Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cannondale Habit Ride #2

On Sunday, Ryan and I hit up the trails in Fort Ord.  We first headed over to Toro Park, but were stopped at the gate.  Apparently, the trails ("all of them") had just been restored and because of a bit of rain they were closed to bikes and horses.  No problem.  Plenty of fun to be had in The Ord.

Ryan had just installed a new (to him) Pike on his Felt Virtue, so he was all fiddly with it, and I was a little less fiddly with my new Habit.  We rolled in to Fort Ord at the low point of Oil Well and headed up to the top of Jacks Road, up to Three Sisters, and down Trail 42 to Skyline.  This time I was committed to getting used to having a dropper, but it still felt strange.  I may fight change a bit, but I'll get over it.  Apparently I did ok since Strava (which I use for personal comparison, not competition) later told me I got a PR.  I'm now tied for 325th place on that trail.  Movin' on up.

Next, we rode up 49 to Lookout Ridge and over to the 80s.  There are some fast and fun rollers over there.  Popping out on Crescent Bluff, we caught the pavement on Eucalyptus Rd to take us to the other side of 49, and back up we went.  Back down 49 I got another PR and was really getting in the groove and feeling comfortable with the dropper.  Low low low.  A certain song comes to mind here.

After a bit of whining on my part, I let Ryan continue to drag me around the trails.  Out of 49, we turned right and began climbing Skyline to 44.  Fun trail.  Cross Three Sisters and 44 turns into 41 (Goat), which traverses across the hill toward Jacks Rd.  Before Jacks, we took a hard right to continue on 41, up to the lookout.  Quick photo break and back on it to ride the rest of Goat.

All was going well until just after the hard right at the bench.  Tree down.  Momentum killed.  Still fun.  Back on Oil Well, we took the short route back to the road and to Ryan's truck.  A little talk of our next ride and I then rode the two blocks home and straight to the back yard to hose off the bike.

19.5 miles, lots of smiles, and only a little pain (that I'll admit to).  I'm incredibly happy with the Habit and it does everything really well.  I'm not a lot faster on it (yet) than I am on my Santa Cruz Highball hardtail, but I am overall more comfortable across the varied terrain that Fort Ord has to offer.  Yesterday I took care of the excess dropper hose at PBW, so the next thing I need to do is drop the stem 10mm (slam it, I suppose) and cut the steer tube.  There really isn't much to upgrade on this bike.  I've done ti bolts on the rotors and rear caliper, because pretty.  I suppose wheels, but I see no reason to do that for a while, if ever.  Unless someone wants to throw a set of Project 321 wheels my way.  I bought Steve at P321 a beer at the 2014 Sea Otter.  I should collect on that this year.  Silver hubs, spokes, and nipples on black rims.  Pretty please.

Yes, that trail is closed.  No, we didn't ride it.  Just a nice spot for photos.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Cannondale Habit - If I Can't Ride It, I Should Write Something About It

New bike day came on December 10th, 2015.  It was a good day.

What's in the box?  WHAT'S IN THE BOX???
But let's back up a bit.  I had been looking at the Cannondale Habit for a while and Bike Works got the Carbon 3 in as a demo.  It was a size large, and I ride a medium, but I took the opportunity to flog it a bit anyway.  The Habit and I had some fun.

In the stand, getting all set up.

After getting it set up, I took it out to Toro Park to climb Ollasen and then back down Pipeline.
Ollason Peak - 1800ft
Then a couple days later I took it out to Fort Ord to ride down 42, over 44 (Outhouse) to 41 (Goat Upper & Lower). Good times.
Beautiful sunset over Fort Ord.
The bike was great, but definitely on the big side. When I returned the demo bike, I talked with Sean about what was available in a medium.  The Carbon 3 and Carbon 2 were available, but the Carbon SE wasn't available until April or May 2016.  I wasn't terribly fond of the graphics on the 3, so after much nagging to my wife she caved and I ordered the 2.  Much stoke.

The bike arrived and I built it that night as soon as my daughters were asleep.  The only things I changed were the stock 60mm stem to a 75mm Thomson and the stock grips to ESI Fit XC.  I also added a titanium King Cage and a set of Crank Bros Eggbeaters (since replaced with Candys).

Unfortunately, due to rain and holiday travel, I've only been able to ride the bike one time.  For 9.5 miles.  Ugg.  And now the forecast is for rain for the next two weeks.  Yay.  My one ride was great.  The bike climbs well, as all reviews have claimed, and is a great descender.  I've never used a dropper post so I was a bit lost when first trying it out on Trail 42.  I've always used the seat as a reference to where I am on the bike, so I need to get comfortable getting lower and changing all I've known for the last 20 plus years of mountain biking. My next step will to experiment with the pressures and settings for the Lefty fork and Monarch shock.  So far, so good.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 2
Cannondale Habit Carbon 2