|First ride on my Giant Anthem SX|
So many settings and adjustments, how should I get them all dialed in for optimal riding pleasure? Since setup is done in open mode, so the suspension guide advises, ride in open mode for best results. OK, I followed that advice to go for a spin on all this new-to-me tech: Fox full suspension, 27.5 wheels, disc brakes, aluminum frame, tubeless tires, 2x10 gearing, dropper post, 120mm fork, tapered head tube, thru-axles, something something super stiff bottom bracket. So how did it all work out?
|The Green Machine needs a name. ADDENDUM: the green machine is now called "Shimmer".|
As a side note, I put Mountain Speed Springs into that fork from the beginning, kept it serviced, and never had any issues with it. I kept it clean and packed with Slick Honey and fresh oil, and it served me well. However, a 2016 120mm Fox Float fork kicks its butt all every which way. An actual rear shock beats the crap out of a Cane Creek suspension seat post. With so many years since I mountain biked often gone by, I was fairly tentative on this tryout ride, but I could see where this is going, as the muscle memory started to revive, while new skills enabled by the new capabilities of this machine opened before me.
|Trail 100, hello my old friend|
What else? I played with the dropper post just because it's there, but I can't say there's any reason for it on the west-to-east stretch of Trail 100 I rode this morning. A dropper really needs both more aggressive riding technique than I currently possess, as well as a longer and gnarlier downhill than this trail has. We'll see about that sometime soon, I expect.
Anything else? I guess I liked the 27.5 wheels, although I can't say they are life-changing or vastly different from 26" wheels. Probably a little bit. Like 6% or so. The combination of all that new-to-me tech, however, did make a big difference, I'll say that. Easier uphill. Better downhill. More control when swoopy. Less fatigue through rocky sections. So much better traction because the wheels are more stuck to the ground by the suspension, even these slightly less knobby Schwalbe tires. I slid or spun almost not at all. Disc brakes with great modulation or control, barely need the front brake at all. All true.
I wanted to take a nice, safe, yet varied ride to try out the new bike, and this stretch of Trail 100 plus the streets to get there was excellent for that. I really wanted to keep riding longer, but also didn't want to push myself too far the first time out. Save some for next time. Be open. I will be, and look forward to more mountain biking as the summer winds down here (ok there are at least two more months of heat to go), at places like Desert Vista trail, the McDowells, South Mountain, and farther afield. So many great trails in this area, so little time. But a good bike not only conquers rocks and trails, it calibrates time with delight and new challenges. I can't wait.
PS: It's called "Dreamy Draw" because there were once mercury mines in the area, so the story goes that the name comes from the effect of mercury vapors on the mind.