Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Super Fly!

This past Fall I started adding mountain biking more and more to my cycling diet and decided it was time to put a new bike in my arsenal.  The learning curve for mountain bikes is steep with variables like bike weight, suspension, tire selection, wheel size, and gearing needing figured out. Thankfully I had Brian at my local bike shop "Free Flight" to lean on for help.  So after lots of research I pulled the trigger on a Trek Super Fly 9.8 SL.  By the time I decided to buy the bike I only got about 3 rides in before the snow came.  Needless to say I've been itching to get back outside and break the bike in properly!  I figured while waiting for the temperatures to rise and snow to disappear I'd write an "initial impressions" blog.

Post ride pic

The Build, The Super Fly came stock with the following:
Frameset:  OCLV Mountain Carbon, removable Carbon Armor, E2 fully integrated tapered head tube, BB95, internal control routing, Micro Truss, balanced post mount, Closed Convert dropouts, G2 Geometry
Front suspension:  Fox Performance Series 32 Float, CTD (climb-trail-descend) remote-ready FIT damper, rebound, E2 tapered steerer, 15QR thru axle, custom G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 100mm travel
Wheels:  DT Swiss X1700 w/tubeless tape & valves, 142x12 rear, 15mm front
  - Shifters - SRAM X1, 11 speed
  - Rear derailleur - SRAM X01 Carbon, Type 2
  - Crank - SRAM X1 1400 X-Sync, 32T
  - Cassette - SRAM XG-1180 10-42, 11 speed
  - Chain - SRAM PC-1130
  - Saddle - Bontrager Evoke RXL, hollow Ti rails
  - Seatpost - Bontrager Carbon, 2-bolt head, 27.2mm, 8mm offset
  - Handlebar - Bontrager Race X Lite Carbon Low Riser, 31.8mm, 5mm rise
  - Stem - Bontrager Race X Lite, 31.8mm, 7 degree
  - Headset - FSA IS-2, E2, alloy cartridge
  - Brakeset - Shimano Deore XT hydraulic disc
Must have features:  Knowing that I'd end up wanting to race this thing I had a few features I was specifically looking for:
  1. Light Weight:  I didn't want weight holding me back on climbs.
  2. Full Suspension:  I plan on racing a few Xterras, I wanted one bike that could do it all from a suspension aspect and I also thought that full suspension would be a little more forgiving on the body allowing me to run faster off the bike.
  3. Tubeless:  I wanted to have the ability to run low tire pressure without worrying about a pinch flat so a tubeless setup was important to me. 
On first impression the 3 features above were all a great call.  I ride at FDR park in Dubuque which can be pretty technical.  I love the full suspension for descending.  The 29 inch wheels lets me roll over anything and the full suspension allows me to not feel the effects of rolling over everything!  The weight was a big change.  My previous Mountain bike weighed over 30 pounds, this bike came in at 23lbs.  It feels a ton more responsive on climbs and I feel like the weight reduction gives me another gear for climbing.  The tubeless tires just give me more options for the terrain I'm riding on any given day.  When I'm in loose sand or muck and can drop the tire pressure and get more traction, the additional grip makes a big difference in turns and the speed I can carry through those turns.
There are a couple other neat features included on this bike that I didn't necessarily know if I wanted but I can tell already are really nice to have.
  1. 1 x11:  The Super Fly came with 1 x11 meaning there is 1 chain ring up front and the cassette has a 11 cogs on it. I wasn't sure if this was a good thing or not.  Initially I'm loving it!  First it makes the bike lighter, with one less shifter, derailleur, and chain ring.  But it also simplifies shifting, which for me just makes the riding that much more enjoyable. 
  2. Remote Lockout: If you are on varying terrain that goes up and down often this is a really nice feature.  It allows you to lock out the front, rear, or both suspensions with just a push of a button on the handle bars. I'm not having to search for my front or rear shock lockout while worrying about handling the bike and the trail ahead.
SO, needless to say I'm excited to get out there for another ride!!! I've been searching for local mountain bike races and Xterras and once I get a few more miles and a race under my belt I'll post and update.  Feel free to post comments or ask questions.
Happy Training!