Sunday saw me finally clock up 3000 miles on my Rift Zone which I bought in January 2003. Inevitably it’s a significantly different bike to the shiny beast I bought from Cycleworks in Leatherhead.
The only parts that are original are the frame and fork, brakes, stem, gear shifters and saddle. Everything else has either been replaced as it has worn out or been swapped for something better. Effectively it really is the bike equivalent of Trigger’s broom from Only Fools and Horses – the one that had ten new handles and fourteen new brushes.
Reaching the 3000 mile mark really has been a milestone (no pun intended). I’m pleased to be able to say I have averaged around 1000 miles a year on it and happy to report that Marin warranties are second to none when combined with the excellent service at Cycleworks. I would say I can cover around 80% of the maintenance required to keep the bike running on my own but when push has come to shove Marin have really delivered, including replacing the worn out bearings free of charge at 2200 miles.
What is interesting is the way bike design has moved on in three short years. At the time of purchase the Rift Zone was (and I guess still is) a cutting edge design. The difference is that now it seems short of suspension travel, having only 80mm at the front and 100mm at the back where modern cross country bikes are routinely available with 130mm plus. On the flip side, I rarely seem to run out of travel anyway!
Where to from here? Well, I reckon there’s plenty of life in the old beast yet and I fully intend to keep the bike for another three years by which time I hope to have racked up 6000 miles, which is quite a target. I have plans to replace the saddle soon and expect the shifters will be next after that. In the meantime, the brakes need a good strip down and service…