Friday, July 31, 2009

The High Cost of Flying High

This post on Guitar Ted's Blog brought something into focus for me today. Bikes are getting real expensive, especially if you want to fly high on the newest, latest, and greatest stuff. I know that cutting edge is always costly and quite often frivolous, but these days it is truly breathtaking what a carbon framed XX equipped race bike will cost.

I had opined that CF composites will eventually be the ultimate material for bike frames due to the unique qualities that allow for the right combo of stiffness, ride, weight, and if done right, strength. But I also predicted they would be getting cheaper. I may have missed that point. I was talking to a pretty sharp guy at Giant Bikes about the future of carbon. He pointed me to hydroformed aluminum frames as the place where the innovation will take place at a reasonable cost. He argued that carbon frames are too costly due to all the hand labor involved in producing them and even mentioned an engineer's dream of producing an all extruded/formed alu frame with NO WELDS!

Back to the present, I find that carbon is not likely to be the material of choice for me if the cost remains that high. Too bad. The Giant frame I am riding right now is pretty nice riding and the alu/carbon composite frame to come should be even more absorbent. I could live with the ride of the XTC 29er with no problems, so an even nicer riding alu frame would be swell.

But, and this is more to the point, all this $$$$ makes me appreciate the steel, SS 29er even that much more. Yes, I know that you can bling them up with King hubbed wheelsets, etc, but that is still cheap compared to what a new, carbon/geared/FS 29er will be.

Go cheap with a Redline or Surly. Or, begin with a Jabberwocky or a Spot steel frame. Maybe a Niner or a Siren John Henry as a step up. Add some BB7s and $500.00 wheels, a nice rigid fork if you can take the beating or a used Reba at 80MM. Heck, buy a Raleigh XXIX or Haro Mary and just ride it as is. 8Spd chains are cheap. Surly cogs too. Used cranks on classic tapered spindles. Those things are in garage parts boxes all over the place.

Go ride and get tougher with that one gear. You may be flying low, but the cost to get there is so reasonable that it makes the cost per smile factor seem so tipped to your favor, you feel like you are cheating.

Ah, the relatively low cost of flying low....and lovin' it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

To flow, perchance to dream.

OK...I may not have gotten that quite right, so apologies to Hamlet, who I am pretty sure was struggling over the same issue I was last night: The flow. The groove. The flight of the arrow, true and smooth. I am the arrow and singletrack is the arrow's flight path; A path that challenges me to move along its sinuous course with grace and balance.

In many ways, singletrack represents the I Ching of riding a mountain bike. I Ching refers to a Chinese philosophy or cosmology and in this case:

"The cosmology centers on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change."

Ah, if learning to suffer and climb is Zen, then singletrack is I Ching. For instance, looking at the three parts of the definition: There is a dynamic balance of opposites going on here. I want to go one way, the trail wants to go the other way. The events evolve into a chain of actions where evolution leads me to a state of profound imbalance, and I accept the inevitability that I am sucking at riding this narrow ribbon of trail with any semblance of grace and balance. I Ching indeed.

And so it was last night as Ed the Tall and I dove onto a nearby rare section of true singletrack - leafy, narrow, edgy, smooth. It required a delicate touch at the controls to move through with minimal fuss and muss. But after the 4.5ish mile climb on the SSs', I was pretty loopy and was all about being fussy and mussy as I bounced down the trail like a pinball machine ball, hitting first the inner trail border...*DING*...then the outer trail border...*DING DING*...then too much brakes and a wobbly foot stuck out in a mad peglegged version of a bike-riding pirate on a wave tossed poop deck....*DING DING DING*. Wow. More poop then deck.

The problem is that I simply don't get a chance to do this enough to be good at it. I get the same thing from riders who visit from parts of the country where they do not have fast, loose fireroads. They cannot see how I go so fast down them, but they can dance along a rock or root strewn trail at jogging speed like a deer. You tend to get good at what you do the most.

There are two holy pilgrimage sites that I have been to many times: Crested Butte, Co. and Moab, Utah. Every time we go to these places the first couple of rides are eye opening. In CB, it is singletrack, often pretty techy from the moto use or tree roots, but always narrow and fast and in Moab the ledgy drops and seemingly impossible traction on the sandstone brings a rapid baptism into chamois pucker time. But by the end of the day it is better, and by the end of the week, you are dancing down and over stuff that earlier tripped you up.

