Friday, July 20, 2007

08 Specialized - Back from Salt Lake

Hey all! I'm back!


I spent a few days with the best and brightest at Specialized out in Salt Lake City. Boy is there a lot of new product!

On the right, we have the new Enduro in kandy korn color. I love it. Just like a Fender Strat. On the left, we have the re-designed stump fsr. Good color. It seems like there is a lot going on color-wise with the mountain bikes. I really like it. Look for the 08 stuff to be pretty exciting-looking. I complemented the designer. It's about time.

Bottom-left is Lars, taking a bite out of the new 120mm FutureShock fork from Specialized. 1 1/8" upper steerer, 1.5" lower bearing. 3.2lbs at almost 5" of travel. It's the same internals (almost) as the rear shock. It rides pretty well. There's no travel adjust (I don't mind) which helps keep the weight down. It's a real weight on that Sworks Stump FSR at 23.5lbs. And the bike is STIFF! I've been riding the 06 version and there is a difference that I actually noticed.

I REALLY like the new Captain tire. Ned said that he wanted a little more volume in the 2.0 size casing (as do I) but we'll probably see a 2.1 or 2.2 before they redesign that 2.0. It rides better than the new 2.3 Eskar tire, if you ask me. The Captain has three rows of knobs (side to side) where the Eskar has a lower set of lugs and only two rows.

We rode up at Deer Valley above Salt Lake. Good trails, not too challenging. There were a few skinnies and drops and one big, slow teeter-totter that I almost went face-first into behind Lars. It dropped SLOW! It gave me some ideas for stuff we might be able to do at Patapsco. I managed to ride an 8' long 4x4, mid-trail on all the bikes I rode. The upper part of the trails were fast, super-loose and fun. Dropping the shoulder on some of those berms tested my will. I only went down once, into a stand of trees when the front wheel let loose on a little left-hander-'S'-turn on the Enduro. Medium speed, I'm ok, don't worry...

I managed to be sitting at the top of the mountain collecting my demo bike when Eric Johnson from FL came off the lift. He rolled down the ramp and leaned right. Both tires came out from under him and he broke his ankle. He was laying flat on his back and his foot was pointing 90 degrees to the right. 'Severe angulation' was what the EMT said. After laughing REALLY HARD at him when he fell, I apologized and waited with him until they evacuated him down the mountain. I even helped pick his 6'2" 210lb arse off the ground into the 6-wheeler. Pins, plates and surgery awaited him on Wed. Get well...

As I mentioned before, there is a new rocker-link design of the Stumpjumper FSR bikes. Also, the 29'er Stump FSR (103mm travel) bike is out. Little brother of Enduro is the Pitch (heavier, cheaper, single-crown, rad), WAY more carbon bikes, new saddles, tires, helmets, shoes... wow.

Finally, bottom right is Lars, waiting for a way down the mountain after we were left by the shuttle bus. We were too busy waiting with 'Mr Broken Leg' Johnson at the top of the mountain.

Here are some pics. I got to ride the new SL2 road bike at 14.5lbs (stock, w/pedals) and it's nice. Duh. It should be for around $8k. The new stump fsr bikes ride great as well. Just more fun.

Here are some pics from the event. I spent more time looking at stuff and talking to people than taking pics. This is my fourth (?) year at this event with Specialized and it's better than Reno. Next year is at Copper in Colorado. That's good.


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