Friday, May 13, 2011

My New Superfly 100

I know lust is bad thing, something we aren’t supposed to do. I can’t help it, I was lustful and I couldn’t hold back the urge. It didn’t matter where I saw it, or when I saw it or what it was doing when I saw it, my mind would go directly to lustful thoughts. I had to have one, there was just no way around it, the lust would never end if I didn’t get it.

So I did, I bought a Superfly 100 and now people will lust after my bike, I will no longer be getting all glassy eyed and fantasizing about what I could do if I had a bike like that. I might even become a fast woman, now that I have one.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, I need another bike like I need a hole in the head, how could I ever justify getting a new bike. I can’t, so what I have decided to do is sell one of my bikes. So… drum roll please, I’m selling my Giant Anthem Advanced. The Giant was my bike of choice before I got the Trek Top Fuel, but now I never ride it and I can’t even claim it as a backup bike because I have both a Top Fuel and Superfly. I guess the Giant will soon be a memory in my stable of bikes, it was a great bike, but has outlived its usefulness and now needs to go to someone who will love it, like it deserves to be loved.

This event is so momentous in my life (my first 29er) that I documented it every step of the way. My Superfly was shipped to the Cyclery in Edwardsville, my favorite bike shop, where everyone knows my name.

I found out when I went in, that I wouldn’t be the first to see my new bike, because my son saw it a few days earlier when he was in the shop buying me a Mother’s Day gift. I was still excited to be the second person to see it.

Allan unpacked the bike and got it on the stand ready for Big Andy to work on it. (by the way, Big Andy is no longer big, he is more buff, but I can’t make myself call him Buff Andy) As Allan unpacked my Superfly, I ran out to my van to get the cage, Ergon grips and computer that my kids bought me for Mother’s Day and brought them in to be put on my new love. I really wanted a Bontrager Evok 3 WSD saddle, but the bike came with a Bontrager Evoke 2. When you have as much junk in your trunk as I do, you would want the WSD saddle too, it’s just a little extra padding where it’s really needed. I had planned on swapping out the tires for tubeless Kenda Slant Six tires, but unfortunately there were no rim strips to be found, so I couldn’t go tubeless right out the door. That’s ok, I will just stop by the shop when they come in and have them swapped out.

Andy started working on the bike while I stood around and drooled. I chatted with the shop guys about SRAM vs Shimano. This is my first encounter with SRAM, I hope I like it. Most of the guys are SRAM lovers, but there was one SRAM hater in the room. I guess I will make my own decision on it, once I have used it for a while.

Andy showed me the carbon armor on the bottom, telling me it was almost indestructible.

He got my gears all setup and working, although he hit a few snags in the process, but being the skilled guy that he is, he found a way to get me on the trail.

He also cut off about 3 inches of handlebars, this will stop me from throwing myself off the bike when I roll through the narrow single track with tight trees.

Andy fished up the build and fitted the bike to me, and then I took it out for a test ride in the parking lot. It felt great and looked incredible.

So last night after work I took it out for its maiden ride. I have an off-road race in two weeks at Castlewood State park, so I took the Superfly out to test ride the course on it. I was ready to have the ride of my life, I was so excited I could hardly wait to get off work and get on the trials.

I met Chuck at Castlewood and he was as excited about it as I was, we pulled our bikes out of our vans and checked the air pressure. Since I don’t have tubeless yet, I had to put a little more air in then I usually ride. I had me tires set to 32 and 30 psi. The tires felt hard and were bouncing around way too much. The Bontrager tires were ok, for road and hard packed dirt, but they weren’t doing me any favors on the rocky, rooty trails. Even where the gravel was not very deep, my wheels were just spinning. I don’t like these tires at all, I’m not sure why anyone would want these. It was so bad that I had to stop and let air out of the tires, down to almost 26 psi. I didn’t know any other way to get the tires to grip. Now I had to worry about a pinch flat and I didn’t have a spare tube.

I was also having problems stopping, I had the brakes on so hard that I was afraid I was going to break the brake lever off and I still wasn’t able to stop on the steep down hills. At one point a guy was climbing toward me and I barely was able to stop in time to get out of his way.

Shifting was really not fun, my thumb wouldn’t reach the shifter, so I had to turn my hand and arm in positions that they are not made to go into just to shift.

The handlebars are bent at some weird angle, and I really hate them. And worst of all, the seat completely sucked, I hate it, I have to get it replaced right away.

So at the end of the first lap, I was almost in tears, I just spent a fortune on this fantasy bike and after being on it for just 6 miles, I hated it. Chuck suggested that we make some adjustments. So I pulled out my toolbox and he adjusted my shifter levers so that I could reach them, then he adjusted my seat, it was too low, then he tried to figure out why my brakes weren’t working, but wasn’t sure what it was.

He swapped front tires with me to see if the brakes did the same thing on his bike and they did.

We decided to ride with the tires swapped to see if we could figure out the problem. First the bike rode much better with just one Kenda tire on it. Chuck started complaining right away about the Bontrager tire, he said he felt like the tire was bouncing him all over, and that was exactly what it was doing to me. He didn’t know how anyone could ride with these tires. His comments vindicated me a little, at least I wasn’t being a whinny girl, there was something wrong with those tires.

We continued riding and Chuck said that the brakes were getting better and maybe there was just some kind of oil on them from the factory and it had to wear off before the brakes would work correctly. My shift and brake levels felt better and I could now reach them. I still hated the handlebars and saddle though.

Now I plan on swapping the handlebars with my handlebars off my Giant Anthem and replacing the Bontrager 29-3 tires with Kenda Slant Six tires.

I’m also replacing the saddle (I’m affectionately calling it satan’s saddle) with the Bontrager Evoke 3 WSD.

It’s so hard to stick more money into an already expensive bike, but I think this is the only way that I will ever come to love this bike the way everyone else loves their 29er.

I was envisioning this experience to be one of total euphoria, but when I rode the Superfly, it was like falling out of a dream and into a nightmare. I am hoping that after I make all the changes to the bike, it will roll right back into that dream.

Now for the big decision, which bike is my “go to” bike, is it the Trek Top Fuel or is it the Trek Superfly. Which will make me lightening fast and make me feel like I might know what I’m doing. Which do I choose? Which should be my race bike and which should be my “just for fun” bike. I guess in the end it comes down to one thing.

Which of the bikes makes my butt look smaller, that will be my new favorite mountain bike. You tell me, leave me a comment and tell me which bike is the best for me.

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