Remember a couple of weeks back when I was doing a bit of whining about wanting a too many bikes and I couldn't make up my mind on what to do. Yeah I've had the itch for a full suspension 29er for a while now. I know I said a couple of years ago I would save a full suspension for when I get too old to ride anything else. Well I'm not too old or even anywhere close so I guess I'll have to eat those words now. As I pondered on a few different models and brands I did some price checking at my local bike shop and a couple of days later I was at home watching TV with Mel when her cell phone rang. The caller on the other end had a special message for me. There was a closeout special on the Niner JET 9's at a price I could not say no too. I knew this was one of those times when I had to give an answer right then and there because it wouldn't be around the next day. This is what helped me make my decision.
A week and a half later a 2010 "Vana White" JET 9 was in my hands. The only downside to this purchase was the demise of the Karate Monkey. In order to go ahead with the build up I had to strip the Monkey down and use what non singlespeed parts it had. The next part was one of the toughest things I've had to do in a while, sell the Karate Monkey. It's something that's been on my mind for some time and while the KM and I have spent alot of time together some good some bad I will shed a tear when I hand it over to it's new owner. I did sell it to a certain Local Cult Hero who I have no doubt will build it back up into something great and show it the love it deserves. When I told Melinda I sold the KM she was actually disappointed in me, how many of you can say that about your wife? I feel I made the right decision and if I decide to build another singlespeed in the future it will be another steel 29er for sure.
Back to the new ride, I pondered on whether I should go big and get the RIP 9 with more travel but after some thought I figured the lighter less travel version was more my style. I've had the JET 9 in my position for almost a week now and last night was my first actual trail ride on it. The picture at the top is the only actual photo I've taken of it yet. Why? I've been so busy with work I've barely had time to put it together and last nights ride showed just how that can effect a proper build. I really only had time to do a little here and a little there. This build was my first ever complete build of a geared bike with no help what so ever. I may have to enlist the help of a real mechanic later this week if I can't get the bugs worked out.
The first ride aboard any bike always tends to be riddled with multiple stops making small changes and making notes of bigger ones that will need to be done at home. I realized yesterday while suiting up at the trailhead that I had left my multi tool at home so if any problems were to arise I would be walking out. One problem showed up right off the bat. During one of the many test/adjustment laps in the yard I had forgotten to retighten the rear shifter pod so through out the entire ride it moved and bounced around everytime I shifted gears or ran over something in the trail. Basically it rattled around the whole time like a bag full of empty cans on the way to the recycle bin. Next I realized my seat was too low and too far forward, I think this is what contributed to my lower back pain through the whole ride. During the ride I passed two guys who both were riding with they're seats too low, much lower than mine. It's funny how much a thing so small can make such a huge difference in the way you feel on the bike. About 4.5 miles into the ride my right crank arm began to loosen up. Eventually it go so bad that I had to cut the ride short and push it out. The crank arm wasn't a problem on the Monkey so I must have added too many spacers or something. I've yet to research this problem.
The first ride aboard a new bike can be kinda irritating but I try not to let it influence my opinion of the bike because it was all my fault. Even though I was riding an ill fitting bike that was rattling with every bump in the trail I was pleased with the way it smoothed out all the rough stuff. I played around with the Pro Pedal on the rear shox but with it turned off the bike still climbed better than I expected. The only thing I've found that I don't like is that it's hard to flip the Pro Pedal switch during the ride because it's hidden behind the water bottle mount. I'm not sure how much I'll actually be switching it back and forth but I may end up removing the bottle mount in favor of a CamelBak.
I'm off all this week so I plan to really spend some quality time with the JET dialing it in and figuring it out. Hopefully I'll get around to snapping a few pics tomorrow but who knows, my day is going to be very busy preparing for the NTMBA Poker Ride.
If you don't have plans for your Saturday afternoon yet go ahead and load up your bike and the kids and head over to Warriors Path Mountain Bike trails for the 1st Annual NTMBA Poker Ride fundraiser. All the proceeds go back to the trails which you and I know don't build themselves.
Check out the website here for more info and details.