Who's found their "perfect" bike?

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  • Who's found their "perfect" bike?
  • Sam

    Yes, I have, but I had to design it myself. All the Singulars.

    Think that’s the first time I’ve heard of Nicolais being described as romantic.


    I’ve found my “good enough” bikes, having ridden plenty beforehand: 03 Heckler, light steel hardtail. They are both good enough for me, I’m not really bothered about the 0.5% faster I might go on the latest Β£4K bike.

    The industry relies on the notions of the “perfect bike” and “this year’s improvements”, once you get past that you can save a lot of cash and angst.


    My 2007 Stumpy does everything I want it to do – light, responsive, durable.

    Everything except the frame and forks and mechs have been upgraded over the years and it’s done around 6-7000 miles. Now at the stage where I’ll only replace bits that break. Everything works really well.

    Premier Icon ton

    i can honestly say i have found my 2 perfect bikes.
    full sus ventana 29r for rough stuff
    singular swift for easier stuff

    it has taken me a long time and a hell of a lot of money to come to what i have now……………..and hopefully they will keep me satisfied.


    I have in my mind the perfect bike, sadly no one makes it yet.

    Think my SC Blur 4X is just about there. Owned for 2 years to the day pretty much and just about everything has changed on it!

    Been dabbling with 1×9 on my hardtail and love that so going to go 1×9 on the Blur, want some Fox 36 Vans up front and switch back to a shorter stem maybe and I think that’ll be it. Wind it up hills and let it loose on singletrack, techy stuff and descents. Its excellent…


    Nope, always fettling.
    Different bikes do different things well with different bits attached.
    I think you’ve got to define the situation aswell.
    I’d say my sabre set up with light bits is pretty close to my perfect bike for trail riding, single track etc. but I wouldn’t really want to drag it around a 24hr enduro race, it’s just too cushy.
    At the moment though, I’ve put heavier stuff on it as it feels much more ‘chuckable’, arsing about the local trails and drops on a quick blast.

    Anyway, fettling and faffing is half the fun!


    Not quite, got an Orange P7 thats under-forked, going to be getting some new ones soon, then I reckon it’ll be on the money for me.


    I don’t think there’s a “one bike, perfect for all situations”, but my Soda can make a pretty decent fist of most things, although it’s not the right bike for hitting proper big jumps and drops on. (not to say it hasn’t done a few though!), and I do have to back off a little on the real steeps, as it’s set up a bit too “xc” to really pin it.

    Stunning all day xc/trail/technical terrain bike though. Had it since, ooh early ’06, been through a few variations on the build, would stump up the cash immediately for a new one if I broke it.


    On-one Scandal, light and nimble can be run SS as well as geared and isn’t made of steel.

    The only replacement I’d consider is the Whippet.


    I hope I have my perfect bike – a new Nicolai Helius CC frame is on it’s way to me.

    I’m still debating the exact built but probably Chris King headset, XT chainset, mechs etc, Formula RX brakes, Stans ZTR Crest wheelset, Sunline V1 bar, Thomson stem, Pure Racing i950R seatpost

    I’ll let you know in 2 years if it really was the perfect bike for me.


    1: must have owned the bike at least 2 years – Will just under 18months do?

    2: you must have adjusted bits on it – New rear shock, several different forks enough?.

    3: ideally you will have spent many months/years finding it – No idea how long, but at least 6months looking for a model I would part the cash for? Or since 2004 if you include the fact I bought a Gemini, loved it but realised I would never do anything ‘big’ so the Gem was a little too much bike for me but still very close to what I wanted?

    Realise my 100mm XC FS was taking too much of a beating from my lardy arse (on my 3rd warrenty frame/part), and wanted something that was single pivot & tough. Throughly enjoyed owning it & keep wondering about buying a spare frame just incase it breaks. Have bought a Superlight since then, but still prefer this as it’s just more fun.

    Sorry about the non-outdoor shot, but I can never get a decent piccy when out..

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    My original Ti Inbred – just does everything I need of a bike. Loads of bike have come and gone in the six/seven years since I bought this, but this one isn’t going anywhere!…

    Premier Icon captaindanger

    Daveyboy, sounds like you still want to change too much for it to be the perfect setup!

    I always want to try a shorter stem or lower bars etc.

    Interesting number of hardtails, I think these are generally easier to accept as being close to perfect, adding the rear sus and all the shocks/suspension designs that go with it does make you want to try alternatives. Why? Comfort, ok, and to make the riding easier?

    Premier Icon simon_g

    Have had this PA for nearly 2 years, but it replaced a mk1 PA that I’d owned for about 18 months before that. It was getting tatty, was looking to get it repainted when the later model in the right colour came up on the classified. Same size, same geometry, just swapped the bits over.

    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiteless1/5074796532/]holmbury[/url] by kiteless, on Flickr

    (crappy phone pic, sorry)

    Came to it via a rigid Inbred, that got 100-130mm Revelations, frame got swapped for first PA, along with nicer stem/bars/post (they got reused on my commuter). Swapped Revs for Pikes as my mate needed some forks and another mate was offering his Pikes. Swapped wheels for Hope Hoops as I needed a 20mm front. Upgraded discs to SLX (again, partly because a mate wanted my old set). Swapped frame for the orange one leaving all the parts exactly as-is. Beyond that it’s just been replacing bits as they wear out but shifters/mechs are still the original Deore ones off the Inbred.

