I got pretty sick last weekend so I wasn’t able to ride my new Beargrease at all. It was a big bummer having this awesome brand new bicycle just sitting around, but I didn’t really have a choice in the matter.
Since then I have gotten a couple rides in, enough for a good first impression. All of my observations of the bike will be comparing it to my 2012 Salsa El Mariachi, which is a 29er hardtail, listed in the Salsa catalog for endurance mtb racing and bike packing.
The El Mariachi is a 21” frame so I assumed I would need the same on the Beargrease, but Bob from Wheelwerks said no way, that the 21” frame on the beargrease is big. So we went with the 19” frame. I roughed out the dimensions on auto cad and turns out Bob knew what he was talking about. The seat tube is two inches shorter, but the rest of the lengths are very similar.
So far I have noticed that the bike turns FAST, I don’t know which feature of the bike causes this feeling, but it feels much lighter and quicker turning than my Mariachi. It is a lot of fun in tight switch backs, the extra traction and quick handling make me feel like a hero.
Part of that feeling may be coming from the short stem and wide bars. I need a longer stem, but I like the wide bars. I could see this bike becoming my full time mountain bike, I just wish they put the alternator dropouts on it so I could run single speed when I feel like it.
I have already converted it to tubeless using gorilla tape, and I plan on going to a 1x10 setup instead of the 2x10. The bike comes with a “clutch type derailleur” so all that is needed to convert to 1x is a Wolf Tooth or Raceface Narrow Wide chain ring. I am also considering getting some studs for the Dillengers, but I am still deciding on that.
Overall I am thrilled with my new bike, more miles coming this weekend.