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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Enel Goes Plus

It all started with a flat tire. I was supposed to meet Mike and another friend for a tour of our local trails. I rushed out after work only to pull the Prime out of the sport van and find the rear flat. And it was the sort of out of sealant flat that needs a tube. And the Prime rear axle is a slow PITA to deal with, anyway...

Mike smirks, leans over and says. "Just ride my wife's bike." Okee dokee then. I'm not exactly sure what the wife's bike is, but I've ridden Lenz stuff in the past. We raise the saddle and bars, add some air to the shocks and are off. Something about "first hit is free" comes to mind in retrospect, but back to the story.

Shortly later my mind blew up. Because despite the hydro brakes I found way over powered, and the stupid push with thumb shifters, I was having more fun, more comfortably on a bike than I had in a long, long time. I think I went hoarse whooping and laughing on that ride.

Afterwords I mention in passing that I would definitely buy that frame when the time came for Jeny to upgrade.

Fast forward a few months and I get pinged by Mike that it is time. He and I come up with specs for a complete bike and slowly the parts and frame come in.

Turns out the bike is a Behemoth Plus (never heard of it actually). I have actually been living in a hole of work, kids, running, lifting weights, and occasionally riding the rigid Jones and even more occasionally riding the Prime. I have not paid attention to bikes. At all. The bikes I had did everything I needed them to do.

So I let Mike Spec the fork, rear shock, wheelset, asked for 760mm wide minimum sweep bars, and durable drivetrain with really, really low gearing.

Ended up with:
Medium Lenz Behemoth 29+ Frame (I am 6"1')

Rockshox MT3(?) rear shock with roller
bearing bushing thingies

Some Truvative riser bar

Syntace 50mm stem

Lyrik fork set to 130mm

DT 360(?) front hub laced to WTB KOM lite front. FR4 3.0 tire.

Onyx hub laced to WTB KOM Rim. Dirt Wizard 3.0 tire.

SRAM cranks with 24 Wolf Tooth bash front

X11 speed in rear with XT 11-46 cassette with twisty grip shifter.

Old 4" Gravity Dropper and Koobi Saddle

Avid BB7 brakes as it should be.

The following posts will cover my build, and break in rides of this extremely fun and interesting bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Build:

Had to scrounge a 30.9 shim for the dropper, found a star nut in my parts pile, also found a brake adaptor for the rear.

I had little drama with the lock on Oury on the shifter side. Ultimately I cut it down. Unclear if it will come loose but I put the lock inboard so I will have a little warning if it starts to slip.

Cockpit is perfect. I still need to get a deep dropper post. Using a clapped out 4” one currently. But I like the length. Running no spacers with the riser bar. Length and height seem nailed first try, so the 50mm stem was a good call. Love the bar shape.

Suspension I don’t know. Just set sag, dialed in my rebound and attempted to minimize HSC and maximize LSC. I was surprised to see the fork was a Lyrik which I didn’t notice til after the first ride. I simply assumed it was a Pike this entire time and during build, tune, and first ride. Seems fine.

The only drama has been a little bit of drivetrain noise that has been tracked down to a worn chainring soon to be replaced. It works fine though.

I do like the internal cable routing for the rear derailleur.

Handling around the house is frankly amazing and I don’t see going back to smaller tires. Love the dead feeling of the tires as they hit rubble. Love how it climbs in deep gravel and chunk. Stupid amounts of grip. Did a few panic manuals and I don’t miss the extra 1” of chainstay on the Prime. It just seems right from a handling perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First ride:

Lakeshore and Storm. Ranch in Prescott Dells. I'll come right out and apologize for every unkind word I ever said about plus tires. My mind is blown at the ease with which I rode stuff I have been riding for years. It's like some "easy" switch was pressed. Feels completely unfair.

