Tim prepares to rear-wheel drop gap from a boulder
Preparing for a drop gap

My first ride on the new (to me) 26-inch trials bike was on wooden pallets in my yard. As local trials crew rider Tony DeLima refers to it, that’s “pallet hero” mode. The true test of the bike and the rider is on natural terrain like rocks and fallen trees: imperfect, misshapen, oddball.

Tony gets ready for a big rear-wheel drop
Tony gets ready for a big rear-wheel drop (it’s much bigger than it looks here)

Most of the local crew was unavailable to ride on Thursday, so this was another group ride that ended up just a pair of us. Of course I love having a good-sized group show up, but as I’ve said before, riding with just one other person is also a really enjoyable experience. Especially when they add humor, coaching, and encouragement to the mix. In my case, it’s also a bonus when they’re amenable to taking turns holding the camera as well.

While I’m not going to spoil it, I’ll say that this ride started out in quite an unexpected way on the first line. You can watch the video to see what I mean.

The new bike feels a bit different than my 24-inch Echo, so I’m still trying to get used to the differences. As I mentioned in my video about the first ride, the gear ratio is different from my 24-inch Echo bike, so I’m still trying to re-train my brain and muscle memory to get pedal timing right for rollups and pedalups. I could see definitely improvement as this ride continued, especially with repeated attempts (most of which I left out of the video).

Low consequence gap between rocks on a trials bike
Low consequence gap

As the title of this post states, there were some struggles on this ride – both with me and the bike. In one case, the carbon bars rolled forward after a drop, which was a bit scary. in another case, the brake lever did the same thing. So I ordered a tube of the goop used to add friction to prevent such things (shoutout to all of you who answered my question on the USA Bike Trials Riders group on Facebook!).

Despite some challenges, however, I still really enjoyed both the ride with Tony and the new bike! When you get your balance and technique on-point, this bike feels really comfortable and rides effortlessly. So far I’m loving this bike!

One other thing I meant to mention as well, with respect to terminology. In this video and probably in many of other group ride edits, you hear the term “French lady”. This is a term someone in the crew coined to refer to the move where you rest your front wheel on an obstacle that is higher than the rear wheel and do a pedal-kick/lunge to rear wheel where the front wheel was resting, kinda like this. Apparently the move was named “French lady” as a hat-tip to French trials rider Manon Basseville. Just wanted to throw that little explanation in here so that when you hear Tony saying to “French lady it”, you know what he means.

Ride Highlights


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