Decision time

The most popular trail near to Wageningen is the Posbank. It is a great trail, with lots of hills (by Dutch standards), beautiful woodlands and impressive heathland. Last weekend we went there with the club. It was perfect weather, sunny, little wind, not too hot.  As usual we split into groups so that everyone could go at the pace they were comfortable with. We had a great ride, coffee half way round and with spring-fresh green leaves coming out on the bilberry shrubs it was all looking lovely. If you read my blog last week, you will know that I had found out that nasty noise my bike was making was caused by a crack in the frame. So, whilst riding the trail, I was wondering about what its replacement would be.  What wheel size?  Hardtail or fully? Carbon or Aluminium?  What helped was that (with my bike being a potentially lethal weapon) I had borrowed my daughter's bike. That is a hardtail, but with a decent front fork.  Normally if I ride a hard tail it is a rental and not such brilliant quality, so this was a revelation. I discovered that at least some of the extra grip and so on that I thought came from my rear suspension was coming from the front fork. Of course in rough mountainous country a fully would still be useful, but when it comes to it on holiday the trails  I ride are also not so rocky. But above all, I had forgotten what an unbelievably great direct experience it is without the suspension removing all the effects of the surface of the trail.  So the new bike should be a hardtail, not a fully then. Another thing I paid attention to which bits of the trails I enjoyed.  It was not especially the bits where I could go fastest, but the twisty, winding, swoopy bits. So, not a 29" but a 26" (but no one makes those any more) or 27.5"wheels. And finally, my daughter's bike was definitely lighter than mine and that certainly helped the ride.  So a Carbon frame would be a good idea.

So that very afternoon I called in to my LBS to see what was possible. As it turned out, at least at first sight, less than I hoped. Apparently bike manufacturers have a very strange way of running their business.  Every year they bring out new models, which means that they either have to sell all the bikes they make in one year, or sell the remainder at a discount.  So to prevent that, they make less bikes than they can sell. Which means that at this time of the year, half the models (or model/size combinations) in the catalogue are not available anymore.  But although there were none left in the catalogue, the shop was super helpful and they managed to ask around and found what I was looking for in another shop. And you can see the result in the photo below.  A beautiful Cube 27.5 inch-wheeled, Carbon-framed hardtail.  It did great in my local woods and tomorrow we go to the Posbank to see how it does there...

For a review of the Posbank trail, see here.

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