Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another hare-brained idea

Pat Rick. On this morning's SOS ride.
 He's not hare-brained.
I plan on taking this ride next Saturday or Sunday.

As far as Nat'l Forest rides go, it's sort of an odd duck. It's a hybrid ride: the first half is paved and all climb to the top of Sherman Pass. The second half is all dirt. Most of the second half (I'm thinking about 25 miles or so) is dirt road descent.

The dirt part has a lot of different surfaces: nicely graded bits, super smooth shady bits, rocky off-cambery sections. There are random mud holes, wood chunks, and fallen rocks along the way that make for wonderful split-second decision making (ride over it? go around? bunny hop?)

Visual foreshadowing.
A sophisticated literary device.
So that's the context for the hare-brained idea. Normally, I take my Rawland for National Forest rides. With big fat 58mm Quasi-Moto tires, the descent part of the ride is just fun; you don't really have to do the micro-line picking. Generally: point and go and ease into the sharp turns.

The climbing part of the deal though is a bit more of a chore. Especially on paved roads. The Rawland is a beefy bike and as much as those Quasi's will pretty much out-roll any other knobbie within 10mm width, they're still pretty turdy for 25+ miles of paved road climbing.

Enter. The CX tubulars on the beloved hacked-to-hell-RB-T.

What's not to love? This bike is so rad.
That's the hare-brained idea. I can run these bad boys at 60 psi for the climb, then drop them to about 40 psi for the descent. I'll have to be a hair nit pickier and a tad slower on the bombing sections than I would on the Rawland, but not  by a huge margin.

I have one spare. And if shit really goes north, I have a sewing and patch kit. But really, the flats I would worry about as I bomb dirt roads on 34mm tires would be of the pinch variety. The dreaded snake-bite potential drops a shitload with tubular tires. You with me here?

Phone-cam doesn't really capture the pretty violet flowers.
This is from the middle trail on the HD trails.

I may have hit on something here! I've been riding these tires around the bluff for a the last couple days and they're pretty much all-that in the corning and fast department. And on pavement, they're good enough. I wouldn't want to lean into hard fast paved turns with them on a rainy day -- but for getting up hills, this set up is a good one.


alex wetmore said...

That ride looks great, you are making me jealous that I can't come east next week.

I'd personally role that on the Quasi-Motos on the Elephant. The Elephant is going to climb a lot better than your dSogn. The Quasi-Motos and their width and bite is going to be really nice on the descent. They aren't the best tires for the 25 miles of pavement, but they aren't that bad either, and I don't think you'll notice when you are just going uphill anyway.

John Speare said...

Elephant was the initial plan... but I'm lazy and I don't feel like taking off the fenders and swapping tires.

But maybe I'll do that and leave the Elephant set up in "Nat'l Forest mode" for the months of July/August.

John Speare said...

And btw Alex, it's never too late to blow everything off and travel over next weekend...
just sayin'

Anonymous said...

I followed your logic until the part about how sewup mounting and repair (in the wild while frazzled) would be less trouble than removing a pair of fenders (in your shop while sipping a beer).

Perhaps this is more of that "650b logic" that, I admit, I just don't understand.

Couldn't you just bring some other clinchers, if the motos are too hefty for pavement?

I'd suggest Schwalbe teflon-kevlar-iron-belted double-rubber marathon-plus-plus ultra-superiors.

You'll hardly know they're there.

bentography said...

Can't wait to hear about how it goes- either make it on on wheels or on foot.

John Speare said...

Leave it to Anon to bring out all that fancy "logic."

How about if I brought beers with me so I had some beers as I sewed?

Of course the more I think on it, the "just swap the fucking tires on the Elephant" plan is making more sense.

Sometimes having a blog is not so satisfying. It's harder for me to make hair-brained ideas a reality when I share them out.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's "hare-brained". Related to the rabbit's desert-dwelling cousin.

John Speare said...

Anon #2: thank you. I've updated per correct term usage

Christopher Grande said...

Tubular Challenge on are RB-T sounds sooooooo damnnn funnnn. I'd do it. Take a break, change a tire, have hella fun, take a break, change a flat, more hella funnn. Alex Wetmore is probably right, but I still see this as a win-win-win-win-WIN situation.

Anonymous said...

The issue is apparently relative beer density. The higher drag of the motos would require John tocompensate with a lighter beer on the ride.

Perhaps even a lite beer.

I would suggest lighter tires and heavier beer.

glendale fire systems said...

I new it would happen. The sequence is quite assuming.

rory said...

i'd just ride it on the elephant with hetre's.