|Wet leaves and dirt|
The word was that the Ingawanis Woods trails were being blown off and raked, but that maybe they would just ride the leaves into submission. I figured the new Sterling tires would do well at steamrolling those leaves down so we could see the trail better, so that is what I took up there with me.
On the way up, I realized that I do not think I had ever ridden By-Tor at the trails up there. The Snow Dog made the trip on Global Fat Bike Day last year, but I do not think the titanium bike had ever been there. Well, with the new, theoretically grippier tires, it should have been okay. I decided that I would air down the pressure if things got out of hand, so I left the higher pressures in there, probably close to 20psi front and rear.
When I got up there, several folks were already there busily doing trail maintenance. (I thank each and every one of you very much, by the way.) I unloaded and got moving along. Now- not knowing these tires, how the pressures I had them at would affect things, or how the rain and showers that were happening had affected the trail, I was taking it very cautiously. Would I be slipping out? Would I be ricocheting off every root and rock? Would these tires not have very good grip? I had a lot of critical unknowns going in.
|Early signs were that the tires are good here.|
To my mind, that is a "win" over the older Larry, and even over the Big Fat Larry I ran before it. At least on dirt, I see the Sterling being a winner in the traction department. But what about that dreaded "self-steer" that flatter tires can suffer from? I have to say that I didn't notice any self-steering traits on the trails I was on. The tires steered as well if not maybe a shade better than the Larrys, but that may be due to better grip with the Sterling. It certainly didn't show me any self-steering traits though.
The ride feel was solid, as in a bit jarringly solid. That probably is due to the higher pressures I was running, and the rigid nature of the bike, but it wasn't bad. I committed to just sticking to the air pressure I had to eliminate one variable. As things went along, I gained more confidence in the grip level and the trail surfaces, (which were tacky perfection, since they were newly uncovered by leaf blowers mere minutes before my passage), and I was moving along a bit more quickly than before at the start. By the end of it, I was pleased with the Sterlings as a dirt tire. I think with a bit of air pressure tweaking, they could be really good.
How this bodes for snow riding is yet to be seen. That's the final test. If they pass there, I think I will be rather pleased with these new shoes!