Think at this time of the year it's natural to look back and reflect over the year that we're about to leave behind. For me, getting myself in a better financial position has meant I've been able to cut and change a bit more with my bikes and try bikes and parts that I've previously not had the opportunity to. This did lead to a bit of stock rotation in my shed! I think the pictures below cover the bikes (and frames) that I have owned.
Coming in from the end of 2010 saw a 2002 Specialized Enduro. Great bike and one that I was torn a bit on the build. In one sense I wanted a mid-travel full suss bike, but the XC boy in me wanted it light weight. It was always a trade off and it ended up going. Great bike though, one of the best full suss bikes I've rode.
This led me on to a XC hardtail. A shabby looking Kona Cindercone frame came up on the site and I snapped it up. Stripped the paint and removed the canti bosses and ended up with this:
Again, this was a great bike and set me off knowing that I was most comfortable on a XC bike.
A purchase of a complete Giant XTC 4 from someone who'd got it on the Cycle to Work scheme (and not used) it, gave me a lovely XC frame. Owed me next to nothing by the time I'd sold off all of the parts. A great XC frame.
It's this bike I raced in the Whinlatter Challenge Half Enduro and got a third, well pleased
I'd then got used to buying/selling things and when I worked it out, I could 'flip' the Giant and treat myself to something new. This takes me to a bike I still own...2010 Specialized Stumpjumper HT.
This bike is perfect for me, and takes me back to the same model I once owned back in 2003. This bike is quick, light and seems to suit my riding style perfectly. I've changed very few parts on this bike, which is a testament to its original spec. This bike is staying!
I'd refocused my training away from weight lifting back in December 2010 and decided to focus on cardio to help my cycling. As much I miss being able to squat, deadlift and bench press nearly twice my bodyweight, it was doing me no favours on the bike. So now, nearly a stone lighter I decided to look in to getting a road bike.
I'd owned a road bike a few years ago and didn't get on with it. So I build up this from a frame bought off this site.
Built on a budget this was a great intro on to the road and I soon realised I wanted a 'proper' road bike. June 2011 saw me treat myself to a new Specialized Allez.
This is a great bike and I just seemed to gel with it. This is another keeper. Hoping to crack my first 100 miler on this next year and hopefully do the coast-to-coast on it.
I'd dabbled retro earlier in my RB career and unfortunately had to sell due to financial reasons. However, my LBS presented me with a Kona Cindercone and who was I to turn it away. A few new parts later and I have this.
On paper I shouldn't like this bike. It should be too big for me, but it just seems to be right. I really like it and recon it'll be my main rider now.
So, is that it...far from it! Here's some that didn't make it in to the keeper list:
2006 Specialized Enduro
Not as nice a bike as it's 2002 predecessor. Too heavy and not my thing. Nice frame mind, I especially like the cobra like head tube.
1998 (?) Specialized FSR
Drivetrain was shot and it was un-economical to restore to the standard I'd like, so it had to go. Again, nice frame though.
2000 Orange AirO
Took one ride to realise this just wasn't me. No more long-travel hard tails for me. RS Pike forks are very nice though...
GT LTS frame - Extremerly nice frame and very well built. Unfortunately soon realised it was too big for me and it went before even being built up.
GT Zaskar - Too big
Santa Cruz Super 8 - A pain. Wasn't meant to be, far from my style bike but looked awesome!
A very recent purchase and one that I was tempted to keep, but instead sold the frame and forks and have kept the rest of the bits "just in case"...
So that's my 2011! What will 2012 bring?! I was tempted to set myself a challenge of not buying a bike next year, but I don't think I could manage it. You never know though....
Have a great 2012 everyone
"The things you own, end up owning you."