Tuesday, September 28

Radimus Review: Part One (but actually two tho)

I guess I've ridden my Vassago Radimus Meatplow V.9 (jeebus, there's been nine Meatplows) enough to have, like an opinion, man.

I've put in 85 miles and 15,000 feet of climbing, and even better, 15,000 feet of descending.  I've tweaked a few things, made some decisions (some bad), and I'm slowly getting my DH mojo back, although not in the manner which I had planned.

Ride #1 was two laps of Kitsuma.  

Image for non-locals who have no idea what "two laps of Kitsuma" really means.

Anyways, I went there two weeks ago because I know the descent rather well, and my foot/ankle/leg isn't necessarily healed.  High speeds, great lines of sight, and just enough lumpy obstacles to make it excite.  

What stuck out...

I built this bike about a month ago and never shook it out on a local trail.  The headset was loose (doh), and all I could think was "what else might I have done half-assed a month ago building this bike in a state of abject morosity?"  Who cares?  Might as well just send it hurtling down a mountain and find out.  

I'd guessed at the cockpit, and decided to go ahead and embrace the "low" of "long, low, slack."  My bars were about 30mm lower than I was used to, and unfortunately I'm not as flexible as I used to be.  I felt like I was craning my neck to see up the trail... and getting my thousand yard stare back is currently my biggest issue in re-establishing full mojo levels.  Also, on my second run down, my right braking finger hurt.  Odd.

Flash back to coming home from Breck Epic when I had to do the "two brakes one cup" bleed on the Meatplow V.7, so I went ahead and did it to these brakes when I got home... and then never rode the bike.

Yeth, my levers were just set too far out.  Easy fix tho.

Ride #2.

Okay.  I'd convinced myself the BEST way to get full-mojo retrieval would be to hit up the Trace Ridge, Spencer Gap, Fletcher Creek, and Bear Branch area.  Lots of high speed descents with little exposure, some gnar-tech, and very, vary familiar terrain.  But then I get a text and why not Heartbreak Ridge and Kistuma?

I'll tell you why not?

I never "fixed" this:

I knew in my brain part that this was too low for this tiny quinquagenarian with long legs and a tall saddle height, but I did nothing about it.  I had trouble getting up the technical bits of the climb on Old Toll Road, but once I hit the Firehose section of trail above Heartbreak, all hell broke loose.  Imagine riding down a giant ditch filled with loose rocks similar to the varying sizes of artisanal loaves of bread with some microwaves and old tubed TVs thrown in the mix.  With too much weight forward, I came close to losing it altogether once, and when we got to the top of true Heartbreak, I broke out my multi-tool and moved as many of those mismatched spacers under the stem (about 30mm worth) as I could.  The true top of Heartbreak is a little rowdy, but by the time we got down and over to Kitsuma, I was feeling much more like I was riding "my bike."

Ride #3.

Once again, instead of heading to my familiar happy place, there were other things to do.  I hadn't ridden all of new Black Mountain, and that's just not enough, so we decided to throw in Buckwheat and Bennett Gap.  What did I screw up this time?

Since I couldn't stand looking at the mismatched spacers, I stole the ones off the garvel bike because it's not gonna see action any time soon.  I also flipped the stem because I'm planning on getting some risers from Oddity Cycles, and I wanna see if I'm getting close to where I wanna be.  What I shoulda been doing was...

I don't like dragging these XT wheels around.  I appreciate their existence in my life, as they allow me to have three built mountain bikes at once, but they are heavy... and not as stiff as I'm used to... and narrow.  Had I thought about how the next month is going to pan out, I'd have realized that I won't ride the Epic EVO again until... mebbe November?  That and with Hydra hubs, I can (can't I?) just pull the cassette off WITH the free hub body, so swapping the rear wheel back over to single speed would take a minute... but then again, those wheels still have the heavy DHF 2.5/Aggressor 2.3 mounted up... and the Cushcore is on the XT wheels... and I'm riding (pardon, "racing") the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 the next two weekends coming up...

I could feel the difference hauling those other wheels up the mountain on the second day for sure.  At least I ran into some of the Industry Nine guys at the top of Clawhammer and got affirmation that pulling the Eagle cassette of with the free hub was easy AND totally okay.

Buckwheat and Bennett Gap did not fare well in that huge storm we had back in August.  It was not the same trail I just rode in June (or was it May?  or April?).  It definitely challenged my joie de vivre.  I'm used to being able to let it hang out a bit on middle (upper lower?) Bennett, but not today.  Being that the recently rerouted Black Mountain had recently been completed AND built to drain properly, it was a much more buenos fit with my re-mojoing.  Lower Black always delivers as does Sycamore, so at least it all ended on the highest of notes.

We are becoming frands... but it's gonna get even better soon.

That's the ride part of the "review," which is probably backwards to how real "reviews" are done... but more details about the bike tomorrow.


OkieBrian said...

Checked out the Oddity Cycles website and they do some pretty cool stuff! You going custom on the risers?

dicky said...

They will only be "slightly" customized.