Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Direction, Well Maybe

As most people know, I am an avid adventure racer and triathlete, but I like to sprinkle in some road bike racing and trail racing too, I guess I’m kind of an all around outdoors person. In 2010 Trek started a Mountain Coop Team, the team consisted of one representative from each state. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the state of Illinois. I was also lucky enough to be kept on for the 2011 race season. As a Trek Mountain Coop rider, I not only raced for them, but I held group rides, took video and pictures, and wrote about all my adventures and gear reviews on my Trek Mountain Girl Blog. I have been very loyal to Trek and have swayed many of my friend’s opinions about bikes and converted them to Trek lovers.

My partnership with Trek has been great, I do love my Trek Top Fuel and my Superfly, but my reign as the Trek Mountain Girl has now come to an end. Trek has decided to move in a different direction this year and disband the Mountain Coop. It has been a great ride with Trek and I’m honored to have been a part of their team.

Sometimes things happen for a reason, so when I saw that Foundry Cycles was looking for a few good ambassadors for their bikes, I thought why not try a new direction myself. I went out and researched Foundry and found they make some really great bikes. I especially liked the Router and Auger. I’m a mountain bike girl at heart, but would love to try cyclocross in the near future.

The high-modulus CF frame gives the Router the best complete blend of light weight, stiffness, and strength.

After reviewing some frame photos it’s easy to see that each tube and junction has been optimized for maximum stiffness and minimum weight, with smooth blended corners and wide strong radius’s. For instance, the bottom of the tapered head tube brings increased stiffness but tapers quickly toward the top for weight savings.
The internally routed shift cables look clean and eliminate places to snag on branches or clothing.

The wide bottom bracket will provide stiffness during hard accelerations and hill climbing.

A replaceable derailleur hanger provides some insurance for the inevitable trail damage.

The dark subdued colors look amazing, not covered with flashy logos and needless bright eye catching colors.

The Router B1 in my choice for the perfect ride. The RockSHox SID XX is the most amazing fork on the market. Infinite tuneability with the dual air chambers, and so light you will lift it effortlessly over logs and rocks. All the Routers come with 15mm Thru Axle to ensure flex free cornering and ease of threading the axle on and off for travel to the trails. The 9mm quick release is finally dead. The SID on my old FS 26er is still going strong and leak free after years of abuse.

My team has several riders using Stan’s NoTubes wheels, they are lighter than anything else available. Choosing the Arch with X.9 hubs over the Crest means the Router was meant to be ridden hard. The advantages of Stan’s wheels cannot be understated. They set up tubeless the first try, every time. Sometimes even without a compressor.

I’ve never ridden Conti Mtn bike tires, but they enjoy a stellar reputation in the industry. Their black-chilli compound sounds second to none.

The all SRAM XX drivetrain is a solid lightweight and dependable choice. Designed as a system and working exceptionally well together. I’ve never understood why some bike manufacturers mix drivetrain components. SRAM/Shimano spends countless hours and dollars engineering, testing and optimizing their drivetrains to perform flawlessly. Then I get my new bike with mixed components? Why? Lowest bid is my bet, not best performance.

I’ve ridden x.7 and x.9 and found them to perform perfectly. They are even good at absorbing crash impact and trail debris with minimal to no damage. I would love to try an XX equipped bike.

My Avid brake equipped bikes have also been solid and dependable, but if I was able to choose, I’d go Shimano on brakes. It’s not a performance issue. It’s a feel. I prefer the more predictable handle pull on shimano. The next guy will probably say the same about Avid.

I think I would be the perfect person to represent Foundry Cycles. I would give the good, bad and the ugly in my blog post, talk the finer points of Foundry, hold group rides to get novice mountain bikes out and interested in the sport. My busy adventure racing schedule (my Rock Racing teammate and I were 2nd in North America in the Checkpoint Tracker series in 2011) would give my Foundry cycle, visibility to a whole new demographic, that of adventure racers, and believe me adventure racers are always looking for a better bike. Also, the Midwest has so many great mountain biking venues that I ride regularly, my Foundry cycle would be seen by an array of cyclist, who are most often looking for their next best ride. Yep, I would be styling on my new Foundry Router.

I also appeal to the female demographic and aren’t we always trying to get more girls in the sport. To that point I have the appeal to the older generation, if a mother of 3 can do this at 47 years old, anyone can. So let’s get everyone on Foundry cycle and loving the sport. I guess if I’m lucky enough to start riding for Foundry, I will have to change my moniker to Foundry Mountain Girl.

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