So last night it took some real concentration to get it together and on the return trip, I was a much improved pinball, still a pinball, but I was scoring less points as I rode. So here are some lessons I taught myself as I went along the enlightened path:

  • Less is better. Keep movements to the minimal amount required to make the line of choice. It is better to adjust your line by adding more input if required then to over do it and bounce back and forth between too much this way and then too much back the other way and then...etc.
  • Relax and trust your bike and the line you chose. A tense, uncommitted rider is an unhappy one.
  • Look down the trail. Forget your front wheel is there and ride to the 'next' section of trail, not the one you are on at the moment. Remember, "Yesterday is behind you, tomorrow is only a whispered promise, but today is a gift...that is why the call it the present" Well, I may have gotten that wrong. I figure that yesterday is the corner I totally blew behind me, tomorrow is the next corner I cannot see which represents the next line I can miss, and right now I am between the two.
  • More hips, less hands. Keep neutral on the bike and use your hips and saddle connection to move the bike through the trail. It is a subtle dance move. Think Samba, not Disco.
  • Less brakes. This is a hard one. Trust yourself, your bike, your tires. However, momentum is your friend but speed kills. Less brakes, not NO brakes!
  • Relax.
  • Relax.
  • Relax.
If all this comes together, then you will find yourself moving down the trail like you own the place and will be leaving no tracks on the rice paper, grasshopper. This where I found myself on the last 200 yards of trail, just before the end. Sadly, by the time I get back to that much singletrack, I will have to re-learn the rules again as I will have forgotten.

To flow, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend odds and ends.

I typically do not do bike shop group rides, mostly because I do not really have a particular relationship with any shop in town. But a LBS was having a celebratory bike ride and festival on this last Sat and it seemed like a reasonable idea to attend. The word had gone out on the inner-web, forums, and the shop website and KT was going to be there so at least I would know someone.

There were to be three rides, a road ride and a mtn bike ride that would meet up at one point and a family ride. So, I loaded up the Giant XTC 29er 1 (figured I would give it a bit of group exposure and see if anyone wanted to try it out) and headed into town. It was a bit of gasoline to get there and the ride was beginning rather late for the temps we have been seeing lately. Still, I was ready for a fun group ride.

So, to my puzzlement and dismay, I rolled up and saw only road bike riders, all pretty much dressed in the pretty ugly 'club' jerseys (some with color scheme matching bikes). Finding one other rider I knew that was on a mtn bike I asked about the lack of knobby tired folks. Well, apparently there was a change of plans and there was no mtn bike ride. OK. Never mind the website info, never mind that the forum posts had the wrong details in them.....etc.

My friend had been the one to do the website update as a favor to the shop owner. He was actually complained to for putting up the wrong given him by the shop owner. So, no explanations, no apologies for the riders that showed up on mtn bikes (all four of us). Sigh.

I passed on the group photo. On top of that, I felt like death on the ride we actually did do. It was hot and the hillclimb seemed like a huge legs, nada.

Sunday I had another ride planned with Ed the Tall...our weapons, singlespeeds at 20 paces...and some semi local singletrack riding. That fell through due to Ed's daughter needed some medical attention. No issue with that. Some things (lots of things actually) are more important than a bike ride and family is right up there. But for me, it meant a weekend of riding that was not at all what I planned.

I did get out on the SS Jabber. After riding the Giant XTC with the significantly lower handlebar height, I jumped on the Jabber and it felt like a hybrid comfort bike. Well, that will not do. I had no real good options in a lesser rise bar and for a while I was stumped. I hated to off the carbon XC Monkey Bar on there. Then I realized I could flip the stem over. Duuuh. It is a bit odd looking, but it lowered the bar quite a bit. During the ride later that day I was feeling better about the height, but I was noticing the tiller like affect of the longer 100mm stem. Hmmm. Careful measuring showed I could bring the bar closer to me and be about where the GiantXTC 29er 1 cockpit placed me. I grabbed a 90mm stem and put that on, flipped as before. That does feel much better and the next ride will be interesting. Funny how you think things are optimized until you try something new and then there is perspective. I always thought I would like a longer TT and a shorter stem. I guess I should have tried it earlier.

