Discussion in 'General' started by RTT, 8 May 2008.
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What are people's bike histories?
I know some will have been through loads of bikes (how many hundreds Malvolio? ), but personally I've only had a few over the years. I can't remember what bike I had before the age of 11, just some random old red thing, but since then I've owned the following:
- At the age of 11 or 12 I purchased a rubbish purple Townsend. I can't remember the model, but it was around £120 I think. If I remember right I used my birthday and Christmas money, and my mum paid the rest.
- A year or two later, after saving all of my money I upgraded to a circa 1998 Scott Purgatory. This was probably a poor choice, but my lbs stocked a lot of Scott models, and this is what I could afford for the ~ £300 I had to spend + my old bike. I remember that it was white and had black RST suspension forks. This was the last new bike I have ever owned, realising that second-hand made more sense for my limited budget.
- Another year or two later I found a '95 Scott Pro Racing in the second hand shed at my lsb, and once I had the money my Scott Purgatory was traded in. If I remember correctly the Pro Racing was £500. This is what it would have looked like new:
However much of the XTR had been replaced, so mine was a bit of a hotch potch of parts. The Cook Bros cranks and XTR front mech remained, but STX-RC components made up the rest, along with a slightly newer pair of Rock Shox Judy XC forks and Magura Blue hydraulic brakes.
The bike was stolen when I went to university , and I remained bikeless for a number of years.
- Four years ago a mate offered me his old '95 Kona AA and I jumped at the chance. Just about everything got replaced and this is how it looks atm:
The spec list includes '98 Rock Shox SID's, full M950/2 XTR, Ringle stem, Use post, Flite Ti seat (not comfy at all!), Mavic X517's on Hope Ti hubs, and a Chris King headset. This equates to a seriously lightweight bike, certainly under 20lbs, but I can't remember how much below (certainly above 17lbs though).
- A couple of years ago I wanted something more suiting for use in the city (mainly something that wasn't worth over £1000), so I found a '95 Lava Dome single speed. I've posted the pic before, but here we go:
So that's my bike history, anyone else want to share theirs?
12" boys version of the Raleigh Apple (Don't know its name all I can remember is, is it was Gold and didnt have the box on the back)
16" Raleigh Street Wolf
20" BMX, found by my dad, sprayed blue by us.
Probike Kudos (stolen)
Probike Black Knight
Univega Rover (I wrapped this one round a car and ripped the whole front end off)
Marin Alpine Trail (Upgraded with Hope M4's, Fir rims on Hope XC Hubs and a full Deore Drivetrain)
Schwinn Moab HT
Haro Forum Lite
Forme Calver X Race
Trek Slash 8
Think thats it.
I haven't really owned many bikes,
Giant GSR100 when I was about 13ish, and that was the only bike I had when I was a kid,
Then last year I picked up my touring bike which is a Eclipse hand built 531c I have it set up more like a road bike though now has campagnolo wheelset and mostly a 105 groupset, but some 600 bits. Then I got my Pinnacle Iroko 2 later last year, then at the begining of this year I build my full sus Cove Hustler - so 3 bikes in just over a year. oopsie.
Ha, not quite (though close!).
Though my memory is quite bad, here is the best I can remember:
My first four or five bikes are an absolute blur to me - no memory of what they were whatsoever - which is partially due to brain damage and partially due to the fact that I just never cared what I was riding, only ever worrying about actually riding.
First bike I do remember (somewhat) clearly was an older black Norco with green splatter design, given to me at the tender age of 12 by my father. Very traditional 26" MTB with rigid forks, rear rack and dual folding baskets. I thought it rather swish. Well, right up until I wore out the drivetrain so bad that one just flat out couldn't pedal on it any longer, which caused quite rather a lot of anger from my father. Guess that actually riding my bike wasn't a thing he ever intended me to do with it, resulting in several things that will not be repeated here as this is a family forum.
