Winter is Coming...
...and thus, as we eek out the last few (relatively) mud and snow free weekends and enjoy the last World Cup DH race, I am looking ahead to the next season. [grats to the Chainsaw Massacre. And Loic and Jill Kintner for finally having good runs in the last race of the year]
I plan on testing the Magic Mary when it comes out, that is a no brainer imo. But, aside from small tweaks like a new saddle and grips, my big debate will be suspension. I recently have been running the RC4 and though I like it, I am underwhelmed in comparison to the DBAIR. Possibly that is because I simply do not notice the advantage when charging hard, because I am usually so tired during the second half of the run when racing (when a coil is most likely to shine) that I am simply trying to hold on, not crash, and maybe put in a couple pedal stokes here and there. When I get my DBAIR back, I will likely use the RC4 as a back up. But it makes me curious:
1. Do you think the WC riders use the RC4 merely because it is the best of the FOX rear shocks (i.e. they cannot run Cane Creek due to sponsorship), or is there a real advantage to coil? There was that Pro racer in all black, unsponsored, I forget his name. I wonder what he was running (Avalanche?)
Many racers (sponsored by Fox) have been running the Fox Air 40. I've even seen a lot up at Whistler this year. Pinkbike had some good stuff to say (First Ride: Air-Sprung Fox 40 Float RC2 Fork ? The Truth is Revealed - Pinkbike). Lighter and more adjustable seem like good things. And that leads me to my second and most important (and expensive) decision.
Many WC riders have been experimenting with 650b, especially on the 'tamer' WC tracks. Since the races I am doing are, at worst, a 'tame' WC track, it stands to reason that if I were to upgrade to a Fox 40 Float (and break the bank a bit), wouldn't it make sense to go with a Fox 40 Float 27.5 (40 FLOAT 27.5 FIT RC2 Bike Fork | FOX) So here is the question:
2. Despite all the hype, in YOUR opinion would a 650b front (and inset headset etc) work well, and...more often than not...make the Podium a faster race bike? It seems the geometry changes could be managed fairly well to my mind. What do you all think?
PS: I am currently running an 823 on a tubeless DHF UST, so with the change to 650b I would go with a lighter tire (MM 27.5 at about 1000g vs 1200g for the DHF 26) and a lighter rim (ZTR flow, or possibly carbon), so I think unsprung weight and steering changes would be minimal
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