Loonatic: when keeping it real goes wrong.
Archive for category Biking
Wednesday – Norris mtb ride
Thursday – gym
Friday – WRXC mtb ride
Saturday – morning moto ride at track and evening BMX racing
Sunday – morning WRXC trail work and afternoon time with family including a little pump track time with Wyatt.
It seems things like this always come in groups, but my MTB and Cruiser are down for repairs. The MTB was creaking and I knew it has needed new frame bearings for some time. I tore it down a couple night ago and I am awaiting new bearings from The Bike Zoo. The Cruiser needed a repair for the rear driveshaft and the brakes desperately needed a bleed and fluid flush. I did get the driveshaft repaired and back in last night. Also with the help of Meghann, I flushed and bled the brakes. But while I was under there I noticed the front driveshaft and power steering pump need attention as well.
I need to get the Cruiser fixed because my truck is showing signs of looming clutch issues. At least my 250sx, 530xcw and DJ are up and ready to rumble.
Its that time of year again. The spiders are busy at working covering the trails with webs. I felt like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Arc.
More importantly, I am officially over the humidity. The last two nights I have ridden I couldn’t have been more wet if I jumped in the river.
There for about half a day I had made my mind up to switch back to the Mbuzi because I just couldn’t tune the Enduro to my liking. I spent all Friday evening building it backup up on only recognize a huge crack in the head tube Saturday morning. So for now I am committed to the Enduro. I guess it could be worse. I could be back on the hardtail. Nevertheless, I am trying some radically different stuff to tune this bike. I measured the sag versus using the gradients on the frame links and I am now running 180psi vs. 155psi. I am running almost no HSC, a little HSR and a boat load of LS damping. Its starting to feel much better. Last night I was able to really get aggressive on a few of the descents and not have to pull up prematurely. Furthermore I like bigger tires. I swapped wheels and rode the 2.4 Purgatories vs the 2.2 Fasttrak/Butcher combo. It was a lot better until I flatted the front on the final DH to the truck. Can’t win for losing seems like.
Saturday I promised Wyatt I would take him to the BMX track. Turns out it was a race for free day and we signed him up. I expected him to be a little afraid of the steep down sides to the jumps, but to my surprise he never flinched. By the second run he was starting all the way at the top of the track and after a couple of runs he was in the gate. Of course I had to hold him up but when the gate dropped he was off. By the end of the day he was flirting with really jumping the first double. I don’t think he knows how close he is but I expect him to crash a few times very soon. He raced a few other boys and finished 3rd out of 3. He had a great time and was very proud of his trophy and some new friends.
My buddy Chris Wyatt, who works for Specialized, had a carbon Enduro laying around he let me borrow. It didn’t have a shock, so if I could come up with a shock he said I could ride it a bit. Well of course I called my buddies at Cane Creek and it didn’t take much begging and a new custom Double Barrel Air showed up.
I have been on a single pivot since 2006 or so and while I love certain aspects of a single pivot, I was ready for a change. And boy the Enduro is quiet a change. First I noticed the weight. The Mbuzi, which I had been riding since 2008, was a pig by modern standards. Built I think it was in the 35lb range with light wheels.
For my large, the Mbuzi geometry was:
Top tube 610mm
Seat tube 490mm
BB height 357mm
Head Angle 65.5° (I had a 1.5° slacker headset installed)
Chainstay length 430mm
By comparison, the a large Specialized Enduro geometry is:
Top tube 620mm
Seat tube 467mm
BB height 350mm
Head Angle 66.5°
Chainstay length 419mm
A coupe things jump out at me when looking at the numbers. First, the longer top tube and shorter chainstays. I will say this has the biggest effect on the difference in feel of the bikes. I found it easier to get the “right amount” of weight on the front wheel for cornering without taking too much weight of the rear wheel. Furthermore, it has been argued that the shorter chainstays help bring the bike through the turn. Inversely the placement of the single pivot on the Mbuzi caused the chainstays to grow during suspension travel. While this helped against square edge hits it hampered cornering by causing the bike to hang in the turns. It was almost better to square off turns with the Mbuzi using the apex of the turn to squat the bike and the jump out of the exit.
Lastly, the way the suspension actions are quiet different. The Mbuzi was fairly linear. Meaning I had to us the shock to control the action through the travel. The caused some sections of the travel to feel great, while others were lacking. I could make this bike pedal great with lots of low speed compression but it had a negative effect on the low to mid stroke compliance over trail chatter. Inversely, the Enduro has a very easy time getting into the initial stroke of the suspension and squats quiet well, which really helps this bike corner. But it tends to wallow in the middle and that effects pedaling.
I’m pretty stoked to be trying something new and I will continue to play with settings on the Enduro. Since I’m just borrowing the frame from Chris, I am keeping my Mbuzi to build back up, but I may need to look for my own Enduro.