Bike Check: 2018 GG Megatrail
After months of waiting for the new build, it is now time to show you what Lana is all about!
Quick back story: Meg the Megatrail was the first mountain bike I ever owned. She was faithful, strong and righteous through the rock gardens.
One day, after a slam dunk ride up Palmer and down Section 16 in Colorado Springs, she was rear ended at a stop light while chillin' on the North Shore rack. Yep, the NS was also put to rest.
Fortunately, all was not lost when the MTB gods came through and brought upon me the opportunity to build an even more radical bike. Now, on with the bike check.
IT'S ALL IN THE NAME...
Well, it is sort of in the name. Thanks to a fellow blogger for the suggestion, my new stallion is named Lana (as in Archer). Yes, I name my bikes (and cars). Anyway, here are her basics:
- Manufacturer: Guerilla Gravity (aka GG)
- Model: Megatrail (27.5"-150/165mm)
- D.O.B.: 1/5/18
- Skin color: LamborGG
- Special markings: baked in black decals
- Height: 5'2"
- Weight: 110-115 (~120 fully kitted)
- Frame Size: X-Small
- Bra Size: Yeah right...
Pressure: ~34 Psi
While the last fork I was on was the RockShox Pike 160mm, given the opportunity to build a new bike brought me step it up a notch. The Pike was dialed and it felt fantastic.
Now, with the Lyrik, I have the same travel, but a tad more stiffness to get me through chunk, whether there is a line or I just decide to barrel down whatever is in front of me (typical).
And yes, I have a fender... I care about my stanchions and my face.
Push ELEVENSIX in Liquid Black
Settings: So this is a bit trickier to communicate...
Previously on the RockShox Monarch R, I have made the "upgrade" to a coil shock - and not just any coil shock. The Push settings are custom to each rider.
Basically, you send your weight, riding style and the brand/model of bike you are on to Push (or your bike's manufacturer) and Push builds the shock per your specs.
For a proper sag setup, GG recommended a 200lb spring rate on the Cane Creek Spring, tuned to my weight (~120lb fully kitted) and the Megatrail's kinematics. Guerrilla Gravity bikes are designed for a 28%-30% sag and with my riding gear, I sit right about there.
There are two modes on my shock: Climb and DH (trail). High and low speed are changed independently in each mode. My current settings:
- Set for DH (trail)
- Low-speed: 20 clicks from full-closedHigh-speed: 15 clicks from full closed
- Set for climbing
- Low-speed: 4 clicks from full-closed
- High-speed: 10 clicks from full-closed
Setting rebound on the Push means you are setting rebound for both modes at the same time. My current setting:
- 10 clicks from full-closed
Again, high/low independent to each mode; rebound changes both at the same time. That means there is a lot to play with here and dialing in the shock will take some experimenting.
Sweet aspect of Push shocks is that once it is tuned, you are good to go for a while! Push recommends sending in your shock directly to them every 18 months for servicing. No crazy upkeep on this sexy component.
In keeping with the crankset, I went with a 30t Race Face Narrow Wide Chainring. Additionally, better to be safe than sorry I added the MRP AMg Alloy chain guide.
Race Face Carbon Next R
Why carbon? Because I can.
By going with these cranks, I was able to shave off some weight from the Race Face Aeffect cranks. Yes, I bought boots for these bad boys; though I had to shave the holes a bit to fit my pedals through them!
Here we have yet another bump in a different direction from my previous set on Meg.
I ran the Guides and while the modulation they provided was nice, there were quite a few issues with the pistons (no secret there, I know) and air bubbles (refer to next sentence). Bleeding the brakes was an intense process as well - and if you don't spend the money on the "pro" bleed kit, money spent on the step down is pointless.
That being said, I decided to try out the XTs. While it has been rumored that there is less modulation in these brakes, there are also fewer problems with the pistons and the bleed process is significantly easier, saving time and frustration.
There are pros and cons to everything - brakes are no exception. Also, given my weight, these should offer plenty of braking power. I will just have to report back on the feels once I break her in!
BAR & STEM
Race Face Next R & Aeffect R
The carbon bar is not new to me, but the manufacturer is. Previously on the Enve Rsr cut to 750mm, I am giving a shot at 760mm on the Next. There is also an approximate 3mm difference in the bar diameter, making this bar a bit stiffer while still offering better trail dampening.
The Aeffect R fits nicely with its partnering Next R bar. Not only is the diameter bigger in this pairing, but the stem is also shorter at 40mm versus the 50mm Atlas I was running on Meg.
Industry Nine Enduro S (& hub)
Super stoked here; mostly for the infamous buzzzzz sound. Lana was hooked up with the Industry Nine Enduro S wheels, rounding out 270 points of engagement on the hubs.
And, oh the hubs... everyone knows you are coming when they hear that screaming buzz sound. Well done dudes of I9 out of Asheville. Well. Done.
Unique to the GG X-Small frame is the fact that it fits a 125mm dropper - which is exactly what mine is. This means there is a bit more room to play on the height of the seat position that is typically restricted on smaller frames.
The flat dropper lever is also a nice touch as it feels more ergonomically sound in conjunction with [flat] gear levers.
Typical of a lot of riders, I am riding the Minion DHF Exo on the front end.
I haven't been through too many tires in my riding career just yet, but as soon as I sported an Aggressor on the rear I was hooked. So of course, Lana is rockin' the Maxxis Aggressor Exo. The grip it offers on the back end is noticeable instantaneously.
My weight does not necessitate a casing thicker or more substantive than the Exo.
The La Selle Diva Gel saddle on Meg provided enough cushion to exclude riding in a chamois. However, while the SDG requires a chamois to avoid raw "areas" the profile of the saddle is nice - less bulky than the women's La Selle.
On a side note, I am super curious about the woman-specific SM/SR Ergon saddle. If you have experience with one, leave me some comments below about it!
LOVE the ESI Chunky Grips. Though the durability on these aren't that great (one fall equates to a rip or chunk missing), the shock absorption they offer is amazing and the price isn't so bad either! Replacing them doens't put a hole in your bank account.
Now, I am giving a go to a lower profile grip, minimizing movement in my hand. I assume this will also give me the feeling of more control. Again, another component I will just have to try out and report back on!
If you are curious at all about the weight of Lana: ~29.4lbs.
That should cover the general components on Lana! You can watch this bike check - HERE. If you have any questions, remarks, suggestions leave me a comment below.