Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday WTF: Where's Waldo Edition

   Spotted this sweet single speed at the farmers market down town on Wednesday, and thought, "Surely not..." So here's the question:

Identify the useless part on this bike. 

1. No Toe Clips

2. Chain tensioner

3. Locked up improperly

4. White brakes after Labor Day


The answer!

2. Chain tensioner

   Turns out that a bike with horizontal drop outs does not need a chain tensioner, as you can adjust the position of the rear wheel and thus the chain tension by moving the wheel in the frame. If you guessed correctly, you can pick up your prize: one chain tensioner, slightly used, no longer necessary. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

RoundTail Bikes

   Stumbled across this sweet looking road bike the other day. This is called a Round Tail.

So many circles...

   The guys over at Roundtail claim that this design allows for a much smoother ride without sacrificing side-to-side (lateral) stiffness. This idea is not strictly a new one. Many companies have been changing the shape of the seat stays to absorb road vibration. Here is a Colnago with a convex seat stay:

Colnago Dream HX

   And no post would be complete without a Canny, so here's a Synapse with a concave seat stay:

Cannondale Synapse

Both of these are designed around the idea that the seat stay will provide some flex, allowing you to have a small suspension system of sorts. 
Colnago                                            Cannondale

   Roundtail has taken this idea to the extreme, but also claims that the distortion of the rear end doesn't effect the frame stiffness. Here's a good shot from the back:

Yep, it's round

   They even have a mtn bike in the works:

29er .. hardtail?

   Seems like a neat idea, but an awful lot of extra material. I am sure it will turn heads though!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday WTF: Wood Bike Fix

   Busy times around here with the little bear means only two posts this week! Well, I'll make up for it with a great Friday WTF. Here is a collection of bike fixes using sticks, nature's wood. 


   Half the handlebar not enough? How about the whole thing!

Built for speed (and splinters)

   Of course, some companies are making purpose built wood handlebars, for reasons unknown. This wood fix definitely this one takes the cake:

FOX (no)Float

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Season is Off to a Banger of a Start!

   The 2013 racing season is off to a heck of a start! I haven't raced in a while, and thought this would be a great time to get back into it. Here's how the last two weeks went down:

1. CU Short Track Mtn bike race at Valmont Bike Park: 38/41

Short track

   I forgot how much I hate short track. This was a fun race, especially if you like suffering for a short period, which it turns out I do not. 

2. Sunshine Hill Climb: 47/60

Sunshine Hill Climb

   This was the third time I'd raced this, and I got my best time and place so far. I'm not fooling anyone with hill climbing skills, but this is just a fun race with a bunch of people. Trying to break an hour next year would be awesome, and put me a few more places ahead! 

3. Flagstaff Runner Rider Challenge: 4/16 (among riders)

Runner Rider Challenge

   This is a race we do in our office, where we all ride up flagstaff. Of the serious riders, I took 4/6. This is pretty much a good reason to heckle one another and skip work for an afternoon, but it's still a 20 min sufferfest. 

4. Winter Park season opener: Excel Roofing Hill Climb: 4/10

Max and the Excel Roofing Treefrog

   No pic from this race, but this is max afterwards with the mascot. This race is part of the series that I'm actually competing in this summer. This hill climb is about 2000 feet of climbing in 5 miles. It was a great day, I beat 6 guys, and am really excited for the next cross country race! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday WTF: From the North Boulder Crit

   I love the idea of the Cargo bike, especially for transporting kiddos. Check these happy kids out:

*Number of children may vary

   When I was at the NoBo crit, I saw this awesome take on the cargo bike outfit: 

Yee haw!

   That's right, it's a full on western style saddle. Turns out these things can weigh up to 25 pounds! This lucky kid who likes horses has some dedicated parents!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

North Boulder Crit: Success!

