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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First "REAL" ride on the Zion

I figured I would be getting my balls busted about getting a ride report ASAP (since my first ride was pretty pointless), so here goes:

A decent sized group of use headed to Pisgah Saturday for a 100% singletrack/doubletrack five hour ride. The area got a good soaking the day before so we were in for some slick conditions. I left the bike setup just the way it had been, and the front Rampage was aired up to 21.5 PSI. The initial descent out of the parking lot was a wee bit awkward for me. I was still having problems getting the front end up, so waterbar "geek air" was outta the question. Our single track route had us going through lots of mountain gaps, with small climbs and descents on moist to saturated trails. I had my first over the bar experience in the first hour of the ride. It's been a long time since I have done that, and I think I will avoid doing it again in the future. I didn't really get a good feel for the bike initially, so I took a further back spot in the group on the descents to figure things out. I had plenty of off-trail excursions, and I ended up laying in the laurels a few times. Bill "Big Worm" Fehr said maybe I could make wrecking my "new thing". Hmmm....

When we finally hit a long gradual climb I started to make friends with the bike. Even though initially I could feel the weight of the Rampage in the rear I felt like I was flying up the hill. I held on to Dennis's wheel without really feeling worked at all. All I could think was "Wow!". I kept thinking about all those 29'ers I raced against all year, and the huge advantage they had going up a climb like this ( just about every hundie I did last year had lots of them).

When we finally got to the descending finale' of the day I felt more settled in. It was quite a stretch to reach the bars and keep my weight back. Going down Turkey Pen there a lot of logs across the trails and waterbars that required some finesse to get over. It was difficult, but it was easy to pinpoint the long stem as the source of my woes. Here's where it got good. I have not been able to keep up with Eric Wever since he swapped to big wheels/rigid and I've been on small wheels/rigid. In the past my hands hurt, and I just couldn't keep the bike rolling fast enough. Things changed. On the descent I was able to keep him in sight, and as we got closer to the bottom I was able to stay on his wheel. I even had a huge temptation to go faster, and my hands weren't hurting at all. Nice. Once again I was reflecting on last season and those guys on their big wheels.

By the end of the day I had been on my ass a handful of times. I figured it was just a matter of me not being used to the bike. Oh contraire mon freire. I took a parking lot poll, and evidently everybody had their hands full trying to negotiate the greased pig of a trail. I don't think anybody present hadn't spent some time rolling around on the ground without a bike under them. Good to know, I thought I was the only one having a rough day.

I asked Eric (AKA pisgah productions) a mess of questions, but according to him this is all he heard:
"So, you think i should... reducemystemlengthandincreasemytoptubelengthordoyouthinkitwouldbebettertoshortenmytoptubeandincreasemystemlengthordoyouthinkishouldgeta73mmbottom
bracketsoicangetshorterseatstaysorshouldijustforgetaboutitandtrytooperatemywaterfilterwhile
myeyesarecloseduntilihavepracticedfillingonegallonjugsenoughthaticandoitinundertwominutes?"

So anyways, I am convinced. Eric is letting me borrow a 40mm and 60mm stem to try out. Mike Brown (AKA Mike Brown) hooked me up with the CroMoto fork off his El Mariachi to replace the K-K-Karate Monkey up front. It's not pretty, but this is the cockpit I'll be trying next.



I fiddled around this morning with risers, but I wasn't happy. The 40mm stem is inverted with the spacer to negate the rise. I think I'll end up with a 50mm when all is said and done. I wasn't sure if I was borrowing or keeping the fork, so that's why I have that sexy steer tube sticking out. I also swapped out the Brooks/Dean post with the SLR/Race Face Next post to get some more setback. I swapped out the rear Rampage with a 2.2 Jones XR (@ 1/3 lb lighter), and I'm gonna give it a whirl. Weird, but the bike is down to respectable 23 lbs with a 5 lb frame and steel fork. The way it's built now it feels a lot more playful when I did a quick driveway test.

I think I might skip the EBB on my next bike. I've come to realize it might limit my options. The BB was at 12" at 12 o'clock, and I was smacking the pedals alot. My Dean sits closer to 13", and I rarely ever clip a pedal. I know that the EBB can make things tight at the chainstay junction, so the sliding dropouts might make my stays slightly shorter without losing clearance. I'll have to ask my future builder what's possible.
 

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We had a nice group ride yesterday after the rains as well. I went down in a funny bobo manner coming out of a creek crossing that bank hard right with slick roots as my tires were freshly soaked. I mis-calculated my front tire placement by a few centimeters and WHAM!, front end went right out from under me. I too and fairly new to the 29er and I found it took several rides for me to see what it truly had to offer. I ran a neve front and rear and didn't like the sluggishness of the rear but loved how it felt up front. Switched up to an ignitor rear and I absolutely love it.
 