A year or two pass after that incident, my father having taken the bike away stating that I will never get another, and my mother being too broke to afford one (they were split). But out of the blue on one of his visitation weekends my father appeared with a rather well battered and abused GT Rebound in the back of his truck. Bright blue with yellow Rock Shox forks, it was love at first sight. Thinking back on it now it was actually out of fear of my bike being taken away from me that I never allowed anybody to ever work on one of my bikes again - my father especially.
Anyway, now aged fifteen I was presented with the unique opportunity to take the summer and work at a bike shop as an unpaid grom for my sister's boyfriend. Already having done quite a bit of work on my own bike I accepted without hesitation. Unfortunately upon my return I found that my mother (the parent I lived with) decided it would be a good idea to not have a job any longer, meaning I would now have to start paying for things like bills and rent. Unnecessary things like school were abandoned and I started working near full time just to make enough to not live on the street, and one of the ways I did this was to raid the local "Take It Or Leave It" cooperative for all the bicycle-related things I could manage.
Between building up complete bikes for resale and a repair or two for the odd customer I ended up doing not too bad for a couple years, though I did have to supplement this with a spot of mobile computer repair and paper delivery. But during this time I came across a dizzying array of different bikes, though the only three that really saw regular use were a Supercycle Excalibur which I had done up to be single speed, a Raleigh Chopper (mother decided it would be a good idea to throw this one out - I've never forgiven her), and a rather interesting custom built chopper, which you can see below.
During the couple years of this the only other major bike that stayed with me for a while was a Dyno Detour (as seen below this paragraph), but it ended up being given to my sister to pass on to one of her friends. Never did end up keeping track of it, but somehow it did end up following me to another city when I moved, then quickly disappeared again. Don't ask me to explain it as I don't understand how it happened.
Seventeen years old was an interesting time for me, cyclery-wise. After moving out of our (nearly) condemned bungalow, mother and I took up residence inside of a small mobile home, reducing my working space to a rather tiny storage shed. Nearly everything I had before - my "inventory" if you will - was thrown in a bin, leaving me with a single rather beaten and abused GT Rebound (the same blue beauty I was given so many years before), but this was thankfully short lived. During this span my sister (the one I grew up with) and I got a lot closer, so when the opportunity presented itself we purchased a custom built tandem bicycle because we thought it would be a good bit of a laugh. Wasn't anything special, literally just two older Raleigh bikes loosely welded together, but it was fun nonetheless. After only a single ride and many months worth of sitting idle we made the tough choice to pass it on to a mutual friend and his wife, whom were quite happy with it and rode it quite a number of times before contact was lost.
Many things happen in my life at this point, but the biggest thing to take away from it is that I moved cities (Airdrie to Edmonton), and in so doing kept nothing except for a single bike, though sadly it was a purple Nishiki given to me by my sister, as even my trusty blue GT had been sold off to pay bills. The new city would prove too much for it though, as after only a couple months the forks would come apart entirely, which only served to further emphasize just how bad of condition the bike was in. Still, for the time it was working, I did get some good use in as you can see below.
The decision was made to bin the bike as it had served its purpose, only the frame and whatever parts I could salvage were saved. Following this up was a lucky find at a local pawn shop: a Giant Warp DS.
But that's not all! The place I was working at had two little secrets tucked away in a back room from a bygone era, so I decided to buy one of them:
Fun fact: the rear hub off this bike is the one that I still use on my Party Bike. Guess a decade of continual use just isn't all that big of a deal to it.
That also happened. Titled "The Butterfly" little more was done than what you see above, but it was originally going to be all black except for the bars and small custom built fenders. Quite a lot of other things were planned as well, but that's all been long forgotten.
From this point many more drama would happen, but long story short: got kicked out of where I was living, cast out into the world as an inexperienced eighteen year old (apologies if you were a member of this forum during that time and had to deal with me - I wasn't exactly the best of people to get along with before my accident). So an apartment was procured and the collection started.
In the above picture: "The Butterfly" with a temporary front wheel on (cannot remember if this is before or after it was run over by a van with me on), the Nishiki from earlier that I broke the forks on (which is now wrapped in duct-tape courtesy of my sister whom couriered on it for a while), a McKinley pile of garbage that I picked up at a thrift store without inspecting it properly (frame was bent and cracked), as well as my Giant Warp in the background.
