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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

EG...15 months later Pt.2

Setup and changes had all been touched on in the last post. Told myself that I will kit the EG back someday to a ~30lb AM lean mean ripping machine. Thing is I am digging the present heavy but super stable configuration on the EG so much, its unlikely to be weenified.

Having said, the potential to be lighter and more nimble is definitely possible. I gotten on another friend's ~30lb EG and 'quick' is what I can describe. So have the regular folks over at the mtbr titus forum.

To finish up with the last bit on set ups....

The EG has the shortest headtube of any 6" dualies out there. Don't believe me, just go compile a list of all the 6" bikes in the market and find me another medium frame that has a 4" headtube. This is good for folks like me that wants to have the lowest bar height possible.

What's more with a 1.5" headtube, there is the choice of running a reducer headcups to further minimize the stack and hence achieve lowest bar height. Its always better to go to the lowest with the option of raising it up with spacers later on. Too often I have seen people running with a front that is too tall for them, leading to all kind of handling problems on the trail.

I was lucky to get my hands on a pair of Cane Creek XCII Flush which was reviewed here. Still going strong but I'm thinking that with the more aggressive riding on this bike, it might be better to swap the bottom cup with an external reducer cup with bearings on the outside (I just have this foreboding thought of an ovalized headtube if I keep using the reducer cups...though that's probably just my unfounded fear).

With Cane Creek recently announcing their new angled reducer cups headset, the AngleSet Headset, I'm putting any change on hold. Morevover my bike pimp buddy, Dirty will no doubt make sure I'll be the first in Singapore to try it out just like so many other stuff he has brought in before.

Alright, enough of parts and configs... the ride. From trail riding to light DH duty and throw in a bit of urban roll has taken every bit and I can't ask for a 6 inch bike with 17+ inch chain stay to pop a wheelie as easy as my street bike. But that is not what the EG was meant for. I'm probably pushing the boundaries of what the EG is supposed to do a little too much here...

On the actual riding and trail side of things, the 6" front may feel a little inadequate when the downs are really gnarly DH stuffs. But I found out that much of it was due to my lack of riding such terrains. Before the EG, I have never even ridden a proper DH trail once. As time passed and we have been packing a few more trips into Malaysia where there the good riding places are....the runs got better as my experience with such riding improves. Yes there are times when I wish the fork was another 20mm more. But other than that, the bike is perfect with 160mm up front. If only the 2011 Fox hadn't gone the way of reducing to either 180 or 140 mm on their new TALAS but have the 160mm in between..I'll definitely be rocking one by now. The very few times I have put the travel down on my 09 TALAS to 100mm just don;t feel good. Too much pedal strikes in short travel mode. Moreover it makes the bike feels and ride really weird.

On the trail, to keep it nimble, I got to keep the weight not too far back. A mistake I made for many months and felt the bike was sluggish due to the big tires and overall weight on it....until I adjusted the seat a couple of cm forward. A change in riding style where now I tend to be off the saddle and leaning forward a bit more on the straights, making use of every bit of terrain to pump and flow instead of dead pedaling through everything., the bike feels totally different again. Yea with the seat more forward and pointed less skyward, I do miss that "cool" FR/DH look on the bike when taking pics but well....

Much of the trails we ride around here are twisty jungle stuff so I do find myself using more of the hips to weave and compsensate during rides as compared to 4" short chain stay bikes. But this is definitely no geometrical error or defect of the EG. It is a big-ish bike after all.

Once the suspensions are dialled in with the right kind of tires and pressures for different is an unstoppable bike. I am letting go of the brakes more and more these days on the EG. Can't say I do the same when I'm back on my other bikes. More of my new found fetish with tires review and analysis in the Tire Series. and a little DIYs on rear shocks tweaking

All the other ride reports and pics around my blog should suffice to show if the EG is worth every bit the bike it has been made out to be. Personally all I can say is after 15 months Im stoked as ever. And in all my years of mountain biking--this bike ranks No.1 in my entire collection past and present.

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