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  1. #1
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    the V3 RFX and climbing

    Alright. I’ve had theV3 RFX for a good month now and have had it on most of the trails that I like to compare bikes on. It’s been on trail rides, 3000’ shuttle runs and dirt jumps. I’ve finally got it setup just how I want it after trying 3 different forks on it. An 07 Float 36, 06 66 ETA, and now the 06 Z1 light. I’ve established that this here cycle has just the right geo for big time versatility. In terms of cornering, climbing, jumping, etc it does all well.

    It’s the climbing aspect that compels me to write about it today though. I think we all know that it handles great and was made lighter to be more capable at the AM thing.

    I’ve got this trail that we use to access a really challenging descent strewn with sandstone shale chunks and is really narrow and twisty. The climb is one of those where you get in your head that this is absolutely not rideable and a lot of pushing is required. It is after all a hiking trail. I start in the 22/34, maybe 1 cog down and get on the nose of the saddle and pick away at the few sections that are rideable and try to make 100 feet at a time. There are 1’ tall rock ledges and buried log water bars that are fun to air if coming down this trail. When I approach each one I want to lunge at them but am usually spent by the time I make it there and meagerly get my front wheel up and spin out. I’ve tried this goddamn miserable climb on every bike I’ve owned and had the best luck on my 1995 Y22 that was 23lbs.I was an XC nazi back then and still only cleaned 70% of this mofo and went anaerobic 10 times. Since then I’ve been on long travel trail or freeride bikes and pretty much just push 50% of it and struggle the rest. I just take my time and rest up so I don’t get too sweaty so I can enjoy the gnarly DH on the backside.

    This brings me to last night’s Black Diamond Wednesday night ride. I now have the travel adjustable fork and am ready to do battle. I’m looking foreword to seeing how much I can make but have no real expectations. With my Z1 light wound down to 130mm travel (ETA is useless on this climb). I start the punishment by trying the first moral busting move which is riding up 5 rocky cement stairs to access the trail. There is a tight bridge before the stairs so there is no way to get speed. I’ve never seen anyone make it up them before. I slam them and push. Whoa! I made it! V Dub and Scott try it 3 times each after seeing me pull it off with to avail. I’m wondering if it was luck or what. I look up the trail and it is loose rock and a rain rut in the middle with ice in it. Good luck pal. I get a good spin going and begin my attack. The RFX is in the granny and my hands are sorta low and the steering is quick. With the fork at 130 I’m still centered on the bike well enough to get even pressure on the tires to keep them from slipping without having to crouch too much. I make the first ledge step- sweet- keep going! I’m on this tiny strip of dirt trying not to touch the ice. Hitting rocks that are fist sized and trying not to shoot them out from under me as I creep up. I’ve made it up to the first switchback and pull that too! The other guys lights are already way down in the distance. Man I’ve been on my bike for about 4 minutes and am at max heartrate. Another seemingly impossible ledge goes under my tires and I’ve hit a new personal record. I sputter to a stop on the next one. I’m blown! I’m thinking about the BB height, seat tube angle, fork height, pivot location and am seeing stars. Have I found the ultimate rock crawling setup?
    After catching my breath I continue with the same luck. At the top as I unwind my fork I realize I made 90% of the Impossible Climb. There’s frozen frost on my goatee. I’m looking down in the city. The guys reach the top and are aghast at my achievement. I’m so amped I feel like I can conquer anything. We drop our seats and prepare for the Red Butte Rock Drop. V Dub’s behind me and that alone gets me amped since he’s the most talented rider I know. I usually walk this move and it’s nighttime. I two wheel slide in and thread the needle. It’s like riding through the jaws of a shark. I survive and V Dub is doing his sinister laugh that means he made it through something that scared even him. We’re down 100 feet below and see Scott come to a stop above it. He hikes up and gets ready. V Dub and I are silent- we know this could get ugly. Oh crap! He is flying upside down and his HID beam is spinning like a lighthouse tower. His RFX is cartwheeling. He’s moaning. I’m hiking back up. He’s holding his wrist but gets up and rides down. Bummer.

    I’m really stoked that this here new RFX is just dialed for my kind of riding. Not sure but with the higher BB combined with the travel adjustable fork this model might even out climb a 5 Spot if it is extremely rocky even though it is heavier. Thanks DT

    Since my Z1 is an 06 and the 07 doesn’t have travel adjust aside from ETA I would recommend the following 2007 forks for the V3 RFX :
    Zoke 66SL
    RS Lyric U turn or 2 step
    Fox 36 Talas

    Enjoy the ride, Krispy
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Sorry for the busy looking acessories-hey it's winter!
    Last edited by krispy@go-ride.com; 11-16-2006 at 11:10 AM.
    Currently enjoying life Giant Trance Advanced 27.5/Rockshox Pike/Sram XX1
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  2. #2
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    Sounds awesome, could you post some pics of the uphill and downhill sections you speak off, curious to see this. Thanks

  3. #3
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    Ignitor?

    Krispy,
    Great review! Sounds like a killer ride.

    How are you liking that rear tire...Ignotor? I think. What size is it, and how does it perform?

    Thanks,
    TG

  4. #4
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    thanx krisp! ya gots me more excited about mine than ever. is it jan yet?? how about now? how about now?......

    ps: hope scotts ok.
    pps: whats yer thoughts on the am 1 sl? seems a good match for the air rear. id dig hearin yer opinion.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  5. #5
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    I gotta get into shooting photos at night,since it's 50% of my riding right now.

    It's an Ignitor 2.1 UST with a Maxxis strip and some Stans. It is pretty damn good. it's 70 duro so it slips a little but i really like the tread. it gets good traction up and down and rolls well. I run 30-32 PSI. I like UST casing in the back for extra protection from sidewall tears. I'll be swiching to a 2.3 paddle tire of some sort soon as snow is setting in.
    Currently enjoying life Giant Trance Advanced 27.5/Rockshox Pike/Sram XX1
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  6. #6
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    Yer gettin one? Retirin the 02? How will we recognise ya?
    Currently enjoying life Giant Trance Advanced 27.5/Rockshox Pike/Sram XX1
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  7. #7
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    yep. its ordered. i knew as soon as i rode it the '02 was up for sale. if i coulda, id have taken home a demo but alas i was denied, bought chigs build kit, then the med demo became avail again. too late for me. whole bike only, no frame as a stand alone and no way to afford the entire shootin match. so ill continue to wait for my bronze beauty.

    the SPaaNB is on the mtbr classys but its slow goin unless i wanna part it out. tell ya what pal, ill toss some blue on it so ya dont have to struggle to find my slow ass. that is if ya dont mind waitin up top for a spell.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  8. #8
    Amphibious Technologies
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    Dude, I don't wanna hear that.

    I'm happy with my 6 Pack, I'm happy with my 6 Pack, (repeat 100X)....
    "The best you've ridden is the best you know" - Paul Thede, Race Tech

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispy@go-ride.com
    ...Itís the climbing aspect that compels me to write about it today though. ...At the top as I unwind my fork I realize I made 90% of the Impossible Climb...
    ...OK, I'm calling BS on this one...as we all can see there is NO horst link on that bike. The climb you described would be IMPOSSIBLE to climb on a single pivot bike like your Kona


  10. #10
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    It's only possible on a mostly active,not too active, not too semi active in the granny V3 RFX!!!

    Actually DT bight be half brilliant half lucky that the pivot is where it is.The bb, being at 14.1, and the fact that the bike shares the 5 Spot rear forced him to move the pivot more rearward to get the CS length and tire/seatstay/upper yoke clearance. This gives the bike a slightly rearward inital wheelpath that gives the bike a hint of firmness in the granny that keeps the bike digging in and moving foreward without interfearing with fluid pedaling. IT ROCKS!
    Currently enjoying life Giant Trance Advanced 27.5/Rockshox Pike/Sram XX1
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  11. #11
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    Try that climb on a Sultan and see how you like it.

    My 29"er has totally changed what I think is cleanable on the climb. I have personally never found the bikes limit although I have found mine many times.

    Great post. Technical climbing is fun (and rarely breaks things).
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  12. #12
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    comoooooooooooooon january! maybe if i say it 3 times in a row....

    january!
    january!
    january!

    nope. i got nuthin. oh, wait! looky here! its this years penthouse centerfold! ill see you guys on monday.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  13. #13
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    I'm 5"4...no niner in my future,and i would need those Surly cranks with a 20t ring!!

    My ass rubs a tire on a 6" bike-I don't want a bear print of a niner on my crack!

    i can see the merits of a niner on techy climbs though! Big contact patch!
    Currently enjoying life Giant Trance Advanced 27.5/Rockshox Pike/Sram XX1
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispy@go-ride.com
    I don't want a bear print of a niner on my crack!
    ...sissy! It's what you call initiation (hazing) into the fraternal order of 9'er

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Try that climb on a Sultan and see how you like it.

