Showing the Pugsley some love…

31 01 2013
New and used bling for my Pugs...

New and used bling for my Pugs…

I’m back in Victoria after a lovely trip south of the border. Having ridden my Surly Pugsley a ton in Baja I’ve come to appreciate it more than ever. I figured its many years of loyal service deserved some pay back. So I collected a few new and used parts to install on the bike.

  • Titec H-bar [used to be my Pugs bar and is going back on]
  • Brooks B17 [comfy for long rides]
  • lightly used SRAM 8spd chain
  • Surly Rolling Darryl rims with cut outs

I’ve been through a lot of handlebars and saddles on the Pugsley. I’m going back to the Titec H-bar because it provided the best balance of comfort and control for non-technical riding/touring. I’ve come to the realization that techy MTBing on a rigid bike just isn’t my thing. I’ve got a full suspension bike I enjoy riding technical terrain with much more. My only gripe with the Titec H-bar was the control placement for steep techy terrain. If I take that off the menu the H-bar rocks.

The plastic SDG saddle that’s currently on the Pugs is awesome for short rides of 1hr or 2hrs, but isn’t so comfy for all day rides. I had a spare Brooks B17 so I’ll use that instead.

My Pugsley’s chain is thoroughly trashed after the many weeks of beach use. I found a lightly used 8spd SRAM chain in my spare parts box so I’ll throw it on.

On the wheel front are the only new parts for the Pugs. A set of Surly Rolling Darryl rims with cut outs. My current rims are old skool Large Marges – I think I have the uber heavy DH version. So I’ll be able to drop weight from my wheels and get a wider tire footprint for sand use. This is definitely not an essential upgrade. My old wheels were going strong, but I’ve wanted to check out some of these lighter and wider rims for a while.

Before I mess with my current wheels I’m going to open up the Shimano Alfine 8 IGH. I want to make sure it’s in decent condition after 4yrs of neglect. If it isn’t I’ll use a different IGH – possibly a Rohloff I am not using or I’ll buy another Alfine 8 since they are so cheap and I don’t really need the Rohloff’s wide gear range for my fat biking.

If possible I’ll reuse the old spokes and nipples on the new rims. Who knows I may even get motivated to go tubeless for the maximum pimpage of the Pugs! ;)





Naish TV – French Touch…

30 01 2013




Hans and Danny in Italy…

29 01 2013




Slingshot making their kiteboards in US…

28 01 2013

Slingshot Dialer – made in the USA…

I’m not a made in Canada/USA fanatic. I buy products made in Asia. In some cases there are no domestic choices and in others the Asian products are just too good a value to skip. Having said that I do like supporting companies that are able to build an excellent product in North America.

So I wanted to give Singshot Kiteboarding a shout out for building their boards in Hood River OR from locally sourced materials. I own two of their surfboards and they are great. Not only do they perform well, but they are priced well compared to the other kite specific surfboards in the industry.

Slingshot Misfit…

I’ve been getting my Slingshot gear at Kite Paddle Surf in Bellingham WA. They’ve got great prices on SS kites and boards as well as excellent customer service.





Santa Cruz Bikes 5yr Warranty…

27 01 2013
Click to jump to warranty info page...

Click to jump to warranty info page…

Santa Cruz Bikes has increased their frame warranty to 5yrs from 2yrs on all their bikes and as I understand it this will be applied retroactively to any bikes sold within the last 5yrs. That means my Nomad is back under warranty should anything go wrong until Feb 2014. Sweet! Santa Cruz also has a Lifetime Bearing Warranty and a Lifetime No-Fault Replacement Program to help out owners in situations not covered by their warranty.

All in all it’s a pretty nice post sale support framework which is nice when you drop $5K for a bike and plan to ride it a long time. :)

From the Santa Cruz website here is their warranty info……

Five Year Frame Warranty

Santa Cruz Bicycles will repair or replace at its option any frame it determines to be defective. The warranty will be in effect for five years from the date of sale and applies to the original owner. This warranty does not cover custom finishes.

Lifetime Bearing Warranty 

Santa Cruz Bicycles frame bearings are warranted for life to the original owner of the bike. The return process is simple: send your used bearings back to Santa Cruz Bicycles in an envelope marked “Warranty Bearing Replacement”, and be sure to include your return address. We’ll turn your package around within 48 hours, and cover the shipping back to you. That’s it!

No-Fault Replacement

Santa Cruz Bicycles will make replacement parts available to the original owner at a minimal charge in the event of a crash or other non-warranty situation for the life of the bike.





