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Working with bikes all day at the shop I see many Solos, many similar to mine, but I guess its like the Rifleman's Creed: there are many like it, but this one is mine. I can't believe how quickly this little bike has grown on me and since I built it up its been nothing but smiles and trails. The Solo has a zippy ride feel, is possible to ride up climbs and manages to feel both stable and peppy on descents. Its inaugural ride was at Sandy Ridge and most recently I ran it through the paces at Storey Burn. This is my first 650b bike and I have no doubt that I chose correctly in picking wheel size. The bike has a great build right out of the box, but here are a couple of things that I swapped out to make it fit my preferences:
ODI Lock On Grips. I chose the Vans ones, because they are awesome. I'll also mention that I initially thought I would want to chop down the bars right away to fit my small shoulders, but I've been riding them at the stock size of 730mm and don't feel the need to trim them. The wide bar and short stem are great for control and handling.
Next is the saddle. The boys at the shop like the stock saddle, but on a ride around the block I very quickly discovered that it wasn't going to work for me. At all. So I threw on the Terry Damselfly that I had on my old bike. Right now I've got the stock seatpost, but without a doubt I'll add a Reverb Stealth on the next paycheck.
The stock crank at the R-Kit level comes with a triple, but I really couldn't imagine a time in which I would need or use a 42 so I pulled it off and replaced it with an e*thirteen bashguard. Its practical and I think it looks nice too.
No doubt I will swap out and customize it more as I ride (or do something dumb and break it) but for now I'm about as stoked as can be. Good fit, good frame, good components, good ride. What more can a girl ask for?
Fox has announced a voluntary recall of certain 32 and 34 Evolution Series forks manufactured between March 1, 2012 and November 30, 2012. Consumers should discontinue use of the product unless otherwise instructed. More information can be found in the following press release:
Name of Product: Specified FOX Model year 2013, 32 and 34 Evolution Series Forks having 120-160mm of travel
Units: about 40,000 units total worldwide, of which about 12,500 were sold in the U.S. and Canada.
Manufacturer: Fox Factory of Scotts Valley, CA
Hazard: The fork damper cylinder / piston assembly in some of these units may separate and allow the fork to over-extend under certain circumstances, possibly causing the front wheel to detach from the bicycle while in use, creating a fall hazard.
Incidents/Injuries FOX has received 1 report of an incident in which a broken damper may have caused the fork to over-extend and allow the front wheel to detach.
Description: The recall involves certain Model Year 2013 32 and 34 Evolution Series bicycle forks with 120mm-160mm of travel with an open cartridge damper. Follow the steps in the instructions below to identify if you have an affected fork.
Sold: As original equipment on 2013 model year Specialized, Trek, Scott, Kona, Cannondale and various other brand bicycles and as aftermarket equipment.
Manufactured In:The forks affected by this recall were assembled in Fox’s Watsonville, CA facility.
Remedy: If a consumer suspects that their fork may be within this recall then he or she should stop using their fork immediately until a final determination is made as to whether their fork is affected. To make that determination, consumers should follow the directions below to locate the ID Code and Serial Number, and with that information use the recall web page (http://ridefox.com/recall or toll free number (855-360-3488 ) to receive a determination of whether their fork is within the recall. If the fork is within the recall range, the consumer should cease using the fork immediately and contact Fox. The consumer will receive a free upgrade damper for the recalled fork, to be installed by Fox or by a qualified retailer. If the fork is not within the recall range, the consumer may continue using the fork.
CONSUMER CONTACT: • Toll-free: 855-360-3488 (M-F, 8am – 5pm, PT) • firstname.lastname@example.org
FOX has submitted its plans for this voluntary recall to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, and anticipates conducting the recall with their full cooperation. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and assure you that the damper upgrade will get you back on the trail safely.
IDENTIFYING YOUR 2013 EVOLUTION SERIES FORK
Do You Have an Evolution Series Fork? • Evolution Series appears on the largest left and right decals
Other Distinguishing Characteristics • Fork Colors: Black ,White or Green • FLOAT • Remote or non-remote • Travel: 120mm-160mm • Decal Colors: Black & White with Silver, Grey, and custom PMS color combinations that are coordinated with the bike's color scheme
What to Do • Locate the fork's ID code on the backside of its left lower leg. • Enter the ID code in the interactive form at http://ridefox.com/recall • You will then be guided through the upgrade process step-by-step • The next step, if your fork is identified as possibly needing an upgrade, will be to locate the serial number stamped on the underside of the crown. You will need to remove your front wheel to get this information. You may also need to clean this area depending on your bike's use. If it's a remote fork, you'll need to remove the cable hanger to see the entire serial number. Please also note that the numbers 0, 3, and, 8 can look very similar.
