Thursday, October 30, 2008

I bought a Gary Fisher Rig from my friends a University Bicycles a while back on a whim. I'd wanted to get a hardtail for a while, was intrigued by the singlespeed formula, and knew i wanted 29 inch wheels. The bike was too a good a deal for me to resist, and since I usually have to wrangle through lots of deal-snagging when I get a new bike, the prospect of an instant gratification, buy it off the showroom floor deal was even better.
I knew that if I liked the bike I'd probably replace the from with something a bit more bespoke at some point down the line. It turns out I loved the bike, the simplicity of it, the efficiency of motion from a hard tail, the incredible sense of accomplishment that comes from conquering a hill with only one gear, it was awesome. So this past spring I finally pulled the trigger and ordered up a Spot hardtail complete with custom paint from Spectrum powder coating. The plan was also to go belt drive when they became available. I used classic Ferrari F1 cars as my inspiration for the bike and three or so months later when the frame was delivered to my office I was ecstatic.
I wasted no time in swapping all my parts off the Gary Fisher and building up the ss hardtail of my dreams. Only problem was the handling. The suppleness of a handmade steel frame blew me away compared to the aluminum I was used to; it felt like an extra inch of suspension had suddenly been added.
Unfortunately the front end was all at sea. As my friend Josh Ray would suggest, I was perched for disaster and unsure what to do. Later this summer I added the belt drive to the equation, and, while undoubtedly cool and functional, it also proved to be a challenge to get all my old parts to work.
Solutions were of course to be found in new parts. Spot graciously gave me a screaming deal on a Manitou Minute 29er with 100mm of travel and a larger offset than the Rock Shox Reba I had and this totally and completely fixed the handling. Meanwhile they also loaned me a new back wheel complete with Chris King hub held together with 'funbolts.' The bikes is now officially bad ass.
If your in the market for a hot rod hardtail, road or cross bike, give Spot a call and be sure to spend the extra cash to get the paintjob of your dreams. You'll thank me every time you walk into the garage and it yells out at you for a ride.
Next up for me on this project is a new wheelset so I can return the borrowed rear to Spot. I've got a pair of Chris King hubs coming in their delicious new brown anodized color that I'm lacing up to Velocity Blunt rims. Should be bling. I'll post pictures when they arrive.

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