A couple of weeks ago the stars aligned and I added two new bikes to the stable at once.
By a combination of circumstances that are best left unexplored, I stepped up to a brand new trail bike. Part of that exciting transaction was keeping all of my previous trail bike except the frame.
As many of you will understand, there are more bikes in my shed already than I really have time to use. Each is suited to a particular purpose, and there is surprisingly little redundancy across the fleet. Some of them get out several times a week, some of them might hang there for months, waiting for the day when what they are useful for is what I am going to have a crack at.
So with that in mind, a sensible person would turn the pile of pretty nice parts into cash via some sort of online marketplace.
That is what I set out to do, honest.
My first step was to browse around, trying to establish a value for all this stuff.
There were similar parts with prices ranging from depressingly low to delusionally high.
And there were a lot of things available. I started thinking about the sheer tedium of listing everything, communicating with tyre-kickers, and then trying to send a pair of wheels to Invercargill.
Wondering if anybody would want the entire pile, and because I have a short attention span, I wandered over to the ‘frames’ department on the off chance there might be some path to follow there.
The very first thing I saw was a brand-new hardtail, my size, and completely compatible with everything in my parts trove except the bottom bracket. Plus, it was steel, which made it cool and very desirable.
A short but fierce mental argument followed. I bet you have endured similar battles. One part of my brain was of the opinion that a seat tube diameter matching my functional but virtually worthless dropper post was a sign from heaven, and I should immediately buy the frame before anybody else did. Another part kept chiming in with the various things I could do with my winnings if I carried on with the original plan and ditched the parts. The first part came back with the very sound reasoning that if I acquired the frame, built it up, and then fell on hard times, a complete bike would be easier to sell than a pile of parts, and there would nothing left over except a rear shock. Which would be left over anyway, and can be sold. It might even pay for the required bottom bracket.
The ‘buy the frame’ faction had the upper hand, but the other side somewhat lamely countered with a comment about the number of bikes already in the shed, pointing out how rarely some of them escape into the wild.
That was fairly easy to ignore, we are well practiced in doing exactly that.
The final straw was somebody asking a question about the frame while I was looking at it.
I never found out what the question was, and didn’t wait for the answer. I hit ‘Buy Now’ and moved into the post-purchase second-guessing period.
The excitement of the new possession was far more powerful than the slowly fading doubts, and soon enough the frame turned up and the parts were bolted on.
The bike came out even better than Mr Positive Brain imagined, and the naysaying lame-o in the negative has not been heard of much since, except for a brief appearance the first time we took the new beast into the trails.
A sort of ‘see? I told you this was a dumb idea’ popped out on the first bit of fast, choppy trail, as my body tried to adjust to life with no rear suspension. How we rode places like Moab, Utah on a rigid hardtail is beyond my ability to recollect, but we did, and I have doggedly continued to try to do so.
I am not really getting any closer to floating over the ground like I should, and rides on the new dually are certainly much easier on the joints and fillings. But me and my mental go-for-it are still very happy we went for it.
Nothing like a different bike to make a ride fresh and new.
Published with permission from New Zealand Mountain Biker magazine