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My new Eriksen 650B Hardtail is finally built and ready just in time for race season. We had so much unexpected chaos this spring I wondered if all of the parts would ever come together in the same place at the same time- and almost got used to living with a dropdead gorgeous frame, seatpost and fork nested in the viewing room like another piece of fine art bicycle furniture. Pleasing to look at- completely un-rideable.
A week out from the Gunnison Growler (a race about which I am feeling particulary grouchy after going to pre-ride a few weeks ago and finding nothing but 30+ miles of moondust where I had remembered lovely sagebrush singletrack) Dave informed me the Hardtail had built up at under 21 pounds complete with bottle cages - jaw drop- and was ready for its debut.
Just to look at this bike and to touch it the artisan craftsmanship is obvious. To ride it makes it undeniable. This bike is not designed to take the rider out of the equation and does not allow for much laid back cruise time. This is a wake up and ride sort of machine. The real allure of the bike starts in the Eriksen shop in Steamboat where the conversations and laughs and scratching of the head all take place before the gents (and lady) get down to business engineering and welding and finishing the frame and seatpost imbuing it with their mastery and enthusiasm. You feel it when you touch the frame and know it when you ride it. The fork was engineered by some of our finest Grand Valley geeks, then machined and assembled just down the road at MRP/White Brothers. Not everyone loves the LOOP...I do. I love the edgy responsiveness it allows the frame to enjoy. A true XC race machine demanding you to sit up, stand up and ride.
Then there are the wheels- handbuilt here in Palisade by the BikeMaster himself late at night after work. He is a slave to detail demanding the absolute right spoke for the job at hand and choosing each nipple for the perfection of it anodization. Be assured, you cannot buy these bad boys at your online discounter.
Add to all of that some of the latest XTR 2x10 bling, with sculpted shifters and brakes and a little cra-bon for the sake of modernity and, VOILE! you have my new Hardtail Race Rig and latest art acquisition. How cool is that?
I can hardly wait to get her dirty and given what I anticipate in Gunnison this weekend- it won't be long!