New bike – finished

Astrix Solo

This post is a little late, but here finally is my finished Astrix Solo. We’ve got the Stan’s rims on Chris King hubs, a Marzocchi Corsa Supperleggera with 100mm travel, and a ton of tasty Chromag gear. The last piece of the puzzle was a set of Shimano Deore brakes, which are not all that sexy, but they work fine.

I only rode it a couple times before our “summer” went to hell here, but I came away with some very strong impressions of what its ride is going to be.

So let’s talk about it;

2009 Rocky Mountain Blizzard

I didn’t include a picture of the parts bike I bought to make this go, so here’s the ’09 Rocky Mountain Blizzard I bought last winter. I know you’re thinking right now, “That’s a parts bike!? It’s awesome!” Yes it was awesome. And had it been my size, I probably would have kept it as a replacement for my stolen ’05 Blizzard. But it was too big, and I knew someone that had looking for an XL Blizzard for a while, so it was an easy deal to make.

How does it ride? I really forgot what a full suspension bike rode like. I was really surprised that I could just sit on it and still roll through roots. I imagine this fancy linkage has something to do with that, but I don’t know how. I think that the linkage allows the shock’s rear mount to move around a little, and that maybe results in less of the drivetrain and brakes working on the shock than my old Superlight. I remember that bike felt really weird when pedaling in the granny gear.

I was really worried about how the rear end of the bike felt in the stand, like it was going to be super noodlely, but I didn’t notice that on the trail. It’s been smooth and solid. But, I did notice that you can’t just pound over roots on the Solo like my Devinci 27+ bike can. A couple times I had a brief sensation of “I’m about to go over the bars!” but then I was ok. Maybe I just need to tune the fork differently.

I’ve already trimmed the bars, as they are crazy wide for the trails that I like to ride. And I had way more pedal strikes then I’m used to. I have to go way back to my Specialized FSR Enduro¬† to think of another bike that sat this low. I’m not very happy about this, but maybe this too can be tuned out. I may not have the right sag set in the shock, and the bike may be just sitting lower than it should be.

I’m very happy with the 2×10 drivetrain (but the chain is too short), the XTR shifters are flawless of course, those Cromag grips are extra-grippy, and I think I did a stellar job on colours, which all just fell into place honestly. I really would like a 120mm fork, but I’m good for now. And I’m still thinking about a 27.5 front wheel, but I don’t know if one will fit in this fork. Finding a good 27.5″ fork with 120mm travel and a non-tapered fork will be difficult.

More riding and more tuning is due, but it’ll probably have to wait a bit as our weather has gone to hell, so updates in the spring probably.

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