    Forks could do with a service and could get replaced if there was a good deal going on something better. Other than that it’s spot on for the mix of riding I do – no room for more bikes, not enough money or inclination to spend Β£2k+ on the latest wonder-suspension bike.


    I had my old Trailstar for about 4 years I think and had a lot of fun on it til the headtube weld cracked. It just felt “right”. Even with the v’s!

    Since been replaced with a slightly newer Trailstar LT which is almost perfect but I wish it was a bit longer and slacker. I also want a white bike again, looks so nice!

    Premier Icon DezB

    I’ve had my ’06 Yeti 575 since almost new.
    I’ve got some money coming from an inheritance and I don’t think I want to replace it (this may change!). Can’t think of any reason to get rid of the Yeti and what would replace it.


    DMR Sidekick for me. Bought the first one in 2000, sold it in 06, went through a plethora of other bikes until I bought another Sidekick 2 years ago. Current set up hasn’t changed for at least 18months:

    don simon

    I would have to say my Orbea Alma is just about perfect for me and my style of riding, JEY! It took a while to get used to it, but now I just love it. Perfect fit, perfect balance, the only point of conflict is the speed, the bike has it and I don’t. πŸ˜‰


    Having changed frames nearly every 3-4 months for the last 3 years I’m now on a Kinesis XCPro3 pretty racey but descends brilliantly.
    Been riding it for prob 6 months now and the only temptation to change is it to get the KM810 (Full Carbon version but exactly the same bike)


    My hustler, owned since early 2005, swapped out a few bits and a new fork along the way… but it is the best bike I have ridden to date… I have had the money to get others… and have owned a lot of other bikes alongside it… but none have come close. I have said this to several people: if it snaps I will get another…

    The main thing for me is, it is not too good at its job… I know this sounds crazy, but I cant seem to get on with VPP, DW and the like… they make a bike feel dead, neutral, sanitized even… unless used on a dh bike where you are going flat out and getting into the limits of the travel.

    The hustler soaks ups the hits, but it’s a lively bike… love it… will never sell it.


    I don’t have just one.

    In the UK, most days – 456. Owned for 5 years, the only original bit is the frame. Nothing’s changed in the last 2 years though.

    In the UK, for big days (or the Alps when not lift assisted) – Turner 5-Spot Horst Link. Owned for 4 years, changed brakes/forks/wheels – love it. Only changes now will be as things wear out (need a new shock now).

    DH – tatty Kona Stab. Not owned this for that long, but a summer of DH has convinced me that although there are better bikes out there, this is all I need, and now I’ve sorted the forks/shock/brakes, I’m happy to leave well alone.

    I’ll buy new bikes, and will fettle, but this will be driven more by breakages/wear than by anything else. I certainly don’t have any burning desire to buy anything new just for the sake of it.

    No, had it setup with 160 forks and a 50mm stem before. Currently running a 70mm stem and 140mm forks and although its still excellent, I think slackening everything out again is the way to go as I do less all day rides now, more 2 hour blasts locally so I’m not too bothered about something thats comfortable on an all dayer, more inclined to the fun side of stuff…


    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/chvckd/5004242594/]IMG_0139[/url] by chvckd, on Flickr

    Almost perfect, the rear wheel there is temporary till I have the money to fix the corresponding one to the front wheel. I also want some 203mm rotors on it, then it’ll be complete (I think!). Riding uphill isn’t much fun on it but I only ride uphill to go downhill anyway so I don’t care!


    Turner DW Sultan…simply the best all day mountain bike…had it for over 2 years, upgraded forks etc…
    these are some of the bikes I went through over last 7 year before peaceful co-existance with my one and only!
    Klein Attitude, Heckler, Maverick ML7, 7.5 and 8, Intense 5.5, Nomad, Litespeed Kitsuma, IF Ti Deluxe. 5 Spot Horst. Soul, Swift, Jones One. The bike I miss…the I.F….best “feel” to a frame….though now I’d have it as a 29er.
    And how to pay for these porn stars…buy new or second hand in the States and walk them in for free on business trips…good crack while the exchange rate supported the habit!

    Premier Icon captaindanger

    I am a constant fettler of anything adjustable on my bikes, and spend far too much time reading about turners, intenses etc; looking for the perfect bike. The engineering (sensible) side of my brain thinks they don’t exist. The romantic side likes nicolais.

    So, i want to know, has anyone found their perfect bike/setup? I think there need to be some criteria, I.e:
    1: must have owned the bike at least 2 years
    2: you must have adjusted bits on it
    3: ideally you will have spent many months/years finding it

    I want to know what the bike is you’ve ended up with and why, pics are good!

    I’m like this with my car – I shall run it until it dies! I’ll report back in a year if the bike then qualifies…

    Premier Icon captaindanger

    Alias that is a pretty serious list, how/why did you get through so many? Not being content with them or did you break them?

