So, last night I built up my new RSD the Mayor. Went together quite well.
First thing that surprised us all in the shop was the weight. Grabbing the wheels, we almost flung them to the ceiling expecting more heft from them. 80mm drilled alloy rims, Vee Rubber Snowshoe tires in 26 x 4.7″ and some very nice unbranded sealed bearing hubs. Very nice sounding freehub, with close engagement points. Red rim tape to boot! 135mm front and 190mm rear o.l.d.
Next I took the fork out of the box. Full carbon, including the tapered steer tube. And super light! Like, almost road bike light. Looks super stout, though. Through axle. Nice.
Yanking the frame out of it’s resting spot, I bottle brushed the seat tube, greased it and put in the seatpost. After hanging it up in the stand, I got to looking at it. Very clean and simple looking bike. X7 drivetrain out back, with a Race Face Turbine crankset, running a 32T narrow-wide ring. Guess that won’t have to be upgraded! BB7′s with what feel like metallic pads, squeezing 8″ rotors. No need for upgrades there, either. How thoughtful of them. This bike is looking more and more like they read my mind.
After a fairly drama free build, I jammed it in my Yakima Stick Up rack somehow, with bungee cords keeping the tires roughly where they should be, and drove the beast home. Once there, I propped it up in my living room, and creepily stared at it for the rest of the night while my ignored wife watched American Hoggers. How romantic of me!
After a restless night of excitement, I woke to greet the happy morn with some boiled eggs and toast. Some man fuel. Should be enough, I carb loaded on Rappie Pie the night before. Anywho, I was dressed in a flash, didn’t bother brushing my teeth, packed my Camelbak with a 29er tube with hopes I wouldn’t need to figure out if it would fit in a fatty and rode out the back yard and into the wilds of Lower Sackville. God’s Country.
So, what everybody wants to know the most… How does it ride? Well, a lot better than I was expecting. It pretty much rides like a mountain bike should, albeit with some self steering at low pressures while riding the pavement. Close to home, I crossed an open field full of snow. No drop in speed. Smile commenced. Yup, this feels promising. Hitting a paved trail through the neighbourhood, I was quickly made aware of the racket these huge tires were making at 5 psi while booting along at a nice clip. Sounded like a huge redneck truck rolling on big mudders. Not like a normal mountain bike, but actually just the same and as loud as a hillbilly trail truck. Them knobs were spanking the pavement right some good like!
After a short haul to the trail, I got to try it out on some more fun stuff. After ducking down into my local loop, I started getting the giggle fits. This thing was blitzing the trail, just slaying it way faster than the old 29er ever could. Along with having way more control and grip. Ah the grip! Nothing I have ever ridden, EVER, was cornering, climbing and stopping like this behemoth. Holy crapolli. Well, time to get off the foot-pocked trail and take a “shortcut”. We must have had hero snow, because the entire forest floor was one big, rolley fun fest! I could just point and shoot, and this thing would stay on top, and take command. Epic! Just like a human-powered ATV.
Back on the singletrack, I did a lap on my little trail. There were some choppy spots, but the fat meats and carbon fork took a lot of the chatter out of it, and I could have even aired down a fair bit more, but I didn’t bother. I didn’t even want to stop! Couldn’t even squeeze out a few lousy phone pics. Sorry.
After the first lap, I rode onto a nice technical out and back with a loop on the end that went through some primo old growth white pines and hemlocks. The only place it faltered was on some reaaaally off-camber icy stuff, but truthfully, I couldn’t even hardly walk that section, and studs would have barely made a difference. Just a short hike-and-slide-a-bike section to look for chaga on the trees, I s’pose.
Back out to the main loop, and it was back on to monster-trucking over everything in sight, and floating over some sweet virgin pow. I love making first tracks, riding, sliding or even tramping. Good times. Hit a sweet DH section that shoots you back down to the hardpacked crusher dust main trail next to Second Lake, and I was off to the other end of the lake. Found some trails hiding up there, and rode some stuff I haven’t seen in almost ten years! What a perfect machine for just generally rambling around aimlessly and exploring off the beaten track. Trails are super fun, but so far, this thing seems to not even need a stinking trail!
After a bit of a climb back up to the top of Metropolitan Avenue in the 32×36 combination, I was going to head for home, having got a couple hours in, but instead I headed towards Bedford, to drop into work for some tea and to let my toes thaw out.
Riding along on the road, the bike isn’t slow, but let’s just say it tells you to not be in such a hurry. Good way to take it all in, methinks. I thought it might be good to try out the trail along Sackville River for a change, as it’s painfully slow and rough on my commuter, and I’ve been taking an alternate route to work since the snow came. The trail gets so choppy from foot traffic, that it’s not even worth riding. Until now. I can see why folks commute on these in the winter if they are on multi-use trails. Unstoppable, comfy and fast! Well, that was easy.
At the end of the trail, you get spat out at the True North Diner. Normally the trail continues around the parking lot, but there are HUGE snow piles plowed up at the ends of the parking lots. Well, it IS a snowbike, right? So, a good charge up the backside of one, and it clambered right on up! You know what? If you ever get the chance to climb up these man-made glaciers in the mall lots do it! It’s pretty darn neat up there. It’s even neater to be rolling along on a fatbike. So strange, yet so satisfying.
After a really short haul, I got to the shop. The boss is fiddling with the other two fatbikes we have left. I think deep down, he actually likes them. I drove a few cups of hot tea into me, gratefully ate a free slice of pizza that the bossman offered hot out of the box, and put all of my wool layers on again, headed back the way I had came, until I got back to SackVegas. I rolled along behind the cop shop, DH’ed her to the old Walmart, and rode some more snow piles. Weeee! Why is this so much fun!?!
Afer four hours and 30 plus km’s, I was ready to head home. This was the first time I had a bike in the woods since November, and the first ride over 1/2 an hour since New Year’s Day. I am feeling it, but I can’t stop smiling! And I’m already thinking about my next ride, hopefully tomorrow. Please!!!
If you get the chance to ride a fatbike, do it up! Even just a short try will hopefully make you a believer. And make you feel like a kid again.
I’ll let you know more, further down the trail.