M 1700 SPLINE
You are new to the sport and want to sample what a cutting edge all mountain wheelset rides like? The M 1700 SPLINE range gives you the opportunity to do just that, at any rim width you desire. From the 3D machined Ratchet System hubs to the butted, straight pull spokes, right through to the tough and light aluminum rims, these wheels epitomize high-end. High-end you need when travelling at the speeds modern day all mountain bikes can attain, speeds at which the M 1700 SPLINE wheels feel right at home.
Within an hour, we’d lost more than a thousand feet of elevation, and we found ourselves coasting into a wildflower-filled pasture dotted with dozens of yaks and horses. Content in the knowledge that our last day would be mostly downhill, we whiled away the afternoon in our tent, playing cards and prematurely celebrating our success.
Ripping through the dense evergreen forest the next morning, our saddlebags emptied of the food we’d devoured, we thought we were home free. The trail widened, with broad turns that almost seemed purpose-built for mountain bikes. We made short order of it, with plenty of daylight left when the path deposited us on a road that would lead back to civilization.
To avoid boredom, we decided to take the ‘bonus route’: Another trail we’d mapped out on Google Earth that ran straight through the heart of a yawning river gorge. Completely forgetting the age-old axiom that one should never enter a Chinese river gorge during monsoon season, we plunged headlong into it, descending several miles until it began crisscrossing a river that was rapidly rising.
I was worried. Each wooden bridge was in a worsening state of disrepair, and wading through swift, waist-high currents quickly became the norm. Eventually our luck ran out: A bridge over some intimidating rapids was completely destroyed, and we opted to march along the riverbank in the hope we could rejoin the trail once it crossed back to our side.
It didn’t. The underbrush was so concentrated that Sam started clambering up a ravine, leading us into an increasingly technical free climb. We didn’t have ropes, and the rain was pounding down ever-harder. I stopped, yelling to Joey that we should backtrack and take the road out before the river got too swollen to retrace our steps.
As we waited for Sam to slide back down for a powwow, I noticed another raven watching us from its roost on a tree limb. The black raven—a bird Tibetans consider magical. It let out a grating caw and flew upstream, circling back above us once before continuing its aerial arc up and out of the gorge. It was our sentinel. We had to follow it to the end of our kora.
Clockwise from top: The Tibetans believe a completed kora will purify a lifetime of negative karma; ring around the rosaries; the author explains the concept of suspension to Kasi Village locals.