I added a speed and cadence sensor to the Ripmo last night with the intention of gathering a few more stats on the morning ride. Then I rode to the top of the trail, glanced at my cadence which read nothing and then remembered I never added the new sensors to the Garmin. Oops.
I set up the Garmin to search for the new sensors. Three popped up which reminded me that SRAM XX1 AXS can talk to the Garmin. Not sure that I need a graphic showing me what gear I’m in but the integration seems cool and might yield some new insights to my riding idiosyncrasies.
I found myself once again micromanaging the front end of the bike which is driving me crazy. I’m guessing that anyone that has been buying bikes through the evolution of the front end has grown used to the changes in geometry. I’m hoping to find that same Zen as the Ripmo and I spend more time together over the next few weeks. I’m loving the climbing capabilities of this bike and the longer travel means I don’t cringe and apologize to my bike every time I take full advantage of the bike’s suspension. The DW-Link rear end continues to deliver when going up or down. This could have been a perfect bike if not for the squirrely handling. I know slacked out front ends are popular but if the trend continues we’re all going to be riding mountain bikes that look like the choppers popular among motorcycle gangs.
Going up or down I still find myself aiming and missing which really throws off my flow. However, I find myself using the brakes less and less to correct my mis-steering moments. Instead, when I and the Ripmo disagree about direction I follow the Ripmo and plow over or into whatever I was attempting to miss and keep rolling. The Ripmo is fine with that. In fact it’s very forgiving of mistakes. I launched over a rock pile seeking the silence of slicing through the air but miscalculated the weight of the front end (again, but only once this ride so I’m getting used to it.). My re-entry was not elegant and I plowed the front end straight into the ground. I prepared for a body slam into the dirt but the 160mm Grip2 took the hit and we kept on rolling. That was a nice surprise. The slacked out front end paid off in that moment.
With all my attention focused on the steering and control over the past few rides I hadn’t paid much attention to the cries from my wrists. It’s true the fork does take most of the bite out of the rocks and bumps. However, with the short stem and slacked out front end the reach on the Ripmo is reduced when compared to my Ripley. That means a steeper angle when gripping the bars. When climbing this is fine. When descending I spend plenty of time out of the saddle which puts even more pressure on my wrists and forearms when compared to the steed I’m accustomed to. A few more weeks of riding will help me understand if my body will adapt to the new position and be fine or if it contributes to early onset of arthritis. (Don’t laugh young person your day is coming).
On my final loop I paused to shoot some video of a butterfly migration currently moving through the canyon. They love the creek.