Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Speaking of tires, I had converted back to Ghetto Tubeless using a split 24" tube as the new Michelin tires would not seat up using Gorilla Tape. With Ghetto they aired up right away and actually held air without sealant. I just ran my front too low (~15-20 psi) today...if I'd left it at 30 psi it would have been fine.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Kool Aid Electrolyte Mix (makes 32 servings)
-4 packets of unsweetened Lemonade (which is natural flavored) Kool Aid
-32oz (4 cups) of Organic Evaporated Cane Juice
-1 tsp of Baking Soda
-1 tsp of Nu Salt
Content per serving (2 tbsp of mix)
-37.5 mg Sodium
-100 mg Potassium
-22.5 grams Carbs
-10% vitamin C
The Baking Soda both adds Sodium and also acts as a stomach buffer. This is real nice if you suffer from upset stomach while riding (as I occasionally do). If you desire more sodium in the mix, add 1/2 tsp salt to the mix which will increase the sodium to 73.5 mg per serving.
I usually don't mix full strength, more like 4 tbsp per 24 oz water bottle. This seems to work really nice. Also, you might be tempted to try other flavors of Kool Aid, but be cautious...I tried this and found most had a terrible after-taste from the artificial flavorings. The Lemonade flavor is actually natural flavored and doesn't have that bitter after-taste. The total cost was $4 per 32 serving mix...less if you choose to use regular sugar (though the evaporated cane juice seems to have a more mellow taste).
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- If you must do it on the bike, clean and dry the chain. Set the chain in the big ring/small cog. Then put one drop on each roller on the inside (cog side) of the chain.
2) Let soak into chain at least 10-15 minutes, longer is better
3) Wipe chain with dry lint free rag and install (if removed) into big ring/small cog combo. Rotate crankset while wiping chain with rag. Wipe until you cannot see any oil spinning off the derailleur pulleys.
4) Wipe derailleur pulleys and shift chain off of the big ring and wipe down chainring.
5) After rides, simply wipe off any crud. Do not re-lube until your chain needs it (ie Poor shifting, chain suck, screaming in pain sound).
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday we hit the trails with a good sized group of the Growlers Gulch crew and three dogs. I'm getting to know the group better and I am really enjoying my time riding, even in the really wet weather conditions!
On another note, I've been playing with chain lubricants a little more. My Mobil 1 50/50 mix is good for dry (but not dusty) weather, but is not thick enough to resist washing off in wet conditions. I'm also finding it turns black on anything short of a freshly cleaned chain. I have been using Synthetic ATF strait up and it has been working pretty well in most conditions without turning black. However for the really nasty conditions like its starting to get around the PNW, you need something thicker. I happen to have a bottle of Phil's Tenacious Oil sitting around and for the really nasty conditions, this stuff is the way to go. I wouldn't use it in drier or dusty conditions but for keeping your chain lubed in the wet and mud, its the way to go. Now if you want to go a little ghetto, Phil's Tenacious Oil is simply a Chain & Bar oil. So you can run down to your local hardware store and pick up some and it will work just the same.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Happy Trails, Aaron
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
We got a latex mist on us but nobody hurt. It actually didn't even scare Scout much. I examined the tire and the kevlar bead actually failed. The casing was intact, but there was a gap in the bead where the kevlar ruptured. I purchased them used, so I don't know if they might have already been damaged or not but there were no sign that they had ever been run tubeless.
So, back to wire bead IRC Mythos II for now. I did get a set of Continental Valve Stems (cut out of a couple 650C tubes I got on clearance). So now I got removable valve core presta valves. I modified a spoke wrench for a core remover.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Fork Oil-none of the fork companies make their own fork oil, they simply reliable existing product and then double the price. The next time you want to change out your oil, here are the actual products from a motosport shop. Remember that fork oil weight is not consistent from one company to the next.
