Monday, December 22, 2008

WTB Raijin 2.1

Last 2 weekend ride was awful. Towards the ending of the off-road ride, I hit one of the muddy trails and then left for the exit towards car park. As I was cruising down the tarmac stretch, there were plenty of grits flung off from my front and back wheels. One of them landed into my left eye.

It was so unbearable and I couldnt open my eye. My left eye soon became reddish and watery. I quickly took off my gloves and clean my eye with the water pack. The cause was mainly the current non-kevlar tires which couldn't shed off those mud and grits quickly!

Today during lunch time, I left office for a quick lunch and I stopped by at a LBS(Local Bike Shop). My initial plan is to scout for lighter and more flexible tires than my current traditional hard compound tires.

Hanging on the racks are some Maxxis and Hutchinson tires. I miss my Hutchinson Mosquito Air Light but lately, I can't find that model anymore. The only Hutchinson available so far is Hutchinson Spider Air Light OEM. Even though the price is cheaper than boxed version (RM150 per pair), I didn't like it the tread design. I prefer block-tread design.

I then looked around on the range of tires hooked to the ceiling and I found a pair with good, simple block-tread design for good mud clearing. Both tires come with green stripe and I am not sure for what purpose when the manufacturer marked them that way. They are the WTB Raijin 2.1.

I took it off and to my surprise, they are as light as the Hutchinsons and they are not even Kevlar-based tires. I managed to bargain with the seller and got the set for RM110. I came back to office and I found these review by Guy Kesteven on bike radar...

"One of WTB's newer treads, this was another one that was liked enough to have gone AWOL when the photo call came round. Another simple very open tread with trapezoidal blocks, the Raijin handles both very wet and mixed mess trails conditions well.

Traction is dependably good in all directions and at all angles of lean. The wide-spaced side knobs mean that they slide quite early if pushed, but it's a controllable smear rather than a sudden snap.

In fact, they're very easy to snatch back into traction from any slide, making them great for sketchy technical trails. The soft DNA compound results in good adhesion to rocks and roots too and they blow up nearer 2.25 than 2.1in for reasonable float and protection despite low weight.

On harder terrain they are pretty slow and growly though. The soft 50 duro compound means that they get tatty extremely quickly if you're pushing them hard as they encourage you too, which makes the already high price more of an issue."

Tarmac Test...
So far, I just managed to try out the tires on tarmac. Trust me, no one would enjoy climbing tarmac with this tires. It was so grippy when climbing up the tarmac hill. Going down hill was so noisy with loud humming sound. So Annoying!

The best usage for this tires is on nice trails around Forest Reserve and Kiara Technical Trail. I have tested it over and over again on lower air pressure for superb contact on different sections of the trails. I am happy to say that this tires never fail - FLAWLESS fast rolling rubbers!

FRIM Ride: A new relative found!

I was riding as usual on last Saturday(20th Dec '08) with my usual biking mates when MJ appeared at the scene for second time. He stopped riding for several months before that, and guess what? His muscles are already rusty, haha.

To be continued...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Their (ZH & M) First offroad ride in FRIM

Yesterday was fun. I was a bit late when I woke up. When I packed up my stuffs too quickly, I realized that I lost my wallet. I have the feelings that it could be in my car but I wasn't sure the exact location where I put it. Strangely enough, I loaded those biking stuffs into the care together with my wallet but when I was about to move out from the house, I lost it. I didn't bother much because I was already late.

We went to FRIM with 2 cars. Once arrived I saw my wallet in my helmet. I was so smart to put it inside. My fault. Kelvin was already there. About five minutes later, Adrian, CK and Mel arrived. I introduced Zeng Hoong and Michelle to Kelvin, Adrian, CK, Mel and Peter (Adrian's cousin). We then rode the bikes in as usual.

Having 2 beginners under me, I had to leave the others and let them go first. Zeng Hoong & Michelle have no problem going up to rover. They just stopped once just 30m before the rest area. Not bad. They must have been trained to climb at Bangsar hills :).

Once they conquered Rover track, we stopped again for a while before proceeded the path to the horseshoe trail a.k.a Steroid. After stopping another time, Zeng Hoong & Michelle arrived the Steroid area and I followed Kelvin to climb further. On the way down, I met CK and Mel. CK was guiding Mel to take the DH section of Steroid - It was quite tough for me when I went down a bit fast.

Zeng Hoong & Michelle waited for me around 20 minutes before I came down with Kelvin. Many bikers rested further down from us. CK and Mel came down few minutes later. The two iron man; Kelvin and CK went up again for 2nd Steroid climb while the rest of us waited at the same resting area. Adrian and Peter (his cousin in-law) regroup with us at the Steroid rest area.

Few minutes later, Kelvin came down followed by CK. CK fell and hurt his right arm (hope this is correct) and scratched his right XT Shifter and RD. Mel told us that CK now has the reason to change his RD... LOL.