This collection slowly grew and evolved though.
Out front is my sisters fixie that she used to courier on, and the first one I ever rode. Unfortunately it was in poor judgement that she lent it to me as I ended up bending the frame rather badly and did quite a number of pedal strikes while turning. Was a good bit of fun though! Anyway, behind that you can see that blue and white CCM - which was at this point just my daily commuter, this picture definitely taken after I had been hit by a van while riding it. Next in line was a bicycle my sister and I found by a dumpster that we'd torn the tyres off because we thought it would be fun to ride on the ice on just the metal rims. As it turns out this is both one of the loudest and most fun things I've ever done. In back there you can also see the Nishiki slowly being cannibalized for parts. Off in another part of my apartment were two more bikes: the Giant Warp and a McKinley Mt. Robson (bought shortly after this picture admittedly, but you get the idea).
Fun Fact: the Nishiki would eventually find itself under my Dremel, repainted, and the words "Caution: Weapon Of Mass Destruction" stencilled on.
Fun story: I hated the Mt. Robson so much that, after riding it home for the first time (having bought it new), I called my sister immediately and said that I had a new bike for her to use. I never rode the bike again. It is the shortest I've ever owned or ridden a bike, and it is the one I've hated more than any other.
The next little bit is fuzzy for me as this is the year that my accident happened, but I do know that at some point I obtained a single-speed road bike that had a bent frame from a local bicycle cooperative, and that it was terrible. How bad was it? Everything that could go wrong managed to while I was on my way to the second job interview I'd gotten in a year of being jobless (this is after my accident - I was in no shape to be employed). My eldest sister rescued me (not the one I've been making references to this entire post) from being late, and I managed to secure the job!
The next few bikes will come fast, so I'll just stick to pictures and descriptions.
This is what my CCM was looking like at this point, and this is how it would stay for many years to come with little to no maintenance. Single most prolific and sturdy bike I've ever owned.
Snipes 30-06 Calibre. Purchased used without most any parts, it was built up slowly over a couple years to what you see above. This was the first time I'd ever used hydraulic disk brakes, so I decided to launch myself down the first trail I could find. Did not know before this that I can corner while doing an endo. I thought this was good information.
Ironhorse Hollowpoint. Bought at massive discount through my work because it was old stock and had been cannibalized extensively, this was my first ever attempt at being a weightweenie. There were two things preventing this though: the bike was way too big for me, and I had next to no money. I did find out that I cannot use the granny gear on a full suspension though, as I chew through chains too quickly!
A Nakamura something or other. Thrown into the bin at work and salvaged to see what I could do with it, this ended up being my main ride for a good while after selling the Snipes due to financial issues. To say that this was an interesting build would be an understatement: 26" front (with 2.3" Stout tyre), 24" rear (with 2.6" tyre), ultra wide bars, single speed drivetrain, custom built rear fender, dual 8" mechanical disk brakes, Thompson lay-back seatpost. This was fun but strange.
Jamis Dakar. Built using all the parts from my Hollowpoint after I realised it was too big for me, this was one heck of a little XC weapon. Which was awesome because I very quickly became bored of the local trails and sold it on
Cannondale Gemini. Built using a selection of spare parts and a few I procured from other sources, this was my first attempt at the more "extreme" side of the sport. Only ever got one good ride on it before selling it, but I did manage to injure myself rather badly on that ride, so I feel I got the whole experience of this aspect of cyclery.
How did I injure myself? Jumped off a curb with the rebound on the rear shock set incorrectly, causing me to come off the bike and land strangely on my ankle.
Nothing but excitement!
Ironhorse Yakuza Chimpira. Another frame thrown out at work and reclaimed for a fun project, this one didn't last long before I turned around and resold it with some spare parts on. The person I sold it to had it for about a month before it was stolen.
Specialized P3. Purchased second-hand to replace the Nakamura and Snipes, this frame turned out to be longer than I had hoped, so it was shortly sold on again (for a profit). Though I never rode it like this, I felt as though this was the funniest picture I have of it. Those keen-eyed of you will notice that up front is a Risse Racing Trixxie fork. That was a very rather nice fork that I am a bit disappointed in myself for selling.
