Red Rocket First Ride Impressions

One major difference between the Gary Fisher Tarpon and the Sette Reken Single Speed would be the frame material. The Fisher is Chromoly steel and the Reken 6061 aluminum or if your British, its pronounced, “Al-Min-Yum.”

I still don’t have my camera, otherwise I would have taken shots of the bike on the trail. But Joe was with me on its maiden voyage, and he counts as a witness. 2 complaints, the first was my bottom bracket. The darn thing came loose and started to give play on the cranks. That was my bad, and I’ll easily fix that.

Another complaint I had were the tires. Surprisingly I had a rough time with the Sweetskinz Eclipse tires. I found myself sliding around since it lacked sidewall grip. I messed around with the tire pressure hoping that both lower and higher PSI would help. But it didn’t. The reason why I say I was surprised is because I’ve had Sweetskinz on my other bikes before with the same tread pattern and felt that they were some of the better tires I’ve ridden with. With that said, I contacted Vic Rollins of Sweetskinz with my findings and now we’re going to be testing some tires for them to see if we can get to the bottom of the issue I was having. He offered to send me some more tires to see if there’s a difference between those and the ones I have installed now.

I though it was pretty cool that Sweetskinz was willing to invest some time and money to figure out why the tires I have were acting the way they did. Now a day, not many companies are willing to even talk to you about your complaints, let alone work with you on the problem. So Kudos to Sweetskinz for their excellent customer service!

Back on the bike. So can I feel the difference between the two rigs? Yes I can. It would have been great if I had the Reken along with the ride so I could have switched off every so often to get a feel for the differences. But I do know that the Fisher has a smoother drive train. I think credit goes to the 5/6 speed chain I used rather than a single speed chain. Though they are both KMC chains, the multi-speed chain seemed to have worked better for this application.

I forgot to mention that the Reken has a 175mm crank set and the Fisher a 170mm. Some say that a longer crank would equal better torque and all that jazz. At first I couldn’t tell the difference. But as I got into my 5th mile and my 3rd climb, I did feel that I wasn’t getting enough power to the rear wheel to hit the crest of the climb. Rather I felt like I was spinning a bit too much in a smaller circle…if that makes sense. Just picture this, you ride your bike around, then quickly jump on your kid’s bike, and you’ll quickly notice the difference in pedaling. Ok, well that was a bit dramatic, but you know that feeling where your legs were spinning because of the shorter crank arms…well its similar to that.

So next thing to do on the bike before my next ride, swap out the cranks and tires. Other than that, it has been a fun bike!

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