is just barely balancing where it is.

I usually try to go up where you guys indicated but when I come down I stay right (rider perspective) to avoid the roots. The rocks provide steeper transitions going down but offer more stability/predictability. I will take some more shots of this area and other sections that are actually more technical than this. The really good stuff is still drying out (too much snow and now way too much rain!!)

I am running an odd combo right now. I have the Sturdy in the front and a worn out Fat Albert UST in the rear. I like the setup but do not favor the poor rolling resistance. I am going to try a nevegl in the rear with a lobo up front I think.

The section rroeder highlighted would be good but it is too "off trail" and there is too much undergrowth to pedal through. There are plenty of other good spots with air opportunities here though.
 
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