Cycles Alex Singer

26 01 2013




My North kiteboarding 2013 dream quiver…

25 01 2013

North kiteboarding action…

If money was no object here is what I would ride from the 2013 North line up…

North Neo kite – 4 line w/ 3 struts…

Kites

The Neo is a fun surf/freeride oriented kite that would be great as the core of my kite quiver. The 5m can handle epic winds with the 7m & 10m covering my bases for most days. The Dyno has my back as a dedicated lightwind weapon to prevent any wasted days at beach.

North Select…

Boards

The Select is a killer freeride twin tip for strapped riding. The Whip is a rocket for strapless high wind conditions and the Nugget is great to lightwind days.

I would add a Beachdog skim board to the mix as well.

La Ventana Baja…

Local Dealer





Surly Nates = Sold!

24 01 2013
Surly Nate...

Surly Nate…

I’ve got a like new set of Surly Nate 27tpi tires 26″ x 4″ fatbike tires I’m selling. They’ve been used 10 times or so on dirt and are not worn at all. A pair of these tires new sell for $180 + shipping. I’m selling mine set for $110 + shipping.

Fat tires with uber traction...

Fat tires with uber traction…

I bought these tires for their epic traction and was going to use my Pugsley for trail riding in the winter. I’ve concluded I prefer to ride my full suspension MTB even in the winter so the Pugsley is going back to soft conditions/touring mode. For that use I don’t need super duper traction knobby tires.

Endo, Larry and Nate...

Endo, Larry and Nate…

I’ll be home Tuesday 29 Jan and can ship then or arrange to meet up if you want to pick them up locally.





Waterproof iPod Shuffle…

23 01 2013

Waterproof tunes…

Some of my kiteboarding friends use and like these waterproof iPods. If you like to swim, paddle or rain ride with tunes without worrying about ruining your iPod check it out.

I like to hear what’s going on around me so I’ve never tried them myself.

They look seriously waterproof!





Why I haven’t gone tubeless on my Pugs?

22 01 2013
Totally fat - totally tubed...

Totally fat – totally tubed…

I’ve posted on this blog about trying to setup my Pugsley tubeless. I’ve even gone so far as to get the inner tubes I’d need for the split tube method that seems to offer the best results. Having said that my Pugs still sports inner tubes.

If you are wondering why the main reasons are:

  1. laziness
  2. inconsistent use
  3. lack of flats

Setting the Pugs up tubeless isn’t a huge deal. It will probably take me 4 beers to get done, but not doing anything takes a bunch less time and costs nothing so that option has been very appealing. ;)

My Pugsley gets used a lot for a period of time – such as daily rides in Baja for 7 weeks – then it sits gathering dust for a couple months in the garage without a second look until I need it again. My admittedly limited experience with tubeless [2 MTBs] tells me it works best on bikes that see regular riding. The idea of having to reseat the tires and mess with sealant every couple months isn’t motivating me to make the change.

The final factor is the fact I just don’t get any Pugsley flats. I was riding every day in Baja for 7 weeks and didn’t get a single flat with my tubes. This is in thorn country where other bikers are dealing with multiple flats a day. I don’t have many bike related super powers, but this is one of them. If I had 10 flats on my Baja trip you’d see me do the tubeless thing the first day I got home to Victoria!

So the only two reasons I have to do the switch to tubeless are losing some weight and better rolling resistance from my tires. Those aren’t inconsiderable motivations. One of these days I’ll get it done – just not today!

My Pugs with Nates...

My Pugs with Nates…

If you are terribly disappointed by my lack of tubeless fat content you can check out a tubeless Moonlander over at the Gypsy by Trade Blog. That should keep you going! ;)





Naish TV – South Africa…

21 01 2013




Ode to my Pugsley…

19 01 2013
Who says Pigs can't fly? ;)

Who says Pigs can’t fly? ;)

When I got my Surly Pugsley there were no complete bikes available. I had to buy a frame/fork and then build the bike from a bunch of new and used parts that fell to hand. The Pugsley’s fat tires and offset drivetrain meant there were more than a few moments of uncertainty as I assembled it. Choices of fat bike specific parts were limited at the time. You could pick from any tire as long as it was an Endomorph and the only offset rims were Large Marges. Happily it was actually a pretty easy build once I started turning wrenches.

Taking the Pugs frame and wheels home...

