I got out for 2.5 hours on the newly 69′d dork bike this morning. I rode to and from corner canyon which is about an hours worth of pavement and got in a about an hour and a half of dirt and mud and snow. Enough ride time and varied conditions to notice a few things.
Backing up a little; I have been riding the dork bike with a Surly 1×1 fork with a 26 inch wheel which made for a really steep front end. I got used to it and it never bothered me. After switching out the stock 1×1 fork for the custom 1×1 and the 29 inch wheel the front end now sits noticeably higher but I think the geometry is right where it would be if I had a suspension fork. It felt a little weird at first but by the end of the ride I didn’t notice the higher front end too much.
The climb up corner canyon hurt. I’m not sure if it was the hard gear I was pushing or the 69′d dork bike or that my legs are fatigued after multiple days in a row on the bike but I suffered. During the climb I blamed the big front wheel. So, I need more climbing time before I can say if it’s a climb worthy setup. Initial reaction is that it’s not ideal.
BTW, you can ride the corner canyon road all the way to the big switch backs near the top. I ended up doing it twice for good measure.
Pointing the dork bike downhill was a totally different story. It rolled downhill faster than anything I’ve been on in recent memory. I was shocked at how fast and smooth the bike felt on the downhill. It didn’t matter which line I picked or what I rolled over, the bike motored. However, it’s been a while since I’ve ridden my dedicated 29er WaltWorks so it could just be the big wheel out front that I’m not used to. Either way, I loved downhilling on it.
I just need to tweak the angle of the seat a bit and maybe flip the stem over to help compensate for the higher front end, that may make the difference on the climbs. If those tweaks help on the climbs this just may be the perfect setup. I’m excited to race it next month at the Cholla Challenge.