|Current State of The Project White Bike|
So, since the last mention of the bike here, I have swapped out the front fork for a Manitou Tower Pro in the 100mm travel option with the 15mm through axle. This fork is one of my favorite suspension forks I have ever used. It feels very linear, and I get all the travel out of it. With the Absolute+ damper I can dial out almost all the negative brake dive and standing climbing traits but still get supple, smooth suspension over all types of bumps. And yes......through axles do make a difference. That said, a stiff set of lowers do much more, and Manitou's latest cast magnesium lower assembly is the best yet. Besides the obnoxious graphics, this fork is stellar. Fortunately I can peel off the stickers! (I haven't yet, but I will be doing so.)
Last time I was running some XT 29"er wheels, and while they are decent, these Charger Pro wheels blow them out of the water from a stiffness standpoint and from a design standpoint. The Charger Pro is a wide rim, which spreads out the tires quite nicely, and the rear wheel is noticeably stiffer laterally. Plus they look better to me as well. Yes- they are a bit heavy and the free hub is clackity-clack loud, but these are trail/light AM wheels fer cryin' out loud! I'm good with em.
|The contrast situation makes riding interesting now!|
So.....what about the bike? I mentioned in the last update that the Inbred was neither "bad nor good- just different." I have more ride time on it now, and I can make a more definitive statement or two.
The Project Black Vassago, which the Inbred got a lot of its parts from, was a bike with a geometry that felt "dead" to me. I just could not cotton to it. This bike, the Inbred, does have a nice, smooth steel feel, but the chassis feels a bit longish in the back yet. That isn't a bad thing for climbing and for rider comfort though, so I am okay with it. The front end steers quick enough, and that stem, which I said I was going to change- I am good with it now because I can see that going shorter will unweight the front a bit and I like the steering feel now. This fork rides higher in its travel than the RST did, so that may be where I am getting the difference in feel from.
You must use a chain tug with this frame, which is not a surprise to me. A bolt on hub might even be a good idea as well, since I can make the XT skewer creak and pop once in a while on harder efforts. I have a Hope Pro 2/Salsa Gordo wheel set that I can use Hope's bolts on for the rear wheel, so I may go that route. Plus- those Hope hubs are red! Gotta keep the Union Jack theme going here.
More when I have something significant to add.....