I decided to give it a try and dug my full winter kit out of the bottom drawer. March 24, and it was 21 degrees when I got to the trail! In the event, the trail forecast was exactly correct: even the typically mucky portions at the start of P2 were frozen.
I brought my Krampus for another attempt at a shakedown ride. My first attempt didn't go well, but I was hoping my time in the shop had paid off and I could actually ride the darn bike.
It was kind of a mixed bag.
I really enjoyed the way the Big K just floats over the trail. Handling was good, which is a bit strange for me to say, since the Krampus is quite a bit slacker than my typical 29er. Unfortunately, my drivetrain woes continued, and I dropped the chain less than a mile into the trail. While fixing the chain for the second time, I saw this:
Doesn't everyone do this?
This was another attempt at a 69er (29er front wheel on a 26" frame). In this case, my Krampus 29+ front wheel installed on my Fargo fork, and a 26 x 2.35" on the rear. I built this up on a whim a few nights back, and really enjoyed it on short hops up and down the street. However, in keeping with my past experiences with 69ers, it was just too floppy out on the trail. I may be coming to appreciate the slack front end of the Krampus, but I didn't like at all the way the Breezer handled set up this way. It also felt agonizingly slow (mostly me, but I also blame the Bontrager rear tire), and the On One Mary bars, so lovely on the street, felt like a kid's bar after the big bar on my Krampus (as a side note, it's odd to see that a bar that is 645mm wide feels OK for the road, while a "wide" 46cm drop bar feels so narrow, and I now want 700~720mm off road!). I was also a bit cramped with the short (615mm) top tube on the Breezer.
This may be curtains for the Breezer. I thought it might be a fun, alternate off road machine, but not so much. As a town bike, I'm trying to downsize to my trusty CC and possibly a future Velo Orange Carmargue. In the midst of my spring cleaning, I could see getting down to just the Krampus and the CC... at least until the Carmague arrives. And I'm starting to think carbon again...