Next weekend, I’ll be traveling out to Hot Springs Rockansas for the Spa City 6hr and a hearty Ouachita/Womble trail ride on Sunday . I was planning on showing off my fancy new Air 9 RDO that was going to ship out earlier this week. For reasons probably involving the Chinese New Year, the black paint-matched suspension forks on the black RDO bikes aren’t in stock, and that hasn’t happened.
So, now I’m left with two bikes full of options…
I’ve got my singlespeed. It’s rigid. I rode rigid (on my geared bike) last year and the rough, rocky tread beat the everliving snot out of me. The entire time I was racing/Sunday trail riding, I was wondering WTF I had been thinking when I’d made the decision to NOT use a suspension fork. Of course, bike racing is apparently much like what some women say about pregnancy and childbirth- for some stupid reason, despite the amount of pain I know I experienced, despite the conviction with which I’ve stated, “I never want to do that again,” I’m considering doing it again.
Of course, that route is not without its own hiccups. One of my beloved Formula R1 brakes crapped out on me at Syllamo earlier this month, and I just got around to investigating it on Wednesday. Formula wants the brake back to fix it. To tide me over, I installed the Avid XX brakes I’d pulled off of the geared A9C when it sold. The thing about those brakes is that one of them blew a seal a while back. Avid warrantied the brake with a 2012 model. I noticed Thursday that the replacement has very little power, makes a vague, squishy noise at the lever, and honks like the pads are fatally fouled. I should be able to make it work, but the XX brakes have been reliably unreliable enough that I’m not 100% comfortable with using them for a big weekend.
I also have the Jet9 RDO. Everything on it works. I love the bike, but I don’t feel as though I’m as fast on it as I would be on the singlespeed.
Then, there are the combo options:
-Put the suspension fork and/or brakes from the Jet9 onto the Singlespeed. Diva dilemma: I wouldn’t have a handlebar-mounted lockout, which is something I use constantly when I singlespeed.
-Use some more of my pull-off XX parts to make the singlespeed a 1×10 AND add a suspension fork. Possibly fun, definitely lots of work.
-Call Mike Stanley (Best Niner Rep in the World) frantically on Sunday afternoon and ask him to change my order to a green bike, which, hopefully, aren’t bound in limbo by the lack of black fork availability.
I have a hard time making up my mind on things like this and would probably end up deciding sometime around Thursday and having to rush and scramble. What I’d rather do is follow the wishes of the Almighty Blog Audience that includes you, the person reading this post right now. Comment your wishes either below, on Facebook (see link in the right sidebar), or on Twitter (link also in the right sidebar).