This winter has been long. OK, I don't like much snow, rain and cold, but that's not the point. This winter has been longer than others because I was waiting for my new team bike. I've been riding as much as my body allowed to prepare for the coming season, but I couldn't stop thinking about THAT bike.
Last monday, the frame and fork finally made it home. I've seen a couple photos a few days before, but opening the card box was a whole different experience. I drooled over the frame the whole evening. The paintjob blew me away. I then spent a couple days enjoying its naked beauty.
Come the week-end and it was time to take the tool box out. I was eager to see the bike I've been thinking about for months. I finally got rid of all the boxes laying around and the result is worth the wait. I'm extremely happy of out it turned out, but make your own opinion.
Through the winter, I spent a lot of time thinking about the geometry of the bike and how I wanted to build it. The whole concept of the bike is oriented to all mountain riding. Laid back head angle, shorter and higher position than my XC rig were mandatory. I wanted the perfect machine to ride technical and rough trails. A brief description of the current setup:
- Frame : IF Deluxe 29er
- Fork : IF
- Chris King all over the place (headset, hubs and bottom braket)
- Thomson accessories
- Shimano transmission
- Avid Elixir brakes
- ESI Chunky grips and Fi'zi:k Aliante saddle, two of my favorite bike parts ever.
After the first short ride, it seems the bike is more than up for the job. Coming from the 26" singlespeed I spent the whole winter on, it sure feels very different and I have to tune my riding again to 29" wheels. But the bike behaves really good. Climbing is almost too easy. Grip is plenty and the front wheel stays on the ground, even with the short and high position I chose. The low bottom bracket helps for sure. And when the trail heads downhill... Well, I can't even describe how confident I felt immediately. Just let off the brakes, rail the corners and hold on!
Time now to make the final tuning, test a few things and get used to it, which won't take long anyway. I can't wait for the first event I'll ride on it!
PS: For more photos of the bike, have a look here.