Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SuperFly SS...Whoohoo!!!

Thrash testing has begun on the the Fisher SuperFly SS now that it is "nearly complete"...the last major piece was my Stans tubeless wheels (that I just built up) with some fat Bontrager XDX 2.1 tires installed (that look more like 2.3 inch tires). I use the words "nearly complete" since I'm contemplating putting a rigid fork on this bike in the near future, which should easily make it a sub-19 lb bike - maybe closer to 16lbs with the right tire choice...sick!!!

So far I'm still skeptical about the tires, but that is why I love thrash testing. I've found that the Bontrager XDX tires are not too good in mud, but seem to be excellent at riding in hard crusty snow and on the dry dirt they are fast enough to keep my happy.

The SuperFly SS climbs well and I am surprised at the hills I'm making it over at this time...let's just say that making it up George Creek (Meyer's Ridge Rd) and the grade on Weissenfels has my SS ego a tad inflated. I've tried these hills in the past on a SS and never made it very far...heck these climbs are hard enough on a geared bike. Here is a 3D map of the Weissenfels-George Cr/Meyers Ridge Rd loop (~5100 ft climbing in 60-ish miles) that I frequently do...

No mud-yuk on this day, but there is still a wee bit of snow up there in spots.

The SuperFly ride is soooo much smoother than I ever thought carbon could be and I ride some rough, bone-rattling stuff. I was truly anticipating a slightly harsh ride from it - similar to what I experienced in the past (long, long ago) test riding Trek carbon mountain bikes. But the Superfly frame has a butter smooth ride that has converted me into a believer that carbon mountain bikes can be extraordinary in function...so what I'm saying is that the company hype is more than true...Fisher got it right! I don't get paid to print the truth or say things like that.

So far (4-rides, 213-miles) I'm grinning big with some hurting legs...

Monday, February 15, 2010


Well I thought I could sneak in a Couse Creek-Weissenfels Ridge Rd loop without much difficulty today...bad idea. I found that the end of Weissenfels was a tad boggy in some rather long sections (the worst I've ever seen it up there) and turning around at this point would make for a very, very long ride, which I had no desire to do.

So my bull-headed ego took over and from that point on it was make through or die trying. At times I thought I was doomed to walking, but I kept the speed up (which really makes the mud fly a long ways...cool), kept my mouth shut (gets kind of gritty if you don't) and forced the forward progress slipping and sliding all the way. The end result was a face and bike full of mud-yuk, plus I had the classic diarrhea butt look on my tights. The Think Pink bike was lookin' more like Downtown Brown.

I was very thankful for the SS since mud has very little effect on the one-gear system...a derailleur and multi-gears on the other hand is a nightmare in the muck-yuk stuff.

Also kind of glad I didn't take Rocket Ship One (the Fisher SuperFly SS) today...my old wheelset on it at this time has a minor wheel bearing issue and I wasn't willing to trust it too far away from home. I just build some new wheels for it, but haven't got the tubeless set up yet.

The name, Rocket Ship One, came about after a few rides just because this thing is way fast on the dirt...

...and I had the brakes on!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Power of a Single Speed

Ahhh...another great view, another great ride (one of many this month so far)...all on single-speed bikes.

Some years ago I found the dark power of single-speed (SS) bikes after purchasing a Fisher SS Rig for no other reason than to try it out. Since then I have dabbled in SS bikes, but I was still multi-gear oriented...I selected geared bikes for the perceived speed (to have more gears must mean more speed, right?) plus a geared bike on long rides and rides with steep climbs seemed much more appropriate than a SS.

Since I started riding again, after my back injury, I found my SS attitude changing. Why?

Well for one thing I'm seeing more clearly now after the potential of not riding was presented in my back as an evil painful reality late last summer. For another, I have found during my recovery that SS riding feels so much better on my back and I have found ways to exercise my back more with the mandatory standing to pedal up steep hill sections (a full body workout)...the sit and spin philosophy on a geared bike is great for the cardio and the legs, but really isn't much benefit for the back (and arms).

So now I embrace SS and choose SS on most rides now...I still ride geared bikes, but only for a change or when I need an easy day in the saddle.

By the way, just so everyone knows I have not quite lost my impulsive, addiction to buy and ride (thrash-test) new bikes...are you ready to feel the power?