Wednesday, 16 May 2007

North Downs

Well....took her to the North Downs on Sunday. It chucked it down all morning so this gave me a chance to try out the Endomorphs in the wet.

I was sticking with my 15 psi and the bike rode well on the wet sandy trails. Had a couple or rear wheel spins when climbing a steep wet fire road, but nothing a letting a couple of psi out of the rear end didn't sort.

Did the usual loops over near Peaslake and BKB, and it coped with the conditions and the tight and twisty very well. I think I'm getting use to her handling. The crowd of people at the Peaslake store were aparently eyeing the bike up as we rode past (I didn't notice..too busy chatting) according to my riding buddy Lisa. got chatting to a group of young lads at the bottom on BKB, they were loving the trails and asked about the bike....I think I might have sold another one for you Surly!!!

I love this bike...;0)

Monday, 7 May 2007

The First BIG test....

Dyfi Enduro 2007, May bank holiday, Mac, West Wales...

So...I bought a Surly Pugsley..and everyone of course asked WHY???!!!! Well, I tried one at Mountain Mayhem in 2006 and was immediately hooked, purely because it is so ODD!! Eventually sourced all the parts and managed a good deal bringing the frame/wheels in from the States (especially with the dollar being so weak ATM).

Decided to spec it singlespeed. Has an 18t freewheel on one wheel and a 20t sprocket on the other for a choice of gears. Raceface finishing kit (although I've now swapped the bars out for the excellent Surly 1x1 flat bars) XT disc brakes, erm and not much else.

Got it built pretty quickly and tried it on a few night rides over in Brighton. Key with the PUG is getting the tyre pressures right. Too hard and you are slamming off stuff, too soft and the front wheel dips and dives and makes steering INTERESTING!.....just right and it rides just like a BIKE! Quickly decided that the 18t was ok for flat terrain (it worked well when I raced it at the Thetford NPS enduro in April, see picture above ;0)). Eventually I've settled on the 20t at the back giving a 29er type gear (the wheels are 29er ish anyway....what with the FAT tyres). So, 32/20 it is.

The first big test of being able to ride this thing as a normal, everyday bike and not just as a snow/sand bike was going to be the Dyfi enduro in May. I had my theory that with the tyres right it could be an amazing bike over most terrain. It's challenge to prove this was 60km of Welsh mountains, long fireroad climbs and fast, slate covered descents....ace!

Well...the bike was fantasic. It is superb downhill, Just rolls and rolls and doesn't want to stop. It'll bash straight over rocks and roots and drifts like nothing else on loose, gravel corners. I finally settled on about 12-15 PSI in the tyres. This seems to work best for me. The bike is a bit slow on the climbs due to the drag, but....i'm getting fitter ;0)

More to come when it's done some more rides...but, dare I say it...this might be a keeper ;0)