Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Equipment

I've made some drastic changes to The Tranny (my Matt Chester Ti mtb) and I had a chance to test the new equipment out yesterday during a couple of times around Swope.

FOX FLOAT RLC QR15: This is the most significant change I've made to the bike since changing over to a 650B wheel size. The new Fox fork replaced a Marzzochi Atom 80, which was the original suspension fork I got for the frame in Y2K. Let's hope the Fox lasts as long. The Fox is a nice fork- lots of compression and rebound adjustment and easy to work with. After trying several different settings yesterday, I settled on almost no compression damping and just enough rebound damping to let the fork spring back quickly without jolting the front end. Essentially, I tried to make it feel like the old super plush Marzzochi. They didn't make air-sprung forks this good 12 years ago! They didn't make forks this light this stiff either! I definately noticed the increased steering precision. The Fox is 100mm and so it's A-C is 20mm higher, but I think it actually felt better. I don't know- maybe the Fox sits into it's travel more? At the end of the ride, I saw that I'd used about 85mm of the available travel, so it looks like I got everything dialed in pretty good.

SCHWALBE RACING RALPH 2.25 TIRES: The first ride on brand new tires is always a treat. I've been a huge fan of WTB tires for awhile, but after going the 650B route a few years ago, my choices have been limited. I've been using Pacenti Neo-motos and Kenda Nevegals. The Ralphs are much lighter than either of these and I could feel it in the ride. Other than that, I can't say much in comparison until I have some more time on them. The conditions at Swope yesterday were perfect- moist soil but no wet spots. It was velcro traction everywhere. I think any tire would've done well yesterday.

ESI GRIPS: I love these things! They are simple, no-nonsense foam grips. They are just the right density and diameter and are super comfy. They don't look like much, but they work wonderfully. They are light too at 70 grams for the pair. I was more pleased with these things yesterday than either the fork or the tires! Ahhh, the simple pleasures...