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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Golem Minor part IV

"Rub-a dub-dub" solved
Sometimes the simplest solution is not to even think about doing anything complicated. I simply swap the front and rear tire. Bingo.. All well and good. Rode to Wheel Guru and let him have a look. He concurred with my thoughts about frame misalignment and better to leave things as is.  Still close but alright so far on the short ride tonight.

Checks @ full compression
Forgot to empty out all the air from fork and shock to see if those big rubbers will be touching the fork crown and or rear of seat tube....


What looks like a fully compressed rear was actually mediated by Yours Truly's Level 8 Sage-Yoga pose.
Lotus stance atop saddle  balancing, to avoid being selfied @ the limbs while outstretch arm reverse flanked this shot.
Channeling and dripping lots of positive chakra .. Oh wait that's perspiration. N'vrmind.

Due to the camera angle it looks like the rear is touching but there is a couple mm of space the bike rolled along with no rub/ resistance. Yes there is a bit of the damper left but hard as it was bounced down. it seems to have hit a bump stop inside at this point. Feels the same as my other XF shock, the Vector HLR.

Kinda explains why I never seem to be able to bottom out the shock (o-ring never fell off) in both. Overall the damper is a little longer so there really isn't any short change in the actual travel. This can be correlated to how close the rear wheel has moved towards the seat tube btw.

Fully compressed.... sans problème up front.. No more words needed.

The Ride
12 Oct 2014
Back to my favorite trail for testing setup on full runs. Short enuf to loop but sufficiently long to to go through and remember how each section feels on different settings.

Took a while to rub off the remaining wax on the new tires over somewhat slick roots today.  Was gonna stay with a 16.5/17.5 psi F/R combo while the shock was upped by another 5 psi to give a tad more firmness. Middle into the first lap and trail condition dictates that pressure be dunked to 14.5/15.5 psi for better grip.

Twas trying to "feel" everything with the combo and absentmindedly cranking along only to realize back  at the trail head that I was "singlespeeding" on 30/19 all the way. Yes including the few rooty "hands" ascents.. Not steep but graded more on being techie features.

Well I have to discount the "resistance" felt now after realizing this.

After all the wax on side knobs was rubbed off... things settled in nicely by lap 2 but....

Played around with shock compression setting and still it was back to the fully open position as being the most comfortable and efficient. Up and down.

As much as all the number crunching and mental extrapolation goes...honestly I can't say that the change from 2.4" - 2.75" made that much of a difference.... at least in the first 2 laps. Both are 120 tpi tires but the Onza Ibex has a stiffer sidewall and rails nicer (ie I lean in low and it holds and holds and holds). Then again what little riding so far on those 2.4 then had been in dry weather. Just my luck that first proper ride on the Wizards today happen to be different. Need another ride in the dry (hopefully next weekend) and bring along the 2.4 for a mid ride swap to the rear and compare the difference.

Knobs, knobs and knobs...

Still even with the greater width, I do have to say the side knobs felt lacking in comparison to the 2.4 Ibex. Re-reading what I have written in the past on tires and taking a close look now at these 2 rubber kinda confirms all the things about tires and knob patterns to my liking. Looks like things haven't changed much for me. Preference is for a straight solid line of outer knobs (at least in the rear).

Reckon this is pretty subjective as it depends on what kind of a rider one is. Me? I'm generally a  40/60, ie 40% weighted front and 60 on the rear in general riding position. Solid row of outers suit my "Grip 'n' Bank but many friends who are of the Slide 'n' Ride school seems to like tires with a grip/break/grip pattern better. They also tend to go on and on about transition knobs.. Me? tranny knobs have never been a big part for me.. In certain tires due to the design of the outers I do ask for proper transition knobs but by and large its not a life and death issue to my riding.

Even with the relatively low pressure in these big vol tires supposedly making them "grippier", characteristics of the knobs imparted as they are leaned over is quite significant. Albeit not as horrible as the first generation Rubber Queen I once briefly owned and gladly got rid off after 2 rides. Still where credits are due... must say until today-- the volume in those are impressive though.

