Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Enduro EVO Build

Swapped out a few things for the following parts:
MRP Mini G2 Chainguide (1x10)
Mavic Crossmax SX Wheels
Easton Havoc Bars (750mm)
Easton Havoc Stem (50mm)
RaceFace Chainring (34t)
Specialized Command Post Blacklight

I love this bike.  It just feels right.  A couple weeks ago (the last time I rode, in fact), I rode with a guy named Jeff.  Jeff is a terrific rider and said something I'd never heard before.  Something that, in a lot of ways, is quite profound.  He said, "If you don't notice it, it's good."  Pretty simple really, but a concept looked over by a lot of riders.  We get caught up in the hype of new bike parts, lighter equipment, and state of the art technology, that we forget the most important aspect of any bike: How it rides!

I think as a former roadie, I'm oblivious to the fact that I shouldn't notice the bike underneath me.  Truth is, with the exception of the fit, a road bike is a road bike.  Sure, materials like carbon, steel, aluminum, and titanium all have a different feel-I won't argue that.  Some offer smoother rides, some offer stiffness over comfort, and yet some others offer responsiveness.  Some give you a lively feel, while others may leave you feeling as if you're riding a piece of wood.  What I'm getting at here, is that a road is a road.  All road bikes are going to be predictable in that they all are meant to be ridden on relatively smooth and predictable surfaces.  Don't give me the argument that routes like that of Paris-Roubaix are riddled with cobbles.  Sure, that's an exception, but it's still much smoother than the rocks mountain bikes roll over.

Nature is unpredictable and therefore mountain bikes need to be able to handle whatever comes their way.  Suspension, geometry, and tire choice all play a large roll in what makes a mountain bike.  Even further, Adjustable seat posts, handlebars, and stems make things that much more complicated.  I'd argue that most road riders could get away running a setup that wasn't quite dialed without noticing it much, while a mountain biker (particularly one who rides more technical courses, downhills, and jumps-sorry XC riders, you're almost like roadies is this regard) is going to notice even the slightest modification.

So, getting back to Jeff and my Enduro EVO, I ride this bike and barely notice it.  Though it's the heavier of the two I own, it disappears underneath me.  It's got some beefy tubes, beefy suspension, and beefy tires; beefy bars, beefy stem, and beef, beef, everywhere.  It meant to go up and over whatever is in your path, and that matches my riding style perfectly.  While I'm smooth on flowy single track, I enjoy rocking through rock gardens without being picky choosy about a line.  I tend to get way over the rear of the bike on the steep stuff, and the laid back geo of this rig allows me to do that.

I've made changes and I can be honest in saying that I'm a bit concerned about how they will change the bike.  In addition to the components, I've swapped out the stock spring in the shock and fork (coil for both), for a little bit heavier weight springs.  I was finding that on any big jump or drop, I was bottoming out the suspension.  Nothing all too brutal, but it was definitely a little discerning.  With the heavier springs, I'll be able to take more big hits, but I'm afraid of what that will do to the ride-ability I had through chunky rock gardens and heavy roots.

No matter what though, I still feel the bike will offer me the same reliable "invisibility" it provided me with before the changes.  i can't possibly see it not being the same, if not better bike in the end.  Can't wait to ride!!!

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