When asked to join a trip for Fiets.nl (largest Dutch cycling magazine) to test high-end 650b bikes, a 5 star resort and 3 full days of riding in december… in Portugal… I didn’t hesitate to accept.
The biggest effort on my side would be; posing (endless efforts to get the money-shot of course) and choosing what bike to bring along?
I could have chosen a very light and fast frenchy with 2x 11 XTR: declined for lack of a dropper-post.
A funky looking German that actually rode pretty well, weird but well, was just not my cup of tea. Declined.
Another German ticked most of the boxes, only a triple seems odd these days and when having the opportunity to choose high end carbon bikes, you desert the alu ones that suddenly don’t seem that sexy anymore. Declined.
The (I’d say Dutch? But I’m not even sure) most expensive one in the range made me very happy on many fronts. Nice forks, great suspension, carbon wheels, nice handling going down… but I’m just not strong enough to bring a 1×11 to justice. Declined.
Left me with the American, a familiar face to me. I’ve owned it’s 26″ predecessor, a few of it’s bigger brothers (trail, enduro and downhill ones) and Annemieke owns it’s 29″ counterpart. I know this kid too well and we get along very well. Perhaps a little boring and predictable? But with a 2x 10, dropper post and flashy color it ticks the right boxes for this occasion. Accepted! And glad I did!
We needed to ride these bikes stock, so no altering: take it or leave it. But the 2x 11 combined with the Revelation forks, the Reverb post, the American’s frame and the wheelset from the Dutch, Icetech brakes and pads 200/180mm… yes, that might have been an awesome combination to try.
Reading more in the magazine
Read more about the bikes in the Fiets.nl januari issue, or the februari issue for more on the amazing sights of the South of Portugal, riding there and a 5 star luxury resort that made me sad to go home. I want to go back!