Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Not straight forwards
January 26th, 2020

Order new Hope pick and mix headset for hardtail. On basis that Cane Creek might be fine for California but seems to last about 5 minutes in the British climate.

Spec is IS standards top and bottom for a 1.5 tapered steerer. Parts arrive. Fettling commences.

Bottom half no problem. Straight in. Split bottom races for fork steerers are a lot easier than trying to drift off tolerance fit ones.

Top half set was incomplete, no top cap in the packet. A week later top cap arrives. Concern that it’s not the right bit emerges shortly after. Err no that is not the right bit. Turns out there is an IS41 type 3 top half (pictured above) and a type 7.

That’s now on order, let’s see if it works…

Welcome to 2020 #YourBike(s)HatesYou
January 13th, 2020

It’s 2020. Yay.

After a very slack year, I am going to go backdate some posts to fill in the gaps, if nothing more than to celebrate December 2019 which was pretty cool and inspirational.

On that basis the fleet is getting a major overhaul to get it back into shape. By the end of last year it was all looking very sorry for itself.

  • Independent Fabrication Ti Deluxe: Needs a rear wheel rebuild
  • Independent Fabrication Ti Cross Deluxe: Mothballed pending sale
  • Independent Fabrication Ti Crown Jewel: SRAM Crankset broken. Non drive crank has come unbonded from alloy axle.
  • Scott Genius: Slow rear puncture of doom. Dropper seatpost has mind of its own. Front fork doesn’t lock out.

Getting the Scott sorted was the first job. New 36 Factory fork is a great improvement over the 34 Performance which is currently with TF Tuned.

Last night I took the tire off to find all the sealant had dried up so added in 4 fl oz, repositioned the Scwalbe Procore inner so it worked as designed, and added a new o-ring seal on the valve stem. Pumped up to pressure and water tested so the test will be tonight when it comes out of the Avant to see it’s held pressure.

Then I went to fix the X Fusion HiLo Strate dropper post. After giving it a fettle and clean, when reassembling the saddle cradle the alloy surrounding the rear bolt snapped. Must have had a fatigue crack in it.

So it’s a good thing I had a spare normal seatpost off the new project to keep that rolling. The X Fusion appears to need special attention so will need to be fully stripped and serviced if a replacement upper clamp assembly is available…

2019 Summary
December 31st, 2019

#Disapponting #Moreworkthanriding

Year in Sport

The year that was:

  • 88hrs biking
  • 1,752km
  • 22,912m climbing (that’s 2.6 Mount Everests)
  • Longest ride: 3h30 Marin Headlands including most climbing in a single ride (978m). Thank goodness for Califor-ni-yah

December 20th, 2019

So a nice end to the year with the chance to spend some time in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. I’ve been to the USA several time in the past but have never ridden a bike there. I decided that a free weekend in San Francisco was an opportunity too good to pass up – time to go biking.

First challenge, hiring a bike. So turns out that there are lots of bike hire businesses in San Francisco. Fewer with decent mountain bikes and fewer still with full suspension bikes. Chose Blazing Saddles in the end and although I went in wanting something bouncy I rode out on a Marin Nail Trail 29er 1×11 hardtail.

Marin County

Biking to the bridge is flat mostly with a bit of up here and there and then a cilmb up to the bridge. Dodge the walkers, runners, Segways, slower bikers and zip across the bridge on the bike lane side. Very organised. Lots of people on expensive road bikes wearing Rapha. Kept up with some of them on flat pedals in baggy shorts – received some funny looks. Turns out fittish person on normal bike is faster than less fit people on electric bikes.

Marin County

Over the bridge I had a ungraceful dismount stopping to take some layers off ripping the skin off my knuckles on some badly setup brake levers. Dripping blood I took a left climbing up past the Marin Headlands sign on the closed-to-cars coast road, until… offroad trails!

Marin County

Marin County

Marin County

A lot of the trails are highway wide, sanitised by UK standards. Still rode a few of the classics that have graced the names of Marin Bikes for years.

Marin County

Pushing northwards toward the Tennessee Valley trail head things became a bit more interesting – switchbacks, singletrack, steps and more mountain bike superhighways!

Marin County

Marin County

Marin County

Didn’t see many people on the trails other than walkers, but there were a few out. Nice shorts and t-shirt day in mid-December just made it a nice ride to explore surroundings.

Marin County

Marin County

Came pretty close to the Muir Woods but was running out of time to get back in the day light. I’ll have to come back to ride those and head up Mount Tam. Stopped off at Mike’s Bikes on the way back through Sausalito. Had a good chat with the very friendly staff (one had recently been over to Scotland and had ridden Glentress) and dribbled over some Santa Cruz exotica before heading for Pizza.

Marin County

Back in the city in the fading light, I might have to look at a 29er hardtail. They feel fast and one could be a good exploring bike.

2018 Round Up
January 1st, 2019

The lesson for riding (or lack of) this year has been be careful what you wish for at work…

Year in Sport

1,912km with 25,539m climbing. The year is summed up with a longest ride of 16.7km. That’s a shocker.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides