Remember September 11th
Take a minute today to remember those that died in the horrific attack on September 11, 2001. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families that were affected by this tragedy.
Sometimes we forget how lucky we really have it. It is times like this that we really need to remember the gifts we have in life instead of what we don’t have.. There are very few places in the world that have the privilege of smelling that sweet mountain air like we do.
So go ride your bike and hug your loved ones!
New Category Navigation
As the blog continues to grow, navigation across the posts and the site becomes increasingly harder. In an attempt to make this easier for you guys, I have created some new categories and created a listing that you will now find at the bottom of the page. Each category has the number of posts listed. Once you get into the category page with the post listings, you will notice it is very well laid out with pictures and summaries. Follow the “previous posts” link at the top and bottom of the page to get to the older articles. As always, you can search this site through the search function in the header and right sidebar.
I am always looking for ways to make this site easier to use. If you ever have any suggestions on site layout or content, please shoot me an email.
Bike Wrenching and Maintenance
After several failed attempts at getting local bike shops to do correct work on my bike, I decided it was time to start learning bike maintenance and wrenching on my own.
In one specific instance, I was riding a local trail one hour after getting a new fork installed, and the front brake fell off during a downhill. It was at that point I realized that if I wanted it done correctly, I needed to learn how to do it myself. That next day, I went out and bought an Ultimate repair stand and several essential tools.
If you are even semi-mechanically inclined, bike maintenance is actually pretty easy. Essentially you are working with very simple parts that are all driven by cables or man power (sometimes hydraulic). I would venture to say that 95% of riders are able to perform basic bike maintenance if they gave it a shot. What you will find, at least I did, is that it becomes a hobby/passion as much as the actual riding does. A great way to clear my head these days is to put the bike in the stand and get to work. This hard work pays off in spades on the trail and I enjoy doing it. Most importantly, I know it is done right.
I started off just adjusting dérailleurs and simple greasing…now it is not out of the ordinary to see brake bleeding, line cutting and fork rebuilding going on inside my garage.
Over the years I have found two websites that you really can not live without in the wrenching world.
Unless something drastically changes in the biking world in the next couple of years, Sheldon’s website will be an invaluable resource for years to come. His passing last Feburary was a huge hit for the biking community, but his legacy will live on through memories and his website. His website is one of the best resources for bike wrenching and information. At SheldonBrown.com, you will find everything from fork rebuilds to dérailleur adjusting. I don’t think there is one subject that isn’t covered, so if you can’t find it here…it probably shouldn’t be done. It is also a great place to see his thoughts on trends and parts from a guy who had been around the biking community for a very long time.
Big surprise here…the leading manufacturer in bike tools has an incredible site on bike maintenance. Follow their bike map to find exactly which section of the bike that you need to work on. These instruction manuals have great step by step instructions that are aided by pictures. Park Tool also includes the exact part number of their tool that you need to complete the job. This will help when trying to decide on the tools that you need to purchase for your needs.
Mark Arthur Reynolds Memorial Fund and Race Event
Article on mtnbikeriders.com
Mark Reynolds passed away while competing in the Downhill event at Sea Otter. Our great friends at Evomo have been organizing a Memorial fund raiser and many companies have stepped up to offer product donations for this event. Read more about it below:
Los Angeles, CA — A fund raiser is being held in conjunction with the CCCX Downhill Race Series starting this Saturday, May 3rd in honor of Mark A. Reynolds who died on Saturday, April 19, 2008.
Mark’s death was a result of the crash he had while competing in the Downhill race during the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA. Mark, who was just 48 years old, was the owner of Wicked Racin and innovator of the Dualrailluer Guide for which is in the process of being patented as the first dual chain ring guide. Mark was an avid mountain biker who raced competitively and he also enjoyed the action sports scene including snowboarding, wake boarding and even piloting airplanes. He was also a friend to many as well as a mentor to those looking to improve their skills.
After hearing the news on Saturday, members of the Evomo Mountain Bike Team stepped forward to contact fellow industry companies in order to organize a memorial fund raiser in Mark’s name. “I feel it’s the right thing to do and I really feel for the family who had to hear such terrible news”, said Tom Judy, Evomo Downhill Team Member. Everyone on the Evomo team instantly said they would be happy to make a collective Team donation to help. Within a few days, Fox Racing was ready to ship out some product donations and Keith DeFiebre, CCCX race organizer, offered his event location as a place to hold the fund raiser. “It was pretty awesome to get such instant support”, said Tom Judy.
