Tuesday, March 26

Hydra Your Kids, Hydra Your Wife

First things firstly.

I'm going to the Bootlegger 100 in less than a month.

I would say that garvel is not necessarily my bag.  That being that, the course description entices me.

"... 107 mile route will take you up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes approximately 9700 feet of climbing!"

I'm feeling a certain need to do hard things and to do them soon rather than later.  Now that I'm committed to the Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race in late May (and shit, PMBAR in a little over a month?), it's probably time to start growing my legs out.  I'm not gonna do a forced march like this without a little push, and with camping before/after if I need it, beer, burrito, and some parts of Pisgah I haven't seen before on tap...

This will do.

If this looks good to you...

use coupon code INSIDERDOUCHEBAG when you register to get 15% off.  That's only good until March 31st, so don't think too much about it.  Just do it.

In what I'll call "other news," I've now got a few rides in on my new Industry Nine Hydra wheels.

I went with the 24 spoke count Enduro 310c rim version.

If you've ever wondered who's who at Industry Nine, click through all the different wheel selections and put some names to some faces.

Anyhoo, muh wheels...

Carbon, because ever since I've tried the material in rim form, I'll have a hard time going back to aluminum.  Other than some scratches, I've put zero real damage on a carbon rim in four (or five?) years.  Not one ding, dent, or wobbly bit.  I've heard my tires bottom out on all manner of rocks, occasionally hard enough to pinch flat the tire at the bead and in the tread, but nothing as far as visible damage to the rim. 

24 spokes because they're lighter than 32 spokes, and I'm well within the 220lb rider weight limit.

Enduro 310c rims tho for a tiny man like myself?  Here are the carbon rims that I've run so far and their respective advertised specs:

NOX Farlow ~ 29mm innner 470 grams

NOX Kitsuma ~ 36mm inner width 490 grams

Enduro 310c ~ 31mm inner width 470 grams

Industry Nine does have a much lighter XC rim, the 240c that comes in at 355 grams but only has a 23.5mm inner width.

I'm way more interested in higher volume with my tires than I am rim weight.  That and a certain amount of indestructibility when it comes to bashing through rocks on a fully rigid bike cycle.

The .52° engagement is kinda nuts.  It feels as close to instant as I could ever imagine.  And if I need a reminder how important fast engagement to me is over everything...

A hidden note from a previous experience due to my own bad decision regarding engagement, weight and drag.

Also, drag.  I never gave it much thought with my OG I9 wheels or the Torch version.  How much difference could it make?

But then this past weekend, I was rolling up on people's back wheels on smooth line pumpable singletrack... but also knowing that this could be related to all sorts of things like tire selection and pressure and mebbe a half dozen other things.  The reduced drag is very noticeable in the work stand, but I'll have to say that if I was riding blindfolded back-to-back Torch VS Hydra?

I'd probably hit a tree in less than five seconds, so obvs this would be a very bad test.

I'm weeks late to the game in getting them since they were released, so there's already a ton of information out there to be googled.  Reviews by more articulate folks with more ride time, videos showing the internal workings and more importantly, noise-off competitions with the old Torch freehub... because that's the thing we're all worried about?

I guess what I really wanna say is that I'm more than thrilled that we have such an awesome bike company right here in North Carolina that continues to push the limits of how a wheel can perform as opposed to sitting back, resting on their laurels, and hoping people continue to buy their wheels just because they're pretty.

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