28 March 2012 - 7:08Weapon X Revisited
OK, now that there are trails to be ridden, it’s time to resume my experiment that began a little too late last year to garner any conclusive results. Weapon X was built as an experiment, to see if I could get RIP like finesse out of a much meaner beast.
This WFO is no slouch, at 30.8lbs (as pictured), it is a veritable lightweight when you consider the capabilities of such a machine. My initial findings were good, with the Cane Creek Angleset the bike handled as I suspected it might, maybe even a bit too crisp. After nerding out a couple of times over the winter, I decided I needed to see how the bike handled with a “normal” headset. I had a sneaking suspicion that it might not actually be working in the fashion I expected.
One. With the Angleset installed, I measured my head angle at 69°, using my hardly reliable iPhone angle finder app. Most folks use the Angleset to slacken the head angle, not steepen it. This headset comes with a 10mm protuberance from the bottom of the headtube, thus raising the headtube, making it more slack. The offset in the cup is supposed to correct this, but still, we have a net effect of slackening the head tube.
Two. If I install a standard inset, I’d loose the 10mm under the head tube, theoretically steepening the HA. Or, in a nutshell, restoring the HA back to “stock”. I feel that the Angleset might work better for making more slack than it makes more steep.
Three. I was not aware that the offset of the Fox 34 is 51mm, which makes for a quicker steering feel at the bars than a standard 46mm offset fork. After checking out some more facts and figures, I found that Rock Shox tapered steerer assemblies have a 38mm offset, so in theory, I might not even need the Angleset to get the quickness I want.
To be honest, I still have yet to find the sweet spot on this bike. Like every Fox fork I’ve had before, dialing them in takes FOREVER. At the moment, I have the high and low speed compression adjustments backed all the way off, and I’m still trying to get the right air pressure to make it even approach plush. As it is right now the front end feels kinda dead. The back end is a bit easier to deal with, but I still can’t seem to find the right balance between the front and rear of the bike. More tweaking will be necessary.
So my first trail ride in VT was taken on this bike just over a week ago at Pine Hill Park. Yeah, it was a little overkill, but I really wanted to get a sense of how the bike rode before I started farting about with it. Speed over the chunder was easily attained, but I did feel that the bike tended to get hung up on bumps rather than absorbing them. I’m pretty sure this is because the fork is not working the way I think it should.
Subsequently, I had a hard time figuring out where to be on the bike to get the snap out of the rear suspension I’ve come to know and love on the RIP9. Let’s just say, I didn’t find it on that last ride, but I know it’s there, my last WFO had it, so I just need to fiddle with it some more.
I’ve removed the Reverb seatpost until such time as I can fix it. It has been a pain in my ass since day one, and I just need some time to bleed the hydraulic system to make it work the way it’s supposed to. I’ve also switched the tires to the Schwalbe Hans Dampfs, which I am going to just come right out and say it, they are firggin AWESOME. Review coming after a few more rides.
Has everyone seen these? These are good!
I’m totally digging the good beer in cans movement that is happening right now.