You know how rock bands have a discography describing their albums in chronological order?¬† Well, this is my version.¬† From newest to oldest, here’s a look at bikes that I’ve piloted over the years…
2012 Specialized S-Works Epic 29er Carbon
Quite possibly the perfect mountain bike,¬† and the first time my bike has more carbon fiber than it does metal.¬† If my Stumpjumper from last year was the Ferrari of mountain bikes, this Epic is the Lamborghini. ¬† Tipping the scales at 22.5 lbs, it climbs like a scalded cat, descends like a bobsled, and is truly ideal for all-day marathon XC racing.¬† Mountain bike racing is one of few sports where you can ride exactly the same equipment as factory racers, World Cuppers and Olympians.
Sram XX World Cup 2×10 component group;
Specialized Future Shock RockShox Reba 29er;
Carbon fiber frame, cranks, brakes, derailleur, seatpost, handle bar, fork crown and steer tube;
Specialized Roval carbon fiber wheels and hubs;
2010/11 Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works 29er
The lightest, stiffest, most advanced machine I’ve ever straddled.¬† A tick under 21 lbs.¬† Accelerates faster’n a URL race car.¬† They may say that when you¬†purchase a bike this expensive you’re paying for¬†research and development¬†and a highly-paid factory racer’s salary.¬†¬† If this is the case, I’ll pay.¬† Top of the line everything – out of the box I swapped not a single part.
Complete¬†Sram XX 2×10 group;
Specialized/RockShox Reba 29er;
Carbon fiber frame, cranks, brakes, dereilluer,¬†cages, post, bar, fork crown;
2009¬†Gary Fisher Superfly 29er
A 21 lb full carbon fiber 29er hardtail.¬† My first foray into the realm of 29 inch wheels, as well as carbon fiber frames.¬† I never thought I’d race a hardtail again, but the 29er makes it feasible.¬† I am sold on the 29er as an XC race rig.
Custom built Stans ZTR 355 wheels, WTB hubs;
Sram Juicy Ultimate brakes;
Rotor cranks and rings – 2 x 9 setup
2008¬†Orbea Oiz XTR
Super aggressive, 22lb full suspension race rig.¬† Pivotless rear suspension; carbon fiber chainstays.
This bike was¬†a repeat of¬†my 2007 model – different color.
Updated to the new 2008 SID Team
Full XTR.¬† Full….¬† Wheels’n all.
2007 Orbea Oiz XTR
In my opinion, a World Cup course-ready race bike.¬† A bike so un-orthodox in the United States it regularly turned heads.¬† Orbea is huge in Europe, and rapidly growing in the US.
Mavic CrossMax SL wheelset
2006 Yeti ASR-SL
The legendary Colorado racing brand.¬† I had grown up wanted a Yeti and finally had one.¬† So balanced is this bike that it continued to be my workhorse in the offseason and my Super-D race bike through early 2012.
Only the lightest, trickest, hand picked parts included:
RockShox Ruby World Cup
Chris King headset
Easton carbon bar, stem
Hayes carbon brakes
Race Face/Sram X.O drivetrain
Custom built Mavic/WTB wheelset
2005 Rocky Mountain Element 70
This bike was¬†a repeat of¬†my ‘04 model – different color.¬† Attention to detail from the manufacturer would make this one of my favorites.
Updated parts mix from ‘04 including Race Face, Sram and Shimano.
Fox TerraLogic fork, RP3 rear shock.
2004 Rocky Mountain Element 70
First full suspension rig I ever pedaled.¬† A moderately active design, moderately lightweight.¬† Great climber thanks to its classic frame design and new RP3 rear shock.
Suspension by Fox
Manitou Skareb fork
1997-2003:¬† Diamond Back Axis Ti
Spent a number of years, primarily unsupported, on this trusty ride.¬† A number of build-ups included various suspension¬†forks – the Marzocchi, the Judy, the Psylo, the SID.¬† Even ran it rigid for a while.¬† A mish-mash of parts would wear out, but the frame never would.¬† Continues to serve as my singlespeed today.¬† This one just won’t go away – keep reading…
1995-1996 Schwinn S95.1
Ridden as part of Schwinn’s attempted return to high-end bicycle manufacturing.¬† Ironically, the company was owned by Yeti Cycles at the time,¬†who built¬†Schwinn’s higher end frames.
This bike was a brittle and rough ride featuring the popular Easton aluminum tubeset and had a host of Ti components….. never mind the Jesus looking guy carrying on…
Grafton cantilever brakes and levers
Grafton Ti bottom bracket
Grip Shift 7sp shifters
Salsa bar, stem, post, American Classic Ti seatpost
Custom built wheels from White Industries, Bontrager, Union Ti.
Arguably one of the best bikes for tight singletrack, yet the worst for rough descents.¬† Remember the AllSop suspension stem made famous by Thomas Frischknect and Ritchey?¬† Yup – this had one.¬† The bike’s steel frame was a brutal ride on Colorado’s rocky terrain.
Full¬†XT, Steel frame
XT Cantilever brakes
AllSop Suspension Stem
1993 Diamond Back Axis Ti
First bike I could claim to be aided by sponsorship.¬† Sandvik made a small 2 year run of these babies.¬† Full 3/2.5 Russian Titanium frame.¬† Number 313 off the assembly line.¬† Prepped for ‘93 Nat’ls alongside Dave Weins in the factory Team Diamond Back box van.¬† Only a handful of these remain, and oddly, 4 of them are here in town.
Deore LX 7 speed
Marzocchi XC300 suspension offered 50mm of oil spewing suspension travel.
Control tech bar ends, stem, seatpost.¬† This was back in the days¬†when 130mm stems were considered normal…. as were bar ends…
1990-1992 Nishiki Backroads
This is the one that started it all.¬† Purchased for $365.¬† Fully rigid.¬† Taught me how to ride.¬† Rode it endlessly.¬† We’ve come a long way, baby……..
Deore 200 6speed
Biopace.¬† Bar ends.¬† Toe clips.¬† Gel seat.¬† This thing was the gateway drug.¬† Upgraded to Scott Unishox chromoly suspension fork after a year.¬† You know, the one with a giant coil spring inside each fork leg – and that was it.¬† Suspension damping?¬† Not even invented yet…