Right after finishing the bike, my wife and I went to Europe for a few weeks and had a great time stumbling over history and art around every corner. It had been years for me, and it was a great reminder. Man oh man is Italy wonderful.. and Ireland is REALLY some kind of spooky green.. The beer in prague is every bit as good as they say!
We came back to a wet and snowy North East, but finally this last weekend I managed to get out on the UTA.
I’m speechless. I DID build a prototype first, but besides that nearly identical frame, the UTA is the first REAL mountain bike I’ve built. To be perfectly candid, I nailed it. Everyone who has ridden it has had the same reaction. It’s a magic bike.
On Sunday while leading a ride, I ruptured my ACL (already a replacement) precisely as far from the parking lot at Blue Mountain Reservation as it’s possible to be, and the bike carried me out. My brother, who was riding right behind me said that the pace of the ride actually went up. I was so focused on NOT falling and having to put that foot down that I guess I just started to ride smooth and smart.
The bike allowed me to get up bits of technical climbs that I have never made it up before.. I rolled some rollers that I had never had the confidence to ride before. What a thrill! I can’t thank you all enough for your support.
I don’t plan on letting the torn ACL keep me off the bike. As though stage 4 cancer wasn’t enough? “Keep it coming, universe!!! I’ve got some powerful allies here!! Don’t think for a moment that I showed up alone!”
I designed a bike around what I felt was my perfect build, and to a company you all stepped to the plate with donated parts.
Sram– XX1 is an absolute revelation. Holy crap. (I might need to get myself a 30 or even a 28 up front. Then again.. I haven’t stalled yet). Not one dropped chain.. not one chain slap!!!!! Silent. Light. Clean. Plenty of range. Smoothest shifting I’ve felt. I can’t think of a down side. And speaking of revelations, that fork isn’t bad either!
Industry 9– I’m sure that engineering a hub with 407 points of engagement presented some challenges. Whatever they were, it was worth it!! Finding what feels like INSTANT engagement on technical climbs is a miracle! The difference in some cases between getting up and NOT.
Enve– What can I even say? I got your “heavy” rims, and these wheels are still light, stiff and bright, and start turning the moment you put any pressure on the pedal. I’m a Luddite and over the years I’ve said some unfavorable things about carbon fiber (often using words like “plastic” and “ugly”). I take it back. All of it. At least about the stuff you guys are producing.
Schwalbe– Egads. Dampfs are the business. I don’t care if they’re 240gms EACH heavier than the Ralphs.. these things GO! No slipping, no time.. Confidence to crash right into boney sections at low pressure and not flat.. not wreck rims. Winner! Maybe when I take my brother to Germany for a 12 hour two man race we’ll hit you up for a Ralph/Nic combo, but I doubt it!
Formula– he heeeeeee!!!!!! Besides being beautiful enough to put in a jewelry box and propose with, these T1 brakes have stopping power and modulation second to nothing else I’ve ridden. (I’m a newbie, but if it gets better than this.. I don’t need it!)
Chris King– I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said. There might be two or three bikes that I’ve built in my career that don’t sport your headset. And I can’t think for the life of me why they don’t.. confused customer, perhaps?
Brooks– If I may be quite frank, I’ve got a peculiar whatsis after 2 surgeries for ass cancer and as much radiation as they’re willing to give one person, and the swift is the saddle that I ride. Thanks for taking part.
After the ride on Saturday, I was approached in the parking lot by someone who has been following the story.
He said, “Ezra.. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but if I can I’d like to start the bidding on this bike. I don’t know how you’re planning to do the auction, but I’d like to open the bidding at $10K.”
Well. THAT’S a statement.
Thank you all so much. A rollicking success!