My New Mountain Bike - Part I

I realize it is early March and mountain bike season is a few months away, but there is a possessive pronoun battle going on in our house and it will soon need to be settled.  The game of my, your, our is being well played but the winner has yet to be chosen.  The outcome will likely go in favor of Terry as far as pronouns go, but actual ownership could be determined by riding time.

It all began a year ago, Terry bought the family's 1st 29er in April after researching and working with our local bike shop that sponsors our cycling club.  It is a 2012 Specialized Epic Expert Carbon 29 in white with black details.  I won't bore you with a component rundown, but feel free to take a moment and check out the 2013 specs.  

Although we both needed new mountain bikes, we made the decision to only buy one.  The 1st reason was strictly budgetary.  The 2nd is that we didn't want the exact same bikes.  Sure, with our club deal, we could have gotten one in each color, but we weren't that committed.  That wasn't the case when we bought our BMC mountain bikes in 2007.  They were exactly the same and a screaming deal for two.  Although I was happy with my bike, Terry never really enjoyed the fit and was ready to move on 4 yrs ago.  I think he held on so long because he really enjoyed having matching bikes with his spouse. 
Our last ride on matching BMCs - Park City, Oct 2011.  At this point, only Christian had a 29er, but now all of us do!
Our reasoning for only buying Terry's bike, beyond the budget and matching bike issues, is listed below.  Keep in mind that we ride the same size frame so sharing bikes is always a plus (or minus). 
  1. Terry got the bigger bonus last year, so he got the new toy 1st.
  2. Terry had signed up for the Point 2 Point and needed to get a lot of single track miles in while I would be primarily training for the Mid Mountain Marathon and not riding as much. 
  3. If Terry didn't really like the bike, I could take ownership of the Epic. Yeah right, and he would ride my BMC instead?
  4. If a "couldn't resist" bike came out late 2012/early 2013, I could take the Epic off his hands and he could upgrade.  
  5. I could ride the Epic on days when Terry wasn't riding.  Since this was my contribution, it was accepted but there were stipulations. "I must not adjust the seat, I must not crash and damage the bike, I must switch my cleats over to eggbeaters so there wouldn't be excessive pedal swapping, if I got the bike dirty I had to wash it, ..." (I stopped listening at some point)
Fine with me, I didn't expect to mountain bike much anyway with scary marathon thoughts consuming my brain.  We went home to tell Terry's BMC that it was no longer needed in the stable.  Luckily, his coworker was in the market for a mountain bike and they quickly cut a deal.  It was great to see the BMC had found a new home and didn't have to be put down.
Terry's BMC - All cleaned up and ready to move on to greener pastures
The Epic was an immediate hit, whether in Southern Utah, Idaho, or at home in Park City, Terry was happy and fast.  He was smoking me on the trails.  I would come up to a junction and he would have a silly grin  and remark how I really should look into a 29er. Hardy, Har, Har.
The very 1st ride on the Epic - St George, Utah
The Epic (and Terry) were unstoppable on the Idaho fire roads - Priest Lake Overlook
In fact, it wasn't too long before I had my eggbeater cleats installed and would do a little cheating on my BMC with the Epic.  I quickly learned the secret to the silly grin. The Epic can climb, descend, corner, and is so comfortable and light!  I started to not mind so much when Terry had to work late into the night on a bid, since that meant the Epic and I got to go out dancing on the singletrack.  Unfortunately, Terry's back injury during our July vacation put him out for the rest of the season with very little mountain biking.  I took out the Epic several more times, but it wasn't as fun knowing that Terry wasn't just tied up with work but in lots of pain.  I had to make sure the silly grin was wiped clean before coming back home.
Sneaking the Epic out on a quick evening spin
Obviously I was sold on the 29er concept and really hated having to ride my BMC, so I started researching for an early Spring purchase. I was honestly afraid that if I got something other than an Epic I could be disappointed, but several people assured me that there were other options out there.  Our bike shop only carries (and has club deals) on a few brands so I made the decision to go with the Rocky Mountain 950 RSL and waited patiently until a few weeks ago.

We picked a Saturday afternoon in February to go shopping.  Figuring it could take some time to talk components and test drive the Rocky Mountain, we drove to Heber several hours before our dinner reservation at Tarahumara.  We also had a list of items that we needed (ok, wanted) for next season.  We were going to wrap the entire purchase under a Late Christmas/Valentine's/Birthday umbrella and we thought we had a good idea on total cost.  Little did we know what was waiting for us inside the bike shop. 

To Be Continued... My New Mountain Bike - Part II