On top of that, I think there are some nutritional issues I need to sort out. I have been off the pace lately. Some of that is the heat. As I have gotten older, I have become less tolerant of that. But a week after the Paunsagaunt Enduro I still feel like I have not recovered. I have had a past issue with anemia as a child and lately I had a pretty involved blood work-up that showed a tendency to that again. I do not eat much red meat at all. Maybe I need to cook more in iron skillets or something, but I think I do need to add a regular dose of vitamin C into my supplements. I was doing that for a while and I keep reading about a ton of good bennies out of high doses of C. That and a good multivitamin will be a start. I am lousy about taking regular supplements.

Now then, where did I put that can of spinach? Popeye always seemed to be peppy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is it 2010 already? Giant XTC 29er 1

This is a Giant outstanding in its field. Pretty clever, eh? That twist on an old saying, etc. Well, in any case, I have another bike in the spacious and nicely appointed grannygear family garage and it has big wheels and lots of decals that say GIANT on them.

Who makes this bike? No doubt there. I will let this series of articles on and The Cyclist do most of the details and save the gossip and off handed comments for the blog (for you lucky insiders...shhhh! need to tell everyone until I monetize my blog then I will be all commercial and spammy with it all).

I picked it up at Giant North America's HQ in SO Cal. The corp. offices are filled with cubicles, bikes, cubicles, bike stuff, cubicles, and more bike parts. Ahhhhh....what an atmosphere to cubicle in. Happy habitrail there, you lucky corporate hamsters.

This was on the wall for all to see:

Do your company perks include a pump track/ramp jungle? No? Bummer.

I have only one ride on the XTC 29er 1 so far, but it was an eye opening ride. There are some niggling issues with a component or two, but this may be the best steering, turning, and most agile 29er I have ever ridden.

There...I said it. I may regret it after more time on the bike, but I doubt it. In any case, if this is the future for big wheeled riders, you will need some shades to keep the retinas all cool and stuff cuz 29ers are shining brightly.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Paunsagaunt Enduro '09

When I saw the invite come up on Team 2-Epic's blog, I was pretty interested. It was a big loop(s) in the Red Canyon area of Southern Utah hosted by Dave and Lynda. Sitting right next to Bryce Canyon and at elevations hitting 9K+, it included the incredibly tasty Thunder Mountain Trail as a final leg to all the routes. It featured lots of hiking potential, with long, sandy/techy climbs in the first dozen miles or so. The loop mileages were high, 70 and 96 and I was not sure if the 70 was doable by me after a bit of an uneven late spring/early summer riding schedule. Then I saw Dave had added a 44 mile loop option. Ooooo. Now that I can handle. Maybe.

So, plans were made. I talked Ed the Tall into coming along with me.

Ed is a very capable rider and a thoroughly nice fellow. He had never ridden this area before, so he was looking forward to new horizons as well. GPS tracks were loaded, bikes were tuned up and off we went for the 8 hour drive to the promised land. It has been hot in So Cal and it stayed that way across the desert until we hit Cedar City or so. The thunderheads hanging over the surrounding mountain peaks were impressive. Looking at that, we hit the Cedar City Wallmart for a couple of disposable ponchos. 89 cents well spent for the peace of mind.

Pulling into camp, we met up with Dave and Lynda, Scott, another Dave and Rob (or Ron?...sorry, forgot) from Arizona. That made 7 of us; 2 for the 96 miler (Dave and Dave), 2 for the 70 miler (Rob/Ron and Scott) and Lynda, Ed, and I for the 44 mile version.

Lynda was on her SS Milk Money, size teeny-tiny. She was doing the shorter route cuz she needed an easy day to recover from some recent training efforts.

That is how I do it too. When I want to recover, I grab my SS and head out on a nearly 50 mile ride at elevation with lots of hike a bike. Ooooff!

It looked like a Lenz Sport demo days with 4 Levs and one Milk Money. Ed was on his Dos and Ron/Rob was riding a Pivot 429. Everyone was on 29ers. Big wheels rule in this facet of mtn biking.

Check out Dave Harris's adventure-mobile. Look heavy? Yes. Yes it is. But he wore no pack at all, so it is just a matter of where you want the weight.

The night before the ride was very mellow. The grills were fired up and dinner was accomplished. As darkness closed in, the evening was filled with lots of chatter about past trips with notable folks like Mike C., discussions on the merits of Mike and Ikes, then an early bedtime in anticipation of an early start.

