Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

31 May 2011

button all your lips

When I was 13 growing up in Austin,TX, a friend and I were getting paid by his realtor mom to move "junk" out of a rental house whose tenants had been evicted. In the garage were stacks and stacks and stacks of local punk albums. The tenants had to have worked for a distributor, because there were a LOT of albums. I ended up with the entire Black Flag catalog, because their songs had titles to which I could relate. One of the albums I took home was The Butthole Surfers' "Brown Reason to Live."

It confused me. The music was like nothing I'd ever heard before.

I ended up playing the record at 33 1/3, which made sense to me as it was a "full size record", as opposed to a tiny 45. Eventually I realized it was an EP meant to play at 45rpm, but by then it was too late. I was used to it. Now all the songs sound waaaay too fast to me.

All you people.

Not one of you (that's right: you) came through on our plans to head down to Big Sur for the riding, and I think we're effed now because school's out next week and the summer hordes will converge on the place and it's a no go. Maybe at night?

Anyhow, am I riding this thing at the right speed? Listening to the Test Bike Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er was different and confusing. Interesting, because I rode my local and I've been listening to that on the regular aboard my 26" Santa Cruz Blur LT. This makes me feel well qualified in my impressions.

I liked the big wheels for pedaling pave sections. They were much nicer than the inefficient hamster wheeling feeling I get from pave on my Blur. The Comp 29 climbs much more smoothly than my squishy bike (which has a jerky, jabbing quality when climbing steep and low; each stroke is like a pedal stab) but this may be due to the fact that it had no granny. 2x10 I could take or leave. I like the idea of a tighter chain line, but the lack of granny hurt a couple times. Thinking of bikepacking with a 2x10 hurts me knees' brains.

Obviously, the Stumpy is new and feels new- I noticed the tapered steerer Rockshox Reba (with a 20mm thru-axle) felt like a straight arm to the ground. Steering precision. I like it.

The straight flat bar I flat-out hated. Hated. It felt like my wrists were turned inward. SUCKY.

I swapped my own saddle/post set-up over. Climbing, I wished I'd taken the time to dial the nose down some. Then on descents I'd think it felt just right.

Although it did not feel as though the front end was dangerous to know, I can say: I would not buy this bike. It feels too tall and therefor tippy. The wheelbase is noticeably too long. Clumsy, even. It was much harder to slip through the tight and twisty maritime chaparral.

Truism: Everthing is a trade-off.

I am open to the possibility of a 29" dually, but this ain't the one. In the interest of full squish- so far I'll stick with the 26" end of the trade. How much pave efficiency do I need in a bike designed around going fast over rough stuff? I'll err on the side of nimble, stable, low.

I did break here, at the Caprock cave of wonders, and

based on forensic evidence, the 3 cans on the right are not my leavings. Folks is getting migh-tee cavalier about leaving their trash in the woods at the Caprock and other points. I hadda wear a pack today, so I removed all this, but.


...AND, PLUS, SHOW UP WHEN IT SUITS ME FOR RIDES. Else I gotta find some actual cool people who can ride on Mondays and Tuesdays.


macmorg said...

Tried Niner? Shorter wheelbase, dedicated 29" company. I've not rid but heard ooh's and aah's from those who have.

reverend dick said...

No, I haven't. But to be honest with you, I don't care for the attitude associated with Niner. I saw a very poor showing while at SSWC09.

Besides, people ooh and aw over anything new and carboney.

(nice to hear from you! and we're doing the Overnight White Rim Lap in September this year...)