Giant Acid. Bought second hand to (once again try to) replace the Nakamura and Snipes. Feel in love with it immediately and stuck with it for many years until I eventually cracked the frame. Was a sad day that one.
Azonic Eliminator (or thereabouts). Given to me by a friend, repainted, built up and used as a loaner bike. First person I loaned it to stole it, but ended up returning it after nearly two years. Was just at work, forgotten almost entirely about the bike, when the fellow I had loaned it to just called me out of the blue, offering apologies and money as well as a returned bike. Within a day or two the bike was back in my hands along with a few dollars for my troubles.
The bike was sold on again almost instantly because I had lost all interest in it by this point (plus it was a terrible bike).
Balfa Minuteman. Acquired in an interesting trade heavily weighted in my favour, I had my sights on a fun new little bike to learn some things on, but I just couldn't get used to the length (too long once again). This now sits as a naked frameset in my closet.
Gary Fisher Cronus. Pure impulse buy, and one of the few bikes I've ever purchased brand new. Hated it, but only because of the circumstances surrounding it, so I striped it naked and sold it off after only a couple months of use.
$100 Adidas (I think) cruiser that has been modified a bit. Was terrible to ride, but a lot of fun at the same time. Parts were stolen and borrowed off other bikes for this one. Was eventually rebuilt to it's original state and sold off for about the same I paid for it.
Fun fact: the DX pedals on this bike were the direct cause of the two rather large scars on the back of my left calf. What happened? The frame flex on this bike was so bad that the chain would come off constantly, often while accelerating with traffic. I very nearly got run over because of it. This may have influenced the decision to sell the bike.
KHS Alite 1000. Sold to me by a coworker as frame-only, this was built up as something to explore a few local trails on, but the frame rode so harsh that another solution was quickly found and this one was sold off.
Point of note: those forks are Bombshell's, which happen to be inverted, made of carbon fibre, and quite rare these days. I've still got them
Specialized Langster. This was a very rather fun single-speed commuter bike that I took exceptionally good care of, selling off simply because other bikes had superseded it. Unfortunately the punter whom I sold it to absolutely trashed it to the point where, when I saw it again less than a year after selling it, I shed a man-tear.
Marin Quake. Bought to go riding with a few coworkers in the mountains, this was built up with some rather nice gear and still stands as the nicest pedalling full suspension bike I've ever ridden. Unfortunately it never saw the mountains, resulting in it slowly getting sold off bit by bit until just this past spring when the frameset was finally sold on to one that would use it as intended.
I wasted way too much money on this...
Surly 1x1. Remember that CCM Navagator? Yeah, it finally gave out - seat mast broke clean off from rust. This was the replacement, inheriting a number of parts from it's blue and white predecessor. Today this bike goes around in a slightly different form, The Party Bike, but originally it was just my every day commuter and grocery getter.
~Continued in part two (I've exceeded the 20000 character limit).
~Continued from part one (above).
2004 Rocky Mountain Element Team SC. Remember that KHS earlier? This was it's replacement Pure race rocket through and through, coming in at less than 24lbs (don't remember the exact number unfortunately).
GT RTS-3. Right about now both the RTS-3 and a LTS-1 drop into my lap, with only the former being complete enough of a frameset to be built up into what you see above. It's a happy little punter and still sits proud in my collection.
This is my first fixie, and wow did I ever Hipsterize it! Terrible bike but it taught me many important skills.
Surly Long Haul Trucker. Deciding I wanted to branch out into some two-wheeled touring I went whole-hog into this. Built with compromise and whimsy, it's a tribute to last-minute tactics.
Specialized Tricross Singlecross. You've seen this bike time and again, but it is the single best impulse buy ever.
Specialized Allez Cromo. This is one of those dream projects, wherein I just keep throwing money at it until I like it. Not a lot to say about it other than it is one of the nicest bikes I've ever ridden, but the tubular tyres have put me off riding it on a regular basis.
