Sunday, December 5, 2010

Full Suspension Thoughts

So it happened again, I managed to dupe someone into letting me ride their FS bike. This time Ryan Feagan let me ride his 07 Giant Anthem that he currently has up for sale. It is a medium, and really liked the steering and reach on the bike. I had to drop his seat post about 20mm, but the suspension was perfectly set, as ryan and I are close, weight wise. General observations about the Anthem:

  • It’s a lot easier to keep your outside foot down as you really carve into the corners on a FS bike. On my Scott Scale I have a hard time really being comfortable staying seated in choppy corners, and keeping my outside foot down in the corners. Despite the fact that Scale really carves, I usually ride through all but the smoothest of corners with my pedals at the 3 and 9 o’clock position, and I feel like I have to scrub too much speed. Trying to stay seated over really bumpy sections on a stiff bike with a 34.9 mm seatpost is tough on your back (and bottom) .
  • Small bump compliance: There is much to be said for being able to stay seated and lay down the power when you are in the chatter. Ryan had the RP23 “PUSHed” last year, and it does a great job of smoothing things out with feeling like its wallowing underneath me.
  • I think that sizing has a lot to do with how comfortable you are going to be especially when you are on more “race” oriented bikes. Despite numerous tweaks I was unable to get comfortable on the Top Fuel that the Trek store let me demo earlier this year. So when I showed up at the Casa de Feagan I had my own saddle with me in attempt to really experience a bike and not be distracted by saddles that might not love my bottom.
  • I left the ProPedal on the entire time I was on the bike, and according to the occasional glance down to the “o” ring, I was using all of the travel. The Maestro suspension was far superior to the other suspension designs that I have ridden with the exception of the Epic (I am sure your bike is sick, but you never let me ride it). The suspension was firm enough that I could discern no noticeable bob when I stood up to climb, but was not so stiff as to be harsh.
  • I was also surprised how light the anthem was. There was no part of Ryans build that I would remotely refer to as “weight weeny” but the sled was still well under 25 lbs ( I have very nice singlespeeds that weigh more than that).
All in all I was really impressed with the Anthem. Definitely on my radar.

On the other side of things I also got surprised by my wife today. She bought me some new Crocs. Woah, Wait……CROCS?

Yeah, I wear crocs. I wear the crap out of some crocs. They are in my mind one of the most useful pieces of gear I have owned in the past 5 years (Ali bought me a pair when we first got married). They are great for driving, changing in parking lots, showering, loitering down by the river with John Waller, Portaging in the BWCA, they float, they are supple enough that I can slackline with them on, relatively cheap, and they weigh next to nothing. I really cant think of anything else that cost so little, that I have gotten so much use out of.

Loafin on Decker Flats 'tween Ketchum and Stanley, ID

fjording the mighty Buffalo River in AR



Brad said...

Two things:
1. I've come full circle. FS bikes are hard to beat. My ultimate MTB would be to have a FS 29er under 25 pounds. My 26er weighs 27 pounds. So I have a ways to go.

2. If you like Crocs, try a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I have worn a pair out enough to have the local shoe repair man throw some stitches in them. I have a Christmas request for a new pair.

Single_Speeder said...

We have an 18.5" Top Fuel 9.9 World Cup here that you can demo. The former race bike of one Kent McNeill. It's for sail cheap.