For those not in the know, I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. It’s a very small town full of geeks, basically, and mostly is famous for being the birthplace of the atomic bomb (I am not as proud of this as some Los Alamosians, but that’s neither here nor there).
When I was growing up, I spent plenty of time hiking around and shooting at my friends with bb guns (paintball is for sissies) but sadly, I did not ride bikes. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in graduate school and visiting my parents that I realized what I’d been missing out on all those years – Los Alamos county probably has just about as high a concentration of singletrack trails as Crested Butte. It’s insane.
In any case, I don’t make it down there very often anymore, but I miss my favorite rides – linking Quemazon into Guaje Ridge, then riding the Arizona firebreak or the Bridges trails back to close the loop, epics up to Cochiti Mesa… the list goes on and on.
So I was pretty excited when I got a chance to build a bike for Aaron, because he lives in Los Alamos (in fact, we went to high school together, though we apparently never knew each other). So while I don’t get to ride those great trails, something I made will.
This sucker is what I’d describe as new-wave XC. Fairly “normal” angles, short chainstays, 29″ wheels, 100mm of travel, and lots of stuff for component flexibility. Aaron is going to run through axles both front and rear (yes, the sliders are available with that option), a tapered steerer Reba, and a Hammerschmidt crank. Will it be light? Not particularly. But it should be stiff, fast, and fun.
Oh, and yes, I am running out of new places to take pictures of frames. That last one is in front of my refrigerator, which is a pretty pathetic and non-inspiring spot. What can I say? It’s dark and cold outside, and everyone has already seen the shop a thousand times.
Edit: if you don’t believe me, check out the trail map here. Yes, there’s probably almost as much mountain bike terrain as paved road. Awesome.
Edit 2: Aaron referred me to this awesome map of the downhill trails at the Pajarito ski area (5 miles from town). I actually helped build some of the early stuff there by chaining a truck tire to my dirtbike and dragging it through the woods…ah, New Mexico!