Tuesday, March 8

First ride, Non-nonplussed

First ride on the Ikon/Rekon 27.5+ tires mounted to Nox Kitsuma/Industry Nine wheels that I talked about ad nauseam yesterday.  Head to the US National Whitewater Center.  Twenty miles or so of trail that I'm very used to riding.  I know what to expect, what kinda speeds I can run on the descents, whatnot.  I realize this is where STRAVA would probably come in handy.  Real data on segments that would allow me to compare times and speed.  I have an account.  I just don't really use it.

I planned on going alone so I could kinda eliminate any outside variables (and listen to music).  Nick "Dip 'n Spray" Barlow wanted to play in the woods too, so whatever.  He joined me.

I guess before I get to into the whole ride thing, I should mention that I decided to go with 13/17PSI F/R to start with.  Based on what?

I was down to 11PSI on the 3.0 Chronicle and 17PSI on the 2.4 Ardent.  13PSI seemed like a good middle ground.  On the rear, I used to run my Ardent Race 2.2 at 23PSI on my old I9Trail rim and was able to drop it down to 21PSI on the wider Farlows.  So, insert logic... add some guesswork and 17PSI on the rear.

Back to it. 

A little late, but Nick finally found me in the woods.  I ended up riding .5 miles over two log-overs again, and again, and again ad infinitum while I waited for him to show up.  Immediately, his youthful exuberance VS my old man legs and limited health points crushed me on the initial climbs.  I wanted to blame the extra weight of the new tires/wheels, but it was probably just me.

The bright spot? 

One ride in and I have to say, the 27.5+ size has merits.  Pretty much the same spew the "industry" is "pushing" down your throats.  I can simply rail these high volume/wide contact patch tires everywhere.  There are plenty of long (for Charlotte) descents filled with braking bump chatter, roots and whatnot.  I ignored them.  Hard corners with roots?  Paid them no mind.  Pine needles, pea gravel, slick spots... I only pushed the tires too hard once, and they went into a peaceful Tokyo Drift temporarily before they hooked right back up.  It was stupid awesome.

The next day, I headed to the Backyard Trails.  Much less speed, tight twisties, tech features, rock piles, log-overs, jumps, and drops.  Alone this time... because I was gonna meet up with Nick again, but my mom bought a new wifi router and there went an hour of my life.  And her internet no longer works.  Win.

Anyways, another interesting ride.  My mind was mostly focused on the Tech Loop portion of this ride.  There's two to three moves that occasionally stymie me every time I get to them.  A rocky switchback uphill, a punchy carpet climb out of a switchback down corner, and a nasty root gob at the top of a climb.

I made them all.  I went back and tried some of them a few more times.  Made it every time.  What's different?  Traction.

I do know some might blame "new bike fever," but bear with me.

I could come into the awkward approach corners with a little more speed knowing the front wasn't going to wash out (as I've had happen to me before).  I also discovered that as long as I was still standing on the pedals, the rear tire wouldn't slip.  I even stalled out on purpose on one of the attempts and got it going again with a decent stomp.

Something else.  The BYT is littered with dingle balls.

These tiny assholes will kick your front tire out in a turn like nobody's business.  I hate them... in my yard, on the trail, in my gutters.  Assholes.

Anyways, I ignored them.  If my front wheel rolled over a few of them in the trail, it was a nanosecond before the tire found something more solid to grab onto, and confidence was restored.

Anyways, another positive experience in the books.  I still got more soul searching to do tho.

Next, my own shitty preconceived notions and what I still need to know.


JR. Z. said...

Careful, Dicky. Much farther down this rabbit hole and we fatbikers will have your ass forever...for-ev-er... Mwahhahaha!

Moe said...

So, is this what you do when you have made fun of fat bikes for a couple years but now want one of your own? ;)

fatlip11 said...

+ to the plus... why go back to skinnyville?!?