Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jacked up Hardtail

My Minute 2:00 is getting worked on so the dually is down. My wife's new bike needed a fork as hers was backordered. So my hardtail got a rigid fork.

This is a Nashbar special that is actually not any lighter than my Black 80 SPV. But it does have a jacked up Axle to crown that is makes the ride height almost identical. 453 for the rigid, 455 for the Black which is actually tall for an 80mm fork.

I rode today with John and it rocked. Rocked hard.

A couple reasons I think that I had so much fun and didn't hurt that much: One was my weight balance felt really good, and didn't have too much weight placed on the handlebars. So the front end was able float under my hands w/o slamming into them.

I also put a disc brake on the front. That helped a ton as I wasn't braking in rough sections like I'd have to with the weaker V brake. So I didn't get the real pounding in the hands/palms.

Stans front tire setup, with 28psi. Wish I'd had Stans in the rear. I pinched flatted with the yes tubes. First time in more than year I pinched. Plus the extra cush would have been nice.

Also this fork is a compliant rigid fork.

The main thing I think, is that in order to ride this bike you have to be on. I mean really on. And when you're on well it's all good. My body english was fluid and all over the bike. Plus I was aggressive and attacked the riding. Also the ride was 1.5hrs long. 3 hrs into it things might be different. Plus we didn't do any really long extended rough downhills. My hands didn't hurt much at all like they have in the past with a rigid fork, but my lower back felt it.

But I rode the rocks on the gaps and didn't have too much trouble. The hardtail was flying uphill. And I was standing a lot which I seem to be getting better at. I felt almost blasphemeous given the time/effort gone into full suspension. It just seems lately that my best rides have been on the hardtail. A lot can be perception in that feeling more bumps can make things seem faster. But it really did seem to climb fast except on anything sketchy (roots/loose sections) But I guess that's what hardtails do best. Of course it did hurt on the baby head rock sections. If I could go faster so it could float over the top it'd be another story.

Regardless I was very impressed with the fork, and it might make a fun addition to any bike. The high Axle to Crown won't turn your frame into a pocketrocket by steepening the head anlge up. Though don't expect it to be ultra light.


At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have been riding alot more on an hardtail, an old Ironhorse AT200 "tri-moly" frame. I do have a marz marathon sl front fork though. But I find I don't really miss the full sus as much as I thought. I did spend a considerable amount of time setting up the cockpit, that in years past I neglected. Alot was due to ignorance years back. It is fun to ride without thinking about all the aspects of "Is my suspension set up correctly" going thru my head.
Now that you've gone full rigid, is single speed too far behind?

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Ashwin Amanna said...

I did the rigid single speed thing once. In hindsight the worst part about it was hand fatigue which now I know was caused by poor positioning and poor braking.

It was fun and all, but my knees bothered me and I disliked the extremes of spinning out and heavy mashing. There is so much up/down here. If we had more flowing trails like Carvin's Cove, I might consider it again.

I'm not giving up on the FS. Something just isn't right in terms of the position and fork/shock setup. Just like you said though :"Is my suspension set up correctly?"

But my lower back needs some stretching this morning !!!


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