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  1. #1
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    Ate it at French Creek

    Haven't been to French Creek since 1995, so Sunday I head out with a buddy of mine to give my new (used) FS bike a workout. Last time I ride there was on a full rigid GT when I was healthy and in my 20's. Fast forward to this Sunday. I'm now 36, 270# and went down like a sack of potatoes in an extended downhill rock garden. Couldn't get out of my cages fast enough and thought for sure I was gonna break ribs, arms and/or face, but unbelievably I'm fine. Until I try to get up. Apparently my big toe and the one next to it rolled under and snapped like peanut brittle. It made for an interesting ride out. One good foot in a cage, one foot out of the cage with the pedal almost underneath the heel of my screwed foot. Two days off from work, crutches and a bottle of Vicodin. Peace.

  2. #2
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    So when you say "cages," I'm assuming you mean clips and straps. If you are doing riding in anything other than gravel roads or smooth trails, clips are extremely dangerous. You need to either ride bare platforms or clipless pedals, especially in areas like French Creek, which will cause lots of pain if you fall there.

    I went up there for the first time a couple months ago. It was my 2nd ride on clipless (mistake). I had a couple low speed falls since I wasn't used to clipping out and one high speed fall on a slippery rock while bombing downhill. I was pretty beat up (and the new bike got broken in with some scratches), but luckily I came out with no broken bones or serious injury. French creek is no joke.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    So when you say "cages," I'm assuming you mean clips and straps.
    Exactly.


    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    French creek is no joke.

    Funny, but I don't remember it being so rocky 12 years ago!
    Last edited by November; 08-21-2007 at 04:28 PM.

  4. #4
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    The mothers day race there is called "On the rocks at French Creek". Too bad you coulden't read someones T'ee shirt before you went. Sorry to hear about the injury and I hope you keep riding. Good luck in recovery.....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by szucchi
    The mothers day race there is called "On the rocks at French Creek". Too bad you coulden't read someones T'ee shirt before you went. Sorry to hear about the injury and I hope you keep riding. Good luck in recovery.....

    Thanks, and I'm having too much fun to stop riding. I just got my first Camelbak in the mail today so I can't wait to get back out there.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by szucchi
    The mothers day race there is called "On the rocks at French Creek". Too bad you coulden't read someones T'ee shirt before you went. Sorry to hear about the injury and I hope you keep riding. Good luck in recovery.....
    So Steve, when are you taking me to the "Creek" ?

  7. #7
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    My first ride at French Creek last summer was the one that convinced me to go clipless from platform and now i ride clipless on a DH bike. Pedals make a big difference.
    Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

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  8. #8
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    sorry to hear about the injury. I remember the days of bombing downhills on a ridgid frame with sketchy direct pull brakes, toe clips and my shoe laces tucked into my sneakers. Clipless make you one with the bike, giving better balance and control. Technology is a beautiful thing.

    I love that place but there is some kind of wierd force like the "French Creek Triangle" that causes nasty crashes in non-technical spots. I was riding in a section that was actually not that rocky, came to a small log, compressed to start my hop, next thing I know, endo over the bars= broken helmut + black eye.

    Another time, a good buddy and I were riding in about the same area, bike goes out from under him for no reason, dislocates his shoulder.

    Coincidence?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding
    sorry to hear about the injury. I remember the days of bombing downhills on a ridgid frame with sketchy direct pull brakes, toe clips and my shoe laces tucked into my sneakers.
    Ah... the good ol' days.

    You forgot to mention the crappy tires... A time when 2.1" was, with one or two exceptions, as fat as they came and the Panaracer Smoke/Dart directional set was the 'pinnacle' of off-road tire technology!
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  10. #10
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    post modern technology--

    Ok, Joe, so what is the post modern "pinnacle of off-road tire technology" today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Ah... the good ol' days.

    You forgot to mention the crappy tires... A time when 2.1" was, with one or two exceptions, as fat as they came and the Panaracer Smoke/Dart directional set was the 'pinnacle' of off-road tire technology!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    Ok, Joe, so what is the post modern "pinnacle of off-road tire technology" today?
    Heh...that's a pointed question! I think it's different for everyone, and that's the beauty of how far the industry's come in the last 20 yrs. There's a tire (or tires) for every rider.

