Fork it!

29 07 2011

Sharon wants to get rolling again...

So Sharon needs a new fork for her Surly Cross Check. That’s no problem Surly sells replacement forks, but they only come in black. Rather than trying to get a paint match that might or might not work out we were thinking of getting the new fork chromed for a little front end bling. I’ve never gone down that road so if anyone knows a thing or two about the process and any likely problems we should look out for let me know. The other option is to strip her frame down and get the new fork as well as the frame powder coated together.

Nomad Wrenching…

28 07 2011

DIY workstand!

Since I’ve been riding my Santa Cruz Nomad MK2 a lot it was time to show her some love.

New rubber...=-)

First up some new rubber. I’d like to tell you I did some in depth research about the Specialized Chunder Control 26 x 2.3″ tires I am spooning on to my Nomad but they were on sale for $21 each at a LBS and the reviews on were decent so on they go.

New vs. old...

The Kenda Nevegals I was pulling off had a rip in the rear sidewall – not quite all the way through, but that tire was about to die so it’s going to get trashed. I’ll keep the front Nevegal as a spare for road trips and emergencies.

Rear wheel needs some truing...

While I had the rear wheel of the bike I adjusted the tension a bit to remove a wobble it had developed.

Clean and wipe down chain...

I was feeling industrious so I lubed and wiped down the chain. I also measured it for wear, but it was fine.

Time for some grease...

The lower suspension linkage on my Nomad has zerks fitted for fast re-greasing. Santa Cruz even gave me a grease gun with the bike that I had never used so I busted it out and pumped some fresh grease in the beast. We don’t ride in the rain or mud so the old grease looked fine.

My Santa Cruz Nomad ready for action...

I thought about actually cleaning the frame, but decided that was crazy talk and put the bike away. Next time I throw on new rubber I’ll probably get someone with skills to look at my shock/fork and see it they need any internally applied love.



27 07 2011

One Grand Bois 700 x 32mm tire + tube toast...

Sharon called me yesterday AM after leaving for work on her bike. I knew that wasn’t good because she never calls me while riding and rarely even when at work [we email and text during the day]. I could tell she’d had an accident by her voice and after making sure she wasn’t badly hurt figured out a spot to meet that I could drive over and collect her broken bike.

That's not the usual bar setup...

We loaded her bike in the back of my truck and I quickly checked that she didn’t need to go to the hospital for treatment. She was banged up and had some road rash, but nothing we couldn’t address at home.

A bit of grindage...

I got the full story on the drive home. Sharon was cruising on the bike path to work. Her speed was likely 14-18kph. When another cyclist T-boned her as he entered the bike path at 90 degrees to traffic flow without slowing down to check for traffic. She barely saw him before she was down on the ground. Our local bike paths see very high traffic at commuting hours and I often have to stop and wait for 10-20 bikes to go by before I can turn onto the path myself. It was a bonehead move that could have seriously hurt someone. As it was Sharon’s bike was unrideable and she spent the day in bed icing her knees and wrists.

More grindage...

Luckily she didn’t sustain any serious injuries. The most painful bits were the areas of road rash that she received through her clothing as she was wearing pants, a jacket and gloves.

The Donkey Boxx got scuffed and saved the bike frame from damage - thanks Donkey!

The bike landed on it’s right side and slide for a bit. Luckily that’s the side with the Donkey Boxx mounted. It wasn’t damaged and it saved Sharon’s Surly Cross Check frame from any paint removal.

Gear Damage:

  • Grand Bois tire $65+ $10 shipping
  • Tube $4
  • Pedal and brake lever scrapped, but serviceable
  • Bar tape scrapped $14
  • Donkey Boxx scuffed, but serviceable
  • Front fender tweaked, but not permanently damaged
  • Shower Pass jacket scuffed and torn in a couple places $40 to repair
  • Pants damaged $75 to replace
  • Gloves damaged $40 to replace
  • Total = ~$250

Beaten up, but not broken!

Of course you can always buy more gear so the main thing is Sharon is doing okay. She stayed home from work yesterday and is going in today, but she’s shuffling around the house gingerly with a variety of spots on her body that are in pain. I was concerned this might put her off bike commuting, but she’s ordered up some new Grand Bois tires and I found something in the garage I can throw on the front of her bike to get her rolling while we wait for the nicer rubber to arrive. I imagine she’ll be off her bike until next Tuesday so she has time to heal a bit.

