Quick loop at Wiss/conditions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Quick loop at Wiss/conditions

    After getting the boy on the bus and dropping the Diva off at preschool, I hit the Wiss for a quick workout. Parked by Bruno's (you know, in case I was hungry after ) and headed out to the back side of Monster. Took a little time to enjoy the scenery and the sounds of the creek itself. Headed up the right side of the "Twins", stopped to let a runner by (a simple nod would've been nice, ya *****), chatted up a cute hiker (Okay, simply exchanged pleasantries), saw a beautiful red fox running the trail in front of me and hit Houston Meadows. Really loving that section, and the overgrowth is filling in nicely. I remember the first time I rode it thinking "Hmmm, nice rolling singletack in the middle of a "burned out" wasteland". It's really taking shape quite well and is a good change of pace after the climbs to get there. Monster on the way back down was, well, Monster.

    Overall I thought the conditions were very good. Only encountered two wet spots where there was runoff across Forbidden, the upper tails were Spring Dry, meaning not yet summer sparkly or dusty, and there were no signs of any new unwanted obstacles along this loop. I was saddened, however, that the massive tree that was laying over the one part of my climb was now cut out. I assume it had become a hazard but was one of my favorite visuals, and spooked a few newbs when they first encountered it.

    All in all a good start to the day.
    From last year:
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    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  2. #2
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    Sounds much better than my day at the office. Thanks for the encouragement to take a personal day this week.
    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"
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  3. #3
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    I'll be heading back out tomorrow for another "conditioning ride", meaning that I'll be cruising at a leisurely pace for the most part but still hitting the "ups". If anyone is interested, or in need of conditioning, let me know. I will say that I do enjoy the breaks as well as the workout, so if you're looking to move through it quickly enjoy your ride. As mentioned before, a big part of the experience for me is just being out there, chilling.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  4. #4
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    Spent the morning at Wiss again today. Same situation as the original post, though I did spend more time down there today. Managed to find my way to an area I hadn't ridden in quite some time and thoroughly enjoyed getting reacquainted. No pics, however, as time didn't really allow.

    Conditions were pretty good with just a few "mud pits" in low spots. Nice to see the tracks going through the middle.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  5. #5
    Chilling out
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    One of these days I really need to visit it again. Me a couple others hit it a few times late winter '10 while our home trails were socked-in with the deep white blanket, haven't been back.

    Of course, it brings one dangerously close to Ikea, which my gal loves, so there's benefits in staying away.

  6. #6
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    As a side note when i rode Belmont last week, much of the trail system was horribly overgrown with branches and prickly bushes. Is there a group that does trail maintenence out there, or is it up to the local cyclists to prune and groom?

    I dont mind going out and doing it myself but i dont want to get yelled at for illegally trimming bushes.

  7. #7
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    That is standard for Belmont. It sucks to ride there after the rains hit and the undergrowth takes over.

    Be careful doing maintenance, a militant group exists who do "trail maintenance." Someone should let them know that lining up branches along the sides of the trail is not functional. Inevitably the branches rot or get kicked into the middle of the trail.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't intend on changing any of the features of the trails (rocks, log-overs, reroutes), I just want to trim the branches that whack me in the face, and prickly bushes that grab my legs and are covered in blood sucking bugs.

    I just don't want to get beat up if one of these trail bosses catch me doing something they don't like.

  9. #9
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    You guys are talking about Wissahickon Park right? Live in Philly and just went riding out there for the first time last weekend. Amazing time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave12man View Post
    You guys are talking about Wissahickon Park right? Live in Philly and just went riding out there for the first time last weekend. Amazing time.
    Yessir! Glad you enjoyed it. I know you're probably not too familiar with it, but roughly how much did you do? And where did you "drop in"?
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  11. #11
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    Dropped in at the Lincoln Dr. turnoff. You're right I'm not terribly familiar just yet but pretty sure we covered most of the park that day. Had lunch at the cafe by Bells Mill Rd so we at least went to the other end and back.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave12man View Post
    Dropped in at the Lincoln Dr. turnoff. You're right I'm not terribly familiar just yet but pretty sure we covered most of the park that day. Had lunch at the cafe by Bells Mill Rd so we at least went to the other end and back.
    If you ate at Bruno's, that's where I usually start from. Depending on time, I'll ride Forbidden down to where it crosses over the creek, take a breather on the bridge, then head back on the first trail on the left (kind of borders a golf course). There's probably more difficult climbing that way however. Other times I'll head out on the Indian side
    and ride it out to the aforementioned bridge and do the same return route.

