Monday, January 29, 2007

switch to coil springs?

Seems that I've got a mystery on my hands that requires a scientific explanation and so far I am a little clueless. Realizing that cold weather affects air density making it less dense, particularly under high pressure like in a fork or shock. But some shocks seem more susceptible to loosing air in frigid temps than others...and once the air is lost you can't just pump it back up? actually under some circumstances a pump will still read high pressure when the shock or fork is totally collapsed? Very strange indeed...that's where the mystery lies and why I need help from the science savvy skills of the Myth Busters or at least Beekman's world to explain what happens to render them bunk.
Take for instance last weekend. Large group leaving the lot for what will undoubtedly be the best three hours in the entire weekend and blam! Lou's shock looses all of it's cush. Hell, it was worse than that, it collapsed like the positive air chamber leaked into the neg chamber and sucked the shock in on it self. It sucked to be Lou. We tried putting excessive air into the pos chamber (200psi) and the shaft didn't budge. Just stayed bottomed..and come to think of it, I think there was only one chamber you could adjust air volume!
wow, maybe I just talked my self through this nonsense. Is a large volume of high pressure air in the pos chamber slowly leaking into the very small volume neg chamber and sucking the whole thing closed? Lou said that this same thing had happened to him last week and the shock company (to remain nameless) sent him a replacement.
My thoughts on this...well it sucks...Literally! I don't think it's a good idea to ride my dual air bike tomorrow cause it's going to be 9 degrees at seven a.m. Although with this theory in mind you can reverse the over-inflated (small volume) neg chamber if the shock or fork has an adjustable neg air chamber...unless the seal just blows under the pressure...but then it'l just go back into the pos chamber leaving all the spv'ness (pedal bob characteristic) gone and it'l be like your riding back in the day on your '96 Pro-flex all over again! Oh yeah, hope there's people out there that remember that bike! She's a beauty.What prompted me to think about this was Christopher just called asking why his fork is dead and the pump is reading 150 psi...Put on one of your rigid forks for tomorrow Igleheart, it's going to be a bumpy ride! I think I'll take Brad's hardtail out for tomorrow's loop.

One inch surprise

Almost forgot what it's like to slip around on the trails. Don't know if the whopping one inch of white stuff was predicted but Barry and I enjoyed the change of scenery and the added challenge the dusting provided.

Monday, January 22, 2007

epic exhaustion

Exuding satisfaction is a fine way to describe this past weekend's ride. Displaying a mile -wide smile as i exited the technical and rocky terrain of B+T's yesterday and proceeded to collapse out'a sheer exhaustion. The good'ol legs haven't pumped for 5 hours in quite some time. I was a dope to bring only 40 ounces of H20 and ZERO calories in the way of bars or goo. Bonked?.. no not really... Just exhausted. I literally fell off my bike on the final climb of the day. Too tired to step off the pedals after climbing 2/3 of the way up the frozen hill and knowing I was clad in plastic with all the protection of the many pads along with a full faced helmet. I simply rolled to my right and let gravity pull me to the ground when I ran out of go-go juice on the steep climb.
It was a special day of riding from many aspects. It was the first, of what will undoubtedly be numerous epic rides on the remedy. The new trail bike rode flawlessly. Nothing to complain about, many praises for the dually. The fork and rear shock provided a plush ride and took some abuse with some big drops and a couple hucks...I hate hucks btw, but when riding with Roger and Barry hucks are mandatory.
After Barry went home for some family time Roger and I met up with Tom, Mary, Jim, Skip, Lou, and Matt for another loop around the new trails at B+T's. Pretty stellar group if 8 people can ride those trails with out a trail side technical or flat. Although when examining my bike for damage this morning I did have a rear 23 degree yesterday what temp does stan's sealant freeze?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chain stay challenged

Haven't had a chance to get it out on the trails but it's built. Tonight will be it's maiden voyage. Pretty stoked to have the opportunity to buy a new trail rig this season...pushing around this welter-weight might even be good training for enduro's.
I have noticed a couple oddities with the frame as I assembled it the other night. Thought it was me, or the way I was looking at things. Maybe a bit slanted... It was late, I was beat so I put down the wrench and went to bed...woke up this morning to have another look at a possible clearance issue with the chainstay.
The remedy came with 2.35 tires but the bike was designed to fit a bigger tire.
This is where the problem lies...on the drive side the tire has only an eighth of an inch of clearance but on the non-drive side the clearance is three quarters of an inch? I removed the tire and put the wheel in my true stand to hopefully find that the wheel was just out of dish but it's balls on...? Weird. Maybe I am simply chain-stay challenged? Igleheart had some clearance issues last year...but that has been corrected with some new wider stays (that bike will be off to paint today and should be back in two or three weeks) I'm pretty confident that Trek will come up with a fix for the problem. Till then I'll run a 2.1 tire out back and wait for a new stay...hell if my local custom frame builder can correct a similar dilemma than Trek should have no problem...right?