"Canada is all about fun!" Dave Harris

04:00 AM So Cal time is a harsh hour to get out of a tent and get ready to ride. We met at the campground entrance and rode under a 'no-drop' rule till the Grandview trailhead where the timers began to count up.

This no-drop zone was my last opportunity to ride as a group. I can say that on a ride I did not get dropped by Dave Harris. Cool, eh! I just need to avoid a few details.

The first dozen or so miles had some of the most difficult terrain in all the ride loops. It was very remote feeling at times and the trail was sandy-ish and fun as it wound through canyons and drainages.

Some places were just, lush, unique.

I figured I would ride alone all day, but I ended up reeling in a slightly struggling Ed and then Rob/Ron. It was slow, techy going with sandy, loose and winding singletrack. I am a very average climber, but I am a decent rider in poor terrain like this and it was my chance to shine while I could (albeit dimly). The trail was very hard to follow at times, but GPS and the tracks of the riders in front gave me hope.

The hike a bike sections were not at all that bad really and at some point we popped out onto a wide and smooth road to complete the climb up to the high point of the 44 miler and the split into the 70 and 96 mile loops.

This was the hardest part of the day for me. I was suffering a bit, no doubt. To keep myself aliveI was trying a new product as an endurance fuel: CarboRocket I will write this up on The Cyclist but for it was a great success and I think Brad Keyes has a winner with this formula.

The rest of the nutrition was a combo of trail mix, a Snickers Dark, soft oatmeal cookies, and gel. Endurolytes rounded out the buffet table. I ended up going through nearly 200oz worth of water in the hydration pack and 4 or 5 water bottles with the CarboRocket mix in them.

It is an incredible area to ride and there are lots of campgrounds nearby. We watered-up at the mid-way mark in one CG and then continued on graded roads towards Thunder Mtn.

We had a lazy river/creek on the right and some pretty impressive storm clouds off to the left and were headed in the direction that would likely bring us into a wet intersection with that storm. Pedal harder, Ed. Ride like the wind.

Thunder Mtn trailhead found us pretty torched, but we were motivated to keep moving as rain drops spattered around us, bringing cooler temps. If it really began to pour, the red Utah clay would be a mire in no time. Not much camera work here as we just wanted to get it done.

And get it done we did. In about 7 hrs and 40 minutes, we rolled into camp to meet Lynda who had beat us by a couple of hours. OK. Schooled as expected. Scott came in right behind us after pounding out the 70 mile route. Ron/Rob was slower than Scott and he got caught in a wild downpour that swept over the area about one hour after after we hit camp. I dove into my tent and napped to the staccato pounding of huge raindrops and claps of thunder.

Dave H. came in 13 hours or so and proclaimed his respect for the route. He looked pretty haggard, but that is to be expected. He had some pretty rough goings with fallen trees and long sections of sandy trail that we un-rideable even though they were flat in grade. For some reason, he avoided the storms and hardly had a cloud over him all day while Ed and I were pretty much spared the brunt of the sun by some kind of cloud cover through most of our ride.

"I have a serious desire to get out of this chamois." Dave Harris

As night fell and more rain swept though, there was no sign of Dave C. In the morning, there was still no news and we pulled out of camp hoping he had been able to safely bivvy for the night. Turns out he did put an emergency bivvy to good use and rolled in the next day.

We headed back to So Cal, stopping only to fuel up our car and ourselves. Ed the Tall attacked the biggest stack of Walnut-Banana pancakes I have ever seen. By the time we hit St. George it was hot, hot, hot and back home it was 105* and not-green.

It was a great ride and a memorable road trip. Big rides, big wheels, big raindrops, and big pancakes. Whatta' combo.

Post Utah Post

Well, stay tuned for pics and the whole story, but suffice it to say it was a great weekend road trip to Utah's Southern Plateau. The riding was epic enough for this old guy, the company was swell (do people still say that?) and the weather was just about perfect.

So now, back to the grind but there are a few things on tap. I just picked up a new bike to test for and the Cyclist, the Giant XTC-1 29er HT. Sweet looking bike. There are two or three other bikes coming up soon that I will be throwing a leg over so I may need a bigger garage. Cool.

So, for now, time to watch the Tour on VS. HD and stay cool in the 100 plus degree So Cal temps.

More blogs coming.

Friday, July 17, 2009

God's country on tap.

