Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Hardtails rule...



Back in 2005 i built a Kona Cowan signature jump frame in a size large up into a fun hardtail, here is a pic of it at Glentress with a rather skinny race snake looking me 6 years ago -:)


I built the bike up with the then new out Rock Shok Pike 140 coil fork (set to 120mm travel), the metallic red frame looked ace with bling gold trimmings from Hope - hubs, brakes, headset, stem, seatclamp etc, XT 2x9 gears and a pair of Maxxis High Rollers and it stuck like glue on berms,
That aluminium frame was rock solid with no give and pounded you once tired on rough trails but on smooth stuff like Glentress it absolutely flew and has to be one of the best bikes i have owned, because it rewarded you the more effort you put into your riding...


I even did an uplift day on it at Innerliethen and rode the then newly opened Matador Red Bull run - but that was getting a bit silly, but it could do it,
In 2005 the Cove Stiffee was the `must have` hardtail frame according to magazines, i rode a few at Glentress and i don`t think they were a sniff on the Cowan, and they were £500 too, the Kona was £299...
I sold the frame after 2 years to help fund a 5 inch full suspension frame, something i have regretted ever since...
Times move on and i rarely go to trail centres now, even though there only an hours drive away down in the borders,
Most of the parts are now on my 29er bike, and the forks are on my old Cannondale Uber V, now my only full suspension bike...


I have not ridden the Dale in anger since last May, when i did a solo ride around Innerliethen XC route, i filmed all the descents riding non stop, a feet up clean through the black section of the rock garden (9 min 18 secs on) proved that even an 11 year old suspension frame can do the business when needed, was glad to reach the bottom in one piece after a flat out run, on the edge, and hang the bike on the back of the car...


So its time to hang up the Super V frame (again)...


Its been fun riding it but i just don`t need a full suspension bike for riding around local trails here in East Lothian...

In fact i don`t think you need suspension forks on a 29er for around here, and once the Suntour forks explode on the Karate Monkey its going back to the Ridged fork.
26" bikes need a fork, esp if you want to razz em through roots or down at Glentress.
This is the second strip down of the old V for a hardtail frame swap, i bought an On One 456 back in June 2010, it was fun to build up and first rides proved fun...


But it was what it was, a £160 frame, it rode fine, did its job , and that was it, i liked it but had no real urge to grab it first out my bikes to ride,
Anyway friend Paul fancied it and bought it to replace his GT Aggressor alloy hardtail,
I swapped the frame over for him and riding his GT around the square outside the house beforehand i liked the feel of the GT, though i thought the Marzocchi forks fitted were a bit too tall, as was the long stem, anyway as it worked out i ended up buying the GT frame from Paul, and we were both happy!,
It has been hanging in the garage, unsure to strip the old Dale again or not, until now...time for another build!...
The GT came with a front mech, seatpost shim and QR clamp so everything was a straight swap...


3 hours spannering and a couple of ciders later...


Before hand i ordered some stuff from Superstar Components, i already use there Flat `Nano` pedals and sintered brake pads and cant fault them for the money...
The Pike fork has a short steerer tube cut for a 4" headtube so i used a Superstar zero stack headset to allow fitting an old school DMR 70mm conrod stem i had...


I also fitted a Shimano LX cassette, a 32t chainring and chain which at £45 from Chain Reaction Cycles is again a bargain, (8 speed is even cheaper!), New Superstar Nano pedals in red to match too!...


This bike has some of my favourite parts that i have had for a long time, like the 05 Pike forks, STILL NEVER SERVICED! -:)...


I bought these red Hope Pro 2 Hubs soon as they came out, they are still on there original bearings, and this one has a super loud freehub!,
The Hope Mono mini brakes i bought new for £240 the set in 2004, they too have paid for themselves over and over, they are still on there original pistons and seals and disc rotors...


Race Face Diablous Down Hill seatpost and DMR seat, i bought these back in 2002, still going...


This bike will mostly be used for riding around the Pencaitland trails with friends in the Winton Massif...


But if we get a 3rd proper winter then it will be fitted with these that i got last night...


£80 the pair (with a £10 voucher) from CRC, to those non cyclists that may sound a lot, to myself worth every penny, oh and half as much as pugsley tyres at 2 for £90 -:)...




Cant wait to ride across frozen ponds at work...on the back wheel...


Hardtails rule, keep it real with st, er alloy too... -:)
Should be a fun bike, maybe not as good as the Kona but it feels close,
Here is the man himself from back in the day, John Cowan, on the original orange frame... Oh that GT that Dave Wardell is riding is the same XCR frame as the Aggressor,

8 comments:

  1. Some nice action shots and nice bike bling....
    great post.

    -Trevor

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  2. Friend Hamish took these trevor, more fun times ahead!

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  3. Don`t think i will break it mcalisterium !

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  4. Ye look like a wee laddie!

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  5. Thats booze for you!, be warned -:)

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  6. Excellent post CK! Ace looking bike & love the ice tyres
    I'm just in the process of finishing up my own HT project - Ragley Bluepig...everyone needs a play bike!

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  7. Nice post mate , The Gt is a great frame but as you say seemed awkward with big heavy Zocchi 44's on It . Kinda wished I'd stuck with It and put my Rev's on it . Still enjoy it will be a great wee XC bike for you and looks the part.

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