Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cold Winter Ride

I went for a mountain bike ride yesterday on my local trails. I haven't rode these trails in a few weeks due to heavy snows in late December followed by heavy rains in the first week of January. I wasn't sure what to expect. It was below freezing when we left the trailhead and rode up the logging roads that lead to the trails. Quickly it became clear that we were going to encounter two things. First, despite the warm rains in January...there was still a lot of snow on the ground (which was now frozen solid). The other was how much downed foliage was going to be on the trails.

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

Home Brew 2Bliss Tire Goo and Rim Strips

If your thinking of going tubeless on your mountain bike, you can spend lots of money on UST wheels and tires. Or you can spend a little less but still a lot on a Stan's No Tubes set up.

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)
-32oz of windshield washer fluid (look for ammonia and methanol free) EDIT: I am now recommending RV Antifreeze...its cheap and uses non-toxic Ethyl Alcohol and Propylene Glycol which is much better than the Ethylene Glycol in windshield washer fluid or most auto anti-freeze.

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.

My Bikes (updated)

I currently only own two bikes (I've owned as many as five in the past). My mountain bike is a Access XCL 9er frame purchased from Performance Bike. Here are the major components:
-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


Let me introduce myself, I am currently living in Rainier, OR with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and one very rotten cat. I work for Cowlitz County, WA as an Environmental Health Specialist and am a certified On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Inspector in the state of Washington.

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,