The Venture Report | Colin Baker | May 8th, 2024

Colin's Hardtail Build

I've always wanted to build a bike - from deciding the frame color to choosing what drivetrain I would run, I always thought that building a bike was a way I could express myself and truly call something "my own". After a big mountain bike crash in late June 2023, that resulted in surgery on my arm, I began reflecting on why I first got into bikes, what still gets me excited about riding them, and where I go from here. After a few months of physical therapy, I realized what I wanted - I wanted change. 

The days I enjoy most are the ones spent riding outside for long periods of time where the hills roll up and down, and up again. And before you put two and two together - yes, I am one of those people who find joy in putting my body through prolonged periods of suffering also known as endurance sports. While I understand that endurance sports aren't everyone's cup of tea, it's my cup and I'm happy with what's in it. 

So, with that in mind, I decided to sell my full-suspension mountain bike and an old guitar that was collecting dust, and build a cross-country mountain bike that would allow me to ride as long as my legs could pedal it. 

Enter the 2023 Specialized Chisel: a cross-country hardtail that's made for eating up miles of singletrack and racing. After reading reviews, watching discussions, and asking a friend or two, I bought this frame thanks to its geometry, ride feel, weight, and budget. From there, I've sourced parts that are within my means and skill level. As of right now, I'm about halfway there into the build and hoping to finish it before within the next couple of weeks.

Currently, I am signed up for the Firecracker 50 - a mountain bike race based in the mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado. With 2 laps of high alpine climbing, descending, and sweating - I am looking forward to putting the bike, and myself, to the test. The next time you hear from me, the bike will be built, raced, and hopefully not crashed. Stay tuned for the next update!