Day 14 of the 30 Days of Biking challenge was dirty, although not as muddy as I would have expected after all the rains that we got in the past two days. First ride on the diSSent was great for the bike but a struggle for me with this freaking cold that I got on Wednesday. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the cockpit is so different my riding style has to change with it. The first thing I noticed was how soft the frame felt over the Dillinger. I am sure the Panaracer Rampage 2.35s added some cushion but I noticed a smoother feeling while climbing and rolling through rock gardens.
Some discussion on one of the forums concerning my bar choice ranged from "did you steal those off your grandmother's three speed" to those look pretty cool was the main topic of discussion. When I explained that the advantage of them is a more natural grip because your wrists are in a more natural position that peaked the curiosity of some with carpal tunnel syndrome. I wasn't sure at first what kind of leverage I would get from them but I have to say, on the first big climb at Upper Paugusset it was there for me. Of course, riding a 20t over a 21t on the Dillinger I could feel a slight difference in power for the climb but what I really noticed is that the positioning of the bars kept me more centered and there was no slippage. One thing is for certain, these FUBars were made for this bike!
I contacted Manitou Tech Support because I had read some commentary about the shock and how it rides pretty plush out of the box. It turns out you can adjust the firmness of the shock by putting a different spring in it, of course that means I have buy something else which doesn't make me happy since this fork costs as much as the frame. It comes with a medium spring but looks like I need the firm spring for big behind. Manitou made a big deal of contacting my LBS to have them order the spring, which I didn't understand. I think you can get it online, just have find out where. In meantime, I am going to put as much air pressure in the air chamber as possible and run it halfway locked on Sunday.
Yeah, I think I am going to start racing on it. It just feels so right. One thing I noticed is that the fork squeaks under compression. In the video above you can hear it. Guess I need to do a little more reading on the Interwebs to find out more about that but as long as it's nothing detrimental to the fork, I can live with that. I need to tweak my chain line and adjust the brakes but overall it feels great and as it was recommended to my on Twitter by the frame builder, I am going to ride this bike into the ground!
This looks like this is going to be my training ground and the lap comes in just under 5 miles so I will have to work in the Mulikin Trail to get that extra distance I need to bump it over 5 and now that I think about it I can use some of the horse trail and the Mulikin in reverse that will make it a lot more interesting. Normally, riding in the woods is my Nirvana but the combination of this head cold and the big lunch I had at a new Indian Restaurant in Danbury had me really off my game. Next time, I am eating the TUMS before I ride!