Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Hardware – The Bestest Mountain Bike

I worked for Hewlett-Packard a number of years ago, and got laid off when their managerial ineptitude became glaringly obvious in the wake of the tech bust of 2001. Since I was in one of the first rounds in the US, they were still rather generous with their severance package. As I got another job (that really SUCKED) right away, I decided to take half of what was left – about 4 months pay – and buy a bunch of fun things. I bought a new HD compatible 46” TV, a complete Pioneer Elite series home theater system, and an Independent Fabrications Custom Deluxe Ti. It took two months to show up, and I bought the components to build it up myself.

Rock Shox SID
Race face – bars, stem, seatpost, crankset, headset
Sram - shifters, deraillers, brakes, cassette
Mavic Crossmax UST wheels
Ritchey Vector Pro seat
Time ATAC pedals
Continental Twister Pro tires


This bike is the most stable, predictable, and comfortable bike I have ever ridden, ever. It goes exactly where I think it should, holds the trail exceptionally well, climbs well, and handles descents as well as any hard-tail I’ve ever ridden. The bike just about becomes part of me on the trail. I will be buried with this bike.


















I placed the order when the disk brake rage was just starting, and as a result, they didn’t offer a the Custom Deluxe with a rear disk boss. I had a severe issue with this as in the fall after I bought the bike (I took delivery in april ’02) I was at pedros fest, and what did I see at the IF tent? A custom deluxe Ti with a rear disk dropout. I asked the guy about it, and he said they released it that summer.

I told him I placed the order for my bike in march and was told they didn’t have a rear disk option.

He said that was true in march.

Me: When did you decide to offer it?

Him: last fall

Me: why didn’t they tell me it was in the works when I ordered the bike?

Him: uh, I wouldn’t be able to know that unless I knew who you talked to.

Me: well that sucks, I would have waited if I knew. Can this one be retrofitted?

Him: no.

Me: why not?

Him: the whole geometry of the bike has changed, this dropout will only fit with these stays, so we would have to replace the entire rear triangle. And since the geometry would be incompatible, would have to replace the front triangle too.

Me: so I be buying a whole new bike

Him: yes

Me: that sucks

I just walked away. I felt sort of like I had been sold a top of the line 8-track tape player right when cassettes were hitting the market.

Still, it doesn’t take away from the bike. The bike, I don’t have a problem with, but I had a few choice words for the company.

2 comments:

gewilli said...

who needs disk brakes -

stopping is over-rated

drop me an email

or introduce yourself at TSP ;)

Edith said...

Good for people to know.