Ultimate Chequemegon Setup?
I'm starting to kick a few ideas around in my head on how I want to setup my Fisher 29"er HT for this year's Chequamegon 40. Still several details yet to be ironed out, but the biggest unanswered question involves the fork. Do I stick with the stock Reba? (Set at 80mm.) Or do I get a rigid fork to lighten things up a bit? If rigid, what fork would be the best choice? I'm leaning towards the Pace carbon... but have visions in my head of that nasty, rocky descent down to Smith Lake. I sure would hate to get halfway down, and hear a loud "crack". I'm 6' 3", and 185 pounds in the buff. Should I go Pace Carbon, Bontrager Carbon, Bontrager Aluminum, Badger Steel, or the stock Reba?
Would appreciate any comments / suggestions.
ps: If it matters, I'll probably be running Stan's Crow tires on the ZTR 355 rims... tubeless.
not to fear for the pace
I'm going to say we're probably the same weight once all things are said and done (maybe I'm 5 pounds heavier)... I've ridden my pace carbon down some pretty sketchy downhill sections and I have never had anything but confidence in it. I say as long as the riding your are doing could be classified as XC the fork will work for it.
I can also say I have a bontrager AL switchblade and it is one harsh beast... I've pretty much religated it to flat smooth trails and commuting... But for that matter it is also fairly light.
...You might not be able to tomorrow
R I D E S T E E L
I don't recall any rocky decents of note on that trail. It's funny, I've heard of it, but ridden the race a couple times and don't recall that section. I was probably too dam tired.
I'll probably be on a rigid for the race, but know of a good friend, who on his 26, would often ride rigid and then regret it during the race. So take that as you will, as you know, it's a fairly tough course for as open as it is.
On another note, I'd be more concerned about those tires on the rocks than your fork. I'm pondering the same thing, still unsure what I'll end up doing.
My advice would be keep the Reba on for Chequamegon. I've got a Reba on my Dos and a Pace on my Rig. If you want to race the "40" really fast, keep the Reba. That race is just so fast and full-on throttle. Unless, of course, you're Jesse or Ezra, then you just race your rigid single and haul ass.
Me? I'll be on the tandem again.
Swanson won the "40" last year on his Fuel with his tires at 22 psi and his suspension set really soft. And it was a sprint finish.
(But, on the other hand, put a Pace on your Fisher HT and it'll be a rocket for the WORS races!)
R I D E S T E E L
Now that's funny. Ez is a really good friend of mine and who I was referring to in my previous email. Did you know he was running a 44 x 16 on his 26" for at least a couple years up there? Ouch.
44x16 is righteous! I wouldn't run a Crow up front though. I think an Ignitor front, Crow rear might be a solid set up.
Originally Posted by one1spede
I wasn't aware of anything too rocky on that course. All fast double track is my recollection.
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My set has been rigid front w/a rockshock seat post to save my lower back from cramping. Tires were WTB Nano's, and i'd ruyn that set up again if I managed to get in.
Best o' luck. And Smith Lakes DH is THAT bad. Go rigid!
Just say thudbuster
I've ridden SS 42X18 rigid for the last 2 years, got beat up with al bars, felt better with JJ H-bars last year. Mid 70's in 04, 102 or 103rd in 05 so not winning but going pretty fast.
I think in that race you hit things pretty hard, I'm going gears, reba (probably!), and the thudbuster this year. I've always used a semislick or shaved knobby in back, ran a nano up front in 04 and 05, maybe run the 'crow's this year.
The rocky descent wasn't in last year's race...it's not long, takes just a sec or two to zip down, wasn't all that bad even rigid. There was a sand pit and a tightish left hander at the bottom if I remember right...
I guess it's just down to reba or KM fork for me at this point. I like the no bob feel of rigid but sometimes some cush is nice.
I like scheming about equipment for this race-and it's early enough to try stuff. Thanks for the thread
I'd stick to the Reba
I ran this race once on a full suspension bike and had a blast, probably my best ride ever on a bike and that was on 26" wheels!
Anyway, I think your wheel and tire set up will have more of an effect on your performance, overall, than whether or not you have a sus fork. The main component to gettin' er done at that track is momentum and keeping it as much as possible. The tire and rim set up you are contemplating should be bomber at Chequamegon.
That said, you will have to guage your conditioning and capabilities carefully before choosing. The winner of D.K.200 didn't run suspension, and I dare say the weight and height of that fellow is close to yours. He was rigid, narrower tires. I think you could pull this off with a Pace or Badger fork, no problem, but that's me.
One more thing to think about. Mud. A rigid fork might prove to be an advantage in such conditions and Chequamegon has been known to get that way once in awhile.
My biggest vote for the Reba...
comes from the braking bumps (from cars) in the corners of the fast gravel road sections. Some years they aren't so bad but some years it seems like some of those roads haven't been graded since the spring.