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Brad Fitzpatrick

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mountain bikes [Apr. 3rd, 2004|07:53 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

Having happily broken in my new street bike after my old street bike was recently stolen, I resumed my search for a mountain bike, to replace my old mountain bike which was stolen, then stolen again.

Confused? Here's a timeline:

Junior high, perhaps: Ghetto Costco bike. Heavy and couldn't shift. Didn't get a good impression of bikes.

High school / freshmen college: Trek Mountain bike, front suspension only. Loved it. Left it locked up outside dorms one night (with hundreds of other bikes), and it was stripped of all its unlocked parts. I replaced all its parts (which cost as much as it did originally) and then the whole bike was stolen behind our house in Viewridge/Sandpoint area (totally an old/rich person area... not high-crime at all, but the damn gardening contractor punks next door probably stole it.)

Then replaced it with my Trek 7500FX, since I was 4 miles away from campus on a paved trail, and a street bike made more sense. That bike was stolen in Canada, right when I was about to purchase a mountain bike.

So... the street bike is replaced, so it's mountain bike purchasing time.

Today I took out a Trek Fuel 90 full-suspension bike for a spin.


I'd never ridden a full-suspension bike, and it's totally crazy. I was going full speed at medians in the parking lot, up over curbs, tree roots, bushes, rocks, and it didn't feel like anything. Whatever I ran into I just floated over.

I took it for quite a long ride, over everything I could find, including a creek. I had to apologize for bringing the bike back all muddy but the salesperson (who helped me with my bike last week) was just amused, not knowing where I found mud on such a sunny perfect day. (I was also all muddy myself)

So I headed out to their warehouse sale to find the disc-brake version, but the last/only one had sold since their database was updated last night, so now I suppose I have to buy the 2004 version which will be about $300 more.

Hopefully if I pick it up tomorrow morning whitaker and I will head up to Vernonia and bike 20 miles downhill to Banks.

Anybody have recommendations about other full-suspension bikes before I drop a G and some on this? Klein didn't seem to have as much selection, and most were a lot more expensive. Gary Fishers were about the same, but longer frame, and ugly as ass. Any others?

[User Picture]From: brad
2004-04-03 11:07 pm (UTC)
When you down here next? I'll be ready before then.

Vernonia to Banks is 20 miles downhill. It's not too great though... not like jumping streams and shit.
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[User Picture]From: eli
2004-04-03 11:21 pm (UTC)
This will have to be a summer trip (most of the trail is still probably under snow). It'll require a two car shuttle operation and will take a full day easily. There are 2 or 3 really large hill climbs, 3 sections of insanely steep downhill, there are tons of jumps, and yes..the stream crossings that I mentioned earlier (You have to hit them as fast as you can to make it all the way across on the bike..usually you don't make it). I'm not sure what the elevation drop is, but I think it's something around 4 or 5 grand. It's the best trail I know of, almost entirely tight single track....start conditioning. We'll have to plan it for one of my R&R weekends this summer so be ready to cancel all plans at the drop of a hat :-) It'll be worth it.

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[User Picture]From: eli
2004-04-03 11:34 pm (UTC)


I consulted some maps..I think it's only about a 3,000 ft elevation drop. I also failed to mention that you'll be riding through some serious big foot country.
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