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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
The old Skewers, for dumbasses that didn't tighten them before riding LOL. My bike isn't affected, none of them are, but thanks for the heads up Lloyd.
 

HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
I finally got to get in a decent ride on the new bike this weekend. I swapped to a 70mm stem, and it's just right for me on the XL at 6'2", everything is right where it should be. I was out of town visiting family, and rode Big Creek park which I know fairly well, and it's pretty technical in places so it was a good first test. I made a couple rooty climbs that I've struggled with in the past due to the surface there (loose over hard pack), along with 4-12" roots in the middle of a switchback, etc. The SStache excelled in these conditions. You have incredible amounts of traction on tap, but with very low rolling resistance. I fully believe I'd be faster on this than my Fuel under the right conditions. I do miss my remote fork lockout, but I'll get used to it. Going to order an Absolute Black oval ring (run one on my other SS, love it), and already ordered my preferred grips. Other than that, my gamble paid off, I think it's the perfect SS, for me. Then again, I'm a weirdo, so what the hell do I know. :D

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Got to ride the SStache on trails I know very well both Saturday and Sunday, 20+ miles total. Cold both days, and we had freezing rain Saturday night that thawed by the time we rode Sunday. So the trails are covered in leaf litter, and damp, and really slick in places. I could not have been happier to have been on the SStache, as I watched others slip and skitter around, especially in corners. The SStache just hooked up and hauled ass, and if it did slip, it would re-gain traction very quickly. I really love this bike! And for me at least, I have just as much fun on this as I do on my Fuel EX. It's everything I wanted in an aggressive, burly SS. SO. MUCH. FUN! I was actually faster according to Strava on a downhill run on this than I was my Fuel EX.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Took the Fuel EX up to the shop today and bled my brakes, and man were they over due for it. Also trying out a shorter stem (45mm), and wanted to get in a quick test ride to see how everything felt before heading out of town this weekend. Since I sized up on my frame, I should have done the stem a long time ago. I really thought it would kill my climbing, but I actually made a climb for the first time today. Modern geometry, go figure. :D

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Headed to Pisgah today, was 78 degrees over there, in February.

Did a little over 2,000ft of climbing, mostly hike a bike. Followed by a 2,900ft downhill run off the top of Black Mountain. There are lots of places within driving distance to ride, but there is only one Pisgah.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Super short ride today due to family stuff, but better than nothing. Played around with my PSI a bit more, dropped 1/2lb in the rear, feels better. Still loving the shite outta this bike.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Wheels showed up today. Lighter weight, sweet spot width wise for 29+, much higher POE (90) rear hub, etc. They even include tubeless valves, sealant, and both XD and Shimano freehub bodies.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Got to ride my new wheels today. Very happy with them, noticeable difference in spin up, and loving the higher POE. Still super happy with the SStache too, just so damned fun.

Close, but no cigar.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Rode again today, and had one of those days where you just feel strong. Cleaned a climb for the first time on a SS without having to stop and let my heart rate drop. I was about to pop by the top though. :D Actually got to pass the shop owner (also on a SS) when he spun the rear in the leaves, that's a first. I've really grown to love the traction of the 29+, and the SStache itself. It suits SS riding very well, and suits me perfectly.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
A buddy of mine talked me into doing the 12 hours of Tsali with him on a team. Our team is all recreational riders, so I'm sure we'll be way down the finishing order, but as long as we finish, I don't care. So, I've been trying to up my mileage and difficulty of my rides slowly but surely. Also, I've struggled with calf cramping for the longest time. The LBS gave me a packet of Hammer Nutrition's Perpetuem to try out today in addition to water. I did 15 miles on the SS, including some pretty steep climbs (only walked a short part of one climb :D), and I'm happy to say my legs were tired, but zero cramping.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
I spent the afternoon cutting, and installing my new fork and dropper post. I took my time cutting, and drove the star nut in with the fork laying on it's side so as not to put any pressure on the rebound adjuster or air valve. Found a trick online to use an old stem as a guide for the star nut setting tool, worked like a champ.

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All done, can't wait for tomorrow's ride!!

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Got to go try out the new parts today. But for some reason, I just felt off all day, and really struggled. So I'll reserve judgement until I have a good day on the bike. Oh well, glad I got out anyway.


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Deer sign

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Last rest stop before the climb out

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
So, for a little over two months now, I've been on a slightly different diet, and added some body weight exercises a few times a week also. Started at 205lbs, I'm now 188lbs as of last Monday morning. Man do I feel good on the bike these days!

Speaking of which, got the fork out for it's first ride today since getting it back from Manitou. And it felt good, like it should. Now I can start playing with it to see what works, and what doesn't for me. I rode mostly solo today, sometimes that's nice.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Well, road group rides started today, like it or not. No Tuesday group this year either, you can come hammer with the Wednesday group, or not. I've been riding my single speed MTB a LOT, and I struggled on the way home to not get dropped. We all agreed, first ride of the year, we're gonna take it easy they said. Yeah, that shit lasted about 6 miles, the next 16 miles were all in the pain cave.

Katie's Falls

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Post ride beers at the LBS

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Post ride Sinatra burger

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Strava, forgot to start my Garmin as usual, started it a mile in.

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Headed out to Pisgah today, met up with a buddy of mine and got to ride Avery Creek for the first time. Avery might just be my favorite trail in Pisgah thus far. Burly, technical, steep, loose, old school Pisgah at it's finest.

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No rollerblading! :D

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Bear shelter. Though with the whole front being open, looks more like bear meat counter to me.

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At the top of Black, about to ready to turn onto Avery

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Elevation profile

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Strava

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HPIguy

Durability Tester
Staff member
Messages
8,190
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
Ha ha, thanks guys. Yeah, the direction we were going (up), the shelter is just before a steep, very technical climb. So the words on the snack bar roof are pretty fitting.

No motorized vehicles there, period. You could drive to the top of the gravel road I suppose and shuttle it, but it's much sweeter when you've earned your turns going down.
 
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