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So I recently decided that was going to build a new bike after a five year hiatus from exercise. I have ridden bikes my whole life and love the quality of great mechanics and craftsmanship. In 1996 I retired my Giant ATX 770 and purchased a Specialized S-Works Team frame, fork combo which included a titanium headset, ti stem and ti seatpost. The fork was a carbon Judy FSX that was basically just a carbon Judy SL. It took a couple of years for me to upgrade the Deore DXish components that had been cannibalized from my old Giant but it was an incredible ride once I finished. My S-Works weighed 24.5 Lbs back then. I love that bike... recently showed it love too... by carbonizing everything I could and replacing a few components. It weighs 23 Lbs now.
So fast forward 13 years to six months ago. I needed something to motivate me to get back in the saddle and to start exercising so I bought an Ellsworth Epiphany frame and began methodically evaluating components and planning my build. I took my time but picked the best components available in my opinion. I had always been skeptical of full suspension technology with regards to development and function. I have been proven way wrong. Riding my Epiphany is like riding a horse. Seriously, you can ride as fast as you want over things that a hardtail would have to ride around. I have ridden off a 7 foot drop onto concrete and barely bottomed out. The DT Swiss EXC 150 fork absorbed the impact incredibly well. DT Swiss make great stuff all round. Granted the rebound launched me about a foot off the ground and I barely avoided serious injury but I am a true believer in lightweight full suspension. The Epiphany has XTR components and Formula R1 brakes sitting atop Spinergy Xyclone Disc Wheels. Chris King headset and Thomson Masterpiece post... my Epiphany weighs in at 26Lbs.
I of course thought my Epiphany would be my main bike and would enjoy it no matter the terrain and that is true... but then I found a handmade titanium full suspension frame for sale and against my better judgment... I bought it. It is so freaking light! It weighs 1930 grams which is around 4Lbs. I built it up with the lightest components available and went all out on the trimmings with ceramic bearings and a Widgit 1x9 setup in the front. The Widgit is made in Australia by a man name Paul Haggarty and is the best 1x9 option available as far as I've seen. The Widgit works perfectly with the FSA K-Force cranks, xtr cassette, SRAM X.0 shifter and SRAM X.9 rear derailleur and ultimately completes the best drivetrain I have ever ridden... It is the fastest mountain bike I have ever ridden... It is the lightest mountain bike I have ever ridden. I have never ascended faster than on this bike. The URT suspension, which I was nervous about, works differently than I had anticipated. The linkage doesn't collapse when you stand to pedal. It makes for a very efficient and comfortable ride but impact is obviously much better handled while seated. The Manitou R7 R-Seven MRD Fork, Magura HS33 post mounted brakes, Fulcrum Red Metal Zero wheels and Stan's No Tubes Raven tires (I run Stan's Tubeless system on all my bikes) helped tremendously in achieving a total weight of 22.5 Lbs with pedals.
So now I have three bikes and cannot wait to get off work and hit the trails everyday.

Check out the pics of my three favorite bikes in the world.

https://flic.kr/p/4272391103
https://flic.kr/p/4273246544
https://flic.kr/p/4272511793
https://flic.kr/p/4273156456
 
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