Monday, October 25, 2010

Misfit Psycles diSSent (Fe) Review: Part I

Disclaimer:
For the past two seasons I’ve been riding solely on this bike and have been ‘sponsored’ by Misfit Psycles to do said activity. When I first agreed to ride for Misfits, after Peter begged and begged me to, it was under agreement that I would do so on this frame for two years. It’s the end of two years, I am no longer sponsored and I owe Misfit Psycles no more. No longer do I have to keep me mouth shut for fear of retribution by it’s non-sensical blog writing owner. The truth will be told . . . .

Bike set up:
Large dissent frame (claimed weight 4lbs 6 oz)
Chris King Headset
Thomson x4 stem 100mm x 0 degrees
Easton Monkey Lite low-rise carbon bar
Hope Race X2 brakes
Ergon GX2 grips
Thomson seatpost
Salsa seatpost collar
WTB Silverado saddle
White Brothers Rock Solid carbon fork
Middleburn cranks (175mm)
Crank Bros Eggbeaters – single ti
Stan’ No Tubes Crest rims laced to Chris King SS hubs

*I also run a second wheelset from time to time: Stan’s No Tubes ZTR Arch rims laced to Pro Hope II hubs set up with spacers for single speeding

** I have ridden on a combination of Kenda Small Block 8’s(2.1), Kenda Nevegals (2.1), Kenda Karmas(2.1), Schwabe Racing Ralphs(2.4), and Panaracer Rampage(2.35).

Rider Info:
Age: 38
Height: 5’ 10”
In Seam: 33”
Weight: 200lbs
Astrological Sign: Aries
Preferred Choice of Undergarment: boxers


Background:

My first single speed specific bike was a Surly 1x1, after I moved to big wheels (and never, and will never, looked back at the itsy bitsy hoops) a Niner MCR (set up as a 1x9), then onto A Vassago Jabberwocky & Bandersnatch. Yes, all bikes steel. If you are not a loyal fan follower you might not know that this is my fourth full season riding only single speed (the latter two fully rigid I might add).

I liked the idea of riding for a Canadian bike company and liked even more that the bike was built-in-country. My frame was built amongst a small batch of frames using True Temper OX Platinum steel for all but that of the top tube – which is plain old chromoly. All pieces, supplies, components and labour used to build my frame were sourced domestically. Being a former insider with the company, I can tell you that new, super duper improved tubing is coming with fingers selectively pointing at Columbus (availability expected around March 2011). Ohhhh laaa laaa!

Air inside the tubing comes provided for free with the frame. As a sponsored rider at the time, I opted to go for a helium air filled tube set which decreased the overall weight of the bike by nearly 25%. If money is no option, I would suggest going this route as a 25% lighter bike will help you float over the trail. Unfortunately after my sponsorship ran out I was asked to return the helium.


I’ve ridden this bike in every terrain possible: slow, twisty, rooty, rocky eastern Canadian shield single track, fire and atv roads, loamy pine needle trails, snow covered, super buff-ultra fast Colorado Aspen forest single track, alpine rocky-technical trails, steep loose descents, gnarly baby head ups/downs, you name it . . . it’s been ridden on. It’s been put through it’s paces, so on with the show.


The Nitty Gritty:
If you’ve never ridden a single speed and are pretty stupid not to be able to figure it out on your own, let me tell you that riding a rigid single speed places huge demands on the frame and rider that a normal hardtail, let alone full suspension bike, ever sees. Torquing the bars while mashing down on the pedals to get up a hill much too steep for your gearing is pretty damn demanding on the frame. I don’t detect any excessive flexing while riding – in fact the dissent is the stiffest steel frame that I’ve ridden. I don’t get any movement from the front or rear triangle and I am a fat fugger. Even while riding the Niner MCR, while set up as a 1x9 with Reynolds tubing, I found it noodly under force. The bottom bracket area is solid as well.

Speaking of bottom brackets, height is always a concern. When you’re mashing away through a rock garden pedal strike is always forefront in your mind - you get good at ratchet pedaling regardless of the height of the bottom bracket cause you can't sit and spin easily like you would on a geared bike. Living in Eastern Canada most of the trail riding that I do is on rooty, rocky, very technical trails that you don’t tend to be able to float through. The bottom bracket drop positioning, despite being only a few millimeters different than it's competitors (in the realm of 29ers the bb drop on the diSSent is the same to a max of 5mm below other 29er frames) puts you in a very stable position on the diSSent that feels very stable on the bike, thus making you feel very confident and centered even at slower speeds.

In my opinion bottom bracket height is moot - varying tires heights are going to alter the bottom bracket height - it is really only constant if you use one size of tire. The bottom bracket position relative to the wheels' centerline axis is lower creating that feeling of stability. I believe this is one of the main reasons why 29" wheel mountain bikes have won over so many fans. Twenty-nine inch wheel mountain bikes have a BB drop that is quite a bit more than 26" wheels putting the rider within the wheels much more so than 26" wheels where the rider sits on top of the wheels. This is especially true with the diSSent.


The geometry of the diSSent allows you to rail buff trails. The frame being born around southern Ontario where most of the trails are the buff race course types, it has proven itself a very worthy fast-flowy course bike. Unlike some big bike companies out there jumping on the 29’er bandwagon who merely stretch out a 26” model bike and slap on big wheels, the diSSent is designed to allow the rider to sit “in” the bike rather than on it. If you are still riding 26" wheels, get with the times man!

You get a feeling that you are very centered and connected with the bike which allows for total control, trail feedback and optimum rider input. What makes this bike stand out, besides the material used, is the geometry. A lot of time has been put into the design of this bike with it’s owner being a rider (mind you, he’s not that good) who is open to feedback from people who ride his frames and have developed it to where it is today.


I dig the bent/joined top tube. It gives the bike a distinct look but also allows for a whole heaping lot of standover height. And if you’re blessed with huge gonads you’ll be very thankful for that when you mess up a line and need to put down the get away sticks in a hurry.

*part II continues next blog post - stay tunned.

3 comments:

dicky said...

blasphemy!!

Anonymous said...
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Greg said...

Sounds like someone wants to get re-sponsored with a new one to me!!

Being nice to the overlord hasn't helped me yet... You seem to have better luck.. good writeup.