Monday, June 15, 2009

Bike Shop Days - Part 2

I've been mountain biking a shitload recently. I think every day for a week now. Yesterday I went out twice. Ive been exploring more back trails too. A few days ago I figured a way to connect a few of those back trails to make a really sweet loop that leaves, then returns to the main trail.

I'm not sure that I would have gotten into MTBs if it were not for the shop.

The guys road all kinds of bikes, but would stick to a MTB if they had to choose one.

The owner was in the scene during it's peak in Austin, late 80's - early 90's. He could no touch the whole belt on a thumb shifting full rigid. Mike was still in it and was a master of the greenbelt.

When entering the store, he would hop the steps through the door, roll into the back shop, endo, bounce on his front wheel, and finish with a bounce or two on his back wheel. A freak.

He would encourage me to give MTB'ing a try. He said it was the funnest, most engaging, most technical and chillest style and scene.

One day we took a Trek 7000 MTB as a trade-in or something. The plan was to fix it up nice and resell it. I took it out for a ride in the parking lot and really wanted it. The owner said I could take it for what he paid. It was a good deal.

I rode that thing for a solid two months.

In that time, Mike bought himself a Gary Fisher Rig (29er single speed). He began preaching to me on the big wheel's advantages. Mike was not someone to promote things lackadaisically. Soon after, we got our first shipment of Raleigh XXIXs. Steel. I like Steel.

In short order, I sold my Trek and bought an XXIX. My plan from the get go was to strip it and put on some trick parts, but I wanted to ride it stock for a little. Full Rigid son! It was impressive that I was doing the same times on this SS rigid bike as on my suspended 27 speed bike.

full rigid baby

Soon it got time to upgrade.

Wheels: American Classic. Soooooooo light.
Fork: RockShox Reba Race (remote lockout). I repect that rockshox commited to the 29er movement from way early on (poop on Fox for holding out....or...."researching"). They are a big part of the 29 success for sure.
Brakes: Magura Louise Carbon BAT. Fantastic brakes.
Tires: Kenda Small Block 8. Fast, light, just enough grip.
Headset: Cane Creek Solos. Their first attempt to dethrown Chris King.
Stem and post: Thomson. The best (period)
Bar: Kore. They make good stuff. I just order some sick white cantis for the cross bike.
Seat: WTB V pro. Best offroad saddle.

Plus she got a little tatted up.

Its been really fun.

MTBing is fun to me because of obsticles. On the main trail alone there are around 7-10 sections that you have to learn to clean. That is what separats MTBing from other forms of cycling. That satisfaction gained from cleaning something youve never done is awesome. It really keeps you motivated. I encourage everyone to borrow a MTB and give it a real try, go out like 5 times at least. The learning curve is steep, but it is sooooo worth it. GO GET SOME SKILLS!!!!

Thank you C for informing me about The Scabs

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