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Thursday, January 17

The Good, the Bad, and the Meh

One and what some might call a "half" rides on the new Stumpjumper FSR EVO29'er is not enough to pass some kind of judgement.

That will not stop me from doing so.

Let's start with the good.

The XX1 was flawless.  No dropped chains, no noise, and no mis-shifts.  It clunked around all day as it should.  The Grip Shift can be actuated without taking my finger off the brake or giving up my grip on the bars by moving my thumb.  An earnest flick of the wrist is all it takes to move up or down one gear.  Having the ability to dump a shit ton of gear at the top of a climb and attack when needed?  Very nice.

The XTR brakes are bomber.  I knew that already.  I did have to adjust the reach back a bit further when I got home, but that's it.  Better with the Shimano Ice Tech rotors?  Time will tell.

The FOX34 140mm FLOAT is cheating.  I really, really, really liked it.  Stiff, plush, massive travel gobbling shit up... soooo sweet.

The frame?   Hrrmmm...  It's stiff as expected, I love having a water bottle again, and look at this convenient carrying handle for portages:

The squishy bits?  That comes later.
Of course it was the maiden voyage of my Industry Nine Torch Trail 24 wheelset.

Stiff, light, pink, fast engaging... what I've come to expect.  I'll be interested to know how the improvements made in an effort to prolong bearing life and reduce maintenance work out.  Time will tell.

The bad?

I loved having a drooper post, but that said, I think I'm eating my words on the whole "multi-positions would be better than infinite positions" thing.  The top position is perfect for 95% of the fast descending I would normally do, but the slammed position I can only see being helpful in the shit-my-pants steep stuff.  Getting it down in a panic as I'm already shitting my pants is no easy task.  I'm holding on for dear life, and the idea of removing my opposable thumb from under the bars to over and then slamming my ass down past the point of slammation to release the lever and get the saddle back up to proper position?  Not really gonna happen unless I stop altogether, thus defeating the purpose of the drooper.  I woulda just wanted a position slightly above the second and above the last the whole time.  I'm being picky.  It's what I do.

The chainstay length.  My Dickstickel Meatplow V.6 has skewed my reality.  I love short stays, like 16" and change stays.  The Stumpjumper is a hair shy of 18" and rides like it.  The bike just plain smashes through shit like a hero, but when it comes time to shake and dance, it just keeps smashing.

When I used the Auto-Sag feature on the rear shock, electric blue goo shot out of the valve.  The manual did not say that was a normal part of the operation, so it caused me some concern.  I would say that Auto-Sag did put me in the right ballpark though.

The meh?

The whole way-too-long set up of the Grip Shift side did affect my hand placement a bit.  Fortunately, someone named Joe reached out to me on MTBR, and now I haz my blanking ring.

That can and will be fixed whenever I get around to it.

The other meh?

So much of what's going on here.  While the gears were nice for adding speed on the descents, they bugged the shit outta me all day.  If I was standing and climbing like I was on a single speed, I was in the 32 X 14, 16, or 18.  Not ideal.  If I was sitting and spinning, I felt just as tired but found myself moving way slower.

When I was flying down the trail, it was like driving a trophy truck.  When I tried to make a quick move at slow speed, it was like I was driving a bread truck.  Chainstay length, 130mm of travel, big wheels, poor skill-set... so many variables to look at.

As I drove home alone from the mountains, I looked at the bike in the rear view mirror trying to think of the purpose for this machine.  It's to early too feel awash with regret and buyer's remorse.  This thing will act as my road bike, the thing I ride to take a break from "mountain biking"... without all the cars and whatnot.

I'm not gonna say that I haven't looked at a few all-mountain, SS'able hard tails since Saturday.  Since the fjork gives me a huge bike boner, the wheels are adaptable to SS and other axle configurations,  and the gears only leave me feeling just a few degrees above lukewarm, I know I can salvage the good parts and continue to cleave things away until I find happiness... relatively speaking.

For all that, the new bike gets my...

SEAL OF SEMI-APPROVAL

It's alright.  I realize I am a jaded, morose, unappreciative, predictable, spoiled asshole, but I gotta try new things once and awhile.  My first single speed ride was a nightmare, and I didn't revisit the concept for three more years after that miserable experience.  I don't want to live in a bubble, but I must say, it's very nice in here.

19 comments:

Harlan Price said...

Get a grip D. It's not a single speed. A monster truck is big and stupid as a daily, until you start taking the liberties and realize that parking lots and curbs are for other people to worry about. You are now granted permission to do more stupid things.

Andrea said...

Told you so.

Anonymous said...

Get a Brain front and back and make it SS, other than the handling it will be a nice bike.

Anonymous said...

Get a Canfield Yelli Screamy and put your shifty bits on it! Aggressive geometry for the gnar and short stays like your DickStickel.

Anonymous said...

For objectivity: which are the parts you had to pay for?

dicky said...

For objectivity's sake:

The only parts not paid for would be the wheels and headset. The saddle was bought some time ago. The tires were purchased through my MAXXIS sponsorship and all other parts were purchased through my bike shop sponsor, Bike Source.

Given all that, this is the most money I've ever sunk into a bike all at once.

the technIAn said...

Step 1: Order PMW 142 Post mount dropouts.

Step 2: Remove XX1 Drivetrain and wheels from FSR.

Step 3: Install onto Bystickel. (Two cable guide stickies required on driveside seatstay)

Step 4: Best of both worlds. SS Rigid Hardtail in the quiver, and geared, short-stayed, long travel bombing machine.

Rigidnsingle said...

Hmmm?? The climbing get used to it! Nothing climbs like a rigid SS! The other stuff? It all comes out in the wash.

Have fun... Stay single...

dicky said...

the technIAn

Only a few issues. My XX1 crank is PF30.

I cut my fork too short for the Stickel. That's a problem that has caused lost sleep.

The last issue is that I love the Stickel with 100mm and SS. I want to have that handy at all times.

The Los said...

Hmmm... Canfield's Nimble 9 is coming with a 44mm headtube and 30.9mm seattube for 2013, and I know it plays quite well with a 120mm fork. Don't see any reason it wouldn't do 140 without a problem.
Sell off the squish frame, XX1 stuff, and have a good ol' time.
Just sayin'.

Los

dicky said...

Reminds me of the other Stickel swap conundrum: no VIABLE 27.2 drooper options. My fault for going that size.

AdamB said...

Perhaps you should swap the 32t ring for a 36t so your chain-line will be straighter and you'll wrap more chain when standing and acting like a SS dipwad.

dicky said...

Dipwad

Har har.

John Parker said...

+1 on what that Harlen guy said.... but still I am thinking that a "HT AM 29" bike may be the most fun option out there today.

Anonymous said...

This bike is phucking stupid. Probably could have built 3 bad ass SS's for what you have in this hunk of shit and everyone who follows your blog would have been excited to hear what you thought of them. As simplistic as a SS is, gears are a step backwards.

Tilly FTW

Anonymous said...

LEV makes a 27.2 dropper post. Super nice post as well.

dicky said...

Not available yet, although X-Fusion has a non-remote 27.2 now... not VIABLE.

John said...

We all knew this was going to happen. Maybe next time just spend $100 on a hooker. You'll get a little ride in and you can still get that sinking feeling of regret.

Anonymous said...

Yelli Screamy is Nice...Kona Honzo is nicer!