Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pink Bikes IS FAST! Trek Rig first impressions

Dont look for this color at your Trek dealer
Ok, I have to admit Trek Rig just doesnt sound right. It doesnt roll off the tongue like Fisher Rig. So I will call it the Treker Rig. Actually, this first review is more on the frame and its ride characteristics rather than the components, but I will touch on them as to take up more space and look as if I had a lot to say.
So, the frame is 6061 butted hydroformed aluminum with sliding dropouts. Past Rigs had the eccentric bb, which added weight and adjustments made to the chainline also changed saddle height and placement. It has the Fisher G2 geometry-which for those not familiar is a custom 51mm offset fork to address the sluggish handling on past 29ers. It also has cable stops to run it geared, but you wont do that, will you? The frame weighs in at 3lbs. 14 oz in 19″, very nice. What makes my Rig special? Pink makes your bike faster! It is true. Yes, I stripped it down and painted it “ballet slipper pink”, it looks more like silly putty to me. Rustoleum is the best paint for do it your selfers. Lots of wet sanding and you have a factory paint job look.

A solid spec, ugly paint
The original spec includes: Fox f32 series 100mm travel fork, Firex crank, Bontrager SS hub laced to Mustang tubeless ready rims and the very stiff FCC front hub, Avid Juicy 3 brakes and Bontrager glue factory items everywhere else. Mine of course is built up with only the best offerings from Mr. Bontrager-Race X Lite wheels, bar, stem, post, Evoke 3 Ti saddle, Juicy carbon brakes, Stylo OCT crank. All told 20lbs. 9oz. great weight for this very pleasing to the eye shade of pink.

Pink is Fast!
I have put 103 miles on it since may 12th, so this isnt meant to be a long term review, just my initial thoughts. I was never a big fan of aluminum framed bikes, just because of the inherent stiff nature of the material. This is a very smooth riding frame-as aluminum frames go. I didnt feel “beat up” as other frames I have been on. Even with the rigid fork, I felt comfortable. It accelerates with the best, again this is the rigid aluminum frame at work here. It has a nice long feel to it, which is what you want because of the out of the saddle climbing, it allows one to get over the bars more and rock it, baby. It has a nice neutral bias, which, again is great for SSing.Too far forward, you spin out, Too far back your front end works against you. This a great climbing bike. No flex from the bb or rear end. The headset is integrated so the front is a bit stiffer as well.
There is nothing I have found yet that is a negative, although the rear did develop a severe creaking issue at the last race. The culprit-the sliders. A little drop of oil remedied the annoyance. The original 29.2 and 29.3 tires are wire bead, a bit of a surprise on a $1,400.00 bike. The original finish on the bike was not what I usually expect from Trek. Some minor bubbling in the paint and crooked decals, again nothing major but worth noting. The factory spec is a good mix of parts out of the box and should keep you going for a while.

This a good offering from Trek. Go tubeless and get yourself an Evoke saddle and you will have a great ride. Remember-PINK IS FAST! Enjoy.

Updates on recent training

Knees have been a little sore lately from alot of roadie stuff, yeah I know-eeeek! It does help with the training, though. Have been on the SS a bit more too.

Had a good ride at Patapsco today, but still felt a little off. Iron Hill Challenge coming up 6/5, so I will have to be careful not to do anything stupid. That will be a tough one. Rode the Pinky today I am still amazed how comfortable that aluminum beauty really is. Not as harsh as one would expect from an aluminum frame. Have to get back to my regular training routine. Anyway, just some boring stats.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's may and I have hit 2k miles already

Nothing fancy here, just my training since the 1st of the year. I had 1400 miles all of last year, so this is a huge improvement. It has really paid off so for. I feel amazing right now. Hanging tough with the expert geared crowd is a hoot! My HR rarely gets in the mid 180's anymore, which is great considering my max is 200-so my missed match plan is working!

Trek Sawyer-First Impressions

Ok, I could keep this review short and simple words-Really excited, excited, what the #@%!, hmmm, and excited again, but that wouldnt be much of a review, huh. First off, the skinny on the frame and it's highlights. It platinum steel, which is not the OX II version. It of course has a striking profile that is a harkening to the klunker days. The first thing you notice, or at least I did, is the split top tube runs the entire length of the rig, not the usual method. I will get to more on this later. It has a plain jane look, which is great. No hideous decals, just a satin grey finish-very industrial looking. Sliding dropouts are a huge improvement as well, which are split for running a belt drive. Cable routing is neatly tucked away under the split tubes and has guides for you gear heads as well.

So on with the show. I took a mild spill on my Superlfy Elite HT-should have known not to get a geared bike- and needs some repair work, I will leave it at that. Getting a crash replacement was not in the cards right now, so I opted for the feel of steel... again-The Sawyer. I was really excited to get this a give it a go at last weeks 12 hours of Lodi, but due to the forks being on back order, it had to "weight." To be honest, once I pulled it out of the box and put it on the scale-mistake on my part, I had to recalibrate the scale a few times just to be sure that the reading was accurate. Much to my dismay, it was. This frame is not for the consumate weight weenie. It comes in at...ready....set...7lbs! That would explain the pain in my lower back when I pulled it from its moorings. Wow, what on earth am I going to do with this thing. I started to 2nd guess my decision on this one.

