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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Medicare birthday coming up this week called for a new bike. I couldn't handle the new 1x11 system and had about given up. But the guys at Victory Velo in Auburn found the last 2013 XL frame for $1K off and they built me a pretty nice bike. Stumpjumper FSR S-Works 29er frame, Roval Control Trail SL 29 142+ wheels, Fox Talus, 2x10, and mostly SRAM XX stuff.

 

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Nice Bike and really cool colors, we will see you coming!, Victory Velo is a great shop, they hooked me up with my new ride as well and gave me deal....
 

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Slowest Rider
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I just came across this thread, and wondered what was wrong with the excellent bike you had before. Was just the 1x11 gearing? Isn't that easy to fix with a new crank?

Or was there something else that wasn't quite working? Or did you just want something different for some reason?
 

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Too short in the front end...

Happy OTB-ing!

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Opinions are like A-holes... everybody
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Backup bike

I just came across this thread, and wondered what was wrong with the excellent bike you had before. Was just the 1x11 gearing? Isn't that easy to fix with a new crank? Or was there something else that wasn't quite working? Or did you just want something different for some reason?
I've been an avid photographer, field biologist, and aerobic enthusiast going back about 40 years. Once my knees went out that was the end of it all for about 10 years, until I discovered I could get all that mountain biking, albeit with considerable pain. So biking is very important to me.

Due to knee problems and work schedule I could only ride Saturday and Tuesday, period. I ride all day Saturday and something breaks or just needs servicing. Then I take 1- 2 hours to the bike shop on Sunday, beg them to get the bike done Monday, drive 1 -2 hours back to the shop on Monday to pick up the bike so I can ride Tuesday. Too nerve wracking and a lot of hassle. And at some point some parts need factory servicing and have to be sent out for a week or more. So I must have a backup bike. But once you ride a high end bike there is no going back. With considerable gear, me, and the bike I come in at about 230 lbs. So saving a few pounds is no big deal. There is much more to carbon than just reduced weight.

I can not adequately describe the amazing "flex appeal" and comfort of a carbon bike with carbon wheels. The first time on carbon wheels I felt an amazing difference, like it would add years to my already fragile knees. I'm 65 and do up to 12 hour, often rugged solo rides, often in the middle of nowhere. I doubt you feel much difference between a Mercedes and Volkswagen driving to the local store, but I bet you notice a big difference driving all day across country.

The 1x11 is an entire system and I looked into it, did the gear calculations from Sheldon Brow's site, and tried the gear combinations at Tahoe. I couldn't do it. Switching the 2014 Stumpjumper 1x11 to 2x10 was ridiculously expensive. In April I happened to see the last XL 2013 frame available at $1K off, so I said "buy it". Then I built a bike nearly identical to my 2012, adding the Talus fork. I rode the 2012 recently and it is going into the shop today for several repairs. But I don't care because I have the 2013 bike to ride. I still have the 2011 aluminum bike too, but just because I'm too lazy to try and sell it, and I probably wouldn't get much for it anyway.

I'm old, worked hard all my life, lived very frugally, and nearly died last January. Life is short, and I have no dependents. So why not spend my last days doing what I like? Make sense now? All my current bikes:

<p align="center"><img src="https://stevenjwolf.com/mtbike/images/2013.jpg"><br>
2013 SJ

<p align="center"><img src="https://stevenjwolf.com/mtbike/images/2012.jpg"><br>
2012 SJ

<p align="center"><img src="https://stevenjwolf.com/mtbike/images/2011.jpg"><br>
2011 SJ

<p align="center"><img src="https://stevewolf.smugmug.com/BikeTrips/2012/AZT-12-22-12/i-MVpr5Ld/0/XL/IMG_4722-XL.jpg"><br>
This is a lot more fun on a comfortable high end bike.
 

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So you must be the only person with worse skills than me? I've had five of these bikes (SJ FSR) in the past 10 years, three 29ers and two 26ers. I could post scores of these.

View attachment 948423

No OTB here.

View attachment 948424

No OTB here.​
Apologies... was inebriated when posting ^^

Nice whip!!

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Opinions are like A-holes... everybody
has one & they're usually full of...??
 

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I'm old, worked hard all my life, lived very frugally, and nearly died last January. Life is short, and I have no dependents. So why not spend my last days doing what I like? Make sense now?
Great info Steve. But I didn't hear about what happened in January. Accident? Medical?

