Rocky Mountain Hammer

In The Simpsons’ 6th season, a new student arrives in Lisa’s class. Lisa is head and shoulders above her classmates – head, shoulders, arms, waist, and legs above Ralph Wiggum – but Allison (voiced by Winona Ryder) proves to be as smart, if not smarter than Lisa. And she’s younger too, having skipped a grade.

Lisa Simpson

At one point, Lisa accepts her new fate as second best, and imagines herself in The Second Best Band in America with Art Garfunkel, Jim Messina, and John Oates, performing their #2 Hit “Born to Runner Up.”

Which brings us to the perennial second steel bike in Rocky’s lineup, the Rocky Mountain Hammer. It wasn’t always second in the lineup – it was sometimes lower – but it was always behind the Blizzard. But this certainly doesn’t make it any less of a bike.

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New bike – finished

Astrix Solo

This post is a little late, but here finally is my finished Astrix Solo. We’ve got the Stan’s rims on Chris King hubs, a Marzocchi Corsa Supperleggera with 100mm travel, and a ton of tasty Chromag gear. The last piece of the puzzle was a set of Shimano Deore brakes, which are not all that sexy, but they work fine.

I only rode it a couple times before our “summer” went to hell here, but I came away with some very strong impressions of what its ride is going to be.

So let’s talk about it;

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Specialized Stumpjumper

If you’ve spent any time here you know I’m not a fan of Specialized. I know this puts me in the minorty, but I don’t care. I don’t think their bikes are particularly…… special – Specialized, Giant, Trek, whatever. Plus their actions as a corporate entity don’t serve the industry or the community – just their brand and their bottom line.

Yes I know it’s a business and businesses¬† have to behave in a certain way in order to stay businesses, but other companies don’t do the things that Specialized does, and look at them – they still exist.

Anyway, I digress. Stay on target!

Specialized Stumpjumper

The Specialized Stumpjumper debuted in 1981 and was hugely important to the fledgling sport of mountain biking as it was the first production mountain bike. Prior to the Stumpjumper, you needed to custom order a frame from Tim Ritchey or Joe Breeze, try to round up the right touring and motorcycle parts, and then put it together. But now, you could walk into a shop, and ride out minutes later on a fully functioning mountain bike.

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The joy of bike building

Building your own bike is highly rewarding. Not only do you get a bike where every part has your own individual stamp on it, but you get the personal satisfaction of knowing you made it work.

However, you will run into some truly idiotic situations if you mix parts. Of course mixing parts is the whole point of building a custom bike.

So here’s the most recent bit of ridiculousness that I’ve had to deal with;

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underachieving since 1996