Speaking of balance, my weekend opened up, so I decided to head north for a weekend at the inaugural Raging River Festival! Put on by the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Saturday featured an XC and Sunday an Enduro on mostly new (ish) trails along the I90 corridor near Seattle, Washington. This zone was only recently established as a riding area, and has so much room for growth, especially noting its proximity to Tiger Mountain and Exit 27 trails.
For Sunday's Enduro, the Cascadia Dirt Cup put together a course of about 29 miles on trails such as "Invictus" and "No Service". It was a collective of about every kind of trail you can ride: rooty tech (lots of pumping), flow tabletops and doubles, tight & twisty flow, loamy chutes... a little bit of everything-- One of the most unique local venues of the year for sure!
Schedule had us doing one shuttle lap for practice late Saturday, followed by a quick tire swap, and bike tune for Sunday's race.
Despite some of the warmest temperatures on record for 2018, the event went off with a BANG early Sunday. We made quick work of the transfer to stage 1, and lily-padded and pumped our way down the first two stages, to re-learn to corner on stage 3, and hit some jumps on the way down stage 4. Such a cool venue, and an amazing inaugural event -- I will be back!
All in all was a great weekend, with some first place bling to take home to the family. Thanks for having me Camille and Trey, CDC!
Chris King Precision Components need no introduction. CKPC is the "top of the line" for hubs and other components in the MTB Industry. Their hubs are known to be smooth, fast and last forever, special thanks to their angular-contact bearings, and easy ability to service. #buzz #ceramicplease
Their angular-contact bearings (Steel and ceramic) are designed and made in house in Portland, Oregon, with every one assembled and inspected by hand. What makes these bearings special? They allow for adjustment as they are used; they age "like a fine wine". Hub shells and components come in a variety of fun anodized colors, to play matchy-matchy as much as you want with your new bike.
The new "boost" hubset (Iso B Front and Rear) features the patented Ring Drive with 72 simultaneous points of engagement, making for a "quick to spin up" wheel. The feel is smooth, and the hub stiff, special thanks to the one-piece axle, and flanges making for a stronger wheel-build. Side-note: CKPC is lesser known for domestically sourcing their cutting oil, for recycling all their metal chips from the CNC machines, and most importantly sourcing every component domestically. Go CKPC!
Wheel-wise, the new Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Rims, run an inner width of 30mm and are my first carbon wheel. For comparison, I've been riding the Easton/Race Face Arc 27 aluminum rim for the last few years, and have been hesitant to ride carbon, but with the lifelong guarantee, I decided to give the SC rims a try after all the positive reviews. (Note: I've ridden the SC Reserve rims in a variety of conditions with a variety of Maxxis tire treads: dry, wet, aggressive tread, small block tread). Immediately, upon building the wheels, I noticed the reinforced nipple flanges -- built this way to prevent spokes from ripping out of the rim - COOL! The hoops were light, yet seemed well-built.
Put the two together, and you've got one stiff, yet lightweight wheelset. On trail, the wheels felt stiff enough to "rail" the ruts, but not too stiff. I noticed I was able to run about 2-3psi lower in both front and rear compared to the Arc 27 (27 internal width), and appreciated the extra traction. Tires were hard to mount, and took significantly more effort to do so than an aluminum wheel, however, once on, the bead was on real tight, even with lower pressures.
Through techy rock gardens, big drops (10-15ft step downs), and plenty of high speed cornering, I felt confident in the quality of the wheels and never once questioned their strength or durability. Pretty excited to be racing with these this season!
Buy this wheel set directly from CKPC: http://wheelshop.chrisking.com/santa-cruz-reserve-30-27-5-28-28/
Thanks for all the support, Chris King and Juliana Bicycles!