What do you do when you've hoarded too much Syncros kit? Answer
… start yet another new project!
So, as many here may know, I've been on the hunt for a RM Experience for some time now. But I was never really fueled to actively pursue it till one sprung up on Ebay last year. That was quickly snatched up by gingernuts/badger
on here. Try as I might to convince him to give it up, I was unsuccessful. However, about a month or so later, he approached me to offer it up as it was too small for him. Unfortunately shipping it back to North America from the UK was too cost prohibitive and I reluctantly passed. Again as many may already know, this Experience ended up in Rob Atkin's
hand and he has done a spectacular job in putting it back on the trails.
Although I didn't get that particular Experience, it inspired me that they were out there for me to find. So my search began. In November of last year, I found an ad posted for a complete bike for sale in west coast Canada and I asked the seller if he'd be willing to ship it to me in central Canada. He agreed, but after a month of patiently waiting and prodding him to give me an ETA to package and ship, he went back on his word and decided he no longer was willing to ship. Desperately I sent out some requests to see if there were any locals willing to collect and ship on my behalf. I did find two and when reported to the seller, again he agreed. But after about another month of proxies trying to connect with the seller, he backs out and says he no longer wanted to sell the bike. That was like someone had kicked in my teeth and stomped me in the nuts! I was so livid!
So I then actively put out some want ads. I got two offers about a week or so in, one local and one out of town. The local offer didn't get far as he never got back to me. The out of town, we began a long dialogue regarding details that carried on for a few weeks. In the meantime during this, I was late by a day or two in responding to a local ad that listed and sold a Experience frame for $50!!! Again I was so livid!!!
The seller was quite helpful and kindly forwarded my contact info to the buyer in the chance he would sell it to me, but nothing came out of that. I got another local response from my ad but that ended up no where fast as he ended up selling to a friend before I got much detail from him.
So back to my out of town lead. It took a while for the seller to detail what he still had from the original bike and gather them up. Once done, Tousi
was kind enough to collect and ship it for me. Big thanks goes to him for giving me such a big hand in finally returning an Experience back into my stable. So why a Rocky Mountain Experience?
Rewind back to approx 1991/1992. I had just lost my first ever mountain bike… a decent mid level Specialized Rockhopper Comp in grey with red decals. Sadly stolen from me about a year in ownership. I had just started my second year in University, and I had a decent return from insurance as well as decent sum of student assistance given to me for schooling. I went to my a local shop that gave me the estimate for the claim cash in hand and low an behold, hanging from the wall I see the Rocky Mountain Experience frame. It was love at first sight. Quickly I asked for it and negotiated a price for having it built up. Full XT, Syncros, Ringle, Smokes, Onza… most of the decision was easy. Only thing in question were forks and saddle of which I wasn't certain what to go with. In the end, I believe mostly due to budget and availability, I decided on a set of Tange Shockblades and a Selle Italia Ti Turbomatic. This was my baby, and my first Rocky Mountain.
But fate would have it, about a year later… it was stolen.
This time around, insurance didn't pan out. I was in school and had no funds. Luck would have it that I managed to find a frame only Cirrus at another shop I frequented. I only had enough funds to buy that, and had to wait 2 years till I could build it up in 1995, which I still own to this day. Although almost identical to the Cirrus, I've always had a yearning to have back an Experience. Call it sentimental, call it crazy, but finally I do have one back.
It isn't perfect… there's a minor weld repair, and some fairly deep abrasions, and significant amount of patina… but that's alright. I'm not looking to build a garage queen. Maybe I'll secure a better condition one in the future, but for now at least I have this to play with in the meantime. Now on to pictures…
This is the easiest tell that differentiates an Experience from a Cirrus without pulling out a catalogue spec and ruler… the support bridge on teh e-stays. The Cirrus with the longer wheelbase has a small straight tube welded into place instead of the bar you see here.
Most ppl I find like to polish up their raw unpainted frames. Me I prefer the satin look so I'm going over this frame with a scotchbrite pad. Plus it'll make the blemishes on the frame far less noticeable.
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Finally completed to perfection to my satisfaction on page 11: