Back in the saddle

At the turn of the year I went through a bit of a biking identity/motivation crisis.

I hadn’t ridden a bike in almost half a year following the Transwales and having switched between xc hardtails, full-suss downhillers and all-mountain do-it-all bikes in the run up to that event, I wasn’t quite sure what sort of bike I wanted and what sort of riding I wanted to concentrate on.

And in all honesty, I found my passion for bikes disappear out the window due to various reasons (excuses) and I had no desire to don the lycra and hit the trails – the first time I’d gone through such a ‘patch’ since I started getting into biking.

I aired my dilemma on here and received loads of support for which I’m very grateful – from words of wisdom and encouragement to tales from people who’d been through the same problem – and I’m proud to say I’m now back in the saddle.

I went to Glentress a few weeks ago with my brother for the first time in nearly a year. He took me there the first time I ever got on a proper mountain bike and I’ve found myself itching to get back out ever since (work commitments have limited my opportunities) and with the clocks changing – I’m excited about the summer ahead and the prospect of some good trails.

A major part of my renewed vigour has come from planning, buying and building my new steed. I sold all the bikes in my collection and began planning for this – and it’s a little different to anything else I’ve ridden so I thought I’d show it off.

It’s a carbon framed Singlespeed.

Ignore the weeds!

What am I thinking?

Well, I’m mechanically backwards to start. Gears, shifters, cables etc completely baffle me and instead of becoming increasingly frustrated as I tinker to try and improve that granny ring shifting only to result in creating a situation where my chain jumps from big to small ring in one move (Am I the only one?) – I’ve removed the problem. NO GEARS

Incase you wanted proof

I’m not skilled enough as a rider to nail a techy downhill section at full speed so I don’t need mega travel (my previous ownership of a SC Heckler proved that such a bike was a waste for me) and I’m not fit enough to justify a super lightweight race bike.

But I wanted something that would be light for climbing, strong for descending and fit the SS bill – so I opted for a wallet-friendly On-one 456 Carbon frame (having owned and enjoyed several on-one steel frames) built up with some FOX qr15 forks, hope pro2 wheels on spank rims, a raceface ss crankset, some avid elixir brakes, crank brothers bars and an easton seat post.

It’s also light enough to be a feasable option for on-road action – I think if I put some slicks on there it could be a respectable road machine and a perfect commuter.

Simple, honest and so far – very enjoyable and I can’t wait to get some more action – so much so, I’m think of doing this year’s Transwales on this bike!

Although I’m not looking forward to any big hills in a hurry (Glentress’ Spooky Wood climb had me beaten hands down)

See you on the trails – If you spot me, do say hello!