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Epic First Ride on my Hardtail with Eric Porter

Epic First Ride on my Hardtail with Eric Porter


Last week we built up a new hardtail from
a bare frame, and promptly packed it up to go somewhere. If you’ve been following me on Instagram,
you already know that somewhere was Park City Utah. I flew into Salt Lake City to meet with Eric
Porter. Eric had a career in competitive slopestyle
before stepping back to focus on product testing, video production, and family life here at
his home. He’s living in a mountain bikers paradise,
riding for a living, and taking not one second of it for granted. Eric’s garage makes even mine look devoid
of bikes. Since Eric played a role in testing and developing
the new Sync’r Carbon, it was only fitting that I take my first real ride on it with
him. That night we rode a quick loop to dial in
the suspension and make some final adjustments. We kept reducing our tire pressure to get
purchase on the flowy dusty trails, not really paying any mind to what we’d be riding the
following day. After all, things were going perfectly, and
nothing could go wrong. The next day would mark the summer solstice,
the longest day of the year, and we planned on spending every second of it riding high
alpine singletrack on our new hardtails. The following morning we woke up at the crack
of dawn, and by the time the sun rose over the mountains, we were dropping in on breathtaking
singletrack. Eric had forgotten to pump his tire back up
after the previous night’s ride, and paid for it with a nasty pinch flat. But we got back on track in just a few minutes. From there, nothing could go wrong. As I hastily built up my bike for this trip,
I unknowingly installed the lightest and thinnest 2.8s that Kenda made. As some of you know, thin rubber feels good. But it also offers a minimum of protection. The fact that my pressure was really low from
the previous night’s ride only made things worse. The Wasatch Crest trail has long smooth sections
that get really fast, only to launch you into jagged rock gardens. The rest of the morning was like a comedy
routine, fueled by stupid mistakes, bad luck, and full suspension complacency. If you forget you’re riding a hardtail,
it’s easy to smash the rear into square edged rocks and dismiss the fact that nothing
gives back there. I had made the mistake of throwing a brand
new bike into an epic back country descent without testing the waters with it first. But you know what? It didn’t matter. When you’re 9500 feet above the rest of
the world, surrounded by wildflowers—on a Thursday, you’re way ahead of the game. So we laughed it off, and got back on track. Even better, Eric had a surprise planned around
lunch time—for which he told me to bring an action camera roll bar mount. But the surprise would have to wait, until
after we traversed the spine. The spine is a rocky ridge that slopes dramatically
on either side. You’re best off hiking it first to choose
a line, or following someone who knows it. Falling off either side would be a bummer. And we got back on track. From there, nothing could go wrong. That would be impossible. If you really want to know a trail, ride it
on a hardtail. On a hardtail, you don’t call the shots,
the trail does. While full suspension certainly gives you
more options on a descent, a hardtail forces you to be alert, ride with tact, and pay close
attention to the terrain. But while I was focusing on holding Eric’s
wheel, I couldn’t help but wonder what surprise he had planned. I know what you’re thinking. We wouldn’t be riding the bobsled track
on our bikes, but apparently someone tried to when the track was being renovated. At probably 50 miles per hour, the rider found
himself hurling into a section of scaffolding. The staff arrived the next day to find random
bike parts, shards of carbon, and a blood trail. Only in Utah would you find a bobsled course
right at the end of a singletrack descent. I’m telling you, all you need in Utah is
a credit card if you want to do dangerous shit. Just swipe it and jump out of a plane, drive
a Jeep off a cliff, or jump in a bobsled with a driver you just met, tasked with safely
getting you to the bottom at 70 miles per hour. From the bobsled course there was singletrack
descending into Park City. Of course there was. There we fueled up at Deer Valley resort,
rode through town, and loaded our bikes on to a lift. The great thing about Deer Valley is that
it’s not just about riding downhill, it’s about riding high alpine singletrack. The lifts will take you above the tree line,
and from there you can go in any direction you want. Eric knew a route from Deer Valley resort
that would lead right back to his house. We’d need to get back there by 7 before
the babysitter left. After a quick safety meeting about fire road
bombs, we headed down into the valley. For doubletrack, it wasn’t half bad. And we soon found ourselves back on an actual
trail. Eric’s respect for fire road bombs ends
when there’s pavement involved. I kept a safe distance, as I was basically
floating 6 inches above a belt sander. This is why I don’t do much road biking
anymore, it’s just too damn scary. Our day of riding trails was over, but there
was still plenty of daylight left. Spending the longest day of the year riding
hardtails with Eric, was even better than I thought it would be. I’ll need to make some changes to really
dial in this bike, but one thing’s for sure—I’m gonna be riding it. If you want to know more about this bike,
check out my last video, and if you want to know more about Eric and his backyard trail,
stay tuned next week. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

100 comments on “Epic First Ride on my Hardtail with Eric Porter

  1. All your questions, answered: The guy who was with us is Adam, a cinematographer. See his video when it’s done by subscribing to Diamondback’s YouTube channel. The little button thingie on my handlebars is for the dropper post, which I borrowed from Eric since I was having issues with mine. The guy who crashed on the bobsled track didn’t die as far as they know. He was gone when they found the wreckage. The tires from Kenda were “Tubeless Race”, which are super duper light and designed for XC—not launching into rocks at 30mph. I’m trying out some heavier ones.

  2. seth: nothing could possibly go wrong
    tire: "punctures"

    seth: fixes* NOTHING COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG.
    repeat 5 times NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG

  3. Seth: Nothing could go wrong

    Everything: Make something go wrong

    Seth: darn it

    20 seconds later

    Seth: Nothing could go wrong

    Every possible thing goes wrong

    Seth: darn it

    1 minute later

    Seth: Nothing Could go wrong

    Everything around him: Die, Die, Die, Die, Die, Die, Die, Die!

  4. Road biking is just as scary as mountain biking.

    Honestly, we have a belt sander under us all the time and 3 ton pieces of metal flying at speeds greater than 30 MPH most of the time.

    You guys have trees and rocks.
    Small rocks that can fuck your chain up, big ones that can wreck your balance or tire, hell, even wheel.
    Sand, lots of slippery sand. And I hate sand,
    Its coarse, its rough, its irritating, it gets everywhere.
    Especially in the casette.
    Theres also the chance of flying off your bike into the nearby treeline, which happens far to often to even be a mute thing.

    So let's see…

    Speed wobbles, sudden death speed rounds, and staring at people all day.
    Or…
    Trees, rocks, and sand.

    You decide.

  5. I had Kenda tires on my first fs mtb (Giant Reign). I have never had more flats than when I rode that bike. For that reason I will NEVER put Kenda tires on any of my bikes.

  6. Eric: "Some of my worst injuries and some of my friends worst injuries have happened on a dirt road like this."

    Also Eric: manuals down fire road

  7. Another great video bud. That trip looked like loads of fun. It sucks 5hat yall had so many mechanical issues, but like you said, you got to be in a great place enjoying a great ride. Thanks for sharing. How's Alex doing? People have been wondering because he hasn't posted anything in a long time. We hope he's not hurt or anything. Stay safe and God Bless.

  8. Hey Seth did you happen to get to ride Summit Park while you were there? I live in SLC and I went there with my team. It’s a pretty flowy high alpine ride with a few switchbacks and some really fast sections on the way down. The climbs is kind of tiring. You would probably be supersonic compared to me though lol I can ride blue at best and I even suck at those.

  9. i flinched in real life watching 6:20 in fullscreen because I had just had multiple of these exact same wipeouts. I'm staring at my 8 inch scar on my left thigh from when I did this last week. those kinds of wipeouts suck so bad because they're the ones you know better as to not let happen. you lose traction bc the tires can't keep up with braking force, turning, as well as moving forwards, and they just slide instead. sad day

  10. I’m sure the spine is a lot harder than it looks but by the looks of it I could ride the spine on my $400 dollar hardtail with 24 size wheels

  11. This channel was a great relief to me when I was layed out sick for two weeks. So question, since your a diamondback guy. For these trails and whistler, would a line be up to it?

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