New wheel and tire mounted (George you should recognize both. It's YOUR mavic XL and specialized eduro 2.4) and the tire is almost hitting on the non drive side. Wheel is perfectly dished. I'll just run a 2.1 and hopefully trek will address the issue at some point. I don't plan on hounding them as a 2.1 or 2.25 is fat enough for trail riding but when Highland opens back up I want to have s'more meat on the bottom...I need all the help I can get to keep up with Greely :) It may take them sometime to revise the chain stay but doubt they'll ignore the limitation.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Raw and rainy is better than cold and snowy in January...if you ask any mountainbiker, skiers would not agree. Got out with Barry and George down in Milford Mass. They call it Vietnam but don't know why. Barry said it's because back in the 70's and 80's the area of woods presently known as Vietnam (Nemba) was littered with burned-out jeeps and scattered debris. The junk is gone and some sweet single track has been created in it's place, stunts to play on too.

She is here

Welcome Sophia! Congrats to Jeanie and my brother Matthew on the birth of a beautiful baby girl on 1/13/07. Everyone is doing fine. They were scheduled to come home today so my brother is probably changing diapers as I type on the keyboard! Way to go.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

parts are in!

This time of year rocks. Especially this year cause the weather has allowed us crazy bike minded people to do what we do in relative far. Anyway, This post isn't about's about preparations for the 2007 ultra mtb series and building a race bike.
All the parts are in my treasure chest here to build up a pretty stout racer. Just waiting on Christopher to put the finishing touches on my ride. The frame went in for repair a few weeks back and Christopher has gone above and beyond fixing her up. I was in the shop the other night having a cpl adult beverages with the craftsman and he thought it might be a good idea to weld some more stainless steel uniqueness into my frame. I'm stoked to see the final product. Should be done this week then off to the painter for a couple more weeks. This might be good because the snow will certainly fall by that time I take delivery and won't be able to beat her up too bad before the first race!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Remedy ('re-m&-dE) [noun] meaning;
1 something that corrects, counteracts or removes an evil of any kind.
2 My new trail bike
The freakish warm weather we've received has sped up preparations for spring riding. My local bike shop becoming a Trek dealer didn't hurt either. To be perfectly honest I had not considered a trek before the behemoth brand came to Western Cycle but glad Jamie now sells them. I'd always had a sense that Trek churned out thousands of soul-less bikes to the masses... this may not be entirely true. I Demo'd this red beauty pictured above for a couple days last week, then ordered my own 2007 remedy 66.
A quick review of what I thought of the bike;
It rode exceptionally well. Very active rear suspension = not a great climber but hell, this is a fun machine not a racer. Point this "all mountain" bike down hill and hold on. Fun through the rock gardens and aggressive lines. I was most impressed with how little lateral movement the rear swayed taking into account it's pretty massive rocker link.
Happy to see that Trek outfitted the Remedy 66 with a spot on build. Sram x9 and x0 drivetrain, xt cranks, and a Fox 36 Talas front end. I don't know much about the Bontrager Rhythm elite wheel set, but the beauty of buying a high end bike from a giant company is knowing they'll pick up the repair tab if their parts fail prematurely.
Here's a movie of me playing on a horse jump, checking out the BB clearance and testing the plushness of the nixon and swinger 3 way.

I see that Dave Alden Demo'd the Remedy for Dirt Rag. Read up if you'd like. He did a more complete job of reviewing and explaining the technology that Trek put into this ride.

Monday, January 01, 2007

One down, three sixty-four to go.

For 2007 I am going to adopt a daily rating system for each day I choose to blog some nonsense. Ratings will be on a scale of 1 to was a five.
This was something to Cherish... A rainy Monday holiday. Lesli and I off work, chose to start it out right with huge stacks of blueberry pancakes and a subsequent nap on the couch.
There was a brief window in time for an outside spin but I did not take advantage. At 2:30 the rain subsided and the sky appeared to brighten. I had gotten my fix on the trainer for an hour while watching various nonsense on the likes of Spike TV and Discovery channel when I noticed the improvement in the weather. Sitting on the trainer for a solid hour is my personal best for "off season" thus far. You're either either sick in the head to enjoy that stupid piece of equipment or desperate for saddle time. I was desperate.
Didn't have an excuse for my desperation really. I did get out with Barry and Bill and a few others for a trail ride on G-spot early Sunday. The fun part was cut short when my rear hydraulic cable pooped out of the master cyl. I pretty much knew it was time for me to bail from the woods but luckily I was surrounded by optimistic bike mechanic friends.
Good advice from Bill, Anthony and Barry to shorten the cable after some of it's much needed hydro juice slung out leaving a couple inches of air in the tube. Admittedly only a band-aid to the failed crush olive sleeve thing-y but with a few inches of Jim's black electrical tape holding the dripping mess together I was back in business. Not ideal rear braking power but some stopping power. I just avoided allot of the steeper stuff and finished the ride.
Was hoping for a solid three hours of road today with CCB but snow and rain thwarted that plan. Planning on a night ride with Jeff and others Wednesday evening. oh crappola...I don't have a bike to ride.
I think it's safe to say that a couple weeks off the bike has rejuvenated my interest in saddle time. Let huge base begin! (and hope that the weather cooperates).