Thursday, February 13, 2014

White Tanks Whirlwind & Wolftooth

Last weekend we decided to skip town and head up north to Phoenix.  We had a blast!  I was up in the air about racing, but I wanted to go to the venue and at least do a lap on the course and hang out with Trav, Chloe, and the AZ Devo crew.  It doesn't hurt either that the burrito truck at the MBAA races is top notch!

So Friday evening we headed up to Brad P's house.  He grew up in the same neighborhood as me in Pinckney and moved out to Phoenix in 94 or 95.  I still remember going out to visit him to do Cactus Cup way back then...

Had to rock the Bontrager skinsuit!
Aero to make up for the heavy bike!
When we arrived Andrea was unsure if she was going to race, so I made the commitment.  I had a hard time justifying going to the race if neither one of us was going to twisty tie on a number!

So once again I found myself on a start line of an MBAA race w/ a trail bike.  That's right I raced XC on my Remedy 9.  Luckily the courses out here are a little more tech than the courses back home.  I was able to suffer through the climbs (Remedy pedals pretty good) and use the 140mm of travel and Rock Shox Reverb dropper post to my advantage on the descents.  Of course after the dust settled I was locked in with Travis Woodruff my buddy and Momentum Endurance coaching colleague.  Ben Sonntag of Durango and Bryson Perry of SLC were long gone.  Trav would try to drop me on each climb and I would try to recover on each descent.  With 1.5 to go I tried attacking the descent and got a gap, but Trav closed on the pedaling section.  It was a heated battle that came down to the last corner.  I tried to stay patient.  I was riding the corners a little better(maybe it was the 2.35 knobbies) than Trav and when he started to slide I went.  It was just enough grip to get the last spot on the podium!

First race of the year!

That evening I was pretty smashed and vegged on the couch and watched all the Olympics that I could handle.

Supersition Mtns in the background.
The next day we woke up early and hit up some amazing trails in Gold Canyon, AZ before driving back to Tucson.  The drive home was interrupted by a huge biker rally organized by the Hells Angles who were riding to the prison in Florence.  There must have been 1000+ was huge!

I have also been doing some testing for Wolftooth Components since I have been out here.  Midwest proud!  Lets just say I am really impressed.  I was pretty happy to be running the light set up while Trav was crushing me on the climbs in the race last weekend!

I was able to remove my front shifter, f. der, inner & outer chainring, cables, housing, and frame fittings and replace with a WT 34 narrow/wide chainring.

Clean look and light weight.

So far the set up has been flawless and I have done everything from racing XC to 4 hour trails rides, to gnarly 2 + hour descents...not a single dropped chain.

All you need is a Shimano R. Der. with a locking clutch and you can do it....I actually ran this setup on my Superfly for Iceman this year.

The exciting part is the new GC(Giant Cog).  Its a replacement cog to convert your Shimano cassette to an 11-42.  You simply remove the 17t cassette and spacer and install the 42 GC on the inside of the cassette.

Out here in AZ with all the steep mtn climbs its been really nice to have the range.  I've been riding the Wolftooth 34 in the front and with the GC in the rear I've been able to climb everything that's climbable and never run out of gears on a descent.  The shifting to the 42 both up and down is flawless!

The production models will be available soon and improvements have been made(not sure how you can improve perfect though!)

This weekend I'm hoping to make it up to the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo and have some fun ripping more trails!  WooHooo - Thanks for reading.  Next up - Training in Tucson w/ the Czech's!

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