Mullet in Farrington

When I’m driving to work Monday morning and moments from Sunday’s ride replay in my head, I know it was a good time.

We hit Farrington late Sunday afternoon. It was only my third or fourth time there, Ben’s second, and Michelle’s first. It was my first time as the leader, so of course I got lost and couldn’t figure out how to get to the upper trails. We still got in nearly 5 miles, and looking at old Strava tracks, I think I know where I went wrong.

One change I made was to replace Moby’s worn-out Specialized 27.5 in. mid-fat rear tire with a standard 2.5 in. Maxxis 27.5. That dropped the diameter of the rear wheel considerably, effectively mulletizing the bike (Where you run a 29 in. wheel up front and 27.5 in the back). The new geometry changed how the bike handled, putting my center of gravity a little lower and a little further back. Tech stuff was easier, descents were easier, and the smaller diameter helped me take turns way faster. In fact, I might actually say I was carving some of the turns.

The only downside was climbing, where the change in center of gravity seemed to make it harder to keep the front wheel down. Given the increased whee-factor everywhere else, that felt like a fair trade.


About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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