As many of you are painfully aware, I have been without a bike for quite some time. For those who are new to the site, I broke my beloved Iron Horse frame two weeks AFTER I sold my much-loved Intense Uzzi! I was OK with selling the Uzzi (the plan was to replace it with a dedicated downhill bike). I have not taken the loss of my Iron Horse nearly as well.
For well over a year, I borrowed / demoed every bike I could get my hands on. Of all the bikes I demoed, only four were worthy of consideration. A) Turner 5 Spot. Visually, it was a replica of my MKiii. I loved the way it rode. Local company. Geometry was even better than my previous bike. The one thing it had going against it was that although it "looked" like my Iron Horse, it wasn't- and I knew that! B) Giant Trance X29. Before riding this bike, I would have never considered purchasing a 29er. Walked away VERY impressed with the way the bike handled- felt nothing like other 29'ers I have ridden. C) Santa Cruz TRc. Fun. Fun. Fun. I absolutely LOVED the way the TRc handled. The only thing it had going against it is the fact I much-prefer the way dw-link bikes climb technical terrain.
I chose the Ibis for three reasons: 1) It's a dw-link 2) I like the way it looks 3) It is ridiculously versatile. How versatile? Rear travel can be converted from 140mm to 160mm. Recommended fork lengths range from 140mm to 180mm. Almost forgot one thing: The HD is 650b compatible!
27.5 / 650b
It's no secret, I have been intrigued by this tire size since I first set eyes on the KHS SixFifty (Interbike 2010?). I have chosen to steer clear of all "tire-size" debates due to the simple fact the only opinion that matters is... mine.
I chose the 27.5 option for one reason: The experiment will cost me nothing! If I don't like the newly purchased fork / wheels combo, I can sell both and break even. (Note: I have a 26er fork and two spare 26er wheelsets).
Sorry for the low quality images (I was pressured into posting this thread by my ride buddies)
A slightly classier shot
Easton Haven Carbon Handlebars, Shimano XT Brakes, SRAM 10 Speed Twisters
*I'm a HUGE fan of TEVA grips (too bad they are not available in stores)
Fox Float 34 Fork / Novatec Diablo Wheels
I took a chance on the Novatec wheels...
Great value. Red Ano always looks good. Relatively lightweight. Strong.
Insane number of engagement points.
These hubs are... LOUD (I generally prefer quieter hubs)
I'll bet nobody was expecting to see this one!
(I am very much opposed to Specialized business practices).
I chose the Sp*******ed Henge saddle for a few reasons: 1) It's comfortable 2) I had it lying around 3) Covering the "S" with my "behind" brings a smile to my face 4) Whenever I read the name on the saddle, it will act as a reminder (how to treat and how not to treat people).
The #1 reason I chose to post this thread...
I guess it is to put STR members on notice... I'm back!
Time to start posting rides again!
To be continued...