    My 29"er has totally changed what I think is cleanable on the climb.
    ...W3rD!!! I am loving the Sultan so far. I can't wait 'til my new Hopes get here so I can test out the new Roco Air I mounted up to it yesterday


  15. #15
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    if i DID make it up on a niner how would i get back down? Helicopter? The way i came up? NEVER!

    is there a 160mm travel Sultan yet? In small?

    OK back to the RFX
    Currently enjoying life Giant Trance Advanced 27.5/Rockshox Pike/Sram XX1
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  16. #16
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    damn i wish i could run photosnot! id build ya a med sultan with a inverted camel hump top tube and a rear facein thomson stem. oh cheesey!
    No, I'm NOT back!

  17. #17
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    Great write-up!

    I know you have/had a 575. How would you compare the v3 RFX to that in terms of climbing?

    All this talk lately about RFXs has made me curious. Then seeing Barney on a 6-pack (I'm about her height) was getting me to think about a used one (or blowout if there are any left).

    crazyhouse

  18. #18
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Smalls are hard to find. I looked for a while.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispy@go-ride.com
    ...is there a 160mm travel Sultan yet?
    ...hey, don't think I haven't been toying with the idea of slapping the Sultan stays on my RFX. MMMmmm, 6" of Avy controlled 29er goodness. That still leaves me with only 115mm of REBA up front....OK, scratch that


  20. #20
    Living the Dream
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    What year and model Reba

    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter
    That still leaves me with only 115mm of REBA up front....OK, scratch that
    do you have for your 29er where you're getting 115mm of travel? I could only find an 80-100mm model. I have the 06 or 07 Race for my Niner SIR. It is set to 100mm and I can really notice the difference in plushness between the 115mm model I had on my 26 SS. You don't know if the Race is adjustable to 115mm of travel, do you?

    Thanks!
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenglow
    do you have for your 29er where you're getting 115mm of travel? I could only find an 80-100mm model. I have the 06 or 07 Race for my Niner SIR. It is set to 100mm and I can really notice the difference in plushness between the 115mm model I had on my 26 SS. You don't know if the Race is adjustable to 115mm of travel, do you?

    Thanks!
    I have the 07 Reba SL. 100-115mm travel is indicated on both the slider decals & the manual. I haven't changed travel as of yet.

    ...according to the manual, the 07 race is adjustable.


  22. #22
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    Krispy, I find a lot of the same attributes that you described on my 06 RFX, too. Your description as a rock crawler is perfect. I can make moves on my usual winter technical trail on the RFX at a slow, controlled speed that the Spot needs a lunge to make. Kinda weird, but I've experienced it often enough to know it's true. But after a long ride, in the evening especially, my legs do feel the difference between the 29 lb Spot and 34 lb RFX. In regular climbing, the Spot seems much more efficient, but in the gnar, the RFX blows it away.

    I seriously doubt the new RFX climbs technical stuff any better than my 06. I will keep repeating this until I am brainwashed, since this is not a "new bike year" for me!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenglow
    do you have for your 29er where you're getting 115mm of travel? I could only find an 80-100mm model. I have the 06 or 07 Race for my Niner SIR. It is set to 100mm and I can really notice the difference in plushness between the 115mm model I had on my 26 SS. You don't know if the Race is adjustable to 115mm of travel, do you?

    Thanks!
    Do you really need another 15mm of travel?

    I find that 29" wheels seem to have an almost 1.5 or 2.0 to 1 ratio of suspension performance compared to 26" wheels. What I mean is, a rigid 29er front end feels like a 26er with 2" of travel.

    My 29er's Reba at 100mm feels like the 5" of fork travel I have on a 26" hardtail.

    I can't imagine needing another 15mm of travel if you already get 100mm.

  24. #24
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    Of Course

    Quote Originally Posted by The Chan
    Do you really need another 15mm of travel?
    I am soon going to have a 66 SL ATA on my RFX so 100mm feels pretty shallow on my xc bike. Plus, on a hardtail it seems like the fork works harder than on a full suspension. If the Reba was on a Sultan or Flux, I probably wouldn' t want the extra 15mm. But, like I said, last year I had the 115mm version on my 26" Ti singlespeed and I can tell the difference between it and the 100mm version. I do notice the extra cush of the 29er in the rear wheel more than the front.
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  25. #25
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    In that case, I suggest going fully PinkBike and putting a White Brothers 6" travel dual crown fork on that SIR.

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