Riding the Prime in Whistler
Having an awesome "family vacation" week in Whistler... life is good
Mostly riding solo, so not too many action shots...
Day 1: eager to get some riding on, I hit Comfortably Numb from wedgemont (the old school long way). Lots of new trail options off CN, I ended up adding a few extra miles of exploring/sessioning.
photo by emailsucks98, on Flickr
_DSC4674 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
_DSC4634 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
_DSC4669 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
_DSC4655 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
Day #2 I hooked up with some dirt corps bros and hit the westside- my favorite trails!
_DSC4719 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
After that spent 2 days with the fam... we hit the cougar mountain ziplines- highly recommended!
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Somewhere in there I got a half day riding the bike park on the Prime, with an open-face lid. Kinda weird having many whistler park days on coil sprung 7" bikes with dual ply tires and a full-face...but for a ~31lb bike, the prime did great, wheelsize regardless. I mainly stuck to the lower mountain trails (crank it up, karate monkey, ninja pizza cat, devils club, hear of darkness). I fought the urge to head up garbo and duck the ropes....
Today I went and explored some of the new trails above function junction. I never met Duncan but his memorial trail is awesome. The trail shows how much he was appreciated.
_DSC5149 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
Afterwards I had to check out the chromag HQ at function junction. Solid peeps!
_DSC5150 by emailsucks98, on Flickr
The Prime has been awesome on this trip. On the lifts someone was asking me what I liked about it.... and I said, this is a bike I can ride on the shore, in the park, or on a long XC ride.. it does it all very well. Many bikes do these days, but the Prime is outstanding. The big wheels are awesome for all day rides, but the geometry and stiffness of the prime hold up to burly steep lines. Neither a hindrance for climbs & distance or a liability on the steep tech. It's a true all-mountain jack-of-all trades which makes very few compromises covering a huge variety of terrain.
Hoping to sneak one last ride in tomorrow AM.... alarm is set!
Wow. What an awesome looking trip. I'm going to check out that zipline the next time I head up there with the fam. It is good to see that if I took only my trailbike up to whistler, I could still have an amazing time riding the whole mountain.
Beautiful, FM. Day 1 map looks impressive, what was your mileage and vertical?
Comfortably numb and me have history! haha
I once guided some 'advanced' riders round the loop and it took over 7 hours! They just could not handle the roots and switchbacks... brutal day!
Lots of people seem unaware of how many amazing tech all mountain rides there are in the whistler valley. I alwaysenjoy Kill me Thrill me. Just got to be aware of bears (I used to sing as I rode, would be more likely to be heard wheezing these days), and Cougars, they are fairly rare thankfully, but I saw one once on Cat Scratch Fever when riding alone and it scared the shit out of me.
That is awesome Keith!
I've ridden CN several times (on several different bikes) and it's cool to see how it's changed over the years. It was really tough when it first opened and lots of the climbing was on soft loam...I really appreciated the Prime on CN, last time I rode it I was on a ~38lb 26'er with dual ply DH tires and no dropper post... ouch!
Optimus, IMBA says it's 17 miles with 1500' elevation difference... my GPS app put it closer to 15 miles with 5000' of cumulative up & down. Not bad at all on paper, but as Keith says the tough part is the constant technical challenge. It's definitely XC though.... just lots of short punchy up&downs, roots & rocks, blind rollers.
My favorite whistler riding is definitely the steep tech descents off the south end of flank trail (all so good!!!) and the new stuff above riverside/function junction. I got one last ride in that area in yesterday before driving home yesterday.
While I got you both: I was impressed with the Pike 29" I checked out up there. I see it's available in a 51mm offset option (I assume the regular version is 55mm?). Any thoughts in which is a better fit on the Prime?
Yeah... the 27.5 one I scoped out in whistler was definitely impressive.
