A milestone has passed. Or – now I’ve gone metric to create the illusion of travelling further – a kilometre stone. 1250 of them to be precise. That was the point at which the previous ST4 waggled its twangy arse for the last time, and collapsed into a heap of iron fillings. The horror of finding the bottom bracket had destroyed the frame by ripping through the internal threads stayed with me right up until Orange admitted it was a bit rubbish and sent me a new one.
The plan for the original bike was to replace my Cove Hardtail so saving the cost of procuring a whole flange of expensive and shiny new parts. This was not entirely successful; within six months everything but the seatpost and saddle had been replaced by the aforementioned new and shiny, and the Cove was brought back from the shed.
Now I’ve replaced the seatpost and saddle. Fiscal irresponsibility sprayed faintly with lazy logic is a dangerous way to approach a web browser. Undeterred that such a part was unavailable from any UK reseller, I went all free market and ordered directly from the Fatherland. Two days later after various helpful emails including “Ihr aktueller Bestellstatus: In Bearbeitung“*, a box bearing clever hydraulics and an fairly eye watering invoice was swiftly transferred onto old trigger up there.
And it’s ace. Being a serial seat dropper, it’s removed the tedious need to dismount and dick about with QRs for a 30 second descent before trying to find the right pedalling position again to prevent ones knees exploding. So most of the time you don’t do it, and that is an exercise in joy limitation. I remember from my skills course Tony pushing the idea of moving down not back, with all the benefits having a low CofG can bring.
So it’s clever. Don’t ask me how it works I’ve no idea. First ride, this was clearly the case with my incessant fiddling taking twice as much time compared to dismount/sigh/adjust seat/get back on. And the marketing boys have missed a trick here – “X Fusion HiLo”? Sounds like a second rate cartoon character. Since to operate the “drop“, one must reach down and tickle ones’ wedding vegetables before releasing the lever, surely there is scope here for something more manly.
I’m going with “gruntbuster tacklegrabber” which is pretty unbeatable. The rest of the bike is pretty damn good as well. Which considering that most of the time I’m at the business end of the spanners, and it’s been thrown roughly to the ground on a number of occasions is a testament to the robustness of the new frame.
Sure it’s not exactly light for a four inch travel bike. And it’s probably a little bit slack for jedi-speeder wiggly tree action, but the limiting factor by some horizon stretching distance is the rider. As it is in 99% of cases, which is why magazine reviews are informative, generally well written and almost entirely useless. For me, the only thing about a bike that matters is does it put a big grin on your face every time you ride it.
Certainly does. And with the “tacklegrabber” installed, that grin’s going to get even bigger 🙂
* Which I translated as “Congratulation, we’ve shipped your product” or “For information: We’ve annexed the Sudenland”