Mojo reviewed where it is meant to be ridden

Previously i have reviewed the Mojo at loftus. Kinda pointless review i admit but i wanted to highlight the fact that the bike can do what it isn’t really meant to do. Now for a review of how it handles terrain that it is actually targeted at.

Menai is pretty chunky. Technically i think it is up there with Kentlyn if not a little more. It is pretty similar to bargo depending on which route you take but definitely along the more technical side of tracks. If loftus is smooth xc and manly dam and appin is trail then menai and kentlyn would be a little bit more all mountain. The only thing this trail seems to be lacking is sweeping turns that tests how a bike handles in the corners. Making up for that is plenty of slow technical sections and fast technical sections.

First of all the Mojo’s angle is just right for terrain like this so you never feel like you have the wrong tool for the job. Given enough skill you could get up and down everything menai throws at you and potentially a little more. There was never a moment where i felt like i was going to go over the bars. The bike allows me to always move my body around to negotiate the variety of different terrain. Usually a bike that is fast on the smooth stuff would limit your body positioning as it is designed to stretch you out so i thought i would have some difficulties moving backwards and left and right on a medium mojo no less *17′, usually i ride 16′ if possible* but i was surprised at the amount of freedom i had over the bike. Especially noticeable as i got more and more comfy on the bike i was moving pretty freely over the bike which is always a great sign. As i said on the ride if you want maximum versatility chuck a riser post in there and it will become even more fun in certain places but for the time being i am happy to just ride and not think too much about rising and lowering seat posts *this might change when the new rockshox reverb comes out*. The BB was also higher than most bikes i have ridden *this might just be a 160mm bike thing though* and i was able to pedal through a lot of the loose rocky terrain without any pedal strikes.

What i noticed greatly about the amount of travel a bike has is its absorption of repeated hits. For eg you can have a 100mm travel bike with the same geo as say a 160mm travel bike but the real difference happens when you run into repeated hits. Stuff that would normally overwhelm lower travel bikes tends to get handled better with a higher amount of travel and this is especially noticeable at menai. There are many sections on firetrails and singletrack where you have a decent run up before ramming into some rocks/steps/roots and the mojo just feels awesome in those situations. Always controlled right up to the last obstacle and never ever faltering its lines.This type of terrain also happens on some parts of other trails i ride and the mojo is the same there. For eg manly dam used to see me overwhelming 120mm of suspension towards the dh part near the end as i went faster and faster and what that results into is the feeling of losing control or maybe more appropriately, forks getting packed down. Its kinda like when you enter the chunder it feels pretty decent and then mid way through you are going through more and more travel and towards the 3/4 to end your suspension is struggling to keep up with the hits and you get that “i am a little out of control feeling”. No such feeling here on the mojo. You do have to hit those sections with enough speed to generate that kinda feel though but it is something that is quite obvious to me when i ride. The rear still feels a little bit firm so i need to play with the air pressure but i am pleased to say the front is very agreeable in terms of feel.

The last point i would like to make is in regards to the overall stiffness of the bike. In the same situations of repeated hits on bikes that is slightly softer i notice a slight veering off line choice but with the mojo it is super stiff. I could not notice any flex from the frame at all. Coupled with the fox 36’s with tapered headtube and it runs into square edged stuff without any flinching. What that translates to is literally you can hit things straight up without the bike bouncing off line. With a little body language you could plow through some pretty technical terrain without it veering even a little which obviously inspires confidence. I think the flexiest part of the bike is the rear tyre being that it really isn’t the right kinda tyre for the terrain and that thin sidewall really does flex under load. Overall though that kinda flex is a good kinda comfy flex rather than your frame flexing which would be in the camp of the not so good flex.

So now, combine everything together. You go into a slow technical switch back descent and you lay on the brakes. You move your body position ever so slightly to the right to assist in keeping traction to the tyres as you negotiate the slick rock. Once you actually make the turn the front end isn’t too slow steering as to not make the turn but still rolls over a few small stones in the middle of that corner. As you come out of that corner you notice a short pinch technical climb and you lay down the power and grab speed instantly. The frame doens’t flex as you shoot straight up that section. Once you get to the top of the pinch technical climb you notice a flat downhill leading to a variety of rocks/steps/roots. You roll forwards and as you roll you pickup significant momentum. As you hit the chunder you pick the best line and the bike sticks by your lines. The suspension never becomes overwhelmed over rocks the size of soccer balls and you make it safely and happily down one of the many technical sections on the trail of your choosing.

This is really what i believe the mojo was designed for. This is what i believe the mojo is especially good at. I do have to however keep coming back to the fact that no trail is ever the same and if you do ride a variety of trails you will eventually find fire trail smooth climbs out and it is important to note that you will not be suffering on the mojo even with terrain like that. I understand the mojo a little bit more now and for sure will be visiting Kentlyn soon!

PS :: already scratched the mojo in my crash earlier and to be honest i don’t really care. It is a great looking bike and i admit i do like the aesthetics of things but i do understand that it is a mtb first and foremost. I am not going to let carbon worry me too much as i am sure it will be fine.

