Wednesday, March 8

The 2nd Maxxis Appalachian Summit: The Takeaways

By "takeaways," I'm not referring to any swag related items I might have come home with... although the puffy coat is pretty dope.

I'm very sad that we humans have found a permanent solution for the seasonal problem known as "winter."  I so would have liked to wear this coat more than a couple times a year.

Real takeaways... what I now know that I didn't know already.

I didn't know the High Roller II is available in the 27.5 x 3.0 and 2.8 size.  Derp.  It's got a tread pattern that looks like it belongs on the mountain bike that I would normally ride in the Pisgüh.  I kept telling myself to get a picture of it when I headed to the barn/dining hall, but then... beer.  Here's someone else's:

photo cred: Bike Rumor
The Rekon 29 X 2.6 is coming.

Should be one showing up at the Taipei show in a week or so.  This could be the Ardent 2.4 killer depending on weight (I want it to be heavier than said tire).  I fantasized about this hunk of goodness. Never thought it would be a thing.  Now, I am just sad that I won't have my hands on one before the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

I personally rode on the DHF+ front/Rekon+ rear the whole time.

I knew I liked the Rekon already, but I can't fit it in the back of the Stickel.  I also know that I prefer the DHR+ up front.  There was a nifty conversation about some people preferring the DHR or the DHF tread patterns in front or rear or both... something to do with Greg Minaar and toilets flushing backwards.  I don't remember.  I just know what I like and have some preconceived notions about what I don't.

Other things...

Canadians sometimes pay a lot of money for tires.  No one knows why.

I found this in the pocket of my jorts the first time I put them on this weekend.  I wonder where that came from.

I know a lot more ins and outs about what goes into making a tire.  I don't know what I'll do with this knowledge, but hopefully it won't find a way out of my brain as easily as three years of high school French did. "¿Dónde está la bibliothèque?" just gets me funny looks from French people.

We drank twice as much beer on night one as the Maxxis people thought we would.  I take partial credit for that.  Lunch beers, dinner beers, trail beers, presentation beers... they had all the flavors.

Mulberry Gap.  I really like this place.  Bring very little with you other than riding clothes, beer, and a bathing suit.  The trails in the area aren't all that technical, but you're going up or down all day long.  It's mountain biking... in the mountains.  Also, I love the fact that there's zero cell coverage back there.  You come all that way to hang out with your fellow humans, not stare at your pocket computer.  I wish other places I vacate at would block signal so people can have what our parents called "conversations."

Shimano.  Man, it is hard getting used to XT brakes.  Very powerful.  Very unforgiving.  Also, their design for a 1X chain ring is going to keep the folks at MRP and Wolftooth in the 1X chain guide business for the foreseeable future.

Chain drop.  Drop Top.

The Pivot LES.  I feel like it almost deserves its own post.  I really liked riding the bike, and I wish my current Pisgah bike could take a full plus-size rear tire, had and internal non-27.2 drooper, and weighed something less than it does.

The Pivot LES does all that.

What it doesn't do, and why after fantasizing about getting myself one for two days, I don't think I will:

I'm between sizes, as far as what I currently ride and am comfortable with.  The medium I rode was almost 16.5mm longer in the top tube than my Stickel, and I also ended up on a stem 10mm longer than what I run (that was my decision based on not knowing the ETT).  I had a slightly harder time lofting the front end up off the ground (I'm not going to say "manualing" because I can't).  That combined with the 20mm or so longer chain stays and something was noticeable.  Mebbe the Swingers could bring that length down (assuming the fixed position is not all the way forward), but then the 2.8 might be too close to the stays.

I could size down to a small, but then I have a shorter than I'm used to ETT (only @10mm shorter tho).  It does still have two water bottle mounts (kudos, where a human can reach them while riding), but I would definitely need a good amount of headset spacers.  I would also love a solid number on the BB height with a 120mm fork and 27.5+ tires.  Listed height on the site is with 29" tires with a 100mm fork, and 12.10" is just squeaking by with 120mm fork IMHOMO).  They do put one of these jobbers in the head tube when running 27.5+ to bring the front end up a bit more (seen here on the Pivot LES Fat):

I will always bring a tape measure with me from now on.

Overall, regardless of size, I had a good time on the bike.  I'll definitely try to ride a small at some point, but why replace the Stickel anyways?

Mostly my own fault.  I did a trbl job future-proofing that bike.  27.2 post because I said I would never droop and I few other things that had I known then what I know now...

Who woulda thought there would ever be a thing like 27.5+ and that I might like it?
Excited plans are now in limbo.  Since I was only thinking about replacing the bike I ride the least, it's only affecting my overall happiness by a degree or two.  I hope I get over it.


Anonymous said...

the LES is such a sweet bike!

Why not use the Thomson 27.2 dropper.. it works great!

dicky said...

I have a Thomson 27.2 drooper. Have for years. I'd prefer an internally rooted 30.9 or 31.6 tho. More droop, better looking, and less wiggle.

Harlan Price said...

I don't have problems with the Shimano rings or brakes. What gives? Trying to be like you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all your things said except xt brakes are awesome!!

dicky said...

There were more dropped chains every day than I've ever seen ever ever. Riders at the side of the trail putting them back on. I dropped mine twice in the most innocuous of places.

I would imagine I'd get used to XT brakes if I didn't use XTR across the board. They are way more powerful... it's just the modulation is more up to a careful squeeze than the brake itself.

Anonymous said...

I may have missed it, but what drivetrain/ casset did the Les and others bikes have? Looks like Pivot builds 'em with both XT and the Sram 12 speed Eagle series. Been looking at the Eagle and all reports are no chain drop.


dicky said...

Most if not all of us were on Shimano. I had zero issues with my SRAM 1X and when I had Shimano, zero chain drop with a narrow/wide Endless ring.

Just not having the warm fuzzies for Shimano's trying to avoid the N/W.

Marty Arnwine said...

Ah, I know your conundrum. I ended up picking up a Les last year when they were blowing out the older, non-boost frames. At 5'8", I was also between the small and medium, but since they only had a small and it was only 0.1" less on the ETT than my Stickel, I decided to go for it. LOVE IT! Still enjoy the Stickel (although I have halfheartedly been trying to sell it), but the Les is just so flexible. Can run 29 geared or SS, or 27.5+ the same, but I am limited in rear tire clearance. Run mine with a 120 fork and 80mm stem and it fits me pretty well. BB isn't too low with the plus setup that way either. Great frame all the way around.