Friday, September 12, 2008

Rob goes Rampant

It's all work, work and more work these days, which means less time to get out to further flung sites for proper "freeriding", and since freeriding in the UK has become pretty tame due to health & safety litigation, I have not really missed the burlyness of my Scream V2 or Chaparral

I'm way more likely to ride at Esher Shore ( after work, or go dirt jumping and mess around on the streets of London, than be hucking off big drops like 'back in the day

The Wildcard was an awesome bike that I really enjoyed riding in 2008 and if I lived in Whistler it would be my #1 choice....

....but I started to realise over the Summer as we constantly rode the new Slopestyle park at Esher Shore, that it felt a little "big" for taking my BMX moves onto a mountain bike

Now don't get me wrong, I would strongly recommend (let's rephrase that...URGE) anyone looking for a mid travel freeride bike to go for the Wildcard rather than the horrible "bike not to be mentioned", but as the '08 season draws to a close, I found myself riding my BMX all the time (even in the slopestyle park) and it was clearly time to re-evaluate my ride ;)

Here in the UK we are a little behind with the "trends", people are still getting their heads around giving up their 8" travel hucking bike for a "mid travel" bike...the short travel bike has not caught on yet, despite Doddy from MBUK raving about his 4" bike to me the past couple seasons

The Rampant has not penetrated the market in the UK like the Wildcard has, so Freeborn freed one up for me to ride and start promoting the Rampant into the UK scene

We have arguably the best Dirt Jump scene in the World, and its time for riders to realise you can ride the right kind of well-designed suspension bike on dirt, and its going to let you go bigger and try harder tricks with the increased safety net of rear suspension

The coolest thing about running a short travel suspension bike is that it opens up all the bike parks, public forests and downhill runs which are very uncomfortable and often downright dangerous on a dirt jump hardtail

I've built up my Rampant (short size) with a Rockshox Lyric coil u-turn fork which allows 115mm-160mm travel in 5mm increments, so it can be run on 115mm for Dirt Jumping and around 130-140mm for freeriding

My Rampant is lighter for sure (not weighed yet) than my Wildcard, feels very nimble, jumps forward under power (even with pro pedal off) and can be thrown around with total ease - its basically a sprung BMX with bigger wheels, and has the same precise handling that an experienced rider can make the most of

I had some runs in Esher Shore's Freeride bike park today, and it feels like an awesome bike park choice, and great on tight singletracks, drops and stunts

I will report back more when I have gone to some proper big dirt jumps (Woburn Sands) but i am very stoked to be on the Rampant for '09

huge thanks to Freeborn Bikes, Mythic and Banshee


Rob c