August 31, 2011

Specialized S-Works revisited again...

As you can now imagine, with a post like this, half of the bike fun is tinkering with setups. If the setup is not to ones taste a quick change of components can make all the difference.

About a month ago i had the opportunity to meet, complete bicycle nut and nice guy, Noah aka Bushpig when on vacation here in Holland. Noah probably owns the most amazing mountain bike collection you can imagine specializing in the bikes and components made by a guy called Charlie Cunningham and also runs a website dedicated to him. Besides being a fan he also is close friends with Charlie and his wife the legendary Jacquie Phelan.

Charlie Cunningham was part owner of a company called WTB which made some of the best components and bikes possible. Together with IRD i actually rate them as the most innovative company in the history of mountain biking. The bike they made was a steel hard-tail called the Phoenix which Jacquie rode besides her Cunninghams. For some reason Charlie left WTB in a bad way and the Phoenix was un WTB'ed and made a single speed for a new event called the SSWC or Single Speed World Championships in which Jacquie competed. Jacquie never won the race but actually won the price for the oldest bike in the competition, the price... a custom build frame!

The Phoenix was painted pink and all the references to WTB where masked by adding black tape, this probably to make everyone aware some love was lost between them. The other side of the frame has a big sticker saying "single speed outlaw".

Well to end this strange story Noah ended up buying it from Jacquie and put some amazing pics of this legendary bike on the net. To me this bike sums up mountain biking: it's raw, it's simple, it's independent, it's been used hard and the gearing just hurts my knees by looking at it.

Revisiting the S-Works again I was inspired by the pink bike and changed it in to a single speed. The rear derailleur, cassette and sti-unit where removed and a single cog with spacers, a tensioner and a normal brake lever where added. Now of course it lacks all the things that makes the pink bike a legend but the idea was there, really!

Noah i hope you don't mind me posting your picture of this amazing pink bike. It rocks!
(And yeah i know i need to mow the lawn...)