Now the official model name of the Curtlo is "Solo 29" and "S3" is the type of steel tubing that it uses, but the color reminds me of Crest toothpaste, to that is my nickname for it until I come up with something better.
I rode with Dave today up at Browns Camp. The weather was not great, but not unbearable. The temperature was in the mid to upper 30's and as we started riding a light dusting of started to come down. There was a little bit of snow on the trail, no more than 4 inches, in spots were the trees didn't cover the trial (which they do for about 75% of the loop we did). Dave was dressed like he expected a blizzard to come down. By the end of the first hill he was taking off half of his layers and thinking about puking from the effort of the climb. It was kind of slick and so the first couple of steep sections--which are the steepest of the entire ride--we had to walk up a couple of sections. After that we rode the entire trail.
It was slick, but not dangerously so. It was muddy, but not the type of mud that stuck to tires. We also learned that you don't want to hit the front brake when riding in the snow--especially going downhill! Neither of us went down, but it was close.
The Curtlo was perfect. It fits me very well. Dave hopped on it but it didn't fit him very well at all. The Gary Fisher Rig that the Curtlo replaced actually fit him pretty well. But this frame has an effective top tube measurement that is about 3/4" longer and it just didn't feel right to him. He is about 3 inches shorter than I so it makes sense.
The bike felt really stable yet it turned with ease, though admittedly I didn't push it through turns as much because the trail was slick in spots and it was hard to know where the wheels would break free and where they would grab. Still, I was way more comfortable on my Curtlo than Dave was on his GT Peace which he took pretty slow, he said because he didn't want bike to get away from him on the slick stuff, but I think that Dave just wasn't feeling it today. Too much time sitting on the couch or something.
I am using a Panaracer Rampage tire on the front--it is the best front tire I have tried--and the Michelin XC 29er tire on the rear. It doesn't have the air volume that the Rampage has, but it is lighter and had good traction. It also shed mud pretty well. I had thought about getting another tire, but today the Michelin tire proved itself to be worthwhile.
Great fun today. We rode for 2+ hours and nobody got hurt despite the show and slick conditions. A good day for sure.
Below is the bike after I built it up and then this evening after the ride.