BORDER="0">After a wee spell in hospital|
(doctor told me he was keeping me in for observation the same day the last part for
the bike arrived!!!), the bike finally got built.
This bike has been a ‘I want’ for about 8 years, but was way out of my price range,
however I was very lucky to meet a few folk who were able to pull some strings and
sort me out with the bike, total price was well under ‘normal’ prices and only £150
more than I originally wanted to pay.
So anyway, the spell in hospital over, the all clear from the doctor and the bike
was built. The first thing you notice when you feel the bike is it has a presence,
it actually feels as though it is alive. Pick it up and it feels very well balanced
without any tendency to either wheel.
The first ride of the bike was interesting – the discs didn’t work (I first thought
that someone was playing a joke on me!), the shifter’s felt stiff (due to the Clark’s
cables being new and needing run-in), the wheels were ultra stiff and the frame just
wanted to go·
I spent the next few days tinkering with the discs – the setting up of the discs
is very easy however I foolishly forgot to tighten the QR’s up when originally setting
them up so they needing some more time.
Once the new shoes and helmet had arrived (my excuse of a ‘Get Well Soon’ present
to myself), I got the whole thing set up and finally went for a spin off-road·
Holy Dooley – this thing seemed to gobble up singletrack, laugh at what was classed
as a climb and simply begged for more downhill. On singletrack the bike seems to
squat down and simply ‘flow’ through the track, the steering is very light and the
slightest flick allows the bike to manoeuvre through anything thrown at it; climbs
are stupidly easy to ride, I’m turning a 24-28 and the bike simply turns any circular
motion into power, compared to my old steel Orange P7, this thing was on drugs and
needed more; the descents were very interesting, I was expecting to be bucked around
a lot but found the ride to be smooth, the back-end is stupidly stiff but riding
over rough terrain didn’t transmit this roughness to my rear-end, the bike seemed
to spring over the rocks and roots without ever realising that it wasn’t smooth ground.
The forks are starting to bed in nicely, still not as smooth as my old RC-36′s but
certainly well on the way – the extra 14mm of travel is very weird, the fork now
tracks much better than the previous model, the action is silent (where have the
Atmospherically Balanced holes gone?) and the sideways movement to a minimum – a
very good fork only let down by a slightly high price in the market, don’t get me
wrong, you get a lot of fork and a lot of tweaking but £400 seems a bit high
when the other 3 main players have similar forks for about £350. I’m happy
to pay the extra as I’m convinced there isn’t a fork out there that can match the
RC-36, in my opinion.
The discs – these have been my bugbear! The rear brake is absolutely amazing, the
slightest touch of the lever and I can feel the brake biting however the front is
whole different kettle of fish! The front disc was pathetic, worse than a set of
cantis, no matter how hard I pulled the lever, no matter how much tweaking this brake
wasn’t for stopping me. I contacted Hope and they sent me a new set of pads, I can
now however confirm that these brakes are excellent, they are light and the stopping
is very good – the front still isn’t on par with the back but I’m hoping it will
be there after the next few days riding. The discs do get hot but there seems to
be very little heat build-up – they do pump but very slightly, not enough to worry
about (I do still tend to ride my brakes, stupid I know!).
If I was given a blank cheque and told to buy whatever bike I wanted, I’d be very
hard pushed to beat this bike, it is a high-end machine with high-end components
on it and I don’t think I could ask for anymore from it – it does more than the 8-year
dream ever expected.
If you would like to find out more about any Pace product, the number to ring is
01751 432929 or visit their website (getting a serious overall as we speak, should
be completed in about 2 weeks!) at target="_blank">www.pace-racing.co.uk FACE="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">.
I’m going to give the bike 4.5 out 5 as the price is very high – yes your getting
a top quality frame that rides like a dream but it is still almost £1000. Well
worth the money if you can convince the bank manager you don’t actually need that
kidney, arm and leg…