Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Day

Another day, more sitting with my foot in the air.  Today was a little busier work-wise, so that made things a bit easier, but damn if it's not hard to sit idle while my body (foot) heals itself.  The amazing part of this, is that I cannot help but think that if this were a hundred years ago, I'd more than likely be dead or have an infection nasty enough to take my foot and possibly my leg.  Ok, maybe that's not fair, a hundred and FIFTY years ago and I woulda been a goner.  Hmmm....

In other news, and for all you tech heads, I've decided to switch things up with my Stumpy FSR EVO.  About a week ago I sold a fork, which netted me enough to order some new Crossmax SX wheels below.
The attractive part of these particular wheels, for me, was the fact that they will fit both my bikes.  Both my rides, the '11 Spesh Endruo EVO and the '12 Stumpy FSR EVO, run a fork that uses a 20mm thru axel.  However, both bikes run different rear wheel spacing and axels.  The Enduro runs a traditional 135mm quick release, while the Stumpy runs a 142mm wide, 12mm thru axel.  I can't say that I actually notice the difference in stiffness between the two, but as bike companies go, progression is king and riders have to deal with different standards for different models, years, bikes, etc.  Anyhow, With the Crossmax wheels I'm covered.  Obviously the front wheel won't be an issue, but if I want to swap the wheels between bikes, all I have to do is swap things around, add some spacers, and I'm all set.

Next, for the Stumpy, I chose to swap out the original 2x10 setup for a 1x10.  I've run this before, and the simplicity is something that I think most riders take for granted.  With the newer 10 speed option that mountain bikers now have, for most situations it's possible to find a gearing that is just about as close to "do it all" as you can get.  For me that's running a 34 tooth ring up front, with a 11-36 tooth cassette in back.  In a cross country racing setting this might be a different case, but for the type of riding I do, it's perfect.  So, I ordered up a new RaceFace 34 tooth chainring and a E13 LG1 Plus chain guide.
D_075 EVILW9.jpg
D_080 RACSR1.jpg
I intend to do the same to the Enduro at a later time, but for the time being it's staying the way it is.  That is, with the exception of putting some heavier weight springs in both the coil rear shock and coil fork that the bike runs.  I love the plushness of the softer springs it now has, but with that, I give up the "big hit" capabilities that it has.  That is, it's great in chunky, flat rock gardens, but when the trail turns down, or big drops come without a smooth transition (read: a landing flat as hell!), both the fork and the shock bottom out.  Now, I'm a fan of a slight bottoming out-that's usually how I know that I'm running the right pressures or spring tensions-when hitting the larger drops, but I wasn't quite comfortable with how the Enduro was bottoming out.

So that's it for now.  Just a few upgrades and swap outs.  I'm probably most excited about the wheels, but going to a 1x10 setup is just so much fun.  It's a small change, but simplicity is something that, in my opinion, makes mountain biking more fun.  Though there's a limit, and I certainly wouldn't want to ride a bike without the advances of suspension, dropper posts, and tubeless tires, it's still nice to have one less thing to think about when you're out on the trails, not to mention one less cable running in the "birds nest" of cables parked out in front of most people's handlebars.

Switching gears back to my foot, I'm actually ok with this little bit of a layoff.  It's a pain, yes, particularly with this being the best week of weather that we've had in the Northeast all year (as if this winter wasn't mild enough!).  I love the heat and we've had plenty of it.  Temperatures in the 70's and 80's have me on the edge of my seat wanting to get on two wheels.  Still, being off my bikes for now gives me a greater appreciation for them, and allows me to reconnect with myself as a person and not just a bike rider.  After all, I don't get paid to ride bikes.  I ride because I love the hell out of it and it keeps me healthy.  Well, when I'm not bashing my foot into objects and bearing witness to the inner workings of said foot that is.  But all too often I forget that I'm a multi faceted person, with plenty of interests, desires, and goals.  It's important not to forget that.

I'll keep thinking of things to do to my bikes, and ways to change them when I'm not riding, but at the same time I'll allow my thoughts to funnel elsewhere, giving me the opportunity to keep and develop my other skills and talents.  Being one dimensional is fine for some, but for me it's a dangerous recipe for disaster, one which I wish to avoid given experiences of the past.  As they say, you learn from experience, and knowing myself, I'm more productive and feel better when my attention is spread in different ways.  I'm happy for a change, but excited to get back to it.

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