Mark’s family hopes to contribute to a freeride or jump park that will be named after Mark so that people of all levels can enjoy the sport of mountain biking and can feel encouraged and supported, just as Mark made all of us feel.
Fox Racing Shox, Evomo, X-Fusion, Pactimo, Stan’s No Tubes, Cool Cycling Club, Calabazas Cyclery, Trailhead Cyclery, and Auburn Bike Works have already stepped up to donate cash or product for the fund raising raffle that will be held at the CCCX DH Race Series finale on Sunday, June 22. Memorial T-shirts and raffle tickets will be for sale at this weekends event in which all proceeds will go to the fund in honor of Mark. “By having a huge raffle at our series finale in June
we are able to maximize the cash we can raise by selling tickets at the next 5 races”, said Keith DeFiebre, CCCX Race organizer.
This weekend’s event will be held at Toro Park in California, located between Salinas and Monterey off of Hwy 68 just minutes from Laguna Seca Raceway. Registration for racing opens at 8am.
Donation information, please visit WickedRacin.com where you can make a cash donation in his Mark’s name via PayPal.
Mark Reynolds was a great rider and was truly passionate about mountain biking. Take the time, if you can, to check this out.
Friends in Moab = Jealousy
I’ll admit it…after taking a look at Chocolate Girl’s (mama) blog…I am extremely jealous. A few of our local riding friends took another trip to the Moab riding scene and came back with their best pictures to date. Not only does she take incredible pictures, but a great story goes along with them. Check out her blog, Life on a bike, for the pictures and Moab details.
Specifically these three entries:
- Beauty and The Zone
- What shock are you wearing?
- Where’s your inspiration?
Moab is one of those mythical destinations that is a part of my must ride list. The views and trails are unlike anywhere else, and it has been a mecca for mountain biking since the beginning. One of these days, I will get to make the trip and hopefully bring back as many great pictures and memories as these. In the meantime, I’ll stare at these pictures daydreaming about the day I get to make it out.
From time to time, I come across non-biking related content that I think would be beneficial to you guys. In this case, I know there are a lot of you out there that use Blackberry’s, so I thought I would steer you towards my future brother-in-laws site for some of the best themes I have seen to date.
Zach’s Blackberry Themes
2008 Corsair Bikes
New for 2008, Corsair has come out with a line of mountain bikes that are unlike anything else on the market. Check out CorsairBikes.com for more info.
Here is the lineup.
CORSAIR CROWN (DH)
From the website:
Developed to compete on the World Cup DH circuit with an adjustable headtube, two position primary rear shock and an optional add-on secondary blow-off shock. The Crown is designed to be fully adjustable and tune-able for any DH race course. The Crown’s 65 degree head angle, 44.5″ wheelbase, 22″ effective top tube length and 17″ chainstay length may seem normal, but the function and adjustability of the frame are far from typical.
Pricing: Frame w/Marzocchi Roco WC and X-Fusion Air US $2399 (includes Headset, Seat Clamp, Maxle)
What a killer frame. If you look at their website, you can see how the suspension reacts and actually control it with a slider. Corsair is one of the first that I have seen with this feature on their site. Overall, the frame looks really solid. The only worry I have is the two shock setup. It just seems like more linkage and shock problems to worry about. The axle path also radically changes when the second blow off shock engages. My guess is that Corsair did their homework, so the frame is probably an incredible performer, but we won’t know until someone gets to abuse it.
CORSAIR MAELSTROM (FR)
From the website:
Fitted with a massive 10.5″ coil shock with a 3.5″ stroke (267x90mm) and featuring a 2:1 stroke ratio, the Maelstrom’s 7″ (180mm) of high quality travel is designed for DH race courses, demanding back-country or bike park madness. With its proprietary idler pulley technology and innovative rear swingarm design, the Maelstrom has been painstakingly engineered to be a great climber. As with all other Corsair models, this frame features an adjustable headtube angle, and replaceable Maxle rear drop-outs.
Pricing: Frame w/Manitou Swinger Coil X-6 US $1699 (includes Headset, Seat Clamp, Maxle)
Another great entry to their lineup. The 7 inches of travel and long stroke shock are just begging for a Cane Creek Double Barrel to handle the action. The fixed top shock mount is not something that you see very often. It will be interesting to see one up close.