    Used to be that most tires fell in the range of 1.75" (e.g. Ritchey Z-max) - 2.1"-ish (e.g. Smoke, Dart, etc.) With a generous smattering of tires somewhere in between (e.g. Specialized Umma Gumma 1.95", etc.), and they came in 2 gereral formats: wire bead or folding.

    They had to be what - by today's standards - could only be described as over-inflated all the time to keep from constantly pinch flatting the lighter models (rigid frames/forks + thin folding sidewalls = flat city if you ran anywhere at or below the low end of the manufacturer's specs for inflation.

    Rubber tech, too, has come a long way. How many of those old gray Tioga tires did you see w/ the knobs sheared right off after only a few uses?

    Now? We've got tires up to 4" wide (surly!), DH Tires in the 2.5 - 3" range are the norm, Single-ply 2.3/2.4/2.5", double ply 2.25/2.3/2.4/2.5/2.65/2.7 - 3". XC tubless, DH tubeless, lightweight fat tires (Schwalbe Racing Ralph, Maxxis ADvantage, etc.). On top of that, each comes in a range of durometer ratings, so you can buy super tacky tires for wet & sloppy, hard tires for dry hardpack & durability on fireroads, etc.

    You name it... there's a tire for it.

    My personal favorite combo (so far) for how & where I like to ride? Maxxis super tacky high roller 2.35" single-ply rear w/ WTB weirwolf 2.5" front, both somewhere around 18 - 22 psi most of the time. Maybe 25 psi for blue marsh. Good compromise (again, for me) between weight, grip, rolling resistance and flat-resistance.

    I just put a cane creek thudbuster seatpost on my On-One this morning - so I might start running slightly higher pressure again since I shouldn't need the squishy tires to take the edge off anymore. Time will tell...

    Bonus points for anyone who remembers the reason for the huge Maxxis tire buy-one, get-one-free blowout circa fall 1993!
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  12. #12
    i want spring!
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    french creak

    i'm in Lambertville, NJ is it the same French Creek north of here?

    if so, can i get directions, i got my bike today, and with everything wet, i'm sure it will be even more interesting.

    ~db

    p.s. u think core creek is a swamp?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Bert
    i'm in Lambertville, NJ is it the same French Creek north of here?

    if so, can i get directions, i got my bike today, and with everything wet, i'm sure it will be even more interesting.

    ~db

    p.s. u think core creek is a swamp?
    No, it's nowhere near Lambertville. It's anywhere from 1.5 - 2 hrs west of there, near Birdsboro, PA.

    Instead, you should ride over to Triumph and have a few pints. Trails near you (High Rocks, etc) are going to be too soft to ride right now w/o doing some serious damage.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  14. #14
    i want spring!
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    Mmmm beer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    No, it's nowhere near Lambertville. It's anywhere from 1.5 - 2 hrs west of there, near Birdsboro, PA.

    Instead, you should ride over to Triumph and have a few pints. Trails near you (High Rocks, etc) are going to be too soft to ride right now w/o doing some serious damage.
    ah my bad. i was at Triumph at lunch time. Mmmm liquid lunch.

    ~Db
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  15. #15
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    Core is wet

    Jim!

    Yes Core Creek is very wet right now in all the usual places. It should be avoided for a while till things dry out. Stick and some ohers will be hitting Blue Marsh again this fall, so have a look at your calendar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Bert
    i'm in Lambertville, NJ is it the same French Creek north of here?

    if so, can i get directions, i got my bike today, and with everything wet, i'm sure it will be even more interesting.

    ~db

    p.s. u think core creek is a swamp?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    ... somewhere around 18 - 22 psi most of the time. Maybe 25 psi for blue marsh. ...
    ok, this has to be either tubeless or 29"er. anything below 35psi for me feels too squirmy and pinch flat prone.

    i'm on a 26"er with tubes.

  17. #17
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    bonus points, oh yeah!

    I've thought about it for a while. I give up.

