there is more than one way to have fun on a bike. i’m really an enduro kind of guy; i just feel there must be a bit of suffering so one can truly enjoy smashing the downhill. which is why i am cool with owning just one bike.
nat on the other hand has a lot of riding ahead of her and the more experiences she gathers under different circumstances will make her riding better, safer and ultimately more fun.
then there is the universal rule on how many bikes one should own. it’s commonly agreed that this number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes one currently owns. believe me, it makes total sense.
given all of that it’s hardly surprising that when a friend said his dirt jumper was up for sale we … um: jumped on it. i know it’s a dad joke, i can’t help it. the bike is a – let’s call it: ‘seasoned’ giant stp which hasn’t seen much dirt and even less jumping and is therefore in almost pristine condition.
it’s also what you could call ‘chubby’. at a weight of 14.2 kg it is actually heavier than nat’s enduro bike, which comes with a handy amount of 160 mm of super supple suspension and a wide range 12 speed setup. the dirt jumper is more what you would have to call ‘basic’. really basic.
luckily shedding weight isn’t as painful and slow a process in bikes as it is in humans. nat and i managed to pull a whole kilogram of dead weight off the bike in less than a day. who needs a front derailleur? kids these days don’t even know what that is. front brakes are unnecessary on dirt jumpers: there goes another few hundred grams. let’s replace the saddle that looks like it’s made out of cast iron.
we also found that each wheel weighs more than 2.5 kg, which is probably 50% heavier than the wheelset on my nomad. there is little we can do about this in the short term, but i will definitely be looking for an opportunity to learn the noble craft of wheel building and in the process ditch those ‘boat anchor’ shimano hubs.
nat immediately put her new bike to good use and managed to clear jump #1 at the red hill dirt jumps. pretty impressive for only her second time up there. jump #2 won’t take her long to master either.
and the smile on her face when she floated over that jump made it all worth it. watch this space, we’ll be working to get nat’s new bikes fitness level up (and weight down) over the coming weeks, and nat has some ideas about making that somewhat bland looking matte black frame more interesting.