Understand completely about the bike. I am also getting older, a few years behind you, still in my 50s (barely), and am thinking about building up a high end bike just like you did. I asked because I feared that you found something wrong with your top quality bike. But you explain your high end bike is actually so worthy you need two of them! And you've got the same working geometry and quality for both. :thumbsup:

I have greatly enjoyed my Heckler for 10 years now, so much so I've been reluctant to upgrade, and it's been my only bike. Like you, I can't ride while it's in the shop. I wanted to upgrade with a second bike, but all the bikes to date have looked like a downgrade to me, especially since the Heckler is already working fine for me. Like you, I am one of the few that love Dual Control shifters, which aren't available any more, among many other items that to me look like a downgrade in a new bike. I like an adjustable travel fork like my Marz AM1 for climbing, even though I left it locked down that time we did the Cannell Plunge together. :madman: (How do you remember to release the fork on the Talas?)

But then I just discovered the Santa Cruz Bronson had exactly the same geometry as my Heckler in every angle and dimension, but with a 27.5" instead of 26" wheel. And I discovered the XTR Di2 electronic shifters that just came out this week, which will finally be a big upgrade over dual controls and Rapid Rise that I loved. Going to carbon frame, VPP instead of single pivot, bigger fork stanchions (with Pike RCT2 dual position), through-axles, and 27.5" wheels will all definitely be a plus as well. Your comments encourage me to also go to carbon wheels. I thought carbon was stiffer, yet you say carbon wheels and frame have a "flex appeal". Can you explain more?

Like you, with the Heckler and Bronson I'll have two bikes of identical geometry, with the Heckler becoming a heavier backup.

I am amazed at the rides you do at your age, illustrated by your posts above. And you go to such beautiful places. I'm jealous. I save the GPS tracks you post and sometimes follow sections of your ride on my own. (We both often ride solo, but I carry a satellite beacon for emergency- the SPOT.) You're in better shape than most of the riders here, and provide encouragement that I can be riding for many years to come. Maybe we'll get a ride together again someday. But I need to get in better shape to approach the rides you do. That's my goal with the new bike I'm building as added incentive.

Thanks for the info. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Slow down

I didn't hear about what happened in January. Accident? Medical?
...carbon wheels and frame have a "flex appeal". Can you explain more? ...
January 9th I had Anaphylaxis from a medication and barely made it to the emergency room before collapsing on the floor. I had perhaps another minute of life left in me. My tongue was so swollen it was blocking my breathing. I vaguely remember the struggle they had getting a tube down my throat to save my life. They called my living will administrator and asked "are you ready to make some decisions regarding Steve Wolf's life?".​

So the new bike was much more than just a birthday present to me. Most people can ride a lot farther than they think if they just slow down. But I do think you are one of the few at my speed or perhaps maybe even slower. But your skills are much better, so perhaps that could make up for it. Long rides are much more mental than physical. Everybody I do long rides with is stronger, faster and more skilled. But they don't always finish with me. Sorry, I know nothing about bikes and the terminology. I just know the carbon bike and wheels feel really good compared to the same bike in aluminum and I can ride a lot longer and more comfortably on carbon. I just call it "flex appeal". I live in Cool now so let me know if you ever come up to ride Auburn. I don't always remember to lower the Talus fork :)
 

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There's a medical aspect to my high end bike as well. My health has always been great in spite of my size and age. And after each ride I feel wonderful.

But... it's now becoming critical to reduce my weight for long term health. My wife correctly figured this present will provide that incentive.
Now if I could just get a doctor's prescription to have my insurance cover it. :D
 

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Sorry, I know nothing about bikes and the terminology. I just know the carbon bike and wheels feel really good compared to the same bike in aluminum and I can ride a lot longer and more comfortably on carbon. I just call it "flex appeal". I live in Cool now so let me know if you ever come up to ride Auburn. I don't always remember to lower the Talus fork :)
I expect by Spring, with better weather up that way, to be smaller and fast enough to not slow you down much, and have better endurance for perhaps 5000' of climbing. I'll ping you then, and look forward to seeing some of the great trails you ride. For instance, I've never been to Hole in the Ground, one of your former favorites. Like you, I also like to keep moving at a slow rate with short breaks. It'd be nice to ride with you again. We'll remind each other to unlock the forks. ;)
 
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