After my hand made frame got totaled in a bike rack failure incident I found myself with a check to repair the damages from my homeowners policy and I was extremely thankful. I had a decisions to make, was I to get an enduro long travel machine like I have wanted for a long time, or do I get another rigid SS. Of course I ride way more XC than Gnar and to be honest not a lot of places really need 160mm of travel.
So I went the more practical route and began the hunt for a decent priced Rigid SS. I wanted something with a lifetime frame warranty of course since I will likely be breaking it at some point likely. The hunt was on and it led me to Trek. I have never owned a Trek and dug deeper and was liking that bike. The Superfly is a renowned platform from which they have perfected over the years to be their outstanding do all for everyone hardtail. The rig came with a carbon fork which I am not wild about but a solid 3 year warranty to see how I like it. I was making a big switch, from an aluminum frame and carbon fork from a pleasurable amount of years on steel rigids. I accepted the risk and forked up the cash and put one on order and within a week it was here.
I joyously went to the bike shop to pick up my new ride. It was a pretty sweet looking bike, I hate the purple touches but everyone else loves them. I was blown away at how light the bike was, most people on the internet claim 20lbs without pedals, so yeah remarkably light for it's low price tag. Setup was no existent with the shop involved and with a 21t rear cog and spank pedals I was on my way.
Stiff! The aluminum frame, carbon fork, 15mm thru axle wheel set makes this a super rigid machine. I wish I could say that I liked that about it but coming from steel this was a negative until I got used to it. But make no mistake while it's significantly rigid, the bars are compliant and blurry vision free on worst of trail chatter thanks to the carbon fork likely. I have since put roughly 2,000 miles on it from the high alpine to the low desert and done nothing but tighten chain tension. Just like any other rigid SS bike you pretty much get to neglect maintenance until you need to adjust chain tension or replace worn cogs or chain. I have pinned it thru some hairy rough trails such as National trail on South Mountain and Pass Mountain. This bike has held together beautifully in it's package and love it to pieces. I do find myself yearning for steel, and I will once again be reunited, but I can say this bike will never leave my side.
Modern hydro formed tubing is pretty delightful to the eyes these days, plenty to like about Superfly's curves. Trek came up with their own genius tensioning system named Stranglehold which is a plesure to use. It does require a wrench to adjust chain tension so it would be good to keep that in your pack if you feel necessary. Chaningin a wheel or flat however no wrench necessary just standard procedure.
Bontrager Mustang Elite TLR get a huge thumbs up, maybe not the max point engagement freehub some fancy pants look for but man these things are incredibly solid. I have put like I said 2,000 miles on and plenty of rough and tough chunky trails to call for a wheel true. But they have not been trued once, still running perfectly flawless and I am absolutely stunned so kudos to Bontrager. Not many know just how much a Rigid bike goes thru and wheels are among many that need to perform and these are flawless!
Trusty simple Shimano Deore stoppers fit the bill, they work and do what they need to. I would like more power with the trails I ride, but simply these work just fine for anything.
Bontrage XR2 Expert have held up in most conditions. A very fast tire for hard pack but can do ok on looser stuff. Not a tire I am crazy about but anything that goes over 1,000 miles I am happy about.
FiveTen Impact Lows
Such a solid shoe, been riding a new pair every season for the last 5 years and I refuse to ride on anything else after dabbling with the old skate shoe methos. I tried FiveTen VXI new shoe and found it uncomfortable, light yes but umcomfortable. Nothing has come close to the rigid sticky long lasting greatness that Fiveten Impact Lows, I am a flat pedaler through and through, every single one of my rides takes place on these shoes and I would not have it any other way. I ride a lot of XC so don't be afraid weight weenies of taking a dip into these shoes they are security and quality of no other