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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meet Jen's new ERIKSEN 650B HARDTAIL

My new Eriksen 650B Hardtail is finally built and ready just in time for race season. We had so much unexpected chaos this spring I wondered if all of the parts would ever come together in the same place at the same time- and almost got used to living with a dropdead gorgeous frame, seatpost and fork nested in the viewing room like another piece of fine art bicycle furniture. Pleasing to look at- completely un-rideable.
A week out from the Gunnison Growler (a race about which I am feeling particulary grouchy after going to pre-ride a few weeks ago and finding nothing but 30+ miles of moondust where I had remembered lovely sagebrush singletrack) Dave informed me the Hardtail had built up at under 21 pounds complete with bottle cages - jaw drop- and was ready for its debut.
Just to look at this bike and to touch it the artisan craftsmanship is obvious. To ride it makes it undeniable. This bike is not designed to take the rider out of the equation and does not allow for much laid back cruise time. This is a wake up and ride sort of machine. The real allure of the bike starts in the Eriksen shop in Steamboat where the conversations and laughs and scratching of the head all take place before the gents (and lady) get down to business engineering and welding and finishing the frame and seatpost imbuing it with their mastery and enthusiasm. You feel it when you touch the frame and know it when you ride it. The fork was engineered by some of our finest Grand Valley geeks, then machined and assembled just down the road at MRP/White Brothers. Not everyone loves the LOOP...I do. I love the edgy responsiveness it allows the frame to enjoy. A true XC race machine demanding you to sit up, stand up and ride.

Then there are the wheels- handbuilt here in Palisade by the BikeMaster himself late at night after work. He is a slave to detail demanding the absolute right spoke for the job at hand and choosing each nipple for the perfection of it anodization. Be assured, you cannot buy these bad boys at your online discounter.

Add to all of that some of the latest XTR 2x10 bling, with sculpted shifters and brakes and a little cra-bon for the sake of modernity and, VOILE! you have my new Hardtail Race Rig and latest art acquisition. How cool is that? I can hardly wait to get her dirty and given what I anticipate in Gunnison this weekend- it won't be long!


  1. Looks beautiful, I am Jealous. John

  2. What an awesome machine. Count me in as super jealous.

    Although, since this is your new super race machine I thought I'd be seeing that awesome XTR 42/30 double on there. ;)

    Time to ride! Just fixed my front brake lever a couple days ago (after a very unfortunate encounter with a tree), so this weekend is trail time more than study time.

    1. hmmm...well maybe if we lived and raced in, say, Kansas or California...but that just wouldn't cut it in Colorado. As it is I still find myself shopping for another gear when the climb won't end! (i've yet to find myself shopping for another gear on the descent (-: )

  3. Hello!! Great entry! Could we get a copy of this and post it to www.650BPalace.com ? please email jeremy@650bpalace.com

    1. hi Jeremy;
      thanks for the contribution request. please feel free to re-publish over to the Palace and stay tuned for the feature on my new singlespeed.
      thanks much

  4. Hi Jen,
    I haves also ordered a 650B hardtail from Kent.
    Could you share some info regarding the geometry and the way your bike rides?
    Happy to email if you'd rather not put it on the blog.
    Ted, South Australia

  5. hi Ted;
    stay tuned for a more detailed answer from Jen- but when i asked her your question, the first word back was "nimble". the bike has definitely elevated Jen's riding to a new level of speed and finesse.
    that's all i am going to say about it for now, i will let Jen provide feedback.
    cheers, dave

    p.s. you can trust Kent completely to get your bike right. the guy is a master builder (i know firsthand from having worked with the guy for a number of years) and his skills and abilities when it comes to working the metal are nothing less than amazing. i promise that you will not be disappointed with your new whip.

    we are happy to answer your questions here on the blog, and to share our good experiences with the world. thanks for reading, and please share some images of riding in Oz on your new Eriksen- we would love to publish them on ABANDON YOUR CAR.

  6. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the quick response.
    I am planning on a build with a Lefty fork, built for fun trail rides rather than racing. I believe front-centre distance and chainstay length (not necessarily in keeping with the current fashion for ultrashort stays) are some of the critical factors at play when addressing this issue.
    Happy to share some pics of my 2 other custom ti rides in the Ozzy sunshine! Look forward to receiving some feedback from Jen.

  7. hi Ted;
    my hardtail was purpose built for racing, using the dimensions from my f/s bike, and measurements obtained from a Retul bike fit as a baseline. aside from "make it slighty more aggressive", there wasn't much feedback given to Kent.
    i did have the luxury of test riding some of Katie's personal bikes to help make the decision about which fork to use, but pretty much everything beyond that was left to the builder's discretion.
    the new bike requires more attentiveness while riding, but that is an intentional result. it does just fine on casual trail rides, too.
    your bike will most likely ride exactly the way you want it to, Kent is pretty darn good at taking rider input and translating it into a work if rideable art.
    hope you enjoy your new Eriksen!