Taking the Pugs frame and wheels home…

Like most people that ride fat bikes I was first attracted by the freakishly huge rubber they roll on. I held off for a couple years after the Pugsley was launched telling myself it was too specialized and I’d never make good use of it because I was not a snow bike racer type. What sealed the deal for me was a test ride on someone else’s Pugs. After you get over the big tires and start pedaling you realize it’s just a mountain bike that can go places its skinny tired brothers can’t. It rides trails just fine, isn’t bad on pavement and can dirt bike tour like a champ.

Whoa!

Whoa!

After that ride I knew I could get a lot of use out of a Pugsely so I dug deeper into the bike design. Like many other Surly bikes the Pugs is packed with features and is incredibly versatile. I liked the fact it had horizontal dropouts because I planned to use an internally geared hub [IGH] and didn’t want to use a chain tensioner. I also liked the fact that there was a derailleur hang if I changed my mind and wanted to use something more standard in the future. The fact you could swap the front and rear wheels made a lot of sense to me. I built my “front” wheel up with a disc brake fixed gear hub so in the unlikely event my IGH failed I wouldn’t be stuck a long way from help. The geometry of the Pugs is pretty standard for a classic mountain bike and it works great from street to trail to sand and snow.

No maintenance? - No problem! ;)

No maintenance? – No problem! ;)

My Pugs has seen a lot of action in the 4+yrs I’ve owned it. We’ve been to Baja Mexico several times. We’ve been to Burning Man and Shambhala. We’ve ridden the Canadian Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail. And of course we’ve ridden a lot of snow and ice in Alberta. My initial build has held up really well. I tore the bike apart last year to repaint its battered finish and was surprised that other than a new chain, new BB bearings and new cables/housing the bike really didn’t need anything to keep rolling another 4yrs.

Riding the CDN Great Divide...

Riding the CDN Great Divide…

I will admit that as new fat bikes and parts have hit the market [including the Moonlander] I get the occasional urge to upgrade my fatty. So far I have resisted those urges pretty well. I did put a Larry tire on the front of my Pugs and swap between different saddles and bars depending if I’m touring on the Pugs or doing shorter techy rides. I’ll probably upgrade to some lighter rims this year and rebuild the wheels using the original hubs and spokes if possible. Beyond that I’ll just keep riding the beast. Not bad for a guy prone to upgraditis! Mostly what’s keeping my wallet happy is the fact the Pugs works so well that upgrades wouldn’t make it that much better.

With a Pugs winter is snow-problem!

With a Pugs winter is snow-problem!

Now don’t read into this post a retrogrouch sentiment suggesting my aging Pugs is the ultimate fat bike and everything that has come since is just hype. If you gave me a Moonlander, a 907 or a Fatback I’d jump on them and probably enjoy the heck out of them as well. They are certainly different to my fatty and in some ways I can see they’d be better. However, looking at the overall picture there are still some things I like a lot about my Pugs and nothing that I have seen yet makes me feel like I’ll reach new levels of awesomeness over my Pugs.

Fat is fun!

Fat is fun!

Click here for all my Pugsley photos and click here for all my Pugsley related blog posts.

So good it makes you all crazy!

So good it makes you all crazy!





Strapless Footwork…

18 01 2013

Working on my strapless footwork and ability to ride strapless in switch stance is my goal for this winter in Baja. Last winter I nailed my strapless regular stance riding. This summer got started on riding switch. By next summer I want to be able to kite surf regular or goofy with ease and gybe fluidly.





Wake Skating Maui

16 01 2013




Rolling Darryls?

15 01 2013
Surly Rolling Darryls...

Surly Rolling Darryls…

I’m not up to speed on buying fat bike parts these days since it’s been a while since my Pugs saw some upgrades. If you were to buy some of the Surly Rolling Darryl rims with cut outs and have them shipped to a US address in the next week or so who would have the best price and have them in stock?

Any tips would be appreciated… =)





How to back tack…

14 01 2013

another video not quite as good, but every little bit helps…





Naish TV – Wet Until The End…

11 01 2013

Ride until you die!





Wave Riding…

10 01 2013




My 2013 Ocean Rodeo dream quiver…

9 01 2013

OR kites on the beach…

If money was no object here’s what I would ride from Ocean Rodeo in 2013:

2013 Ocean Rodeo Razor…

Kites

The Razor is a solid core kite for my quiver with a good balance of fast pivotal turning and reasonable stability. The Storm covers the really nuking days where robust construction and the ability to deal with gusts/lulls is important. The Flite is a dedicated lightwind weapon to make sure I am not sitting on the beach while other folks are riding. The Cyper isn’t absolutely needed, but it’s nice to have a second option in the core part of the quiver for a different feel and so I can really tune my kite to the conditions.