PPS :: The brakes are one of the biggest weakness on the bike. It is ok but it isn’t 100% as good as the cheaper elixir’s *yes yes funny*. The rear tyre is also the wrong tyre for the terrain but that is a double edged sword.


Pic by Felix Alim

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Menai revisted

This morning a couple of the BMU boys visited Menai. I have not been to this trail in about 2 years so whilst i remember bits of it it is mostly like a new trail to me. The trail is sandy and rocky with loose terrain almost everywhere. The loop we did shows off the techy firetrails forcing you to tech climb and tech descent before hitting some singletrack. The singletrack is pretty awesome but with sand in every corner it is pretty hard to make it flow. Still, you get the idea that this could be made into an awesome trail. Unfortunately i think trail work is all but almost useless on this trail as whatever sand you rake out will come right back when motos frequently visit the trail. We might go back there and prune some of the shrubs back because it is honestly a jungle in some sections.

Present today was Kevin, Clifton, Trieu, Brad, Felix and myself. Everyone i believe pushed themselves a little further and hopefully had great fun! It is also clear to me that we have progressed a whole lot after riding with Cliffy here again after 2 or so years. Previously we would be lucky to clear any technical section but today we cleared about 95% or so of the sections. It honestly made the trail much more enjoyable.

I also rode the mojo today and i will review that in a seperate post! There was a lot of cameras out there today so hopefully there will be some decent pictures/videos. I only took one pic though. The aftermath of a fall i had. In typical mtb fashion i cleared all the hard stuff only to fall on what was seemingly one easy ass drop down. One of those things where you couldn’t really control too much. Came down a blind roll down and cleared it fine along with a square edge boulder infront but seemingly my front wheel rubbed the side of a rock coming down and that chucked me straight off the bike. Problem is i picked up quite a bit of speed from the roll down and the fall was pretty hard. I am just glad that i didn’t break any bones though. Flesh heals easily enough :p

I am pretty tough “or stupid” in regards to falls but i am a little worried about tomorrow’s roadie ride. First of all if it rains the rain would not go well with my wound. Secondly at the current moment every time i apply force to my hand it feels like i am tearing my multiple wounds open. Thirdly my shoulder also took a huge amount of impact so it is quite sore atm. With these kinda things i know it will show up the next day more than today. I have to honestly say that i will see how i feel tomorrow but i definitely still want to make it. Gf might have other ideas about that though …. I even rested up yesterday in anticipation of the epic sunday ride!

What you cant see in this picture is along the length of my upper arm i have scratches all the way through. To get scratched through clothes …..

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Seasonaires

I felt compelled to post this up. It is a new web series that is dedicated to 5 individuals. Individuals that has had their life changed by whistler and in turn changed their life for it. Some of them relocated overseas to stay permanently around whistler whilst others sleep in tents to help fund what they love to do. I always love hearing unconventional stories like this as it really is something out of the norm.

Definitely a series i will be spending a little time watching!

http://nsmb.com/4006-seasonaires/

Pro’s garmin data

Always wanted to see pro’s garmin MTB data and i found this a couple months ago. Roel Paulissen of ex Cannondale team. Unfortuantely he was found out to be doping and was subsequently dropped by Cannondale. His site is great with more content then you could poke a stick at. Be sure to check out his photos/videos/Garmin data! Very rare for a pro to put all of this on the web for obvious reasons. Consequently if you guys find more pros like himself that does share info please let me know!

Looks like his still training even though his in limbo space atm *lying low after doping issues* and i hope he comes back and races clean. I do honestly believe that a lot of racers have tried EPO but only a few gets caught and he was one of those. When you are so high up the ladder it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate yourself with others. 1 or 2 psi of tyre pressure is nothing for us but it is everything for these racers. I could easily imagine a situation where racers know that a lot of their competition uses EPO’s and have no choice but to start using it themselves to equal out the competition. Sad but true.

I don’t think the issue with EPO will ever get sorted as where there is a way, humans will always try and find a shortcut. That has being programmed into our evolutionary genes! So when i hear a racer has EPOed i try not to react in that “he should die” kinda way but rather just understand that we might not have the full scope of the story and that he is after all just a human being striving to achieve his best.

Anyways, back to Roel, check out his website here. 1700m elevation changes are an every ride afair for him :p

Canon G7

Last year i acquired a broken Canon G7 for free. The owner stated that the LCD screen was stuffed and that the rest of the camera was working fine. I never got around to mucking about with it but the idea came to me yesterday that it is actually a pretty decent point and shoot. More decent than what i am using anyways. So, a quick search on ebay found me some LCD screens for $35 and i set about trying to bring it back to life. I dug around on the ever useful interweb and found a perfectly concise images that would aid in taking the G7 apart.

Firstly though i ordered a battery charger just to check if the camera is actually working ($8 shipped). Once that is tested i will order the new LCD screen and transplant it. Hopefully everything will work out and i will report back later!

