Nothing on the bicycle was stock (in case you were wondering), but the components on the Salsa Beargrease really impressed me.
I often defer to cheaper components because my philosophy is "what can the difference really be?" Well...here are a couple of observations that threaten to rock my thrifty world.
One. Disc brakes are terrific. I don't own a bicycle with disc brakes but I can certainly see the attraction. These were Hope Pro Hydraulic and their stopping power was excellent. I enjoyed a feeling of security which I seldom have in wet weather. They were quite noisy, in fact, embarrassingly so at times. But if they saved me (even once!) from gliding out-of-control into a bus, well then, I can put up with a bit of a screech.
Two. I loved the pedals. They were platforms with pins and no clip-in system whatsoever. I take it thats the rule for mountain bikes (which I don't know much about). They had surprisingly marvelous grip. I have used strap systems since the age of 13, but now I am wondering if even that is necessary. In Grant Petersen's book "Just Ride" he argues that we spend much less time "pulling up" than we think.
On the Beargrease I was surprised that I had no difficulty keeping my feet where they were supposed to be. I admit, I thought that I "pulled up" more than that. I guess I "pedal squares" as I once heard Bernard Hinault (the Badger!) put it.
Will any of this translate to the Pake - my regular commuter? I think yes.
I am not suitably equipped to "review" the drivetrain, but I will say that it shifted quickly and flawlessly. Brand: unknown.
I have one more post to come in this series. It will be about the varried reactions I received cycling through Ottawa on the Beargrease.