Sunday, January 4, 2015

WD-40 to the rescue!

My new to me bike is very well used, more than I thought at initial inspection. In addition to a good-sized dent on the downtube, the Shimano 6600 Ultegra brifters on it were working poorly if at all. I could sweep the main lever to raise to a larger-sized cog or ring, but the release lever barely worked. If I held it in just the right spot, it would drop down some of the time, and then only one (front) or four to six (back) gears. Really frustrated as my great purchase was starting to look like it was going to cost me some $$$

So I researched the repair options for sticking Shimano brifters, and the advice I came across in various forums said to douse them in kerosene or spray with WD-40. I chose the latter, and after spraying about 1/4 of the large bottle in them, am happy to report back it's shifting great, all except the 10th and final speed. I oriented the derailer so that it pulls up to the largest cog, but doesn't reach all the way to the smallest 12T cog.

Thanks interwebs!!!

Internet fixes my brifters!

Here's a good video showing the process, although I didn't take them off the bike:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stolen Salsa La Cruz Cyclocross 57cm Bike

My awesome-fantastic Salsa was stolen this spring. No sights or sounds, I'm checking ebay daily, Craigslist both locally and nationally. Stolen Bike Registry, Bike Index, bike shops, pawn shops, coffee shops. So far no luck, although I'm holding out hope still!!! This is the posting on CL which summarizes the bike and built pretty well:

The serial # is LA57 M8091181. If anyone comes across it, please email me through this post, and contact Redlands Police Dept at (909)798-7681

Monday, January 27, 2014

How To NOT Be Challenged By Challenge Tires

Now with pictures (I hope)!

Challenged by Challenge by cyclotourist

I am incredibly happy with the Challenge Eroicas I purchased last year. Great rolling tires and no punctures or defects to date. That's high praise for any such top shelf tire which often seem to skate the thin line between performance and durability.

I did have a HUGE problem mounting them. It ended up taking me several days, using successively larger tubes to form the tires.

Apparently there is a much better procedure, that was sent to me from Chris from Challenge. It follows below:

Due to the construction of our handmade open tubulars, they tend to lay flat and tight on the rim. Once installed and a tube inflated, they take their shape and stretch a little making future removal and installation easier. It’s that first installation that can be a real pain depending on the rim.

Working with the folks in our factory we found another method for installing these tires. Rather than pushing everything on from one side, as is traditional, follow these steps:

1)      Place the rim in the center of the tire

2)      Center the rest of the tire over the rim

3)      Install one side of the tire

4)      Install the tube from the other side
5)      Install the remaining side of the tire

We’ve found this to help immensely with tighter fitting tires like our handmade open tubular tires.

Doing it that way should help you hurry up and get out the door in order to start doing some of this:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Schwalbe Thunder Burts... I like 'em!

Schwalbe Thunder Burts have become my favorite tire!

They float over soft stuff

Perfect on hard-pack (Strada Rossa there, people!)

And they roll great on asphalt!

Although labeled 2.10", the 27.5"/650b/584 tires measure 49 mm wide at casing, and 50 mm at knobs on 28mm wide Velocity Blunt rims. So more like a 2.0" tire."

These are the dual-compound tires, not the EVO tires. I bought them a German retailer as they met my needs perfectly. EVO line would be nice to run tubeless, but that's the only downside to the dual compound in my opinion.

These are perfect all-around tires for my dry conditions. I ride about five miles to the trail heads on streets, so want something that does good on the road. But then I need it to dig in good in the dirt. I have been running Kenda Slant Six tires on my 29er, but will probably switch to these there as well!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Religious Conversion


That's 700C to 650B for all y'all. I recently bought a used Salsa La Cruz specifically with this project in mind. With disc brakes and a high-ish (68mm drop) bottom bracket, it looks like the perfect bike to do a quick and easy conversion on. Inspired by this, I knew I was good to go.

I found a used Velocity Blunt wheelset on Craigslist, and was able to get a pair of Vee Rubber Speedsters (I know, hard to make out the name on them) from my friend Mike. So far the entire investment is under $1000 which is where I wanted to be in this experiment.

You can see the comparison between the two wheelsets below. The 700C is about 10mm taller at the top. Five mm at the axle. Imperceptible ride height difference.

Salsa La Cruz 650B Conversion

But what a difference in ride quality! Riding off-road with the 700X31C stock tires was miserable on this bike. I don't know if it was the tire or an extremely rigid fork, but my hands and arms would ache after riding. Really disappointed about that. I might play around with some different 700C tires and see if it can be improved. Probably some SOMA C Lines in the future.

The Vee Rubber Speedsters measure 47mm, and are slower on the road, but excel in the dirt. Especially on hardpack fire road type riding that I do a lot of here in Inland Southern California. They're not so great on singletrack, but everything in life is a compromise! The hand pain I mentioned above is eliminated. The bike just flies over irregularities in the trail now.

There is a weight penalty with the 650B wheels though.  About 225grams/8oz. per wheel. That's with disc and skewers installed. The 700C does have a lighter disc. Hubs are both XT M756, 32 butted spokes, Velocity Blunt 650B and Salsa Delgado 29er rims.

I'm going to raise the bars and bring them closer, as a stretched out road position doesn't work so well in the dirt. Other than that and maybe eventually putting some knobbier tires on, this bike is a dream to ride in the dirt!

One final look:

Salsa La Cruz 650B Conversion

Monday, November 4, 2013

Travelling with friends

Travelling with friends by cyclotourist

Travelling with friends, a photo by cyclotourist on Flickr.
Just noticed that these are the stills used in this great video:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coffee Outside

Coffee Outside by rperks1
Coffee Outside, a photo by rperks1 on Flickr.

The perfect outing!