Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thoughts from the first ride back and on the new bike….

Well, now that I’m done building the new 29er have pretty much exhausted my patience in trying to tweak it and finalize it. I decided the only thing left was to go out and give it a whirl. I know, I know the doc said not till next week, but it was either go for a ride or go insane and invade a small country….

First let me start by saying, last night was one of the coldest nights I’ve ridden in a long time. Pretty sure it was in the 30s. My goal was to get out of the house and on a bike firstly, secondly was to give the new gal a test run to see how everything felt.

Not sure if it was just the timing or the fact that it was so cold, but most of the riders must have decided to stay home where it was nice and warm. I only saw one other rider. I did see at least a dozen joggers though. (just goes to prove that cyclists are crazy, but runners are flat out nuts)

The arm felt pretty good which I expected since it really only hurts when I straighten it or rotate it. Neither of which I did on the bike. The one bumpy downhill section didn’t feel so great, but it wasn’t too bad. (Not bad enough to keep me off the bike anyway)

Now, for the bike... This is my first ever ride on a 29er and although it’s set up fully rigid and single, this gal gives you a really smooth ride. It just rolls and where the washboard section on the first downhill usually rattles me fairly well on the SOMA, this thing was much smoother.
The other big difference is just how stable she feels on the downhill. I’m assuming it a combination of the bigger wheels and the longer wheelbase. (of course according to their website, Vassago says it’s their wet cat geometry which could be the case) But where the SOMA was almost twitchy this thing is like my old 205cm Rossignol ST’s on a long steep groomer…..they just flat out fly down the hill with nary a chatter or a twitch….

I haven’t weighed the bike yet, so I’m not sure total weight, but just by lifting it, it feels a little heavier than the SOMA which would make sense with the bigger wheels and larger frame/fork. It’s not that much heavier though.

The ride was a short, test ride – both for my arm and the bike – so I wasn’t able to really run it through it’s paces. I mainly wanted to make sure that the idiot that built the bike tightened all the bolts and adjusted the brakes…..and it appears that I….I mean, he did.

Tonight, if it doesn’t rain, we’re doing the lake loop and I’m going to give that a shot. Probably the abbreviated version but that still involves the big climb and a pretty decent downhill portion so I’ll be able to get a better idea of the new bike’s personality.
Of course, with 18 layers of clothing and my big winter gloves, I may not be able to tell if it’s a smooth ride or not….

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