First Ride on the Why S7 – Syncline Trail System

A New Chapter

It’s official: Oregon’s worst winter on record (ok, it’s unofficial) is almost over and mountain biking season is almost here.  With a new season comes a new look, and for me this ‘new look’ comes in the form of a super-fancy new rig: the Why Supple 7 – a beautiful titanium frame featherweight hardtail with incredible specs and, upon the first ride, an incredible ride quality.

The shiny new Why S7.

It’s Not about the Bike… Yet

Although I’m already in love with the bike after 17 miles of riding, this weekend’s ride was not about the bike, it was about getting back on the old singletrack after what feels like a year-long hiatus.  There’s definitely more to come as far as bike talk is concerned, but for this ride I was focused on reconnecting with some of my MTB riding friends and ripping it up on some technical trails just outside of White Salmon, Washington, the Syncline Trail system.  What follows is a photo dump of the ride last weekend.

Dan, my ever-faithful riding partner, and I met up with Nigel and his friend Larry at the trailhead to Syncline Sunday morning. Here we are heading towards the start of the trail.
And it starts! The trail is a rather relentless 3 miles climb before getting to some of the downhill options. Totally worth it!

Why S7 First Impressions

But what of the new bike?  What is ride quality like?  How stiff does it feel?  Is it an efficient climber?  Descender?  Do the specs fit the steed?  Patience!  All questions will be answered in due time.  For now, here is a teaser of my thoughts on the bike: At right around 26 pounds, it’s the most responsive and ‘supple’ bike I have ever ridden.  It eats up descents, has an incredible gear range thanks to its SRAM Eagle gear system, and has an otherworldly efficient feel when climbing, due in part (I’m guessing on this one) to the ultralight Knight Composite Carbon Fiber wheelset, built right here in Bend, Oregon.  Drawbacks?  Well, at this point, the drawback is more of a hypothesis than a theory: is its ultra-slack 67.5 degree head angle going to make hours-long climbing a wheelie-prone misery?  Where I was riding this weekend, I did find myself standing during the super steep inclines more than usual, but it didn’t feel like a burden.  Only time will tell though, if this is a quality of the bike I will come to appreciate or not.  More to come on the bike nerdery front though.  For now, just know that this bike’s incredible gear range and ultra responsive lightweight build had me smiling all day in White Salmon.

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