Some people buy funny shirts, or a custom guitar, some people even buy impractical sports cars, but not us! No, for our mid-life crisis we’ve gone for a dirt jump bike, because why not!
Actually, we have to get a few things straight first:
- We’re not actually having a mid-life crisis, this is our practice, or dry run, at a mid-life crisis. We’re only going to get one, so we want to make sure we’re pretty darn rad at it once it does come around.
- We haven’t just gotten a dirt jump bike on a whim. We’ve actually got one in the office simply because there are tons of places we can use one (Leeds Urban Bike Park, Hebden Skatepark, Farmer Johns etc).
- We also all want to get better on our bikes, and larking around on an Astronut seems to be the best way to go about it.
So on to the bike. The Astronut is the latest affordable bike from Calibre Bikes, and in true Calibre style, it boasts features that you wouldn’t normally associate with a bike of this price.
The complete Astronut seen here retails at £550 and can be bought from a Go Outdoors store near you, meaning you can have a look at one in the flesh before handing over your money. The price is pretty impressive too when you consider that some dirt jump frames alone might set you back £500.
Calibre has built the Astronut using a 6061 aluminium frame with horizontal dropouts and sliding calliper mount and single speed. There’s no option to run gears, and that’s fine by us because we don’t really need them for the pumptrack or skatepark. Horizontal dropouts ensure that the chain can be tensioned, but it’s nice to see that chain tugs are included as standard and that a half-link chain comes on the bike too.
While most dirt jump and street riders will run just 1 brake, Calibre has fitted the Astronut with 2 Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and even fitted a hollow headset compression bolt to the bike. This means that if you wanted to learn bar spins but wanted to retain the front brake you can simply route your front brake hose through the steerer. Very clever thinking.
While we’re at the front of the bike let’s take a look at the forks. These are Manitou Circus forks with a burly 20mm axle and clamps we’ve not seen since our downhill days. The fork is a dirt jump model and features 100mm of travel. It isn’t designed for trail riding so don’t expect any fancy damping systems, but it will take the sting out of any harsh landings.
A non-branded bar and stem are simple and clean looking items as is the chainset, although the chainset does look rather overbuilt for peace of mind.
Other nice dirt jump specific features include the Pivotal saddle and post, 26in WTB wheels, bolt on rear axle and fast rolling Schwalbe Table Top tyres.
We do have every intention of reviewing the Calibre Astronut, but please keep in mind that we are not dirt jumpers, BMXers or street riders. Instead brace yourself for rad dad/mum style action photos coming your way soon. More info on Calibre bikes over on the Calibre Bicycles website.