Forget full bounceHardtails rock; rocks are hard. Two random, not entirely unconnected thoughts ricocheting around my brain at a time when, to be honest, I should be concentrating on other things. Swathes of speed-blurred, sun-bathed South Wales hillside tug at the far reaches of my consciousness. Crisp light, sublime singletrack and dusty conditions are playing tricks on my mind - is this actually Colorado? California? The Alps? Nope. It really is prime Welsh singletrack on a beautifully crisp winter's day.
Underneath me - and grabbing most of my attention - the trail alternately twists between stunted tree stumps, meanders through the heavy dampness of thick pine forest and carves across bleak, clear-felled hillside. Every crunch of gravel, every tiny undulation, every rock, root and gulley. it all blurs together into a constant chatter of feedback from my rear tyre, via the chainstays, seatpost, saddle, cranks and pedals. And it's talking my language.
Seb Rogers sings the praises of a rigid rear in the new issue of MBUK, on sale 22nd January 2004.