As we rode back, CK and Mel sped off and we couldnt locate them. I then suggested to Zeng Hoong & Michelle to follow the short downhill path towards the lake. We took it and we came to another downhill path towards Autumn trail. That was when Zeng Hoong slipped his front wheel on slippery mud and fell, not to the ground on flat position but he managed to roll sideways like a stunt master, LOL. Instead of falling flat to the ground, he just scratched a his left knee a little.

It was quit hot by the time we cycled out from FRIM. Before we left home, I brought Zeng Hoong & Michelle for drinks at Mamak stall together with Kelvin.

That same afternoon, I went over to RodaLink Bangsar. I met Peter Wong again and to my surprise, he showed me the scars on his right leg. It was quite a bad fall for him in Autumn trail. A total of 3 bikers in our group crashed on the same day! That should be fun when you crash and of course, not the serious ones.

After all, you wanna play, you've gotta pay for it (the crash), LOL. No pain no gain mates! Keep riding!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Unbiased Review: Gary Fisher Opie

It was on Saturday(6th Dec 2008) afternoon when I brought my wife's niece, Michelle to hunt for a new bike after her dad approved her request.

The story began when her brother, showed to her an ad in BBS about 2nd hand(few months old) GT Outpost selling about RM7xx. Her dad agreed some weeks later (5th Dec) - kinda slow! According to Michelle, it is not easy to convince her dad but still, she won at last, LOL.

By the time we chatted on MSN on that Saturday afternoon around 3.xx pm, the seller has already removed his ad. Michelle was a bit sad. I told her that we can still scout around bike shops for some bargains. Since I have another 3 hours to pick up my wife from work, I offered Michelle a trip to Samy bike shops both @ Selayang and Batu Caves. Michelle was interested on Fuji Nevada 1.0 year 2008. Nice blue coloured bike for beginner like her. At the same time frame while scouting for a new bike, her dad replied her sms saying that the price for Nevada 1.0 (less than RM1.5K) was okay for him. She felt so happy and grateful.

The next day, I suggested Michelle & her brother to go over to TScyc for the another round of scouting before she could finalize her decision on Fuji Nevada 1.0. They both agreed and we went there with her dad's car since her brother's car was driven away by her dad for an event. We arived and asked KN, the boss of TScyc for RM 1K++ range of bikes. He introduced some which I already knew, and I didn't bother that much. All of a sudden among the huge bunch of bikes, I notice a matte black bike with small size frame - such an eye catcher!

You can hardly see sticker on that frame because the sticker is dark maroon while the paint is matte black. I felt strange and I got closer to inspect the bike further. It has nice frame geometry(more for slanting head & seat angle), nice welding job, nice gussets, thicker and quite solid frame tubes!

Michelle sat on it and stretched her hands to the handlebar. She commented "nice & comfortable". We kept discussing about it with her brother. I knew she would like it. There was a card hanging by the handlebar displaying the brand, "Gary Fisher" ( and the one of the stickers on the bike has the name "Opie" in it. I checked the price for Michelle with KN and it fell close to her budget. I told her that the bike is kind of a branded one and seldom can be found in LBS (Local Bike Shops and not bike boutiques).

Michelle has been very very kind and considerate not to hurt her dad's pocket. After nearby lunch, she decided to lower the bike specs by going for 24-speed instead of 27-speed. We discussed further about the price with KN and finally we got the bike for less than RM1.6K inclusive of bike stand, chainstay protector and cable protective stickers. Once she got home, she tested the bike by climbing some hills around her place.

Here's my opinion about her bike:-
Picture shown is taken from:

Quick Specs...
Category: Hardtail, Dirt Jump/XC
Frame: Bigg'ns 6061 aluminum, size 15.5 inch (suitable for ML as the top tube is lower)
Fork: RST Gila T7, 100mm travel
Drivetrain: Acera group, 24 Speed
Wheelset: Rigida Taurus with Formula hubs
Brakeset: Winzip Disc Brake Set with 160mm rotors
Seatpost: Bontrager
Saddle: Bontrager Earl
Handlebar: Bontrager
Handlebar: Stem Bontrager
Headset: Cane Creek

- Sturdy frame (can be used for Dirt Jump purpose!)
- Nice geometry with lower top tube (size 15.5)
- Nice classy matte black colour with minimal decals
- Bike equipped with Bontrager components (stem, handlebar, saddle, seatpost & etc.)
- Easy to climb, thanks to the smaller rear triangle section
- Worth the cash

- Heavier thank her brother's Fuji Tahoe Comp 2008, thanks to the solid frame
- The bike is on Acera's drivetrain 24-Speed
- Front fork could be better (Stock: RST Gila)
- Disc brakes could be better (Stock: WinZip)
- Handler bar is too wide for me
- Slightly slower handling response due to more slanting head tube angle

I would say this is an almost all rounder mountain bike for beginner. Not too heavy, not too light, easy to steer, climb and very solid for hitting bigger bumbs. Value for money.

Upcoming activity(ies)

Coordinates :