Sunday, August 17, 2008

Droppin' Weight for the Worlds...

Thanks to a buddy who doesn't seem to get out on the bike much anymore, the Karate Monkey is going on a diet of sorts. Dropping a pound with a simple switch from the OEM Surly fork to a new White Brothers Rock Solid carbon-fiber disc fork...appropriately embellished with a little DIY decaling1.

Now, carbon fiber ain't really my thing, what with the whole catastrophic failure and degradation from environmental factors stuff (search on "American Airlines Flight 587" for a morbid example) . Compared to steel and aluminum products, I consider most CF parts to be disposable—two years and it's into the landfill. Not exactly green. That said, I've been running an Azonic CF1 handlebar on the Inbred for a little over two years and it has held up well, though it hasn't seen too many bad crashes. Still, every time I take the bike out for a ride, I think about how much I like my nose, teeth, and chin exactly as they are. And seeing DT's Easton Monkeylite snap off in his hand right in front of me a couple years back didn't exactly flood me with confidence in things carbon fiber (to be fair, that bar had seen its share of abuse, trust me). Confidence is king on the dirt, so the Azonic bar is going bye-bye in favor of an On-One Mary bar, which will make its racing debut along with the Rock Solid next weekend in Napa. (Nothing like demo-ing new parts at a big ride, ha.)

The Rock Solid will see limited use...racing situations, enduro rides, things of that nature. From what I've read, it's got an excellent track record, even under the cloven-hoofed crush of clydesdales weighing 7 stone more than me. The light weight and damping properties will be welcome assets in Cali, assuming the thing survives the baggage handlers at the airports.

I've decided to go with a 32:19 set-up for the race. Gonna be super spinny on any flats, but from what I understand about the climbing there, it might turn out to be a little on the steep side.

Now, the big decision...fixed or free? Perhaps a little trail tasting in wine country in the days before the event will help me decide. Stay tuned...

1. The decals provide more than just esthetic pleasure; from what I understand, they can be structural fail-safes when the host material gives up the proverbial ghost.

6 comments:

reverend dick said...

Well, now you're my meat.





(However you want to take that, since I'm a vegan. Anyway, have fun, if I see you and your set up I'll offer you a beer.)

Hjalti said...

Bling!

Rob said...

Great lookin' fork-- Mr. Miller has been trying to get his hands on DT's version forever- Hope Napa is good to you- good luck!

DT said...

Man, I was just riding along...

I think that handlebar is still in my parts box, in case you need a spare bar to take to Cali, ha.

CF bars, CF fork...I think you should wear a fat gold chain, ala LL Cool J. Run what you brung, and bring the bling!

2drunk2shift said...

carbon is great in certain applications, handlbars seem to be stronger, but cranks suck, at least for mountain bikes. Seat posts suck except when used with carbon road bikes. Forks especially on road bikes is the way to go. Cyclecross is another great application for a carbon fork. Let me know what you think. That fox 29er fork is on fire, but I have other use for it. The DT fork would be interesting and 2 pounds lighter. Meaning 20lbs for a 29er. I'm not much of a weight weiny, but damn.

Ikon O. Klasst said...

Hah, there seems to be some confusion, a lot of it on my part...the DT I mentioned is a dude; I didn't even know DT (Swiss) made a carbon fork till you guys mentioned it.

Googled it...It is indeed sweet.