    As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, there are sections that I'm rediscovering or riding for the first timeand I've been riding there since '94-ish.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  13. #13
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    Man, there was a giant tree down right before the large square stone next to the tree before the hairpin turn into the wooden bridge. Gonna take some work with a chainsaw to get that sucker apart.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Man, there was a giant tree down right before the large square stone next to the tree before the hairpin turn into the wooden bridge. Gonna take some work with a chainsaw to get that sucker apart.
    Dude was just there yesterday and I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about. I stopped inches from that thing and remarked to my buddy that I need to come out here with a chainsaw before someone plows into it. There was another spot with a tree down too which you had to stop and climb over it so I might not be talking about the same area.

    Boxman, so far we've stuck to the right side of the creek (if you're heading down from Bruno's) but plan to check out the left side soon. We'll usually start around where the drainage pipe crosses that little valley and head on from there. Did a good 20 mile loop yesterday and had a blast. I can definitely see how you can still be finding things you haven't ridden yet though!

  15. #15
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    Hey on another note, curious to know what tires you guys are running? I'm using the WTB Nano 29 that came on my ride right now and I get a lot of tire spin going over rocks and whatnot. Granted I'm still learning and experimenting with the psi levels, but if you guys have a "go to" tire I's be interested in checking them out.

  16. #16
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    My HT had the Kenda Slant6 on it since last oct/nov and it has proven surprisingly capable front and rear for a small-knob roll-fast tire. Running 20-30 psi depending on trail. If weight balance bad the back *will* spin of course, but seems as long as my balance was right it held on to a lot of stuff - more than I expected it to in the wet and snow/slush in particular. Don't get me wrong, doesn't ride as if studded, just was manageable in horrid conditions and fast n reliable otherwise.

  17. #17
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    I rode on Sunday. Trails were in very good condition given all the heavy rain over the past week. I almost crashed into my buddy where the big tree is down.

    I ride a 26" full suspension. I have a 2.2 Specialized Purgatory Control in the rear with a 2.3 Clutch Control up front running 26 psi tubeless. I like the Purgatory for the rear wheel not so much up front, very good traction and rolls well. I tried running it up front, but I had trouble with it washing out. Others swear by the Purgatory and ride it front and rear. They do make make it in a 29" tire.

  18. #18
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    Cool thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll definitely be checking them out.

  19. #19
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    nano raptor is a horrible tire for around here in my opinion.

    unlike the previous poster i am running a purgatory up front and i really like it (29er ss).

    in the back i currently like maxxis tires but have had plenty of decent tires from other brands. i recommend a crossmark for summer and an ignitor for the softer winter conditions.

    but really tires are way personal.

    if you want real nice tires i'd go with some schwalbes they are out of my budget but are REALLY nice. i'll be putting one of these on as soon as my LBS can get one to replace the worn out thing i have out back now:
    Rapid Rob HS 391 | Schwalbe North America

    we'll see how the cheap wirebead schwalbe compares...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave12man View Post
    Hey on another note, curious to know what tires you guys are running? I'm using the WTB Nano 29 that came on my ride right now and I get a lot of tire spin going over rocks and whatnot. Granted I'm still learning and experimenting with the psi levels, but if you guys have a "go to" tire I's be interested in checking them out.
    On the 29er hardtail, I'm running Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.25 tubeless front and back.
    On the 26" full suspension, I'm running a Maxxis Ignitor up front and a Maxxis High Roller in the rear. Both tubeless.
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  21. #21
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    Yeah Nobby Nics are waaaaay out of my price range but I'm interested to see how those Rabid Robs work for ya. I have some Ultremo ZXs on my road bike and love the way Schwalbes work.

    The Specializeds seem like good options too, and I've been hearing some good stuff about Panaracer Rampages and Kenda Nevegals too. Hmmm decisions decisions...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave12man View Post
    Yeah Nobby Nics are waaaaay out of my price range...
    Still cheaper than the Hans Dampf 29ers!
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  23. #23
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    I ride Racing Ralph's (front and rear) on my 29 HT there. But if I rode more often there I (especially in the Fall) I would definately have to put a Nobby Nic up front.

