Seeing as 30 is fast approaching, it's recently dawned on me that I need to do a little bit less sitting in front of PCs writing websites and semi-pointless VB applications, and a little bit more time outdoors riding my bike.

So I thought I'd write a page about that!

Here it is:

It's a 1997 Trek Y5, hand made by a real person in Wisconsin. It's the bike that started a trend for copy-cat Y-shaped bikes all through the late nineties, and as a result, it quickly lost its initial head-turning ability.

I bought it brand new in April 1997 from The Mountain Bike Centre in Ashburton, Devon. It's pictured above on 1st June 2006 after I just spent a very enjoyable hour fitting my nice new Magura HS33 hydraulic brakes:

Below is a photo taken of me and my friend Dan, by another friend Mike, showing us after we had ridden from Bittaford to Red Lake china clay works - one of the most isolated spots on the southern half of Dartmoor. This was taken on 6th June 2009:


I've changed quite a few parts from the original spec, for various reasons:
I changed the saddle from the original Bontrager one to a Selle Italia Flite Titanium. I had the Flite Transalp on my GT Avalanche and really liked it, so this was one of the first things I changed. I also changed the seat post for a U.S.E. titanium one. Next up was a bigger top chainring as I found the original Shimano 42 tooth ring was too easy to spin out. I replaced it with a 44 tooth red anodised one which gives much more sensible high speed gearing. At some point I replaced all the spoke nipples with alternate blue and gold anodised ones. "Madness", everyone shouts, and in retrospect that's probably right, but at the time I was learning how to build wheels, and these are still completely true 12 years later. And they look freaking cool. The front tyre is the original, but the rear was changed from a Tioga Psycho. I really hated the original STX-RC shift levers so much that I splashed out on a set of XT shifters fairly soon. I actually bought them from a bike shop in Glasgow and had to wait a whole week before I could fit them! The STX ones just felt plasticky and cheap, whereas the XT ones ooze quality and robustness. They are much nicer to use as well. Another major upgrade were the brakes. The original V-brakes were OK, but I really wanted disks. As that would have required new wheels, new forks and some welding on the rear triangle, I settled on a set of Magura Hydraulic rim brakes and I couldn't be happier with them. They are better than the V-brakes by a mile, and I actually prefer them to disks as they give the same predictable feel as V's or cantilevers, but are vastly more powerful. The front V-brake was recycled on my GT Avalanche, but that bike uses a U-brake on the rear so a V-brake won't fit there.

What it's made of:

Manufacturer:   Trek
Model:   Y5
Frame: Front Trek 6061 T6 Aluminium
  Rear Trek 7075 T5 Aluminium
Fork:   Manitou Pro Suspension
Headset:   Tange Seiki DX2 Aheadset 1 1/8 inch
Hubs: Front Trek System 2 Suspension
Rear Shimano STX-RC 8 speed
Rims:   Matrix Swami 32 hole
Spokes:   DT Plain Gauge
Spoke Nipples:   DT Alloy, Alternate Blue/Gold
Tyres: Front Tioga Psycho-K 1.95"
Rear Panaracer Fire XC PRO 2.1"
Tubes:   Presta
Crankset:   Shimano STX-RC 
Rings:   Shimano STX-RC 22/32t, L&M Stardrive 44t Red
Derailleurs: Front Shimano Deore LX Top Pull
Rear Shimano Deore LX
Shiftlevers:   Shimano Deore XT Rapidfire Plus
Freewheel:   Shimano HG 60 8 Speed
Chain:   Shimano IG70
Pedals:   Shimano M535 SPD
Bottom Bracket:   Shimano UN52
Brakes:   Magura HS33 limited edition green/black hydraulic
Brake Levers:   Magura HS33 limited edition green/black hydraulic
Handlebar:   Bontrager Race
Stem:   Bontrager Forged Alloy Ahead
Bar Ends:   Bontrager Race
Grips:   Trek
Saddle:   Selle Italia Flite Titanium
Seatpost:   U.S.E. Titanium 400mm
Rear Shock:   Fox Vanilla Coil Over
Extras:   Various Blue Anodised Bolts, Jockey Wheel & Cog Hog
    Cateye Computer