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The Surly Mountain Biking Thread

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17 hours ago, wd40 said:

boioioioioioing

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Niiiice.  Not quite a new bike, but that probably ensures that the little invest out in the Gulf makes a beeline for CenTex this weekend...

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Had a good brake check on my hydros this morning. This dude was snoozing hard. Took about 3 minutes for me to wake him up enough to cruise off far enough off the trail for me to slide by.

For the rest of my ride, every root across the trail was out to get me.
b9993a44c7fad9763093a1a891104cce.jpg

I stopped about ten feet away from it. I figure one-third of it is in the grass, so it was about 2-2.5 feet.

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Damn snek, why you snooze across trail?

I have had two of those encounters this summer, but not venomous.  So right about every stick and root.

I just don't want to run over snek on general principles, but much less if they're gonna turn around, bite me and give me a scorching case of necrosis.

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Rode 12 miles yesterday afternoon.  Car said 96, but honestly wasn't bad as long as I kept moving and the trail was mostly shaded.  It's also entirely possible I'm much tougher than I was in my 20s. Had to get in a ride before the weekend alleged rain.

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On 7/22/2020 at 12:20 PM, Austinvines said:

Had a good brake check on my hydros this morning. This dude was snoozing hard. Took about 3 minutes for me to wake him up enough to cruise off far enough off the trail for me to slide by.

For the rest of my ride, every root across the trail was out to get me.
b9993a44c7fad9763093a1a891104cce.jpg

I stopped about ten feet away from it. I figure one-third of it is in the grass, so it was about 2-2.5 feet.

I had a very similar experience a while back. I came around a corner and there was a rattler laying across the trail like the one you saw.  I was moving fairly fast so had to hop over it.  I then turned around and went back and it hadn't moved. I nudged it a couple times with my front tire and then it finally meandered off into the grass, not giving two shits about me.

 

 

Rattlesnake2_IMG_1665.JPG

Rattlesnake3_IMG_1667.JPG

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Partly because my creaking bike pisses me off, I have taken to hiking some of the trails around town.  There are some hidden gems that would make great MTB trails.

I am particularly obsessed with trails in SE Dallas, near the Goat Island Preserve, which also includes the "Great Trinity Forest."

This one is called the Texas Buckeye Trail and it starts in the Bon Ton neighborhood, once one of the worst in Dallas.  It is partially paved but has some dirt trails, particularly to the grove of Texas Buckeye trees that give it its name.  Unfortunately, parts of it are so overgrown that it is virtually impassable, especially considering snek.

This is the end of the concrete path.

IMG-20200725-103108842.jpg

The sign says "beware of hogs."  You know they're down there, but I haven't seen any tracks even.  Also you can see how it's getting overgrown.  Much worse on the dirt trail.

And this is why:

IMG-20200725-103141240-HDR.jpg

That is the concrete walkway caved in.  If you look in the distance, you can see how far it went.  I got a little nervous even standing on the part I was standing on.

This is upstream of Trinity Lock & Dam #1 by about a mile and Trinity Lock & Dam #2 (pictured upthread) by 2-3 miles.

It's a fascinating area of Dallas.  As far as "residential," anything nearby is pretty much the worst Dallas has to offer:  poor, crime and drug infested.  There are apparently encampments not of homeless, but of I guess methheads or other druggies where they just party balls.  People you definitely do not want to encounter.

There are also some private hunting and fishing clubs in the vicinity with really nice houses on them that some of the oldest, richest families in Dallas own.

A bit of a threadshit, but since related to photos from Goat Island Preserve, thought I'd put it here.

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Need some quick advice.  I'm looking to pull the trigger on some new wheels soon.  Inventory is low, so I'm basically down to these two options:

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobile/us/en/vitus-mythique-27-vr-bike-deore-1x10-2020/rp-prod182812

Pros: $100 cheaper, probably can get it in a few days.

Cons: I am not familiar with xfusion, but it gets decent reviews mostly from euro sources.  Not a 29er.

https://www.fezzari.com/cross-country/wiki-peak-sx

Pros: 27.5+ and convertable to 29.  I'm familiar with suntour but Is the xfusion above better? American company, 30 day no hassle returns, lifetime warranty.

Cons: $100 more, 2 month wait time.  

 

Anyone have opinions on the spec?  I have no idea how the xfusion compares to the suntour and how the sram sx compares to deore.

Anyone have opinions on 27.5? I've been on 29er for 15 years but have ridden 27.5 here and there.  Honestly if the vitus 29er was available I'd jump on that.  

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Posted (edited)

Looks like the VItus is gone.  I read pretty uniformly good things about them.  But it's usually the hardtails.

The Fezzaris also get good reviews.

