Monday, June 16, 2014

Project LTHT: Update

Ingawanis Woods are really canopied over now.
I had a bit of a time window open up on Fathers Day yesterday to squeeze in a ride at Ingawanis Woods. So, I loaded up the Singular Cycles Buzzard and headed up. It was sunny, humid, and quite breezy. It was supposed to be raining with possible severe thunderstorms, so I wasn't complaining!

When I arrived, it was apparent that even if it had rained recently here, it didn't phase the trails one bit. In fact, I would guess that it didn't rain up there at all, since the trails were rock hard dirt. That and the fact that they had been recently groomed meant it probably would be fast. Turns out that this was spot on. I was flyin'!

The trails up here are always interesting in a good year with decent moisture. That gives the trees a lot to work with and since this little patch of land has been wooded for a long time, the canopy is pretty thick. I remember before the logging up there several years ago that you could ride when it was raining lightly and never get wet in the middle of Summer! Since the logging, it hasn't been as spectacularly dark under the trees until this year. I've noticed that in spots it is back to the usual near night time-like darkness, especially when the Sun goes behind a cloud. There still is a ways to go before it will be like "the old days"!

The Eagles weren't around today, but it was a beautiful scene anyway.
The "Bottoms" have dried up now so that they are rideable again, so I went down through there for the first time since late last Fall. I had to stop to see if the Eagles were home at my usual viewing point, but they were no where to be seen yesterday. It was okay though, as I love to take in that view whenever I get the chance.

So, Project LTHT is really shaping up to be a great bike. The new fork is really tweakable. I was messing around with some different settings and found that you can turn it into just about anything you want, feel-wise. I could make it fairly stiff, and have it sit up into its travel, or I could make it plush and super smooth, or anywhere in between. The seated position, which I never liked with the Diamondback Mason, is really very nice on the Buzzard. It climbs just fine if you use an "active" climbing style and don't just sit there in one spot on the saddle. The gearing is low enough for anything around here. The wheels and tires are phenomenal on this rig. Call them "mid-fat", I guess, but the On One tires are huge on the Dually rims and these might be the best tubeless combination I've yet tried. I pump the tires up and they literally go several weeks before needing topped off again.

The "strobe effect" was in full effect once again!
There is always room for improvement though and this bicycle is no exception. For one thing, the sub-par Specialized dropper post is merely "okay" and sometimes sinks down a hair when seated over average bumps for a while. The weight of this bike is North of 30lbs as well, which isn't that big of a deal, but you always wish for "less" there, right? Typically I don't think about the weight of the Buzzard as it sits, but if I had long climbs over and over again, I would likely start to think about that.

There are a couple of things I need to sort out as well, like just how to set up the SLX brakes to eek out a little better modulation, and then there is the aforementioned fork, which I have to dial in just right yet. More experimenting means more rides which should equal more fun. That's a good thing, right?

Well, I do know that the ride yesterday was super fun, fast, and oddly enough, easy.  The legs and lungs were working really well, which I was a bit surprised at due to my somewhat sporadic training of late. I'll take it. Hopefully I feel as good at Odin's Revenge.


shkenblke said...

I'm looking at the Duallys as a possible upgrade for my Karate Monkey. Based on your best guess would there be enough room in the rear of a karate monkey to run a dually with something like a 2.4 Mountain King or a 2.4 Trail king? P.S. Jay "Fixie Jesus" is wrenching at my LBS in Topanga and he said he had met you at TI before. Just thought was pretty cool.

Guitar Ted said...

@shkenblke: The Dually with a 2.4" On One Chunky Monkey goes just shy of 64mm. So if you KM has that kind of room between the stays with some to spare, you would be okay.