About a month ago I went out riding with a friend. When I rolled up to his house he was sitting out front waiting for me. He didn’t have his standard steed with him. No, he had his rocketship sitting there. It is a race day hardtail fully cocked, locked, and ready to rock. To say that I was out gunned in terms of equipment was a bit of an understatement. For the next two and a half hours I was drug from one end of the Boise front to the other on my trail class bike.
Don’t get me wrong, this is the type of experience that builds quads and character, but it also exposes the limitations of equipment. Don’t get me wrong my full suspension is a great bike. It’s comfortable, it climbs as well as any full suspension, and it can hang with the best of them when pointed down. However Boise really doesn’t call for a full suspension bicycle most of the time. Our trails are some of the most sterile, hand groomed, picked clean of any little thing that resembles a rock. We have miles and miles of trail like this (enough to be an IMBA Gold Ride Center).
Enter the newest member of the stable. A hardtail. I was able to pick up a used XL Rocky Mountain Vertex from Eastside Cycles. I had a Fox Float Factory 32 120mm shock with remote lockout and those sweet DT Swiss 240/Whisky Goat 29 carbon rims (borrowed from the CX bike) that I could bring to the party. Eastside brought in a KS Lev Integra, E Thirteen 9-46T cassette, an XTR crankset with Absolute Black Oval chainring, Campy chain, XTR shifter, XT brakes, XT rear derailleur, and new rubber from Schwalbe (Rocket Ron/Thunder Burt). Sweet! All just in time for short track!