CORSAIR KONIG (SS)
From the website:
Slopestyle is perhaps the most exciting new cycling discipline seen in years. When creating the Konig, our goal was to channel the energy of a great run into the engineering and style of our slopestyle frame. Getting off the ground, landing in one piece (at any angle) and getting the bike where you need it to be in a split second require that a bike be light, strong and maneuverable – three things that define the Konig.
Pricing: Frame w/Marzocchi Roco Air R US 1399 (includes Headset, Seat Clamp, Maxle)
Honestly, I do not know much about slopestyle other than it is a blast to watch. The frame looks up to the task.
CORSAIR MARQUE (AM)
From the website:
Representing the newest breed of All-Mountain/Trail bikes, the Marque is lightweight but tough. It is ideally suited for the rider who requires more travel than is offered by the typical XC bike but still demands super efficient pedaling and climbing characteristics. With over 5″ (130mm) of high-quality travel, the Marque quite simply out-climbs and out-descends anything else in its class. As with all other Corsair models, this frame features an adjustable headtube angle, and replaceable Maxle rear drop-outs.
Pricing: Frame w/Marzocchi Roco Air R US $1699 (includes Headset, Seat Clamp, Maxle)
Looks like a strong AM rig. I would have liked to see 150-160mm travel out of this frame. With the adjustable headtube angle, you could throw on a fork like the Rock Shox Lyrik U-Turn and really have a completely adjustable bike.
CORSAIR DUCAT (DJ)
From the website:
Dirt jumping and street are the main form of riding for many riders. Whether you live in the city, countryside or mountains, there are always great opportunities to build your skills and bag of tricks. The Ducat has been designed to be both durable and agile. With a dialed in frame geometry featuring 15.9″ (405mm) chainstays the Ducat is perfect for tricks and jumps of all types. As with all other Corsair models, this frame features an adjustable headtube angle, and replaceable Maxle rear drop-outs.
Priceing: Frame US $499 (includes Headset, Seat Clamp, Maxle)
Solid dirt jumper for a good price.
198′S THOUGHTS ON THE COMPLETE LINE
- Maxle rear dropouts – I have been waiting on frame builders to bring this incredible axle to frames for some time now. This is one of the major selling points of this frame for me. All the ease of a QR with the stiffness of a thru axle. A Maxle rear should be standard on all AM and higher frames.
- Adjustable Headtube Angle – You can really dial in a bike to your liking and trails with this feature. The headtube angle really affects how the bike feels during descending and climbing. Being able to adjust this measurement is a huge plus in my book.
- Price – These frames are all reasonably priced in each respective market. I was actually really expecting them to be a lot more expensive.
- Looks – Visually…these are great looking frames and they should equal even better looking builds.
Now the negatives:
- Adjustable Headtube Angle – Hopefully this isn’t a source for future creaking.
- Linkage – There are a lot of tight linkage areas that may or may not pack with dust and mud. Hopefully these areas clear out easily with well designed pivots.
- Dual Shock Setup – This part could end up being a huge positive if it works correctly and shows to be durable. Until there is some serious field testing…this will stay in the negative for now.
Klein: Back from the Dead
Blue Collar Mountain Biking on Trek/Lemond and Klein
The buzz around Trek/Lemond split has left many questions. What is next for Trek? Will Armstrong be introducing a new bike line?
What most folks didn’t hear during all this buzz was the word Klein. That’s right Klein is coming back to the states. Just when Trek was pushing out the last old stock of Klein from their warehouses they decide the flip the switch back to on “On.”
WATERLOO, WI (BRAIN)—Trek will introduce a new Klein road bike line to its worldwide dealers this summer.
The line could replace LeMond bicycles on shop floors if Trek is successful in its appeal to drop the brand. The company yesterday asked a federal court to release it from its licensing agreement to produce LeMond bicycles.
Trek owns the Klein brand, which it purchased from Gary Klein in 1995. Trek withdrew Klein from the U.S. market a few years ago. It remains a current brand with current products outside of the United States.
Some Trek retailers speculated that Trek would simply put a Klein decal on current LeMond road models to preserve those designs.
But Joe Vadeboncoeur, director of product development for Trek Bicycles, said Trek is developing the new line expressly for Klein.
