Every now and then you get on a bicycle that you just know you’re going to like. Then, sometimes you get on a bicycle that you know you’re going to love. But (and this is as rare as rocking horse poo) you like and love a bike that much that you’re willing to go into to debt for it (you know what I mean…sell the wife, auction the kids, get rid of the goldfish to the highest bidder).
DIRT ISSUE 125 – JULY 2012
Words by Steve ‘The Butcher’ Walker. Photos by Tom Gaffney
I’ve had the pleasure of riding a few different bikes from LAST. The LAST one (no pun intended) being Christian Hatcher’s, super ‘bling’ 4X race bike. I loved the Rufus (and so do most of the UK 4X community who tried it), but was it the frame that was so good or the sum of the super trick parts that were on it? And would the ICE be as much fun?PARK LIFE/STREET LIFE
The last ICE is in its element at a skate park. With its super short rear triangle, perfect height bottom bracket, and middle of the road headangle it’s as good as a 26–incha gets whilst riding street and park. You get a few strange looks from the little wheel riders, but once you convince them to try the ICE their opinions change. Decades, fufanus, cumbyeyars and yackydars are no problem–leme’yar.
Word(s) on the street (and at the park) whilst riding the bike is ‘rad’ or ‘stoked’. Whichever word(s) you decide to use, the fact is if you take the LAST to the skatepark or decide to hop manual down your neighbour’s garden wall, you’ll either feel rad or stoked. Let’s just hope your neighbour feels the same…DIRT LIFE(PART ONE)
We took the bike down to Tom Skelding’s trails. Tom is a very good jumper of dirt and strangely this is where we had a few problems, a conflict of opinion so to speak. Tom’s thoughts, “the short back end on the ICE was something I wasn’t used to. Don’t get me wrong, the bike is very agile while airborne, but it I did find myself at times in places I didn’t really want to be (or weren’t used to). You can ‘boost’ for a natural high, or squash for a ‘life down low’ but I still feel the LAST needs a tad more length on the back end. That’s just how I felt, but after all, we all love our love in different sizes.”DIRT LIFE (PART TWO)
Down a UK 4X track the ICE rips. It gates like a BMX (because of the short back end) and is as much ‘fun’ as you’ll ever have on a race track. Forget about big box section aluminium race bikes that ride like a plank of wood. If you ride/race for ‘fun’ this is a bike you should consider. Not only will you enjoy your day at ‘the races’ but you’ll look cool to boot. Ice, Ice baby to go.WHAT’S THE STORY, MORNING GLORY?
The ICE looks pimp. Matt black frame with little red bits everywhere. Profile style cranks, 80mm (shortened) RockShox Argyle forks and one of the best rear brakes (the Trickstuff Cleg) we have ever used, beautifully made frame with ‘built–in’ chain adjusters and an internal headset. Low rise bars (some people loved, some didn’t) and a frame with near perfect sizing and geometry. It’s a glorious story, whether it’s morning, noon or night.SO, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
When the ICE landed I had a few problems with getting the rear wheel to sit square at the back. This was simply down to the chain being too short. It was a simple fix, part link out, half link in. The 25\11gearing was a ‘tad tall’. Great down a track or if you’re late for work, but if your trails (or where you ride) are tight and tech a lighter gearing is required.THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
I love this bike. Our local pro Tom Skelding had a few issues with the chainstay length being too short. It just goes to show that not everyone likes parfait, but at the same time I will say that ‘Skeler’ is a better ‘mud lump’ rider than I will ever be. However (in my honest and humble opinion) if you want a bike that manuals with ease, jumps and also works down the BMX track (I don’t like mountain bikes down the BMX track) the LAST should ironically be FIRST on your list.FORSBRUNG DURCH TECHNIK
Some people say that ze Germans are the world leaders in motor car engineering. This is no different in the world of mountain bike production. I’ve never, ever, been disappointed in any LAST bike I’ve tried and the ICE is no different. Jochen and Jorgen (dudes at LAST) are obviously passionate about the products they produce and it shows. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, LAST. Now which one will you look cooler in (or on)? Think about it…