If you can confirm that your Evolution Forks are subject to this recall, please contact FOX for instructions to arrange a free repair. Please also contact FOX if you are unable to utilize the interactive upgrade instructions on the web: • Toll-free: 855-360-3488 (M-F, 8am – 5pm, PT) • email@example.com
FOX is interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this recall, or involve any hazard with this product. Please tell us about it by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You've finally found it. The perfect bike. Its super dialed and you can't wait to take it out for a spin. Only one problem. It doesn't have pedals. Or even worse, it has a pair of cheap plastic pedals, like an unsightly growth on the end of each crank. You are ready to shred, but those pedals are definitely not.A rider has 3 contact points with their bike: hands, butt, and feet. A bike can have the best components and best fit, but if one of these things is wrong the entire bike can feel wrong. Of all these things, the most power transfer happens at your feet. Ideally, during the course of a ride you will never have to think about your pedals. Your feet feel secure and comfortable. Choosing the right pedals is all about personal preference, but knowing whats available can help you make the right choice.
The first decision is between flat or clipless pedals. Most mountain bike specific flat pedals have a wide platform and pins that help retain foot position. Not being attached to the pedal allows a rider to shift foot position or easily pull their foot off to retain balance.
Flat pedals will have variations in pin height and placement as well as platform height. Many allow the rider to adjust height and replace pins as needed. The Deity Skyscraper has a particularly high pin height and low platform height.
Most pedals are made of aluminum, but some, like the Wellgo MG-1 are made of magnesium, allowing it to come in at a mere 362 grams per pair.
A clipless pedal allows a rider to stay attached to their pedal. The advantage comes in added security and can aid in a more efficient pedal stroke, as a rider can pull up on the pedal as well as push down. Shimano makes a mountain specific clipless pedal, called an SPD (Shimano Pedal Dynamics). SPD's come in a variety in models, including an option with a larger surrounding platform.
For a more minimalist pedal, the Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedal is small and has amazing mud shedding ability.
The Crank Brothers Mallet has the advantages of both a clipless and flat pedal, combining a wide platform, pins and a clipless system. For heavy terrain and maximum stability, the Mallet is hard to beat.
The climb to the top is 3 miles. You roll out of the parking lot, ready for the slog up the paved road. You know its worth it, miles of technical trails and flowing descents await at the trailhead. You've been wanting to re-ride that one trail for awhile. Now you that you have a feel for it, know its turns and climbs, you can't wait to get back on it and cruise, taking it a little faster than the time before. There's a hiccup in your plan though: it sucks to stop every time you have to adjust your saddle height for the terrain. You need your saddle up for the climb, but you want it out of your way for those descents. Nothing more irritating that a saddle in your back when you go over that rocky drop off.Mountain bikes have experienced a lot of innovations within the past couple years, and one of the best so far is the dropper seatpost. Similar to an office chair, a dropper post will descend and rise at the push of a handlebar mounted button. Weighted, it will go down and be out of your way, but standup and push the button and its right back in place for climbing. No stopping, no getting off the bike.
There are two different mechanisms that make dropper seat posts work: hydraulic and cable actuated. Hydraulic posts, like the RockShox Reverb will give you a smooth feel and infinite adjustment settings. The RockShox Reverb Stealth and KS Lev also prevent frame rub by fixing the housing to the base of the seatpost. The Command Post by Specialized has three pre-set positions. While initially this may seem limiting, it can be advantageous knowing where it will stop every time, preventing the need for microadjustments.
So hop on and ride that trail. No need to bust out the hex key or hurt your knees trying to compromise on seat height. Just you, your bike and the trail.
Hey all,New this week at the Farm we've got Fox's all new 40 Air. Fox They redesigned their whole chassis, shaving weight off the dropouts, arch, and crowns. They also replaced the Ti spring with a new air spring, saving 152g. All in all the new 40 is 526g or 1.16lbs lighter than their Ti coil sprung model. If your DH rig needs some love, come check out the new Fox 40 at the Fat Tire Farm.
If you look closely at the lowers, you can see where Fox shaved unneeded material from the arch and the dropouts. As well as a completely redesigned set of crowns.
Wouldn't it look great matched up with a set of Enves on that S-Works Demo 8.
Friday night and Craig and I have gotten into a heated debate about what slopestyle bike is the best.The candidates are BlkMrkt Kilswitch, Transition Double and the brand new Specialized P.Slope. All three bikes come in at around 30lbs with a standard build. Here are some critical numbers:
Kilswitch: 100mm of travel, 16" chainstay, 69 degree headtube angle, 13" BB height. $1500 frameset.
Transition Double: 80-100mm of travel, 16.1" chainstay, 68 degree headtube angle, 13" BB height. $1300 frameset.
P. Slope: 84mm of travel, 15.07" chainstay, 70 degree headtube angle, 12.75" BB height. $2500 complete with Argyle and other goodies.
The first thing that pops out is how DJ-ish the P.Slope is. Chainstays that are shorter than normal DJ hardtails and a super steep headtube angle. This bike is going to JUMP, anything. On the other end of the spectrum is the Transition Double. It's pretty slack at 68 degree headtube angle, long chainstays, and it's relatively expensive compared to the P.Slope frame. The Kilswitch is probably the best manufactured of the three. BlkMrkt is amazingly dedicated to quality manufacturing and smart geomoetry.
The geometry on the P.Slope is spot on. The price for the complete is pretty sweet as well. Easily our 1st choice here at FTF.
If looks could kill, the Kilswitch would kill. A close 2nd for our slopestyle shootout.
And in 3rd, the Transition Double. A good all around bike, but it's a little slack at 68 degrees and the chainstays are a tad bit long.