I drag my feet on new bike decisions. I belabor them way beyond what is reasonable. Jeremy Sycip basically built all my bike frames for a decade. The bikes I owned before Jeremy started building them were no slouches: A bontrager, a custom Ti WTB phoenix, a stock Rock Lobster. But once Jeremy started building my bikes it just was fluid. I'd call Jeremy tell him what I wanted and then he'd deliver one of the finest riding bikes you'd ever have the pleasure to ride. I trusted him emphatically. He also spoiled me. I didn't realize it at the time but he'd let me dictate the design a bit on the bikes. I didn't even know or think this was a bad idea. If I pushed things in the wrong direction he'd gently nudge me back to what made sense. It was very much a relationship. He is one of my good friends. And we conducted business that way.
Over the years he built me no less than 5 bikes. My current S3/columbus life rocket ship of a road bike, my cross bike and an older 853 mtb. This cross season I knew I wanted to try something different. I took a trip out to PDX a year ago for the Crank Bros finals at PIR. The trip was an epiphany. And I of course fell in love with a Speedvagen. Who wouldn't or hasn't. But the practical side of me just could not spend that type of money on a cross machine. A year later I was still going over in my mind what bike to try next. I rode my trusty Sycip the whole cross season. Until it hit me. Rock Lobster. My first cross bike was a stock School Bus Yellow Rock Lobster. It was too big for me and was one of a fleet of team bikes that flooded the courses of Santa Cruz and NorCal but it Rocked. It was awesome!
I thought why not go with what got you started. I love the fact that Paul Sadoff races himself. Quite competitively I might add. Paul fields a serious cross team and is a master. He is also a very cool cat. Real NorCal gem. Musician, living in Santa Cruz wow. I called him. He remembered me (we'd actually crossed paths at that Crank Bros finals in PDX) and we hit it off. I sent a deposit and my numbers and got stoked.
That's where it got interesting. When he sent me his final numbers on the bike I casually responded to his email. I made what I thought were some ok suggestions on what might make it better...oopsies. His reaction was totally justified. I had no place suggesting design ideas on a bike I was ordering from him. He basically said trust me or you should find another builder. I learned a very valuable lesson in Trust.
It is important to Trust those who we are looking to for their expertise. He wasn't rude about it just made a strong statement that helped me understand what it means to be a master. And that is what he is. And I respect him for it. I trusted him and that bike has changed everything for me. I basically said build me what you would ride. Nice to be able to do that with a builder. It has some real interesting race-proven elements to it. It is my first 7000 series aluminum bike and it is a weapon of cross destruction. The real thing is he has thought out every single thing he's put into the Team bikes so they are perfect for cross racing. And what I love about it more than anything is that he was right and I learnt a valuable lesson in trust. Man can that man build a cross bike!