Field Test Wrap-Up
Results of the Moab Test Trip
It’s always a bit sad to leave the mountain bike mecca we call Moab. A few days are never enough to take it all in or to field test everything. The riding was awesome, the weather delightful, the rattle snakes and scorpions minded their own business, and the jeeps — yes, it was Jeep Safari Week — made for great side entertainment!
First, it’s appropriate to thank those that made our stay wonderful … the hotel clerk, the diner chef, the man with the broken leg, and most of all, the Moab folks that maintain and build the trails we love to ride! Our favorite, pictured here, has been improving year after year, and gets an A+ in every category we can think of … except perhaps “Easy”. Thank You MOAB!!
Over the past several months we at WickWërks have been doing a ton of testing on improved versions of existing rings, plus several new additions to the family. Most of what happened in Moab was verification of previous testing — at least that’s the way we explained it to the boss. Certainly Moab has some unique characteristics that are not readily replicated in other places. So with mountain biking, this turns out to be an ideal location for abuse and misuse — the kind that’s able to push most components to the edge.
Speaking of edges, we found many — some we flew off, some, in better judgement, we decided the landing (300 ft below) was a little too far away. Sure fun to gaze over, however.
Our test results turned out sort of boring. I get excited when we get to break stuff, sheer teeth, tangle derailleurs or other components, but none of that happened. No exciting crashes either — though we each had a couple of dumb ones — and thanks to Terrell, we made the blood sacrifice early to christen the trip for good luck (but it wasn’t that much).
Some Items Of Note …
- On the first day, we counted bikes we saw with various kinds of chainring combinations:
– 6% on 1X — Surprising given current trends.
– 72% on doubles.
– 22% on triples.
(These numbers do not include our bikes.)
- Through all the rough, fast and slow, jumping, wheelies, sand, drops, accidental miss-shifts, etc. — we did not experience a chain drop. That says good things.
- Moab sand/dust is obnoxious — gets in everything, gums up anything with lube or seals, and is hard to get it all cleaned off. (We’ve seen this before, but for whatever reason, it was painfully obvious this trip.)
- In photos, we see again the intriguing dynamics of the bicycle chain. As the bike careens over rocky, bumpy terrain, the chain is doing an amazing dance beneath. We see it caught in these photos (and the one at the top of the page), and again we’re impressed at the dynamics! The chain is definitely an unsung hero in all the fun we have on our bikes.
It’s no wonder we see the results of chain slap so readily on the chain stays. It’s no wonder that we seek gripping technologies that hold the chain on — such as Wide-Narrow or Z-Rings. The dynamics are very intriguing and give an added emphasis on the tooth profiles and geometry needed to help you, the mountain biker, have the tools for success.
Enjoy The Ride !!