Out with the old and in with the new … maybe.

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I took a decision to sell my mountain bike a few weeks ago. Not because there was anything wrong with it but time marches on for all of us and after some very happy times together it’s time to move on not least because the weight was starting to take its toll. I hadn’t really noticed until I rode someone else’s carbon framed version what a difference it made! And so in spite of being akin to hurtling down the side of a mountain in your favourite armchair I have sold it to a fellow SW Rouleur in an effort to swell the ranks of the MTB section by 25%. It has gone off for a service now and will no doubt return riding sweetly at which point I’ll have seller’s remorse but the deed is done now and I have entered the kingdom of new bikes with only my moderate budget keeping my feet (sort of) on the ground.

So far I’ve made 2 important decisions. Firstly I thought it would be fun to build a bike from parts procured over a period of time. This thought partly arose because whenever you see a bike you like it’s generally specced with a group set one or two levels below what you want or else it’s out of your price range. The sweet spot just doesn’t exist. With sincere apologies to all LBS out there, I also can’t escape noticing the constant sales at the various on-line retailers. Hardly a day goes by without an email from Chain Reaction tempting me online with news of 50% off pieces of carbon that I don’t need. But like a magpie I can’t resist the shininess!

The second decision is that I’m going to build a 650b based bike. This is partly because I’m a marketing man’s dream and have clearly fallen for the hype that 26″ mountain bikes are a thing of the past. This is a man with Di2 for goodness sake so it was inevitable that I’d have my head turned by the latest line up of big hooped beauties. And yet, I just can’t get used to the look of 29″ wheels on a mountain bike no matter what people tell me … they just look wrong. So, much as I’m sure Goldilocks would have done, I’ve settled on the 650b middle ground with their 27.5″ wheels providing me with the best of both worlds. Handling and rolling speed … at least that’s what it says in the glossy brochures so it must be true!

This could be a rather long drawn out affair but it’ll be a learning experience for all of us dear reader and so I’ve set aside a new page to follow this particular chapter in my bike riding story. At this point I would seriously welcome any comments from anyone who has a clue about this sort of thing. I should point out that I have neither the tools, confidence, time or knowledge to piece the bits together myself. Instead I will be giving back to the LBS community by getting them to do it for me which will no doubt push the cost of the project way beyond what I originally hoped to spend but you can’t put a price on experience can you? So please chip in with any words of wisdom particularly along the lines of ‘whatever you do, do NOT … etc etc’ I may not pay them any heed but you will at least have the satisfaction of being able to say ‘I told you so’ at the end.

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