Off the Pace

Pace 405 XCAM (1 of 7)

A very nice man from Chepstow left happy-faced with most of the Pace yesterday. He has many adventures planned so, even if this enthusiasm wanes, is sure to ride it more than I ever did. That would be a total of four times in 2010, none of which gave me much pleasure.

Which explains why I am spared the standard remorse and hand wringing when selling anything two wheeled. Because I certainly didn’t do it for the money. As the old joke goes how do you make£2,000 buying and selling 2nd hand mountain bikes? Start with£5,000.

Scotland 2008 MTB (74 of 99) Scotland 2008 MTB (48 of 99)

The Pace was a damn fine bike. This excellent suspension platform, allied to a frame long on stiffness and short on pointless faffery, was the product of extensive rider-led development. The problem is that while it will be a great bike for someone else, it just wasn’t for me. Too tall, too short, too much travel, a little too heavy, a lot too much bike for 95{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} of my riding.

I persevered because, on trips to the districts of Peak and Lake, it proved its’ metal on rocky terrain. Mostly unperturbed by chaotic gardens of granite, it would carry a committed pilot downhill at silly speeds while still being engaging enough through sinewy singletrack. Further it was almost entirely unfazed when being thrown down the Cwmcarn DH course by a man whose riding style could best be described as “hanging on gamely“.

Cwmcarn Uplift Day Pace 405 DH

So largely viceless, heavily competent, nicely built, and sufficiently dynamic to span most genres from messing about in the woods to day long epics in the hills. And without wishing to head up my own arse in pointless analysis, maybe that strikes at the heart of the issue. The Ti Cove hardtail is more fun in woody singletrack, the ST4 is as brilliantly flexible and yet somehow more focussed, and – if the urge to be silly overcomes me once again – I’d have no qualms trailering the little DMR on an uplift day.

Scotland 2008 MTB (64 of 99) Scotland 2008 MTB (66 of 99)

So with these three frisky concubines in the sheddy harem – each alloyed with unique gifts – the Pace has become something of a dusty embarrassment. It was a bike I wanted very much from the first release pictures, so it’s more than a little disappointing that style, terrain and greener biking grass had left it being nothing more than an expensive wall ornament.

Scotland 2008 MTB (23 of 99) Scotland 2008 MTB (48 of 99)

I am sure that my next trip to rocky places will have me cursing the decision to turn a quick buck. But that will to be mitigated by the genuine pleasure of someone else having a weekly blast. Something I will follow up on first hand having vaguely arranged a meet sometime in the Spring.

It’ll be strange to see someone else riding what still feels like my bike. But – at least this time – I don’t think I’ll be asking for it back.

4 thoughts on “Off the Pace

  1. I was about to castigate you for selling a cracking trail bike. Then I remembered that I live in the Peak. And ride lots over rocks. And so I just felt sorry for you instead. For different reasons. That said, right now my 405 is having a quiet life thanks to a devil bike that begins with R and ends in Ti … or more likely ends in a crumpled heap just below some stupid gritstone step. But 405s are quietly brilliant and all the better for not being feted by the bike press and, as a result, ridden by lots of fat, slow people. Proper bikes.

  2. Alex

    As you know Jon, I’ve ridden in the peaks a lot. But I prefer it here. We have corners and everything 😉 I’ll agree with you tho that the Pace was – unsurprisingly considering where Pace HQ is – brilliant in anything rocky. I’m sure I’ll miss it when, come April, I’ll be back riding God’s trails.

    I shall NOT be following your example of bringing my Ti Hardtail tho. Can’t afford the time in hospital….

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