Monday, 23 February 2015

Drivechain - Shimano XTR and SRAM XX1 Mash-up!

Some more drive chain detail.

Yes, the XTR mech works flawlessly with the XX1 cassette straight out of the box. I did notice the larger jumps of the SRAM cassette, but I hope it is worth it for the extra ratios. SRAM XX1 offers eleven gears ranging from 10-42 compared to 11-40 from Shimano.

I've been running Rotor Q-Rings for a couple of years. As you can tell from the wear on the cranks! Totally convinced they help me stay on top of a harder gear and spin up the climbs. Haven't found a lighter solution than the Specialised crank with Rotor spider and 32t ring. I run 170mm cranks.

I-Spec shifter uses the same clamp as the brake, really tidying up the handlebar. I do need to re-bleed the brakes as my first attempt didn't work.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

S-Works Stumpjumper HT - First Ride Impressions

First ride this morning on the new S-Works Stumpy. Initial impression was "Whoa this thing is fast!" The next thing to hit me was how the XTR gears are almost telepathic. The Shimano mech and shifters work perfectly with the XX1 cassette.

Unfortunately I then realised that my first attempt to bleed the brakes after shortening the cables had not been so successful.

Handling is nice and direct and it was noticable how comfortable the ride was.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

S-Works Stumpjumper 2015 Build

New build ready to start.

Frame: S-Works Stumpjumper
Fork: Rock Shox SID Brain
Wheels: Light Bicycles Rims / Stans 3.30 Hubs
Shifter: XTR M9000
Mech: XTR M9000
Cassette: XX1
Brakes: XTR M9000
Rotors: KCNC
Saddle: Specialized Romin
Seatpost: Specialized
Stem: Ritchey WCS
Bar: S-Works
Crankset: S-Works 32t Rotor Q-Ring
Pedals: Eggbeater 3

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Staying Close to Home

This weeks blog was going to be a race report from round 2 of the Gorrick spring series at Crowthorne. However, Mrs Connor is not very well, so instead I spent the morning changing nappies and playing trains! Due to the generosity of a friend who took the young man off my hands for a few hours, I was still able to get out for some quality trail time.

This was my first local off-road ride of the winter and it felt great to be exploring familar routes again after months of road training rides. I set out to get in some decent climbing, which I've felt has been missing from my riding recently. Not the short, sharp climbs that we get at races, but the longer 5 to 10 minute gradual hauls you find around the South Downs. 

Boy I needed the practise, as it was hard work! 950m of thigh burning climbing was made that much harder because the 9 speed road cassette I was running only had a biggest sprocket of 28 instead of the 36 I'm used too! Conditions were pretty dry so at least I didn't have mud to contend with.

It wasn't just the uphills that were challenging. I'd forgetten how unforgiving riding with rigid forks was. I was suffering badly from arm pump, made worse since I spent much of yesterday trimming the hedges at home!

I am sure I could feel some heat from the sun as I glided over Kingley Vale, which made a very welcome change after a week of snowy and icy commuting. So although I didn't race I really enjoyed my day in the sunshine, it should prove to be good training for year ahead and it was great to have my first local trail ride of 2015.