Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rolling With the Neomotos

I had some wheel woes yesterday afternoon. I was just about to run late for a meeting when I decided to take the trails downtown. So I bombed down the rocky trails way more bomby-er than I have on other bikes. I bashed the rear wheel on a rock and blew the tube: snake bite. by the time I replaced the tube Iwas late to the meeting.

Note: I was running the Fatty Rumpkins. Not the Neomoto's I have pictured here.

On the way home from the meeting, my wheels were making that funny ping sound. I had impacted the rim hard enough to loosen some spokes. I tightened up a few spokes on the road, then trued and tensioned the wheel when I got home. The sucky thing is that I already dented my fancy new Blunt Rim. That sucks!

I decided to put the Neomotos on for a few days. (Until Mr. Blaine's Midnight Century -- where I'll be running the Fatty Rumpkins again).

Wow. What a difference. This bike is crazy with these tires. I was able to squeeze in an hour of trail bombing before work this morning. Then at lunch, I took the trails downtown and bombed again. These tires are just great. Super fun. I especially appreciated them on a section of rail-rock by an active train line. This kind of stuff usually slows me down as I pick through it on narrower tires. Today I just kept at speed.

The tires slow down the handling a bit, but not as much as I expected. That said, I was able to work my way through the rooty-rocky semi technical stuff pretty well. And small rooty-rocky drops were just easy. I usually wince and grit my teeth on those small drops when I'm on my other bikes. The confidence I had in this bike felt a lot like it does when I'm on a mountain bike: Just ride through it and enjoy it.

That said, they are a bit turdy and road riding with them is a bit of a chore. My goal with this bike is to ride to new dirt locations. So a typical ride may be 2 hours of road riding and 2 hours of dirt riding. I don't think I want to ride these Neomotos for 2 hours on the road, unless I'm in for like 4 hours of dirt riding. So they'll work well for some overnighters.

I want about a 42 mm (or so) tire with knobbies and soft rubber. What I want is a 584-42 sized Maxxis Locust CX tires. I love these tires (in 522-35) on my RB-T. The grippy knobbies are just ideal for the sandy/loose dirt trails we have here. And they're good enough on the road.

Hey Maxxis people, if you're reading this, I'd like them in 622-32 as well. The 35mm fits on the RB-T but there's not much room for wobble between the rear chainstays. Thanks.

By the way. The Rawland folks read my blog and responded to the weakish paint application on the forks thusly:

Your comment on the paint job was expected. Just so you know we are addressing this issue with Maxway. We are more than willing to replace the frame and fork if so desired.


bmike said...

that is a hot looking ride.
midge bars?

Anonymous said...

I'm considering the neo-moto's but don't think they'll fit my bike. can you measure the neo-moto's and let me know their actual width from knob to knob? (mm preferable)

John Speare said...

bmike: yep. On-one midge bars.
rory: k-t-k: 60mm

Michael said...

There's a really bike-ish post up on metrospokane:

Anonymous said...

oh well. guess i'll be waiting for a 40-45 mm 650b knobby. i've heard they might be in the works by someone.

John Speare said...

Rory: according to Sean at Rawland, Pacenti is working on this. Just for good measure I sent and encouraging email to him (using his webform) telling hime that I'd buy a pair. Maybe others should do the same?

Pat S said...

Yeah, great bike and all, but man, that gate is the bomb! Looks like it could withstand one, too. Wooden posts backed up by steel posts . . . are you kidding me? I have serious gate envy.

TacoTruck said...

I love your blog. I am on the fence between a cyclocross bike, a Rawlands, or a Karate Monkey. To help me decide, can you tell me what the frame weight was? I would like a fast bike that can ride fire roads in 650b's as well as road/commute in 700c slicks.

John Speare said...

Tino: I don't know the weight. It's not going to be lighter than a proper cyclocross bike. My guess is that it may be a tad lighter than a KM. But these are all guesses. Sean at Rawland is pretty responsive.

Gino Zahnd said...

I spent a few weeks with the Quasi-Moto tires on a Bombadil, and I think you'll be pleased with them. They reminded me of some of the higher end XC MTB race tires I've used, like older Hutchinson Mosquito and the older green Michelins, whose name is failing me right now. Wildgripper? Maybe that was it.

Anyway, the Quasi-Moto was perfect for the dry hardpack here in Chico, and equally at home on the coastal sandy stuff. It rolled pretty well on asphalt for a knibbly, certainly better than the Neo-Moto looks like it would. I wouldn't want to ride 50 miles on the road with the Quasi, but it is a mountain bike tire.

And yep, I can't wait for the Mini-Moto for cross racing!