Late this afternoon I decided to build up the new Kid Dangerous proto with a dedicated 1×9 setup. 11×32 in the rear, 32t up front, chain guidage provided by the e13 XCX seat tube mount (works like a charm). Got things dialed in, loaded up the car with the bike, my pup kaya and off we went to some local trails. Single track behind “Yankee Siege” in Greenfield, NH was the destination maintained by those crazy guys and gals of the Greenfield Trails Association some of which are part of the Hampshire 100. Saddled up and off we went. Trail starts in a “secret spot” and winds down an old 6th class road bed that eventually funnels down into singletrack with lots of turns to take you off into trail heaven. Heavily forested with mostly Hemlocks, it’s always a few degree’s cooler in the woods. The 6th class road bed is pretty fast double track and those short stays put power right to the drivetrain. Once on singletrack, I was all smiles as the bike just picked up, over and through the air with little effort. The Whisky No. 7 fork is surprisingly light, stiff and just enough resilience to quiet the chatter. The bike wheelies with ease. For the uninformed, this bike climbs too. Put your head down, keep your butt planted and power through your pedal stroke to rip up steeps. I’m noticing that this bike “feels” quicker than my other frame I’ve been riding for the past couple years. I’m finding I’m coming in to turns a bit hot on occasion and need to adjust accordingly. This ride tonight, things felt more dialed and I was more accustomed to the increase in speed. Another factor site unseen is that this past winter I spent considerable time in the gym (I normally do actually) but concentrated on squatting with free weights again. My legs feel good and that power I used to have in high school feels like it’s there again. Perhaps the increased speed is due to this. But I’m finding the bike is quick and able beneath me. Solid when the tech is turned up and smooth when things are flow. I’m pretty stoked coming home from this first ride with the stays dialed in at 16″. Tomorrow I’ll ride them at 16.25″ for a back to back comparison. After that I want to see what 16.75″ feels like with this lower bottom bracket height. That is the difference between my current bike and this one in addition to the tapered steerer. Which by the way, I’m stoked on. It’s noticeable how much less flex you can feel under heavy braking and what I noticed in tech is the front of the bike doesn’t feel so “twisty” or “wobbly” for lack of better words. The other difference is that the top tube of this bike (and Yuri’s) is I built it with a 1.375″ OD tube vs a 1.25″ OD tube. That added stiffness may also be adding to the handling characteristics. Either way, this bike rips and I’m stoked. More time is needed to further hash thoughts out but my initial thoughts after the ride were that all mtn. bikes I build from here on out may fall in line with this one in terms of geometry. It’s definitely a progression over the last version I’ve been riding for a while and the differences may be subtle but worth the changes in the end. I feel like it’s further tuned and honed for east coast singletrack. Till next time, keep pedalin’!