Recently I've been "flushing" and purging my old memories. And, since you are most likely a fellow bike rider, you have a relationship with your bike(s) as we all do. Sometimes those bikes carry a spirit in them... a soul or a memory. And sometimes that soul is a ghost of a past you want to let go. My Cannondale Jekyll was one of those bikes. My past life had a lot to do with the purchase of that bike, and it was time to let it go.
With the sale of that bike, I purchased a Specialized Crave 29'er hardtail for the Santa Cruz trails. You may be wondering "Why a hardtail? Especially for Santa Cruz?". Santa Cruz has plenty of great XC trails, and the single track flows pretty well. I don't think a 26" hardtail would fair well here... but the 29'er works really well - especially for my riding style. MTB'ing for me is a compliment to BMX - helps me stay in shape and something to pedal during the week. In other words, its my "cardio". I'm not interested in long powerhouse rides... just out and back for an hour in the afternoon.
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Immediately, I noticed the Crave is a CLIMBER... something which my Jekyll really sucked at. The geometry is derived from the winning, race-proven Specialized XC lineage. Steering is sharp and precise in stock form, although I did want a wider bar with less sweep for carving the single track; the stock bar was replaced by a 29" wide Race Face Atlas bar.
For what I want out of MTB'ing on these trails, the Crave fits my needs very well. It climbs very fast and that tight geometry makes for a potent, razor sharp XC machine. I didn't have to change much to make it mine: bars, some cosmetics (red anodized bits), grips and a tubeless conversion.
Deore shifting on the 2X10 set-up feels very natural. I find myself in the smaller chainring with the ability to use the entire cassette without major cross chaining.
My Jekyll was great on the rocky San Jose trails. However, for Santa Cruz with the long fireroads, trekking paved roads and buttery single track, this hardtail 29'er works well at a super great price. Thanks to Another Bike Shop for the hook up. #specializedcravereview #specializedcrave
However, it was time for a change. There were things I didn't like about the BTM - mostly the fast geometry. While it helped with a lot of things, it was a pain for other things. I wanted a nice compromise: not too fast, but fast enough. Something that would fit 2.4 tires, and something that was, um, pretty.
Both my homies Greg and Sean ride BSD's, and I never gave the company a head turn. But after months of looking at different geometries, different companies (I don't have loyalty towards one company over another), colors offered, and anticipating frame releases, it became a toss up between the Fit Mac and this frame.
What was the final decision maker? The Fit Mac wasn't in stock. That was all. Brake mounts and a tall standover height were a must. The sweet red color offering: a must have, although the "ice blue" Fit Mac frame was what I would've got. BSD has a good name in the industry and I trust what they put out. But overall, it was the geometry that caught my eye:
- Headtube angle: 74.8°
- Seattube angle: 69.5°
- Rear end length: 13.25 – 13.65″
- BB Height: 11.5″
- Standover height: 8.8″
It rides great, but the geometry is specific. It is different that your standard geometries and I can appreciate that. I would recommend this frame for folks looking at an alternative to standard 75º/71º/13.5".
#bsdbeveragereview #bsdbeverage #bsdforever
2014 BSD BEVERAGE
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