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Uncategorized > New Mountain Bikes (and old ones too!)

Back in 2001 I bought a black Specialized Stumpjumper. It felt like a lot of money back then, hell it was a lot of money back then, but I have had it ever since. Things have changed on it over the years; disc brakes, lighter wheels, wider bars, shorter stem, better drivetrain and generally the bike has evolved to suit how I like to ride. When I snapped the Manitou Axel forks I replaced them with steel Surly DJ forks and the Stumpy became a rigid. I used it for blasting around the local Glasgow singletrack, a bit of racing and commuting and it was perfect. The rigid forks were short, keeping the front end low and made for a fast and nervous ride! When I moved out to the Basque Country I didn’t take the Stumpy with me but got it shipped out afterwards. I used it a few times but with it’s steep head angle and rigid forks it wasn’t very suited to the trails round here. I used it on the roads a bit and for exploring fireroads but it generally sat in the garage. Unloved. Then… I got a loan of a set of 100mm Bombers from about 2003 or something and popped them on the Stumpy. I wasn’t sure how much of a difference it would make but took it out on some trails last week. We did some moderately technical trails, Jaizkibel, Etch-a-Sketch, Cassius Clay and a few others and the Stumpy felt great! It is so nice to be riding a hardtail again, it’s a combination of feeling everything through the back wheel and the rapidity with which is picks up speed. I’m totally enjoying it! It is going to be a fantastic tool for trail finding over winter because it’s so light I could walk for miles with it on my shoulder if I need to and it’s that much faster than the Hustler so my trail finding range is going to increase significantly. All good! Just so the Hustler and STD don’t feel left out I have given them a good service, changed fork seals and generally tarted them up. The Hustler has lost it’s XTR cranks and gained a set of Saints and is generally feeling great. It needs a new back wheel but other than that it’s all good. We have also bought a couple of our hire bikes from last year, Commencal hardtails, because the shop was selling them off and I really rate them. They have a good, confidence inspiring geometry and the brakes, forks and gears all work sweetly. They are a bit heavy but durable and feel solid on the trails. I am comfortable taking them out on most trails in a way I wouldn’t be with a lot of other “lower budget” bikes. I’ll put up a full review of this year’s bikes, components and tyres at the end of the season but that’s all for now.
<object width=”580″ height=”326″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=14543395&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=1&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0″ /><embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=14543395&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=1&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”580″ height=”326″></embed></object><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/14543395″>The Dudes of Hazzard episode 4</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3310425″>Joe Barnes</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

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