Climbs that are 50/50 usually depending on the bounce were going first attempt without drama, on a new, not really even dialed in bike. Rear traction is off the charts. Can't compare in dirt since it rained and the conditions are hero right now, but on rock and chunk it was outstanding. It was just so quietly confident and covered over my mistakes. The lines can be pretty precise in the Dells, but it just didn't seem to matter with these meats. Pinged the rear rim one time lightly in an hour. I think the pressures are pretty close. I cleaned a very sketch steep climb on Captain's trail first try. Not fair due to hero dirt conditions, but that last tight turn was absolutely easier on a shorter, lower bike than the Prime. It is also nice to be almost constantly power/fitness limited rather than traction limited. This bike would be amazing at 5 Miles of Hell if one had the motor.

Any worries I had about the size of the bike or the short chainstay leading to an overly light, uncontrollable front end are entirely alleviated. I feel like this frame was made exactly for my preferences. I also can't see going back to the Prime for anything at the speeds I ride. I may raise the bars a touch, but only notice them when cruising on flats, so maybe not. I kept the rear shock in its most open setting and get no need to add platform. The rear is completely invisible under climbing load, just does it's job. Very different from the Lunch Money which annoys me unless I lock it out. I was able to climb in my preferred standing mode quite well, but could also raise the seat and balance in the front of the saddle as conditions warranted.

Gearing seems perfect. I barely used the highest gear cruising flats, and only went to the lowest up that Captain's trail section. Mostly 7-10.

I am super, super, super pleased with the fit and handling of this machine. I know it is appropriate to gush after first rides, but I have done this enough to be cautious. I am honest enough that I will call out warts, and I have frequently seen them immediately on first rides. I have never had a bike take to my favorite terrain so well, so quickly. It is everything I could want in a bike.

Onyx rear is invisible. Didn't notice it one way or the other. That's usually a good thing.





 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Second break in rode. Willow Dells. My original stomping grounds. I have ridden these trails and lines hundreds of times.

13psi front 15 rear. Raised bars 10mm off top of headset and trimmed steer tube.

Immediately I note the speed and aggresssion with which I am plowing through and down the approach trail. The front traction is world altering with the FR4. I can not get it to come loose on the rutted, usually pretty loose decomposed granite approach trail.

Hit the narrow chunk bridge at a speed that should throw me off line. Nope. Just plowed through.

Climbed the left side of the big wall roller. Was able to get up it with a couple cogs to spare so the 26 tooth should work fine going forward. Cockpit felt a little cramped on this super steep pitch, but I can live with it. May put the bars back down. Or go to a 60 stem.

Rolled down the big wall. Took it too
fast and rolled out like a sack of potatoes! Clanked the fork lightly. But no other drama.

Continued down the first wash. Handling nicely. Did an off camber wheelie 2' to flat drop to a little wet creek that I have been avoiding lately. It's not big but the approach is weird, off camber, and it lands in a small trickle that can be slimy plus it requires a downhill panic manual I haven't felt confident enough to pull off lately. Nailed it and noted I used all the fork travel again. Added 15% to the fork for 115psi now. That worked the rest of the ride.

Also noticed I had touched the rear rim a couple times and the tire feels soft now. No pressure gauge and I don't want to deal with it so continued on.

Plowing down the creek bed I tried and pulled off several moves on side chunk I never have before. Also pulled off a left climbing turn to roller that requires significant side hill traction on the granite. I have tried this a couple times on the Prime and could not make it work out. Very cool to be able to ride new stuff.



I don't want to talk badly about the Prime. It is an amazing bike, and also amazingly competent and capable. But it's just kind of boring compared to the Moth+, which is more competent, more capable and a hell of a lot more fun, but not as stiff. Can't have everything.

Rode up a steep side climb out of the valley. This is all chunk and loose granite. Cleaned it although I had to stop once to gasp over the bars. Usually I lose traction or momentum in the chunky steep climb part a time or two. And have to push. Came back down.

