Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2012 XTC 29er 0. Some first thoughts.

Lucky me has a new bike to ride. Over the next couple of months I will be out there in the dirt with a shiny XTC 29er 0. I haven't had a chance to really put all that many miles on the bike yet but so far I'm pretty impressed. I have the 2010 model of this bike and the up speccing is pretty obvious this year. Shimano XT running gear, Avid  Elixir 7 brakes and the banging Fox F29 RL fork. Another nice little addition is the Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres. I haven't had a lot of experience with the brand but these tyres felt quite good right out of the blocks. Time will tell if that continues and whether they wear well or not.
My first ride was out at Clear Mountain in the steeps. It climbs like a spider monkey on Red Bull. There is no flex from the Power Core bottom bracket and that translates to all the power going into forward motion. again the tyres were a pleasant surprise with little slippage in the gravelly conditions.
I did get a little time in the singletrack over the weekend and I liked it. The steering is precise and quick. I got it around the trails with no effort at all and the brakes were good if not great. There is a 180mm rotor on the front  this year and while it isn't essential for someone my size, I guess it will help with brake fade on long descents.
This may look a bit lack luster as far as thoughts go but that is far from the case. This is a step up from my 2010 XTC 29er no doubt however I knew what to expect. I expected the bike to ride as well as it did, I expected the XT to work as well as ever and I expected that the package would be as good as it is. All in all, I like it so far.
Once I get some more time and a race or two done on the bike I will do a more in depth review. For right now this is just a teaser. Check the specs below.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pedal Til You Puke

Today an intrepid bunch of guys from all sorts of riding backgrounds got together to do a charity ride. It was to raise money for Graeme Ardern who needs surgery to remove a tumor on his neck. Graeme's family and friends are trying to raise $30,000 to pay for the very expensive surgery. More of his story in the link here.
A massive shout out has to go to Neil Ennis for organising the whole thing. He organised the route, had T-shirts printed and was generally an awesome host for the ride. Props also to ALL the riders who showed up and rode to show support for the cause, donate a bit of cash and just generally climb like maniacs.
To add a bit of fun it was a challenge. There were some prizes that riders had donated and a T-Shirt for the person who cleared the most climbs. It was all in fun though. There was heaps of support for all the riders with a very relaxed vibe. Just how it should be.
The bunch with Graeme in the white T-shirt.
This is the link to my winning effort up Mango Trees. I got the win with my sparkling singing voice!
I wish Graeme and his family all the best in his fight. There is a link below if you want to drop a couple of bucks his way to help out too.
A whole bunch more shots here.