One Of Those Days
First off, I overslept. I meant to be on the trail, at Mt. Falcon, by 6:00, but I didn't get up until 5:30. As I loaded the bike, I took the front wheel off, and noticed that one of the mounting bolts on the front caliper was missing! What next?
I got to the trailhead, and put the wheel in the front fork (I had replaced the missing brake bolt). At that point, I noticed that the front tire was flat. I apparently picked up a thorn on my ride around town, yesterday.
Two hundred fifty strokes of my frame pump later, I had the front tire aired up sufficiently, so I took off up the hill.
After I had ridden through the ravine, just out of of the parking lot, and started up the side of the mountain, I noticed that the freewheel was a bit balky about back-pedaling. Eventually, it got to the point that I had to constantly pedal forward, or the chain would get dragged down around the cog. I stopped to check it out, and realized that the freewheel was pretty much locked up.
At that point, I turned around and headed downhill.
Once I got home, I disassembled the freewheel and found that one of the pawls was broken, and one was bent.
So, I removed the cogs from the freewheel body, and put them on the body of the freewheel I had been using, before. (They were the same freewheel, just with a different range of cogs.) Then, I patched the tube, and I was back in business.
On the plus side, I did answer the three questions I wanted to address, on this ride:
1. Do these tires work well, on dirt? Yes, they do. Even with the rear tire somewhat over-pressure, the tires hooked up well and performed nicely.
2. Does the weight of the bike make it unpleasant to ride, on the big climbs? No, it does not. I was probably not as fast on the bike as I would have been on the 29er, but I didn't notice that the heavier bike was harder to deal with.
3. Does the longer rear end (compared to the Mukluk), and the "cruiser" geometry have a negative effect off-road? No. I had no problem lifting the front wheel and climbing over the waterbars on the trail, and it handled just fine. In fact, it reminds me of late 1980s/early 1990s mountain bikes.
So, I am happy with the bike, when it comes to performance and handling. Now, if I can just keep from having a mechanical, on the next ride...