When I first rode the trails at Angle Fire over ten years ago, I couldn’t have dreamed up what they have going on up there today. The downhill scene has matured and so have the trails that we have access to ride on up there. Just in the last couple of years the amount of terrain has virtually doubled. It’s great to just be able to roll up, park, and ride the chair up to some of the nicest trails in the state, and the only place with well constructed bridges and jumps that you can really test your skills on. If you want a break from your local trails with the loose dogs, their trekking-pole-wielding owners and their dirty looks: there is none of that here. I just LOVE the mountain biking up here now, the terrain is top notch. Angel Fire is definitely becoming more of a summer destination, the trails are steep and exciting for biking, but this place is nothing to write home about by winter standards unless you’re a skittle-thug that loves to hit the terrain parks of which they have up to 4: most of the mountain is relatively flat and full of gapers most days, a perfect place to perfect your “Texas Tuck.”
I called to reserve the Transition TR450 the day before I went and was stoked. I entered the rental shop and was instantly greeted by the “fuck you very much” kind of attitude. “Hi, I reserved a TR450 yesterday” I said. “No you didn’t: I’m holding it for you.” I love starting off a day of riding by talking to a sarcastic prick. I should have looked at the bike I was renting before I paid because I would have not gone for it, but the way this place is set up is: “you’ve signed, you’ve paid, you’re screwed.” I went and pedaled this heap around and promptly brought it back to the “mechanic” who happened to still be wet behind the ears and asked him to note the awful state of disrepair this machine was in before I took it, because, of course, with the form I signed: I was responsible. I asked if I could trade in this creaky mess for one of their other bikes and was told that the one I had was the best one and not as “fucked up” as the others. Way to sell me on your services, guy! I guess it must be really hard to care at this altitude. I took the bike and got on the lift: I just have to say this: Don’t rent a bike from these guys, rent it from someone you know and trust because once you get up here: you’re stuck with Tweetle-Dum and his lack of skill and accountablility. This kid should be setting pins in a bowling alley, not “working on” $5000 plus demo bikes. To Transition, Specialized, Santa Cruz, DeVinci, and GT: letting these guys represent your product is definitely not the best move.
The Transition TR450 I rented had a Specialized saddle and pedals on it. Isn’t this a demo?!? Am I supposed to try a bike that isn’t complete? I’m guessing the Transition Pedals and waffle seat are on the pin-setter’s personal bike. This is a small thing, but not if you’re going to present yourself be a demo center, it looks half-assed as hell. It shows a sense of apathy and that no one is doing quality control. For $60 for a half-day and $100 for a full-day plus lift ticket these guys should have offered to help set up the bike for me, but instead he explained how trashed the rest of their fleet is. I still had a great time on the trails, but renting this bike left a bad taste.
The setup was whatever it was for the last guy. The Rock Shox Boxxer up front was set well for me. The fork made the bike roll confidently over everything I threw at it until you would hear the back end suffer and crunch over the same bump. The shifter was unreachable in any normal situation. On the second run: I realized that the shift/brake lever was loose and spinning on the handlebar, as well as the lock-on grips. Wake up guys!
I decided to get a Transition Bike for myself, no thanks to these jokers. The guys at Transition are what is right with the bike industry these days. I will review that bike for you in a future post. Transition makes good bikes, I think they just need to watch who they let represent them. The apathetic joker can become the face of the company/industry to an unsuspecting newbie and if we want new people in this sport and support this lifestyle we have to watch what we show the public. The truth stings sometimes. Follow the links in the sidebar for more info. ->