Marzocchi 7.5wt-Golden Spectro Cartridge Fork Oil 125/150
Fox 7wt-Torco RSF Medium
Fox 10wt-Silkolene Pro RSF 10wt
Rock Shox-Maxima Racing Fork Fluid of equivalent weight
Manitou-Motorex Fork Oil of equivalent weight, Motorex 5w-40 oil is used for the semi-bath
Also, Mobil 1 ATF or Redline ATF is a good equivalent to Fox 7wt, Rock Shox 10wt, and Manitou 7.5wt.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
But their 9 speed chains suck, and I've dissected them to find out why the break so easily (the only two 9 speed chains I've broken). It comes down to the pins they use. On the SRAM PC 951/971/991 the pin only contacts the plate partially instead of entirely around.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Rock Shox Tora 318 Solo Air (Tora Race)-The motion control damper on this fork works right up there with my all time favorite Manitou TPC+ damper. It is very adjustable and does not suffer from spiking like some other Italian branded fork. The Solo Air cartridge is easy to adjust and is very reliable. The spring curve is just right to have plush at the top of the travel while ramping up at the bottom. The fork is very laterally stiff and easy to service.
SRAM X-7 Shifters and Rear Derailleur-Precise shifting in all weather conditions is this combo's claim to fame. It doesn't seem to matter what you throw at the X-7...it just keeps hitting its shifts perfectly.
Deore Front Derailleur-I love this cheap workhorse derailleur. Its performance is right on par with LX and XT front derailleurs I've owned, no reason to spend more to save a few grams.
Shimano and KMC chains-The Shimano HG73 chain, made by KMC, is another workhorse. Use a SRAM, Connex, or KMC quick link with it and it will not let you down. Another great chain in the same price range is the KMC X9. Both these chains use mushroomed center punched pins that have a pull strength that far exceeds SRAM PC chains.
Shimano HG61 Cassette-Not for use on aluminum freehub bodies (which I would never recommend anyway), reasonable weight and price and very long lasting. When combined with the recommended chains above, it shifts with pure precision. And the satin finish looks damn cool!
Shimano XT M756 Disc Hubs-Ok, you get your XT but at a bargain price. These hubs are absolute winners and reliable as it gets. Say what you will about cup and cone bearing systems, the races are precision ground for smooth as silk rotation. Easy to service, good seals, and reliable hubs...what else could you ask for at the price these run.
Cane Creek S3 Headsets (ZS3 included)-Good seals, light weight, long lasting...oh yea and under $50
WTB SpeedDisc Rims-They use a "shelf" with an extra lip to really lock in the tire bead. WTB refers to this as the International Bead Seat. What this means in real life is these rims are great for running tubeless conversions on with either the Ghetto tube method or the Gorilla Tape method. 9 months and 4 different tire brands and not one burp running tubeless.
Time Alium Pedals-The pedal you just can't kill. Immune to mud and snow, consistent entry and release, bomber construction, and a large platform so you can't miss clipping in.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Moots XZ with SRAM XX
Litespeed Archon with SRAM Red
There you go, $18k worth of bikes...better go buy that Mega Millions Ticket, its up to $252 million!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
First, making the valve stem. I cut a valve stem out of an old regular weight tube.
Notice the locknut...this is a reducing locknut since my rims are drilled for Schrader valves.
Next I tape the rim with one layer of Gorilla Tape 1" wide, overlaping the valve stem hole. Make sure to tape carefully to ensure no air bubbles and the tape is centered. Once taped, press the tape firmly down onto the rim pushing out any air bubbles. You then punch a hole in the tape at the valve stem with an awl. (note, my rim was taped several weeks ago so you'll just have to use your imagination here).
Now take you valve stem and place a little sealant around the base. Install into rim ensuring that the rubber base can sit flush in your rim. Tighten as tight as possible with fingers...no tools needed.
The rest is just like my Ghetto Tubeless pictoral. Soap up the beads and hit the compressor. The Kenda Klaw seated very quickly but had numerous pin holes in the sidewalls that leaked very fast. Once seated, I broke the bead in one spot opposite of the valve and installed sealant. Because these tires leaked so bad, I put in 4 oz of sealant in each (I only used 2oz in the Stans Tires). It took lots of shaking and laying on their sides on a bucket to get these tires to seal but 24 hours later they are holding air. I'd like to get some removable valve core stems or even some bolt on Schrader Valves (update, Schwalbe tubes have bolt schrader valves) but for now this will work. Since I already had my sealant and plenty of dead tubes sitting around...I'm in $2.99 for the Gorilla Tape 1" x 30' roll. Pretty Cheap!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I wishing for a August monsoon season!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Anyway, as I am currently using "Tubeless Ready" tires, I thought I'd try the Gorilla Tape method of tubeless. I'm a tinkerer with bikes so my curiosity has me trying new things even if there is nothing wrong with what I'm using at the moment. I purchased a roll of 1"x30' Gorilla Tape for $2.99 from the hardware store. I already had two old Mavic UST valve stems laying around so I decided I'd use those. I left the layer of strapping tape over my spoke holes and carefully did a wrap of the Gorilla Tape making sure there were no air bubbles. The 1" width was perfect for my WTB Speed Disc AM rims. I overlapped at the valve stem hole, then punched a hole through the tape and installed the mavic valve stems. I soaped up the bead, installed 3oz of my sealant, and hit the compressor. It took all of 5 seconds before the bead poped into place! I did the sealant shake and everything sealed up quicky, including the valve stem. This worked so well I pulled the front tire to and did the same thing.
