What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sneak Attack

Well sort of...
I have been stowing away spare parts as I built up the Heckler and got it to my liking. Well, what's a guy to do with a box of spare parts? Build another bike. Like the Heckler this bike is also to be a flashback to a bike I had in the past.

In Spring 2006 we had:
21" Rockhopper Pro
Revelation QR fork
Mutt-mix of parts
90mm stem and big riser bars
Decent width (and weight) wheelset

Well time flies, but not much changes.
Heading into fall 2009:
21" Rockhopper
Revelation QR fork
Mutt-mix of parts (a bit tidier this time around)
85mm stem and low rise bars (of course there is a stack of spacers to get them up to about even with the seat)
28mm wide rims on XT hubs (simple)

Check out the bars.

Got these dirt cheap off e-bay to test out some wide bars. These are Woodman Wide&Wild trails bars spec'd out at about 1.5in rise and 730mm wide (that's near 29in for us Americans). I have then tilted back to give a more traditional rise/rake. These are about the stiffest bars I have gotten a hold of. Those trials guys don't fool around.

The width honestly feels good. I may trim them down a touch mainly to get more trail clearance.

I am also liking these Easton Vice stems. Jenson has been blowing them out for $13-18 depending on the size. Burly stems and not that terribly heavy. Easton does good forged stems and at the price it is hard to gripe. Not many options nowadays for a stiff/strong 100mm+ length stem. I have been running a 115mm by 6 degree on the Heckler for the last few months.

Okay, so stiff bars and stem paired up with an aluminum frame. How's that treating me? Honestly a bit rough. I hadn't given my steel raleigh 29er as much credit as it was due. The Rockhopper doesn't have nearly as comfortable of a ride in the rocks. It does put the power down darn snappy though and I do like the more aggressive geometry. Still worlds more compliant than a SC Chameleon in the rough stuff though, so I can't complain too much. I had also taken for granted how lazy the Heckler lets me be. On the hardtail I am reminded quite often to lighten up on the saddle when rolling rocks and roots that I would normally just plow through.

All things considered it is nice to have a second rig up and running. Doing it mainly from the parts bin was also pretty cheap. I have a few rides on it and am pretty happy with the handling. Today was my first ride on the short stem, but that transition was easy since it fixed the heavy and weighted feeling in the front that was bothering me with the 115mm stem.

Okay, that's about all I have to say on that...

No comments: