Took the Karate Monkey for a ride today to test it out in it's new configuration. Then got carried away and the sun was below the horizon before I even started heading home. The lack of light adds a whole new dimension, the single track feels so much faster and you realise how well you really know the trails. I've heard that you don't actually ever forget anything, that those with a good memory are just better at retrieving information from their brains. It sort of goes to show how much you do remember, when you head down your local singletrack in the dark and know just where every hidden rock is and what exact line to take on that off-camber switch-back. You feel at one with the bike.
So what's the verdict on the tyres? Kenda Karmas seem to be fantastic on the back, short nobbies and long square edges work well. But I'm still not convinced of their worth on the front end. Under braking they seemed to lose traction, or maybe I've just forgotten how to steer with a rigid fork, time will tell. As for the fork, of course it is fantastic and light. A real contrast to the steel fork as you lift it over every obstacle; however, carbon has a short life span and I think this fork is destined for commuter use only. Sadly there is a distinct clicking coming from the front end on impact or strain. I took the front wheel off and pulled and twisted the forks, replicating the sound and narrowing its whereabouts to the fork crown/leg junction.
Oh well, we had our day in the sun, most noteably the Kona 24hr. That fork brought the total weight of the Ventana down to under 20 lbs, the memories!!!