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.
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.
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;
What is the greatest hardtail of all-time?
This is a hard question to answer, and I don’t think that even I can say for sure what I think it is. I can come up with a top five though, with the caveat that the five bikes are pretty interchangeable.
So, let’s get right to it shall we?
I’ve wanted to build a full suspension bike for a while now, and I recently found a frame that I just couldn’t pass on. I had wanted something older, running V-brakes, like a Santa Cruz Heckler or a Rocky Mountain Element, but i found something disk-only that will be a fine substitute. It scores very high on the “only kid on the block with one” scale, which is always a big draw for me, and I expect it to be a lot of fun.
The bike is an Astrix Solo. Astrix came along in the early ’00s with a few models sold as framesets only. I remember them because they were one of the first companies after Surly (and Fisher of course) to sell a 29er frame. But this Solo was a 26er with 4.5 inches of travel.