Raising the bar with rentals from Christy Sports.
With a wide grin, Annie pedals her way upslope. She maneuvers through a rocky patch, gains the hilltop, then spins hard to pick up speed. "This bike is awesome!" she cries, bouncing over a few small logs before settling into a smooth, easy rhythm in the left side of the doubletrack. I catch up and come abreast, and together we coast through a vast meadow, rugged peaks rising in the distance and our pup Raleigh bounding behind.
We're on rental bikes, high-end models on loan from Christy Sports in Big Sky, which we'd probably never purchase—at least not without lengthy consideration beforehand. But now, after a weekend of straddling these worthy steeds, that consideration has begun. You get what you pay for, after all, and we've had more fun on these bikes than we've had in a long, long time.
From Fear to Fun
A champion trail-runner, Annie's a veritable force of nature on two feet. On two wheels, however, she tends to lose confidence. But on the Forbidden Dreadnought, she's reborn. Attacking the uphills, racing downhill, launching off sloped rocks... her fear is gone. "This freakin' bike goes over everything!" she declares, steamrolling through a patch of deadfall. She pulls hard on the wide handlebars, which keep her balanced through rock gardens and on steep climbs.
When we stop for a drink and to take in the views, she's flush from both exertion and excitement. "I would've had a hissy-fit an hour ago on my old bike," she says. Then, with a mischievous grin: "I'm never giving this thing back."
On the Forbidden Dreadnought, Annie's reborn. Attacking the uphills, racing downhill, launching off sloped rocks... her fear is gone. "This freakin' bike goes over everything!"
Given the popularity of electric bikes these days, I wanted to give one a go. The Super73 is compact and burly, built for rugged roads and trails—in fact, it looks more like a dirtbike than a bicycle. But it's light enough to lift onto a bike rack, and after some practice, I learned the gearing and pedal-assist system well enough to start racing through the forest with confidence.
Steep hills seemed to challenge the bike, as it lacks torque; but on the flats, the Super73 tore it up. On downhills, the thing's a tank—no matter what obstruction I encountered, the bike plowed on through, perfectly upright and pointing straight ahead. Gone was the sudden swerving and near-tumbles I've come to dread when riding my hardtail. In fact, the faster I went, the smoother and more comfortable the ride became. It reminded me of being on a horse at full gallop, standing up in the stirrups with absolute faith in the strength and stability coursing underneath. GiddyUp!
The Super73 is compact and burly, built for rugged roads and trails—in fact, it looks more like a dirtbike than a bicycle.
For two days, from smooth Forest Service roads to rocky doubletrack to buffed-out singletrack, we rode all manner of terrain, and had a blast on it all. Good equipment makes all the difference. We're still not sure if we're going to drop fifteen grand on a pair of new bikes, but we sure as hell plan to rent them again, for another fun-filled weekend in the mountains of Montana.