It’s the most wonderful time of the year for bike enthusiasts (and no I’m not talking about Christmas). This year I got a chance to be invited in the Philippine Bicycle Demo Day which was held in Filinvest City, Alabang.
Still fresh from an almost 3 month break from work and outdoor stuff due to a life-threatening accident, I headed down south to check out some of the awesomely designed demo bikes.
I would like to thank Edmund Ang, one of the organizers of the event who invited me over. It was a great opportunity to try out these two-wheeled steeds, it also kept me from getting insane while I was still re spawning from this devastating nerve injury.
With my arm nursed in a sling, I excitedly surveyed the whole area, ignoring the heat of the sun (I actually missed it) while feasting my eyes on a wide array of bikes. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on them but I tried to contain myself.
It’s like a massive buffet table of race machines, touring bikes, 29ers, full squishes, and titanium goodness! I was in bike heaven!
There were also several events lined up for the whole day. The fun-filled Kiddie push bike race, a pump track challenge hosted by Gear Heroes, and the hilarious Loco Locross Party Race.
Testing some wagon wheels
The first bike that I demoed was a Bianchi Grizzly. I was enticed by Bianchi’s 29er lineup ever since and I was finally able to give it a spin. It felt like my current bike but with a bigger size which is not a big deal for me.
I remember losing one of my older bikes back then and borrowing my cousin’s medium sized MTB for the mean time (Even if I am only on the XS-S scale.)
The Shimano Deore components made it easier for me and the Rockshox TK fork was more than enough for the road.
Another plus point is its aesthetics. It stands out for an entry level hardtail and its signature turquoise blue color is a head-turner.
Local full squish
I’ve been itching to ride along the trails of Filinvest but my arm would hurt even in the slightest bump on the road. I figured I could try something new while enjoying a portion of the trails, and still take care of my arm in one go. So I opted for a full-suspension.
It’s rare for me to ride a full-suspension mountain bike due to personal reasons. One of it is that I’ve grown to ride and love hardtails because of the simplicity, lesser maintenance, and cost. A full-suspension frame has a price tag similar to that of a mid-entry hardtail mountain bike, and I’m not a big spender on bike parts (unless it’s a good bargain.)
I then found myself having a conversation with the staff of Rurok Bikes while pre-loading my next steed’s rear shock. He even called out the frame designer who was also there, I gave a nod to greet the guy while I inspected the complexity and beauty of his masterpiece, the Rurok Cordillera.
Back in the trails post accident
The bike was loaded! from the Shimano Saint brakesets, XT Drivetrain, Fox 36 and a Fox Transfer dropper seatpost. This thing was made for the rugged, hardcore parts of the country. No wonder it was named after North Luzon’s mountainous region.
I must admit that I was worried when I hopped on the trails for the first time but the suspensions absorbed the bumps really well! I was surprised that my arm was not hurting even in the roughest terrain.
The problem I had was pressing the dropper post’s remote with my left thumb, the nerve damage made it lose strength and cause chronic pain, but that’s me. All in all I was still enjoying the perks of riding with a dropper post. Maybe a remote clamped on the right side of the bars will suit me.
With first-hand experience, I can say that Rurok Cordillera is at par with the existing international brands out there. This local machine is doing it right.
It was almost sundown and I still would like to try another one. This time I tried the Norco Sasquatch. A fatbike with a rigid fork.
I got curious on the effectiveness of its beefy tires even without a suspension fork. I went back to the trails and pedaled my way out through the bumpy, winding sections.
The tires were holding in impressively that a suspension was no longer needed. It reminded me of Sandugo Brusko’s 27.5+ tires. Stable, stiff, and is able to absorb bumps pretty well.
Oh yeah, and the dropper seat post made the descents waaay easier (I’m sold, I’ll get a dropper soon.)
For one day only
One whole day for such an event may seem long, but before I knew it, it was already almost sundown. Time flies really fast when you’re having fun. I could have tried these following bikes while I was there but I was pressed for time:
- Lynskey – Haven’t tried riding a titanium bike yet
- A Colnago Road Bike
- Specialized Stumpjumper FSR
- Niner RLT
- A Salsa touring bike
With all the events, programs, stalls to look around, and chances of riding any bike you want, I think putting everything in one whole day is not enough. I hope the organizers of Philippine Bicycle Demo Day can run the event for a whole weekend next time.
The venue was also ideal for the event. The Filinvest grounds accommodated hundreds of visitors, dozens of stalls, and the trails were adequate for riding. Hands down to the organizers for choosing this place.
For our country’s booming bike market
Overall it was a fun-filled activity. It’s amazing how a non-racing event will up my senses and excite me as much as hitting the trails during a major cross-country marathon. I commend the organizers, bike companies, and the venue for allowing this to happen.
See you on the next Philippine Bicycle Demo Day. God bless and ride safe!