   Last weekend was a fun one of racing! First, Saturday morning was the Sunshine Hill Climb, an awesome 9 mile race up Sunshine Canyon. The next day was a criterium around North Boulder Park. Here's the action:

The end of men's Cat 4 35+:

Love to see a finish line fist pump

   Before the Pros, they had a great kids race. 2 laps of this was a long ways for some of these kids, and the little ones were on balance bikes!

  Now on tot he Pros... here they are all lined up:

Teeming with excitement!

   Short recap: This race was 1 hour and 10 minutes long. The previous day's hill climb times by this group was between 40 and 50 minutes, so this was longer than that. About halfway through, three guys took off the front and just kept adding distance every lap. A few individual riders and small groups tried to bridge the gap, but with no success. 

Main pack coming through

   At about 4 laps left, the lead out group lapped the main field, which was both awesome, and kind of anticlimactic. The leaders were lost in the group. But! is was a very exciting race none the less, and a great way to kick off the summer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stopping Grip Slip: MacGyver Edition

   I have been secretly building up a single speed mountain bike for the last couple months. Will it be fun? Keep reading to find out. But building it sure has been fun. When it came time for grips, I picked up a pair of Ergon grips at BSR for pretty cheap. 
   One problem was that the grip part was slipping from the bar end. This was a little frustrating, as you can imagine. Here's how I solved it:

   I have some old lock on grips laying around, and popped off the lock ring, with hopes of using it on the Ergon grips.

Ergon grips, with lock ring

   I trimmed back the grip material, as well as notching out the plastic underneath to match the old lock on grips:

The cut Ergon grips

   Here you can see the old lock on grips, on top, and the Ergon grips, on the bottom. The right one has been trimmed so that the lock ring would fit:

Comparing the Ergon and lock on grips

   The bastardized version of the two grips:

   How did it work? Fantastic actually! I have taken it for a couple rides on Marshal Mesa and it was solid. It's a good thing too, turns out you really crank on your bars when you only have one gear. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday WTF: Bull Horns?

   Another Friday, another weird bike. This comes from the design world, and is somehow "...made from genuine deer antler and recycled materials." I assume it's an antler that has been hit with the resin treatment and a stem clamp added. 

The last thing some poor people might see

Side shot

   As you are of course aware, being the cycling enthusiast you are, forward facing handlebars are not allowed in mass start races.

   In a sanctioned road race, you must use standars drop handlebars. To quote the USA Cycling Racing Rules:

1J. Bicycles
1J1. Bicycles used in competition must be propelled solely by the rider's legs and shall have the following
. . .
(d) The handlebars ends shall be solidly plugged and attachments thereto shall be fashioned in such a way as to minimize danger without impairing steering. Handlebars used for steering with ends that point forward or upward or that provide support for the rider's forearms are permitted only in time trial and pursuit events (not in Olympic Sprint); however, attachments that point upward on the brakehoods of road bicycles are allowed if the distance between them is greater than 25 cm (9.8 inches). [disqualification]

   Unfortunately, you can only race with these bars in a individual start race format. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Balance Bike for the Pro-To-Be

   If you are like me, your kid is looking for a balance bike. And not just any balance bike, the best most awesome balance bike they make. I give you the full suspension balance bike:

   What's that? not serious enough? Check this shit out:

Chumba FS Balance Bike

   This bad boy is equipped with a Maverick upside down fork, a Fox Float shock, and a 4 bar link suspension system. This is the bike Calvin should have. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Is it a Shelf? Is it a Table?

    With more time on the couch, we've started needing more tables! Confidence bolstered by the success of my last table project, I  decided to put one behind the couch. This way, if Calvin wants to set his G&T down, he doesn't have to reach all the way to the foot rest.
   Here's a mock up of what we were looking at:

The 'unfinished' look (read: lazy)

   This was a really straightforward build, 3 pieces of wood, 6 cuts, 6 screws.

   The table isn't fastened to the wall, it's just held in place by the couch. The moulding on the floor also had to be cut out of the legs. Since it's not really visible, I just chopped off enough so it wold fit against the wall.

   And that's it! Now we don't have to worry about the dog knocking over drinks, or ice cream being too far away to reach.