New bike days

They only come round once in a blue moon but new bike days are one of the best bits of being a mountain biker. Our Ric pours himself a glass of off-road brandy, sits by the fire and reminisces…

New bike days are the best. Simple as that. Whether you’ve ordered off the interweb, bought it there and then in a shop or just finished building it, the wait for a new bike is always worth it.


Wheeling a new machine out of the shop or your shed for the first time feels like the start of something completely new and fresh. It’s hard to beat the unfamiliar feel of everything, ultra sharp shifting and the buzz of ‘hairy’ tyres.

Whilst waiting for my new long-termer (more on that later) to arrive I started thinking about how many new bike days I’d seen and thought back over a couple that meant the most and what made them special.

The first is always the arrival of my first ‘proper’ bike when I was eight. It was a Giant Boulder which featured 7 Shimano SIS gears, skinwall tyres and a fluorescent yellow to neon pink paint job. My dad bought it from a man called Mike The Bike in Newtownards near where we lived and in my mind it was the quickest thing I would ever sit on.

The Boulder helped me learn the basics, pull my first skids (incorporating flicking the kick-stand down so you could just get off after) and got me my first grazed knees and split elbows. It lasted too, until I tried to jump it off a wall. I survived without a scratch, but killed the forks, wheels and the frame. Bye bye Boulder.

The other stand-out one for me was the day my Intense M1 arrived. I’d bought it second hand from America on ebay and before I could get a hold of it I had to pay the nice man in the van £300 import tax, eliminating the saving I thought I’d made.

Even losing that amount of cash didn’t ruin that day for me though. I’d always wanted an Intense since seeing Palmer ride one in a magazine when I was 12 and now I had one.

It was a bit beaten up but a couple of hours later with some touch up paint and a lot of Teflon lube it was the machine that got me hooked on big bikes. 

Which brings me neatly back to today. My Giant Glory DH is here and it looks wicked. I can’t go into too much detail at the minute because I’m saving it for the mag but after spending the morning setting things up I’m well happy.

Initial impressions are good, with the size large frame feeling nice and long. The combination of Maestro shock position and Fox suspension is nice and supple and the tubeless Michelin rubber is plenty grippy.


The bike will get its first proper shake-down of the year at Cwm Carn on Thursday which should give me a better idea of what changes are going to be made before she begins her main duties in the MBUK test fleet. Watch this space…