Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Weekend Chock Full of Biking (Sette Razzo, ERB)

I should probably spend these days finishing up my Christmas shopping, but it was cold enough that the trails had a decent freeze on them, but not so cold that riding is complete misery. Best to get outside then while I can.

Saturday, I headed to Chestnut Ridge for my second chance at a fat bike demo. Er, except, where's the demo fleet?

It was supposed to start at 9:00, but I got there about 10 minutes early to make sure I was first in line for a bigger frame size. I did a short out and back while waiting, then a short loop. By 9:15 I was cursing the laid back attitude of bike shop employees, when I checked my phone and saw the demo was next weekend. Oh. My apologies to bike shop employees.

Anyway, at least it got me out there on my Razzo. I brought the Razzo so I could do a back to back comparo of my 29+ tire vs. a 4" fatbike. That plan was foiled, leaving me to hump my single speed around the hilly CR course. Whatever fall fitness I had has left with the warmer weather, so it was a painful plod around the singletrack. Pushing was involved.

I like my Sette and all, but I still miss the skinny tubes of a nice steel frame. Or maybe titanium.

This morning (Sunday), I took the ERB out to P2. I had recently installed a 26" Dirt Wizard tire on the front, and I was harboring thoughts of building up a 26er around these tires with a long travel sus fork. This ride, at least, did not turn out well:

I had been running the ERB as a 69er, but I found running the smaller wheel on the front made my head angle much too steep. I like steep bikes and all, but this was unnerving on the trail. When I got back home, I measured the head angle (with my iPhone, so take it with a grain of salt) at about 73 degrees, two degrees steeper than a normal 26er frame. With my short Blackbuck fork, this works out to a trail of only 63mm (59mm mechanical trail with the big tire). Looking back, that's about the same as the 29er Blackbuck with the medium fork that I liked so much a few years back, so perhaps my tastes are moving towards slack front ends. A bit.

I wasn't helped with the fact that the shorter wheel dropped my handlebars low and forward. That position was great back in the NORBA days, but things have progressed since then. I also noticed that the DW isn't nearly as cushy as the 29+ Knard. The Knard is a little wider, and of course the larger diameter adds volume, and maybe tubeless is a factor, but this also pushes me away from the 26+ idea.

Back to Saturday, Henry and I took our scrap pile bike to the Third Hand Bike co-op in downtown Columbus:

It was in a pretty rough part of town, but the people inside the co-op were warm and welcoming, and they were appreciative of our drop off. They mentioned it was in better shape than most of their donated bikes. I had a good time poking around the store for a bit, but failed to find a 650B freewheeled rear wheel... which would be for my Trek 650B conversion project. But that can be another post.

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