Took it out on a little 8 mile loop trail just outside of Las Cruces in the foothills of the Organ Mountains, out on the national monument. It was freaking fantastic!
This is a trail I’ve ridden several times in the last two weeks on the gravel bike since I got the (not as) fatty wheelset for it. A nice mix of some rolling climbs and and decent, mixed in with numerous technical bits going down into, crossing, and back out of rocky arroyos. Compared to doing this trail on the gravel bike, this new Stache feels like cheat mode. I could take any line I wanted to, and easily went over or through anything out there. It laughed at the patches of soft gravel and sandy arroyo bottoms. All but the biggest rocks were no more a matter than “did I feel a bump, or just hear it?” I got back to the Pajero way faster than I’ve ever done before, and almost took a second lap before my better judgement decided against it.
There is so much tire and so much grip. What I feared about the effort to turn over that much tire turned out to be unfounded. It rolls over easy, and over seeming just about anything. The ride is so smooth, and I was probably still 1-2 psi too high on the pressures. The GX Eagle drive train rocks, and there was always another to gear to drop down to on the climbs. Compared to the gravel bike, I can spin out of gear on descents on faster parts of the trail.
If someone had told me even six months ago I would own a bike with hydraulic disk brakes, I would’ve laughed at them. Now I think they’re just about the greatest thing ever. The last couple of miles of the trail are a generally flowing descent back to the truck. On the Journeyman with mechanical disk brakes, my hands are on fire by time I get back to the truck. Tonight on the Stache I felt ready for another lap when I got to the truck.
This Trek Stache 9.7 followed me home from the local bike shop this afternoon. My savings account may never forgive me. My new tubeless skinnier skinny wheelset for the Journeyman was ready to pickup, too.
I test rode the bike the other day on lark, thinking it would be a pig. It turns out to ride like anything but a pig, and the frame is even my size. It had me smitten, and I had been entertaining the idea of putting in order for good hardtail on the theory that bike inventory will be a thing that exists again someday.
The 29x3.0 tires feel like it can roll over anything, and I had the shop set them up tubeless before I took it home. Now I just need it to stop pissing rain to go for the inaugural trail ride with it. There are just some freebie VP racing pedals I bolted on it that were thrown in with my Journeyman when I took it home in May, but I’ve got another set of Shimano EH500 pedals on order for it.
I’ve owned good cars that cost less, but it rides so very nicely.