Author Topic: a monkey on the great divide route  (Read 5535 times)

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Offline northstaralumni

a monkey on the great divide route
« on: February 13, 2007, 12:05:35 am »

Hello folks,

I hope to do the great divide trail in near the future.  I have read ACA's (*Bikecentennial's) article on choosing a bike (plenty of good advice).  I intend to use panniers not a trailer.  I am interested to hear opinions about the use of a karate monkey with a rigid fork and wide tires vs. a standard hardtail (Soma) with suspension fork.  I do like to keep things simple but I am not as young as I...

Thanks,
Dave

*They will always be Bikecentennial to me.



tofubicycle

  • Guest
a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 03:25:46 pm »


Personally I think it's all going to come down to your personal preferances. Have you ridden a 29er yet and have you ridden it on the same routes you've ridden your 26er? What did you think? How much riding have you done rigid? Do you prefer suspension?

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i'd rather be biking.

Offline northstaralumni

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2007, 07:26:27 pm »
Thanks for your reply.

Well, what it really comes down to is this: if I was 23 years old I would ride the rigid fork 29er.  What I mean is the rigid will climb better and handle smooth dirt roads better.  So that only leaves rough sections and descending. I love the simplicity and durability of the rigid fork (on tour).  But what type of a pounding will I (my hands) be taking with a rigid on this route? :8o:

I have not ridden a rigid fork for many years, not since my stumpjumper.  Didn't mountain bike manufacturers make them illegal for a while? :)      



Offline bruno

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 11:19:25 am »
i have a karate monkey i just set up with a rohloff hub i plan to take to southeat asia in november. with big tires i feel that you don't really need a suspension fork. i'm old school as i've never rockes one. the tires and a sprung saddle seem to me to provide good shock absorbency.


Offline valygrl

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 11:52:34 am »
Could you put a lockout-able fork on the soma?  Best of both worlds?



Offline jf

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2007, 05:11:45 pm »
In 2003 I rode the Great Divide North to South on a Cannondale T800 touring bike.  I had it set up with mountain bike bars and gearing, and 700cx45 T2000 Continental touring tires (AKA 29 inchers).  The rigid fork worked fine, some of the washboard at certain speeds was annoying---but I don't think a suspension fork handles that stuff much, if any, better.  I used thick grips on the bars and also on the bar-ends which helped avert numb hands.  I used panniers which worked okay. I had a bolt break and another fall out on the front rack.  The drawback to panniers is it takes longer to load them in the morning, and for the long dry stretches in Wyoming and New Mexico it is harder to attach an extra gallon of water to the panniers than a trailer.  On the blacktop my bike was definitely faster than a mountain bike with trailer.  I also had a suspension seat post, but I'm not convinced that did too much for me.
Hope you enjoy your trip!  I sure enjoyed mine!
Jeff Stone


Offline northstaralumni

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 06:14:48 pm »
Jeff, thanks for your advice.

I had suspected that an individual could use a heavy duty road touring bike with the proper set-up and be fine. I read that there very little single track on this route.  I have a vintage 1985 specialized expedition, but it is an old friend and I'd rather build-up a K Monkey for this route.

Interesting comments on the suspension seatpost. I am considering one or maybe a sprung saddle instead.



Offline bruno

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2007, 10:57:08 am »
hey northstar! i'd go for the sprung saddle. i have a brooks conquest that is breaking in nicely and really smooths out the bumps.


Offline MikeL

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2007, 05:42:08 pm »
I did the divide last year on a 29er.  Aside from the fork issue my impression was the bigger wheels did a better job smoothing out the bumps, particularly washboard.  

I second Jeff's comments about the hands.  I tried a bunch of different things, and what finally worked was a pair of those Specialized BG gloves with the thick hand pads.  I had a suspension fork and even with that my hands took a pounding.  I imagine rigid would be worse.

-Mike

Offline northstaralumni

a monkey on the great divide route
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 09:48:49 pm »
Mike, thanks for your reply.

Suspension fork selection for 29ers seems limited.  What fork did you use?  

Dave