Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BIKE REVIEW: 2013 Giant Trance X 29er Level 0

It is time. Now that I have some more miles on this is my review.

Dan (Custer Cyclery) sent me this pic when it was ready to rock.

2013 Giant Trance X 29er 0
Frame Large
Fox 32 Float 29 FIT CTD w/15 QR thru-axle, OverDrive 2, 120mm Travel
Fox Fload CTD Boostvalve rear shock
Thomson Elite Seatpost
Fi'zi:k Gobi XM Saddle (manganese rails)
Time ATAC Pedals
Shimano Deore XT 1x10 (w/32 tooth RaceFace front ring)
Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus (rear derailleur)
Shimano Deore XT brakes (180mm front, 160mm rear)
Chimano HG81 11x36, 10 Speed Cassette
Giant P-TRX 29er 1 Wheel system
Schwable Rocket Rons (tubeless)

RaceFace 32T ring. Blue. Bling.

Ok....this is the bike I have wanted for a long time. I was finally able to pick it up and haven't looked back since. I was loaned this bike for the Yankee TT but it had the Easton Haven carbon wheels on it was a bit lighter...but I fell in love with the bike at that moment. forward to when I bought it. I picked it up June 27th, the day before the Sweat Shaker race. If you know know that I took 3rd in that race. solidified the idea that I really wanted this bike.

Now, 2 months later I have had a chance to race it one more time and put in some solid training rides. Because it is a 29er it will roll over anything. The long travel soaks up the bumps. I have the fork and the shock set on the trail setting. Kind of the middle of the road setting. The bike rides smooth. Period. It is sluggish in the corners....and I struggle to keep speed in and out of the corners. I am still learning how to ride it, but I am getting faster and learning every time I am on it. 

Honestly....I really don't know how to review a bike....other than to give the pros and cons. It is light....for a full suspension bike. The wheels are strong....with their DT swiss hubs....and pretty light. The rocket rons hook up awesome. Once I learn how to push harder into the corners and trust the ride I will be faster yet. I like the ability of the bike to roll over anything that is in the way. What I noticed is that if I can keep the wheels rolling that the bike keeps rolling. I don't accelerate out of corners well....and the 29er really slows down if I allow it to. If I push into the corners and pedal quicker out of the corners then I can keep it moving faster. Again...still learning. I know it is a weakness.

Pretty good for a 5" Travel mountain bike.

But....I have a lot more confidence on the bike. I am learning every time I am on it how to push it harder. I am not a top notch rider....I would say I am an average rider. weaknesses might be highlighted a bit more by the bigger wheels...but once I get them rolling look out! I can fly on the flats with the 1x10 drivetrain. Next year maybe I will be strong enough to move to a 34 tooth ring on the front...but for now the 32 tooth is good enough. I am a terrible climber and I can clear nearly anything that I have run into with the setup I have. 

So....that is it I guess. I love the bike....and need to get better. that is all. Until next time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Maybury TT 2014

The last time I race here was many years ago. 5 or 6....and I can't even remember how it went. I remembered the parking lot....and we didn't park in the same on this year. Funny. lol.

So...we loaded up all the family and off we went. We picked up Lisa at Custer Cyclery and started the rest of our trip. Not bad...just about 2.5 hours in the car. It was quiet and a lot of them were sleeping. We found a place to park and headed to registration. We got there about 9:15 knowing that the Sport classes were heading out at 10:30. After we registered and got our start times we set up our chairs and relaxed. I wasn't due to start until 11:39. So...we were on time! 

I ran into a lot of people that I know. Di. Ho-daddy. Andy S. Jimmy C. ....a lot. Anyway...nice to see these facebook friends in person instead of over the interwebs.

So...the race. It started down the side of a road. I was chugging....and almost blew a corner about 400 yards down the trail. It was marked...but no arrows...just ribbons. Ugh. I made it...thankfully and was feeling pretty good in the first sections. What I struggle with is the tight and twisty sections. I did manage to reel in the guy that started ahead of me and settled into my race. Then I heard someone coming behind me. I was pushing a little bit more until he caught me and passed. As he rode away I heard him say "you had good lines man....keep going" and he disappeared. lol. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. lol. After that I settled into my race again and was feeling pretty good still. 

I had some intel on the course and I knew that there was a nasty climb less than a mile from the end. Once I hit that hill I hammered with all I had left for the remainder of the race. I crossed the line in 0:52:38. I missed my goal time by over 7 minutes. Ironically...I took a 7th place....out of 10. If I had hit my goal I would have been 3rd.....but hey....I will take what I can get.

Zack and Lisa with their 3rd Place hardware!!!

Zack and Lisa both got 3rd in their classes. Proud of both of them! But...BUT....that kid on the left in the picture above was less than 2 minutes off my RACE TIME. He really closed the gap when I gave him the Epic to ride. We will see what happens at Addison.....punk.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fort Custer with my son

I have hardly seen Zack this summer. Just a busy summer with camp, work, more camp, more work and everything else we had going on. Anyway.....we got the opportunity to get away for the day...and off we went.

Since I got a new bike a while ago I decided to give him the Epic. It is a major upgrade from his Giant XTC....on a lot of levels. We are racing Maybury on Saturday so I wanted him to get acquainted with the bike before trying to race on it.

Off we went on the Red trail at Custer with Mike B. along for the ride. Zack really didn't like the bike at first. It is sized different than his Giant.....and I put the seat where it should he couldn't turn like he was used to when standing because the seat was in his way. But....he was a lot freaking quicker on this bike. He was pulling away on the climbs....because I weight 2x what he does. lol. Once he gets the handling skills he is gonna be fast as hell.

But watch the video wasnt all good....

As you can see he was cruising right along.....before the sand attacked him. 

Still...he got back on and rode fearless for another 10 miles or so. It will be fun to see how he progresses once he gets used to the bike. He did say "I like it"...and "thank you very much" on the way home. So that is good.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Upper Macatawa....something different

Hello readers.......yes....I am alive. 
Needless to say it has been a stupid crazy busy summer....but ONWARD!!!

I finally remembered that there is a trail pretty much on my way home. SO....I decided to go check it out. Why drive an hour to Yankee Springs and then 35 more minutes home when I can drive 15 minutes....and then 30 minutes home??? Seems dumb main reason is that the trail is 3 miles is the main reason to make the drive to a difficult 11 or 13 miles of trail.

But...I might have been wrong.

I was wrong.....

This trail is a lot of fun. I don't think there is any flat ground on the entire trail. The whole thing is twisty off camber and clay based fun. I actually worked on the trail in the early goings....and I knew it was going to be fun....but I didn't imagine it would be as rough on me as it actually turned out. The first time I rode it I was pleasantly surprised. It feels a lot longer than 3ish miles. Because of all the off camber and short punchy climbs you are on the entire time. No rest.....either uphill or downhill....all off camber. 

I rode 4 laps that first day...and I felt like I had more of a workout than I would have at Yankee. My upper body was sore...and my legs felt tired. The next time I rode was the opposite direction. Felt like more climbing and with only two laps I was sore again. 

Tonight I rode 4 more laps. I was hoping to do more...but my lower back started to hurt. Interesting for the short distance.....but I try to single speed it and I stand when I climb. All I know is that I feel pretty good about this little trail...and I cannot wait to see what happens when more land is given and more trails are cut in.

Well done to the volunteers and trail builders.