Surly Pugsley. Another blank cheque build simply because I wanted something fun.
Linus Gaston. Another impulse buy, but the build afterwards was purely aesthetic oriented: who cares how it rides, I just want it to look good. Thankfully it also rides really damn nicely.
If you've managed to read this far: congratulations! This has been one heck of a journey, and I do apologise for wholly dumping on this thread with images and text, but I hope at least one of you enjoyed it. This has been a rather fun three hour rummage through my past, writing and sorting through thousands upon thousands of images, just simply because I thought it would be interesting.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Lovely history there Mal - thanks for sharing
Ha Ha! Your mistaking the value of the car compared to the bikes. Bikes were about £1k each so at the lower end of the "proper" mountain bike price range where as my poor old Golf is ten years old, done over over £100k miles and has the scars of a life spent parked in the city center or in a car park mostly populated by female students.
I wouldn't mount a boot mounted carrier on a car I cared about unless it was an emergency and a short journey.
Looking for some advice if anyone could help it would be appreciated
I have never been to the Lake District and thus never cycled there That's going to change
The challenges I have though are that I don't drive and it will probably only be myself that will go.
Can anyone suggest any sites it's worth checking out that I could get a package of a few nights accommodation and cycling in a group where you don't have to bring the group?
Just a thought but I will look at getting to the Lakes on Train so I can take my bike.
@ Malv - I wanted to take the time to read the full account properly. That's one hell of a history! Thanks for taking the time to put it all down in such detail, I was amazed.
One thing you never elaborated on and might not want to was this so called ''accident''. I hope it's something long in the past and something you've fully recovered from? Accidents involving traffic can put you off biking for years..
Apologies, it is a story I've said so often over the years, and I'm never one to repeat a story to someone who has already heard it, so I typically err on the side of saying it too little.
The short version of my "accident": was a bicycle courier for two weeks, on last day, during the final trip of the day, I took a left turn at some speed and slid out on some black gravel on the black road that I hadn't seen. First point of impact was just above my left eye, skidding along the road a short distance. Quite a lot of skin was removed from my left leg and arm, the Mike phone on my bag's shoulder strap partially dislocated my left shoulder, and I walked away from it after laying still for a few seconds. Do not believe I was ever unconscious due to the fact that I can remember everything up to the point of impact, but I was on the ground for longer than normal after a crash (for me anyway - typically I'm already trying to stand up before I finish sliding!).
Ignoring the physical aspects of it all, the mental stuff really messed me up: complete personality change (friends and family said I was a "completely different person" afterwards - extremely introverted, quiet, very few words and quite calm, which is a stark contrast to how I was before), massive amounts of memory loss of my childhood (I've clawed some of that back however, but there are still large chunks missing), reduced vocabulary and some stuttering (still stutter from time to time, but my vocabulary is mostly returned), I do have hallucinations from time to time (entirely visual - little specks that I interpret as insects that run across my field of vision), and for the first few months after the accident my short term memory was "selective" at best - some tests I would score well above average on, others I would fail miserably.
Went on WCB (Workers Compensation Board) immediately afterwards when I started having issues (mentally and physically), and was sent to a local rehabilitation centre with some of the worst support staff I've ever seen. Was apparently world-renowned, but because my tests were so mixed and all over the place they determined that there was no way to help me (or that I was faking entirely), kicking me out of the centre within a few months with no improvement. So began a year long struggle of dumpster diving and near-homelessness trying to recover from mental trauma without any help.
Anyway, happier news:
Calgary had it's second annual Victoria Day Tweed Ride this past Monday. Not only did I have my Party Bike along for the ride blasting out some tunes, but I was also helping organise and volunteer - a happy little way to do some promotion for the non-profit I help out with.
Massive amounts of fun were had by all. Pictures, video, and more can be found on my blog.
Also, I thought you lot would get a kick out of the following thing I found:
Yes, it is a fully functional analogue clock mounted onto a topcap. These are an actual production item and are of rather good quality at that. No idea on where to get them, but I thought it was nifty.
That is very cool.
