The evolution of a mountain bike: change of contact points (Build 4)

Contact points between the rider and the bike are critical to comfort and control. So despite appearing to be relatively small upgrades they are significant. The first one was due to finding that the Santacruz 800 carbon handlebar was just the wrong rise and sweep for my wrists which appear to have calibrated themselves to Answer Pro taper dimensions after 20 or so years of riding their handle bars. I am also not convinced that the 35mm handlebar movement have quite got the vibration dampening and forgiveness equation exactly right.

N3 B4 DS bar & stem

As a move to a Pro Taper Carbon DH bar required a 31.8mm stem interface I thought I would try our local machinist’s offering of the North Shore Billet Overlord 50mm x 0º rise stem. A fancy nickel plated limited edition added some understated bling to the overall stealth theme of the blacked out Nomad.

Nomad Stem & Garmin

I had also been tempted to try the new GE1 grips and SME3 Pro Carbon saddle from Ergon. I have to say that I am very impressed with both products and they certainly allow me to continue to express my love of blue. The grips are incredible and address my major gripe of the second lock ring (of most lock on grip models) on the end of the bar pressing into the ulna nerve as the Ergon’s use a single inner lock ring. They are also shaped to encourage an elbows out riding stance, always a good thing. The saddle is narrow, firm, light and does not snag on one’s shorts when getting rowdy.

N3 B4 DS seat up

All in all another set of minor but important changes to the bike.