From riding motocross as a kid to being in the saddle on singletrack for the last six years, Seán Horsford is no stranger to balancing on two wheels. Less common for him, though, is winning said two-wheeled machines, but that is just what happened when we pulled a name for our Orbea contest winner. Horsford is now the proud owner of an Orbea X-Team Rallon. “It’s been a big adjustment from what I’m used to,” says Horsford. “I have a Kona Honzo from 2012, so I went from a steel hardtail to a big full-suspension.” The 2012 Honzo, advertised at the time with a “beyond-vogue slack 68-degree headtube angle,” is a far cry from the 65.5-degree head angle of the Rallon, with 150 millimeters of travel in the rear. Compared to the steel hardtail, the Rallon is a much more forgiving ride, to say the least. “I’m just getting the bike dialed in,” continues Horsford, who has only had a chance to ride it a handful of times. “It is a big jump.”
Horsford, who lives in Syracuse, New York, will have plenty of opportunity to put the bike through its paces with the surrounding riding. “[The riding] is actually not bad right in the city. We have some decent trails at an old quarry.” With the close-by trails, Horsford won’t have to travel far to make the most of the Rallon, but if he does end up leaving town, a quick trip south will take him to the state forests surrounding Ithaca, and heading west will bring him to Irondequoit Bay, offering miles of trail. Despite not being able to ride the bike as much as he would like due to work travel, Horsford is still riding the high from winning the contest.
“It was just disbelief, I didn’t really believe it was going to happen,” Horsford says. “At first I got a voicemail from someone at Bike mag wanting to chat with me and I just assumed it was a marketing call.” A call back and one free $6,000 bike later, Horsford started spreading the news. “I had to call up everybody. I had to call my dad who rides, I have some buddies at a bike shop I had to call. I don’t know if they believed me.”