“Since there is a current Klein brand with its own unique product mix and brand identity, we will not be selling any current products that Trek developed for any of our other brands, relabeled as Klein,” said Vadeboncoeur.
Read the whole article over at Bicycle Retailer.
This should be pretty cool! I remember drooling over the Klein paint jobs and internal cable routing. I can’t wait to see what they will be bringing stateside. Stay tuned…
Defining What Is Long Travel For A 29er
Guitar Ted at TwentyNineInches.com wrote an article on the 13th attempting to define the long travel 29er market. Here are my thoughts…
Ted’s Article on Long Travel 29ers
There is often much debate in the comments section whenever I post about “long travel” 29″ers. Do we really need them? What is “long travel” on a 29″er, and will it even work? These are the sort of things that have been brought up and all are legitimate questions concerning full suspension and 29″ers. This post will attempt to take the concept apart and see if we can find out just where this whole 29″er full suspension thing is going to.
The Roll Over Effect: First of all, one of 29 inch wheels defining attributes is the ability to roll up and over trail obstacles with an ease that smaller wheels can not match. This has been one of the reasons many have caught the big wheeled fever and have never looked back. Some have argued that a smaller amount, or no suspension at at all is necessary on a 29″er for their local trails and riding styles. Whatever the case may be for you, it is probably a universally agreed upon idea that 29″ers are smoother over the trails than smaller wheeled rigs. Is this a quantifiable thing? How much does a 29 inch wheel erase the need for suspension? Or should we be looking at this in a whole different way?
The Comparison Factor: It was inevitable that when the first 29″ers appeared that they would be compared to 26 inch wheeled bikes. Everything a 26 inch wheeled bike did, 29″ers were expected to do as well. This has been a dominant factor not only in suspension, but in the handling department for 29″ers. I think this isn’t a good way to evaluate what a 29″er is really all about. Sure, it is a bicycle and when it is designed for off road usage, it is going to have some parallels to 26 inch mountain bikes, but 29″ers do have their own set of defining characteristics. Added to this are the physical attributes and limitations of a 29″er wheel and the frames designed around them and you can see it is a whole different enchilada than what we are used to seeing with smaller wheeled mountain bikes. Comparing what is “long travel” for a 26 inch wheeled bike to a 29″er is then a flawed comparison from the start.
How Long is “Long”?: This leaves us with the question: Just what is “long travel” for a 29″er? Well, I believe it is very different from what it is for a 26 inch wheeled bike. I believe we already have long travel 29″ers in our midst, but let me take you to one specific example that is still out on the horizon: The W.F.O. 9 from Niner. This is a prototype that takes the 29″er wheel format into uncharted waters. With an estimated 165mm of usable rear wheel cush, this bike redefines long travel and will certainly push technology to the limits. Considering that there is currently no tire, rim, or front fork combination available that would even live up to the capabilities of this platform, you might say it is a “mad scientist” experiment. Well, that’s a different story, but what I want to point out is that this bike is probably the definition of what “max travel” in a 29″er platform for all mountain/down hill riding is. What I also want to point out is that this bike, if and when it becomes available, will more than likely show why 29″ers should be classified as a whole different animal when it comes to “long travel” all mountain bikes. I say this because Niner will more than likely get this bike out to a wider audience than currently available “long travel” 29″ers such as Lenz Sport’s Lunchbox. Physically, these two bikes show why “more” travel isn’t probably practical in a 29″er format, but more importantly, I think they show why it isn’t necessary.
For his conclusions, visit TwentyNineInches.com…
My Thoughts on Long Travel 29er’s
I am in the process of looking at a 29er rigid bike, and I am really excited about the project.
I see no place for a long travel 29er. I ride a 36 lbs 6″ bike as my regular ride, and to get a 29er to fit the same bill…the geometry would not work. To get the slack angles required by 6″ + bikes, a 29ers wheelbase would have to be so long that it wouldn’t be turnable in tight dh situations. In dh/fr, quality travel is a requirement that wheel size can not make up for. You can’t tell me that a 5″ 29er is going to perform the same as a 6-7″ 26er off a 5′ drop to flat or higher.
The amount of leverage that will be put on long travel 29er forks will require a much stiffer suspension fork to keep the same ride as a 26er. This, in my eyes, can only be accomplished with wider hub spacing and larger axles.