Originally Posted by Optimus
Here's what I heard from my shop:
I wouldn't mind quickening things up, long as the BB stays where it's at. Doing some more research before anything though.
the standard offset is 46mm and they offer a
51mm offset as well. The longer 51mm offset is a refers to the front
axle to steerer tube distance. With a longer distance of the 51mm it
is said to feel like the steering becomes quicker and it helps to give
the 29ers some of their agility back.
FM, you have an F34 on your PRIME, it has a 51mm offset, so the handling won't change in terms of that, it may change if you use it at 150mm. AFAIK, the PIKE at 150mm is the A2C as the F34 @ 140mm, so you gain more travel while maintaining the geometry. I put my F34 to 150mm a couple weeks back and tried both the steep and slack settings and it worked well, was actually fairly radical in the steep setting with the BB going up to 14.25", super rock crawl monster
Originally Posted by FM
Thanks.. so what I'm hearing is:
The standard pike offset is 46mm which will create a slower steering sensation compared to 51mm.
The fox float is 51mm. The pike is also available in 51mm through some retailers as an option. 51mm will steer quicker.
The prime with the f34 already mows down the steepest lines I can find, so I'm not really feeling the need to slow the steering down further... but I'd like to confirm all this info.
Yes, F34s are 51mm offset, if the PIKE is available in 51mm offset that is what you want, if you got a 46mm offset it would steer slower AND feel more floppy AFAIK. The 51mm offset makes a big difference in making the slacker angle/longer travel bike steer similar to shorter travel bikes like the Paradox/Yelli and why the steering on the Prime is only maybe marginally slower than my previous Paradox with 120mm Minute and 48mm offset.
Can't see why they'd do the Pike with a 46mm offset except maybe for 26" and maybe 650B versions, makes no sense for a 29er with that much travel.
Originally Posted by FM
Hey guys, explain to me please, in offset idiot terms, why a shorter axle to steerer offset would make it steer slower. It seems to me, the longer offset would act sort of like a slacker front end, which would slow steering, not speed it up. Regardless, I have the standard offset, whatever that may be, and not the 51mm. My Prime seems to handle just fine to me, I'm setting Strava PR's on every downhill I run it on, and my previous best times were on my F34. Like I said above, whatever I have, I LIKE IT!! I even manned up enough today to launch into a 15 ft deep wash, scared the piss out of me looking at it. In reality, it was a 3-4ish ft drop to a very nice transition, but down into a 15ish ft deep wash, but it still was very scary, I'm not a big air guy. My Prime is turning me into an animal though.
And, how is this affected by the mongo 2.5 DHF that I have on the front?? I'm going to have to read up on this a bit, do a few CAM drawings. But I can tell you, there is absolutely no flop in my steering.
This may not seem like much to some of you, but I thought it was pretty scary.
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Dunno, 5.4mm difference in trail between 51mm and 46mm. .213. I can't imagine it making any difference to my riding. My bike handles fine.
Thanks for that link! There is a lot of confusing, even contradictory info out there... but all seem to agree it's a subtle difference. Maybe not even noticeable, given the other changes that come with a different fork.
I get the basic concept that offset drives trail, which is basically the distance between your steering axis and where the front tire hits the ground. More offset= Less trail = less stability/quicker handling. Less offset = more trail = more stability/ slower handling.
That thread brings up a great point, which is the Pike and F34 have different a2c lengths...Fox may have gone with the 51mm offset to compensate for the taller a2c of their chassis. With the same offset, the pike would handle a bit quicker since it's shorter.
Exactly, the slacker the HTA, the more the additional offset will be appreciated by reducing wheel flop & keeping the steering crisp. I used a custom fork with 56mm offset on two different custom frames (one a fatbike) to achieve just this. If you're familiar with Jeff Jones' bikes, he uses a similar approach to his geometry.
Originally Posted by FM
Glad to hear the Prime did so well on those trials. This is one bike I have been considering. Have you taken the Rune on the same trails? If you did, I'd love to hear how the two compare. I'm looking for a good do all bike that can handle a Whistler trip (first time for me next year). Thanks!
