Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back into MTB

Ok, so I live in Orlando, Florida - territory not renown for its mountains, rolling hills, or 'wickid singletrack'. There are, however, quite a few good trails in the central florida area: In Ocala, the Tampa area, and out off of Little Big Econ state park. It has been about 6 years since I was on a mountain bike. I bought a GT Avalanche brand new back in 1999, and before that I had a GT Tequesta fully rigid bike. The Tequesta got stolen, the Avalanche got broken. I may share the story of the Avalanche some day. Today is not that day. However, after the Avalanche went away in 2004 I never bought a new trail bike. My concentration since then has been purely road riding.

In 2002 I bought a barely used 2001 Giant TCR Zero. I rode purely on the road for about a year - and then *gasp* got into triathlons. I must say, triathlons are the geekiest, and most difficult thing to train for. It included an absolute insane amount of working out. I did a couple sprint distance, did a marathon, and proceeded to get burned out. Needless to say, the Avalanche set idle for alot of this time - but not idle enough to prevent it from getting broken. I quit the triathlon thing a couple of years ago and took a break from heavy cycling for about a year. Unable to be satisfied with only a couple of rides a month - I started up again a couple of months ago with lots of road riding. I average about 100 or more miles a week, depending on whether or not I can get out during the weekdays. (this is becoming harder to do since the days are becoming shorter) With all of the road riding, I started to get that craving to ride in the dirt. Im sure everyone who rides knows that feeling. I wanted a mountain bike.

Things have changed in the last, what, 10 years? Bikes are ludicrously priced. I love giant, so I road a giant trance x3. It road nicely - but had mostly LX and deore for over 2 grand. Yes, Two thousand dollars for a lower level dual suspended bike. My limit was a grand. A grand doesnt go far when looking for mountain bikes. Ive read alot about 29er bikes, so I went and rode a specialized rockhopper comp - it was 800 bucks for low level components. I rode a gary fisher cobia 29er.. it was 1300 bucks, for a bike with sram x5! I thought to myself that there is no way I am spending 1000+ grand for lower level components on a bike.

I was over at waterford lakes a few weeks back and walked into a cycle spectrum. I had always turned my nose up at it because it carried some brand called 'motobecane'. What I considered to be generic crap. I went in, and they had a 29er sitting there. It was a fantom29. Surprisingly, the components were pretty good - XT rear derailler, avid disk brakes, LX shifters, dart fork. It was 599. It actually had better shifters than the specialized for 200 bucks less. So I rode it, and it felt pretty good.. albeit felt a bit heavy. This was due to the fact that it has generic stem, seatpost, handlebars, etc.

Needless to say, I did some more research on motobecane. Turns out you can buy them online and put them together yourself. After much debating, I purchased a fantom 29er pro SL. The inner bike-snob was really wrenched at spending a grand on the internet for a bike model that alot of people scoff at. But you know, Ive never ridden to impress people with the bike Im on. I guess, if that were the case, I wouldnt have aero bars on a TCR zero. The fantom 29er pro SL's components alone cost about 1200 bucks. If I want to get a botique frame later, I can swap everything over. It doesnt have any generic parts on it at all. Anyway - bike will be here on thursday. I will document putting it together here. I also picked up some Time Atac aluim pedals - I havent ridden without clipless since the late 90s. haha

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