In usual context that quote is referring to an energy drink but in this case it is referring to a bike. A 'monster cross bike'. This term has come about recently and usually refers to a bike running the bigger 29er mtb wheels but built up more like a cross bike with drops, etc. Some manufacturers even offer some stock monster cross bikes, Salsa is one and I think there are a few others as well but they escape me at the moment.
Mine isn't a 29er unfortunately but its still pretty sweet. This has been a long time coming and I have mentioned this project a few times and the bike itself has made it into a few tweets in various stages of completion. A lot of the parts on this bike have lived a long and varied life but I am particularly pumped with this version of things, I think this could be really fun to ride.
My favorite part about this bike is the fact that most parts on it would fall under the category: "no name". Its just a big steel nameless behemoth that can go anywhere it wants for as long as you can stand. Lets see, interesting tid bits...On One Midge bars for the 'dirt drops'. I spent a lot of time researching the various options here and ended up with the Midge mostly because it was one of the few that took bar end shifters, which I find weird because just about every monster cross build I have seen has bar end shifters. The disc brakes are the Avid BB5 Road. Basically the same thing as a normal BB5 but a short pull version that is compatible with road brake levers.
wrapped the shifter cables under the bar tape to keep the front end a bit more tidy cable wise
I'm going to be riding this monster for the NH100 this year, should be interesting to see how it effects my time. I bet I'll ride it quite a bit faster, this thing is fully geared which will be nice in certain spots on that course. I can change up my hand positions a bit with the drops. No suspension though...
In other news I went a bit more manly with my SS and shrunk my cog down to 19 teeth the other day. Went with a Surly. Usually a good bet.
Things were starting to get too easy and I can't let that happen...
Took it out for a spin this morning. My feelings are mixed at this point. Which is basically what I expected, try riding your favorite trail system except ride everything in one gear bigger...it will kinda suck first time around. Initially I felt much slower, my acceleration was non existent, didn't feel very 'peppy' on the bike. I almost felt like I was lumbering a bit more, my cadence was much lower which typically doesn't suit me. I have always been a spinner over a masher. BUT come to look at the ride data afterward and I put up a similar average speed on a similar route at this time last year running 32-20.
So overall the speed is still there it just feels completely different. I feel like I am strong enough for the 19 but I will have to make some modifications to my riding until my legs get the force they need to turn that gear at the cadence I am used to. Just going to have to rely on momentum even more for a bit and try and smooth out my riding. The roots were still a bit slick this morning so there was a lot of slow and start out of corners and getting the 19 going again was wearing on me a bit. But I'm not discouraged, I will get there it'll just take some time. Good idea to change things out 1 week before my first race? Time will tell...
Its funny to think that when I started my foray into single speed riding the most I could muster on my converted 26in bike was a 32-22. Which when you get into gear inches is more like a 32-24(ish) on a 29er. What I am running now would roughly equate to a 32-17 on a 26in bike and when I had first converted my bike I had set it up in the 'recommended' 2-1 ratio of 32-16 and I remember test riding it in Plymouth and thinking to myself there is never any way I could ever ride this for any length of time, way too hard. If things go to plan the 32-19 will be my new 'butter gear', ride anything, anywhere, anytime. Never would have thought it possible a few years ago.