Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jemez Love

First, I want to let everyone know that Cedro and Tunnel are open for riding. You better get out there quick because if it doesn't rain a lot this spring, they will be closed by June. I'm sure it is still wet way up at the highest points but the basic loops are open. I missed most of Otero but the little I did see was mostly clear.

Below are some pictures of Jemez Mountains rides where I remembered to use my camera  . Pretty sure they are half gone now after the fire last year. I'll head up there to check in about a month.

Charlie S.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Devinci Dixon SL Initial Review

My local shop recently became a Devinci Cycles dealer and I thought I'd help them out and order one right away. I chose the Dixon for a couple reasons: one is because I'm going to Sedona soon and the big hit style of bike is the preferred steed for that terrain, and the other is because my Maverick ML8 is getting long in the tooth and I thought the Dixon could give it a run for its money.

The Dixon is Devinci's All Mountain/Trail bike and has 145mm of travel in the back and 150mm in the Fox fork up front. I'm not going to get into all the particulars of the build, but the SL version is the nicest with a mixture of Easton Haven and SRAM equipment at a good price point (for this quality level and category) of $5,800.00.

The Devinci is a handsome bike-

Looks aside, the thing is a missile downhill. In fact, it is much more capable than me in that regard and I will never tap its full potential. It is definitely a "downhillers" bike though. It's a bit lighter in the front and begs to be thrown into the corners which is not my style (cause it's scary to do that). This is the Canadian heritage showing through of course.

The Dixon has a unique feature in that it has the option of 2 different geometries to choose from, which are adjustable in about 5 minutes with an Allen wrench. I have been riding it on the "low" setting but am going to change it this week to the high setting. You can see the differences below:

  ST   SA HA TT   CS   WB   BBH   SOH   HT  
  cm in deg deg mm in mm in mm in mm in mm in mm in
S 42.0 16.5 72.7 67.0 560 22.0 426 16.8 1098 43.2 347 13.7 727 28.6 120 4.7
M 46.0 18.1 72.7 67.0 585 23.0 426 16.8 1124 44.3 347 13.7 753 29.6 130 5.1
L 49.5 19.5 72.7 67.0 610 24.0 426 16.8 1151 45.3 347 13.7 773 30.4 145 5.7
XL 53.5 21.0 72.7 67.0 635 25.0 426 16.8 1177 46.3 347 13.7 803 31.6 160 6.3
  ST   SA HA TT   CS   WB   BBH   SOH   HT  
  cm in deg deg mm in mm in mm in mm in mm in mm in
S 42.0 16.5 73.2 67.5 560 22.0 424 16.7 1095 43.1 354 13.9 734 28.9 120 4.7
M 46.0 18.1 73.2 67.5 585 23.0 424 16.7 1121 44.1 354 13.9 760 29.9 130 5.1
L 49.5 19.5 73.2 67.5 610 24.0 424 16.7 1148 45.2 354 13.9 780 30.7 145 5.7
XL 53.5 21.0 73.2 67.5 635 25.0 424 16.7 1174 46.2 354 13.9 810 31.9 160 6.3
It's not a huge difference but if you are doing lift assisted biking at Winter Park one day, and riding singletrack high in the Rockies the next, it's a very worthwhile feature.  Around here I have a suspicion that the "high" setting will be more what I'm looking for since I don't have the skills to corner like a mad man, and the loose traction in these parts tries its best not to let you corner like that anyway. We will see.

Going up is no problem on the Dixon. It pedals as well as anything I have ridden in this category. It doesn't have the small-bump compliance of my ML8, but it is more efficient out of the saddle than the ML8 or most other bikes in this genre. It's no XC bike of course, but its not trying to be.

The Devinci uses Dave Weagle's Split-Pivot. This is all well documented out there on the internet so if you want more info on that, start google-ing. It is almost identical to the Trek suspension system though.

My Dixon is weighing in at just over 28lbs. with pedals and everything. That is pretty damn good. I will be adding a dropper post, and maybe changing the grips but other than that, the Dixon will pretty much stay as-built. Devinci has a lifetime warranty and the Dixon and all the other pricy models are made right in Canada, next to the mine where they get the aluminum and make the tubing. It's not America, but at least it's North America and our neighbor.

Charlie S.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wifey is out of town so I'm Mr. Mom and my posts are going to be limited to photos. Here is one that will look familiar if you spend any time on the Bikeworks Albuquerque website- riding Animas City Mountain right next to Durango, CO. A great option if you don't feel like hitting the high country and short enough that you can squeeze in another nearby trail or two on the same day.

Charlie S.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monarch Crest Mountain Biking Photo

Below is a photo of a Monarch Crest trip from years ago. As usual, I shoot my photos in RAW format, so if you click on the picture it usually expands and shows a nice amount of detail. If you look closely, you can see one of our stragglers making his way to our lunch spot. Of course we all left the minute he got there, but that's part of the game you play with the anchor rider- which is often me.

