My Retired Bikes are my history of mountain biking development since moving to Canada in 2008, some were better than others but essentially each bike has been an improvement over the previous generation and allowed me to further develop as a rider.
The 2018 Trail “Chilcotin” bike (retired in May 2019) I recently said farewell to my trusty 2018 Norco Sight C9.1. It was an XL frame with a Fox 36 Factory Fit4 140 mm fork that has been given the Vorsprung Luftkappe and FIT4 Fractive Tune. The Fox DPX2 Performance rear shock is essentially non adjustable for compression but delivers a well balanced, high traction ride. The drive train is based on Shimano XTR M9020 crankset w Stages power meter, OneUp Components provide the 30T Oval chain ring and Chain bash guard. There is an e*thirteen TRS+ 9-46T 11 speed cassette on the We Are One Insider 29 wheel set (inner width 27 mm), built with Sapim CX-Ray spokes to DT240 hubs. It is all connected by a KMC XSL11-TiN 11 speed chain and driven by Shimano XT M8020 Trail pedals. The tyres are my ever reliable Continental Der Baron Projekt Protection Apex 2.4″. The gearing is shifted by Shimano XTR M9050 Di2 GS RD with a M9050 RH Shifter and M9051 Controller and the controls are a PRO Tharsis Di2 Carbon handle bar (trimmed to 780 mm) mated to a PRO Tharsis Di2 45mm (0º rise) Stem. I hold onto Ergon GE1 Slim grips and support my pedalling with the WTB Silverado Team Saddle. Saddle height is managed by a 9point8 Fall line dropper 175mm w Digit Remote. Finally braking is provided by a hybrid Shimano set up consisting of XTR M9000 levers matched to Saint M820 callipers, a combo of finned H03C metallic and H01C resin pads and six bolt RT-86 Ice-tech rotors. Everything, as far as possible, is assembled with Ti bolts to reduce the chance of rust and seizing.
This bike was given a complete re-build for the new owner who was not quite ready to jump to XTR Di2 and a carbon wheel set. It’s farewell/ new owner spec was based around the frame, rear suspension and fork (all fully serviced by Vorspsrung) and a brand new SRAM X0 Eagle drivetrain (crankset, shifter, cassette and chain with an XG-1275 10-50T cassette). The cockpit was switched to a Race Face Turbine R 35mm x 800mm, 20 mm rise handle bar in a Race Face Turbine 25mm 50 x 6º stem. There was a Fox Factory Transfer post w/Kashima 150mm and a SDG Fly Mtn saddle. Brakes were again provided by SRAM Code RSC with 180 mm centre line rotors front and rear. The wheel set was Race Face ARC30 rims on DT350 hubs and Continental Trail King APEX Protection 29 x 2.4″ tyres front and rear.
The new owner is very happy with his “new” bike.
The 2016 Trail bike (retired in March 2018): A Santacruz Bicycles Nomad CC 27.5″. I was an early adopter of this bike, I knew it was being released and I ordered one before they were even available, I had not seen one and I certainly had not been able to ride one. However the advance reviews from testers and riders that I trust, who had also long term tested my previous trail bike (SCB Blur TRc), led me to believe that it was just the bike I was looking for riding the crazy trails we have in our valley and local region.
It was excellent and has, in many way, transformed the way I ride certain trails. It wasn’t perfect but with a custom cartridge in the fork and the Elevensix rear shock is became a bike that is capable of more than I am willing to risk.
It has been developed as my personal ride with the addition of many amazing components such as; Shimano XTR Di2 with a Stages Cycling Power meter, a custom tuned PUSH Elevensix rear shock, FAST Suspension Charger Cartridge, OneUp oval chain ring, 9point8 Fall Line dropper post and NOBL TR38 race wheel set. This bike helped me through the 2016 Trans-Provence Adventure Stage Race in France and allowed me to ride with confidence everyday.
The Downhill bike (retired in March 2018): I recently sold on my 2013 V-10.5 (I know! How can anyone ride anything given they will be so limited by those 26″ wheels?!?!), this category of bike does see a lot of use and generally I would replace it after two years of use (my two years is 220-250 days of guiding). However a serious skiing injury prevented me from riding this very much and I am not spending enough time in the bike park to justify a downhill bike so it has got to good home with a good rider who will love it like I did. It has a great set of components such as a Shimano Saint drive train, DT Swiss/ ENVE DH wheels and BOS suspension.
The 2011 Trail bike (retired in August 2016): A Santacruz Bicycles Blur Trail Carbon. I had test ridden this bike in Wales (UK) and been impressed at its handling and pop. I believed that it was just the bike I was looking for riding the crazy trails we have in our valley and local region. It was an awesome bike and allowed me to progress beyond what I could handle on my venerable Bullit. It was balanced, snappy, light and poised. The low bottom bracket and the VPP introduced me to the pedal strike factor that is life with a Santacruz Bicycle and I quickly moved to 170 mm crank arms (something I have stuck with ever since). I was my first carbon bike and once it had been given the XTR treatment it served me well for five seasons of Whistler riding but at the end of the day 26″ wheels and 130 mm of suspension travel was stopping me riding things I was otherwise ready to try.
The 2012 Downhill bike (retired in August 2013): I really looked forward to getting this bike! Having VPP and 10″ of travel was going to be the best. Like most riders I quickly worked out that the bike rode better in the 8.5″ setting and that more is not always better. It was fun and poppy when required but could also just motor over an obstacle if you ran out of energy, finesse or were just being lazy later in a long long day of bike park laps. This is the last bike that I ran a SRAM drivetrain on. This was the year that the XO derailleur ate gear cables like a metal recycling plant! It is also interesting to look back and see the brake lever angle compared to where I run it today! It was so capable that it encouraged “I wonder if I can get away with this line” kind of riding. I hope that the chap who bought it from me had as many great days in the bike park on this bike as I did.
The 2010 Downhill bike (retired in August 2012):
This was my first proper downhill bike! I had previously only had a modified 2002 Bullit as a “short travel” DH bike. I bought this for the season in Whistler when I wasn’t allowed to work due to visa regulations so I had all day everyday to ride laps. I remember it coming with Maxxis Ardent tyres which were terrifyingly fast rolling and had lots of slide before the side knobs gripped. They did not stay on the bike very long!!! This bike looks so old school compared to more modern bikes but it was built like a tank, loved to pop off every little bump in the trail and helped me learn to ride in the bike park and become a better rider and instructor.