I have a feeling that the same people that are making an argument for a long travel 29er…are the same people that wouldn’t use the full potential of a long travel 26er.
29ers have their place. I see their positives in short travel xc/am rigs and ht/rigids, but the long travel market is a place for 26″ bikes.
That’s right…we are now taking article submissions. At the top of the page you will see a link that submits article requests and submissions to the site. We want to know what you guys want to read as well as what you guys write. Bring it on!
This is also a great place to let us know about any news that you have heard or read that we might not be aware of.
For the full article submissions…you will be listed as the author.
Elka Suspension Mountain Bike Shock
Taken from the Elka News Center.
ELKA SUSPENSION TO LAUNCH NEW MOUNTAIN BIKE SHOCK ABSORBERS AT SEA OTTER CLASSIC
BOUCHERVILLE, QC, CANADA – Elka Suspension Inc., an industry-leading manufacturer of innovative high-performance suspension and steering products, announced today it will launch a bold new line of mountain bike shock absorbers at this year’s Sea Otter Classic.
Elka’s new mountain bike line-up has been specifically designed and engineered for downhill, free-ride and all-mountain riding, aiming to provide a balanced combination of plushness, pedaling performance and comfort for each application. To achieve this, all Elka shocks will feature custom-tuned damping based on each bike’s design and intended use. This gravity-oriented line-up will consist of 4 models with different adjustment options to address customer riding styles, bicycle categories and price point objectives. The shocks will feature Elka’s intuitive concentric dual high/low-speed compression adjuster, reservoir volume and pressure adjust to control the progressivity and also rebound and preload adjustments. Both hi-tensile alloy and titanium springs will be available for all models in a wide range of spring rates. All models will be offered in several length/stroke combinations – including the increasingly popular 10.5” x 3.5” size – so they can be fitted on the vast majority of bikes, past and present.
Although this will be Elka’s first products for the mountain bike market, the company has over a decade of experience engineering and custom-building championship-winning suspension and steering products for powersports applications such as Motorcycle, ATV and Side-By-Side Vehicles. This new mountain bike product line incorporates many of the same innovative suspension technologies that have been used to win multiple ATV World & National Championships, SCORE Baja Championships, Mini-Motocross Championships and Motorcycle Road Racing Championships.
The competition grows in the custom tuned shock market. This should turn out to be a great thing for riders. More competition means better products for us. It will interesting to hear the first ride reports.
Mountain Biking Blogs
Over time, I have come across several blogs that I read on a regular basis. As I find more, I will add their links to the list on the left side of my blog. Any that I link to under the Mountain Biking Blog heading to the left, are blogs that I stay updated with on a regular basis. Here are just a couple that I follow. Each one of them has something different to offer. From one of the best bike shops around to riding buddies…you will find a little of everything. Hopefully as things get going more…there will be more great blogs to read and share. If you guys come across any other great ones…let me know and I’ll get them added.
Red Barn Bikes
Not only is Chad Devalls, the owner of Red Barn, one of my biggest parts pushers, but he has probably the coolest shop around. Located in Hamilton, Montana, his shop is literately a Red Barn. On his blog you will find the best of the best when it comes to new parts and bike builds. He also just happens to be one of the best wheel builders in the country, so check him out when you need your next set. He also does a lot of restoration work on old rides to bring them back to new. This is some of the most interesting work Chad does and he normally posts up the really cool ones when he gets a chance. Ride pictures of some killer trails are also regular posts on this blog so stay tuned.
Life on a Bike by Mama/Chocolate Girl
Cycling as seen through the eyes and camera lens of the rider we affectionately call “mama.” Another one of the great people we ride with and a great blog. She has posted some great entries lately on the differences in roadies and mountain bikers. This blog also has some incredible pictures that she has taken on local rides and destination trips. Don’t be surprised if you also see some great pictures of chocolate deserts…she doesn’t get the chocolate girl nickname for nothing!
Psychobillycadillac Blog – This Space for Rent
Matt is one of the guys I ride with on a regular basis and he is always good great posts on his blog. One to check out…the “BIg ole’ Texas weddin’ and proof of his existence……” entry on his friends ultimate wedding present. If you need a hint…there is a reason I picked the picture to the left to go along with this blog. This blog is also a great source by someone who seems to be addicted to singlespeeds and big wheels.