Our Smiggin Holes shop is managed by a cool chick. Nonie has been in the ski industry for about six years but has been skiing most of her life. Her mum would drive the nine hour (one-way) to the ski slopes and when she was old enough she headed for the mountains on her own. Her only fault is she married a strange man but we get on okay.
The terrain around this area is mountain bike nirvana and the sport/pastime is growing every year. Nonie rode 12 km to school and back most days as a kid but hasn’t thrown a leg over a bike since. Last year she was gifted a Giant Trance from a friend to get started and she did a “Scaredy Cats” beginners course with local legend Vanessa Knee. With the change of season the outdoors beckon but with the water still orifice shuttingly cold still the tracks are where it’s at.
After some deliberation, mainly after a hefty quote to service the old bike, Nonie bit the bullet and finally settled on a Liv Pique Advance. Her logic was:
"Investing in a bike was a big step for me – I figured I’d be buying a bike to last so I talked to a few people I trusted to get information on a suitable upgrade. The main things I wanted were about making riding easier (I really wanted an e-bike but apparently that was taking the lazy option). So, a single front chainring, lightweight, and fast rolling were the key criteria. I deliberated on the 27.5 which is easier to get rolling and the 29 inch wheel for slightly more rock clearance and settled on the 27.5 inch. Then it was just a matter of finding the bike with the right specs. The Liv Pique Advanced was more than I anticipated spending but I lucked on to an ex-demo at a price I couldn’t refuse. And I’ve gotta say it’s some of the best money I’ve spent. Riding before this bike was hard work and I’d look for any excuse to bail on a ride. Now I’m on the bike 5 days a week, weather dependent. The single chainring means I don’t lose momentum because I make less mistakes in my gear changes, fast rolling lets me have a bit more of a rest on the trail, and with the lighter weight I’m actively chasing jumps (and giggling like a little girl every time I get the smallest amount of air)."
Watching Nonie’s riding and enthusiasm grow on this new machine has been a joy. As with all things time on the bike is always the only way to get better, but an efficient, comfortable bike with quality components makes progress even faster.
There are so many excellent bikes out there so do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask others for advice especially other riders like you. The second-hand market is huge but be aware that worn parts can be expensive to replace. Talk to people. Most riders are only to keen to share their knowledge and experience. At some length at times. As Freddy Mercury once sang “I want to ride my bicycle”. Probably not the most inspiring quote but it is awesome fun.
Written by Stu Hodges, look out for more blogs from Stu for his series, Rhythm Life.
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