Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My endless bike mix-n-match curiosity is always ready for more new trials...I'm what some would consider an early opter when it comes to changing things up. Today's experiment was putting a not-so-retro Niner carbon fork on the all-so-retro looking USS Sawyer.

The before...

The Sawyer, is not geometrically perfect "in my mind" and the handling I "imagined" it could be improved (to my preference only) with a different fork that was not so "raked" out. The bike front end seemed floppy to me at times, which was more of an annoyance at certain slower speeds than anything. Otherwise the Sawyer is a great ride. So I thought a fork with less rake would reduce the chopper effect.

Out of pure coincidence I happened to have a Niner carbon fork "lying" around that I had on my SuperFly SS recently. I liked the Niner fork on the SuperFly as long as I was on smoother trails or gravel grinder rides, but I thought it was totally no fun on anything slightly rough where the SuperFly became a bouncy bone-jarring ride. The Niner fork rake is less than the Fisher design of 51mm which I imagined would relieve the geometrical floppy issue I was feeling on the Sawyer.

The after...

The result after my ride today is that the Sawyer floppy feeling is totally gone - whoohoo!!! The handling is perfect. The less than retro look that the Niner fork gave the Sawyer has not really bothered me any...I see nothing wrong with mixing modern and's like upgrading a old battleship with a new rocket-fast weapons system.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Mini9er

The boy (aka the Kevinator) recently received a new Gary Fisher Mamba. The womens specific design (WSD) version of this bike comes in a 14.5" model (aka the Mini9er)which fits the boy perfectly (he's about 4'10" tall). The only problem was that he bike comes in pinkish color that was not appetizing to the mini-male ego (I think pink is ulta cool). So it got a paint job.

The mom also got a Mamba for her birthday, so now the whole family is on 29ers, which makes my life easier as far as tires and parts go. So far everyone is thrilled with their super cool new bikes.

The Mini9er was tested up George Creek Grade recently...a hill so steep that I've heard many grown men whimper about it to no end. The Kevinator rode the Mini9er right up it in a determined manner. Afterwhich we turned around and rode home (up Critchfield Grade) for a nice little 24-mile ride - one tough little guy.

During this adventure I noticed that Spring is finally showing signs of permanency...hmmm.