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Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:58 pm
by MikeK
Is riding 76 miles, or centuries, or whatever, enjoyable?

Honestly I'm bored and ass is sore after a few miles on the road. Or is this just a type of personal challenge?

My road rides are generally just fitness rides in between my trail riding. And my trails rides are generally frequent and short duration.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:51 pm
by RobRox
I have a goal. Distance and climbing are both factors. Today's ride offered sights of classic cars, kids playing in trees, people out riding bikes, waiting at two drawbridges, a visit to an ice cream stand and sailboat watching.

There were some less fun moments...but lots of shaded roads eased the solar gain.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:38 pm
by RobRox
Spotted some swans in a swampy area along my way for some MTB exploring in Breakheart Reservation:
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On the way back the bike steered toward the ice cream stand, where it narrowly avoided a brain freeze, from an Orange Freeze:
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tried 30/34, nice grip, no threat of rim contact. Thusands of roots, many angles of approach/departure. 28/32 next

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:57 pm
by MikeK
RobRox wrote:28/32 next


Getting close... once both those numbers are in the 20's I'll be curious to know what you think.

You can also try a tighter spread between F/R once you get lower (%-wise it works out similar to where you were) - try 2-3 psi lower in the front.

Rear you'll know when you get too low as you'll get rim hits... not so dangerous on roots but doing drops or hitting sharp rocks is walking the tight rope. Front I tend to notice how the front tire rebounds off roots. Too much pressure and it's skittery and losing contact, too little and it feels a little washy or bouncy.

The other danger is if you really rail corners hard you can burp the tires or blow the bead off the rim, but you have to get really low to do that. I also find in lower 20's the bike starts to feel a little squirmy in fast corners.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:12 pm
by MikeK
Been having a bit of a rough patch with my bikes... actually just that one. Well obviously it was cut up so I couldn't ride it. Got a new one, same bike... pulled it out of the box and measured it... same issue as the last one. Couldn't find anyone who was willing to machine it to fix it, so another warranty claim...

This time they gave me some different options:

1 - buy the bike back in which case I find another frame to swap my comps over to (I bought this as a frame only and built it up from scratch).
2 - take a 2017 FS Smuggler model for no charge
3 - take a new 2018 Carbon Vanquish for $900 (Cost of the frame - cost of my frame)

I lost a bit of sleep over this as none of the options were exactly free, all needed me to buy some different parts or modify something I had to get a working bike again.

Back and forth I went... almost had myself convinced to get the FS bike but for the type of riding here, I just couldn't see it... and I'd just convinced a friend to ditch his FS bike and get a performance hardtail. My LBS had 2018 Kona Honzo ST in stock for the same price as what I would get as a refund from my other frame. I rode a demo AL version... bike felt great, geo almost exactly like my Trans Am. But that frame is HEAVY. I though my TA was heavy at 6.5 lbs. That Kona was like 1 lb more. And sliding dropouts... I hate those things. The ones on my TA were loctite'd and torqued until the hex was about to round... they had slipped on me once. Ehhh... so that carbon bike.... $900. Plus my dropper was a different size and my rear wheel is non-boost. Same with the Honzo though. Efff! Starting to get expensive anyway I look at it.

So I slept on it and went back and forth and my wife finally just told me to go for the carbon bike. So I did. Managed to chisel a little more off it, but still $800! And building a new wheel and getting a new post. Man... I hope it's worth it. And I'm a little scared about the whole carbon bike thing...

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:57 am
by capecodtele
I feel the same way about carbon for MTB.....carbon is great in tension and compression which is the normal stresses on the frame, but it is not good in side bending...which happens when you crash and the frame slams into rocks. I have seen a few people with frames crack them on these types of crashes..but almost all the new high end bikes seem to be carbon. Right now sticking with my Al Salsa FS and my steel belt drive single speed...a little heavier but both can take a licking

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:39 am
by MikeK
I've been a technological dinosaur for most of my biking life.

My first real MTB was steel... not good steel, it was Chromoly but thick gauge straight tube that they used on cheaper bikes. It was tough, I'll say that. My next bike was triple-butted Reynolds steel... WOW! Now that was what a bike was supposed to feel like. Tough, light, snappy.

Had a few AL alloy bikes in between and I went back to steel. Last 3 bikes were steel. Figure it's time for carbon as I couldn't force myself to go a heavier machine. Love light, well built quality steel bikes but they are getting rare. And really geometry and fit are more important to me. The Vanquish is a slightly updated version of what I was riding in terms of geometry. I have no doubt it will feel the same with a shorter stem (they lengthened the reach and shortened the stack).

I'm not too worried about the crash factor - not a lot of nasty rocks to hit and I tend to keep myself in check enough to crash spectacularly. But it's fragile to work with - overtorque a bolt and you could have an expensive wall hanging. Steel... just ram 'em home.