If you haven't taken the time to ride Monarch Crest Trail, it is a must-do. Use the shuttle service, High Valley Bike Shuttle, because it is dumb to ride up the highway. If you are a proper mountain biker, you will want to attach the Rainbow Trail to your Monarch ride via Silver Creek Trail. This makes for a longer ride that is so much better than just Monarch Crest since Silver Creek and Rainbow are awesome in their own right.

Charlie S.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tunnel Canyon Trail Addition

It has come to my attention that there is going to be a new trail built on Tunnel Canyon (which is located east of Albuquerque, NM., for those of you who aren't locals). I am not clear as to whether this is a re-route or an addition, but a loyal Bikeworks customer has gone to the effort of sending me a map of the intended trail. As you can see this will cut off a fair amount of the original climb to the top of the ridge, and in particular the hard rocky climb at the beginning of Rambo. This will be a nice change for Tunnel regardless of how it plays out.

Charlie S.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blunt SL Rims from Velocity

I had always considered Velocity to be one of those bike parts companies that made good, affordable stuff, but stuff that wasn't very light. Dan and Dan over at Bikeworks put me straight by showing me the Blunt SL wheelset a few days ago, and it is light!

The Blunt SL rim weighs in at about 385 grams in the 26" version and 420g in the 29" size. That is only 40 grams heavier (respectively) than Stan's Crest rims. That is not bad at all. Velocity says The Blunt SL is also ready for tubeless use but unfortunately doesn't elaborate on that.

They sell the Blunt SL as a wheelset with their own hubs which are damn light too. The wheelset built with their own Lightweight hubs comes in at 1475g which is pretty damn good, but the price does creep up to a MSRP of $799.00 on the Pro Build ($550.00 on the Comp build which has heavier hubs and spokes). I'll bet that you can easily find them for less though, and your local shop might even be able to buy the parts and build you a set for less. They are also available as 650B and 29er wheels, which is cool. We will have to see on longevity.

For reference:                                                      A totally unrelated photo to make the page look pretty:

Velocity Blunt SL rim 26inch - 385g
Velocity Blunt SL rim 29inch - 420g
Stan's Crest rim 26inch           - 340g
Stan's Crest rim 29inch           - 380g
Enve 26 XC rim                      - 350g
Industry Nine 26 XC               - 420g

Velocity Lt F  - 142g
Velocity Lt R  - 275g
DT 240 Front  - 145g
DT 240 Rear   - 245g
DT 190 Front  - 107g
DT 190 Rear   - 207g
Chris King F   - 136g
Chris King R   - 302g
Tune King F    - 115g
Tune Kong R   - 205g

Charlie S.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moab Picture

It's riding season again. Somebody mentioned Moab at the shop today so I thought I'd post up a picture of Blue Dot trail, which is next to the Golden Spike 4x4 trail, and can be linked to Portal trail for a good sized technical ride.

Charlie S.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mountain Bike Trips in Europe

If you are making your summer riding plans, you should consider a trip abroad. I know, it sounds like a fuss (and it can be) but it is usually worth it. A few years ago a group of us took a trip to Morzine, France for a week of riding and had a blast. See Picture below-

Airfare was a bit pricy but the vacation was very very resonable. We booked a whole week (7 days, 8 nights) of guided riding which included transfers from the airport, a lift pass for the whole time, breakfast and dinner (except 1 night) and all the lodging for about $1,000.00 per person- including wine in the evenings. That is a smoking deal if you think about it, and even more so because the meals were awesome and the lodging very nice- Chalet style.

Lift assisted biking sounds very "downhill" here in America, but over in the Alps, there is still a lot of climbing to do after rolling off the lift. It doesn't hurt to have almost double the time descending as you spent climbing either.

We took our bikes and that was a pain in the ass. Actually, it wasn't a pain as much as it was how the airlines rip you off- the pulling the bike box around part wasn't that bad at all. I will take my own bike again in the future if they don't have them available or only have crappy ones to rent, but if they have good rentals, that is the way to go.

As soon as my fortunes turn around (if they turn around), I will be booking an even longer trip. If you are in a position to give it a shot I highly encourage you to give it a go. The group that we went with has merged with Flowmtb- which I hear is quite good too. A couple others that I have heard good things about are listed below:

Charlie S.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Placitas ride and stuff

It's Spring! Not officially, but I am declaring it to be, so it is. Look at Dan (who gets cold easy) in shorts and short sleeves. Early March in the Placitas trails and close to 70 degrees.

This made me happy for some reason-

Charlie S.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All Races on One Page

Here is the list of races in the Four Corners States:

Here is the list from the rest of the USA and International:

Charlie S.