Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Foundry Broadaxe

 A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to demo a Broadaxe at our local "urban mtb park" : Bent Creek.  It was light, fast, stiff and responsive.  Riding around the smooth buff trails, the bike handled flawlessly, and I was tempted.  I had taken a sip of the kool aid and I wanted to see how the bike handled on the other side of the ridge,  in Pisgah proper.

The opportunity came and I jumped on it.  I took the bike home and got it set up to fit.  I am 5'11" and I chose to go with the medium.  It turned out to be a good choice.

I headed out to park in N Mills River and rolled up the 3 ish mile climb on a gravel road.  Right away, I was pleased.  This bike was light and fast. 
 Coming over the gap, I took a right turn and headed up Laurel Mtn Trail,  to do the famed Laurel/Pilot loop.  If I were going to choose this bike as my future ride, I needed to test it on some of the most technical trails that Pisgah had to offer.
 I wound up the mountain,  enjoying the awesome 70 degree morning and feeling how the bike responded, and rolled over rocks, roots and logs.  The bike is nimble....and stiff.  Towards the top of Laurel, I started feeling the bumps a little bit more, but reminded myself that this is a hard tail after all, and kept on climbing. 
 Reaching the top of Laurel and then onto the decent of Pilot Rock,  I was please at how well the bike rolled over the drops,  the big wheels doing what they were designed to do.  The stability of the bike became more apparent with each switchback,  and even though I was unable to clean all of them, I am confident that the person with the skills could make this bike do what they wanted it to.
Pisgah is cool.

Got the trail in the crosshairs.

I got to the bottom of Pilot and turned to head back on the gravel road and a soak in the ice cold creek. 

My thoughts? 
 If I bought this bike, the first thing I would do is set up the tubeless tires and add Ergon grips.

As I said before, this bike is stiff, responsive and light. 

If  racing XC or short track races is your thing,  this bike would rail and help you get to the podium.  If these were my goals, I would 100% be into this bike,  I would not even ride another bike.  It is so light that at Bent Creek, I found myself jumping off of every little rock and root.  Definitely a fun bike.

But, I am into long distance, endurance, multi day, bikepacking, stage race type of events.  After my ride today, I can't recommend this bike for these applications.   ( I am considering XC racing just so I have a reason to own this machine!).

My advice, go ride one for yourself.  Take it for a spin and see what it can do. 

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