Well, at least that's what I have to tell myself sometimes. Telling myself sometimes, because, I have to convince myself I'm not! Hahaha
I have strong opinions in cycling. I have staunch beliefs as to what is good with cycling and what isn't and I have a very strong hatred for what I believe to be marketing tripe: and there's a lot of that right now.
Here however, with this example, it is a fine example of all that is well in the world. Those who read my posts somewhat regularly (or at least as regularly as I post) will know of my penchant for steel, but this freaking sick ride gets me tempted to jump ship!
Built by my buddy James at Blackwell Cycle (or on Facebook), I watched this ride come together and waited with bated breath. It's the one upside to owning your own shop that's for sure. I watched as each part would arrive and be laid out on the bench or hung off the frame in advance of the next component's arrival. The intent James had was to build himself up one hell of a fine hardtail and one that would not only stand the test of time and be race ready but, also, be extremely worry and maintenance free. Nice job!
He jumped back into the less plush world after years on a full squishy; choosing an as-plush-as-possible full carbon Rocky Mountain Vertex as a base for his build. Clearly with the component selection he made, "feathery" was going to be a word associated with this new build of his.
RaceFace Next SL carbon cranks mated with SRAM XX1 shifter, derailleur and cassette make for one sick combination. That damn cassette alone is a fine piece of art and needs to be seen to be appreciated. Ridiculous!
I snapped these photos and it was tough to take a bad shot. The silly thing is so damn nice. Of course James can't take "all" the credit. Rocky Mountain did a fine job too with the frame graphics in my opinion. Just enough colour to make the bike pop out there on the trail but not so much that it's all flash. Fit and finish is very nice and this bike has a nice aggressive racey geometry: there is no doubt. I wan't to race it..................bad.
James also, by choice (and tastefully I might add), kept everything RaceFace.
He wanted to keep with that Rocky Mountain/West coast tradition. Pieced together with RF stem, carbon Next seat post and matching RF carbon Next bars, his mission was a success and did the bike worlds of good.
A DT Swiss OPM O.L 100 fork softens the front end and the latest offerings from Time (XC8 carbon) secure the feet in place. The textbook Odi lock-ons (why anyone would ever go with anything else I'll never know) for the trouble free secure grip no mater what the conditions and Maxxis Ikon tires keep the ride on track in the slick stuff. To finalize the controls, James slapped on some Hope Race Evo X2's (the lightest Hope has to offer) and they finish this thing off right. They absolutely belong on this bike.
All told, as built with everything you see in the pics, the bike weighs in at a mind-blowingly light 20.08lbs. That's right. Before he put the pedals on, it was sub 20lb mountain bike capable of full on race conditions. That's sayin' something.
How can anyone be a retro grouch when time, engineering, and sure, a bit of cash, gets you numbers and beautiful lookers like that??
I still love my steel rides but I'll tell you what, I'd throw my leg over this freaking thing any time of the week!
Sick bike, James. Nice f#$%ing job!