Tag: mountain bike

Oh, the wheels in the sky…they are flat flat flat

hanging-bikeMy bicycle rebuild project from last spring was a big hit for the right side of the brain, and an even bigger hit on my wallet. Fortunately, it’s the lightest bike I’ve felt in a long while, a point even more enviable considering the frame and fork are ten years old (and the fact that I own it) – the endeavor was worthwhile. It’s been hanging in my home office all winter long, and now the tubeless tire setup is dead flat…

flat tireA short while after the original photos were taken, I switched to Conti Speed King 2.1s – they held air better with the NoTubes bit, but I found they tracked (and wore) funny – the front still has bead on them, and the back is almost ready for replacement. Further, I’d added an XTR crankset, a Thomson Masterpiece seat post, a Selle Italia seat, and put stickier brake pads on it. This was mostly in the name of reducing weight, but I found the classic Manitou Carbon fork still wasn’t cutting it. Reason: Fly fishing lends itself to eating on the run, and since I do a lot of fly fishing I’d turned into one chunky dude. Or at least that’s the excuse I’m using.

I’ve since been on a mission to change that fork action. First, I rebuilt the fork from the ground up – dismantled the whole thing down to it’s tiniest parts, then cleaned, lubed, and put it all back together again. Second, I’ve knocked 20 pounds off my otherwise fat behind in the last sixty days, and the goal is to cut another 30 by the first of June (and primarily through long-term dietary changes). This has been done solely for the purpose of making my bike perform even more fabulously – I’m going to live to a 100+ no matter what I weigh. Once I get back on the machine it’s a done deal, on all accounts.

But first I have to reinvigorate that tread. I’m going to pull those tires off this weekend, and clean all the old Stan’s goop out of them. Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of practice with the otherwise pain-in-the-ass remounting process, and I don’t expect this go-round to take more than an hour or so. Now, to secure some more of that sealant.

Editor’s note: both Lance Armstong and Paul Kedrosky have had some nasty wipeouts in the recent past – I hope they are back on the multi-speed horses in no time. I for one will be taking things a little slower until I get my legs (and lungs) back.

Pumping new life into an old bike

How many coats of stripper does it take to get to the primer on a Tootsie Roll pop?

A bike, first left in storage and then propped in a corner, became a weekend project. The thought was change the look, shed a pound or two, and make it a little more comfortable for its out-of-shape owner. And that’s precisely what happened.

unhappy-mountain-bikeSans parts, Complete Powder Coating and Paint of Denver did a fine job on the preliminary looks. What was once team red paint (and too many decals) became very plain satin black. The folks at Complete were the upfront choice for the job because they were the only ones who asked questions like “does it have a swingarm?” and “have you already removed the bottom bracket and headset cups?” I felt even more comfortable when dropping it off – there were bike frames everywhere. Regardless, they did a great job – the finish is exactly how I wanted it, and the added satin clear coat they put on assures me it’ll be a long time before I see metal via flying rock chip.

new-bike-steeringThere was no way I was going to pay for refinishing and not throw in a few updates. This bike is aluminum, and the tubing is big. Hence, it is very stiff and the hands feel it. So, out went the freshly powder coated aluminum bars (and the forged stem), and on went carbon fiber. I chose a Ritchey Carbon WCS married to a Race Race Next fat bar, and capped it off with Ritchey TruGrips. In addition, no control panel of this magnitude of excellence should be attached to the frame by anything stock, so I replaced the previous headset with a Chris King NoThreadSet [stem and bars were provided by the kind folks at Pedal Pushers, and the headset was had via Performance Bike – both at great deals]. Beyond feeling much lighter and absorbing much of the “hand shock”, it looks pretty cool staring down at all that black weave (and the fork brace is already carbon fiber, so it blends in nicely). The bothersome (to me) shift indicators were removed, and I am looking for some plastic caps to replace the holes presently covered by everyone’s favorite patch all, duct tape.

new-pedalsSecond to last, but certainly not least…the SPD pedals (which I never could get out of easily) were replaced with Crank Brothers Ti Eggbeaters [thanks to Bicycle Source US], and as I am in no rush to repair flats I swapped the otherwise very nice Specialized quick releases with bolt-on Control Tech titanium skewers [from Universal Cycles]. Very last…tubes are gone, and NoTubes rim strips and goop take their place. I’ve also permanently removed the bottle cage and pump – I’m rolling with Camelback and CO2 from here on out.

It looks the part, and while I never bothered weighing components the setup clearly feels like it’s shed a few inches. Now I am going to put a hitch of some sort on this puppy and use it to tow a pontoon boat into the mountains, since recession has hit fly fishing.

finished-bike

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Missing bike, or wi-fi experiment?

Wheels in the sky.

wheels-in-the-sky

Bicycle components properly arranged on a metal table in your study will enhance wi-fi range.
Proceed to disassembly, and configure vast array of parts as follows:

unhappy-mountain-bike

Frame and misc. are getting an electro-shake-n-bake, that is after the shop finishes up the owner’s sloppy prep work.