Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Jealous Guy (or Gal)

Last year I bought myself a new mountain bike, hence all the posts about mountain biking! I was looking for a hardtail to use to get in to remote Munros and the like. In the event I spent (considerably) more than I had originally planned and didn't use the bike for my original purpose. The bike handles 95% of the off-road riding I do, the remaining 5% is at trail centres, but I can muddle through or apply rule #5.

Whilst we were sorting out my bike, Cath picked up one of the display frames and couldn't believe how light it was. "I've bought the wrong bike" she thought to herself. Since then she's secretly been hankering after something similar and with a significant birthday in the offing she decided to go for a test ride on one back at the Dales Bike Centre. Originally she was looking at a 27.5 inch wheeled bike as her FS bike uses that wheel size but with her lack of height we reckoned that the original 26 inch version would be best for her so she borrowed the shop owner's wife's bike. This was the 26" version of what I have, or rather it's the original Cotic and I've the 29" version. The effective wheel diameter on the bike was actually greater than on the 27.5 wheeled hire bike, due to different tyres.

Well she really liked it so colours and parts were decided on and an order was placed. Then the waiting began. Two weeks later and the email came through that it would be ready at the weekend so we headed up to Reeth. After a bit of fettling with getting the seat the right height and so on, time for a test ride.

Proud owner of a new bike!

Riding a hardtail is a little different to a full suspension bike, you have to be a bit more active in moving about the bike. You can't just sit there and let the rear shock absorb all the little bumps you have to be up off the saddle anticipating rougher stuff and picking your line. We did a loop on the south side of the valley that we'd done before in various parts. The climb up and round the valley was in to a stiff headwind but once we began heading over to Apedale it was on our backs and we made better speed. One last climb over Greets Hill then bridleway and road (with a strong sidewind this time) back to the Centre.

Heading down Apedale.

All in all she's really pleased with it. One thing that does look slightly odd: the front rotor is the same size as that on my bike but with the smaller wheel size it looks absolutely massive as if it's a full on downhill rig!

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