Monday, August 12, 2013
H2H 909 is one my favorite race courses. The course is not overly technical or rocky, but has some really fun and flowing single track, giggle bursting momentum sections and the longest sweetest descent that I swear goes on for what seems like 15 minutes. This year I was racing and testing my new Pivot 429 Carbon in it's first XC race. I had been racing a steel 29er hardtail for 2 years and I was excited to race this super cool looking bike. I was so excited, that I chose to ride full suspension over my trusty hard tail on a fairly smooth course.
I was unsure of how I would fair on a full suspension bike on the slightly uphill gravel road start, but the Pivot rode surprisingly lighter, almost effortlessly with the combination of larger wheels, lateral stiffness and lack of wheel deflection. I also want to mention that I was running NoTubes Raven 2.2 tires which are very supple, making my wheel lock to the ground until the moment I decide to leave the ground. Those of you that know me, know that I do not leave the ground often, but 909 is one place I may vary from my habits. More on that later.
The pivot descends and rails turns like a bullet, and what really surprised me was how well it climbed. For a bike that felt so plush, the DW-link supplied an efficient and light feel climbing bike, especially in rolling terrain. On steep sections, I could stand and make it happen easier than a hard tail. I was able to get through my last lap climbs very easily even though the bike was slightly heavier than my hard tail.
I sat as 3rd woman behind 2 pros for 2 and a half laps. Then my team mate caught up to me, and I convinced her to go in front of me on the long climb since she was on a single speed and I did not want to force her off her bike if I slowed. I ended up getting a bug in my eye, causing tearing and then clipping a tree with my wider handlebars on the forever high speed downhill, and going for a tumble. Amazingly, the bike was still between my legs, derailieur side down completely unharmed. I did have some cuts, bruises, abrasions and stiff neck, but was lucky to have no broken bones or serious injuries. This fall supplied me with my one "tires off the ground" experience for the day, and it was proof that this bike makes me want to go fast. I was back on my bike in less than 30 seconds and rode in as first Cat 1 female.
My minor injuries kept me off the bike for almost a week, but I am on the mend. I also had Art cut my bars down yesterday after I clipped a few trees riding at Wawayanda.
Pivot 429 Carbon Size small with Fox Float CTD Kashima
Fox 32Fit 120 CTD Trail Adjust Kashima
Sram XX 2x10
Sram X0 Type 2 DR
NoTubes Race Gold wheels
NoTubes Raven 2.2 tires
Easton EC70 seatpost and EA90 stem
Besides being a great performing bike, the Pivot 429 Carbon has some really nice details such as: internal cable routing, dropper seat post routing, rubberized protection on chain stay and bottom of down tube, and anodized headset, seat post clamp and pivots. For me, one of the selling points was the curved, notched top tube allowing stand over for a shorter legged rider like myself.
Although this bike is sold as a XC bike, which it still is, it descends quite plush like a 5 inch travel bike. I would highly recommend this bike for riding the rocky terrain here in Northern New Jersey. Get into Campmor and check one out, if interested!