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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 117 > YORKSHIRE GRIT

YORKSHIRE GRIT

Chipps catches up with one of the UK’s original mountain bike pioneers, still making waves from his base in North Yorkshire.

Tere are still a few veterans from those heady early days of mountain biking in the scene today, but few can claim to have been as influential as Pace Cycles’ Adrian Carter. Pace’s early bikes in the late ’80s with their square aluminium tubes were visually different, but they were also designed as mountain bikes from the ground up – rather than many peer products whose roots could easily be seen in the lugged touring bikes of the time.

Pace designed its bikes to be pure mountain bikes, with dedicated bosses for Magura rim brakes (the strongest brakes known to man at the time) and Bullseye cranks. By producing a one-piece stem and fork steerer, tightening a modified Mavic headset from below, Pace preceded the Aheadset by several years. Even when its later bikes reluctantly became more compatible with the components of the day, the frames still offered a distinctive silhouette and a long top tube, short stem geometry that was a decade ahead of the times.

On the cusp of the ’90s, Pace produced its first suspension fork, and that momentum carried the brand into the new century, becoming the majority of the company’s business. A surprising sale of the fork designs to DT Swiss caused many diehards to wonder if the company would continue. It did continue though, with design offces and a successful suspension tuning operation in Dalby Forest. Recently, though, Pace pulled out of running both Dalby and Gisburn trail centres, and has seemingly retreated to a corner store in Thornton-le-Dale, just outside Dalby Forest’s tariffed gates. While many might see this ‘retreat’ as a contraction, Adrian and the team at Pace see it more as a chance to regroup and focus on what’s important. And besides, there’s a ton of new stuff in the pipeline.

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About Singletrack

We’ve got our usual dose of adventure for you, with three UK based rides to inspire you to hit the trails. Path of a Prince – Pete Scullion takes us on another historical Coffin Road tour, this time in the wilds of Scotland, in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Trail Hunter – Border Blasting – Tom Fenton heads to the northern fringes of England in search of more of the best trails the UK has to offer, this time skirting the Scottish/English border on a frigid day. Classic Ride – Duddon Valley – Tom Hutton takes us on a tour on the Western side of the Lake District – away from the big tourist crowds, but still big on scenery. Quit Your Job – We look at people who have made the leap from ‘normal’ jobs to working in the bike industry. Could you quit the rat race and turn your hobby into a job? Bamboozled – Wil takes on a build-your-own bamboo bike kit. Will he glue himself to the frame? Will he be attacked by a panda? Will he build himself a bike, or a bike shaped object? Wil tells us the tale through his epoxy-induced high. Bike Test – Unsprung Heroes – Chipps checks out fully rigid bikes from Kona, Pinnacle and Surly and discovers that no suspension doesn’t mean no fun. It just needs a re-evaluation of your outlook. Group Test – Platform Clip Ins – Wil checks out eight pairs of pedals with platforms for support as well as cleats for security. Full reviews of the best four will be published in this issue, along with summaries of the runners up. Room 101 Charlie The Bikemonger sets all judicial process to one side and passes his decrees on what will or will not be banished from the cycling world for ever. Column: Jason Miles Our award winning columnist is settling in to his new life in Scotland – by going on a ski holiday, where he learns that being a beginner again can be refreshing. And finding a whole new avenue of kit to need.