  24. #24
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    I ride a 26 full or a 26 HT in Wiss. Over the last 12 years I've experimented with different tires. It seems to be a personal preferance as Max says. The common characteristics of tires that work well in the Wiss are medium size and spaced knobs with a diamond pattern or decent distribution across the entire tire width. Wiss is rocky and generally loose to soft because of the mica/sandy type of soil, so you need something that grips well on rocks, digs into the soft and sheds the mud.

    I agree the Nano Raptor is not a good tire for Wiss or anywhere in our area (small knobs tight spacing, better for hardpack out West) I ran a Hutchinson Scorpion for a long time, it worked well for me and I really liked it. I don't think you can get them anymore. I'm now running a WTB Prowler XT that has been pretty good, usually on sale at Pricepoint, I will probably buy another when it wears out.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  25. #25
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    I've had success with the Panaracer Smoke/Dart combo over the years (was told elsewhere they were old technology. But they work FOR ME), or similar tread patterns. In fact, I just put a new pair on my FS rig. My HT is wearing IRC Mythos and they've been OK, though they seem to lack just a bit while climbing over rocks.I also feel the sidewalls are lacking any sort of protection. They were a budget buy so it's no great loss to replace them.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave12man View Post
    I've been hearing some good stuff about Panaracer Rampages and Kenda Nevegals too.
    i really like the rampage up front (nevegal too since it is very similar). out back those tires have too much rolling resistance for me.

    i pretty much roll the biggest most aggresive tire i can find up front. out back i susally find the best rolling tire i can get away with for the conditions.

    the signal for me to change the summer tire out is when the leaves finally get deep and slippery in the fall.

    i'll be out there tonight if it doesn't rain. i broke a spoke on each of my last three mtb rides time to break that streak. won't have any $$$ for new tires if i keep spending it on spokes and bikeshop labor.

  27. #27
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    Lbs

    Max-a-mill - I think you live in Rox? Who's your LBS for repairs, are they pretty fast, and are you happy with their work. I have something I need worked on that is a little beyond my expertise.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  28. #28
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    The West side trails were quite nice today, only three very small mud bogs from 4 feet to 8 feet long.

    As for tires, anything will work out at the Wiss. More important than any one tire is the body english and technique required to ride the varied terrain there without dabbing.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    Max-a-mill - I think you live in Rox? Who's your LBS for repairs, are they pretty fast, and are you happy with their work. I have something I need worked on that is a little beyond my expertise.
    i do indeed!

    i am currently taking my stuff to wissahickon cyclery. they are very nice dudes and do good work. everyone who works there is a mountainbiker and commutes to work through the wiss. Ed Bush also gives back a ton to the local scene by hosting thursday nights at belmont; a philly summer bike race tradition.

    the only problem i have going there is having to avoid drooling on all those beautiful engin's that are way out of my price range.


    geofss - only tire i ever had (in 29er size) i couldn't ride was the wtb exiwolf. that tire is unsafe at any speed (under me at least); i've never spent so much time on the ground. imho you need some knobs on your tires for them to to work round these parts. but then i knew a guy who is faster than i was who liked em fine round here. again tires are very personal.

  30. #30
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    Just found out a friend of a friend has some little used Nevegals that he's going to let me try out. How's that for luck? Hopefully I'll be able to take advantage of the weekends weather! Thanks for all the suggestions!

    I'll also have to keep in mind Wissahickon Cyclery, always good to know there's good guys around the corner. Living in the city I usually take my rides to Breakway Bikes and have always had good experiences with them.

  31. #31
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    Here's the tree that's down"


    EDIT:
    I put the rear wheel from my Fuel on the 29er to see how that felt.
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Here's the tree that's down"


    EDIT:
    I put the rear wheel from my Fuel on the 29er to see how that felt.
    Yup that's the one

  33. #33
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    I found that one on Saturday. I had trouble climbing over it. Felt like an idiot

  34. #34
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    i find that log is easiest if you just stay on the one side of it (the other side of the bike pictured) and just roll your bike along the top of the log. went through there 2x sunday once in each direction; neither time with what i would call any grace or style.

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