In the past three days I have seen three of my mountain biking cohorts roll up to me on new bikes. First it was Erik and his brand-new tricked-out Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper. A ridiculously light 5"x5" travel all-mountain bike. You gotta admire a major brand like Specialized actually *not* putting their big-ass gaudy logo on the side of the bike like all the other companies. The bike looks stealth. He's going to love it.
Then my rides-it-all friend Eric (no relation to Erik with a "k") meets me at Redhook Brewery last night after my weekly training ride to show me the 8"x8" monstrosity he had in the back of his girlfriend's car. He had just bought this Ironhorse downhill bike (can't remember the actual model name) about 30 minutes before showing it to me. It still had that new bike smell. I've never even straddled a bike with more than 5" of travel before and Eric right away encourages me to ride it down the stairs in front of the brewery. Holy crap! This thing made riding down the concrete stairs feel exactly like riding over a small tree root on my Giant NRS. It was insane. I would never in a million years buy a bike like this but the technology that goes into it and the sheer heft (43 pounds!!!) demands respect. No, I won't ever be riding that thing anywhere where that much suspension would be required, but I'll gladly go and take photos of him doing it.
Lastly, as we're leaving Redhook Ross leads me to his car to show me his new Salsa El Santo. Now we're getting somewhere! The Eric/k's bikes were indeed pretty freaking impressive, but this is something more my speed. The El Santo is a 4"x4" cross-country bike. Nice and light, beautiful root beer and silver paint job and best of all, it actually had a triple chainring. Ross also uses shrinkwrapping on his cables to protect the bike/cable from rub -- a nice touch.
So that's three new bikes shown to me in a three day span.
Ahem... any day now Mr. Moots. Whenever you're ready.