Today I felt fit enough to try and tackle the second part of my
Meerdael loop. This is a very hilly 35K with a relentless succession of
steep short uphills and downhills. I took Rogers' Sewanee for its
second outing. I had put 140psi in the rear damper and along the ride I
would try the 3 ProPedal positions on the Fox RP3 . The track was
almost dry and the bike is very good in the climbs. The shifting was a
bit more to my liking now, especially the front shifting is nice. With
the X0 you can put the front derailleur in different positions so as to
always have the chain running in the middle of the cage. This is a good
thing. I never missed a shift up front. The only thing they should try
to remedy is the loud 'clang' when you shift a gear. Here they can
learn a thing or two from Shimano. With my XTR you seldom hear anything
. Oh well, I made do with what I had. Same goes for the Hutchinson
Python. It is beyond me why people like this tyre so much. Ok , it runs
great on tarmac and hardpack but lacks grip both on the profile as on
the sides. Especially the lack of offcamber grip had me scream a
few times when either the front or rear wheel skidded away.
I managed to bottom out the suspension again and my impression during the first ride that the
back end of the Sewanee flexxes proved to be correct. I was a bit stronger now
than during my first ride and I could feel it twitch quite a few times
when I accelarated or pushed hard uphill. It is not something that is
worrying but you do notice that the rear end gives in certain
circumstances. I was very quick in the downhills and I noticed the
brakes were not in their best form. I could almost squeeze the levers
against the handlebar. I think they need either more oil or new pads,
probably both. The lack of grip from the tyres also meant I had to
break a bit sooner than I can do with Nobby Nics or NBX Lites.
Halfway during the ride I began to feel that my cold was not completely
out of my system, but the bike got me through and I completed the lap.
I still have doubts about going to the Ardennes this sunday though . I will have
to see if my nose clears completely. Otherwise I will settle for a ride
in my neighborhood.
As for the Sewanee, this is undoubtedly a good bike. It is a tad short
for me - remember this is a size M and I need a size M/L - but still it
got me up the hill on all my nasty climbs and blasted on the downhills. I had to
lean back a bit more than I usually do though on those downhills,
especially on the 30% drops. It's a light bike - I weighed it at 11.1kg
ready to go - and its very nimble around corners and twisty singletrack.
The only time I had to walk was when that damn Python lost its grip on
a root. But it could also be that I was just too tired to lift it over
that root properly. Riding the Sewanee fast downhill resulted in it
bottoming out, although I did not feel this, I saw the marker was at
the end of the plunger, indicating all the available travel had been
used. Fiddling with the ProPedal positions on the Fox RP3 did not make
it noticeably better in the uphills, it still bumps over roots, but it
gave me a better feeling when speeding along over cobbles when I had it
in the 2nd position. The third position is useful when on tarmac. It
still takes the big bumps but is slower to react on the pedal input.
The titanium rear triangle did flex a bit - sometimes it almost felt as
if the rear wheel followed a parallel track to the front wheel - but
this is not something that bothered me. I think Litespeed is updating
it's rear triangle this year. Instead of round tubing they are using
box-section tubing which should improve the rear end twitching
considerably. I will have to make sure Roger gets his brakes looked at
though, I feel they need maintenance.
Ride Stats : 37.5k and 670 heighmeters in 2h29mins
07-09-2007, 18:44 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf