THE Western Massachusetts Bike...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    THE Western Massachusetts Bike...

    Thanks to the generousity of Frank the Welder I had an opportunity to spend some extended time on a Sinister Ridge demo bike over the last week. I had to return it so others could get a chance on it (sniff).


    I just want to say that I have never ridden another bike more suited to the rocky, hilly, tight and rooty splendor of Western, MA riding than the Sinister Ridge. Perfect angles (really-it's quite inspired) and the stiffest rear end (even by burly hard tail standards) you'll ever through into a high speed technical turn. It even got this non-jumping non wheelie rider-well, jumping and riding wheelies.

    I was worried initially about the Aluminum (riugh ride) frame-but, whie you wouldn't mistake it for a suspension bike-it has a very compliant and solid-dare I say-comfortable feel that I never ffelt beat up by--in fact, it tracks smoother than my soft tail steel KHS solo one (which is a very minimalist soft tail to be sure--but still..).

    It's mot the quickest accelerating bike and I was thankful to have a 34t cassette on all the climbs, but it stability, stiffness and a general feeling of kid-like fun are important to your riding-check out the Sinister Ridge.

    It's a bike crafted by the best builder in the business in New England and for New England. And it sure rides like it. And it comes in Orange (and Black and Green if that's your bag)!

  2. #2
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    Sweet. What fork were you running?

  3. #3
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    The Bike had a 2005 Manitou Nixon 145 mm standard QR-NON-SPV type fork. Pretty Basic, but functional-not the Fork I ill use to build up one of my own (that''ll be a Pike)-but it certainly let me know how it rides with a full size fork on it.

  4. #4
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    I got to ride that green Ridge at D-Day at Lynn Woods and it was a whole lot more fun than I originally expected. It felt like it had a rear shock (good thing), yet, being a hardtail accelerated quickly. It was also really confidence inspiring and had me going almost (if not faster) than on my FS. I too was very sad to return it...but I had to be fair. The green looks awesome in the woods.
    I like bicycles. Bicycles make me happy. Riding them makes me even happier.
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  5. #5
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    This thread caught my eye a few days ago and have a few questions...

    But first, I weighed my bike and that pig weighs a stout 37lbs! No wonder I'm in the granny ring all the time... and I like interesting climbs as Fat Weasel may attest to.

    Anyway, what advantages would a hardtail have for our terrain around here? For me, I bet it would be lighter with the right build. Simplicity and then quality of craftsmanship, of course. But I'd think that rear sus. would be a huge benefit to most offroad riding. As much as the shock absorbs bumps, it also gets the wheel back down to traction on the rebound, right?

    Just wondering, as I'm thinking of getting a different bike sometime next year. Right now, thinking of Giant Trance X series or Kona Dawg or similar "fs trail" bike.

    Thanks,

    Red

  6. #6
    I like to ride my bike.
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    Redwarrior...to use the Ridge as an example, I found the hardtail to be more of a fun bike. It feels like you are mountain biking...just a simple, lightweight, stiff and FUN bike. The FS is just a more of a practical bike (in my opinion.) It's more comforitable, confidence inspiring, traction (as you mentioned) etc. Of course, with the right set up, a hardtail can feel this way to a certain extent. The Ridge I and Superbman rode had a great set up for these trails. It literally felt like it had a rear shock on the downhills. On the uphills, well, it's a hardtail, so it climed like a hardtail and although I got a bit bounced around, the climbs were not much more challenging.

    Try and ride a quality hardtail like the Ridge, I have a feeling one will be at the Wicked Ride at Harold Parker on Sunday. Probably a few Simon Bars and Mustangs too.
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  7. #7
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    One of our local riding buddies we call The Kid just built up a Mustang-we rode Wendell last night-I beat him down the Nipmuck-he torched me everywhere else (I was on a lighter dualie)-he absolutely blew my doors off going up Baker Rd-he swears it's the bike-I can't remember him riding faster. Sinister really has something going on.

