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Archive: Mar 2020

Ride Report – 1997 WTB Titanium Phoenix

Ride report

I usually follow a fairly defined process with my restorations. First I build the bike up, dress it in fine vintage tires and photograph it against some cool background. Then I swap the show tires for a usable pair of vintage tires and do a trail photo shoot and then if I like the bike enough I throw on modern tires and keep dialling in the bike and add it to the rotation. Well, with this particular bike I skipped right to the end and never looked back.

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Riding legends – Klein Adroit Team Storm

Ride report

Riding a bike like this is beyond privilege, it's really an honour. Everything about it screams "I'm here to race, put it in the big ring and turn and burn!" This bike is an amazing piece of history, I am thrilled that it's finally done and blown away by the final result. Read the back story of this bike here I may not have Tinker's legendary ability to grind away the competition in the big ring, but I still had a blast riding it. The ride is not a whole hell of a lot different from a rigid Adroit. The Mag-21 was plenty stiff, with just a bit of give on the descent. It took the edge of and I can see how over the course of a long ride it would pay off. The Grafton brakes were mush, the Ti chainrings shifted like crap compared to the ramped and pinned M900 rings I'm used to, the tires were begging to be put out of their misery, but the shit eating grin never left my face.

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Mantis Valkyrie ride report

Ride report

Finally managed to get some time to get out on the trail and check out the Valkyrie. I was a little worried that this bike was going to disappoint, and I really wanted to like it. So, there was a lot of emotion on the line. The thing I noticed immediately about this bike is that it's damn stiff. Not quite like a Klein maybe, but stiffer than any other steel bike I've ridden, and definitely stiffer than the Merlin. For comparison sake I ran it with Fisher Fattrax 2.2 in the rear at 42psi, and Dusttrax 2.2 in the front at 40psi. This stiffness made it seem a bit twitchy and combined with my not so perfect setup of the roller cams resulted in a few off trail excursions. But seriously, I did not expect the bike to feel this way. I was anticipating a soft, flexy and forgiving ride. This is exciting!

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