Friday, December 21, 2012

Down to one mountain bike

OK, I took the plunge and sold my full suspension FSR. I now have just my Origin 8 as a single speed and also I have a 1 x 10 drivetrain to install should I feel the need. I am now full rigid steel!!!
I'm running a 2.2" Specialized Purgatory in the rear and a 2.4" in the front for some extra volume and cushion. The front fork is now a Surly Karate Monkey model which is both lighter and have greater clearance up front. And finally I am running my Carnegie's Bars with ESI grips. The WTB wheelset is awesome and I have become a fan of the American Classic design hubs which are fairly quiet and spin forever. Yes they engage slowly but no worse than the Shimano hubs I've been using for years. The rims are fantastic, with the tubeless ready tires mounting up with no tools and seating with just a floor pump.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Working my butt off

Well I have not been spending hardly any time riding because I have been working my fingers to the bone. The new job has kept me extremely busy and has worn me down a bit. Things have started to settle down but not before wearing me out completely. Now I am fighting a nasty cold and with all the holiday happenings upcoming I don't know when I'll get a ride in. Anyway I have put my Stumpjumper up for sale, though I haven't been pushing the sale. In the meantime I have built up a really cool single speed. I got a great deal on the frame and fork and then got an even better deal on a set of killer wheels. Here is a picture for all to admire.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Considering selling the FSR

I'm thinking about it which is a shame since it has seen very little riding over the time I've owned it. I just built up the wheels for it so it looks super pimp. But I'm considering a simpler bike lineup. Less moving parts, maybe less gears. Anyway here it is, I can sleep on it a little.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Well I received a gift of a slightly used Motobecane Fantom 29 frame a few weeks ago. Nothing spectacular but I was fairly certain it was a lighter alternative to my Dawes Deadeye frame. Turns out it was a full THREE POUNDS lighter! So using existing parts, wheels I built, and purchasing a few new parts...I built up a nice little 29er single speed. Since it has such a wide variety of parts, I have dubbed it the FrankenFantom29!

Rusty (my son) and I got to take it out mountain biking at one of our local parts. Nothing too technical but some nice groomed dirt trails for me to test the bike out on and for Rusty to get some off road practice in.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More wheel builds

Well life is keeping me busy with a new job coming up and continued work on the new (old) house. But I did get a little time this Sunday morning to get one of the four wheels I have lined up to build done. I built up a single speed rear wheel using a Pivot (Novatec) single speed hub I got on Ebay for $22 shipped. I laced it to a WTB Dual Duty 700c rim that I got a pair for under $40 shipped with Sapim Race spokes (which cost the most at $37 shipped for spokes and nipples). So total cost of the wheel comes in right around $79 which is not bad for a new hand built wheel. Now I need to get the front built which I'm basically transfering the hub and spokes (same ERD on both rims) from another wheel to a Dual Duty 700c for a matching set of single speed wheels.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not much riding due to a move

Yes, I have been in the midst of a move from Rainier to West Linn (ie Redneckville to Civilization). So I have not had much time to ride, that is the bad news. The good news is that I start a new job on September 4th which is four ten hour days. That means I have Fridays off so I might just be able to get a ride in here and there. Looking at a couple places closer such as Powell Butte (which I last rode in 1998) and the Mollala River Trails. Plus there is hope that Forest Park in Portland will soon have singletrack that is legal to ride on (I can neither confirm not deny that I have rode much of the singletrack at night...). I also have a few wheel building projects on the horizon so I need to get my bike shop set up at the new place. And lastly my son is gung ho on his 20" mountain bike to go riding so I'll be taking him out soon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is it time for a paradigm shift?

I'm finally healthy and riding regularly again. So far I have almost exclusively rode my $400 29er single speed that weighs just a pound less than my $2500 5" travel full suspension 29er.

But mid ride tonight I realized something...I was enjoying the challenge and simplicity of the single speed so much that I started to wonder if I really need my full suspension. Sure it provides a comfortable ride and it is a blast to bomb down trails. But I also find that the potential of that full suspension is more than I need or even want these days. And when I do ride my full suspension, especially in the mud...I spend a lot of time on maintenance. On the rigid SS, I have to pick my lines carefully and work on keeping my momentum. I ride slower on the SS but it requires more skill, more precision. And guess what I do at the end of the ride? I hang the SS in the garage and walk away (for the most part).

