DOES THE QUIVER KILLER EXIST?
By Anne Henmi
"How many bikes do you have?"
"All mountain bikes?"
"Oh, I have 9 of those. The extra one is a road bike."
This is one of my friends in the Bay Area. I'm not sure why one needs 9 mountain bikes, but sure. I figured I'd max out with one for each day of the week. Or maybe he never sells them. I collect LEGO, so I get collecting.
But for me, my quiver is different; each of my bikes has a purpose and is not a collection. I don't have my very first mountain bike (Cannondale M500, circa 1992). That bike should have been either recycled or turned into someone's commuter by now.
The most I've had in my quiver at a time is 4. I always ended up riding less than my quiver, so I'm currently down to one bike. Ok, one and a half if you include the broken frame I'm waiting for the damage reimbursement from FedEx to get it fixed - so that doesn't count.
And I ride 3-4 times a week.
My husband has three bikes (trail bike, dirt jumper, and downhill). He rides maybe once a week. He laughs at the fact that he has more bikes than me because mountain biking is more my thing than his. But he said I can have three bikes, so I'm rebuilding my quiver in a way I never thought I would have.
We are spoiled here in the Front Range: we have access to several skills parks, dirt jumps, pump tracks, nearby downhill runs, and exceptional trails in both quality and quantity.
My husband and I both started out with a trail and a downhill bike when we moved to Colorado. As I started enjoying the local bike parks and taking a break from trail riding, I found that my previous quiver wasn't cutting it. It felt awkward to me to take a trail bike with a high bottom bracket to the bike parks all the time. And while I was using it for jumping, my HD3 didn't have the right vibe for the local trails.
So I started looking for a new ride. While researching bikes for my friend, I found Guerrilla Gravity--a local company that makes bikes designed for the Front Range and even the nearby mountains.
It was refreshing to hear about a company that makes zero carbon bikes. Everything in California is about the latest and greatest carbon thing, and after a while, they all seemed the same to me.
What I found in the process of rebuilding my quiver is that aluminum is cool again in some circles. It's almost a like a cult following.
I replaced both my old 26" Specialized Demo 8 and Ibis Mojo HD3 with one bike: the Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail. Instead of having a dedicated park bike and a trail bike I'm jumping at the bike parks, I'm on a full wide-tire sturdy alloy bike that I can take to the parks and the occasional trail ride. Did I tell you how I love the feel of aluminum? Feels like putting on a comfortable blanket - it's my happy place.
While I don't have to ride up as much as I used to (hooray for bike parks and season tickets for nearby Trestle, and close enough drives to places like Angel Fire), the bike does its thing and lets me do mine. I wouldn't have felt comfortable on a long-legged XC carbon bike doing the same thing. Some folks would, but my happy place is on a bike I can ride down just as well as I can ride up. I rode the Megatrail up Buffalo Creek for 7.5 miles. At altitude. And I hate climbing.
The weekend before and after that? That bike went with me to Trestle and I got some laps in. It's also seen Angel Fire, and I plan on a few more times at Trestle as well as Granby this year.
While I might consider the Megatrail is a quiver killer, I hate the idea of living without a bike. If that bike is out of commision, I'm pretty sure I'll be hanging out at the bike shop during my off-hours, being sad.
So for me, I need at least two bikes: a dirt jumper for pump tracks and the Megatrail for everything else. While I can pump the Megatrail around the top pump track at Valmont 1.5 times without pedaling consistently, I think it would be more fun on a short hardtail. So I'm building up an old Ibis Tranny 26 for it.
Since my husband is cool with N=3, I'm also looking at an aggressive hardtail with mid-fats for Front Range trail riding. That'll bring me back to a three bike quiver, but it will be more suited for all the bike fun you can have here in Colorado.
And I'm just getting started.