DAY EIGHT: THE ESSENCE OF LIGHTNESSOnce upon a time, we were teenagers obsessed with knobby tires and mountain bikes. It was the era of Ned "The Lung" Overend, anodized CNC parts, and ceramic rims. Weight was always the point, with little quarter given to anything else. 1.8" tires with hardly any tread, reduced-spoke alloy wheels that folded over in corners, kidney-puncturing bar ends, and handlebars scarcely wider than 500mm. We had Schwinn Homegrowns, Yeti Ultimates, Parkpre Pros, and the Barracuda XX, all bikes that we did unspeakable things to with drills to get their weights under 25lbs. Today's Twelve Days bike is a modern homage to that time, but it's actually functional. Day Eight's Breathtaking Build is Switzerland-based Open Cycle's featherlight hardtail - the ONE+.
Clocking in a smidge over 18lbs, this bike put all of our younger endeavors as weight weenies to shame.
SRAM's brand-new Eagle 12-speed drivetrain makes an appearance with a Midas touch. With a 10-50T rear cassette, it looks extreme, but adds even more versatility for 1x setups. ENVE's wide M50 rims coupled to a pair of Schwalbe Racing Ralphs means that unlike our bikes in 1998, this XC rocket can actually get the rider down the mountain after taking them up. A Rockshox SID XX shares only a name with the original SID, renowned for its inability to track a straight line through corners. These days, with big stanchions, a thru-axle, and real suspension damping, it's a legitimate suspension fork that carries almost no weight penalty.