Three things..

ST4 - New Linkage

… I lost after coming back from the Pyrenees. Firstly my motivation to ride, secondly the feeling in one of my toes and finally the ST4. Let’s take those in turn shall we?

Local trails didn’t really cut it for a couple of weeks when compared to being high up in the mountains. I trudged round, not enjoying any extra alpine fitness, not really enjoying being back on the hardtail, so spending the entire ride looking for my mojo, or a new place to crash.

A day walking in SPD’s reduced a previously frost-nipped toe to not-terribly-amusingly wooliness making walking a bit of a chore. It’s mostly back to life now, which is comforting considering I’ve been eyeing up a sharp knife in a Randolph Fiennes “Hack Your Own Extremities off” kind of way.

The ST4 tho was more than a little broken. Frankly it’s been a proper Marmite bike from the start; firstly the BB shells needed cleaning out, then I had no end of issues with chainsuck which may have been causal to the shock failing and taking the pivot bearings with it. Like a high maintenance girlfriend, it was awesome when it was good, but God could it piss you off during the many and varied drama queen moments.

And while it was obvious that all was not well with the bike while hauling aged carcass up proper mountains, the full horror wasn’t revealed until I removed the cranks and the bottom bracket kind of fell out at the same time. The threads, responsible for preventing such an event, were now wispy shadows of their former selves.

I was understandably upset. 750 miles, 9 months and the frame was both knackered internally and seriously cosmetically scared on the outside. Disregarding the warranty protocol involving form filling and original dealers, I rang Orange, spoke to their main man in Warranty and whined. At length.

He stopped me by offering a new 2011 frame, entirely re-designed and available in a couple of weeks after the Eurobike launch. I shut up then other than to say thanks. True to their word, Orange have painted one in my preferred colour*, recycled the shock and headset off the previous frame remains before shipping it back today.

All within three weeks, and all without a hint of trying to pull a fast one or looking for some plausible deniability.

So there we are. In fact there ^^^ it is. And once I’d spoken to Orange, suddenly riding became an official fun thing to do again. Come Sunday with a following wind, and a firm hand on the spanners, mark 2 ST4 shall be committed to the Malvern trails of lumps and bumpiness. Hopefully this time without the histrionics.

After all, that’s my job.

* and I’m shallowly happy that there will be no other Red frame only deals until 2011.

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