So, last weekend I had to repair a flat before my ride with White. Since I had a little time — or at least in my mind I did — I followed through on a few other changes to the Nickel, which has been stock since received in January.
First, I replaced the WTB Volt with my old WTB Pure V.
Next, I swapped out the stock Crossmark on the front with a WTB Moto Raptor. I had the Moto Raptors on the Gary Fisher up until Scout Camp in November, and chose to put on some new rubber for the race – WTB Weir Wolves. That was a mistake, but I digress.
I’ve always been fond of a “knobbier” tire, but I decided to give the Crossmarks a try since I had heard great things about them. I have to admit, for being so low profile, they kept me stuck on the trail pretty well. In addition to the normal local trails, they performed satisfactorily at the rock pile called Sherando and on my first backpacking trip. I just never had the confidence to really push it though. With the Raptor on the front, I found my self going into turns more agressively and just railing. I still have work to do on technique, but the Raptors give me the confidence and the hook up that I need.
Oh, and Pure V was a Pure Delight on my arse. After 23 miles on Saturday, I am so glad I made the swap. It ought to be nice for future bikepacking endeavors as well.