Saturday, October 28, 2017

Bike Check

My new [to me] SCOTT Genius LT Tuned is a stunning bike, with its loud paint scheme & sleek internal cable routing. Almost immediately, though, I knew I'd need to ditch the internal routing since it was causing most of the cables/hoses to kink when the handlebars were spun - especially in the case of a fall. In fact, when I purchased the bike it was suffering from a broken rear hydraulic hose due to this constraint.

The previous owner had ditched the TwinLoc system, which I chose to reinstall. I'm not a huge fan of locking both front and rear simultaneously, but I'll primarily use it as a way to soften the suspension damping through rock gardens, switching back to the medium setting for the majority of trail scenarios. The setup is actually quite similar to my Senior Design Project (for mechanical engineering undergrad), in which my team used servo motors to operate the compression and rebound dampers of a rear shock. Seems we were onto something ;-)

In any case, I've rerouted the cables and given the bike some TLC in the form of new bushings in the shock. For protection of the frame, I've wrapped the downtube with a tire casing. I'm testing the application of Shoe Goo to help hold this in place and offer another level of padding. Since cables are running externally, I've placed them within the knobs of the tire to help hold them in place and offer some protection.

Now it's time to ride! I'll update this post if any other changes are made to improve upon this setup.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Blue Mountain (PA) / Fountainhead Regional Park (VA)

This weekend I picked up a Scott Genius LT in Bedford, PA on the way to Blue Mountain. The bike is used, however, and needs some TLC before it's truly ready to shred. One of its issues is the rear brake. A kink in the hose caused a slight puncture, allowing fluid to escape when pulling the lever with enough force. Luckily, the staff at Blue Mountain let me use their bleed kit, so I was able to get in a few runs before losing pressure. In order to make it through the next day's XC ride, I bled it one more time and decided to use the rear brake conservatively.

Blue Mountain is conveniently located beside the Appalachian Trail, so we found a suitable spot to camp on Saturday night just a few yards from the resort.

The next morning we struck camp and headed south. Our destination for XC riding was flexible, but we chose to complete the majority of our drive first and ride at Fountainhead Regional Park just north of Fredericksburg, VA.

Neither Rebecca, Joey, nor myself had ridden Fountainhead, but we'd all heard of the trails before. We were pleasantly surprised by the park's wealth of trails. Although we limited our ride to a short loop, we were able to touch on some of the trail features that give the location such a great reputation.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Falls Lake (North Carolina)

This year I decided to sell my DH rig (Giant Glory) in order to downsize to an enduro bike. After a couple of weeks, I found a buyer in South Carolina. He agreed to drive halfway if I did the same, so we chose Durham, NC as our rendezvous point. The sale went smoothly and soon I was heading back home. On the way back, however, I stopped by Falls Lake State Recreation Area for an XC ride at a new location.

MTBproject listed the South Loop as a black diamond, so naturally I had to give it a try. It wasn't as technical as I'd hoped, but still a great trail. The dogs kept up with me until the end, when they started to lag behind a bit.

If I ever find myself in that part of the state again, I'll certainly return for another loop, perhaps tying in the rest of their trail network for a more exhaustive ride.

I still haven't decided whether the enduro bike will replace my Canfield. Next weekend I'll be driving to Bedford, PA to purchase the new ride - a Scott Genius LT. I'll be riding it at Blue Mountain and an XC destination yet to be determined. Hopefully the two days of riding will help prove the feasability of using the one bike to tackle either style of riding.

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