Of course, all of the country is God's country, but you get my meaning. Heading here for a weekend ride to hang with these folks. Ah...Utah, where all the people's faces shine with happiness and the singletrack is buffed every night by elves.

The Lev will be the bike of choice for 44 unsupported miles of riding (although I was very tempted to take the SS Jabber). It will be shod with the Race Kings and I will be trying out some packets of Carbo Rocket.

Report to follow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The aftercost of things


Noun. The price of things after you have made the initial purchase and need to maintain, replace or repair the parts that make things work.

Today I was 'Aftercosted' into a near heart attack. In my typical style, I had waited to the last minute to shop for some brake pads for my Shimano LX brakes on the Lev. With a trip upcoming to Utah and the pads getting thin, I thought it was a good idea but not an emergency to change them out and keep the old pads as spares.

So, I trundled on down to the local bike shop (LBS) and looked for some pads. I could not remember what they cost, but I tossed $40.00 in my pocket and thought that ought to do it.


One shop had some organic/resin pads (I wanted semi-metallic) and they were an older Shimano XTR brand: $30.00 a pair. Wow. Sixty bucks for pads. Tiny little things for sixty bucks.

Off to the next LBS for semi-metallics. They had a mis-matched set of aluminum backed Kool-Stops and Shimanos and the Kool-Stops were more reasonably priced @ $25.00. Still...

The next and last LBS in town had the best selection of all. They had new, aluminum backed XTR pads in stock...semi/metallic...and they only cost $69.95 a pair. WhhaaaaaTTTT!!!! 140 bucks for brake pads. I paid that much for the entire Deore LX brake system!

The solution: Jenson USA, Serfas pads, and a total bill of $25.50. Now the knock-off, more generic pads may not say XTR on them but I will be happy to give them a try.

Why didn't the LBS carry the other, cheaper pads? Maybe they have found them to be junk. Maybe they find customers don't know any better and accept that that is what they cost. Dunno.

Things are getting to cost too much and sometimes that is not apparent until you get aftercosted. I wonder what a good 11 speed chain will cost? I have seen $75.00 as an example for Campy chains and I hear they last just a bit longer than your average kleenex tissue.

I don't know. XTR is for sponsored racers or folks with more money than sense. SRAM XX etc. But sometimes you can get stuff like that on sale and it is tempting. Beware of the aftercost of that fancy stuff. It will get ya long past the good deal on the initial purchase.

Thank goodness for the internet bike shop and eBay. It is keeping me rolling with change in my pocket.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's great to be single again!

No, I am still happily wife sees to that. I am speaking of single SPEEDS as in one geared bicycles. I am really digging the new Jabber. Really. It has brought back some joy in riding around shiftlessly that had fallen away after the crash and the back injury. Both boo-boos really did not allow for fun SS riding. Hurt too much.

Then there was the time off the SS when I was waiting for the diSSent to come together. And, when I was trying out the diSSent, it kinda cooled the fire of my SS passion as I tried to come to terms with it's personality.

Going back to the Karate Monkey post diSSent really was a bummer as I had begun to realize the odd handling traits of the Monkey, the ones I thought were just normal for a 29er hardtail, were actually just the quirky Monkey and I was really missing the sharp handling of the diSSent (but not the 'sharp' ride qualities).

After reading the final thoughts on the diSSent by Captain Bob and Guitar Ted, I was a bit perplexed. How could they feel that the diSSent rode as well or better than many steel frames they had tried out? Maybe I was chasing something in feel and performance that did not exist. I came pretty close to building the diSSent back up again and giving it another go.

Then the Jabber showed up. I will be putting my review in detail on the pages of The Cyclist. Suffice it to say that I am once again diggin' the SS and I like the big, orange groove the Jabber puts down on the trail.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Where is the BB9 mechanical brake?

I was riding along on the SS last night on a twisty ribbon of singletrack...the kind the requires lots of small braking adjustments...and I found myself enjoying the BB7s I put on the new Jabber. I was a bit annoyed that the rear brake never quite feels like the front in terms of lever pull and feel, but with the Speed Dial in the brake levers and the ability to dial in pad contact distance, it is pretty close.

I am always surprised when I see those brakes on anything other than a budget build as they are kinda heavy and need tweaking every so often to keep running smoothly. It got me thinking that a up-market version of the venerable BB7 is not a bad idea.