    Redwarrior, I think ridefaster nailed it-Dualies are more practical-they offer more comfort, traction, I can't argue against them, they just make more sense--but, there's something just not sensible about mountain biking and the Ridge was just one of the most irresponsibly fun bikes I've ridden. It was also incredibly capable and balanced

    The low maintenance indestructibility of the burly hard tail is certainly appealing-and the raw feeling of a well-built, perfect geometry hard tail just feels like mountain biking to me. They're worth trying-it'll feel harsher-but honestly-once you get use to the feel, you might find it feels better, too.

    Liam

  8. #8
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    Just wondering is all. I like the cushiness of FS... getting soft as I age I guess. I have my '88 Rockhopper that I never grew into stripped to the frame in the basement. Trying to decide what to do with it. SS? Re-build as original 7spd? Not really sure. I am sure I need something lighter than my Mongoose, though. I'm going to be saving my pennies and test riding starting next spring. Hopefully by this time next year I'll be on something lighter.

    I got to ride Wendell 2 weeks ago Tuesday. Had a blast. Only the 2nd time I rode there and didn't really have much time. The first time Baker Rd. beat me down and Upper H. Swarton finished me. This time I breezed to the top of Baker and now that I can ride a bit, had a blast on UHS. Noticed a lot of logging going on on Wickett Pond Rd. (I park at the Dirth Rd. entrance) How much are they going to clear? Is that area actually in the park or ?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior
    Just wondering is all. I like the cushiness of FS... getting soft as I age I guess. I have my '88 Rockhopper that I never grew into stripped to the frame in the basement. Trying to decide what to do with it. SS? Re-build as original 7spd? Not really sure. I am sure I need something lighter than my Mongoose, though. I'm going to be saving my pennies and test riding starting next spring. Hopefully by this time next year I'll be on something lighter.

    I got to ride Wendell 2 weeks ago Tuesday. Had a blast. Only the 2nd time I rode there and didn't really have much time. The first time Baker Rd. beat me down and Upper H. Swarton finished me. This time I breezed to the top of Baker and now that I can ride a bit, had a blast on UHS. Noticed a lot of logging going on on Wickett Pond Rd. (I park at the Dirth Rd. entrance) How much are they going to clear? Is that area actually in the park or ?

    Logging-yep that is all in the park and they are in the process of clearing out 400 (!!!) acres. No trails will be affected-but still it's a huge chunk (there are zones off of brook rd as well). I'm looking to build trails through the logged zones (as they will be off-limits to logging for, well the rest of my biking life-time) -maybe something kind of jumpy and stunty, we'll see.

    Entrance is free to the park now-you don't have to park at Dirth rd . If you come up this way let me know, I'm happy to take folks around wendell. I'll show you the Robert Frost side if you don't already know it.

    Liam

  10. #10

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    Liam, the Kid usually blows everyone away,and some times you are the exception.
    redwarrior- Liam, Myself and a couple others recently completed a new trail in wendell, "The Mormon Hollow" after you exit the bottom of the Nipmuck-yea-ha! go left up Baker rd past the first plateau and climb half way up the next steeper section and look right and you will see the entrance.
    Note: Reserve your energy as this trail is still a little rough around the edges and is very challenging-enjoy the pain!. this trail connects to thew bottom of the Hanah, go left and climb the Hannah. Go right and take the fire roads or the M&M.
    Mark,

  11. #11
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    My trip to Wendell was impromptu. I was going to ride Greenfield Ridge but found myself with more time than expected so I got off 91 early and headed up through Sunderland to Wendell. When I got there I found a sign at Ruggles saying the gate closed at 4. It was around 2 so I didn't figure I'd make it so I parked up at Dirth. I like hauling butt down those dirt roads anyway!

    Thanks for the tip on the new trail. I've only ridden the trails outlined on the NEMBA rides section. Bailing off Baker at that plateau sounds good to me! I'll look for it next time.

    Red

  12. #12

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    if you ever are in need of a tour Liam (SuperbMan) usually has time during the week, contact him-he is a good tourguide-but a "lousy singer" but he will give you a quality high paced rippen' tour. or you can hook up with our group on the weekends or evenings and jump in at whatever pace suits you.
    He and I, and another friend Harold, built all the trails in wendell, so you couldent ask for better guides.
    pm either of us anytime.
    Mark Courtemanche
    VP Franklin County NEMBA
    [email protected]
    413-522-3204

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