Severe illness has changed my life, I am slowing down and appreciating the simple things. Maybe my bike(s) will reflect that in the near future.

Monday, July 30, 2012

More wheel building to come

I've built up a front Stan's ZTR HD 20mm front hub on a Sun Ringle Inferno 27 rim with Wheelsmith DB14 spookes and I unlaced my WTB Laserdisc Lite hub from the Sun Ringle EQ 27 rim and relaced it to a Shimano M529 hub using the same spokes. I now have a pair of Stan's Flow 29er rims to build on the rear Laserdisc Lite and front Laserdisc Super Duty front 20mm hub with Sapim Race spokes. But to make sure I'm getting it right I picked up one of these.

Finally getting healthy...and riding

I had my second UC surgery on May 7th of this year and I am finally getting back to riding. I have managed to get three road rides in in the past month or so as well as a mountain bike ride on my single speed no less! No more pain, no more bleeding...yes it hurts to start riding again but it is a good pain. I would be riding more but I am also very busy with fixing up a new home so this summer has been limited for riding days. Here are a couple low quality cell phone pictures.
I hope to be able to start maintaining this blog again with lots of adventures and projects up coming. Till then I'm Rollin' With No Colon!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Off the bike once again

Fuck you Ulcerative Colitis!

Yes, the little part of my colon left behind has been flaring now for over a month which is sucking my energy and keeping me off the bike. I gotten in a couple short rides but nothing much. I got to go riding with my son, Rusty, who is now ridding two wheels like a pro. In the meantime I am waiting to get scheduled in to have the last part of my colon removed so hopefully I never have to deal with this bloody shit (literally) again!

Then it's six weeks of recovery and hopefully I can be riding again soon after that.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another lovely day of riding

The sun has been shining here in the Pacific NW and the trails are in fantastic condition. I met up with Jeep, Muldoon, Davy Sprocket, and the Crumpster for a nice pre-Superbowl ride. Jeep promised a "sub-glacial" pace which is right up my alley. However, the person who was going to ride with us (and is one of the few slower than me on climbs) locked his keys in his car and couldn't be convinced to break a window to get in. We headed out from the yellow gate and up the Heart Attack climb, which I made without stopping...a good sign. Then off to Big Easy, and I cleared the painfully steep but short climb out, another good sign. Then into Carnage, Piece, and Pound where I quickly figured out that the pace would be a little more than "sub-glacial". I had to back off the pace so I didn't blow up but the guys waited for me at the end of the trail. I wasn't too far behind. Then up the 9312 and the 9313 "Wall" to the tank trap and onto the Legacy trail. Muldoon and I chose to take the discounted path and shortcut the Legacy climb...I hate that climb anyway! The view from the top was as pleasant as ever with a panoramic view of the Olympic range, Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, and Hood. Some claimed they could see Jefferson too but I wasn't convinced.

From the top we bombed the Legacy descent and then into the silent but deadly WTF trail with the off camber turns and randomly placed stumps trying to grab your tires if you miss the line.WTF has claimed its fair share of victims over the short lifespan of the trail. I've gotten a few bruises and scrapes but nothing major from it. Then down Vortex which is a absolute blast. The corners are all bermed and the trail just flows. What a blast, easily one of my favorite trails. I finished it off with my maiden run down Little Sister then rode the logging roads back to the car. A good solid three hours of riding and while I was slow on the climbs, I didn't walk them (except short-cutting Legacy).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Rides

Well the weather has been pretty crappy the last couple weeks. Snow, then ice, then rain and flooding. Sadly I don't own a Fat Bike, otherwise a snow ride would have been in order. But we did get some beautiful days earlier in the month and I made it out for a few rides. I was finally able to make it to the top of the Legacy Trail at Growlers Gulch. I was able to ride all the way to the beginning of the Legacy Trail before have to do a mix of riding and hike-a-bike to the summit. Once at the top I was greeted with some amazing views.
Me at the top of Legacy

Mt Adams and Mt St Helens