Monday, January 30, 2012


Well another bike has rolled into my stables. This time I wanted to try out one of the "cheap" carbon frames from China that have, over the last couple of years, flooded Ebay. When I bring these up in bike discussions I have heard everything and I mean everything. I mean from full on retardedness to egotistical and even the political side of why or why I shouldn't buy a frame like this from China/Ebay. Being a non-conformist to public opinion that set me in motion to actually get one. Two weeks after I used "buy it now" it arrives via the USPS... unscathed! That was surprising in it's own right. It had a bunch of airline flight stickers on it so it probably never saw a rough and tumble ride over.

OK! I chose the UD style frame instead of the 12K or 3K versions. UD is short for unidirectional and it's the carbon that looks as if it's been poured into a mold and the only way to see the carbon fiber lay-up is to look inside the frame. I really don't want to ride a "raw" carbon bike so I used my skillz to paint the tubes as close to my BMC TE01 as I could. It turned out quite well as you can see above. Now where did I place those BMC stickers?? Think of me what you will for trying to plagiarize this frame into a BMC.... Think of me what you will for not buying a bike from my shop (since I'm only up to 12+ now).... Think of me what you will for getting stuff from Ebay.... If anyone's opinion, other than mine, had any weight here you would have been contacted to show up for the corporate meeting that was held to make the final decisions on this frame before today's press release. Alas, that degrades you to nominal rider status and you should just ride what corporate bike companies set out on the floor for you at your LBS.... just kidding, don't cry now. BMC decided to wait another year to bring out a carbon version of the TEO29 frame, I was very disappointed to say the least because I was standing there with cash in hand. I wanted to be riding a carbon 29er and Niner can't keep crap in stock because every freakin' person on the globe wants one so I reverted to plan K. Yes, plans A through J were well thought out and then ditched.

Here's a head tube sticker on black. Would have preferred white but all I had in my sticker box was black, it'll do! Below a pair of white BMC's for near the BB. All I need is to go to a decal shop and get the "big" BMC for the downtube and she'll be, for the most part, finished cosmetically.

Oh, what's that you asked? How does it ride? Hang on don't get your chamois in a wad, this is my blog and I'll decide how the story is told! Below is how it ended up being dressed out for the first ride at Bays Mountain. If you haven't ever been to Bays and you ride.... well you should. Those great peeps up there are so mountain bike friendly and the place is kept in tip top shape you should give it a try. The NTMBA also manages to get a new trail added every year so far for the last couple of years so that means it's growing too! Heck if you don't have a bike go hike the place!

OK...... drum roll please. As I enter the building and walk down the red carpet up to the podium where 20+ microphones clammer for space atop the speakers podium I prepare to address the press about the new Chin`a 2Nine`a ......

Nothing rides like carbon period! No not even Ti! Ti has it's own ride qualities and is supple in it's own way. I wanted quick swoopy single track for this ride to see how this bike handles so I chose Bays Mtn for the ride. I wasn't disappointed in the carbon ride quality. Those who claim these frames are "seconds" or "ones that didn't pass QC" don't know much although they may think they do... (insert sound of someone's ego bursting). This frame was ever bit as responsive as anything I've ridden (and I've ridden alot of bikes). Handling? Spot on! This frame geometry & long wheelbase likes fast bermed turns! I was really impressed how far I could get over on the edge of the tires. The headtube angles on "most all bikes" are with 1.5 degrees of each other.... don't believe? Look it up, if you know how. The sweet spot with most manufacturers seems to be 70*-71.5*. My BMC TE29 has a HA of 70*, my Niner EMD 70* and the Chin`a has a 71*. The big difference in the handling on these three bikes is in the chain stays! BMC has 430mm stays (very short), Niner has 439mm stays and the Chin`a has longgggg 450mm stays. I like the longer stays for cornering and another benefit is that it won't rare up in your face when your climbing steep terrain. The myth that short stays make you faster is hogwash! No one has proven this! YOU make the bike faster, period! This is one of those things like a "false flat". Short stays give the bike a more rigid feel and is only a part of the frame geometry contributing to the overall handling of a bike. Short stays also make the bike handle a little more twitchy when rolling fast down the trail when combined with a steeper HA. Another plus for this frame is the internal cable routing! Rear brake and rear derailleur route the cable through the downtube and throughout the stays, very nice! If you have hydro's it will be a pain because you will need disconnect the hose to run the hose through the frame and re-bleed them to get them to work internally, sorry. If you have a frame with Paragon sliders try it for yourself! Slide the wheel all the way forward tighten it up and take it for a ride then slide it all the way back and do it again.

My overall rating on this bike is a 9 out of a 10! It looks like a Scott but the stays on a Scott Scale 29 are 438mm & HA is 69.5*, it also resembles a Stevens but the stays on it are 445mm * HA is 72* (crazy steep). I like the way it feels, handles and rides so it's staying until the BMC gets released next year.

So in closing if you don't like me installing BMC stickers all over this blank frame keep it to yourself or talk about it amongst yourselves (that happens alot & I love it!), in the end it doesn't matter... does it? Ride-on!

LAter G..................

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