Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Favorites

This year I've gotten a chance to ride a lot of new stuff from a bunch of new sponsors. Being about halfway through the racing schedule already, I've had ample time to put some miles on the new bike and develop some opinions the new gear. These are my opinions, raw and honest.

First up, the Scott Scale frameset. In a word- unbelievable. Light (990 grams), super stiff, and killer graphics to set it off from any other bike out there. The ride quality is smooth and buttery but punchy and rigid when it comes to put power to the pedals. The integrated seatmast I am a fan of, although I suppose it's not for everyone. From a racing standpoint it makes sense, just be sure before you cut.
Another first for this year are the Stans wheels and rotors. They're awesome too. Just about the lightest rims available and they're strong for sure. I've hit rim lots of times without denting them or knocking them out of true. The rotors have worked flawlessly for me. I've heard others complaining about brake fade and lack of power, neither of which I can relate to. They do squeal when they just wet but at 59g/39g each, I can live with it. Oh, did I mention how light they are?
In the hands and feet department are Ergon grips and Crankbrothers pedals. I was pretty excited to get my hands on the new GX model from Ergon and for good reason. The GX compound is noticably harder than the previous GR2 model which for me, gives a more secure handle on the bike, although I do think I"ll opt for the GR2 come 24 Hour Nats where the softer compound may be more understanding towards my hands in the wee hours of the morning.
The Candy 4Ti pedals from Crankbrothers have been stellar so far. Compared to all the other models that I've tried, these have lasted the longest. I don't feel as if Crankbrothers make the most durable pedals on the market (bearing life tends to be a bit short, and the wings are a bit fragile compared to most) but boy oh boy are they some of the lightest. For a race bike that doesn't see tons of miles, they're the perfect match. And Crankbrothers (and Ergon too) also has one of the best customer services in the industry so getting repairs is a sinch.
In the rubber department, it's been the Maxxis Crossmark for almost two full years now. Perfect tire for anything. No seriously, anything. And they make it in a 29". The new Monorail looks interesting though, I'll give them a try next.

July is getting closer by the minute...and so is my bedtime

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