Alas, I through on some parts, nothing too special or light I might add. Stylo crank, Bontrager Race SS hub, Fisher FCC front hub, Race X Lite stem, Elixer Brakes and some other stuff. All told it is at 25lbs 8 oz. right now. Once the Reba is gone and the rigid is on and some other lighter goodies, it will be 23.9 lbs, not to bad. 

Today was the maiden voyage. There was a slight mist and overcast, so not ideal, but perfect for trying the beast. I rode Gunpowder, which is riddled with rock gardens and some steep climbs. Perfect venue. But, even as I took it off the rack and was getting ready to ride, I just didnt have that uuumph in me to ride it. So I headed off anyway. Ok, ready? Amazing! I had to get off of the bike a few times to check if the frame was cracked or something had come loose on the caboose. I have NEVER ridden a more plush HT. I used to have a Tomac MT700 technium frame from 1995 that had the aluminum front and steel rear, and that bike was amazing. This bike reminds of that, but one step higher. The weight was not an issue at all. It was slightly noticeable on longer, out of the saddle efforts, but honestly, I have a Superfly SS and Rig and 2 Ferrous, so I am used to riding sub 20lb rigs. Over rocks and roots, this bike felt like a softail. Really, I could swear I had an inch of travel in the rear. Downhills was a blast, just sit back and enjoy your flight. Remember the split top tubes? I think that is where this baby gets its plush feel from. This beauty has more curves than the Venus De Milo.

The FCC front hub? Super stiff. I never ride with a suspension fork other than for this ride, so for those of you sissies that cant hack the rigid feel, this hub is amazing. Grab this sucka and try to move it back and forth. It halped the tracking of that stupid suspension fork, bit on my rigids, it is lazer accurate and light. 

So, in closing to this 1st ride review, I really still cant believe how this rode. If you live in a particularly rocky area, this could be your bike. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a super comfy, SS or geared ride. I am re-excited to be riding this piece of rolling artwork. Will this be my choice for every race, no, but it will certainly find its way on the race course this year, and who knows-My descision may change and this could be my everyday race sled by the end of this race season. Over and Out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trek Sawyer and needing a diet

A modern-day warrior Mean mean stride, Today's Tom Sawyer Mean mean pride. Coming soon!

Taking it easy this week with some mountain rides and road rides.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

12 Hours of Lodi and the Big Pink Rig

Ok, here is a little project for you. 1) Get a piece of string about 4 feet long. 2) Ball it up and throw it up in the air. 3) However it lands will give you a good idea of how the course map is. This course is the most technical I have ridden as of yet. It is very similar to Fountainhead, Va. There isnt a straight line anywhere. There are sections that looked like someone was right on your tail, but they were probably a mile or so back; pretty weird. The course is a owned by a 80 something woman. Very cool and loves having the race on her property. It has been held there for 14 years. I also got a chance to meet fellow crewetter, Denelle Grant. Very, very cool indeed. That’s the best thing about this whole deal, just meeting some of the cool folks on the team as well as other shop employees, too.

Pink Bikes is Fast!
Anyway, like I said, this course is riddled with roots and steep, loose rock climbs. Oh yeah, if you have wider than 630mm bars, you are in for some peroets with the local foliage. I had to remove my 750mm rhythm bars for this reason. I was doing a duo male with my friend Chris on this one. I brought along my Ferrous SS , Superfly SS and Rig SS. I was running my usual 32/18 setup. The Superfly was the best choice for this course, though. For those of you not in the know, my 2011 Rig underwent a transformation last week. I will admit up front; the paint is on the Rig this year is a baaaaaad. So I had no reservations about removing the diseased skin and replacing it with my own flavor…SILLY PUTTY! View the previous blog to see the hideous monster this pink beauty once was. All told, it weighs 20 lbs. 11 oz. Very nice with the steel fork.

It drew quite a bit of attention, and all positive I might add. It handled very well, although it developed a severe case of the creaks a mile in. Couldnt figure it out, but I think it was the dropouts. I will get to this at some point. Back to the race. We were in 3rd for all of the race, but decided to call it after my night lap. My buddy Chris was feeling the effects of a saddle meets Mr. Bottom. We ended up 4th, which is ok by me. It was really uneventful, just cranking out the miles and trying not to fall victim to the wheel grabbing roots, which reminded me of Snowshoe. I have the Evoke ti and carbon saddles and these are simply the best. Even over the roots, it was very comfy and had just enough flex to boot. I will give a more detailed review later.

I put in very consistent lap times (all low 50's) and my training is really in full affect now. No cramps and no fade, just consistent. I felt as strong as I could feel. Even my night lap, which was my first in a few years, was very nice. The Magicshine is awesome. I ran one light and it was all that was needed. All in all it was a good event and a fun time. Oh and a big shout out to the fellow SSer that I passed on the trail. Thanks for reading my garbled mess. Rock on man!