“Run what ya brung!”- what does it mean? To us at StemCaps HQ it means something simple: ride your bike! Whether it’s a $100 bmx bike from the pawn shop that you’re hucking off homemade dirt jumps or a $10,000 mostly robot and titanium road bike that you sold your car for, just ride it! We believe bikes are about the experience, where the bike is a vessel for us to have that experience.  We also believe that dropping tons of money on a bike isn’t necessary to have fun!  Give us anything with two wheels and I guarantee we’ll try wheelie-ing it across the parking lot before we even consider how much it weighs or what generation of Shimano MTB components is on it. RWYB is an anthem of returning to the visceral joys of cycling- going fast and taking chances on whatever two-wheeled machine you have between your legs.

Our resident product manager/MTB extraordinaire, Jason Savill, has been wanting to do an enduro race for a while. When an opportunity to sign up for "Family Funduro" on June 17th popped up, he jumped at the opportunity.  Unfortunately for Jason, though, there was a small problem- he didn’t have an enduro bike! Popular opinion claims that you NEED an enduro bike to race enduro races.  Was this really true though?  Can you "rung what ya brung" and still have a good time?

So, we had a crazy idea.  We wanted to prove (mostly to ourselves) that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to go fast and have fun.  We set out to prove that you could get a quality bike, make it safe, and “run what ya brung” on an extremely technical course.. for $500.  In a world where a “race ready” enduro bike costs upwards of 3k… we knew it would be a challenge.  These are the parameters we set up for our experiment: 

-$500 dollar budget (including bike, parts, helmet, race entry fee)

            -“donated” stuff must be assigned a fair dollar amount and applied to total

            -parts bin parts are NOT to be contributed to dollar amount

            -do all the labor ourselves 

We set out to find a bike, and found a deal! For $250, Jason acquired a 2008 Trek Fuel EX8. While not an enduro specific bike, we think it will get the job done.  On Monday, we put some air in the tires and immediately took it to an abandoned, overgrown lot down the street and hucked it off as many things as we could… 


We learned a lot about the bike in our hour of shredding, we’ve got plans to make some improvements in the coming week to make it completely safe to race.  Stay tuned for part 2 next week, where we will showcase the build!