Tuesday, June 21

Inconclusive Conclusions

Saturday's ride was enlightening in more ways than one.

It's no secret that I've been entertaining the idea of a full suspension bike (again).  Watching too many sick edits, Red Bull TV World Cup Downhill races... my inner-American wanting bigger and better.  Gears?  Still not so much.  I can't figure them out, and until such time that I'm too old, weak or just plain tired of tromping around on my single speed, I don't think I'll want them.

But suspension in the back parts of a bike?  I look at my Stickel and think about this frame that I've had for more than four years now.  It's the bike I normally take to Pisgah for squishy fun rides.

Frame weight?


There are way many carbon fullies coming in close to that... so many.  It's awfully difficult looking at new frames coming out constantly and not thinking about the possibilities.  Toss an old derailleur on there or a Rohloff or an Alfine tensioner to keep the chain on and bazinga.  Full suspension single speed.

I would be the star of my video edits... in my mind.  Not going to mount up a GoPro and spend hours editing footage so I can help everyone else fill the internet with more snoozefest chest cam footie.

But then that ride this past Saturday.  Black Mountain from the top to bottom.  Garsh.

I've always loved the Stickel since day one, but the 27.5 wheels (wide rims, plusser tire up front, 2.3 rear) have really livened things up a bit.  The bike really sticks and moves.  I don't know how much faster I'd be going with full suspension, but I don't really know if I need to go any faster in order to have more fun.  I enjoy picking my lines and riding accordingly on a hard tail.  The only real downside was that towards the end of a long run, my legs were a little tired from having to act as my suspension.  BFD.  The average Pisgah ride with friends holds up occasionally to make sure we're all still intact, so my "suspension" will get a chance to cool down eventually.

I just need to remain calm.  Until the Stickel breaks (unlikely... although I had a dream last night that it was cracked), is stolen (possibru) or my body can't take the beating, it's perfectly fine.  I mean, if I could have a do-over on this bike, it would be:

* titanium (weight reduction and no paint... let a boy dream)
* 30.9 stealth drooper compatibru
* 120mm fjork that's lighter than a Pike
* room for two bottles while also running a Stasher TubeTop (for occasional beer needs)
* fit a 27.5 X 2.8 rear tire (swapping over to Boost would help here)

There are tons of tiny things I could do that would make me happier right now... the lighter fjork (a 150mm Pike reduced to 120mm is just silly), a wider bar (which would require longer brake lines/drooper cable), King titanium bottle cages (zero dropped bottles on the Vertigo). Money pit items that when I add them up, I start thinking about tossing the baby out with the bathwater.

I've got a pretty decent selection of bikes to choose from for riding in the area that I live in currently.  That said, if I lived elsewhere... pretty sure I could justify some changes.  But for the occasional trip to Pisgah, zero gravel grinding opportunities, terrible road riding nearby, and everything else I do?

I'm set.

Still looking tho... but recognizing that the desire for another bike is more than likely just the want for another lifestyle.  Kinda like pining for a van but really just wanting #vanlife. I even find myself checking out road/gravel/noodle bar bikes when nobody is looking...

I think I'm supposed to be getting into video games or rebuilding a car... dunno.  I left my Mid-Life Crisis manual in the glove compartment of my '87 Suzuki Samurai when I sold it.


Anonymous said...

Try getting a Harley instead. Or rebuilding a ww2 era Indian

sperho said...

Two suspenders + single speed = near worthless without full remote lockout capability (IMO - standing up on a bouncy, even heavily damped platform SUCKS), which adds weight and possibility for broken things. I have rigid + hardtail SS options and a full sus 5" travel bike with gears. I love the geared suspended bike for a different-than-SS kind of fun (braaappp) and for "recovery" rides in the woods. It is a different mindset and I don't try to climb as fast with it, so the whole gears thing is less confusing to me (1x makes it less confusing, too). One can change their bike or they can change their mind...

Anonymous said...

don't do it ... full suspension.. the creaking, the fixing, the bouncing... yuk. I ride HT now. Bought a full suspension some years back, it sits collecting dust now. Hate it.
Love my HT, can feel it all.

Ti - I haven't ridden my Ti HT in a long while, that's a true fav though.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to those guys!! Full suspension Single speed is a blast to ride. I'm currently building one as we speak, my second one.

sperho said...

I wonder what's different this time around...

sperho said...

I guess he wrote what is different: weight of modern CF full sus frames.

Ryan said...

Could you fit one of the new maxxis "wide trail" tires on that thing? 2.5 might not be plus, but it would be closer than your current spec.

dicky said...

2.3 Tomahawk is the max.

Anonymous said...

eggcellent -

Anonymous said...

full suspension will suck... noisy crap... ride real, ride HT!

Anonymous said...

Bummer, that changes things tho...n+1 and all that. Pretty sure a custom plusser, one that doesn't weigh a metric ton (like most stock ones) would be the ticket.