What is enthusiasm? Some may see it as being over the top or crazy. For some it is an essential part of living. You may just go through the motions of life and I certainly feel like that a lot of the time. In extreme cases that means ticking the days off, one by one, until the end! Now that is sad but it can happen to any of us overwhelmed by the daily grind. Such drudgery can be put aside if you find something that enthuses you. Really, if you think about your life it should be full of enthusiasm.

Last week I could barely control my enthusiasm. I was getting a new bit for my bike, a handlebar. I had ordered a Scott frameset for a friend and they come with almost  everything, fork, headset, seat post, dropouts, lockout lever and the handle bar. Scott have made two new one piece stem and bars, the Hixon for trail and enduro riding and the Fraser for cross country. Daz’s Spark RC 900 World Cup frameset comes with the Fraser. He is a great rider, not as great as N1NO but nevertheless, a damn good XC racer and like N1NO he wants the Fraser I.C. Limited Edition (-25⁰). That is why I have his unwanted Fraser handle bar.

Sometimes new kit is necessary (you’ve worn something out or broken it), often it is to increase confidence * and sometimes its main purpose is to rekindle your enthusiasm for either the bike or riding it. I didn’t need any of those although I have long felt that an 80mm stem would be 10mm better than my current set up. However, once I saw the new bar I immediately justified its purchase on all counts and my enthusiasm for riding went through the roof.

I couldn’t wait to fit it and ride with it. I sent a message out to the troops: 6:30 am start and it would raining, surprisingly, I had no takers so I would be riding on my own. Such was my enthusiasm and passion that it did not matter. It might have been raining and blowing a gale but it was warm enough for shorts and that made a big difference. I had a great time.

You need enthusiasm and passion if you want to live a good life. A willingness to learn and a desire to better yourself helps too. You don’t want to set limits. Self belief and confidence are as important as regular exercise and a good diet. I have a long term plan to be skiing when I am in my eighties so I need all the help, even if it is self generated, that I can get. So if a new handle bar fires me up and gives me the enthusiasm the ride three hours in the rain then it is worth it.

How was the Syncros Fraser bar?

It looks stunning and that is why I went for it. The effective stem length is 80mm but is actually just 50mm. The sweep and rise of the handle bar is 6mm and 9⁰ sweep the same as the Ritchey WCS bar  that I had before. It comes in at 720mm but I cut it down to 700mm. That may have been a mistake although I have been using 690mm for the last two years. It weighed in at 232g whilst the Ritchey WSC set up was 293g so I have saved 61g!!! Another justification. The bar is noticeably much stiffer than the Ritchey bar which might be fine for a world cup racer but may not necessarily be a benefit for me.  We will have to see how I get on with it.

*One of the most common confidence purchaces

Here is the ride on Strava

What was I riding?






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