Monday, August 23, 2010

Bike check

Rolling home after the Full Tilt in Telluride race last night I got to thinking about how crazy the past few weeks have been. Then I realized that those weeks have actually been months, the time flies when all you do is ride, work on bikes and go to races. I mean, that's what I do, live the dream. So my latest installment of the dream is my new Banshee Spitfire, which after a few months of drooling on, is finally rolling.

photo by Devon Balet

Here's the build, it might look suspicious: WTB Weirwolf tyres mounted on Spank Tweet Tweet rims, laced with butted spokes and multi colored alloy nipples. Front hub is a Hope pro 2, rear hub is a DMR which is sweet. It's sporting an ano pink SRAM X-0 rear derailur and shifter, a set of MRP Camber cranks mated with an MRP mini G guide and a 35 tooth MRP ring. The handlebars are Spank Tweet Tweet, and so is the stem and spacer set. The headset came together from what I could get my filthy hands on, the top being a zs-3 from Cane Creek and the bottom being an FSA zero stack 1.5, which I saw fitting seeing as the fork is an old Manitou Nixon a buddy sold me for $30. The brakes are Clark's 160mm hydro's I had bought early in the season. Pink Lizard Skin grips, I don't remember who made the innertubes. Oh, and some Trick Topz blue ano valve caps. The chain is a SRAM PC-951, and a SRAM 11-34 tooth cassette. I used a Clark's cable set for the derailur cable, wich is high quality and, well, pink. A Fox RP23 holds up the rear end. Okay, I think that's everything.

I built it all up last Thursday, then left at three in the afternoon for Telluride, were Banshee deadbros were heading to the Mountain States Cup races. Nick came over to pick me up, we loaded up with my new Spitfire and his Legend MK2 hanging off the back of his new-to-him dodge truck on a twenty dollar bike rack. After a long trip (I'll tell ya'll 'bout it later) I unloaded the bike and started riding some wheelies in the campsite. It felt good, and I could tell that I was ready for a little rear suspension after three years of hardtail training. In the morning, I got my first test ride on a trail called Big Billie's. I started out on a good descent after mistakingly poaching the golf course, where I found out how deep those sand traps really are. I was feeling like a kid even more than usual speeding down the singletrack, the suspension working perfectly. After reaching town, I took the free gondola back up to the town of Mountain Village (how original), got my lift ticket for the weekend, and went up to see the super-d course. The course didn't have many jumps, but had a great test of cornering in store. The bike handles like a Ferrari crossbred with a bullet train, wild and fast but predictable, inspiring trust and confidence. Devon and I took a few laps on the course while Nick and Curt practiced the dh, and in no time my new blue steed was tuned perfectly.

photo by Devon Balet

The next day I assisted Devon shooting the xc course, so at eight in the morning, we took the first chair up and scared the crap out of the course officials by tearing the wrong way on course. We'd tell them it was alright and we were supposed to be there, then their eyes would go straight to my bike and they'd forget what they were going to say and we'd pedal on. With a little flip of the lever on my shock, this bike climbs amazingly. Seriously, better than my hardtails (sorry Paradox, I still love you) and I was blown away. The suspension seems to put the traction just slightly forward on the rear wheel when I roll over a root or ledge, clawing up and over obstacles like a sporty tank.


Ok, so all I can really say is YOU NEED TO RIDE THIS BIKE! You'll like it, I promise. BA-GAK!!

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