...this is the kind of stuff I'd post on it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Elephant Cometh

I got a shiny new toy the other day in the form of a new Elephant cyclocross bike.  Go ahead, take a second and admire.  I'll wait.

Glen (the man behind Elephant Bikes) is working on a new website that will show off some of his work, but until then you'll have to take my word for it: the guy builds a great bike.  Heck, if you don't believe me, ask a few other satisfied customers.

Glen is located in my hometown of Spokane, so on a recent trip out to visit my family I was able to pick up the new ride in person.  The plan was to get some bikey folks together, build up the bike Saturday night, and race it first thing Sunday.  It seemed only fitting to break it in on some local turf, before loading it up on the car for the drive back to Seattle.

So we stood around, beers in hand, Belgian cyclocross videos playing in the background, and watched Glen assemble the new steed.  I had been told by a certain John Speare that Glen was pretty handy when it comes to building up a bike, and he was more than right.  I generally just tried to stay the hell out of the way while Glen took care of all the important shit.  Before you could say "Mario Cippollini", the lawyer lips were ground off, the steerer was cut, and the thing was basically done.
(Shakes head) Oh Mario, when will your hijinks ever end?
Ultimately, I think everyone who was present loved the bike, save for a few people who derided my choice of blasé black bar tape.  Have you ever tried to wrap a set of bars while being heckled?  It actually makes the whole process take longer somehow.

This is how many beers it takes to watch someone build a 'cross bike
After taking a few 'hotlaps' around the block, I raced it the very next morning at one of the local CX races.  The course, in the tiny town of Colfax, WA was awesome: part smooth, flowy grass in a city park, part bumpy farmland, with a killer run-up and few short, steep descents to keep things interesting.  The organizers lump the men's 1/2/3 categories together, and as a result, my race was a gut-busting 55 minutes long.  Despite the extra length and the unfamiliarity of a brand-new bike, I felt strong, stayed rubber-side down, and ended up getting 2nd in the Cat 3s.  Critics might point out that there were only 6 of us in the Cat 3s, but I will hear no such criticisms of my performance.

How'd the bike do?  In short: amazing.  It fits great (duh, kinda the point of getting a custom frame), corners like it's on rails, and isn't too shabby looking either.  I'm not enough of a weight weenie to weigh my bikes, but it's obvious that this bike is a pretty svelte package.

Enough with the words you say?  Fine, here are some more pics:

The signature Elephant 'wishbone' seatstays.  Super awesome.

Check out the detailing on the ends of the headtube, and the minimalist pump peg: a single ball bearing.

I can't thank Glen enough for building such a great bike.  It's sure to see plenty more racing action this season, not to mention all the miles I'll undoubtedly put on it outside of races.


  1. Sweet ride Dylan, I also recently picked up an Elephant from Glen! Grateful for the experience and the quality. I've been finishing higher than I thought I would. As Mars Blackmon would say "Its gotta be the bike"!! I plan on hitting the "Stinky Spoke Poker Ride" in Feb, perhaps I wont be the only Elephant rider circling RedHook brewery!

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