If if it could be lighter, that would be cool. It actually is comparable to other budget hydro brakes when taken as a system, but if it was even lighter it would sway more riders, I bet. I would like to see a dedicated brake lever system for the BB7 that supplied a more aggressive leverage adjustment on the rear lever as compared to the front brake lever. That would allow for even more dial-a-bility to get the front/rear balance juuust right.

OK. So far I am liking the BB7 for what it is...a budget priced and easy to deal with mechanical brake. I would dig the BB9 even more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer is Icky

In So Cal where I live, summer means hot, brown, dry, prickly, sandy, and loose. Oh...smoggy sometimes. So really, I get less excited about riding under those conditions and that means less fitness and that means less interest in epic stuff and that means less fun in riding and that means less interest in riding and that means....see where this is going?

I still have not gotten out to try the bikepacking gear and that is beating me up emotionally. Every time I have it planned, I end up getting pulled away in another direction. Hopefully at the end of this month I will get out and try the set-up for the first time. I have been debating the tent VS. tarp dealie and that has me stymied a bit. I think I will try my UL tent for the first trip without the storm flap...summer ya chance of rain here. We ain't the Rockies. Or I may try it with the poles, footprint, and storm fly only, quite like a mock tarp shelter.

I want to start doing some simple overnighters to test stuff out to sort through packing and gear issues before I go out for real. Actually I am quite looking forward to the little quicky overnighters. There are a couple of options from my doorstep and of course way more if I want to truck myself to some beginning point. There is no water where I ride at this time of year...well practically that does limit epic stuff without planning in advance for resupply. Still, one night is easy to carry water for.

I have a brand new sleeping bag that I need to test. It is a Deuter Dreamlight 500 as in 500 grams weight. It nearly packs into a large water bottle and easily fits into my seat pack with room to spare. I know this thing will not be so great for cooler to cold nights with out a support bivvy, but I bet it will be killer for summer around here (rated to 50* or so). Once I actually get to use it, I will write up a report and post it on The Cyclist.

Tonite I plan on getting out on the new Jabber and see how the changes I made feel. I went back to a traditional h-bar from the Groovy Luv Handles and changed to a Mtn King front/Race King rear tire combo to better handle the loose and sandy local conditions. Temps have been quite mild for July but I have my lights standing by for apres-sun workouts.

So, I have plenty of reasons to gear to test, lights to extend the ride time - if it were only Fall and not the Icky Days of Summer I would be ON IT!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This post is worthless without pics.

Can't find the camera. Has to be somewhere. Vacation remains held within its silicon memory banks. Sigh.

Meanwhile, spent some time building this up last night:

I am pleased with the quality of the frame for the money. It looks nice, a few places where the tubes are manipulated, ovalized, welds look good, the head tube is nice and high but there is a ton of head tube hanging below the down tube/head tube junction. Sure gives ya lots of room for a sus fork crown and knobs, etc.

Long CS length. Sitting at juuust over 18" right now. There is potential to shorten that a bit with a half link and I do need to replace the CR and chain. I will likely get an 8 speed chain this time around and not a 9 speed. I think that will be cheaper and easier to deal with. What kinda sucks is that I ran into the same thing with this frame as with the diSSent. If there was a few millimeters more 'travel' in the sliders/dropouts I could keep the chain shorter and the CS length at 17.5". If I removed the little adjusting screws in the Jabbers track ends, I think I could keep it very short and eliminate that extra link but then I would have to deal with more potential for wheel splippage under load. Hmmm.

Well, part of the Wet Cat geometry idea is a longer CS length, so we shall see.

I sure do like the looks of the frame. I always thought the KM looked ugly with the bent seat tube, etc.....all squished up. The Jabber has a very classic look with the sloped TT and the straight tubes. I like small diameter tubes. Years of riding steel HTs, I guess. It just looks nice.

Will it ride as nice as it looks? Stay tuned.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from vacation

Nose to grindstone at this moment catching up. Things on the horizon:

  • obligatory family vacation post. I promise some bike content, but precious little of it.
  • New SS frame to build. Details to come. Hint...think orange.
  • Some samples of CarboRocket to try. Just in time. It is hot in So Cal and I need to get some miles in.
  • Upcoming trip to Utah...I hope...for some high-ish altitude singletrack riding.
  • Some pedaling time on one of the latest 29er hardtails from one of the big guns in the bike biz.
All this and more as soon as I un-bury myself.