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When did you get here?!?!
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photos

photos from the 'first real ride'
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh do you want to play 20 questions? aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh......
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Josh the Wonderboy:


Crossing a small creek in January

Big Worm (sorry for the non29er content...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sizing wise-
I came from a 22.5" toptube with a 70mm X 0 deg stem on my 26" bike.
I tried the 23.1" top tube with a 75mm X 5 deg stem (bad).
Now I am on a 23.1 toptube with the 40mm, and that's why I think a 50mm will be optimal.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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I Love It!

First of all, way to persevere with that bike. It has to be a bit frustrating when you come off a bike you had dialed and rode for a few years.

I like the bike as it is in the last pic. A "mutt-bike"! :D Each piece chosen because it (might) works, and not because it's "bling", or matches.

Matching, beautiful bikes are cool, don't get me wrong, but there is something about a "mutt-bike" that says "I mean business". Vikings don't give a crap about what the "sword" looks like as long is it gets the "killing" done, ya know? (For those of you confused, it's a thing offa teamdicky's blog)

Anyway, glad to see that you are getting somewhere with all of this.
 

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mud'n'sweat said:
We had a nice group ride yesterday after the rains as well. I went down in a funny bobo manner coming out of a creek crossing that bank hard right with slick roots as my tires were freshly soaked. I mis-calculated my front tire placement by a few centimeters and WHAM!, front end went right out from under me. I too and fairly new to the 29er and I found it took several rides for me to see what it truly had to offer. I ran a neve front and rear and didn't like the sluggishness of the rear but loved how it felt up front. Switched up to an ignitor rear and I absolutely love it.
....dangit! How did I miss that? ;)

I think you would be much better off with the bars an inch higher & at least an inch wider....my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jncarpenter said:
....dangit! How did I miss that? ;)

I think you would be much better off with the bars an inch higher & at least an inch wider....my $0.02.
The bars are at the same level as the saddle. I was used to some drop on my little bike, so level with the saddle is as high as my bars are going (I hope).
Wider bars?? I aleady have 26" bars right now. Any wider and I'd have to go on the rack as I am a little fellow.
(unless you're talking about mud'n'sweat)
 

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jncarpenter said:
....dangit! How did I miss that? ;)

I think you would be much better off with the bars an inch higher & at least an inch wider....my $0.02.
I put my race face Dues low riser back on, which provided both exactly. I'm wondering if I should try a shorter stem as well to help with the handling and getting the front end up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Padre said:
Are you opposed to carbon? Seems like the short(er) Pace would negate (some) of the need for so much inverted stem and perhaps quicken up the handling. Or you could just try the water filter.
The stem is only inverted with a spacer underneath to negate any rise it would add to the front. I want a 50mm X 0 deg stem, but nobody I knew had one laying around. I'm pretty happy with the bar height. I wasn't looking to quicken up the handling as much as I needed to put my weight back on the bike.
AND
I don't think I wanna drop the front end any (with a Pace) as the bottom bracket is already kinda low for technical Pisgah riding. Not to mention this bike is just to get me into 29 riding, and give me an idea of what I am looking for. I don't want to put too much money into this specific build that won't carry over to my next bike.
 

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Not really that big!
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Sawheeet!

this bike is just to get me into 29 riding, and give me an idea of what I am looking for. I don't want to put too much money into this specific build that won't carry over to my next bike.[/QUOTE]

Good thing this one is just trial and error. When you decide what you really want, let me know. Those wheels will look GREAT on my Rig. HEE HEEE!!

Welcome to the world of BIG Wheels. I look forward to your custom build.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Big29 said:
this bike is just to get me into 29 riding, and give me an idea of what I am looking for. I don't want to put too much money into this specific build that won't carry over to my next bike.
Good thing this one is just trial and error. When you decide what you really want, let me know. Those wheels will look GREAT on my Rig. HEE HEEE!!

Welcome to the world of BIG Wheels. I look forward to your custom build.:thumbsup:[/QUOTE]

Oh, the wheels are here to stay. Only the frame and cockpit are expendable.
I think I am looking forward to my custom build more than anybody.
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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teamdicky said:
I don't think I wanna drop the front end any (with a Pace) as the bottom bracket is already kinda low for technical Pisgah riding. Not to mention this bike is just to get me into 29 riding, and give me an idea of what I am looking for. I don't want to put too much money into this specific build that won't carry over to my next bike.
I get it.

My Quiring (and DeSalvo) we're spec'd with at least a 13" BB height. My first mtb, a Specy Enduro cured me of ever desiring a low bb. Pedal strikes are laaaame. I ride plenty well with my COG super high. Who'm I kidding though... at my height in the COG dept. I'm screwed anyway.

If you'd like to try a Niner fork lemme know, you could borry if you'd like. I believe the rake is a the same as the El Mariachi but is somewhat taller. Perhaps that could solve your BB issues?
 
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