Sunday, 10 June 2012

Christening the Jackal

The Nomad is waiting on new brake bits so I had to call upon another steed for some dirt shredding this weekend. The sensible option would be to chose the Orange. I've ridden it countless times on dirt before. She's proven in the field. But I couldn't help thinking how much fun it would be to try the Jackal out. So, with that in mind me and Spangles hit the front side of China for a spin. Yep, Jason managed to rescue his bike from the ever growing dust cocoon it's been residing in for the past year. It's good to see him taking baby steps back to the the dirt. Him not being quite in tip top shape meant he made a perfect partner to my unconventional choice of ride. Especially as I had to stand for most of the climbs spinning my tiny cranks. It hardly meant for a blistering pace (as Strava over there on the right will testify.) But it was a great quad burner of a workout.

The Jackal's front fork is designed to absorb big hits from burly jumps. Not to provide plush cush' over XC trails. So the ride was somewhat harsh and the bike jittery. But once we hit the flow section I was able to hunker down into a fighting stance and throw it around a bit. I learned a lot about where my cornering weaknesses are. My left corners are coming on a treat, but my right hand ones never feel as positive. Having a smaller, lighter, more responsive frame meant the feedback was clearer. Less sleigh like than the Nomad I instantly spotted where I go wrong. Awesome!

I can't imagine taking the Jackal to dirt very often. It's not exactly suited to the climbs for a start. Plus I'm having way too much fun using it for the urban riding. But it's proven once again to be a great learning tool for trail riding. Plus that Seabright Blue does look kinda cool covered in dirt!

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