Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Bike!

As you know, I've been struggling (that doesn't even sound like a strong enough word ...) with the decision of what bike to race in 2011 and last night, the process came to a peaceful conclusion.

Against almost all the advice I got, I'll be taking home the Trek Top Fuel 9.8 WSD.

I chose it for six reasons:

1.) It's the bike that started it all ... i.e. my first instinct. Always a good idea to go with your first instinct.

2.) Even though countless members of the riding community (and some even outside) weighed-in in favour of the Superfly, I found myself lookng for more and more opinions. If I'm honest with myself, that tells me I was just trying to get someone to say what I really wanted to hear.

3.) It's the more flexible of the two -- I know I'll be stoked to race it in Ontario, but that it will also hold up to courses in Quebec and trail-riding in BC.

4.) I already know how to fit it properly and I'll be able to continue working on being a better rider without having to play catch-up with myself as I learn the handling quirks of the 29er (and after riding one, I can tell you it would probably be a slow process for me.)

5.) The dual lock-out and corresponding controls for 2011 are badass. Not to mention the other new features for 2011.

6.) It's already in the shop, and the ETA on the Superfly hasn't even been set. I've heard tales of them not arriving until July and I can't risk waiting that long.

In the end, I think the decision was so difficult because the bikes are so totally, and utterly different. The hardtail 29er is for sure faster in the open. I had that thing buzzing its tires faster than my road bike it seemed with even less effort. But -- when it came time to navigate a tight corner while moving slowly, I was feeling very unstable thanks to a higher bottom bracket and a weird -- I don't know how to describe it, but try this -- "pit" at about the 45 degree angle mark. At that point, it felt like the front wheel was about to flip over on itself and I'm told when you're descending it's quite the quirk to get used to. Single track is already one of my limiters so I see no reason to make it harder on myself. As far as open vs singletrack riding, I think the Fuel is pretty much the opposite. Maybe it all equals out in the end ...?

I AM bummed I won't get to race the new SRAM X0 2 x 10. That looks pretty sweet. And racing a hardtail would have been a new and I'm sure rewarding experience as well -- especially one Gary Fisher is claiming to be its lightest ever, 26 or 29. If for some reason the Top Fuel wasn't available, I'd just as gladly take home the Superfly.

I don't want to finish on a note contemplating what could have been, so let me just quote an old friend. He said, [paraphrased] "If you're strong, fit and a good rider, it doesn't really matter what bike you're on."

That said, I am super stoked on my new baby. I already know we'll get along great because her predecessor was such a great match for me and my riding. It's got the new "Mountain Carbon" which promises to be stronger than just plain old carbon fibre. I already mentioned the dual lock outs, but internal cable routing is another perk I should add.

Oh, and it's purple! Yay!

I want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and advice -- although it might not look like it, you definitely helped me arrive at my decision. And I especially want to thank Sweet Pete's for all your continued support!! Couldn't do it without you guys. *love*