With this week’s Over To You I’m rewinding the clock by a full decade. Inspired by Facebook’s ‘on this day’ app, which frequently pulls up embarrassing things I’d rather forget, I thought it might be fun to turn back the clock on my own two-wheeled antics and poke a bit of fun at what I was riding all that time ago.
- Step back in time with these 5 retro bike games
- These beautiful handmade bikes will make you want to go custom
Back in April 2007, my garage had three bikes inside — and probably another five in pieces (but that’s another story). For this article I’ll talk about my pick of the bunch and a bike that I still have happy memories of.
It was Specialized’s Enduro, a 2006 Expert model that I picked up for an excellent price at a local Specialized dealer.
I always loved the frame with its neat welds and unlikely shapes, right down to the finishing details such as the integrated shock guard at the rear. Its Horst link FSR suspension was almost exclusively praised and is a design that remains one of the most imitated of all time.
The anoraks out there will notice the red frame, which was reserved for demo bikes (hence the excellent price), while the absolute anoraks will realise I had swapped the standard DHX Air rear shock for a coil item. This was in an attempt to get the bike closer to the enduro-derived SX Trail model that I’d lusted after in the pages of Mountain Biking UK but could never afford.
I enjoyed this bike on everything from trail centres to bike parks, abused it as a short travel downhill bike and even used to have a laugh around BMX tracks on it.
Yes, the wheels look comically small now and the frame itself was definitely about two sizes too small for me (it’s more flickable that way, innit?), but I had more fun on this bike than probably any before it.
The stock handlebars were 640mm, but I don’t remember them feeling too narrow — it seems crazy to think that an extra 10cm+ of width is now the norm for bikes of this kind.
The Fox 36 TALAS fork was the one with the poo brown lowers, which I promptly cracked at the pinch bolts thanks to some ham-fisted Allen key action.
SRAM’s X9 gearing felt like a revelation for someone who was used to Shimano shifters, though the double front set-up would often drop the chain at the worst moments — something that wasn’t helped by the limp Blackspire Stinger chain tensioner.
That same tensioner would also pivot around the bottom bracket and hold the chain ransom against the frame should you case a jump — not my favourite bit of kit.
I remember the Avid Juicy brakes performed nicely but were a real pain to work on and the exposed bite point adjusters would snap off at your first OTB moment.
I can’t quite remember why I sold the Enduro but I definitely shouldn’t have. I’d fitted a pair of flat pedals from Funn, which featured a tiny bit of 3M tape in the centre of the platform and that was enough to get the failed skater in me excited enough to buy them.
I remember being gutted when Specialized quickly superseded these bikes with the uglier, less likeable 2007 Enduro with its silly own-brand fork. I wonder, where this bike is now? I'd love to have another go. As dated as it is, I bet it still rides great. *heads on over to eBay*.
That's enough about me, Over To You. What were you riding ten years ago?