Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fork Ace test and daily musings




I thought for sure that it would be a day or two until I would get a ride in, but the usual Colorado sun did it's work and a lot of it melted so by lunch time, I was ready for a ride.

Therefore, I took the Moots Mooto-XZ 29er for it's maiden voyages with Fork Ace high volume enhancer. I had not been on the 29er for a while, so it felt a bit alien to me. The frame felt monstrously large and the layout was a bit more old school, so I was stretched out in the cockpit a bit more than my compact Mojo. It was also obvious that it took a lot more cranking to get the big wheels up to speed. My usual slow poke method of spinning along was a bit tougher with those massive wheels.

I went up my familiar Black Pearl trail, and it wasn't until I got to some rough terrain that I started to bottom out the fork. I was getting the entire stroke length for the first time ever for the Fox F29., I was running 60lbs which is my usual pressure, so since it was bottoming, I went to 65, then 70 and finally 75. I think 75 made the fork to firm so I will try 72.5 next time. I also think I need to add a bit of oil to bring the static sag up just a bit since I was sitting pretty deep in the sag which didn't leave as much range of the travel to play in.

Therefore, how was the Fork Ace? I really liked this unit, it gave me the full travel of the fork, and it seemed plusher, and had a nice linear feel, and it felt much better in the deep portion of the travel. I will play with the oil to help with a sag issue, else it is a great addition to the bike and worth the extra weight for the performance enhancement it brings to the fork.

I found riding the 29er again very interesting. The big tires rolled over stuff that I usually would feel but those big tires wear you out quickly if you are not used to them. Going off larger ledges was fun. You would think that all that shorter amount of suspension would make it more difficult but worked just fine due to the large wheel size. I did notice that my hand and wrists took a bit more abuse than with my 26er Mojo with 140mm of travel. I would like to have a DT Swiss for the 29er, I think it would add to the rear end of the bike very well. I will put it on the list of things to test.

The trails were in good condition with only some snow here and there, and it was not enough to cause any issues with riding through the rockier sections of the trails. The temperature did drop quickly so I decided it wasn't going to be a long riding afternoon. I had added a new drop down piece so that it was easier to drop into the lower stupid trail from the Mt Herman road shortcut.Although it was an easier way, it was still a steep mini drop into the trail and a bit scary, you had to do a quick slow speed turn, and then it drops down some sloppy rocks onto the trail. A nice addition to the cutoff so you don't have to stop.

Speaking of testing, my New Years 29er idea is to have a Manitou Elite 130 IT and a DT Swiss with a slightly longer eyelet length and longer stroke. I would run the fork at 100-110mm for most riding and climbing and then for downhill and rough terrain run it at 130. Hopefully, I will be able to also remove the taller Chris King 5mm fork crown, which is needed for the Fox F29 soit doesn't hit the bike downtube.

Speaking of snow it started again tonight and left another dusting.
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