A Note from Fatty: Last Saturday, I got a chance to take my new Superfly out for its first ride. I will now give my first impressions of this bike, but want to be certain I’m fair about it. So, for the first time ever, today’s post will be in point / counterpoint format.
Even though last Saturday was cold, the wind was blowing, and it was starting to snow, I went on a mountain bike ride. I just had to. I really wanted to try out my new Superfly, which had been sitting in the garage for the two weeks since I’d bought it.
Well, after my first ride, I’m happy with it, but I can’t yet say whether I’m in love with it.
For one thing, it’s a light bike — under 23 lbs, according to Racer’s scale — but I didn’t really feel like I was climbing all that strongly. I guess I kind of expected a "shot out of a cannon" experience, but instead I got a "drop into the granny gear" experience on the climbs.
Next, I guess I expected the Fisher 2.0 geometry to be some kind of wild revelation, but instead, I felt pretty much the same as when I do when I was on my old Paragon. That’s not a complaint — I really loved the geometry of the Paragon and was frankly a little bit concerned about having it change too much.
And then there’s the fork. Truth be known, there wasn’t much in the way of trail to give a suspension fork a real test; I had to stay on low trails where the snow has melted, and there’s nothing very technical ’til you get up higher, so it’s hard to say whether I’m very happy with the Fox fork or not. I can say that it feels peculiar to have suspension again, after having gone without it entirely last year. And I was able to ride without a lot of wrist pain, which maybe means that I should actually be giving this suspension a very positive review.
I don’t want it to seem like I’m giving the Superfly a negative review. I’m just — so far — unable to give it much of a review at all. I’m sure that once more trail is clear (or when I sneak away to Moab for a day of riding, if I just can’t stand the wait), I’ll be able to give a more comprehensive rundown of what I like — and don’t — about the new Superfly.
Counterpoint: Elden Nelson is a Fat, Out-of-Shape Goofball Who Is Totally Unfit to Pass Judgement on Me
by the Gary Fisher Superfly
You, gentle reader, may be surprised to learn that — like humans — carbon fiber has hopes and dreams. Most carbon fiber hopes to grow up to be a really light, sexy road bike.
Not me. I wanted to be a mountain bike. I love dirt. I love technical rock ledges. I yearn for wet roots at the apex of a sharp hairpin turn. I dream of cross country racing.
As you can imagine, then, I was pleased to find I would become a Fisher Superfly. I would be on the vanguard of mountain bikes, from geometry, material, and wheel size points of view!
As I was built, I became increasingly excited. My cranks, front derailleur and saddle were all upgraded. I was built with expert attention. I was ogled by envious bikes and people as I sat in the store.
And then — to my chagrin — I was brought home and left in the garage for two weeks, without so much as a cursory ride.
Then, finally, Elden — who has a nickname of "Fatty," for crying out loud — took me out for a ride Saturday. Even before he swung a leg over me, I could tell the dude was about twenty pounds overweight.
Within the first few turns of the cranks, it was clear that he was not going to exactly test my limits. He dropped into the granny gear on the first climb — a climb that screamed for the middle ring, third cog.
Then, on the next climb, he crosschained. What a dork.
If his climbing was sad, though, it was at least offset by his comical descending. He dodged every rock and rut as if my fork were not perfectly capable — eager, even — of absorbing them, no questions asked. He kept his fingers on my brakes at all times, feathering them to slow down when he should have been pedaling to go faster.
This guy is as timid as they come, I tell you.
After a short two-hour ride on fire roads and wet singletrack, Elden took me home and put me, unceremoniously, back in the garage. Did he wipe me down and clean me as befits a new, top-of-the-line mountain bike? He did not. He just parked me on his bizarre do-it-yourself PVC pipe rack contraption (tacky), and left me — caked with mud — to dry off.
I do not want to seem judgemental, but I am far too nice of a bike to be ridden by this appropriately-named "Fatty."
PS: A few people have called my attention to The Awareness Test. This is the best PSA I’ve ever seen. Go take a look and tell me how you did (I did poorly, to my shame). (The comments section of today’s post contains spoilers, so don’t read today’s comments until you’ve taken the test.)