I finally got to ride the revised/rebuilt Banger tonight. Sadly, we had an overnight rainstorm that sogged up the trail, so I had to ride with caution at times. However, aside from some fit issues and some shifter cable tweaks on the fly, the new bike is a success. Some of the fit issues are because I'm a moron, and others may require alternate parts. Idiot Boy (that's me) got corn-fused on the reach adjustment on the Mags and had the right one full-out, wondering why it wouldn't get any closer. Duh. Figured that out once I got home. So that issue will resolve itself. The new brakes (in spite of the huge reach I had the rear set at) are great, definitely a step up from the ol' Hayes Mags from '98, and I'm sure they're not yet bedded in.
All the weight reductions in the driveline (wheels and crankset) seems to manifest in this way: The penalty for doing something stupid was a lot less of a speed hit than it used to be. Yes, I would lose speed, but I could grunt it right back quickly. Coming out of the hole, I found myself upshifting much sooner than before, and when hitting grades I often downshifted one too many gears since that's what gear was previously necessary on this trail. And all this with first-ride-of-the-year rubber legs. Once I get some fitness back, I should be able to dial up some better speed.
The new bars are not yet there. I find them too wide, but before I cut them (carbon), I'm going to hash out the angles first. I'm not sure the sweep will work with my wrists, but I'm not going to make that call until I do some tweaks to the angles. I also had to raise the saddle (which I did after the ride), and that altered the needed adjustment on the bars, as you can imagine.
I spent way more money than I should have over the winter, but I'm happy, I think. Today with the 17" frame, I felt like I was up over the front wheel more, back to how I like to ride. With the 19" frame, I always felt a bit like I was piloting from the back seat and "down in" the frame. I prefer to be "up on" the frame.
Obviously more tweaks ahead, and I can't wait until conditions permit full-on riding, but so far, I'm happy. The tires felt nice and stable on the wide rims, down at 29 psi tubeless.
With luck my car repair work I'm doing this weekend will go well and I can get another ride in after I'm done.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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