I think this frame uses inserts for everything (BB, HT), so it's really only the ST clamp to worry about. And you have to torque those with droppers otherwise they bind up.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:27 am
by benny
RobRox wrote:Nabbed a 76 miler in advance of the steam heat. Road to Rockport and back, the route went along or close to the coast to get the cooling breezes.
This is in Beverly, on the way back.
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I've ridden up on Cape Ann a number a times while visiting family in Essex. Riding up to Rockport is really the crux of that bisquit. Essex to Crane's Beach through Hamilton to Beverly to Singing Beach to Rockport to Wingaersheek and back to the marsh. It's a pretty ride but summer traffic dictates a very early start.

I took a ride in the MRV during yesterday evening's swelter. Fortunately, the sun had dropped a bit for the slog up German Flats Rd from rt 17. Once I got to the Sugarbush Access Rd it was a quick 40mph descent to Rt 100 and the swimming hole. Perfect.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:18 pm
by RobRox
benny wrote:...Once I got to the Sugarbush Access Rd it was a quick 40mph descent to Rt 100 and the swimming hole. Perfect.
Amen to that!

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:19 pm
by RobRox
Snuck in a 14 miler this morning. Tried the best pressure settings yet, 27/30. Beat the threatened rain by 45 minutes.

Not all vine tendrils are thornless....

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:01 pm
by MikeK
Getting somewhere...

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This was the easiest frame prep I ever did. Headset went in so smooth - DRY, as instructed by the manufacturer.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:31 am
by RobRox
Looks light, and burly.

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:09 am
by MikeK
It feels really strange when your fork weighs more than the frame. :shock:

Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:48 am
by oldschool
Spent two days with a friend of mine who is far, far more fit than me on a quick two day trip down to our cabin in PA to do some riding. Both of us have gravel grinder bikes - mine a Specialized Diverge Elite DSW, his a Kona Jake - and I was looking to show him some of the nice rides available around there and get pulled along at a faster pace than I'd typically go myself.

Left Wed morning for the drive down and stopped along the way to bag the first ride - a 34 mile loop with 3200 ft of elevation gain, all coming the in the first 20.5 miles of the ride. From Mile 15 on, all of it is on dirt roads and except for a two mile climb from 18.5 to 20.5 the rest is basically one long gradual downhill with a few short level or slight inclines. First half of the ride was in farmland, second half in State Forest Land. Here's a picture of the general area I took from a vista on a backpack trip last year:

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Plan was to complete the ride in time to get to a brewpub to watch the world cup semi - we got in a little late for the start but saw Croatia tie it up while at a local bike shop (I broke a spoke and we were looking to get it fixed - no dice on that but we did watch some of the game on their TV). At end of regulation and stoppage we drove over to the Bullfrog brewpub to watch the rest of the game and have some cider and beers and food. Enjoyed our late lunch and then grabbed some ice cream on the way back to our cabin. From 6 pm on we basically were semi-conscious and mostly unconscious sleeping.

View off the back porch of our PA cabin overlooking the creek -
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Got up the next day and worked to plan out a good ride - the ride from the day before was on great roads but marred some by the steady stream of hydrofracking trucks on some of the route. While my experience with them is that they are really very responsible drivers, it just sucks to have huge trucks chugging past you every 5-10 minutes. So for the second day ride I combined two rides that I often do from our cabin, each of them utilizing some of the state route which is ok to ride on. Putting both loops together and deleting the common bit in the middle of the figure 8 gave a nice big 39 mile loop that had 2,752 ft of elevation gain on it and included a nice long 6 mile descent in state forest as well as some other quiet roads. Unfortunately I had a flat as well in the middle of the ride and after changing it my wheel lacking the spoke was getting pretty well out of true and so the last half of the ride wasn't as quick as it might have been but good enough. The loop began and ended from the parking lot of a nice bar that is on the creek our cabin is on and about 5 miles downstream of our place - enjoyed two margaritas and lunch after the ride -then back to the cabin for another afternoon of napping and reading. Packed up and drove home the next morning.

Here is a picture from a ride I did in the World's End State Park area earlier in the season a few weeks back -
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Re: MTB and Roadies - 2018

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:45 pm
by MikeK
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First shakedown ride today. Overall, pretty awesome. Feels almost exactly like the bike it replaced in terms of handling and boosting (which it loves BTW) but feels insanely easier on the climbs. Came in at 26 lbs even. That could definitely be sub-25 with carbon rims and a lighter fork. I'm not going to weight weenie it though, it feels great here and I'm in deep enough $$$.

I tweaked the seat and bars a little more when I got home and I think it's perfect now. Can't wait to try again.
23/26 FWIW :wink: