Friday, July 31, 2009

Winwood Purist Rigid Fork Upgrade

Rode the Winwood fork today. I did about all I could do on it in our local riding area.

Pavement: riding posture is better with the handlebar about 3cm higher than before.

La Falla trail: This is a rocky climb. The last pitch is difficult on a single speed. Need speed get through a gravelly patch then power for the next 15 meters or so. Fairly steep. But 90% of this climb is mental. I blew it the first time. My rear tire was a bit low and that threw me off. I put more air in the tire and tried again. The second time I cleaned it easily, steering up the best line.

Fausto trail: The top part of this trail starts with a rutted entry, then a wide steep downhill switchback with a rut on the inside. It exits the switchback on a steep single track on a steep scree-like surface. The trail levels out for about 50 m, then there is sweeping downhill 180* turn to the next terrace. The goes along parallelling the upper part of the trail for 50 meters, then does a sweeping downhill 90* turn to "The Rails". Again the fork performed better than expected. The fork felt more solid (not flexy) in the upper switchback. The fork was smooth, taking up the shock of the trail. I rode faster than previous descents.

The Rails: A concrete two-track. Fast downhill...steep. I let the bike rip down this slope. I felt a little high speed wobble, hit the brakes a bit, and hit the gravel parking lot at speed. Bled off more speed, entered onto the second half The Rails (more concrete two-track) which is steeper. I rode the brakes down, controlling my speed. Again the fork felt predictable through this section.

The Flats: This is the back road on El Morro. Just a flat dirt road along the Caribbean. The ride was smooth.

Acuario (climbing): This is a steep limestone climb. I cleaned it, again steering for the best line. The front end did not come up, the bike steered where I wanted it to go. Very nice.

Acuario (descending): Reverse the climb. I bombed down this faster than on the steel Ritchey fork. The bike felt more stable and smoother.

Overall: The fork gets a thumbs up on its first ride. I like it!

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