Category Archives: Bike and Components Reviews

Porcupine Rim Whole Enchilada Moab – Mountain Biking Trail Analysis For Intermediates

These are the lower trails of The Whole Enchilada ride

Porcupine Rim Whole Enchilada Moab – Mountain Biking Trail Analysis For Intermediates

I analyze the Kokopelli, UPS (Upper Porcupine Singletrack), LPS (Lower Porcupine Singletrack), and Porcupine Rim trails for 18 miles from the shuttle drop-off at the top of Kokopelli to the Colorado River. Along the way you will encounter the La Sal Mountains in their winter clothing, the big views from the edge of Porcupine Rim over Castle Valley, and riding the exciting and challenging cliffs above the Colorado. Ride with us as we explore this amazing and beautiful trail system!The purpose of this video is to inform intermediate mountain bikers about the tread conditions so they can decide if they want to try one of the most famous mountain bike rides in the world.

This trail analysis includes most of the Whole Enchilada trail series. Burro Pass and Hazard County trails are above Kokopelli but were still blocked by snow on May 5, 2013 when we rode it. We were dropped off at 8 AM at 8,300 feet and it was damn cold when our bikes picked up speed. Even with bike gloves we had to stop and thaw our fingers several times.

The ride took us 6 hours including shooting video, a long lunch break, and enjoying the views. You can bomb it in a lot less time if that is the goal. It is easy to beat your bike up on these trails, not hard to end up in the emergency room, and it is moderately physically challenging although it is almost entirely downhill. However, the vast majority of the trail can easily be rode by intermediate riders. Don’t be ashamed to get off and hike the bike. We did and we saw many others being careful not to get hurt.

It took longer to select the music for this video than the entire ride. Hope you like my selection.

Ride stats: Max elevation 8,334 feet, 1,410 feet elevation gain, 4,400 elevation loss. No significant climbs. Garmin 60 CSX. Cannondale Rush, Cannondale Jekyl.

FOX FACTORY 34 2017 FORK! WOW UPGRADE!

I’ve rode a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 140mm fork for the past two and a half years since my Yeti was new.  Nice, but I’ve been over the handlebars or crashed more than a few times on what I consider small rocks, maybe 6 – 10 inches high.   After two nasty crashes recently, one that had me limping around Fruita, CO for a few days and unable to ride,  I had enough.

Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.

Fox redesigned their 34 line in 2016 and I was noticing the smoother and more controlled rides over gnar at the Outerbike and Hurricane mountain bike festivals.  After the Fruita incident on the Holy Cross Trail, which I blogged about recently, I was headed to the fall 2016 Outerbike in Moab.

There I tested various bikes, mostly Yetis, by attacking 6 – 12 inch rocks at various speeds.  All had the 2017 Fox Factory 34 forks.  The bikes glided over the rocks.  I actually couldn’t, and didn’t, crash although I was trying to kill myself, sort of.

After Outerbike I drove home for a week to get stuff done and ordered a new 2017 Fox Factory 34 140 mm along with wider Maxxis tires from JensonUSA.com.  Why Jenson?  They give me free beers and hats at Outerbike!  Also, they have Amazon level shipping service.  I had the fork in two days. (Bike shops take more than a week to receive something I ordered.)

After a week in Silicon Valley I drove back to Fruita and Over The Edge Sports installed my fork.  Then I hit the trails, and every rock and ledge I could find.  I dared it to throw me off my bike!

And it didn’t!  Not once in two weeks of riding did I ever feel off-balance, crash in any way, or lose it enough to “dance with the bike” instead of a complete fall.  I was riding shit I usually walk.  Riding my bike became more fun!  I feel safer and more confident.

I put a Maxxis 2.3″ Tamahawk on the rear and a 2.4″ Ardent on the bow.  Very nice!

So I sold the Revelation on eBay but in the listing I included a warning that it doesn’t work well at lower speeds.  A young aggressive rider from San Jose bought it – perfect for him.