Now, I haven't rode this setup yet and I am using "Tubeless Ready" tires which have a stouter bead. So I am by no means discrediting the Ghetto Tube method...I'm just seeing if this is a viable option.
UPDATE...half a dozen rides and not a single issue, no burps and no flats and tires hold air as well as tubes.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Also, it appears that horse riders are now using the the pristine singletrack instead of staying on the logging roads and skid roads. I have a few issues with this. First off, not only have the horse riders never contributed to making or maintaining those trails...but they actually knock a bunch of debris into the trails. They also leave large divots in otherwise pristine trails, thus causing them to get muddy instead of the well drained soils they are right now. But my biggest issue by far is horse shit! Why do horse riders feel its OK for their animals to shit right in the middle of a trail and just leave it there? Really, would you like your horse to shit on your front porch so you have to walk through it. Use a poop catcher if your going to ride the trails! RANT OVER
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Mission Accomplished...I set out to ride to Elk Rock and back on the Tour de Blast...a total of 55 miles with a climb from Toutle (500ft) to Elk Rock (3800ft) and back. Along the way there are some rollers so the total climbing was about 4000ft. It was cold and we got rained on right at the end. Made it up to Elk Rock and was soaked from sweat yet it was 46 degrees. For the 8 mile descent with speeds averaging 35mph I stuffed large Fed Ex Tyvek envelope down the front of my jersey. My hands, toes, and head were cold on the first few miles of descent...but my torso stayed warm. Of course it warmed up on the descent.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Because I have very little overhead, I can provide service at very low prices. I charge $20 an hour and have some set rates which include:
-Minor Tune (1.5 hours) $30
includes adjusting drivetrain adjustment and lubrication, brake adjustment, headset adjustment, bottom bracket adjustment, hub adjustment, and wheel true
-Major Tune (2.5 hours) $50
includes everything above plus repacking and lubing hubs, headset, and bottom bracket with a waterproof marine grease (perfect for winter riding)
-Wheel True/Spoke Replacement (.5 hour) $10 per wheel
-Shimano or similar hub overhaul (.5 hour) $10 per hub
-Road Bike bar wrap (.25 hour) $5
Addition service can be provided including minor fork and shock servicing at hourly rate.
Parts are extra and can either purchased from Bob's Sporting Goods or be ordered from Universal Cycles in Portland. I will provide the part descriptions and numbers for you to order. I can order parts for you but require cash up front.
Please contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Kenda Nevegal DTC 29"x2.2"
Let me start off by saying that this tire is HUGE! It actually measures out to a 2.35" width. The tire is also quite heavy at near 900 grams each (wire bead, the Kevlar bead will save you about 50 grams a tire). These tires mounted up and seal very well with the Ghetto Tubeless setup. Once sealed, there was no weeping and they held air quite nice. I ran them at 28 psi on most of my rides. This tire had more traction than you'll ever need...and then they have more. I rode these in mud, snow, ice, leaves, etc. and they held on tight. They were very slow to get up to speed, but descending they would roll over anything and everything. However, while loads of traction is awesome...these tires are simply too heavy and have too much rolling resistance. If Kenda were to make a low tread (like WTB's Weirwolf LT) version that dropped to the 700 gram range, it would be an awesome tire. Tread life was fantastic on my trails (which are very easy on tires) and I ended up trading them for some lightly used Stans NoTubes Raven tires.
