Finally after nearly a year on this bike I went out today and after some snow, lots of rain and a few frosts with the last couple of days leaving it to stew the ground had finally had enough. The mud had reached the consistency of Black Forest gateau and I was forced to stop and scoop the mud out from between my back wheel and frame several times, twice on one particularly muddy hill. With my old Stumpjumper I had to do this a lot last winter but this year I have a specific mud tire on the back and I was choosing routes known to be less muddy but sometimes nothing makes any difference, I’ve seen Orange Five’s completely blocked up by mud more than once and they have the best mud clearance there is.
After washing the bike
I proceeded to dry it off and check how the brake pads were holding up so I took the wheel out and sure enough the pads were fine, after nearly a years use there is still braking left to be done on these pads, Hayes makes a seriously long lasting pad for the power you get from the Stroker’s. Unfortunately while looking at the brake pads I found a small crack just above the dropout on the fork. I’ll have to wait until at least Wednesday before I can find the time to take it up to the bike shop to have the fork checked out to find out if it’s just cosmetic or if it’s an actual crack in the dropout.