Friday, May 11, 2007

Enduro SL Hits Patapsco

I finally got a chance to ride the new Enduro SL on my HOME TRAILS! It's one thing to spend a few days at Tahoe riding new bikes down the hill with a lift-assist, but it's quite another to rock your home break with new stuff.

Tom was interested in checking out the bike so I borrowed a bike from our local Spec'd rep (his bike) for some product testing. We hit Patapsco, of course.

I'll spare you the details, but the bike climbs as well as it descends. It's super efficient at climbing, to be sure. I was standing and climbing up some steep, rocky stuff and there was no problems. No wallowing in the suspension at all. On the down side of the trail, the bike tracks AMAZINGLY well, even when you hop a root and tap a tree next to you with the rear wheel in the air. (I won't tell Blaze about that).

One really cool thing that I noticed was the valving. Tom and I switched bikes and he dropped about 12-15 lbs of air pressure in the shock to ride it. I didn't mess with it because Blaze (bike's owner) is a full 25lbs lighter than I am so I thought it would be plush. After Tom rode it and gave it back to me, I barely noticed a difference in how the shock performed. I'm used to a shock being pretty sensitive to where it is sitting in the stroke and the spring-rate curve. On the Fox rear shocks that I'm used to, you can change how the bike handles based on the amount of air it in because you are changing where the piston is in it's travel. Maybe that's made up, but that's what I feel. Anyhow, the Spec'd shock on the Enduro SL didn't feel different at all. It felt a little more plush, sure, but the actual force to open it up and get it to move was the EXACT SAME as before. That to me means the valving is more independent of piston position than other stuff. It feels pretty similar to the bikes with the Twin Tube technology from Cane Creek. I'll have to tell Malcolm, he'll be pissed.

So, I love the bike and want one even more than I did before. If I can score a carbon one, I'll race that sucker all year. It floats, it slices, it dices, it Juliennes! This bike is a lot of fun and it's a keeper. 6" of travel below 30lbs is a Holy Grail if you ask me. If I can get the carbon Enduro SL down to around 27lbs, it's race-worthy fo sho. I'll keep dreaming about that while I'm riding my other rad bike all day long.

I also got to spend some time on the new The Captain tires. I'm not stoked about running a 2.0 tire on a 6" travel bike but it really makes you focus on the suspension. You can really feel these things squirm under load, especially during the slower-speed stuff when it's rocky or rooty. I found it pretty easy to break these tires free when the speeds turned up. They stuck to the rocks no problem and they never let me get too out of control. They were prototypes, but they are looking pretty good. If we can squeeze a 2.2 or 2.3 out of Specialized, things will be good. It's fast, it's round, it's fun. Welcome to 'The Captain.'

Next week is 24hrs of Conyers. It's the second Granny Gear race of the season and the second for the City Bikes Mtn Bike Team. We've got a fast team put together so I'm stoked. Me, Steve Viers, Kent Baake and Jonathan Wheaton. All faster than me and I'm no slouch these days. I do have every intention of returning to slouch-hood around Halloween, however. Mark that day on the calendar, please!


At 10:15 AM, Blogger Ryan Morris said...

This bike is SICK! How much does it go for? I tried to follow the link in your entry, but got met with a dead link.

BTW, the blog looks awesome! Keep it up!

Check out some of mine when you get a chance:


At 12:29 PM, Blogger Big Daddy Mike said...

They go from $3300 all the way up over $6k. You tech guys can afford it!

At 9:13 PM, Blogger gwadzilla said...

that bike does look sick!

what are you racing in Georgia?

your Specialized I presume!

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Big Daddy Mike said...

Yup, Sworks stumpy carbon. I love that thing!


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