IRC Mythos II 29"x2.1" Front
I found these cheap online, and I ended up using the front both front and rear. These tires are closer to a 2.0" width and I got the wire bead version as IRC is known to have weak folding bead tires and I wanted to run these tubeless. First thing, DO NOT exceed 40 psi with these tires...when mounting I blew one off the rim at just past 40 psi. While the tires mounted up OK, they continued to weep during the 3 months I rode them. They held air well, but the weeping was always a little concerning. In mixed conditions of wet, damp, and dry these tires hooked up quite well. The tire worked fine in the rear (I ran it the same direction as the front) and these tires rolled noticeably faster than the Nevegals. The wire bead versions weighed about 750 grams each and I ran them at 30psi. These are the tires I rode the MacKenzie River Trail on and they worked great. With the exception of the weeping issue, these are a great tire and exceed the performance of the 26" version (which I used to ride in the late 90's to early 00's)
Stans NoTubes Raven 29"x2.2"
The first impression of these tires are they are super light and where is the tread? Well, as light as they are, the casing is not paper thin as I assumed they would be. Its a light casing, but not paper thin. These tires mounted up super easy and sealed up almost immediately. There was no evidence of sidewall weeping and I ran them at 27psi. While they are a tad narrower than 2.2", they have a lot of volume. Installing these tires dropped 1.5lbs from my bike!!! Hitting the trails, the first thing noticed is the lightness of these tires. They feel so light and plush. But here is the big surprise, these tires stuck to the dry trails like glue! No kidding, these tires provided more than significant traction, even when standing. They cornered fantastic as well. I don't know how well these would do in the mud or snow, but for dry trails they are fantastic. I wouldn't recommend these for rocky trails as the low tread height leaves the casing vulnerable. But for hard pack or loamy trails with roots, they are awesome.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Final mileage was 25 miles of the most scenic and fun singletrack in Oregon. This is my sixth time riding the trail but the first on a 29er. I was the only one out of 25+ riders in our group riding a hardtail (and a 29er) and I more than held my own. After the ride I had many questions about the 29er and I think at least a few may be riding them by next years ride!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Kenda Nevegal 2.2"
-Mounted very easily, able to seat bead up to 60psi (did not go above that)
-Sealed well after a couple of rides, no seepage after sealing
-Ran 28psi with no issues
-Holds pressure once sealed as well or better than a tube
IRC Mythos II 2.1"
-Looser bead fit, a little more difficult to mount
-Bead blew off at 50psi when mounting (made a fantastically loud boom that sent my wife to the garage asking what I was doing).
-Continues to seep small amounts of sealant from sidewalls even after several rides
-Holds air as well as tubes despite seepage issues
-Ran at 30psi with no issues
So far no flats, no burps, no tire rolling...probably due to the 26.5mm wide rims and WTB's fantastic Safety Seal bead lock...I highly recommend these rims for Ghetto Tubeless.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Well after a stromy, cold, and wet Saturday in which I wisely chose to skip a road ride...I woke up to sunshine this morning. Given it was 37 degrees outside but still, warm life giving sun was calling me to head out. I grabbed my 29er and Evie (my awesome trail dog) and headed for the trails. I met up with my friend April and we headed out. As is typical, the muddiest section of the ride was the 2 miles of logging road before you hit the singletrack. Still, the trails were about as wet as I've seen them with every root super slick. It certainly made for some challenging riding, but I had a blast. I ran into a group of regulars up there and rode with them on some new trails they have been making. I don't know what it is, but I can endure much worse conditions on the mountain bike than on the road bike. I am very fair weathered when it comes to riding on the road.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Anyway, hopping to get more miles in, maybe during the week I can get some short rides in and start building fitness again.
Friday, February 27, 2009
First, get a 24" tube, I use schrader valves since it makes adding sealant easier.
I'm using Strapping Tape over the spoke holes and under the "tube"
If you have presta drilled rims, you'll need to drill out your rims with a 21/64" bit
Cut tube down the middle opposite of valve side.
Stretch tube over the rim and fold sides down
Soap up tire bead, mount, and inflate (do
not exceed 40psi)
Remove valve core (Slime comes with core remover tool) and add 3oz of sealant per tire.
Reinstall valve core and inflate to 30psi. Use soapy water to find leaks and swish sealant around to seal up the major leaks (don't worry about completely sealing, it will happen when you go for a ride). Once you mostly have sealed everything up, cut the excess tube material.