YETI SB5+ 2016 DEMOED NEAR MOAB, UTAH.


Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn’t ride Deadman’s but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
I’m impressed! This is probably the first plus tire bike I’ve rode. The wheel and tire diameter is only 1/2″ less than my 29er but the roll-over with the 150mm fork and plus tire is amazing! 
 
It isn’t just tire size that counts. Unlike most plus bikes the 5+ is designed for a plus tire.  Yeti has made small design changes to fit the bike purpose.

Frame geometry:  I’m disclosing the specs for a large frame and I’m focused on only those specs that I think matters for us intermediates.

  • Frame material:  Carbon.
  • Wheel size: 27.5″ 2.8 width tires.
  • Headtube angle:  67.1 degrees.
  • Bottom bracket height:  13″.
  • Wheel base length:  46.9″.
  • Weight (large): 28.1 pounds, the SB95 and 5.5 run around 29 – 30 pounds.

Component package:  This bike was the XT build, their mid-range build for this model.

Specs:  http://www.yeticycles.com/bikes/sb5-plus/specs

Safety, stability, and control:    We had enough rain that sand pits were easy to ride with anything but I’m sure this tire would go where 2.2’s wouldn’t.  I was laying it over on flow with gravel more than I would with lesser sizes. It is very stable and gives the rider more terrain / riding style options than most bikes.

I was crashing into rocks at about 10 mph trying to go OTH but couldn’t. The bike climbed over everything and I never felt like I was being thrown forward as the bike hit rocks. This is the safest bike I’ve rode.

Comfort for longer rides:  It is far more comfortable in gnarly rocks than the traditional tire sizes.   A rider who owns a plus tire bike told me that his legs feel the additional tire to ground resistance more than normal tires but because the tires absorb more shocks the whole body feels better.  My ride was too short to confirm that but it should be true.

Design:  It has the beautiful modern Yeti organic design and is coherent throughout.  High pride of ownership factor.

Conclusion:  If most of my riding was in tire challenging conditions such as sand / decomposed granite (Tahoe!) or rocky desert I would prefer this bike. I wasn’t able to test it on a long climb so I don’t know if it is much of a climber. My guess is that it is not-so-good on an XC climb and fantastic on ledgy rocky conditions like Hymasa on Moab’s Amasa Back trails.

My only bitch is that it comes in two forms of black and I prefer lighter colors.  Black shows dust easy and to me seems brooding.  However, if I lived at Tahoe or south Utah I would buy it anyway.

NEW VIDEO: MOUNTAIN BIKING HURRICANE ST. GEORGE!

Explore the top trails with me in Southwest Utah!  I’ll take you on a quick ride on 7 major trails including South Rim, Hidden Canyon, and North Rim on Gooseberry Mesa, JEM, Guacamole Mesa, Little Creek Mesa, Quail Lake / Boy Scout Trails, Prospector and Church Rocks, and Barrel Roll with a mention of the more technical nearby Zen Trail.   There is a lot to ride in the region that hosts the famous Red Bull Rampage free ride event.

HOW TO CHOOSE A TRAIL CATEGORY MOUNTAIN BIKE – ANALYSIS FOR INTERMEDIATES

We spent 2 1/2 years researching and riding demo bikes after we attended the 2013 Fruita Fat Tire Festival in Colorado. We had no idea what a bike festival was about but soon discovered that we were riding waaaay better bikes than our decade old Cannondale cross-country (XC) bikes. We were able to ride farther and at a higher skill level than we ever imagined. But why?

This video shares my research and experience with trail mountain bikes, a category of bike between cross-country and all mountain. I hope it saves you a lot of time and expense. I get into some details but try to focus only on what really matters for intermediates.

See my blog at http://jimprestonmtb.com for information on specific bikes and my trail analysis for intermediates videos. You can also subscribe to this channel to be notified of uploaded videos – and there are a bunch more to come for Lake Tahoe, Moab, Zion-St. George, UT and Fruita – Grand Junction, CO.