Ocean Rodeo Freeride bar…

Bars

The Freeride bar would get used the most with the Fusion bar pulled out for higher wind days where the mini-fifth line safety is appreciated most. I like having 3 bars so I can have a failure or a line tangle without messing up my session or the trip.

Mako in action…

Boards

The Mako 140 is my go to twin tip, but it’s nice to have a real twin tip to ride when I want to load the board up for big air. The Mako’s concave means it will not flex – at all! The Quad is a fun strapless board and the bigger Thruster gives me a strapped option for jumping and epic days.

Add in a Beachdog skim board and I would be totally happy to ride all conditions from nuking to ultra light.





Kite n’ Quad…

8 01 2013




My Liquid Force Kiteboarding 2013 dream quiver…

7 01 2013

Pink with Envy!

If money was no object here is what I would ride from the Liquid Force Kiteboarding 2013 product line up…

Liquid Force kite action…

Kites

We love the Envy and Sharon’s got 3 of them so it’s no shock I’d pick it as the core of my kite quiver. Bombproof construction, lots of stability and light construction make it perfect for nuking winds right down to the lighter end of spectrum. The 16m NRG is a dedicated lightwind design to prevent any sitting on the beach when winds drop.

Liquid Force Kitefish direction skim board…

Boards

Liquid Force has a great board range with the DLX handling twin tip freeride duties and 4’10” and 5’7″ quad surfboards taking you from lightwind to fully powered strapless territory. The Kitefish is an inexpensive and fun skim board option that’s worth a spot in your quiver.

Kite Paddle Surf – Bellingham WA

Local Dealer





Doping – the Big Picture…

5 01 2013
Click image for more dope...

Click image for more dope…

Velonews has an interesting interview with Dr. John Hoberman that paints a disturbing picture of collusion and corruption at the UCI, IOC and other top level sports organizations when it comes to the fight against doping. If you were wondering how LA and his doper buddies could get away with such a long and successful run at cheating in cycling the interviews offers some clues.

Updatethere is a rumbling on Velonews that Lance may come clean in exchange for a less than life ban on competition. Just a rumour at this point, but that would be an incredible end to the whole Armstrong saga.





This is Kiteracing…

4 01 2013




Beach Fatness…

3 01 2013
Sharon's got FAT!

Sharon’s got FAT!

Up to no good...

Up to no good…

Making tracks...

Making tracks…

Rest break...

Rest break…

Get the pressure right...

Get the pressure right…

Life at the beach gets rusty fast...

Life at the beach gets rusty fast…

Sharon proud to be FAT... ;)

Sharon proud to be FAT… ;)

 

 

 

 

 





Meet the Boss…

2 01 2013




Happy New Year!

1 01 2013
Excellent Photo: Dave Silver...

Excellent Photo: Dave Silver…

My 2013 To Do List:

  1. Ride Sedona AZ
  2. SUP and kitesurf in the waves on the Pacific coast of Baja
  3. Ride Cumberland BC
  4. Attend 2 Moontribe full moon gatherings
  5. Ride Squamish BC
  6. Bikepack from Nanimo back to Victoria on dirt
  7. Finish my Santa Cruz Nomad upgrades
  8. Ride Harbourview @ Sooke BC
  9. Get Sharon out for her first overnight bike tour
  10. Get a new consulting contract or job for 2013
  11. Clean out my office
  12. Get a solar power camping setup
  13. Try 4 new restaurants in Victoria
  14. Drink fresh beer from Phillips brewery more and bottled beer less
  15. Catch a salmon by rod and reel
  16. Fillet a salmon I caught for Sharon & Midnight
  17. and cook the salmon I caught on my new BBQ [birthday present from Sharon!] ;)
  18. Ruthlessly get rid of all the clothes my I can’t fit into anymore and that I will never fit into again unless I go on a hunger strike to protest against BC’s mandatory helmet law
  19. Figure out a way to hang my hammock in the backyard…bonus points if I figure out a way to hang my hammock inside the house!
  20. Find some new peeps to ride with that are not so fast they make me puke!
  21. Sell 1 kiteboard and 1 bike
  22. Buy 1 new kiteboard and 1 new bike
  23. Learn to manual my MTB confidently
  24. Reorganize the cat sunroom [aka catio] to be more lovely for the cat
  25. Get out for 1 day of trail maintenance at Hartland MTB Park