Posts Tagged ‘Fox Racing Shox’

My new ride – Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010

// December 14th, 2009 // Comments Off on My new ride – Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010 // Information

On Friday I traded my Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’ with a brand new Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010.

I have learned many different things about myself and about cycling in the course of the last three and a half months. Simply put, I love this sport.

The problem I had is that I went through a frustrating and expensive process to put me on the right bike. See, I had 4 bikes during this short time period. From a Trek 4300 2010, to a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 09’, to a Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’, and finally to a Specialized Enduro SL Comp 2010. The whole thing could have been easier on me if I had a clue about cycling when I went to buy my first bike, or the understanding that an uber Clyde like me must check few basic things in a bike just to consider them to be fit. My experience could have been different if the bike store I first entered would have fitted me on the right bike instead of selling me a Trek 4300 (the front fork was for show only). And instead of trying to squeeze me for more cash trying to fit me on other bikes that cannot fir me (the Gary Fishers are very aggressive on the geometry of the bike) would have give me a good advise on which actual bikes I should get. Now I understand they do not have a clue about Clydes and what should or should not work for them.

Uber Clydes like me should look for a bike designed for Freeride, Downhill and/or All Mountain ride. Some key parameters to look for are:

  • A strong frame that can sustain abuse
  • Relaxed geometry
  • A 160mm front fork
  • Strong rims with good spokes to carry the weight

The Specialized Enduro has it all. Once I have finished the test ride I fell for it (I tested few bikes that day). It was the first bike I rode which immediately felt right. I could finally feel the front fork is doing its job (Rock Shox Lyrik 1600mm), and that the rear shock (Fox RP2) is effective even when a heavy guy like me sits on the bike.

On Saturday I rode 24km with the bike. I still need to adjust it here and there, but overall it was a great ride. I cannot wait until I get the bike out the next time (the weather here is tricky these days).

I truly hope that ‘small’ people like me would learn from my experience, and the hassle of being hassled would be saved for them.

Getting a Bike (Part IV)

// December 9th, 2009 // Comments Off on Getting a Bike (Part IV) // Information

The fact I was now limited to a certain front fork made the life easier on the people at the bike shop. They could now limit me to the higher end hardtail bikes that are using a Fox Racing Shox front fork.

I got a Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’ (uses a Fox F100 RL, 100mm).

I did not plan on getting this bike, or paying that much. It still seems to me I was ripped off. A kind of a situation you cannot get away from. “We will find the bike that would fit you”, is something they constantly told me. It is like you cannot simply walk away hoping not to remember the horrible experience.

Not that the bike is a bad bike. Don’t get me wrong. But a Clyde has different needs. The geometry of the bike needs to be less aggressive, and the Gary Fisher has an aggressive geometry. We had to replace the stem, and also the handlebar to raise the front portion of the bike higher.

It is not like it is perfect now. I still need to do some adjustments. My hands still get numb after the 8-10km marker.

The worst part is that I still have this feeling that I got ripped off, and this is something I can’t shake off.

If you are a newbie to the sport and a Clyde, I hope you would learn from my experience. Understand what are your limitations first, even before going to a store. If you feel you cannot trust the guys, or that they try to put you on a bike you do not feel comfortable on, just walk away. There are plenty more bike stores you can walk into, and I am sure that you would find a store you can trust.

Getting a Bike (Part III)

// December 5th, 2009 // Comments Off on Getting a Bike (Part III) // Information

I woke up the next morning at 5am ready to test the Hoo Koo E Koo at my home ground. A minute or two into the ride I felt something is wrong. I was leaning forward way too much. At first I tried to ignore it and to continue to ride. But as I covered more grounds I started feeling really uncomfortable on the bike. My hands were hurting from a lot more weight I have now put on them, my back started hurting, etc.

I took the bike to the bike shop. Only now they figured out they need to measure the sag. Sag is the compression of the fork caused by the rider’s weight. The sag should be between 15 and 25 percent of maximum travel. If you’re unable to achieve optimum sag you may need to change the fork’s air pressure (Air based forks), spring or preload (Coil). Even when trying to put more pressure into the fork my sag was above 30%. We gave the local representative of Rock Shox a call to find that we are at maximum pressure, and that I may need a different fork then the Tora Solo Air.

I was furious. I am the one with no idea about how to fit a bike and these guys just sold me something which does not fit me – twice now! I could not understand why didn’t they check this before I left the store, and why didn’t they bother with it entirely?!?!

I left the bike at the store and went home thinking. I decided that instead of relying on answers that may not be true I would send an email to Fox Racing Shox and to SRAM asking about my weight and their front forks.

The next morning I got an answer from Fox. I can use any of their front forks provided I do not go over 200 psi. They also advised it may be wise to use a fork that has a 15QR through-axle system (the 32 series) or one with a 20QA through-axle system (the 36 series).

Now I knew what I need as for the front fork. It also meant that I would have to invest more then that I have originally envisioned.

In Getting a Bike part IV – What bike did I end up with?