Despite feeling terrible from the resilient 19th-century respiratory illness that I contracted in Hell last month, yesterday Ole Cinder Bloch Lochner and I went riding at Roaring Run in Apollo. It was a beautiful day, and I needed to test the new race machine. I've had it put together for a few days, but I didn't want to say anything on here until I was sure it wasn't going to fall apart.
It didn't fall apart.
120mm of travel front and back, one gear. Rad.
I wasn't riding well yesterday but I was still cruising away from Ole Cinder Bloch, who was on a rigid SIR9. The bike makes everything so easy. I can stuff it into jagged rocks, and it goes forward. Into big logs, and it goes forward. Over the end of a very low park bench, and it goes forward (with it's dizzy and disoriented rider only half attached.)
I'm used to bouncing around on a hardtail, and compared to that the Rip is totally undramatic. It just smooths everything out and goes. Since the loop at Apollo is so twisty, I was expecting the bike to be a little to big for the trail. But I was wrong. It feels quick and handles tight stuff as well as my One9 did with a 120mm fork.
It's geared at 36x19, and I had no problem standing and mashing up the steep hills. Even in such a big gear, the suspension didn't squish too much.
I finished the loop feeling as fresh as when I started it (which wasn't actually very fresh. But I did finish the loop with consumption, cholera or diphtheria. That has to say something.) My back didn't hurt and my hands weren't sore. This bike is going to make a huge difference in the last 20 miles of a 100 miler, when every bump on the trail feels like falling ass first onto a giant hedgehog.
I'm excited about the Rip. It's fast, it's fun, and it runs real good.
I'm using a Paul Melvin to tension the chain, which is basically a short cage derailleur with an extra strong spring. It's quiet, and there's very little chainslap:
I couldn't get an 8 or 9 speed chain to work without skipping (I think my cog was too worn), so I ended up with a KMC single speed chain:
Some mud, no skipping. Bueno.
The I9 guys rebuilt my wheels again, this time with Stan's Flows. So I'm running a full Enduro wheelset. I still have an Ultralite back wheel that I'll throw on for some races.
I can't wait to race this thing. It's gonna be fast.
Here's the full build list:
Frame: Niner RIP9
Wheels: Industry 9 Enduro 29er
Grips: Ergon GX2 Carbon
Fork: Rockshox Reba RLT Ti with 20mm thru axle
Brakes: Formula RX
Rotors: Forumla R1
Crank: Raceface Turbine
Bars: Raceface Atlas
Stem: Thomson 50mm
Seatpost: The one that was on closeout
A hearty thanks to me Mam.