Continued around on a route that lets me ride everything in this small area both ways. Had a very good time and continued to hit little side obstacles I had been eyeballing and or trying for years with limited success. The bike just likes to bounce up and around boulders and wheelie drop in, through and over stuff. Nothing really upsets it.

Did the line up the crack behind the bike here:



Usually this is a full on momentum move that you sprint into and kinda coast to the top. I decided to take it a little slow and see what happens: well, the rear hooks up and you pedal right up a wall is what happens.

Coming down I took a higher line that goes just to the right of the little bush behind the rear wheel. It's a doable line but I always pucker a little about front traction as I transition from rock to dirt. No issue.

Bashed over the climbing ledge where I finished off the Milk Money frame just for fun.

Hit the big wall again with better technique and no fork clunking. Surprised some hikers hanging out there who had no audible warning I was about to scream down that wall. They were 30' away.

Went through the Lichen Roller which has A, B, and C chunk climbing lines followed by a steep roll to near flat. Figured I would do the B line because I was tired, and the A line kind of scares me. The approach to the roller is bouncy and I am less than 50% cleaning it on the rigid and maybe 75% on the Prime. Well, the approach went fairly easily on the Moth+ and I found myself paused looking down the A line which I did not expect. Nutted up and rolled it. This little wall scares me more than the big one because the transition kind of sucks. No big deal.

At this point I was semi heat stroked and needed to survive the chunk climb back to trailhead. Ended up bailing to the 10 cog and that was enough for my bonked self to push out of there. Again confirming a 26 tooth should be fine. I think I only hit the bash guard one time which is sort of amazing. Lots of clearance with only a small ring up front.



After ride I checked rear pressure and it was 13 so I must have burped it early in the ride. Or I have a leak. Need to add more sealant and will probably bump to 17 next time.

I have rarely enjoyed a bike this much.

I do not notice the single pivot suspension action in any way. It just absorbs chunk. I haven't even checked rear pressures. However you sent it it is dialed. Don't think I have bottomed it once and plenty supple.

I don't notice the Onyx hub at all. Just quietly goes about business.

Will add to thread as I ride some more if there is interest?
 

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This is interesting. Goes to show a well developed bike can be just as good if not better than one that has a lot of money thrown at it.

Also as a fellow jones rigid rider with a similar riding style this scares me. Seems like a Lenz could suit my similar style of riding too even if I keep telling myself that the jones is all I need.
 

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Mike smirks, leans over and says. "Just ride my wife's bike."

Something about "first hit is free" comes to mind in retrospect, but back to the story.
I LOL'd.

I had a long way to drive that afternoon, and I knew approximately how long (an hour+) it was going to take you to fix that flat with Chris present and commentating. The goal was to get us out on dirt ASAP, and for as long as possible.
 

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Interesting read and good descriptive writing. I’ve been interested in the Behemoth + because of Mike’s musings. I’ve ridden a rigid 29+ for years and the suspension design and thought process that Devin has used really interests me. Like keeping dual suspension simple.

Dang, just got another bike recently. Now I’m really intrigued!

Keep writing Enel :)

Ps - last time I rode the Dells was for the Monstercross on a rigid 29er SS. I’ll bet its a ton o’ fun on that bike.
 

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DAMNIT! My Jones Plus (setup SS at the moment) is laughing at me for STILL having my Behemoth plus in the box (long year, 2 moves, 1 month+ without a permanent home)....

Ok, fine, I'll go dig it out now... I can't take it anymore!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Interesting read and good descriptive writing. I've been interested in the Behemoth + because of Mike's musings. I've ridden a rigid 29+ for years and the suspension design and thought process that Devin has used really interests me. Like keeping dual suspension simple.

Dang, just got another bike recently. Now I'm really intrigued!

Keep writing Enel :)

Ps - last time I rode the Dells was for the Monstercross on a rigid 29er SS. I'll bet its a ton o' fun on that bike.
It's fun on everything. I still ride it frequently rigid. You can just be a lot more aggressive and dare I say sloppy on the big fatty FS bike.

