I’ve been rolling Captain America around my hilly neighborhood for hilly pavement and dirt adventures. Quick tire/stem/saddle/climb update:
First tires: Specialized Fast Trak 2.2. The old ones with great overall feel but woefully unsupported knobs. When you’re as fa[s]t at me, the tire is so squirmy it’s unusable. If you find traction, you lose knobs. (BTW: That tire design is coming back, with more knob support. It should be quite good for quick trail riding.)
Second tires: Specialized Renegade 2.1. Specialized’s take on a Larsen TT or Small Block Eight. As S’s Chris Wyatt said: “We wanted the lowest knob possible while actually being usable in the real world.” Very fast and secure. I kept waiting for them to fail on packed (and even loose) dirt, but they never did (well, except during the low BMX pass attempt, but that was pilot error). Chris is sending some 2.3s to test; that might be the world champion pump track tire.
Current tires: Back to the trusty Eskar 2.3. The new ones with the .5mm taller side knobs. They feel a lot slower than the Renegades, but Eskars feel like home — especially with all this snow and mud around.
Stem-a-licious: I’m running the 50mm Answer DH stem with low-rise Answer bars. I started with the stem as low as it went. It felt perfect during braaap but too low in the saddle. I raised the stem a couple spacers. That felt better in the saddle but too high in braaap mode. The stem is going back to the lowest position.
Saddle-icious: The Stumpy and Enduro sag with my butt on them. Not so with the Captain. Today I slid the saddle back to account for the non-saggage, and pedaling feels way better.
Climb-a-licious: Rode the Captain to town and back today. On the way home we took the back way up a moderately steep dirt road — and we set a new personal best by several minutes. That’s with long pants, a backpack, 50mm stem and flat pedals. Does the Captain climb better than the Tricross? For someone who’s used to mountain bikes and wide bars, yes, maybe.
Steep-a-licious: At first, the steeper-than-I’m-used-to head angle was wigging me out. That feeling has been subsiding. Today, pinned WFO down a dirt road, the bike felt natural. It’s time to stop whining about the head angle.
Rip-a-licious: Today we snuck in some quick singletrack, which was a lot more fun than the trail’s tameness would suggest. Back to basics, right?
Stoked to rock the Captain on dirt jumps and favorite trails. Visualizing the hardtail class at the Sea Otter downhill. Rat tat TAT!
Know more. Have more fun!
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