SX is the new ultra-cheap SRAM.  It's pretty decent by most accounts, understanding that it is cheap, which probably means more plastic, which probably means less durability.  It is a 12spd though, so that's kind of nice.  I say ride it til it breaks and upgrade.

Suntour stuff is getting better, probably a step up from XFusion, and probably better than entry level Rockshox and similar.  Suntour makes some of the boutique forks like DVO.

I still say if you can find a Marin Rift Zone 2, it would be perfect for you.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Yea, I rode a friend's rift zone.  It was pretty sweet.  I don't think there's any for sale. I'm not sure I want to wait long enough for them to come back in stock.

I have a secret plan to order the mythique if i go that route.  Ok, I'll spill it.  They sell a VRW which is the "women's" version, which is not any different.  Same components, same geometry. 

I'm leaning fezzari because I'm hoping to stick with 29er

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Welp, down to a week before the rig goes in for service.  The fork or headset creaking has put me off my MTB feed, so I have been hiking to soak up some hours, give the old ticker a buzz, and keep the sweat glands in order.

It's funny, even while hiking I find myself looking far down the trail and stopping myself from looking down in front of me, and I don't look to the sides enough.

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epic day (for me).  6 runs.  had to make my one day at AF count.  my forearms and hands are just destroyed.  

recovering now, with a JacknCoke.

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21 hours ago, wd40 said:

epic day (for me).  6 runs.  had to make my one day at AF count.  my forearms and hands are just destroyed.

 

I went to Angel Fire 7 or 8 years ago and rode all day for 2 days.  My hands were also destroyed, and honestly I don't think they've ever fully recovered. 

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23 hours ago, wd40 said:

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epic day (for me).  6 runs.  had to make my one day at AF count.  my forearms and hands are just destroyed.  

recovering now, with a JacknCoke.

Damn. Jealous. Was planning on AF next month, but shifted plans with NM instituting the 14 day thing. Headed to breck instead to do some fly fishing and give Copper Mountain a go since Keystone is closed for the summer. 
 

Rode northshore this morning. The light rain last night knocked down a lot of the loose sand and dirt, making for prime riding.

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I’m riding mornings to beat the heat and trying to put in the work to drop about 12% of my post-quarantine fatness (about 20 rides a month for June and July). The great thing about an 8 am ride is how nice it is weather-wise. The bad thing is that it’s a nice time for snakes to hang out on the trail.

Besides the rattler above, I’ve now come up on two absolutely beautiful coral snakes. The first was a decent sized snake, the second was young and small.

The crazy thing was how fast both of them were. Thankfully they were quickly getting the f out of my way, but watching them coil and thrash in half a second makes me worry that they could get tangled up with me. I ride platforms and cannot bunny hop to save my life.

I’d rather encounter a coral snake than a viper but it’s still a shock. Stay safe.

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the 14 day thing is just a scare tactic.  we had one vrbo (in Santa Fe) cancel on us because of it, but we eventually found another outside of Taos.  worked out much better, imo.  all the museums and whatnot are closed, anyway.  restaurants are hit or miss.  so SF just would have been pointlessly crowded.  

Taos seemed to be doing things right, and was a much more chill experience.  meanwhile, the AF parking lot was 100% Texas plates.  lift line was non-existent, for the most part.  trail conditions were great, outside of the usual braking bumps in the berms.  this is the time of year to go, with the afternoon showers to keep the dust down.

we're actually staying in Red River, for the second half of the week.  holy shit.  overrun with Okies and Texans.  the Texans are slightly better than the Okies w/r to mask wearing, etc..  (Okies being easily identifiable by their OSU and OU gear).

 it's going to interesting to watch the case numbers around here.  the locals don't seem to be taking it very seriously, given that their guests aren't.

have a good time at Breck!  there are some nice (free) trails in town, if you got the lungs to grind back up to the top.

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1 hour ago, wd40 said:

the 14 day thing is just a scare tactic.  we had one vrbo (in Santa Fe) cancel on us because of it, but we eventually found another outside of Taos.  worked out much better, imo.  all the museums and whatnot are closed, anyway.  restaurants are hit or miss.  so SF just would have been pointlessly crowded.  

Taos seemed to be doing things right, and was a much more chill experience.  meanwhile, the AF parking lot was 100% Texas plates.  lift line was non-existent, for the most part.  trail conditions were great, outside of the usual braking bumps in the berms.  this is the time of year to go, with the afternoon showers to keep the dust down.

we're actually staying in Red River, for the second half of the week.  holy shit.  overrun with Okies and Texans.  the Texans are slightly better than the Okies w/r to mask wearing, etc..  (Okies being easily identifiable by their OSU and OU gear).

 it's going to interesting to watch the case numbers around here.  the locals don't seem to be taking it very seriously, given that their guests aren't.

have a good time at Breck!  there are some nice (free) trails in town, if you got the lungs to grind back up to the top.

Ah, gotcha. Yeah, that was what we kinda figured. The big problem was that it coincided with them shutting down the state parks, and we had planned on camping in the cimarron canyon SP area while we were there. We ski AF pretty often, but I still have yet to ride it in the summer, so that’ll definitely be next summer’s trip. 
 

Yeah, you aren’t kidding about needing the lungs (and legs) on some of the trails around breck. We did several of them a couple years back. Wife rode several with me, but once she ran out of gas, she became my personal shuttle service. Plan for this trip will be pretty similar to that one. Ride the free trails first full day, fly fish the Blue for several days, then ride Copper Mountain (did Keystone last time, which was awesome until I shredded a tire in a rock garden on a black and had to hike the bike the whole way down). Crossing our fingers we can nab the same camping spot. It’s hard to beat waking up to this view:

9ACA6C51-D1EC-4818-AFCC-802A2B1CB02D.jpeg

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On 7/30/2020 at 4:56 PM, wd40 said:

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epic day (for me).  6 runs.  had to make my one day at AF count.  my forearms and hands are just destroyed.  

recovering now, with a JacknCoke.

Very cool bro!  Think I did 5 runs.  Yea, id never gripped so tight in my life.  

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wait.  were you just there this week?

anyhoo.  all the way home, I was thinking there'd be no way to condense all the footage down to a short enough video that it wouldn't put people to sleep.  turns out I was wrong.  I struggled to find enough to fill one song, and I still almost fell asleep.  

because it's what I do, here you go.  it'll never do it justice.  so fun. 

the Diesel section looks weird to me on youtube.  looks fine on the original file, but it seems chunky and slow on youtube.  the rest looks decent.  maybe I'm just sleep deprived.

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6 minutes ago, wd40 said:

looks fine on the original file, but it seems chunky and slow on youtube.

Unless you're going crazy fast or crazy steep, video makes everything seem flat and slow ... at least compared to the actual experience.

FWIW, I thought it was great footage. Looks super fun. If I didn't have such a great fishing trip, I'd be mega jealous. And, as always, excellent music choice.

How did the new fork feel compared to the old?

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in a word?  solid.

I will say no more til you spill the deets on that monster in the fishing thread.  any dumbass can go to Angel Fire bike park and have a good time.  landing a fish like that is something truly special.

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3 hours ago, wd40 said:

I will say no more til you spill the deets on that monster in the fishing thread.  any dumbass can go to Angel Fire bike park and have a good time.  landing a fish like that is something truly special.

What is this monster of which you speak? Oh, wait ... do you mean this guy?

07-31-20-Mister-Twenty-Six.png

So, anyway, the deets ...

Without getting too specific, a long-time fishing buddy and I have been on the hunt for lunker bull trout for a few years. Struck out in 2018 at a place that only had resident (non-migratory) bulls. Another had low pops and was a very poor return on investment. I stopped searching, but my buddy kept at it and found this location last year.

We got into them well enough despite being a touch early. This little monster taped out at 26 inches--big but not all that remarkable to what can be caught. Most were hooked on large streamers, but we also cast dries (e.g., hoppers, beetles, caddis) and some nymphs. I even used my spinning rod and chucked spinners and raps with moderate success.

You are absolutely right--pulling a fish like this out of a relatively small body of water is truly special. It's similar to the salmon/steelhead phenomenon, but without the guilt or overcrowding.

They also are super aggressive and punch above their weight. They don't jump. They hug the bottom, pull hard, and make frequent runs ... especially when you are trying to net them. 🤣

#sorrynotsorry for the derail. Still at smugness factor five. It's a memory I am savoring and hope to add to.

That said, I would have loved to be in Angel Fire hitting those flow trails with you. If only there were more days (and dollars).

 

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I didn't get any pics, but if any of you ever have to go to the Twin Cities, hit the Lebanon Hills trail system.  Rode up there on Saturday with my brother, a buddy from college (who is currently staying in my brother's garage), and my old man.  Really great flow to the trails, easy to follow, and just a lot of fun.  The old man has barely ever ridden singletrack and he took a pretty good digger as we were trying to keep up with the guys who knew the trail system pretty well.

My brother is coming down later this month to our trail system and I'm hoping to return the favor some.

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Back wheel on my Chameleon has cracks on a couple spoke holes.  So, I've been on the DL for two weeks, waiting for a new 27.5" replacement rim.   No new mtb's in the shops (except for some very high end models)/ parts are all back ordered.  Crazy Times!

