I did a giggly ride Sunday morning on a sweet little full suspension ride thanks to a Pivot demo at Motion Makers.
I got there early enough to snag the carbon fiber Mach 5.7. I hate to sell my Stumphumper, but greener singletrack awaits. Besides, there are no more bike hooks left in my garage.
I had ridden this bike already out in Utah last summer and had been dreaming of this delight beneath my buttocks ever since. While it was really fun on steep, rooty, swoopy and dry with rocky drops, I just knew in my heart that it would glide through Pisgah, floating above rock gardens and landing with grace. Ok, so maybe I wasn’t all that floaty and graceful, but I saw my potential. As we know, there’s nothing more exciting than imagining potential.
My favorite part was the preflight compression where the frame’s angles pulled me quickly back into the sweet spot. The problem was controlling it midair as I floundered with a bobcat, heaving it more like a pregnant deer. My old bike is great and floats pretty well herself, but she’s heavy in comparison, requiring extra maneuvering.
Some folks may say that a light, full-suspension bike makes the ride easier. They say that from the seat of a rigid singlespeed, feeling smug about their skillz. I don’t doubt their ability at all, and enjoy watching the beautiful finesse. The thing is, it’s an entirely different experience. The full-suspension rig is a much faster and bouncier line, encouraging bigger drops. Controlling the bike at speed is definitely a skill to hone. Just look at the people who shuttle for the descent on a downhill bike a couple times a year. A lack of experience on a super squishy ride can result in disaster – both the rider’s as well as the other on-looking trail victims, whether they be people, animals, or trees. Check out the bite marks on the trees in the curves sometime and you’ll see what I mean.
Speaking of downhill, Pivot also has the Firebird specific for this. It’s debatable whether it can be used as a cross-country bike since its lighter than most, but its definitely going to up the downhill lover’s ante. As for the technical climbs, sometimes rolling terrain and tight turns of the Pisgah, I think the Mach 5.7 really offers more variety.
Whatever new bike I get, I’ve decided that my Industry Nine wheels will be what carry me. It was this last ride that I really noticed the difference on the steep climbs between the pedal and the action of the wheel. I was also grateful for the pedal pro action on the Mach 5.7, which allowed a stiffer climb with a simple flick of the switch.
It’s these demo days where we get suckered into using the credit card. Although perhaps the inspiration of having a steep APR can encourage a quicker off-load of the old bike. Now, to choose a worthy price for my old friend…so sad.