And there isn't anything simple about the FS experience. Tuning air pressures, air volume compression and rebound damping has me gazing at the rigid thinking: all I do is set tire pressures and ride....

I also have to say I rode aggressively for an hour yesterday and today, I am ready to ride again. I can't say that for riding the rigid aggressively for an hour. I need a few days off to recover after one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That dropper cable routing makes me cringe, on pretty much every level.

And I think you're probably proud of it, on every level...
I am open to options on the routing, but not on the brand of post

And yeah I am pretty proud of the black on black cable/frame. Even dug around for a black zip tie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)


Third ride:

Installed an air token for a total of 3. Set fork PSI to 100, tires 13F/16R.

Today's ride was a trail that is a 20
Min steep one mile uphill with 60 water bar logs followed by a 10 min descent followed by a turning around for a longer half hour climb and 5 min descent down those same 60 water bar logs.

My overwhelming impression today is that I had the tire pressures too high. I didn't drop any pressure til right before the very last descent which improved things a lot.

The bike feels much more like "just a bike" in this sort of situation. Nothing crazy special, just very competent and nice riding. I wish I could say I cleaned the first climb but I had some balance issues over the logs. I did get a good long test of 24x46 and I loved having that super low gear to plod along in. I bet I spent nearly an hour grinding that gear today.

I don't ride speeds where I can hear the wind whistling past my ears often. When I was going that speed today I sort of wished for an inch or so more fork and a slacker HTA. Compromises. It works fine as is but if I did high speed trails a lot I would opt for the longer fork and/or the Large frame for more stability.

As expected the bike is super poppy and eager to manual and/or take to flight over any available bump or small drop. Very fun and engaging and solid as hell when bashed through chunk.

Somehow I still bottomed the fork on a smallish drop. Need to add another token I guess or just suck it up and run more pressure. Currently three tokens and it will accept up to five.

On the longer climb I lost traction a couple times in the low, low gear. I didn't so much lose traction in that the tire gripped the rocks fine, but the rocks under the rocks it was gripping on this fall line of debris slipped.

I was able to clean some difficult, loose, steep, tight switchbacks and appreciated the short wheelbase in these maneuvers.



Somehow that photo makes this corner look like nothing when it is difficult to even walk up. Trust me when I say it is tough.

So for trail use I find the Moth about as good as anything, and better at the fun factor and tight climbs than most. This is unlike Dells use where the Moth plus represents a gigantic step up
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I want to add another comment that I am feeling remarkably UN-beat up after these rides. Hmmm. Might be something to this full squish with soft tires thing as far as rider longevity goes.

I love riding rigid but find I don’t want to go out more than once a week or so after a hard ride.
 

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Add the token for sure.

And, as a data point, Jeny runs those tires at 5psi f and 8psi rear. That low won't work for you, but it should at least give some reassurance that you'll probably like lower.
 

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I want to add another comment that I am feeling remarkably UN-beat up after these rides. Hmmm. Might be something to this full squish with soft tires thing as far as rider longevity goes.

I love riding rigid but find I don't want to go out more than once a week or so after a hard ride.
Indeed...
There is a great ride hidden in every +suish bike!
My Wildcat provides the ride of a Fleetwood Brougham and the feel of a fine mountain bike all in one.

Tire pressure is based on terrain and conditions present. That can be anywhere in the range of 8 for the loose forest ride and 15 at the absolute max for Junktown rowdyness.
 

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Welcome to the club, you have been assimilated.....

Now if we can just convince the industry that's obsessed with stupid mid sized wheels AND tires, that 29X3 is everything you just said it was, we'd really be making progress.

Enjoy the ride, I'm on my second one, have sold a bunch in the last year or three, and momentum is gaining. People who aren't hung up on whatever hangs them up on 650x2.6 being *it*, are enjoying the fun, glad to know you are too!
 
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