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.