If you take the trail from the fire road off the main baldy road this is an easy hike. It has a continuous gain until you get to the last 1/4 mile. I do this trail almost weekly and normally take the claremont loop up to this trail that leads up. Its around 7 miles round trip this way so it makes for a good amount of exercise with some good views of the city below. Make sure to keep an eye on time if you go this way the lot closes early in winter and they will ticket you
My first MTB experience came 2016-0918+0500 ([yyyy-mmdd+hhmm] = Sunday, Sept 18, 2016 at 5am). Though I cycle around the city for exercise, I was unprepared for the event.
Discovery #1. I need a better light.
The people who brought me had lights that projected far and bright, so I could see well what was upcoming. Mine could illuminate, but not so clearly as to pick out a line to travel, so I stayed behind them most of the way up.
Discovery #2. The trail is poorly marked.
Discovery #3. I need a digital tire pressure gauge.
One of my friends insisted that I ride up the trail with a full firm tires, even though everything I've read said to lower my fat bike pressure to 8-10 lbs of tire pressure, but he was insistent. Once the ride began, I found myself having to lower tire pressure a few times on the way up as road conditions changed; and especially when starting downhill. Then my front became over-deflated, and combined with my inexperience, I found the bike's handling wanting to pull to the left, and controlling the bike got rather difficult on the way down. I did crash a few times, but attribute my downtime to rider inexperience instead of equipment malfunction.
Discovery #4. I need to change my gear ratio.
I primarily ride on the street, and find my gear ratio too low toI discovered my single 38t gear upfront and 7 speed 34t in back is not low enough a gear for ascending the short uphill sections at the start of Marshall, so I ended up walking my bike a lot. Got to some park bench area, which seemed a natural rest area for visitors; then turned around to go back.
Discovery #5. Starting early has its advantages.
I've heard that hikers do not like MTB'ers because they are thought to be inconsiderate when flying past them. I discovered early MTB riding is an easy way to reduce the number of obstacles in the trail, be it biker or hiker, but the early AM start time is discouraging. However, as an inexperienced MTB rider, I found their absence to be a blessing.
Discovery #6 Fauna.
Saw a deer 10 yards away.
Discovery #7. (Has nothing to do with Marshall) I need new a wheel set & tire combination
After the ride, my friends weighed my bike with a shipping scale. My Momentum Rocker by Giant weighs 35.8 lbs. That was surprising to them. I had found only one post that listed the bike at 34._ lbs but had my reservations. Putting my bike on the shipping scale brought resolution to this year long quandary. While I ask you to weigh your own Momentum Rocker, you may want to keep in mind one post weighing the bike at 34, and another listing the bike at 35.
After weighing the complete bike, we removed the wheels and weighed the bike again. The scale read 16lbs!
This means the wheels of my Momentum Rocker by Giant weigh nearly a 20lbs combined! That shocked me and everybody. Again, without tires, the Momentum Rocker by Giant weighs 16 pounds;
I am pretty certain that Fat Tire Wheel Sets have been advertised at under 5 lbs a pair, and Fat Tires under 4 lbs a pair. This discovery means with an upgrade of a lightweight wheel set & tire combination, the complete fat bike could be under 25 lbs. A 25 lb fat bike is unheard of for $620, but add a new wheel set for $500 or so, and it becomes very possible when upgrading the Momentum Rocker by Giant. Giant/Momentum does not plan to build another Fat Bike model in the future, from what I heard (and Momentum says riding the Rocker on a trail will violate its lifetime warranty, just fyi).
Weighing my friend's bikes without tires, both my friends' bike's weight came in at about 19 lbs but they have suspension forks, which probably attributed to the variance from my weight. Thus, perhaps my greatest discovery from Sunday's ride, did not come from the ride, but followed after the ride, when we weighed bikes. The basic weight of the Rocker makes it worth upgrading wheels and tires, and though there is a fat bike derailleur mount available, the odd design at the rear of the frame which accommodates its freewheel hub does limit the range of the chain ring, and may make a 2x or 3x crank set an impossibility.
I may post an update to announce my discoveries for anyone interested, especially for other Rocker riders who want to upgrade their bikes who may find my experience useful.
In conclusion, it may be considered an easy trail for experienced riders, but it is certainly a challenge for new comers. I was taken as far into the trail as my hosts thought my skill could surpass, and then rode back. There were plenty of MTB riders and several hikers this particular Sunday morning.
I expect greater riding skills, like getting your bike to hop over obstacles, develops with practice, but starting with the proper gearing would help ensure I remain on the trail, and complete more of the trail next time I go out. Afterwards, I might be able to contribute a more valuable assessment of the trail, albei
Although it was super hot this morning, I only saw 10 hikers on my way up and about the same on my way down. It is not a highly populated trail. There's a mix of shady and uncovered areas. The nice thing about this trail is if you want more you can always extend it into the loop.
I really enjoyed this Trail and my kids loved that they got to see horses in some of the residents backyards. They got to see a couple of deers as well. Perfect trail to do with the family.