Tuesday, March 25, 2008


A little background; I am really into mountain biking. I’ve been riding for almost a year and although I’m not very good at it I make up for my shortcomings with enthusiasm. And strong bones apparently.

For the last 3 months I’ve been lusting after a shiny new full suspension mountain bike. I have a hard-tail I’ve been riding, but it was a fairly inexpensive bike (spec rockhopper) with low grade components and I think I’m ready to move up.

The object of my affection has been a 2008 specialized stumpjumper fsr (pro). The bike retails well over 4000 big ones (are you considered cheap when a dollar is a big one?) and my gf (life partner?) frowns on such large "unnecessary" expenditures. Not that she wears the pants in the family or anything.

My solution for getting what I want was to "build" my dream bike by purchasing all of the pieces on ebay (for cheap) and putting it together myself. I ended up buying the frame from my lbs (local bike shop for those who don’t know the lingo) for retail because the one I was after on ebay was getting too expensive and I figured getting the lifetime warranty was worth the extra cost since i do wreck occasionally.

The rest of the components came from my fellow mtbr’s (short for mountain bikers) on the inter-webs and I’ll give you a little tip; don’t buy anything from Canada if you want to receive the item anytime that month. I don’t know if our friends to the north still transport cargo by dogsled or what, but they could seriously use some fed-ex up there. They make the usps look fast. I bought a crankset from a guy in Taiwan after I bought my fork from the canuck and the crank set came in like 2 weeks before the fork showed up. That doesn’t make any sense.

Anyway, after I finally received all the pieces for my new bike (saving well over 1000 big ones I might add) I set upon putting it together. I’d like to say I completed the build in a few hours but that would not be entirely true and I’m all about honesty and trust and forgiveness and such. It took a little over a week to "finish" and I had to make 2 trips to my lbs for help: once for the bottom bracket and once for the headset installations. Special tools were required and I had already spent too much on this project.....

After much trial and error with the remaining components the bike is whole and I’ve been on a few rides and I must say it is awesome!!! The rear shock is like butter. or margarine, whichever is smoother. I love it. I can now easily climb steep hills that used to exhaust me, and the descents are much faster and fluid. If you ask me it has been well worth the money!

My latest adventure is an attempt to go "tubeless" but that will have to wait for another post since I’ve yet to achieve that goal and I want to write about success not failure.

Peace out.

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