The trails are finally defrosted here in Missoula MT,and I got out to ride with friends this weekend. It was amazing. I have done some singletrack by myself this spring, but it was awesome to get out in a group, and get pushed by my friends.
It was an 11 mile fire road grind to the top,but we stopped as needed. Finally got to put my 32t x11-34t 1x9 to the test, and was easily able to keep up on the ascent. I found myself most commonly in the 30 or 26t cog (2nd or 3rd gear) while climbing which i would have never been able to do if i hadnt started clumbing on my 1x9 a month ago. One of our group was debuting his '14 5800$ devinci Wilson carbon rc, and thus didn't have to low of a gear with his single chainring and tight DH cassette.
I felt a little "outbiked" with my 04 Jekyll which by todays suspension standards is a heavy ass XC or am bike. The frame is really sturdy though, and I have beefed it up a little bit in anticipation of riding with these guys.
All in all it was a blast. On the descent I followed for the most part, and apart from being a new trail for me, we ripped down and for the most part I was able to keep up. Some sections, I know if I was by myself I would have ridden around, or braked to a near stop before descending, but after watching these guys rip down in front of me what choice did I have but to follow them down some sketchy sections!
I am looking forward to this season, and riding with people better than me to push me, and make myself a better rider. Next time Im going to ask to try one of their bikes for a section, and see what its like to descend on a new bike. Ive never ridden a double crown fork, like the boxxer on the devinci. the other two friends had a float 32, and a float 36 with 140, and 160mm travel respectively. Im still rocking a 120mm manitou black with 32mm stanchions. It works,but all three if their bikes had 20mm thru axles and im curious to ride with this and feel the improved stiffness for myself. Mine is still the 9mm QR on front with my 24mm wide xc rims. They had 28 and 32mm rims and their 2.35 tires looked a lot bigger because or this. I think I would like a slightly wider contact, but rims are pretty damn expensive. And I have the decision of keeping this bike how it is, and eventually buying a new /newer bike or taking this frame and putting a new fork (one with lockout) on my bike. Luckily my frame was designed around the lefty so I can take a 1 1/8, 1 1/2, or tapered Steerer tube on a fork with purchase of a new headset.
So many decisions, but luckily I started working full time so I am going to have funds to fuel my hobby!
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