    __________________________________________________ _________________________
    Quote:
    Bonus points for anyone who remembers the reason for the huge Maxxis tire buy-one, get-one-free blowout circa fall 1993![/quote]

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanceh
    ok, this has to be either tubeless or 29"er. anything below 35psi for me feels too squirmy and pinch flat prone.

    i'm on a 26"er with tubes.
    Nope, just 26" w/ tubes. It's all in the tire's volume and sidewall stiffness/durability. Granted, I only weigh about 150 lb (probably more like 160 w/ camelback, etc)... and I usually run some kind of small DH/"All Mountain" tire in the back.

    Been running ~ 20 psi for years in Intense DH, Tioga DH, and Maxxis rear tires. I can't remember the last time I got a pinch flat.

    Rode Blue Marsh yesterday with Tioga Yellow Kirin at an unusually "firm" 24 psi (as measured with floor pump in the parking lot), lol!
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  19. #19
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    Well, I'll give you a hint.

    These were the tires, and they were presumably rushed to-market to capitalize on the 'directional tread' trend that made Panaracer's Smoke & Dart such a hit:

    http://www.bikepro.com/products/tires/cst.html





    But we all know that haste makes waste, eh? Or, in this case, free tires!

    Any guesses now?

    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    I've thought about it for a while. I give up.

    __________________________________________________ _________________________
    Quote:
    Bonus points for anyone who remembers the reason for the huge Maxxis tire buy-one, get-one-free blowout circa fall 1993!
    [/QUOTE]
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  20. #20
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    Yes Yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by siv
    So Steve, when are you taking me to the "Creek" ?
    Zuch, let's get SIV and some of the other Sunday crew to make a road trip!

    Matt

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Nope, just 26" w/ tubes. It's all in the tire's volume and sidewall stiffness/durability. Granted, I only weigh about 150 lb (probably more like 160 w/ camelback, etc)... and I usually run some kind of small DH/"All Mountain" tire in the back.

    Been running ~ 20 psi for years in Intense DH, Tioga DH, and Maxxis rear tires. I can't remember the last time I got a pinch flat.

    Rode Blue Marsh yesterday with Tioga Yellow Kirin at an unusually "firm" 24 psi (as measured with floor pump in the parking lot), lol!
    after i posted i realized weight is gonna play a role in all of this. so i'm sure the 45lbs difference between us is contributing quite a bit.

    it's an interesting system you've got going there. may have to give it a try.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Any guesses now?
    i'm gonna guess that either the blocks tore off incredibly easy or they wore down incredibly fast.

  23. #23
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    That sounds good to me. Do you want to do it this sunday? I am interested in doing the long loop at blue marsh, I haven't done that yet. Let me know and I will email you my number... Steven Zucchi

  24. #24
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    Front-rear specific?

    Were they marketing the front wheel, real wheel specific tire for the first time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Well, I'll give you a hint.

    These were the tires, and they were presumably rushed to-market to capitalize on the 'directional tread' trend that made Panaracer's Smoke & Dart such a hit:

    http://www.bikepro.com/products/tires/cst.html





    But we all know that haste makes waste, eh? Or, in this case, free tires!

    Any guesses now?

    [/i]
    [/quote]

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    Were they marketing the front wheel, real wheel specific tire for the first time?
    [/QUOTE]

    It was Maxxis' first stab at it, yes.

    To lance's comment above - no they were pretty grippy tires and durability wasn't an issue. The problem was that the first run went to production & both tires (i.e. Viper front & Cobra rear) said 'For front wheel use only' on the sidewall - and somehow nobody at cheng Shin noticed until it was too late.

    So, they ran a promo in Mountain Bike magazine w/ a coupon you could redeem at any shop that sold the tires to get a free (mislabeled) Cobra w/ any Viper purchase. Besides the misprint on the sidewall (and, iirc, the 'rotating direction' arrow may have been backwards too...not sure), the tires were fine and hooked up pretty well. I remember taking my (then) girlfriend to a shop in Blakeslee to get a set for her bike, with the page torn out of MB mag. She got the green ones. I'm not sure if the blackwall version was also screwed up.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

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