CURVE UPROCK+ BONZA 29+ Bikepacking Trail bike
Rather than post about my new bike, like a kid on Christmas tearing open the wrapping paper in hurried excitement I thought I'd sit on it before formulating thoughts. It's been 8 months of trail and error.
Like all new bikes, there's always a tweak or ten from new to get the right fit and feel.
The genesis of this bike came about from a chat about bikes with Steve and Jesse on a bikehacking trip. At the time I was on a Trek Stache 29+, a bike that will always have a special place between my legs. I was immediately won over by the massive amount of traction the big tyres allowed, corresponding with equal amounts of fun and confidence. Jesse was keen to develop something for the 29+ platform in the Curve stable for Race to the Rock style events. Steve and Liam worked on the design and the Uprock+ was born.
Before it touched the crib, it was painted in a LAF scheme by Steve Gardner.
I envisaged a bike that I'd spend 99.3% of the time riding it on trails - and that 0.7% remaining on dirt all-road bikehacking trips - as time permits.
Accordingly, it was initially setup with a 29+ ROCKSHOX Pike 140mm fork - which is plusher than an Italian leather lounge, SRAM GX Eagle which allows you to soar, SRAM Guide RSC super sweet stoppers, Thomson cockpit, CURVE 50mm carbon hoops to DT350s with WTB Rangers 3.0 TCS light rubber.
FAST FORWARD MANY MONTHS
Late last year, Dave and I took the train to Benalla, and forged our way to Dandongadale Falls, over the the boulder rollercoasters that is Cobbler Lake and Camp Creek Track eventually to Harrietville. I will conservatively say that we pushed our bikes more than 10km that day. Rocks as big as wombats, steep ridges and ruts. BONZA!
More about that expeditions route soon, but type 2 fun aside, it allowed for deep intimacy with the bike in a loaded format.
In the time since new till now, a few things have changed.
Curve are currently developing their own Kevin styled fork to suit 29x3.0 tyres with mounts for ANYTHING cages. I saw the 3D printed prototype at Curve HQ and it is shaping up to be another great product. In the interim I've been fangin' around with the rigid carbon fork I had in my old Stache. I love how light and playful it makes the front end. The big tyres keep it supple like a suspension of their own, particularly at 13.3 PSI which is my personal sweet spot.
I ditched the loud lock-on grips for silicon, and the WTB Ranger TCS Light might grip as well as Chupacabra's when new - but they don't last long at all.* I've also experimented with the MAXXIS Minion DHF / DHR and they are an amazing tyre for increased grip in the mud but you pay dearly for it in terms of speed and acceleration.
The saddle switch was purely personal like the grips, I trimmed the steerer on both the forks and I taped my cranks is Enduro Duct Tape so they stay nicer > longer.
* My 20c.
Snort for scale.
The DT Swiss 350s come standard with 18 tooth point engagement. An industry outsider and long time dirt conspirator told me I should upgrade to the 54t ratched. So I did - and was blown away at how amazingly simple it was to install the upgrade. Increased engagement points is a big win for the rocky and technical terrain of Plenty Norge. The downside is the increased BUZZZZZZZ of the freewheel which scares the Dunnarts.
Here's a snippet of the bikehack which is soon to be part of a feature length youtube video.
CURVE UPROCK+ (BONZA)
SRAM Eagle GX
SRAM Guide RSC brakes
ROCK SHOX Pike 140mm 29+
/ Carbon 29+ Boost Fork
Thomson Alloy Trail bar / X4 stem
Curve Carbon 50mm rims
DT Swiss 350 hubs
WTB Ranger / Bontrager Chupacabra 29x3.0
FUNN Mamba pedals
Brooks Cambium C17 Saddle
SkinGrowsBack Plan B