It's called a stem captain. I'd be tempted.
I think the first one was something like this:
Actually we were just today talking about learning to cycle with my work mates, and I still remember how one of the assist wheels(?) came off and I realized I can still ride the thing without falling over
Dunno if the rest of the world has there, but the "jopo" style frame has been hugely popular and I had a cheap brand 24" one for ages. I started XC and even jumping with this one. Took years of punishment before finally giving up.
After that there was some generic ATB-kinda deal that I never liked
After that there was a Schwinn MTB that I never liked, either. This was the time I got excited about dirt jumping, DH and all the rest, and also the last bike my parents would buy for me...
And then came the Trek Bruiser II. Quite likely the best purchase ever, because that thing lasted my abuse for a good 6 years. The setup mine came in was heavy as hell, but also didn't go wrong all the time (which is good considering how broke I've been)
(also feel free to rate my relix-eyebrow)
With more and more emphasis on freeride, I was lucky enough to get a Timeless Somethinrather-frame from a friend of mine. Quickly after this shot I DID get a boxxer fork to go with the frame, but the fork pretty much blew up, so it was time to grab another bike just after a year.
And this is what's now. A Banshee Scream.
At the moment I'm rather happy with what I have, although I think I want a new 180/200 fork to replace that 130-160 mm(?) boxxer u-turn.
Ive had a couple of bikes years ago all of which got nicked only really got this one that i can remember, though im getting an itch for a new frame after riding a friends bike, felt much lighter and flickable so im on the hunt but i keep seeing shiney things which never ends well.
I don't have a wealth of photos for the early stuff however roughly I've had:
1st (and the bike I learnt to ride a bike on at around 10yo) - Raleigh Chopper
2nd - A Townsend bike from littlewood catalogue. First geared bike, was a few sizes too small very quickly as I got tall quick growing up. Was great for messing on jumps etc as it felt like a bmx with gears lol
3nd - A Carrera bike from Halfords - Full rigid with plastic toe clips - eeew
4rd - PlanetX Custom Jump / Trials bike. In the photo its in its last recorded state. Had it for about 7yo in the same basis state and upgraded a few bits over time (I still have it in the black version as a jump bike). Had Z4 Bomber Air on for years - never services and never broke in the slightest! Awesome! Has early Rockshox Revelations forks here.
Turn into a jump setup after a powdercoat
5th - Santa Cruz Superlight - Was riding more general trail centre stuff and XC so built this one up.
6th - Santa Cruz Heckler - Decided maybe my 110kg (at the time, right side of 90kg now) was a bit too much for the Superlight so moved to a Heckler. This is my current ride and has had a few upgrades since the photo below - now running X0 and had the shock PUSH'd, got DMR vaults (bit costly but fantastic pedal) and looking at a Revert post in next few weeks:
Pretty much sums up my riding history
Solid advice, thanks. Picking up some BMW roof bars this weekend
I don't know why I thought it would be a faff and cost a fortune, but hey-ho, got there in the end.
I'm jealous of all you boys on the full sus, ''proper'' steeds. I simply don't have the money and probably never will!
Meh, without being lucky I'd never had one, either. The first one was given to me by a friend (who'd also got it as a gift from someone) and the second has cost me around 600 €. You CAN spend as much as you like in a full suspension bike, but that doesn't mean you necessarily have to. Old frames are cheap, but still get the job done.
Had a mixed bag ride today. started off nicely managed to nail drop offs and sort some of my footwork issues (remembering heels down). Then, i noticed a creak from the backend which turned up to be loose spokes. That wasnt too bad but the 5 mile walk back was poo wheels have been dropped off to be sorted out. I think its my bikes revenge for ordering a new frame!
I have the impression that newer factory built wheels are much more prone to loose/broken spokes etc. compared to hand-built. Anyone confirm or deny this?
Talking to a few lbs's, very few build wheels in shop any more due to the time they take to do, but I find it such a shame, because the quality isn't there any more. I can understand though, I paid close to £100 to get my back wheel rebuilt using db spokes (spokes were well over £1 each though), I provided the hub and rim!
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