Well here she is, I know I said I was going to post pictures of the bike going together in stages but in the end it all came together on the same day, sorry about that, but just look at how gorgeous she is, I'm well happy with the finished bike.
So, how doe's it ride?, really well actually, it fits me like it was custom made to fit me perfectly, but in reality its just an off the shelf 19" frame, the 120mm forks and the 50mm stem combined with the low rise handlebars keep the front end planted on the trail, and the MSC tyres are surprisingly grippy for a low tread pattern.
Now I have time on the bike thoughts turn to changes to the bike to tune it further.
On its last ride out, a gruelling 37 miles around Cranbourne it turned out that the 34t chainring is a little big and not giving me a low enough gear for my tired legs, don't get me wrong, I still made it up all the climbs without getting off, but I was right at the limit of what I can push at times so another cog to drop down would be nice, I'll wait for Middleburn to finish the new one piece Boost rings and grab a 32t as soon as they are ready.
Other than that, its pretty much perfect as is, I am going to fit the not yet released Rotor Hydraulic gear set when it come out it funds will allow it, with the price yet to be decided I have no idea if it will just be a little extravagance or down right stupid expensive, I guess we will just have to wait and see.
What good is a frame without a nice set of forks to hold it up.
Actually it goes much further than that, a thin legged wimpy fork will not give you any confidence in the corners and over the rough stuff, and poor damping will have you bouncing all over the trail, and don't think that unless you are doing downhill racing this doesn't apply to you, if you ride anything more than tow paths you will benefit from a nice set of Suspension forks.
I've be hearing really good things about these forks, MRP are still fairly new to the Suspension fork market compared to the likes of RockShox and Fox but they have a growing following, they certainly feel very smooth giving them a push down in the office, plus there is lots of dials and buttons to play with, I like stuff like that.
See those little buttons on the lower legs, they allow the rider to relieve air build up in the fork legs, they called them PSST valves, can't think why... ha.
Two other things to note, unlike all other makes of suspension forks MRP took the unusual step in taking an arch and spinning it round, this is so mud doesn't get trapped in the pockets of the arch plus it gives the front of the fork a distinctive look, some may say ugly but I rather like it, I certainly approve of the non mud trapping design, and that takes me seamlessly onto the the other thing I wanted to point out...
That Miles Wide Industries 'Fork Cork', no bike of mine is complete without one, it's one of the products I distribute but this one is a little more special as it was my idea, well the mud bung bit was, but Miles who loved the idea took it a step further and made it into a removable storage plug. Just a quick turn of the adjuster and it comes out, allowing you to store items such as money, keys, energy gels/sweets, even a CO2 canister and trigger can fit, you just need to be cunning in how you stuff stuff up there, once you have done that, another twist and its tight again, holding fast and stopping water and mud from building up in the steerer tube.
Ugly as sin or a clever design? I'll let you decide, its very industrial looking thats for sure.
RRP at the time of writing this is £849, see Ison Distribution for more info and stockist information
Every once in a while I have a strong desire to build a new bike, thats because for me at least there is no one bike that does it all, and thats where the N+1 rule comes into play.
What is N+1 I hear you ask, well it is the number of bikes you own plus one more, so you technically never have enough bikes.
At the moment my bike fleet is rather thin, Just my amazing Yeti SB6, and an ageing Trek road bike, I did have a Stooge Mk2 but I'm to soft now to ride rigid bikes any more, so that was moved on to make way for an all new build, the Tandem has gone as well, as has the obligatory Single Speed MTB, Folder, BMX, Dirt Jumper and Unicycle all gone due to lack of space or urge to ride them.
I love building bikes, I spend ages thinking about the setup that would work best for me, you see for me there is no perfect bike, you can buy or build something that works well for where you ride and how you like to ride, but a nice light XC bike will not make a great downhill bike and vice a versa, my Yeti come very close as a great Enduro/Trail bike but it should do, it cost as much as a good second hand car, plus, in my opinion if you are into your cycling you really must have at least two bikes, that way when one is being fixed or you haven't gotten round to cracking the mud off if it from the last ride you always have a second bike ready for use.
So for this bike I wanted a bike that reflected my personality and the things that mean the most to me about cycling, for the frame material, well there was only one choice and that was steel, its what my first bikes used, titanium is lovely and truth be told if budget would have allowed I may have gone that way, however, I really wanted a painted finish, and there is no way I would ever consider a titanium frame that was painted, plus with the money saved on the material choice it leaves me more for the components.
So the natural choice after lots of research was the Stanton Sherpa, Reynolds 853 tubing and a respected British company it's a big tick from me. Geometry is long and slack so it should be a fun handling bike.
This will be the first 29" bike I've ever owned, I wanted a bike that was more XC but is still capable of doing Enduro/Trail type riding, I love my Yeti bike, its so capable but unless you are on the ragged edge I don't get the same thrill as I would skipping around on a hardtail.
I will update this blog as the bike comes together, I will explain my reasons for the parts I pick and the challenges in piecing it together.