The last bike I need to buy…ever. I first rode up to the Downs on a second hand rigid forked supermarket special. After a few goes of this I changed to an old Ridgeback, again with a rigid fork which although an improvement I realised I needed another bike. If I had a front suspension hardtail this would be the last bike I needed to buy…ever.After a little research, I decided that the best choice would be a Hardrock but a Hardrock was a hard ride. It could go everywhere, and I did, but a long ride was aching and climbing traction was mediocre.Therefore after a year or so I realised I needed another bike.
I thought there would be an advantage in full suspension but the choice was considerable, so after a little research I plumped for a Marin Quad. It would be the last bike I needed to buy…ever.
It was a very good long distance bike; it climbed great and was soft and comfortable over bridleway for mile after mile. It did not like tight single track, rough Welsh trails or big bumps. Someone I know bought one of the very first Intense 5.5’s and I realised I needed another bike. More research and I decide on an Intense but stock availability was my downfall.
Then Santa Cruz launched the Nomad. The same someone I know bought one of the very first Nomads so the research needed reviewing. This would be the last bike I needed to buy …ever.
Determined not to be unstocked again, I placed an order and last January the box arrived. Research on bits unfortunately produced an expensive mix but the key part was the fork and I plumped for the Fox 36 Vanilla. This seemed an idiosyncratic choice at the time but although it was a bit heavy and a bit expensive, a subsequent comparison with the 36 in air costume proved the case.
It is not a light all day bike but I ride it happily all day.
It is not the nimblest in the single track but I ride single track all the time.
It is not the lightest climber but I pull it up all the South and North Downs easily and even a visit to the hills is Wales seemed easy enough.
It is a great bike for going down or over anything rough so much, so that I doubt I will ever find where the limits may be.
It is also a reassuring bike giving me confidence that it will not flex, fold , slip or break, just cope.
This safety factor is its great hidden value.
However, my favourite trait is that when clean, oiled, and correctly set, it is silent. No creaks or groans or whines just the sound of the countryside. I do not know how much that counts to everyone else but I absolutely love that.
And now after a year and a day I do not need to buy another bike….ever.