Originally Posted by scepticshock
I've ridden the rune on some of the whistler trails, which I rode the prime on this trip....I've ridden both bikes on squamish trails and mt. fromme on the n. shore... and of course many local trails.
It's really down to personal preference and riding style. I really dig long backcountry rides, and the benefits of the bigger wheels really shine for that stuff. I also like how the bigger wheels corner at high speeds, the Prime is sort of like a "Giant Slalom" bike that way. As far as steep tech, everything I rode on the Rune, the prime handles just fine, better in some regards. So for most all my riding, the Prime has advantages but no real downside.
On the other hand, I didn't really care for the bigger wheels on the jump trails in the park. For 95% of the local jumping I do, the Prime does very well, but the high-speed lippy stuff in the park was challenging with the big wheels. Several times I bum-buzzed my rear tire while pushing the front end down to transitions.
For me it's the Prime all the time... I've adjusted my riding style to bigger wheels and 26" feels nervous and twitchy to me now (even my rune which had a 180mm fork and an -1.5d angleset). For everything outside the park, I couldn't be happier with the Prime. In the park, the rune has a definite advantage, especially on the jumps... but it's still not a park/DH bike... and I enjoy the raw steep valley trails a million times more than the bike park.
A 27.5 Rune would be a great compromise if jumping is a higher priority.
"Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman
Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here
Originally Posted by FM
Thanks for the feedback! I know you have experience on a lot of good 6" bikes like the Rune, so that really says something about the Prime's ability to fill those shoes. I was set on another 6" AM bike, but I'm starting to have a paradigm shift on the whole thing. Jumping is not a priority in my world, and it sounds like the Prime has bases covered very well for the whole spectrum of AM riding. I'm also glad to hear its so good on long rides. I've never rode a 29er, but I assume the easier rolling tires makes the whole ride less fatiguing?
Yeah, I was a skeptic once too (as JNC can attest!).
Originally Posted by scepticshock
Some benefits: the bike carries speed longer/farther= less pedaling... will roll over stuff that smaller wheels get hung up on- rocks & roots & such. I also really like they way they corner at speed.
I've never gotten a pinch flat on the bigger wheels, due to the shallower angles... so you can run lighter tires which offsets the added weight of the bigger wheels.
The front end doesn't lift or get floppy on climbs, so less fatigue. Also you've got more traction so you can actually stand & mash up stuff where a smaller rear wheel would spin.
The cons, as mentioned, are jumping and really slow tight stuff like skinnies. Who cares? I don't.
I do have buddies on 27.5 AM bikes, and I think that does make sense for shorter riders or those who don't want to compromise airborne handling so much.
Thanks again for your feedback FM!
Awesome FM! I think I saw you in the village with that yellow prime? I stayed in the park for 4 days along with 2 runs down "Ride don't slide". I was really bummed I didn't bring my Rune for the pedal trails and now that you post up these pics of them I'm kicking myself. I'm definetly making it a point to hit these next year! Thanks for the post.
Yep, not too many yellow primes in the village!
Originally Posted by helimech
How was RDS? I love that trail and khyber, but have been wondering if they're getting chundered now that riders don't have to push/climb for them.
Hey Keith! You should come by our house in Emerald for beers and if you need riding company on Kill me thrill me, it is close by.
Thanks for the offer! I lived in Emerald for a few months once, was a great place to call home!
Originally Posted by baramats
I doubt Kill me thrill me will be on the cards this year unfortunately, as I'm only going to be out there for about 12 days, and will only have a big bike with me. However I have a shock tune day with cane creek planned so will have trail bikes for that, so you never know.
Would be up for some mountain laps if your free around crankworx time!
"Top of the world" trail was closed so we had to take "Original sin" over to the boundary park road and HAB up it to the start of RDS. It was awesome and in pretty good shape, it looked very unused = woohoo. My legs were burning from staying low almost the entire time. Good times!
Originally Posted by FM
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