Just 99 miles to go

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Niner RIP first ride report.

So, my first real ride on a full suspension bike was at Rosaryville.
I wanted to go out there and take it easy and get comfortable with the bike, but than Doc showed up.
There goes the easy ride.
First thing outta his mouth, "Thats a big bike".
I heard that a few more times that evening outta everyone I ran across.
And yeah, evan I think that looking at it.
Doc throws me out front.

As a reminder, this is a Niner, RIP. Which is a full suspension 4.5" of travel in the rear, 120 mm in the front, with 29" wheels. I haven't weighed it but it feels about the same as my steel Redline hardtail. Maybe a little lighter.
First thing I notice is the 180mm cranks versus the 175 that I've ridden since I started riding.
It felt different. I was pushing a bigger gear than normal up a hill.
At first I couldn't make my mind up weather it was better or just different.
As the ride continued I realized it was better.
It was alot better. After the 1st mile I was in love with the longer cranks.
I was spinning larger circles and could feel how the extra leverage was giving me more power.
I was never a good spinner so this works out great for me.
Using Doc as base, I was pulling away from him all on the ascents. I'll have to wait till the next ride and see weather he was just having a bad day or not.

Next improvement was an extremely loose gravel hill. Lately, as it gets looser its harder to make it up. I can make it but use alot of "body english" and shifting of the weight back and forth.
80% of the guys who ride with me can't make it (small 26" wheels).
I spun once or twice but with the suspension I just kept pedaling and the bike made it up with very little input from me. Cool.

The steering was alot crisper than I'm used to. Not sure if it was the geometry of the bike or the stiffer front end from using an 1-1/2" fork. It steers more like a 26" bike alot more than my Redline.

With the crisp steering and the way the rear would absorb little bumps as I took turns at speed, I was railing turns faster than normal. I found myself trying to go faster just so I could push this thing to its limits. All my worries about not being able to rail corners cause of the bike being so large were put to rest. I felt like Ricky Bobby in Talladega nights, "I WANNA GO FAST".

Climbing hills was great. Between the longer cranks and the suspension I could just pedal up without worrying about my line as much .

I was really in love with the bike after the first 4 miles.

Not everything was completely great...
First, I don't know how to jump logs with a FS bike. People tell me its easier can you can use the rebound to help get you air born. I've gotta practice.

2nd, on little quick rollers the rebound tried to throw me off of the bike a few time. No big deal as I haven't adjusted the shock yet. I just made sure to get off the saddle after the 1st time. I don't know a damn thing about adjusting rear shocks so I'll play with it.

Last, and this isn't really the bikes fault. I had to listen to the rotor rub the caliper the whole ride. Something tells me the 8" rotor I put on the front is going to flex in turns and getting it completely quiet is going to be a bitch.

After 20 miles of trails I felt good too. The legs were tired but I didn't have some of the normal aches that come on the hardtail. I had originally planned on using the Niner part time, but I had so much fun last night I'll see how it goes. Its got me excited about using this for the SM100.
Half of the fatigue from last year was the beating the body took.

I can't wait to get this out on some real rocky trail.

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