Today we were having discussions with people who were telling us that their mountain biking looked to be over for the year. We presumed that they were injured but no it just turns out their bikes could not cope with a wet Scottish winter's mud.
It seemed crazy to us that people would buy bikes that could not deal with Scottish weather so we decided to get out and show people how to have fun in the hellish Scottish weather.
You might have thought that going out to try and prove a point in weather that even our waterproofs gave up on would be terrible idea. Instead it was great fun, slipping and sliding around wet clay berms, razzing through lochs (puddles), and generally just having a laugh.
The bikes we picked were the Surly Instigator 2.0 and the Diamondback Heist 3.0. With the Surly having a retail of £1500 and the Diamondback having a retail of a cool grand we were not out on the most expensive or bling bikes out there, even if the Surly is in SolidGold Gold according to Surly.
Now the Surly Instigator 2.0 was originally part of Surly's 2014 bike range and as such might be considered old in our modern consumerist society but the fact is it works as a bike. It is a steel hardtail that is so well thought out that people can be seen using them in a skatepark or for backpacking across Mongolia, as well as haring around woods on.
Think about that for a second, a bike that is so well thought out that you can use it for multiple tasks. Not only that but you can find people running it with 24" x 4 tyres, 26"+ tyres, 27.5+ tyres and in some cases 29er tyres. That is a lot of different possible uses. This is why we are delighted to bring you Surly as their bikes set trends and are great fun to ride.
Dan picked the Diamondback Heist 3.0 in a slighly less bling than gold, matte silver colourway. A bike that tops Diamondback's Heist range and amazingly does not destroy your bank account.
The bike has a nice bang up to date 1x11 setup, a dropper post, and Boost spacing. A bike that will see you through all of winter and make you wonder do you need to spend extra money on a "summer" bike? Although you may have to buy uberbright orange DMR Deathgrips and Vault pedals.
On both bikes today we had a world of fun, in weather that felt like a hurricane was trying to come through. Most of the tracks we rode had small rivers coming down them and were slick with clay but our tyres cut through the clay and provided grip where other bikes may well have given up and sent you into the mud. Instead we had those moments where we thought we were going down but the knobs on the side of the tyres caught at the last second and helped us on our way, with a small flutter in our hearts.
Riding in today's conditions left us with enough topsoil on our clothing to have made a pretty penny at the garden centre, instead we just hosed ourselves down outside, especially since broken washing machines are not fun. We rode, we laughed, and we got soaked all in conditions where some others will not bring out their bikes and we feel we proved that sometimes just a sensibly equipped and priced bike is all you ever need to put a smile on your face.