So I have probably had more bikes that CRC. Well this list is only going back 3 years or so since I got back into riding, im 35 and started riding when I was 13 or so. Back before suspension existed you just had a bike and rode it, I used to have a muddy fox courier comp followed by a Cannondale M500, they lasted me over 15 years! And covered 1000’s of miles.
I know a lot of people just buy a bike then ride it until it dies, some think it does the job so the basic spec will do, or it’s good enough for me.. I guess I am from that band camp that thinks……. what is ideally suited to me, is it spot on for the riding I do, can it be improved and why settle for something that is almost there!! Plus I like to build and tweak. After a long break from riding I started out into DH, probably a bad idea in retrospect, it started well and I started getting quite god with step ups and doing doubles etc, I was loving going to cwm carn but had a bad crash and shattered my wrist, had 3 operations and then went full XC, I gave that up as XC was not where I wanted to be then tried DH again but realised it was not for me and that trail riding with a mix of everything was where I wanted to be… looking back half the problem was knowing what type of riding I want to do, but that had an effect on what bike I needed.. so here is my list of mess ups, bad choices.. and knee jerk reactions.
Patriot LT 2002 – my 1st proper full susser, a good starter but showed its age and very clattery through rough stuff… too much pedal bob even with a fox with pro pedal. It looked far nicer than it rode!!!
Transition Dirtbag – Great for the big stuff but impossible to pedal…... the romic shock was awful and eventually blew! I shattered my wrist on this bike in 8 places and had 3 operations over 2 years. Ironic to say Romic have gone bust.... all good things !
Lapierre Pro Race 500 – Brought this in panic after the big crash and quickly realised carbon HT was not what I wanted but still wanted to do XC at this stage (not ready for DH)
Airbourne Lancaster Titanium – Brought as a light XC HT to replace the lapierre, sadly had to sell due to finances.. rode perfectly but would eventually have changed it for a full suss
Merlin Malt 1 – Brought as a cheap replacement for the Ti HT, all 3 HT buys were after the crash and thought I could go pure XC……….. bad mistake, I am not a pure XC rider and never will be!
Transition Preston FR – Time to MTFU and move back to harder riding however this frame just did not perform in any way......... awful, heavy and damn ugly.
Trek Session 77 – Great on the downhills, not possible to pedal at all! Very heavy, like riding a barge with a 2 million lb cargo
Demo 8 – One of the best bikes I have had, great on DH, very balanced, simply great… just impossible to pedal for any distance.. I loved this bike and got on with it very well, rode faster on this than any other bike... loved it, just needed the ability to pedal.
Commencal Furious – Simply fantastic and was built to a very high standard, just too Jump orientated for me & too compact to ride any distance … sadly I broke my ribs on this, I think my skill level was not up to the bike, it is very skittish to ride at speed. I hoped it would have the travel and would pedal as well, it was almost there!! Recently it seems from the crash I have also damage the nerves in my spine which effect my whole left side!. after an MRI I have 3 herniated discs, I think commencal and me will never party again!
Intense 5.5 EVP – Great bike, pedals very well….. just something not feeling right which I could put my finger on, lots of tweeking and it just did not work for me… shame as I always wanted an intense…… it was my dream bike! a lot of time & cash spent, lots of research but no joy for me despite changing many things. I resigned to the fact it would just not fit the gap. Pins & needles and weekness in my Left side are pretty bad now and I cannot ride at all.
Scott Ransom 20, Super nice bike, had a really nice spec, but there was just something about Scott's own suspension that I just could not get to grips with, and the forks just let it down, it was almost the perfect do it all bike, just shame about the shock!
Trek Remedy 8, Well kind of similar to the ransom and it was nice and rode well but the RWS specific rear made this a mare and it would not take a 10mm axle... finally had an MRI, prolapsed discs in my neck causing nerve damage to my left side, need an operation to remove the discs, another 4 months off the bike when I final get the operation. Just found this a bit long in travel and a tad heavy!
On-one 456 Ti Inbred (Tinbred), pretty burly kit on the bike with Magura Thor Forks, Thomson Stem & Post, XT Cranks, X9 Drive, and some great DT Swiss EX1750 wheels, it is on ones freeride hardtail but can happily do all day epic rides. I realy wanted to get back on a hardtail for a more simple set up. Now conversations with my surgeon have been, after surgery my spine wont handle a Hardtail, I need bounce and comfort, if I ride a HT it could knacker my spine and the work they will do
Ellsworth Epiphany, pretty light build at 27/28 lbs but burley enough to handle most riding. Lovely bike in everyway.
Well I have had my op now in June 2010 and have a titanium artificial disc in my neck the operation took around 3 hrs, after 3 months my neck is almost back to normal and no pain, but I have other issues
Sadly it has sat in the garage for 8 months doing nothing, and I dont want a bike that would cost 4k new sitting about seizing up..... So its been sold.
In january I started to get bad back ache and pain in my legs, well after a lot of pushing I got an xray which shows scoliosis (curve in the spine) they ordered an MRI which shows its not that bad BUT I have a herniated disc in my lower back and 3 others with deteriation. As of spetember 2010 I am in a lot of pain and now awaiting to see my surgeon again.... As I sold the Ellsworth not wanting it to seize up, not ridden I decided to bank the cash from the sale of the Ellsworth, but I wanted a cheaper bike there in case I have the odd up day... so I have gone for this.
On One 456 with reasonable spec but its 1/4 of the value of my old bikes so if it does not get used, no real issue!
I have had a lot of stick for buying and selling (some forums I am almost famous), in addition to 14 bikes I have probably brought & sold over 600 parts. Most people are lucky to know what type and style of ridding they want to do, so choice is pretty easy for them. For me, not really knowing what discipline I wanted to do coupled with 2 accidents things got very confused! I am finally happy I have tested out different types of riding, lots of bikes .. and tons of kit. I can truly say I have found the type of riding I want to do (just riding, that’s all) ! At least building and tweaking bike has kept my interest up.