The Bike Wishlist Expands

Ever since I discovered that my Caloi hardtail’s weight is more like 29 pounds than 24, I’ve realized it’s really more of a recreational mountain bike than a racing mountain bike. Now, granted, I was already looking at Specialized Epics on eBay thinking that would be a pretty sweet deal, but recently, I had a new idea about a new mountain bike.

Bear with me, I’m about to tell a story.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my wife and I were driving through her old stomping grounds when I spotted a bike shop. We pulled over and when we went in, I found a Specialized Epic test bike in Medium–17 inches–MY SIZE. I asked the shop worker if he could put some pedals on the thing and let me take it for a spin around the block, and he said ‘sure.’

That is, until I said something about not being able to buy the bike right away. Then, he put his tools down and said it would probably be too much trouble if I wasn’t looking to buy it right away. He’d just finished praising the Epic up and down and giving me a very firm sales pitch, but he wasn’t willing to let me ride the thing.

Okay, whatever.

I kept looking around until I came across a Cannondale Rush. I asked the same shop worker what he thought of the Rush and he proceeded to bash on the Rush like it was garbage. "There’s no comparison with the Epic …" I was also very entertained when he began explaining full-suspension engineering to me like I’d never seen a bike before.

The funniest part was that he kept including himself when he talked about Specialized– "here’s our catalog …" "we have the best full-suspension bikes …" I can’t imagine they sell many Cannondales at the shop despite having a large, glaring Cannondale sign outside the building.

Anyway, the guy thrust a Specialized 2007 Catalog into my hands and sent us on our way.

This is a really long story just to get to a completely unrelated point, just so you know.

As I looked through the catalog, I came across a page I hadn’t spent a lot of time looking at before: racing hardtails. Granted, the top-of-the-line racing hardtails are made of carbon and cost $5,000, but there were also some less-expensive models that were probably pretty lightweight. In Specialized, for example, they have an aluminum Stumpjumper going for $1,400. That’s not too bad for about a 22-24-pound bike.

So now I’m thinking about saving up for one of them and canning the whole full-suspension gig. I mean, really, the weight savings on a lightweight hardtail would be enough for me to climb faster, and I can’t really think of any event I’d want to do where I’d necessarily need a softail for, so why not?

In retrospect, it really didn’t kill me to do almost half of the E100 12-hour on a hardtail, so maybe doing the sort of races I’d like to do would actually be possible–especially with a lockout front shock that I could set really soft when it’s unlocked. Something to add a little bounce to my step.

Yeah, like that.


5 thoughts on “The Bike Wishlist Expands

  1. Unknown

    I would recommend the Stumpy – probably because we have 4 at our house, a rockhopper, stumjumper – both hard tails, but the geometry seems to enhance the ride – a Roubaix  carbon, and my wife\’s crossroads comfort bike. I haven\’t had to do any repairs, just maintainence. Plus, the dealer is great. I am turned off to C-dale, as theLBS owner is a knob, having told me my Sekei w/ top end suntour wasn\’t a real bike back in the day.

  2. Zed

    there\’s a blogosophical question for you (and anyone else who feels like answering it):Why do bike shop folk tend to be so snooty?Hey, so how\’s the weight on the SJumper? Is it pretty light?

  3. Tim D

    Caloi,  imagine working in a bike shop.  You are surrounded by high end bikes that a) you can\’t afford and b) you couldn\’t ride anyway cos you are working.    Then someone come into the shop and asks you to fit pedals to a bike they aren\’t going to buy from you anyway, so they can ride around a bit while you are stuck in the shop, wondering if they will ever come back and if the credit card/drivers license/car keys were genuine.Boz, I though calling someone a knob was an English expression, I\’m glad it is trans-atlantic.Tim

  4. Unknown

    I\’m not sure of the exact weight, but feels alot lighter than my basic rockhopper. But I just put sun rhino lite wheels w/ xt hubs, which lightened it over the stock Alex rims. But the frame is lighter on the Stumpy, and more balanced.
    Not all bike shop owners and employees are snobs. The Flanders boys in Minneapolis are great, not to mention great racers. Those guys are my age and can ride most youngsters into the ground. The guys at my LBS are great, too.

  5. Zed

    Maybe that\’s my trouble–I\’m spoiled by my shops here. Heck, they don\’t even require me to hand over a set of car keys or anything.The \’07 Specialized catalog says there\’s a new Rockhopper this year (the pro) with an M4 frame–the same one they\’ve been using for Stumpjumpers for the past few years.Now I just need $1,000 and enough persuasive power to talk my wife into giving me permission …

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