- New bike, new beginnings
So after the winter hiatus, Spring starts to spring and the daffs are coming up nicely. At the same time, a mans mind turns back to the outdoors and he will find ways to indulge his earthy pleasures
There have been times in the last two years where I wondered if I would ever really get back to riding bikes again; work, life, family stuff all seemed to be getting in the way and no matter what I did, the motivation to ride and the pleasure in being outdoors just wasn’t there. Then in August last year, a good friend pointed me towards a bike page on FaceBook. Clean lines, two simple triangles and a great back story (the bike, not the friend).
Anyway – over the next months, I ruled out a number of bikes. I’d sold a 5-spot so both the Burner and RFX appealed to me. The Bird Aeris warranted a trip to Hamsterly to see it in the flesh and it was, for a while, the stand-out choice for a burly gravity-focused trail bike but I kept seeing things on FaceBook that piqued my interest. So finally, after a few more conversations I decided to bite the bullet and put a deposit down on a custom steel full suspension frame. Made by a guy in his shed….
Over Christmas I saw pics of the bike being built; I had the obligatory choices to make regarding colour and highlights; I had choices to make about suspension and all these choices slowly got into my head and under my skin and into all the places where motivation used to be. Somehow I started to remember about my lack of fitness – so I made a start with going to the gym and venturing onto a new commute. There were the usual disruptions but I could feel my desire to ride bikes come back, and all the anxieties I had about riding seemed stupid and pointless.
The frame finally turned up and I was just waiting for the build to happen – and then this weekend, it finally came together. I took ownership of my new bike and now after its first ride, I think I’m well on the way to getting back to being a mountain biker. Roll on the summer…
So anyway – after sharing this stuff with you, you can critique my new steed / weapon / gnarpoon / beast / loam ranger and tell me how you’d have done something better. But i don’t care – I’ve ridden this and it’s ace.
Starling Swoop 150mm with Fox 36, Pro 4s on Stans Flow, Hope E4 brakes, Thomson Covert and a load of Funn kit including carbon cranks and Vault pedals
And all from a box of steel…Posted 1 year ago
Glad I’m getting some love for it – it looks even better in the flesh so to speak
The ride is really nice – I’m still fettling positions and suspension but first impressiona are that its like riding a nice steel hard tail but it’ll tackle anything. Feels “right” from the offset even though I wasn’t sure what to ask for in a custom frame. Joe knows his stuff – we finally settled on something based on what previous bikes I’d ridden felt like
I’ve had one real ride on it now – a mixture of wide faster stuff, some steep off-road climbs, and a fair bit of rooty and rocky tech. The bike didn’t noticeably show any fault – if anything, it was pretty forgiving when you went off line a bit and it didn’t really seem to bob or jack a lot. Seemed quite smooth uphill as well (even got me two PRs but that could easily have been the bigger wheels)
The shock sucks up everything that’s thrown at it – it’s definitely a cut above the Vivid I’d ridden before and it works really well even going uphill. Shame that it’s only a loaner…think Stendec haven’t been able to supply them as expected, but it’s being replaced by an XFusion vector very soon
The Funn bar / stem combination makes the front end really quite stiff, which is quite nice at speed – not really jarring as such but stiffer than I’ve had before. I’ll have to see how thaut feels as time goes by
Funn cranks are stiff too but nothing has stood out as being uncomfortable or flexy or anything – but it’s early days and I’m just really happy with it
Weight is a smidgeon over 31 and a half lbs (31.9 I think) but you don’t feel it. Price – it’s a prototype so frame only was £1000 but I’m not sure when he’s gonna put his prices up (as he irons out details and sets up any warranty). The overall build has been done working with Joe and who he’s lining up to help him. Frame, shock, wheels and build kit from Funn came in a bit above 2k. The rest of the build was done by Garage Bikes in Morley and they were bang on price for the Fox, dropper , 1×11 and hope stuff. It’s a normal bike tho. No plus size wheels or 30mm axles – it’s a 44mm headtube so it’ll take most forks. Shock length is 8.5 x 2.5 so frame only isn’t a bad price if you have the right kit on it
Hope that helps – he’s a nice guy to chat to tho and he definitely knows his steelPosted 1 year ago
Hehe – it’s nominally blue and orange but two different shades of orange; the hope shade is much lighter than the DMR / Funn shade. The only red is from the graphics on the bars
The yellow from the Maxxis will gradually dirty down but once I manage to sort things out I’ll be getting replacement fox graphics from slik / elsewhere in the correct RAL shade with the heritage fox Orange stripesPosted 1 year agotaxi25Member
The joy of custom bikes is that you get what “you” want not what someone else thinks you should have. Because of that they can be a bit Marmite for other people. You love it and that’s all that matters, but I’m not loving the colours and the shock looks out of balance with the skinny tubes ?Posted 1 year ago
So for me the industrial look of the steel tubing is beautifully set off by the chunky shock
Got a Monarch Plus with it as well, and the EXT will be swapped out for an XFusion, and when I’ve decided what’s best, I’ll swap up to a Fox X2 or DHX2
Colours are always personal tho – if we all liked the same stuff life wouldn’t be as interesting and variedPosted 1 year ago
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