Thursday, 5 December 2013

All Terrain Cycles Handsomedog XC03 is a Winner

"Hi People, 8 years ago I bought my first Handsome Dog frame, a bit of a mongrel, if you'll pardon the expression. It was supposed to be all Easton Elite but you said one tube wasn't so it was mine for £65! You remember the frames, the ones where the stickers came off before you got it home! That frame served me brilliantly. It was light, stiff, climbed and handled like a dream and inspired confidence. It even made me look good! By October 2005 the components on the frame were looking a bit tired. The frame was battered but still handled like new, but it was 7 years old and I weigh 14 stone, enough said! After much consideration I replaced it in October 2005 with a brand new Marin Attack Trail. This looked the bees knees and had all the nice components you could wish for.......but, and here's the but.......My old Handsome Dog still climbed better, descended better and handled better. I struggled on with the Marin, trying every suspension setting in the book, different tyres, you name it. Nothing made it feel special or even that good!. So in January 2007 I came to your new place at Salts Mill for inspiration.
The Handsome Dog XC03 frame seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. All the attributes of the old 'Dog but with disc mounts and a bit more weight (no bad thing. Remember the 14 stone bit!)With the addition of a new seat pin and some nice flat bars all the other bits from the Marin swapped straight across and built a really great looking bike. This weekend was the first opportunity to give it a try and it is everything I had hoped it would be, and more.

Reasonably light, uber stiff, climbs like a Gazelle and the downhill handling is epic. I had never liked the Fox TALAS RLC forks on the Marin but on the 'Dog, OH MY GAWD! They are fantastic. They suit the frame really well running about 115mm travel on a soft-ish air pressure. Well done, guys! This has rekindled my passion for mountain biking. I thought I was getting old and past it (42!) when all I needed was a new 'Dog!Keep on building great frames and CHARGE MORE FOR THEM! The new one was only £149.99. It's just completely outclassed a supposedly state of the art full-bouncer!I'm riding the Aire & Calder to Skipton with a friend in the next month or so, so I'll drop it in and let you take a look, but meanwhile I've attached a piccy. (It's not in a dungeon. This is our cellar!)Again, many many thanks for the ride of a life! I'll be back in 8 years time if the old legs will still work at 50!-  Paul F