With the anticipated arrival of the 24 Hour Ride “in the old pueblo” hosted by Epic Rides, I’ve been starting to get back on the ol’ mountain bike. Although the race is still months away, I’ve already started preparing for it by cross training, riding, and saving my hard earned money for a new bike. If you ride a lot, then you know that feeling a new bike instills in you. For some reason, you just want to ride even more when the paint is fresh and the components new. And seeing as this is an endurance race that will end up with more than 18 hours in the saddle over a 24 hour period, I’m going to need every bit of encouragement I can muster to stay on my bike, and I’m thinking a new ride will greatly help with this.
Since I’m trying to ride a lot of miles in one shot, I’m going to get a bike that is extremely efficient in transferring power from the pedals to the wheels, light weight, and relatively comfortable for the long long ride. This is what I have come up with . . .
A 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper HT Expert EVO R 29er. I know, quite a mouthful, but if you decipher the name it tells you a lot about the bike. 2011 obviously means it’s new; Specialized Stumpjumper (Which was one of the first production mountain bikes ever) is the model; HT stands for Hard Tail, EVO R is an option that pairs down parts to save weight; and 29er means the wheels are the same size as a road bike wheel (700cm), or 29 in. with the tire on. It’s basically a very light bike built to go very fast.
Some of the “stand out” features of the bike are it’s frame construction, fork, and drive train (gears, shifters etc. etc.). The frame is made from Specialized’s FACT 8mm carbon fiber technology which makes it incredibly lightweight, and efficient since there is no rear shock. The fork integrates Specialized’s Brain technology in a Rox Shox Reba 90mm fork. The “Brain” technology I speak of is rather neat. With an oil inertia valve inside the shock, the fork can sense which forces are from the rider and which are from the terrain, essentially eliminating the need to manually lock out the fork. This is really nice when you climbing up a hill or pedaling out of the saddle.
Another slick item on this bike is it’s drive train. It’s a 10 speed with a 10 speed cassette in the rear and a single chain ring in the front. This eliminates two extra chain rings in the front, a front derailleur, cables and shifter and helps keep the bike lighter. The rear derailleur is made from carbon fiber as are the crank arms. Even the bottom bracket bearings are made from ceramic to reduce friction and weight.
Built up with nice components, sweet Avid Elixir CR SL brakes, and DT Swiss wheels, this Stumpjumper is ready to rip around the trails at blistering speeds while looking rather unsuspecting. The only problem with the bike is that it won’t be available until November. So I still have a little more time to save save save.