Looking thru the mess called archive on my own blog, I just realized that not much has been written about the El Guapo after the first test ride. Well maybe not on my own blog but sure as hell was raving it off to just about anyone who was into getting a 6" dualie.
Like any bike I owned, there is this anal ritual of reaching the "perfect set-up". More so with the EG because I was determined to make it THE ONE Do-It-All Bike project. So I'm starting here with the major hardware changes till date before touching on the ride feel
The initial setup was really dorky but there were many things at that point where I have not experimented with. The 36mm fork was something new. I have not even jumped on the OS bar band wagon but happily swapped my Amoeba Ti DH bar (old school) over. Still swooned with the Gravity Dropper seatpost, natually it made the transition as well, over from the Motolite II to the EG.
Did I mention that I'm forever caught between bike sizings? Usually between an S and a M for offroad bikes
After mistakenly taking the small frame home which was in the olive green I wanted. Was rather tempted to keep it but in the end I chose to go back and changed for the medium after more pondering and sticking with all the research and painstaking measurements done in the 2 years past. As a trail bike, its better to err on the larger side. Jumps and whipping the bike about will probably be easier with the small....
First up 50mm stem just felt natural and the intention was to keep it that way if possible. One thing I realize coming over to these bigger bikes is that for the same top tube length compared to shorter travel and steeper angles, it doesn't feel as long.
A suitable bar stem and combo was next. dirty was good enough to lend me his mauled but still good and strong Titec El Norte 50mm. Something which is still on the bike. I tried a few other nice bling stems but somehow they just don't match this crapped up stem that has seen a fair share of abuse. Wide clamping area for the bar and matching manuscript fonts of the words El Norte with that of the El Guapo was a nice touch.
Bars? Oh I gone through quite a few and was looking high and low for a low rise bar that has more upsweep
than the usual 5 degrees. Somehow got stuck with a green Funn Fatboy, 710mm, 9 degree backsweep by 5.5 upsweep. The higher upsweep bar never materialize and a 760mm Nukeproof came along. But it was short lived. I was getting all caught up with the "the longer the better" phenomenon of recent times. Problem is the long bar just got caught in between trees more often than I like.
Being so used to the Fatboy by now I ended up with another similar one but this time in autumn hunting camo print recently. Not exactly as i envisioned it to be as the online pic was kinda small but still pretty nice nevertheless.
On a trip to Penang in Nov last year, I chanced upon these grips. Perfect. Just what was needed if a higher than normal upsweep bar can't be found. Lengthened grips that I can use to adjust hand positions. These came in 10mm adjustment rings.
I finally set up grips that were 19 cm long. DIYed with my "condom-cushions"-- a layer of old neoprenes, the kind used to cover rear shocks followed by an outer layer of old inner tubes.
Have found something new recently but that will be in another writeup.
By now I have swapped out the fugly Gravity Dropper in favor of something sleeker...a KS i900 5 inch adj. post that seen a couple of saddle swaps and the addition of an E13 DRS chainguide.
Wheels and drivetrains were relatively unchanged. Still swearing on my usual tire combo except for the swap to a 2.4 Rubber Queen up front on a DH trip for a few days... But the idea of a coil shock was really getting to me. Is it really all that different? Got a used DHX from online after days of frustrating search for information on coil shocks and spring calculations. At first it felt horrible. The bike just got heavier without any improvement to the ride feel.
I was tweaking the preload and the entire array of knobs on the DHX, still wondering about the pressure on the piggy shock (something I later learned about pumps and how they actually drop the pressure reading when plugged in. Rather significantly in small volume cannisters like piggies).
So I brought it to my favourite mech. Next thing I know he put a Diverse Ti spring in there and said "just try this first, no need to buy if you don't like" Of course as usual he did a few other quick turns on the other knobs and also the fork.
5 minutes later all I remembered was riding back with a wad of fifties missing from my wallet and the original heavy steel coil in one hand.
However I did cave in to the pedals and after a couple of rides, I swear, the few millimeters it shaved off compared to the old Tioga MS made me have ten thousand less pedal strikes. What's more is that it form fit with the Five-10 Impacts as if they were made for each other.
And whatever changes there is to be made, certainnly, I'm not jumping on the 10 speed drivetain hype.
to be continued....