Video: ratcheting & track stand skills provide more precision for cleaning this boardwalk skinny

Demoing the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie: how does this eMTB affect my technical riding?

That’s not a typical headline for reporting about a ride on an electric mountain bike, or more precisely, a pedal-assist eMTB. But that was my frame of mind last week when I spent 3.5 hours demoing a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie at the Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail, courtesy of Rob Stepaniak at Erik’s Bike Shop.

Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie IMG_5344

I’m not in the market to buy an eMTB but I’ve been curious to see what problems I would experience on one doing the type of technical riding I like to do. When Rob saw my Facebook post about my wife’s purchase of a Pedego Commuter ebike, he contacted me to see if I was interested in a demo. Oh yeah.

(Yes, I’m fully aware of the controversy on riding eMTB bikes on singletrack mtb trails. This blog post won’t be about that but I did engage in discussion about those issues when I initially posted the photo of me and Rob on my Facebook profile here. Feel free to chime in there. Warning: I enforce civility.)

My first expectation going into the demo was that I’d appreciate the pedal-assist boost for riding uphill interim sections of the trail, i.e., those sections that don’t have any particular challenge to them. I’m rarely a racer and seldom interested in my Strava times for long segments so I’m not often in great shape.  And I don’t much like riding long uphills when it’s hot and humid.

Continue reading Demoing the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie: how does this eMTB affect my technical riding?

Video: not pedaling is the key to generating enough unweighting to get up this boulder

A 30-second vid of me on my @advocatecycle fat bike (Watchman) last week combining some elements I've learned recently to get up the vertical face of this boulder: track stand, 3/4 pedal stroke, lots of rear wheel unweighting while not pedaling. The trickiest part is to pause pedaling once the front wheel is up on the rock. My reptilian brain: "KEEP PEDALING! YOU'RE GOING TOO SLOW, UPHILL! YOU'LL STALL AND FALL OFF THE ROCK! YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MOMENTUM! PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL!" The pause in pedaling is so that the pedals can briefly be level, providing a stable platform for the vertical unweighting (leap! explode!) that helps to carry the bike up and over the rock. It's not intuitive but most of us have a neo-cortex, so it can be learned. 😉

A video posted by Griff Wigley (@mtbikegeezer) on

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