Not all the tires I have owned have outer knobs that are ram rod straight and packed like the Ibex. In fact one of my other favorite rubber the Ardent 2.4 has a staggered formation. Its a little easier to turn than most and while not the beefiest knobbies or looks to be.. I can't recall ever been let down by it. The outers are staggered but they all point in the same forward direction. This maximizes all surace contact when banking into corners although not as much as the Ibex and some other full packed rows of straight rectangular outer knobs tires. No sudden cut-in to half act like some transition knobs.. or transiting inwards into actual transition knobs as both are aligned in the same direction.
Left: 2.4 Ardent - Staggered and not beefy but all forward pointing outer knobs.
Right: 2.4 Rubber Queen (1st gen).. series of break/grip/break outers weaving all over the eff shop.

From all of these it can be surmised.. (well, at least for myself), "Buy tires from now on with outer knobs all pointing forward". To reinforce that, I have a pair of Hans Dampf sitting around not because they are bad but quite the opposite.. something I really like and hoping to save them for a worthwhile build. And Yeshhhh! they run an arrow straight line of big beautiful outer knobs as well.

One of the best 2.35" tires I have had.. Oh Schwalbe please please please
make a 2.5" true to size or maybe even a little bigger next year. Pwetty preazzzee

18 Oct
Lay a little more rubber in what's left of TT on the outside and followed by the quarry trail... Pleasant surprise as things were "extended". Things felt normal by now but still trying to get used to the break/slide/ break effect the tire has when cornering hard. I just don't lean as hard now compared to when the Ibex were on there...

19 Oct..
More rides and just for the heck of it.. I raise the pressure up instead of fudging with sweet spot in the low tens..  It was a pump it up -- 20/23 for the front/ rear today at KR... Still the tightest trail and of a more technical nature around here compared to the rest.. but surprisingly the higher pressure seems to hold up better than last week's 17.5 psi run at BF. The last time I hit this techie xc trail, reliance on the granny was still high.. on current 1x 1 have to rely a lot on momentum in those roller coaster sections.. Must say that part of the fast run possible was because of the volume and how things held up well at those pressure in the dry like today.

Must have been having more tire roll than I accounted for riding up until today when the Wizards were largely tested on 15-17 psi.

Higher pressure was ok with the totally dry trail today and more suitable due to all the sudden trough-outs where a softer pressure might not work as well to recover and move on.

 26th Oct...
Back to BT after a long break away from here... F/R still on 20/23 psi but dropped the rear shock back another 5 psi to my more usual 85psi on the XF Stage. Everything was rideable and I was going crazy fast today even by my own standard. Again it was those last minute twitch and turn that I feel the grabbiness on the side knobs a little less than desirable. So dropping it down to a more "gooey-grabby"  16/17.5 psi and continue pounding... the gnarliest part of the trail where  the rocky drops section are was when I got another rear double snakebite...

After all the massaging and riding on different pressure -- it got me thinking even with bigger volume and my relatively light weight there is a limit to how low a pressure things can go.

Rolling along 14-17.6 psi is fine or even as low as 11-12psi but once the trail is hit with a certain amount of gusto... nope, 19-20 is probably the lowest it can go for welterweight me to be safely out of most "flat" zones...

The 2.75" Wizard has a visible increase of actual volume over full size 2.4" tires
However the riding does not equate to being any better and in some cases the 2.4" with more beefy side knobs and lesser resistance from the width actually rides more efficiently while still providing the slice of desired pneumatic cush.

Have a gut feeling I will concur with some feedback that the heavier wire bead version of the Wizard is probably a better option. 200gm penalty but most likely worth each gram...

Another thing about gut feeling is, especially if you are not a sponsored rider like me... listen to your rational mind.. Yes it was telling me while the size of the Wizard crammed into a 26 FS bike will look impressive.. it's really superfluous as the Ibex 2.4 was the best medium for his build without needing to flay the wallet.   Listen to your inner self next time.

Project Golem Minor pt III

Project Golem Minor pt II

Project Golem Minor pt I

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