Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two months in and three EPIX rides under the belt.

It has been two months since we assembled our Virtue Ones, I thought it would be time to review our rides.

To kick this off I must first talk about the XT group set. I can honestly say since we first tuned our bikes back in January I haven’t touched the front or rear derailleur in any way! That’s right, not even to take up cable stretch. When shifting under heavy load it maintains a smooth action. This is definitely noticed on those climbs when you have no choice but search for that next gear just to get you over the top, (Wonnangatta).

As for the brakes, HMMMM brakes! At no point during any of our past EPIX rides have I thought, “I need more stopping power”. These brakes will deliver under any situation. The reach and free stroke adjustments allow you to tune your brakes to suit your style and body shape (small or large hands). Some may say this is a big call but I’m going for it, “They are by far the best brakes I have used”.

The wheels are still rolling! I do believe after the high number of river crossing on the last EPIX the bearings might need some attention soon but beside that all is good. Ash’s tyre choice for all our EPIX has been the Hutchinson Barracuda’s. So far I have heard no complaints, he has had no punctures which is amazing when you look back on some of the trails we have ridden.
I chose to ride an old set of Hutchinson Scorpions. I always pulled these tyres out during winter, and now I remember why!!! They simply wear down the tread to fast in the dry. The aggressive side walls have suited the trails we have encountered, and I have managed to get no flats (so far)!!! But when you are paying cold hard cash for a good set of rubber you want them to last. So its mud for them I say!!

I nearly forgot to mention the new communication toys!! The hand held UHF radios. They worked a treat! They really do work well when on the trails, especially when you want to yell out smart arse comments while descending at 60kms per hr. Most importantly they keep the ride alot safer, allowing all riders to communicate at any given time (CAR UP!!!!).

We have definitely learnt a lot since our first EPIX. We plan to keep searching for the ultimate trails and will continue trying new products to make the journey that little bit more enjoyable.

I hope you enjoy the next pic as much as Ash and Nat did!!?

Jason Jackson