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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Honestly I wasn't ready to write. Hell, I'm never ready to pen anything these days.

Well, with the last major piece on little EG installed.. it's really close to the target weight for the build. A few further refinements should see sub 28 on the scale. The goal has been a "light functional 6" that will see more pedaling towards a xc-ish/enduro type riding as opposed to the "heavy-weapon" build of the other EG.

Not the most accurate atomic-weighing scale and right after this pic, I removed another 100+ gms off from a few bits.
Weight reduction from the fork change and accompanying bits like lower headcup/ crown race and brake mount adapters and rotor size was 410gm, a little less than my initial optimism that it might actually hit the ~550gm mark. Anyway info on the Xfusion Slant is on the last post so I'll just move on to other things here.

Now the bike is really transformed with this latest "upgrade". It was already blazing fast with the klunkier but stiffer Vengeance on the climbs despite only having a 1x9 drive train. Arrh must not forget to thank the Great Single Speed Spirit tonite... SS techniques has certainly lent itself well to any single ring climb machines even if those are already well built for the purpose. The performance with the lighter front end now was really beyond my expectation. And the bonus? The front and back suspension seems to be BFF reunited... Ok corny. But really-- its one of those time when I truly feel a bike is tuned front to back and back to front just right with the right suspension components.

To recap, I didn't really like the Monarch RT3 all that much-- found it was too stiff and after breaking in, the sag seems inconsisent. Yea! Weird.. one day it sags 25% and the next its at 30% where I set it. No change in PSI. The compression settings didn't seem to do a thing. On the last few rides however things seem to have broken in nicely and there is a distinct difference in the compression settings now. There's hardly a need to set it to the stiffest. I stick to the mid setting but lots of time I have it blown open at the plushest and never had to worry on climbs... or rather it never bothered me with the during ascends.

Now I can truly and fully trash something that has only been a bias. 15mm TA.

When the standard first came out I just buy the idea and my armchair engineering calculation says the smaller diameter does jack with strong lateral twisting forces. For that reason I was adamant to stay away from it. Which also meant it remains an unproven hypothesis on my part justified only with reports of 15mm failures on forums.

For a new fork, it was pretty dialled in and despite my inherent paranoia that it has no compression adjustment but only rebound. Compression was the least of my worries once the wheels started rolling. Super plush but with the Xfusion familiar firm damping. I have not used the lockout feature on it. Seriously! Lockout on a 160 fork? Come on!

Now being lighter of course it means coming into and out of turns in tight trails faster.. Ok this is where the Vengeance 20mm TA shines. It isn't as bad as 9mm QRs when u dig into the ground when coming out of the apex but the differene in stability is discernible. Maybe I'm still bias. Maybe the 34mm stanchions being a tad smaller than the 36s would have also made a difference. Maybe it was the tires and trail condition during those rides... still have a lot of observation to make before I make a final conclusionon those 15TA.

Next? I'm eying really hard the clearance of the rear tire to the front of the yoke... Maybe, just maybe, a 27.5" hoops machine might be possible. Sticking back the 27.5/650B ready Veangeance up front and might have to compromise with a skinner 2.1" tire then.  Let's see.

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