Category: <span>Equipment</span>

Rule #12 of the Velominati’s The Rules, is:

The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

I just have one bike, not counting my trials motorcycle which I’m planning to sell Real Soon Now so as to help me with the s factor in the above equation.  I’m not yet shopping but I am ruminating.

Having ridden mototrials for years, I’m naturally interested in a trials bicycle.  Living in Minnesota, I’m naturally interested in a fat bike for winter riding.

But after my experience of enduro riding in Duluth in June, I’m now really interested in the gravity-related categories of mountain biking, especially since I have two places within 35 minutes to practice jumps (Lexington Ave. Pump and Jump Park and Lebanon Hills), and a couple of downhill runs 45 minutes away at the Memorial Trail system in Red Wing.

So with gravity weighing on my mind, I went to the Salsa Cycles demo last night at the Carver Lake Off-road Cycling Trail in Woodbury.

Salsa Cycles demo at Carver Lake Park John Gaddo and Paul Lehrer Griff Wigley, John Gaddo

QBP Outside Sales Reps for the Upper Midwest, John Gaddo and Paul Lehrer, fixed me up to demo a Salsa Horsethief which the promo lit says:

… is our full-suspension 29’er trail bike, designed for all-day riding on rugged terrain. A very capable climber, Horsethief does have a slight bias toward descending, letting you enjoy the fruits of your uphill labor. By designing the bike for use with a shorter than normal stem, the body is positioned better for aggressive riding.

rock garden at Carver Lake Park log skinny at Carver Lake Park rock garden at Carver Lake Park
I knew there wouldn’t be any rugged downhill terrain at Carver so I was content to test it on the rock gardens and skinnies. Never having ridden a full-suspension bike before, I was wondering if the Horsethief would allow me to do what I can do with my X-Caliber hardtail on the tougher technical stuff.  It handled it easily.  And I did notice that I could ride a lot faster through the rock gardens, rather than picking my way slowly, trials-style. Cool. Would the Horsethief be enough to handle the downhill runs at the Copper Harbor Ride Center and similar parks? I suspect so.

Logan Macrae, Mark Witt, Curtis Ness Owen Mibus, Ben Witt, Myrna Mibus
Fellow Rice County residents  were well-represented at the event, including the gang from Milltown Cycles in Faribault and some of their regular customers. Left photo: Logan Macrae, Mark Witt, Curtis Ness. Right photo: Owen Mibus, Ben Witt, Myrna Mibus. Not shown: Jim Fisher and his daughter Amy.

Equipment

A couple months ago I paid a visit to FIT to be TRI’d (just after it moved to the Tiny’s Building in downtown Northfield) to ask owner Tom Bisel if he could recommend a base layer that would help me deal with the problem of sweating when mountain biking in cold weather.

Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layerHe didn’t hesitate to recommend the Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layer because it not only is very effective at wicking moisture away from the body but it dries in 8 minutes.  Sure, Tom… 8 minutes? I didn’t think it possible. But it’s turned out to be the best piece of sports clothing I’ve ever purchased.  It’s wicking is amazingly effective and it really does dry that fast. Read this review for more details.

Last Sunday I tossed my 20 year-old lightweight snowboarding jacket into the wash (I’ve been using it as my mountain biking jacket) and it pretty much disintegrated.

Griff Wigley in his Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layer and Sugoi RPM JacketSo back to FIT to be TRI’d I went this week to see what Tom would recommend for a waterproof, ventilated jacket that I could use during the cool/cold months of the year and that would resist abrasion. I walked away with the Sugoi RPM Jacket and promptly crashed on the ice while riding the upper Arb.  It resisted.  We’ll see how it does when I race at the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout next week and then during the spring rains which we’ll hopefully have soon.

Tom’s been one of the people to get the Cannon Valley Velo Club off the ground in the past year and is currently the president.  It’s looking like the club’s going to cater to mountain bikers this year, too. More to come on that soon.

Dealers Equipment