    Premier Icon molgrips

    I’ve had the same 5 😳 bikes for almost 4 years, and I’ve got no intention of changing any of them. They are perfect for me πŸ™‚

    All I’ve changed is one set of forks, and some groupset stuff on the road bike. Way in the future I may get some new wheels and possibly forks for the race bike but not sure.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791

    You know I think I had my Eureka moment this Sunday when out on my bike.

    Whilst out on Sunday morning I realised I really like the bike I have and don’t want another even if it’s a money no object thing.

    and the bike I’m 100% happy with

    a crappy on niche Halfords Boardman Team FS



    Most recent Orange Patriot. As near to perfect as I’ll get, given the range of riding I like. Done the Alps and BC and all that, but I use it at home in Calderdale and the Lakes. Sure, it’s not the lightest, but it climbs everything and is huge fun downhill, whatever the terrain. The only place I always choose my hardtail for is trail centres, but then I generally avoid trail centres anyway. Patriot never needs any fettling, so you’d probably hate it, captaindanger.


    Ive gotten really close, ibis mojo sl
    26lbs, 140mm tf tuned fox sus, chris king hubs, magura marta sl brakes,fox 36 van and a bolt thru rear wheel in the parts bin for big days πŸ™‚

    however two problems, i would like to try a coil on it, ideally ccdb which i cant have beacuse of the shock size and sus design

    secondly there is just a little touch too much rear end flex, although i think its mostly in the wheels.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Sngle MTB has developed into two bikes, FS Ventana & SS Inbred. Both very different, & for the foreseeable future cant see them changing much. Very happy with both after some component changes over the last year or so. Pretty much all the bits picked up s/h off here.

    Garage also houses a spindly old steel road-bike that I simply couldnt bear to sell. It just goes on doing what it does year in-year out. Going to sound a bit jey, but just cruising along on the roadbike puts me in touch with exactly what it is about cycling that enriches my life. Simplicity I guess.
    Jey’ness over.


    Lots of pictures of Hardtails…. πŸ™‚


    chvuck is that an NS Surge? Good for downhill then is it? Why doesn’t it climb well, geometry or just built heavy for dh?


    I have 2. My riding is too varied for one.

    Big mountains, the rougher trail centres etc.- Evil Sovereign. I’d say it was the best bike ever made. Guaranteed.

    Racing (long distance stuff at least)- Giant Anthem X.

    I love my Five. Perfect? Probably not, but for 80% of riding I’ll do it works very well. More importantly, I still love riding it.


    Cotic Soda / DT SwissXC100 fork / Pro3’s on 355’s / XTR.

    Perfect for local trails and enduro’s πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon soulrider

    Orange 5 ’08
    Lyrik Coil (u-turn) up front
    wheels hope Pro II with mavic EN321 rims high roller tyres
    componentry Shimano XT/SLX with a Race Face Crankset 2 ring setup 36/22
    rest of components are tough and as light as I think I can get away with when riding it hard.

    its a great bike, and a feww minor changes (lighter 140mm air forks and light wheels/tyres turns it into an XC race bike)

    in burly guise she has been to Canada and Spain and more importantly been ridden really hard all over Scotland.

    Premier Icon mboy

    No such thing as the “perfect” bike IMO. You can have a master at one discipline, or a Jack of all trades, but nothing will be perfect for everything…

    That said, here is my “almost perfect” bike…

    My Maverick Durance at the top of Spooky Woods at Glentress the other weekend…

    I’ve got a few bikes that I like to ride for different reasons, but if I could only keep one, this would be the one without question. It’s essentially been an evolution of a bike for me for almost 4 years now, when I got my original ML7 frame. I only replaced the ML7 frame with a new Durance frame when I was lucky enough to do a deal at the right price, and as anyone will know the Durance is essentially an evolution of the ML7 anyway.

    I’ve changed/upgraded/adjusted numerous bits on it as funds have allowed, but it’s now nearing pretty much a perfect setup for me. That said I’m contemplating swapping the SLX shifters with the XTR’s on another bike, putting some 28″ wide bars on it (27″ at the mo) and a new rear hub as the XT on there at the mo has seen better days (and I think the cups might be a bit worn too).

    Oh, and the spent “many months or many years finding it bit”… Well, My very first go on a Maverick was back in 2003, back then I knew I had to have one at some point… At Christmas time in 2006, I found an immaculate 2004 model ML7 for sale in my local shop at the time, frame only, so I put a deposit on it. 2 months later I paid the balance and built it up. Rode it for ages, realising just how good it was, but if there was anything I would change about it it would be to gain a bit extra rear travel, and to have a lower BB height. Which the Durance has both of. So when I found a brand new Durance frame being sold off for what I considered a silly price, again I paid a deposit, sold off my ML7 frame, bought the Durance and got it built.

    If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d probably replace my Inbred 29er frame with something like a Niner SIR9, my Giant Reign X with an Intense Slopestyle, the Genesis Altitude with a custom from the likes of Dave Yates, but the Maverick… A clean, a service and some new bearings… That’s it!

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