Sunday, 31 October 2010
Project Gnarr's first outing - Swaledale with gears and boinginess
I had my first ride on Project Gnarr (my SS Inbred, rebuilt with 1x9 gearing and suspension forks) on Friday. About 30km in Swaledale: along the valley bottom from Dales Bike Centre, up the valley side from somewhere between Gunnerside and Low Row onto Great Pinseat, then down Surrender Moor and over Low Moor. Swaledale is still awesome.
This was my first ever ride with both gears and suspension (only my second ever ride with suspension and first with gears in a couple of years). What I learned: gears make it easier to ride up hills; suspension makes it easier to ride down hills. So, they really are strength compensators and skill compensators
32:32 is plenty low enough as a bottom gear. It's the same ratio I rode round there as a beginning MTBer 18 years ago (28:28 in them days), and that was on on a heavier bike with weaker legs. 32:12 is plenty tall enough for a top gear. 1x9 is definitely the way forward.
The fork isn't set up properly yet, but I quite liked it not doing too much until I hit something bigger/harder and it doesn't bob about too much when climbing. It'd be interesting to have a go on a modern fork with clever lockout things as a comparison.
I think I like it. But, it's heavier and complicated, so I think I'll be sticking with rigid forks and non-variable gears for proper rides and save boing and variable gears for shorter/group rides.
I think I might even have done a little bit of a jump. Stoked, dude!
Time: 4 hours?
Weather: Warm and dry for the time of year - so, a bit drizzly and very windy
Bike: Geared Inbred (1x9, with suspension fork and 2.4" tyres)