Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Team Rider, New Bike, New BikePark

So, i have heard loads about this Putrajaya Bike Park. I have been itching to ride it for ages, finally had the chance to this past weekend. Most people have been riding the 'fun' dh track on the smaller trail, but lucky for me and ben, Didi gave us permission to ride the sections that have been completed on the other fun dh track on the bigger hill. that combined with me being on a new bike, the Banshee Rune, it was going to be an awesome weekend.

Full on DH set-up!

The trail it self was amazing, very smooth, so doesn't require a dh bike, a 5in bike with good geometry would be ideal. Even though its smooth, its far from easy. sure, you can roll down slowly on a xc hard tail like many riders did. But once you start going fast, it gets really hard to link the whole trail up and keeping it smooth. Tight corners, loads of bits where the trail just drops away from you in a corner. Done beautifully to keep it technical in a way that Malaysian dh trails have never been before. You really have to work the terrain and move the bike around, otherwise you are not going to stay in control or be going fast.

Saturday - we got there around 10.30, walked the trail, and sectioned it. It was a slow start, I haven't been riding much for the past 4 months so my fitness was a bit shocking, Ben was feeling sick from the roti chanai breakfast. We were having trouble getting the two big jumps at the bottom of the trail properly. We gave that a break, went over to the smaller fun trail. It was my first time riding that trail too, starts off tight, with my favorite part being the jump where you land in a berm. BRAAAP!! It opens up later and gets very fast, ending with a tight series of 3 berms and a small step down. We spent a couple of hours at that trail, till we warmed up properly, then headed back to the bigger trail on the other side.


We didn't bother riding the top section as there isn't that much too it and its quite steep to push up. Focused on the middle section and the last few jumps, we were finally clearing them nicely. Ben doing his signature move, getting big air and getting the rear end out really sideways. I was having a great time, really loving the 180 degree berm, really getting it low. We were both really tired, but having such a good time we couldn't get ourselves to leave. We stayed there till 4pm, and couldn't wait to come back the next day.

Sunday - excited about the days riding ahead, we arrived there even earlier and headed straight to the fun dh trail, didn't bother with the small track. A bit more of the trail was done, a really nice table/hip after the two big jumps and another hip that lands in a big berm. the track dried up a bit too, so the track was riding nicely. We were really getting the flow today, trying to get every last bit of speed out of the track. Around mid day we were joined by FRM guys. They too, like us were just in awe at how amazing the trail was.

Catching fresh Putrajaya air

We spent the rest of the evening just sessioning the mid section and later on taking pics on the 180 berm. I took my turn taking some pics too, got one of Ben which I was more excited about then the whole days riding. Cant wait till its posted up. Unfortunately, I dont think I will be able to ride Putrajaya again this trip back home, its going to be amazing once the whole place is done. as of now, the main dh trail is about half completed. The finished trail should be around the high one minute/ two minute mark. Definitely going to be THE place for dh riding in the near future.

A bit on the bike, I am now on board with Banshee Bikes , big thanks to the guys at Fakawi and Rizal for making this happen. Definitely feels like exactly what I need, a very chilled-out set up, no stupid politics etc, just a bunch of guys who share the same passion for riding our bikes.

5 speeds is all you need

As of now, I am riding the Banshee Rune, its a 6 in bike, but the geometry is fairly suited for dh riding. I am running it with parts from my old bike, so it is using a Fox 40, but set at 7 inches- giving it a same axle to crown height as a Fox 36. So far I am very happy with the bike.. I ran it with a DHX Air for a few rides, but it's clear that I needed a DHX coil. The DHX air still likes to sit low in its travel, something I do not like at all. Right now I am using a coil, running a 250 spring but I need a 275 or 300 rate. running a fair bit of compression damping to keep it from bottoming hard, but the bike is still riding very well, accelerates insanely well, and soaks up the small bumps very well. Very impressed with it so far as I am not exactly using the bike in the way its designed for. Look out for a full review of the bike being used as a dh bike around april next year.

Adam aka penangkia
Team FakawiBanshee