Go for a ride around the block a few times to help the sealant seal up the bead and sidewalls. You should be pretty much set to go. Don't worry if you lose a few psi before the first few rides, everything will eventually seal up and your tires will hold air as well as a tubed tires. Check every few months for sealant in the tire (you can usually hear it when you shake the tire). Depending on where you ride, you may need to add sealant every 3-6 months...though in the wet PNW, I have not had to add any in over three months.
For more instructions, see the Homebrew 2Bliss Goo and Rim Strip post.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Well, thanks to a month long bout with Bronchitis...I have been off the bike for a while. I finally got out this morning. At first my lungs and legs felt terrible...but as the ride continued I started to feel pretty good.
It ended up being a nice two hour ride, which included getting lost which I normally do anyway at Stella Ridge.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
My riding partner and I did not bring any trail tools, but we made every effort to remove as much downed foliage as we could during our ride. Other than the logging road, I don't think there was a stretch longer than 200 yards on the trails before we had to stop and remove downed tree branches and sometimes entire trees. So I don't think we actually rode more than 5 miles on the actual bike. That is OK though, sometimes you have to pay your dues. I think I will get myself a pair of pruning shears and carry them on my rides for the next few months as it is going to take a lot of work to clear the trails.
BTW-ran the Nevegals at 28psi and they worked great, I might even lower them to 25psi for the next ride. Great traction, the ghetto tubeless is working great.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
But here is how you can save big $$$ on a tubeless system that works.
-Take your wheels and leave the rim strips in them
-Get a tube that is one or two sizes smaller than your wheel
-Inflate the tube just enough to give it shape and stretch it over your rim
-Cut the tube down the middle on the outside (opposite of rim side)
-Fold the flaps of the tube down each side of the rim
-Take your tire and put lots of soapy water along the bead, then mount making sure the tube remains in place (using an air compressor is much easier on this step)
-Inflate to 40psi and make sure the tire bead seats properly all the way around.
-Deflate and add sealant...if using a schrader valve, remove valve core and squeeze sealant through valve. If using a presta valve, you will have to break the bead in one spot (opposite of valve is best) and pour sealant in. Usually 2-4 oz of sealant is sufficient depending on tire size.
-Soap up sidewalls of tires and reinflate. You will see soap bubbles where air is leaking out of the bead and sidewalls. Swish sealant around to those spots until they seal.
-Carefully trim excess tube material from outside the rim leaving about 1/8" exposed (you can go flush if your really careful)
-Reduce pressure to about 30psi and go for a ride around the neigborhood to get sealant all around the inside of your tires.
2Bliss Tire Goo Formula (makes 64oz sealant, twice as much as Stans for the same price...and its better)
-16oz Mold Builder latex
-a 0.7oz tube of glitter
-16oz bottle of Auto Tire Slime (not Slime for bike tubes)
Mix it all together, the latex coats the inside of the tire creating a seal. The glitter and auto slime provide particals to plug holes when you get a puncture. The windshield washer fluid privides a thinner for the latex but evaporates when pushing through a puncture, providing a quicker seal than just water.
-Truvativ FireX GXP crankset with 22/34/BBG bash
-SLX 11-34 Cassette
-Titec Pluto CF Seatpost
-Easton EA50 Stem
-Bontrager Race Lite Big Sweep Handlebars
-Ergon GX-1 Grips
-Ghetto Tubeless Conversion on Tires
I also have a 1997 LandShark Roadbike that is a piece of art! It is mostly a 9 speed Ultegra group on it with some exceptions:
-Ritchey Pro Compact crankset 50/34
-Tektro 530 Brake Calipers
-MicroShift RD56S Rear Derailleur (not shown in picture)
The frame is full fillet brazed except for the lugged bottom bracket shell. It uses Reynolds OS 731 tubing and the ride is exquisite. Hand made by John Slawta in Medford, OR
In the past, I have worked as a bicycle mechanic (8 years) and an outdoor guide (4 years). I have a BS in Earth Sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I rowed an 18 foot raft 226 miles down the Grand Canyon with very little previous rafting experience. I have been mountain biking since 1992 and road biking since 1998.
I have made this page to share my outdoor experiences, provide thoughtful advice on many outdoor topics, and maybe do a little ranting every now and then.
Thank you for visiting,