New Toy

I recently got another bike, a Leader Fox Sonora MTB.

This post “explains” how that happened…

About a month back, my Canyon SpeedMax self-destructed.

During one of my usual loops, the fork broke – luckily, I was riding at low speed, as I just passed a cattle guard (prone to getting a pinch flat) and it was going uphill back onto the dyke I was riding.

Paula had to come and pick me up but I still needed to walk about a mile to get to the pickup point with a bike in pieces. Not easy on cycling shoes…

Looks like an animal hit by a car resulting in a broken neck…

I contacted Canyon and made an appointment to bring it in so they could inspect it/what had happened.

But not before May 24th 🤐

They then took another day – not counting Ascension Day – to tell me that the cause was an older and a newer – the fatal – rupture in the construction.

The good news was that it would be replaced under warranty, the bad news that this could not be done before…

…June 21st 🤬

(The parts arrived within a few days.)

Needless to say I was (am) a little frustated, which usually results in an impulse shopping spree1.

I mean, I still have my Domane to ride on, but that’s fitted for the mountain expeditions and not really suited for my pancake flat backyard polder.

I did have nice “fondo” in the hilly south of my country on it, though…

Anyway, when we were at an “Open Day” at my local LBS the week before – the only LBS with at least some knowledge, just enough so that I do not have to go down south every time I have a bike issue – I saw a nice looking mountain bike at a reasonable price point.

This Leader Fox Sonora (Series XC) is, at 600 Euros, 100 Euros cheaper than just the fork for my Canyon…

Leader Fox Sonora Series XC

I’ve had a few Bulls in the past and in fact, one of those is still in our shed, but I never really got to do any mountain biking, although I did some “cyclo cross” and beach rides.

Not counting that Bulls, this would be my N+4 bike2, as I have my Trek, Canyon, the Sensa on my Tacx Neo 2T and a spinning bike (not to mention that Paula rides my van Tuyl and has her own Cube permanently on her Tacx Neo), but it is still bike S-1, as Paula agreed with the purchase 😎

I could pick it up a few days later and on Monday the 28th, I took it out for a spin.

Nothing spectacular, just adjusting some things and getting used to it, riding some of the “under construction” roads – basically sand, rocks and a lot of holes – in the new quarters of Almere and some farm tracks (grass/dirt).

At the time when I last owned a Bulls, there were no real MTB trails to speak of around Almere and those were not more than knee deep dirt and mud tracks for over 10 months a year.

There was – and still is – a descent/proper track in Lelystad, but it’s 25 kilometers just to get there. Good warming up and/or I could go there with the bike in the car, but still…

However, there now are some 55 kilometers of (connected) trails in Almere and last Thursday, I headed for one of those.

As it turned out, “Braambergen” actually is the most difficult trail we have here, not counting the “Kotterbos” swamp trail to the north-east of the city.

I didn’t quite follow the track as I have to get used to these “mini” signs that point you in the right direction 😂

On Saturday, I headed for an easier track (labeled “average”) called “Kemphaan”.

Again I rode around like a headless chicken for while, until I got the right trail.

As I had mounted my GoPro, I recorded my attempt or most of it – the missing part is (also) asphalted.

Having no experience on single trails like that, I didn’t do that bad, I think.


(It’s the original recording. If you dig gauges, try this one: Kemphaan MTB Trail – YouTube)

Sadly, after I rode the transfer track to another trail (“Beginbos”), the bolt on the through axle came off, resulting in an abrupt ending to that adventure3.

I got home on it, because as long as the axle stays in, you can ride. Slowly…

I’ll have a chat with my local LBS, as it looks like someone dropped the ball during assembling the bike. Either that, or there’s a design flaw.

Which would be a pity, as I otherwise (really) like this Leader Fox Sonora bike, even if I’d never heard of the brand before.

And I obviously need other power pedals, as the Assioma’s I have are fine, but Look cleats are not the best for riding a mountain bike if you need to get off it and end up standing or walking in the mud…

1 Not really, but I didn’t want to break anything else. Besides, that “Open Day” was on May 21st 😂

2 If you don’t know what N+/S- is or don’t want to read the article: N+1 is the ideal number of bikes for a cyclist, where N is the number of bikes the cyclist already owns up to S-1, where S is the number of bikes at which point the cyclist’s spouse leaves them…

3 In case you’re wondering: I didn’t notice this until my wheel started to make squeaking noises as it rubbed the frame. I back-tracked the part I had done on foot but the needle in a haystack thing worked its magic…

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