11 April 2015
With a host of problems for the last month and a inspection at work that ended Thursday.I was glad to be off and could get out to a Demo Day to try out some new bikes. The Specialized Demo Day was hosted by 3 Sports and Carytown Bicycle Company at Forest Hill Park . Interesting that two shops in town are both hosting this event and have staff working together to make it successful.
I have been thinking for sometime now it is time that I purchase a new mountain bike. To have something that is modern and cool! So my focus at the demo day is not about trying out a Specialized bike to purchase, but is more about trying out tire size.
Listed below is what was on-hand to test ride. I rode three different bikes all (L) and I rode the same section of trail with flat pedals. I could not tell you the last time I rode flats. Must have been almost 20 years ago. But they worked out just great.
SW Epic WC- M L XL
Era Expert- S M
Fate Expert- S M L
Camber Comp- S M L
Camber Expert Evo- M L XL
Rumor Expert Evo- S M L
SJ EVO 29- M L XL
SJ EVO 650- M L XL
SW ENDURO 29- M L XL
SW ENDURO 650- M L XL
Fatboy Pro- M L
The first bike I rode was the Fatboy Pro. I wanted to see what all this fat bike stuff is about. It was a blast and it put a smile on my face. I don't think you can ride a fat bike without smiling. The Fatboy felt like you were floating on air. Nice an smooth! When you look off the the front you think this bike is heavy because of that fat tire. Well that's not the case. I found it easy to hop up on and over something.
Next up was the SW ENDURO 650b. I have been thinking that the 650b tire size is the way to go. I know, I know the hold tire size debate. Honestly I think it handles like a 26er and rolls like a 29er. Looking off the front I thought I was riding a 26 inch wheel. I really can't see the difference in wheel size while on the bike like you can with a 29 inch wheel. I think the first thing I said after getting off the bike is "that is like cheating". It is so easy to ride. For someone who has not been riding mountain bikes for 20 years and they just purchased their first mountain bike. They can buy a lot of skill at the same time. I grew up in the mountain bike world having to pick lines and I still ride that way today. I see some new riders just ride over stuff and not pick a line....
Next was... It was either, I cannot remember but it was a 29er. I could tell I was riding a big wheeled bike. Its handling was very deliberate which I liked. But not sure if it was all about the wheel or not. Different forks and geometry I think had a lot to do with it.
Okay then, if I had to purchase a bike this weekend what would it be? Well that is a hard one and in a prefect world I would say one of each wheel size. Remember I was focused on wheel size not frame material or anything else. I would have to pick the 29er just because of the deliberate handling. I would like to have the fat bike just because it is a hoot to ride that will put a smile on your face.
If this summer your local shop is hosting a demo day get out there and try something new. Now I just need to figure out what I want!