Monday, January 3, 2011

The tools of the trail

Not much to report today. I was off work for the New Year's Holiday today so I cleaned up my SS. I love looking at that bike when it's clean, so I figured I'd throw a few pictures of all my bikes up, Kind of a "tools of the trail" showcase. So here they are. I have five (six if you count my old steel road bike which is now officially out to pasture.) Here they are:

First, my Trek Fuel EX. This bike is semi-custom, and absolutely one of a kind. Back in 2005, you could use the Project One program at Trek for mountain bikes (now, it's pretty much all road.) And the paint job on this bike, because of a mix-up on their website, is one of a kind. I love this bike, but it's really showing it's age now -- the pivot points on the frame have kind of worn out and as a result, there is a lot of play in the rear triangle. I rode this bike at Shenandoah last year and that might be it's final race. But even if I break it down, I will keep the frame forever:

My other geared bike is a Trek 9.9 OCLV. I've had this bike in some form or another since 2002. It was my only mountainbike for a long time, and I went through two frames that way (had a problem with the bottom bracket housing on both of them where the epoxy failed and the housing separated from the carbon. Both were still under warranty and were probably caused by the introduction of schist to the seals (schist is an insipid glass-like rock that is everywhere in Wissahickon Park in Philly. It's a pain in the ass to clean and it causes a lot of wear and tear.) After I got my Fuel, I converted it to a singlespeed for a while, but it required either a singulator or an ENO hub. I used the ENO hub, and I hated it -- it had to be adjusted after every ride. So eventually, I changed it back to geared and built up a dedicated singlespeed. Here is it's current iteration:

I also have a Downhill/Freeride rig, a 2003 Kona Stinky Deluxe. I don't ride this bike all that much, but every now and then, I'll break it out to do a little downhill at Diablo or maybe hit some of the features in Wissahickon without worrying about breaking my neck:

My road bike is new in 2010. After years of riding a relatively heavy, steel road bike, I finally upgraded to an awesome carbon Ibis Silk SL. This bike is so far beyond anything I thought I'd ever have for road training. I absolutely love it:

Which brings us to my singlespeed, a Misfit Dissent AL I built myself in early 2010. Quite simply, this is my favorite bike. I ride it the most anymore, I race it more than any other, and it just feels better to ride it than anything else I have. I don't know what I love best about it -- that's it's a 29er (I'm absolutely a convert to wagon wheels) or that it's a singlespeed. Whatever the reason, it's probably my all-time favorite ride. Just looking at it makes me smile:

So there they are. Eventually, I'd like to add an FS 29er (right now, I'm thinking maybe a Fisher Superfly 100), but to be honest, I'm pretty much content with what I have.

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