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7 hours ago, LosIllini said:

Back wheel on my Chameleon has cracks on a couple spoke holes.  So, I've been on the DL for two weeks, waiting for a new 27.5" replacement rim.   No new mtb's in the shops (except for some very high end models)/ parts are all back ordered.  Crazy Times!

I've been waiting six weeks to get my rig into the shop for a fork service.

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@TwiceHorn

Hitting RCP tomorrow after school.  First time on the MB in 3 months.  I finally mapped out a pretty good road bike route from Rowlett to Rockwall and back.  I've been doing that almost every day for 2 months.  Took the boys fishing at RCP last week (just off 66) and almost stepped on a snake.  Hoping to avoid those tomorrow.  

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

@TwiceHorn

Hitting RCP tomorrow after school.  First time on the MB in 3 months.  I finally mapped out a pretty good road bike route from Rowlett to Rockwall and back.  I've been doing that almost every day for 2 months.  Took the boys fishing at RCP last week (just off 66) and almost stepped on a snake.  Hoping to avoid those tomorrow.  

Cool cool.  I think RCP is the snakiest trail in the metro.  I have seen lots of copperheads there.  But more close encounters elsewhere.

Bike is finally going in the shop tomorrow for fork or headset or whatever it is.  I should correct this for my own thinking.  The fork needs servicing, period, and so does the shock.  It may or may not be what's creaking up front (or wherever it is).

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Good to hear.  I know the bike shops were extremely backed up at the beginning of Covid.  They were turning away folks at the door.  

On a related note, we're getting ready to buy an RV, which should open up all kinds of future possibilities for both road and mountain in the future.

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Rear rotor is out on the hard tail and my guys are having a hell of a time finding a replacement. Could be riding the season out on the fatty.

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I have these 160s I'll never use again.  shoot me a PM if you're interested.

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It’s the freehub rotor, not brake rotor. Bearings are all shot. Should have qualified. Appreciate the offer though!

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Welp, my creaking was probably my cracked frame at the headset and toptube.  Got a five year warranty, so I'm ok there, but gonna have to pay to get everything moved over.

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that sucks, man.  2020 strikes again.

I guess it's better than finding out the hard way and eating your front tire, furthest from the truck.

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Actually, I misunderstood.  It's the front of the weld on the gusset between the top tube and seat tube.  Must have happened pretty recently, as with the creaks because I should have noticed it.

IMG-0029.jpg

 

But I haven't ridden in a month, nor have I washed or cleaned in a while.

There's a spot of yellow paint on the top tube right by the headset.  It had crazed or checked, which made me think it was flexing strangely.  That seems to have been true.

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21 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Actually, I misunderstood.  It's the front of the weld on the gusset between the top tube and seat tube.  Must have happened pretty recently, as with the creaks because I should have noticed it.

IMG-0029.jpg

 

But I haven't ridden in a month, nor have I washed or cleaned in a while.

There's a spot of yellow paint on the top tube right by the headset.  It had crazed or checked, which made me think it was flexing strangely.  That seems to have been true.

This is the Marin?

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Wow that's a bummer.  Have they been able to give you an ETA on the frame replacement?  Hopefully you're not down for too long, given the current situation in the bike industry.

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Posted (edited)

I emailed Marin late yesterday, although probably still during business hours in Cali.  No response yet.

The creaking really annoyed me, so I quit riding a month ago.  Probably a good thing given that crack.  Can't believe I didn't notice it, but my attention has been focused on the front end, and I hadn't washed it in a while, either, which is when I suppose I would have noticed it.

I haven't been off this long except for weather in a couple of years.  So, at this point I don't really gaf.

There's only one AD in the metro, supposedly a really cool little shop in Arlington, but I kind of hope they don't make me drive out there for the warranty.

Also, the shop doing the fork/shock service got hosed by Rockshox and their ever-changing lineup so the seal kit they got for the fork was for the wrong one.  So they have another on order.  So I'll get my broke-ass bike next week and then figure out what to do with it.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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20 minutes ago, Al_4_ISU said:

Free hub body. Not rotor.

I don’t know shit about these things. I just ride them

Any idea what kind of hub?

It might not surprise me that brake rotors are in short supply these days, but hub internals would surprise me.

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Any idea what kind of hub?
It might not surprise me that brake rotors are in short supply these days, but hub internals would surprise me.

October is projected delivery date. They’re scouring other area shops

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I am really loving my hardtail on flats. I have nonexistent core strength and blew out my right arm trying to remove 20 year old shrubs with a pickaxe, but I can ride flat trails like a pro. Lol.

42707f9002ebc298dc2e6c0bde07767d.jpg

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