"INFORMATION: the facts and the evidence".
Name that tune?
Anyway, stuff thats been going through my mind. The Jones needs a little messing with. The ebb is currently run in pretty much the lowest position. Bottom bracket height is 290mm. Low. Great for stability and cornering. As i have become used to riding the Vertigo-s i've become used to a slightly higher bb. In addition, riding Jones-uk-man biff's 69er (which has a higher bb) reminded me that de-stabilising handling can be a lot of fun in the woods. So, a 420mm Eriksen post is on the way. Bushnell ebb's have a maximum 12.7mm throw, and as i am at curent maximum height on a 400mm Eriksen seat post (not due to the post - it has a minimum insertion of 70mm - but to get below the large diameter top tube, it needs to be more like 95mm) i need a bit more post. Should be interesting to try - iirc i've been riding the Jones in this configuration for at least 3 years....the thing i'm not sure about is how the weight distribution change will affect where i want the bars (at the moment i have the loop bars flipped, so i get the 13mm drop and run a 100mm -6 dgeree stem. Flipping the stem will raise me about 16mm, or i could flip the bars? we'll see...). Taking some measurements of the front centre, centre axle to centre bar at stem etc reveal some surprising results that i'm not sure how to interpret in terms of how they affect handling. There is only so much number crunching before you need to try it out. I will maintain my saddle tip/bb distance of 83mm not raising the bars will give me a little more reach...but one of the beautiful things about the Jones handling is the ability to weight or unweight the front wheel when you need control or to minimise shock transmission. i'd kind of like to try a slightly shorter (90mm zero rise) stem on there...
What else? more new tyers on the way. Rubber Queen 29x2.2 to be exact. Rubber Queens are the burly big sister of the Mountain king II i'm running at present. Rumor is that a 2.4 will be along soon enough, but if the 29er tyres follow the sizing regimen of the 26" tyre, the RQ 2.2 will be considerably bigger than the 2.2 of the old mountain king. We'll see.
Meanwhile a quick review: Continental Mountain King II 2.4. Absolutely the best tyre for all off road conditions i have used it in. Short and sweet, eh? At 780g it isnt going to win any light weight awards. It is a big tyre, wide and tall. The high volume and square profile mean getting clearance on some frames may be an issue, but if you can and aren't a gram counter above all else, it rolls superbly, is durable, offers amazing cornering grip, excellent braking and dependable traction. The sidewalls are supportive of low pressures. I haven't used it in clay soil yet. I'll update if i do, but so far i'm extremely happy. These were the tyres i was waiting for.
I received a 710mm 20 degree bend flat bar from Seven recently. The aim is to re-examine what bar i prefer. I've been messing with a 30 degree Watson cycles parkarino as well, but this will be the least swept bar i have used for many years. It is on BA at present, the thought being that low sweep bars are probably more useful in the type of riding that this bike is aimed at. I'll need to give it some time so that i can get used to it - the immediate feeling is of having my elbows stuck out at very odd angles...but perseverance is required!...i would never like to consider myself as a blinkered zealot. An open mind and informed choice is key. Oddly, some others are looking at very similar things...
At some point i need to get round to doing a comparo of 'then and now' bikepacking kit. I was looking through some old photos recently and cannot believe how much stuff i used to take along. No doubt as confidence grows you can take less. Also some of the kit i have now is considerably better and smaller than previously - i'm mostly thinking of the full length thermarest neoAir xlite that replaced the old 3/4 length prolite and is smaller and lighter and warmer and more comfortable. Hmm. Yes, it was more expensive. But there are other parts that have helped me minimise my packed volume.
I also have to get round to thinking about what the fat bike i have in the pipeline is going to be like. At present i have no real thoughts other than i want to be able to ride on mushy ground (winter in scotland). Will this be a full-on expedition bike? shorter stays and livelier handling - more like the Maul with fat wheels? Surly have something brewing with 29x3" it seems, is this worth considering?
Dunno. But i guess i need to get the thinking cap on.
Not been riding much, but i did re-discover the old DH course at a local woods. Was kinda fun to slip, slither and thread the trees...definitely scope for some opening up i'd say, if time allows.