Changing subjects, here’s some news from my favorite internet addiction, Pinkbike! PB reports from some random event I’ve never heard of called Roc D’Azur: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Roc-DAzur-2012-Diamondback.html
Like I said, I’ve never heard of this new bike festival event thing, and I don’t know what “rock d’azur” means. I don’t speak commie or funny foreigner speak, but I do know that azure is a fancy word for the color blue, and I know what the term “rocks” or “stones” can refer to, so based on my best translation, I think Roc D’Azur is french for blue balls.
Team Robot giving you the straight dope.
Anyway, I just saw these slick new bikes from Diamondback in Pinkbike’s newest article from the Blue Balls Bike Festival:
If this bike doesn’t look like fun to you, you suck at life. This thing was made to manual and jump, and it has a low low low BB to rip corners. Toss in a tapered steerer tube, a big tube set, and a 142 rear end and you’re looking at a bike that can put up with 195 pound me without riding like one of these:
|The rear end of most 10mm dropout slalom bikes.|
I really liked the old blue/white Boeing airliner paint job from the ages of yore, but this new orange is maybe even better. Speaking of the Boeing theme, this bike is no longer called the “Dreamliner;” because that plane sucked and we don’t.
|The old bike. Not too shabby, but the new bike’s even sweeter. And not just “bold new graphics.” New rear axle, dropout rear pivot, 2013 Fox CTD shock, and a new rear triangle brace=sweeter, stiffer, faster. And bold new graphics.|
It’s still a prototype, but for now it’s tentatively named the “4X Slopestyle bike.” I compete in neither one of these events, but I was still hopeful that I might be able to pick up one of these bikes because they look like so much fun. When I called up the guys at Diamondback they said “Welcome to Pizza Hut, how can I help you tonight?”
When the guys at Diamondback welcomed me back to the team for 2013, they gave me the phone number for the “new marketing department.” I was really excited, but the new marketing dept seems to have reorganized and restaffed a little; I didn’t know anyone at the new marketing dept and the new staff didn’t seem to know much about the new 2013 completes and frame sets, or the race schedule. But I’m persistent, so I kept asking them about the new 4X bike and when it might be available for team riders. They just wanted to tell me about this month’s special “Zingin’ Baked Pasta Two-fer Promotion.”
I asked to talk to the manager, but he wasn’t a whole lot more helpful. I’m sure they’ll sort out the staffing details at the new marketing department soon. So yeah, the new marketing guys are a little hard to work with, but you’ve got to stay focused on the positives, and I’m stoked to be going into year two on the Diamondback DF5 with a solid relationship based on trust, respect, and open lines of communication.
This new bike is called the Axis, and I think it looks pretty cool. I know that I am never, ever, ever supposed to admit that any 29er or 650b (er?) is cool, but this bike is different for a couple reasons:
- Most importantly, it’s a hard tail, so no ones pretending that it designed for jumping and turning. In this context, big wheels are sort of okay I guess. It’s a straight up light weight pedaling machine.
- It looks really clean. It looks like a fighter jet. By the way, I have a looser definition of what “a couple” means when it precedes a numbered list, so bear with me for a few more reasons…
- I’m really tall, and big wheels would make a bike like this feel pretty reasonable for a guy like me. Also, I won’t look like a bear on a clown bike when I ride it. And it’s a not a 29er, so the wheel size is still very flickable and fun.
- I only have a 6-inch Mission as a normal mountain bike, and while it can do anything, it’s just way too much bike for a lot of rides. Having a bike like the Axis in the quiver would be super fun, and would be a great way to spice up old, boring rides I’ve been on a bunch.
- I have never ridden a bike with 650 b wheels, but they’re not 29 inches. My hate for 29ers is sort of analogous to hating Oregon State. I hate the Beavers because they are what they are, and there’s nothing they can ever do to overcome this divide between us. My hate is fundamental and unshaking: I will cheer against them with all of my being. When someone else comes along that can defeat them, they are my new ally- “my enemy’s enemy is my friend,” if you will. If 650b can destroy the 29er, than I will help them in any way I can.
- I’ve never ridden a 29er, either. That’s not really a reason I like the Axis, but I thought now was as good a time as any to bring it up.
I already have this bike, but the downhill bike recently got a name change for2013, and I think it was a smart move for DB. The DH bike was previously was called the “Syncline,” named after a famous riding spot outside of Hood River, Oregon. Even if you don’t recognize the name, I’m sure you’d recognize the place. Every bike company on the planet has done at least one catalog shoot there to take advantage of the scenic vistas and breathtaking other stuff and skies and whatever.
Here’s an old school shot from Tim Zim, shooting Mr. Sledneck himself, Art Babcock out at Syncline back in 2010. The point is that it’s really easy to shoot pretty pictures out at Syncline, and even Tim had to work hard to get shots that didn’t look like everyone else’s.
We used to ride downhill out at Syncline a lot, but then we discovered real trails, namely Ravens Ridge and all the other BW creations, or as I like to call them “the best trails in the entire world.” So now, every year, like clockwork, once we’ve ridden the same really god trails over and over again, we get cabin fever and try to relive the glory days by getting a crew together to go shuttle syncline. And every year, like clockwork, we remember why we never ride there anymore. It requires a ten minute pedal in and a ten minute pedal out, there’s not much actual trail, it’s a super long, rough shuttle, it’s a lot of the same kind of trail, and it’s in Washington, which means there’s sales tax and you have to pump your own gas, and that’s just brutal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place for a trail bike. It’s an awesome place for a trail bike, actually. But we’re talking downhill bikes.
So the new name for the bike is the DB8. It’s simple, it’s easy to remember. It’s even descriptive: it’s a Diamondback, and it gets 8 inches of travel.
And whereas the old name brought back memories of exhaustion and disappointment, the new name reminds me of my favorite Mariachi band, Del Bueno Ocho, or DB8 for short: