Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pace RC41

As my Nixon Super initially had a few teething problems, I decided to get my 5Spot a backup and alternative front bouncer, enter the Pace RC41. I selected this beauty as it's very light (3.5lbs), air sprung / flexible, has a climbing knock-down and looks very trick with it's exposed carbon weave. I also thought that it's 130mm of travel and ideal a-c for the 5Spot would be a good to comparison with the slightly longer Nixon. It'd potentially give me a more flexible steed for different rides and conditions, not that I was keen to keep swapping the forks around too often.

The only flaw in acquiring the Pace was that it's front brake used an IS (international standard) mount whereas the Nixon uses a Hayes/post style, which matched my front calliper. I therefore acquired a new Mono M4 caliper with the fork but then subsequently scored a complete front brake, 2nd hand from the Singletrack classifieds. The complete system made the process of swapping forks very quick and easy so the spare caliper was passed on.

In use the RC41 is nicely adjustable with external compression and rebound, the latter of which is easily accessible whilst riding at the top of the right fork leg. Which also houses the knock-down climbing aid which reduces the front travel by approximately 2 inches. This can either be cancelled manually or by setting a blow-off threshold which'll automatically extend the fork on a big hit lest you forget on the way back down.

Possibly the most noticeable difference with this fork is just how light the front of the bike becomes and I found it very easy to loft the front wheel over obstacles.

Pace market the RC41 with a "linear air spring" which I'm mightily impressed with. During deep compressions the spring rate doesn't increase during it's travel like a spring or other air forks and it gives a lovely bottomless feel. The flipside is that it then requires a different technique to loft off ledges as you can't "load" the front as much beforehand. It's no bigee though as the overall performance is very good.

Steering stiffness is certainly on a par with the Nixon and it's slightly shorter travel means my 5Spot becomes a very, very nimble machine. It'll change direction in a heartbeat and makes tight, technical singletrack a delight once you've dialed in your lightning quick reactions. Ironically, the quick steering has made me realise that I prefer the slightly more laid back feel of the Nixon so unfortunately I'll be passed the Pace on. I'll be sad to see it go but rest assured that it'll be going to a good home...


Farqui said...

Update : after several months of light, summer riding these babies were boxed up while my Nixon came back into service. It was at this point that I realised that I much prefer the slightly longer travel and more laid back which the shorted RC41's can't offer. A chance conversation with Rob suggested that he'd be interested in giving them a try, so I cleaned them up. Whilst doing so I noticed three nasty score marks on the stanchions which were deep enough to be sent back to Pace for a health check. They indicated that more silica (aka sand) had gotten caught in the seal and made these cosmetic marks. As I was passing them on to Rob I asked for the stanchions to be replaced and initially Pace baulked at the work. After a few wks badgering they eventually agreed to replace the stanchions (incl'g crown and steerer) whilst also upgrading the internals and knob's to the lastest '06 spec. So for a little over £100 Rob is getting a brand new toy to play with on his Flux.

Farqui said...

The '06 "gestures of goodwill" can be seen in the rebound, air cap and seal pic's.

plastic stanchions said...

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