In the rocky rooty slow Northeast, with not a lot of Elevation (capital E), but many steeps and a ton of elevation change on any given ride, and some big moves mixed in thanks to the retreating glaciers and the boulders and rock faces they left behind, not to mention large fallen logs aplenty: a term emerged in the early 2000s that I liked - Cross Stuntry.
Apologies for the flowery sentence. It just felt right.
Well now that this has completely flipped from a bike review to a forum on good taste and high snobbery, I mean high-engagement ——— I really think you’re on to something Andrew. I’ve always appreciated high engagement, for all the trials-ish reasons you mention. Myself, I’ve spent decades building a riding style all about moves like leaping up and over things at (sometimes very) low speeds. Always have had trouble with high speed.
For my latest build, an aluminum Megatrail, I thought I’d try a bike that fills in my shortcomings. And hell yes, speed is waaaaay easy to find on the Megatrail. But to my dismay, it’s been at the expense of my low speed skills, which I thought were totally ingrained!
I am on an exceptionally low POE hub right now (an old WTB laserdisc which has an unusual two-stage mechanism which is super strong but means you never ever have a 1 degree pedal stroke). I think it’s time to regrease and build up the used King I found, and see if I can get back some of my old slow mojo and widen my speed window.
“The small chatter just melted away like a dairy rich frozen treat”
Can you comment more on your 40% sag? Is that specific to the Druid, or a general preference? I’ve never tried something like that, but regardless of progression / bottoming resistance, that seems like way too much pillowy softness off the top. Disclaimer, I also can’t stand pillowy soft mattresses. Or pillows for that matter.
I generally agree with your angle here, except for two points:
The idea that steel has less variables and therefore has a better ability to be tuned.... sounds like a (to build on Andrew) ... Starling Logic Puzzle. To me it’s like saying you can build a more optimized toy car from Duplo rather than Lego.
And while I always hear it said that more modern aluminum hardtails are more forgiving than the old days.... there’s definitely a materials / engineering limit to how much aluminum should be allowed to flex in regular use, to stay comfortably away from fatigue issues.
Fun experiment, great idea for an article! From appearances though.... it looks even lower. My Megatrail in Gravity (stock without LEGO-ing) sits with a 12.7” static BB. I woulda figured after all your changes this one woulda been pushed to further extremes...!?
That said, I haven’t yet found a trail to try out my bike in low mode... most of my riding is up down up down rolling, and the just OVER 13” stock static highs in high is plenty low for any of that!
First forum post - I’m a member that comes here for the really incredible reviews and general sense of like-mindedness vis a vis the mountain bike world. I live in Brooklyn NY far from the north shore, but have always been fascinated by the riding there. Growing up riding in Trumbull CT we were heavily influenced by what we heard was happening up on the “shore.” :)
Fast forward a millenia and now I’m looking into BC for a family vacation this summer. Hoping you all can give me some direction about where we should look for our home base. Would like to air BNB (or similar) a cabin.
-Definitely going to do some riding but probably not all-day epics —- hoping for a location where I can get out for a morning blast then meet up with the family for the rest of the day.
-Would love to find an area that has a lot to offer for biking and other activities for non-mountain bikers. We want to also fit in some hiking, surfing, sightseeing, art if possible.
-I’ll probably fly with my bike but we may try a rental for my wife for a day or two. She used to ride a fair bit but she’s not up to black diamonds I’m sure. An area with a good rental shop and also has good medium difficulty trails would be awesome.
-Even better would be some recommendations for trail riding my 5-year-old daughter could tackle on her Early rider.
I appreciate any advice, and I really look forward to seeing your part of the world!