Monday, September 16, 2013

interbike 2013: outdoor demo day one

Rode a few bikes today.  Liked all of them, but some more than others. In the order they were ridden:

Specialized S-Works Camber.  

I liked this bike.  A lot.  But I never got very comfortable with it through the corners, even through two laps.  Later I realized the problem was likely the lax head tube angle.  Too lax for me, anyway.  It's clear I prefer a more aggressive posture.  But I'm sure with time I could grow to love a bike like this.  With time.  I think I commented at the time, "Riding this bike would make me a much more confident mountain biker."

Pivot Mach429.

My brother loves this bike...but he admits he may be biased as he rides an earlier version.  But the bike was also my nephew's favorite.  It was not mine.  Which is not to say I didn't enjoy it, I did.  But it took a little while.  When I first got on it I was sure I liked the Camber better, but after riding it a bit I grew to appreciate it.  Again, however, the less aggressive angles and tall handlebars just really aren't my style, even if it makes descending the nasty nasty so easy and confident.

LaPierre Zesty.

Or it may be the Spicy.  I can't remember.  I don't know this brand very well, didn't know it at all before riding this one.  It's unique feature (besides its 650b wheel size) is that its suspension is electronically controlled.  Rather, the rear shock is electronically controlled.  The fork talks to the rear shock; the fork takes a hit the shock opens up, when the fork is doing nothing the shock locks up.  You can override the auto setting via the control computer which is integrated nicely into the head tube stack.

I liked this bike, even though the saddle was set much too low.  My nephew didn't.  But I should say this is the first bike I've ridden with 650b wheels, so I may have liked that.  Anyway, an interesting idea, and it's easy to see the idea taking traction in the future, but I can assure you that, for me, the electronics wouldn't be worth the $800 premium over the non-electronic suspension version.

Pinarello Dogma.

On my way to ride more 650b mountain bikes I got distracted by the Pinarello tent.  So I rode this bike.  I'm glad I did.  I don't know why, but I've had the impression that the Dogma was a bit of a, well...a dog.  But this one wasn't at all.  Light.  Stiff.  Responsive.  Nimble.  Really.  I really liked riding it.  And wish I could take it out for a several hour ride.  Maybe they'll let me take it home...

And this particular bike, well, guess who once rode it:

Pinarello Dogma XC.

After riding the road Dogma I wanted to try their F/S XC rig.  However, they only brought mediums.  And the large hard tail was out.  So I rode this extra large.  But besides looking super silly with just a touch of seat post showing, I really liked this bike.  I love me some tasty hard tail.  Other than that, I don't have much to say.  It's a hard tail.  It climbs well.  It feels like a real bike.  I corners well.  It's hard to keep the back wheel planted on the rough stuff.  It's a hard tail...

Specialized Epic WC Expert.

On my way back with the Pinarello I noticed the line at the Big S tent was short.  So, further distracted from finding more middle-sized wheel bikes, I hurried over to try to find an Epic to ride.  None in size large, but they gave me this one in an XL.  It was a bit big for me, but...  I LOVE this bike.

The funny thing is that people have been telling me I would love this bike.  They tell me that, but who knows.  And I hadn't ridden it.  But now I have, and I loved it.

This bike does what I want it to do.  It climbs wonderful.  In the saddle and out of the saddle.  I rode it confidently over all the big drop stuff (as big as I'm willing to drop) and while it certainly wasn't as cushy as the first three bikes I rode today, I felt strong and confident through everything.  But, best of all, it cornered so wonderfully.  It's that head tube angle again.  Steeper head tube angle on this bike and suddenly I just know how it's going to handle through the corners.  It knows where to go.  Or maybe my body just knows where to push it.  But it was a wonderful ride.  Fast.  Confident.  Fun.  I want one of these bikes...  (In a large, please.)