Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tahoe Plus

Back in September we took a quick overnight trip up to Tahoe to see my dad. Even though I would only have time for one short ride, and even though one short ride requires so much equipment, I went for it anyway.

I brought the Mason plus bike because I was dying to see how it performed in the late summer sand that prevails in the area. It did not disappoint.

I rode my favorite loop, which entails a road climb, singletrack along a ridge, and a descent down Tunnel Creek Road.

The climb up the road on three inch tires wasn't especially fun, but you just have to settle in for the long haul and realize that the good stuff is coming.

Once I turned onto the sandy singletrack, the long climb was forgotten. Plus sized tires are a perfect match for Tahoe terrain. After just a few turns I acclimated to how the bike handled in the decomposed granite, and I was motoring along. The trail is like a roller coaster, and with the Diamondback there was no flying off the rails.

There are two steep, sandy pitches on the trail that I have never cleaned on the same ride. I made it up one of them on my fat bike once, and that is it. On the Mason I made it up both.

On the descent I flew down at a responsible but fast speed. Tunnel Creek gets very sandy late in the season, but it wasn't much of an issue. This is one area where the fat bike is actually faster and more fun, but the plus is still good.

The industry is moving towards narrower plus tire sizes after originally starting at three inches, and that is probably a good thing. After riding the Krampus and Mason for a while, I think a full three-inch tire is overkill for most situations. However, there will always be places where big tires are the way to go, and Tahoe is one of them.


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