The sad part about all this is that the guy that hit her didn’t damage his bike and after making sure he didn’t kill her he rode off and got on with his day!…=-(

Upgraded OMM Sherpa Rack…

26 07 2011

Old Sherpa on left and new OMM Sherpa on right...

I love Old Man Mountain [OMM] racks and have them on almost all my bikes that use racks:

I’ve tried the other contenders in the rack department [Tubus Cargo, Surly Nice rack, etc…] and prefer to use OMM products. I’m coming up on 10yrs of Old Man Mountain rack use with no failures, no hassles and all smiles…=-)

New rack on bottom...

One thing I like about OMM is that they don’t churn out new improved products every year that aren’t any better than last year’s version just to get people to buy the latest greatest gizmo. My very first set of OMM Cold Springs racks looks pretty much the same as what you can buy today 10yrs later. To me that’s a solid design that performs and doesn’t need hype to sell. So I was interested when I heard that OMM had come up with some changes to their Sherpa rack design after all these years.

You can see a comparison between old and new Sherpa racks in these photos:

  • the main rack tubes have been increased from 10mm to 12mm
  • the top rails remain at 10mm for pannier compatibility, but on the new rack the top rail is one unit and is welded on to the larger lower 12mm portion of the rack
  • the new rack platform is 2cm longer than the old one
  • picking them up I can’t detect any weight difference by hand although I assume the new one is a few grams heavier

New rack is on bottom...

The new rack retains the same high quality made in the USA construction OMM is famous for and uses the same modular mounting hardware that can be customized to fit any bike. I really like that my 10yr old OMM rack will fit just about any touring bike I care to throw it on – disc brakes?…no problem….lack of rack braze ons?…no problem, bizarre full suspension frame?….no problem, etc…

Another view of new on left and old on right...

To be honest I never felt that the old Sherpa rack was in need of being more beefy or stiff. I tend to carry moderate loads so perhaps I am not at the far end of the rack abuse spectrum, but I do ride rough dirt roads/tracks with my loaded bikes and that takes it’s toll on gear. I’ll be using the new OMM SHerpa rear rack on my 26″ LHT build so I’ll be reviewing it as I ride that bike, but OMM products kinda suck for blogging purposes because they just work and provide no drama to report on – that get’s boring!

Blade Kites [USA] 2 for 1 Kite Sale…

25 07 2011

The only thing better than a new kite is two new kites for the same price!

Blade Kites [USA] is offering a 2 for 1 deal at the moment – buy a new kite at full price and get a second new kite for free. You can’t argue with that if you need to stock your quiver with new kites. If you click on the image above you’ll jump to a deal for a free 9m Trigger kite when you buy a Blade Fat Lady 17m light wind kite and bar.

Getting Funky!

25 07 2011

Splish splash...

My apologies if posts about mountain biking at Hartland MTB Park are getting boring. I sympathize, but I gotta post about what I am actually doing and trail riding has been on the menu a lot lately. The more I ride at Hartland the better my BC-specific bike skills get and the more fun I have so I want to ride more. As you can imagine that has the potential to spiral out of control…=-)

Where are we?

The trail system at the park can be a little confusing and we usually get lost once per ride at least. Not a big deal as all roads lead to fun!

Goofy fat tire fun...

I just realized this ride my tires are quite worn and I need to start looking for a replacement set. I’ll probably just spoon a new pair of Kenda Nevegals on to my rims, but I may poke around a bit and see if anything else strikes my fancy. My Nomad has never run on anything other than Nevegals so they have served me well.

Kurt checking for damage after a big rock + bike impact...

The other problem I’m having with so much riding is that my pads are getting smelly like hockey gear…=-( BC is humid and even though I lay everything out to dry after a ride it has acquired some funkiness! I’m going to have to wash everything really well.

I just found out that the city is building a mountain bike skills park a few blocks from where I live so I’ll have some even easier riding options if I just want to work on some techy moves.

Beware of the forest animals!

I was riding along when what looked like a stripped bandicoot took a swipe at my leg….ouch!

Berry good snacks along the trail...

I think he was protecting his berry patch, but we ignored him and had a feast…=-)

Summer mountain bike camp...

We ran into a group of kids on a summer mountain bike camp. Looked like a fun time for all of them. Kurt gave them some words of wisdom – specifically how to climb gnarly rocks and the best colours to wear for a MTB photo shoot…=-)

Not so clean anymore...

When I put the new tires on I may even clean my chain and lube it. If I am feeling super motivated I may remove some of the dirt, but I’ll probably save that for another year or so!

Naish House 2…

24 07 2011