Menai

I haven’t being here for ages. It is a pretty technical trail and back when i used to ride it i didn’t really enjoy riding it all that much due to my lack of skills. Not exactly the most friendly trail to a person riding mtb for the 5th time or so. Apparently the boys are going back this saturday to sus it out and see if anything has changed. Hopefully we can work out a good loop and frequent it more often.

Menai is so close to me at around 15 minute drive and it is filled with single tracks. Most of them are easy to find but some are harder to find as the makers of such trails don’t want everyone to stumble across them and ride it and subsequently ruin it. Looking up for some good videos of Menai i stumbled across this one made by a couple of guys over at Clarence st Cyclery. Good clip and good riding definitely. I would have preferred to listen to the raw soundtrack of tyres rolling over dirt but you can’t have it all. Enjoy 🙂

My linkages

Thought i would write a quick concise summary to the individuals i link to on the right –>

Bloggles – Jess’s blog. Not updated nearly enough now days!! *take the hint lol*
Felix Alim –  Felix’s blog. Same as above.
Jarod and Liz – Jarod and Liz’s blog. Should be titled Bikes, cats and cakes. Often littered with great photos featuring the much loved Train.
Lordonone – Bmu members blog that doesn’t post much on Bmu any more. Filled with news and information on 29er bikes although it doesn’t seem to be getting new content 😦
Motordriven – Matt Mead’s blog. A lot of awesome photos and not a lot of words. If you need a wedding photographer give him a bell! He should also write up a book about the recent diet he has went through. I reckon people would pay good money for that.
MWG – Another Matt. Fittest dad i know. Always interesting content which has a strong bias towards bikes. Have come a long way since the days of his first forays into mtbing with the Scott Aspect. Ahhh the memories.
Nonebutim – Timmy’s blog. Getting more and more pron posted up and getting increasingly weird. Timmy’s a young dude that is out to find a “hot girlfriend” just so he can tell others “my girlfriend is hot”. Nah but seriously good guy that’s slightly different to your typical asian.
Spamventdocument – Justin Fox’s blog. Currently a fish blog with a smattering of daily life posts. Will convert to a car/bike blog any moment now. *cross’s fingers* Founder of JDMST and BMU and various pron sites around the net.

Just right

Finished up on the trainer all sweaty and chilly and was thankful for the awesome chicken noodles with pure chicken soup. Warmed me up instantly with the hearty meal and also felt super healthy eating it. Of course i had to undo that feeling by eating some burger rings and a paddle pop afterwards.

But yes, pure chicken soup ftmfw. Chicken stock ftmfl.

Speaking of just right i am in love with the cereal. I love the wholemealish taste and have grown fond of it. I tried some coco pops this morning and it was disgusting!

Should i ride with the fast boys/girls?

There is this ride coming up this Sunday and it is playing with my head a little. The ride is 130km in length which is pretty damn long in anyone’s books but the most important stat is the elevation gain at 1700m or so. Have a think about that. 1700m up from where you are standing right now. To put it in perspective, the climb out of audley is 125m elevation, heartbreak hill at manly dam is 25m of elevation and mt stromlo has a measly 200m of elevation.

If the stats weren’t enough the riders present will all be super fast. I have to say i am used to riding in the front of the pack for most rides now but i have no doubt that if i go on Sunday i will be right at the back. That isn’t to say it is bad. The best way to improve is to ride with faster riders. I guess i have become complacent to ride in my “own” group because i know the tempo and the pace and it is super comfy. I haven’t being thrown into the deep end for a long while now. Thinking about this makes me giddy with nervousness but also excitement for the ride? Almost like riding for the first time again!

Yeah, i think i will join this ride!

PS :: Typing in this blog is great. Especially when i am just typing exactly what is on my mind without any filters. Often i would be confused but after typing it all out i would have a clearer perspective!

EDIT :: Hold the thought, crappy weather over the weekend might potentially mean no riding.

Greedy

Have you ever ordered food only to be disappointed when the serving portions arrive? Have you consequently finished that same meal and felt that it was actually the right amount? Happens to me all the time. Take yesterdays pho night for example. I ordered a regular bowl of pho and instantly regretted it. Once i finished the actual pho though i was pretty damn full. Normally i would order the bigger portion just to feel “safe” in knowing that i have enough food to fill me up but in actual fact it is way too much. The problem here is i would then proceed to try and finish all of it for the sake of not wasting and consequently feeling crap due to bloating.

I find judging how much food is enough to be a pretty damn hard task. Sure, we never really think of it too much because it isn’t exactly a life threatening choice, but i often wonder *especially after eating too much* why we haven’t paid more attention to it. I can potentially save money and feel better after meals. Writing this post has made me realise that i should spend a little bit more time in considering my choices at a restaurant before ordering half the menu. Don’t just get two burgers from hungry jacks because Clifton is on his 3rd :p

Edit :: as i type this i have just realised the crappy feeling i am feeling is from eating to much pizza for lunch. DAMN IT!