Monday, July 31, 2006

Q Ball Build Specs

So, here are the my Q Ball Build components. Only I decided to go with Avid BB7s and a 21t rear cog. Makes the price go up a little more but it still stays within budget, sort of. Still have to find peddles. I am thinking Crank Brothers Mallets, either the Cs or the Ms. Have not decided on which just yet and there are the shoes.

Frame Q Ball Frame Large
Fork Q Stick Fork
Wheels Velocity Wheels with QRs and rear bolt on hub
Headset Ritchey Logic
Brakes Rear Avid BB5
Brakes Front Avid BB5
Brake Levers Avid FR-5
Tires(2) WTB Nano Raptor 2.1"
Tube WTB innertube
Cranks Truvativ ISO Flow (32 tooth)
BB Shimano UN-40
Chain Sram PC1
Cog Cog 19 tooth
Grips Ritchey True Grips
SeatPost Ritchey Comp 27.2 x 400
Stem Ritchey Comp
Handlebar Ritchey Comp non-rizer
Saddle WTB Speed V Race
Brake Cables(2) Jagwire Brake Cable
Seatpost Collar IRD 30mm

Friday, July 28, 2006

My next bike: Q Ball 29er

I spent about two weeks researching the various offerings for 29'er frames and went on the advice of Mark McG, a fellow CT Mountain biker, blogger, and 29'er afficianado, to check out the Q Ball from Scott Quiring. Scott owns Quiring Cycles, LLC, a custom frame builder in Michigan. After reading about his design philosophy and checking out the reviews and threads on I decided this was the frame for me.

The only reservation I had was that there were no cantilever brake posts. In order to keep costs down, I wanted to start out with Cantiliver and then work my way up to disc at a later point but the Q Ball doesn't offer that feature. The other advantage to cantiliver is that it gives me the option to have to two different cogs on the rear tire. However, the frame has a built in bottle opener. So, you could say that I am trading cantilever brake posts for a bottle opener. I think I can live with that.

The next hurdle is the build up. I don't know much about parts, although I am learning about them. While it would be a great education to do the build up myself, with three kids running about the house, I just don't have the time, nor the patience. I hemmed and hawed about having my LBS do it but Mark suggested that I ask Scott to see whether he could do the build for me. After contacting him, he said he could do it and try to keep things within my budget as wells keeping within certain weight parameters.

So, right now I am waiting on his Spec list for the parts which I will include the final cost estimate. Once I have that and have everything figured out, I am pulling the trigger.

Since this bike is replacing my Trek, it also will become the bike that I ride with the kids, pull the kid cart and the trailer bike. What I am going to do for those events is get a second seatpost and seat (one of those comfort bike types with a shock built into the seatpost and mount the trailer bike hitch to that. That way, I just switch out seats when I want pull the trailer bike. I think this especially smart if I go with a carbon fiber seat post.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

GPS Accuraccy: AM vs PM

I rode twice this week in the Upper Paugussett, once on Tuesday afternoon and again on Thursday morning. Rode the same course both times and the the morning ride, I dropped signal on Sanford Road like every other time in the past when riding in the mornings.

I posted the question on Groundspeak forums on whether there is any issue with the Sat Signals between morning and afternoons and one of the responses that I said the following:

Satellite configuration is the most likely cause. The satellites move in orbits of almost 12 hours. Where they are has a direct impact on signal strength.
So it appears there could be some influence in positioning.

Well, Thursday was my last ride for awhile, because Thursday afternoon I had a little outpatient surgery that will keep me out of the saddle for a couple of weeks. Needed to have something fixed to prevent any more future college tuition payments. I figure three kids are enough.

The procedure wasn't too bad. A little sharp here and there even with the local. Post surgery recovery includes alot of icing, keeping off my feet for a couple of days and percosets. Still, it feels like I got kicked in the you know where, twice, when the percoset wears off.

Hope that wasn't too information for you.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Happening at Huntington Happened!

Wow, what a turn out we had! 50+ riders and we signed up 9 new members, too. Looks like my marketing efforts paid off because in the survey that I put out I saw responses that quite a few people saw the poster at their local LBS!

So, I rode for 8+ miles today and rode with 4 different groups of riders. It was really fun. Here is where I rode. Basically it was a combination of the Advanced and Intermediate rides and to tell the truth I am definitely in the intermediate category.

Started riding with Tom C and Dave P, two dudes that can really hammer! I was able to keep up with them most of the way until we got to Little Vomit, one of the really big hills in the park. They hammered the whole way up and I think I got about half way up, when I stalled out on a root and had to stop.

Looking on the map, you see the track that stops at the N in HUNTINGTON and that is where we met up with the Advanced ride led by Steve Herde and all the cats from Crankfire were on that ride. In fact where we stopped for a chitchat there was a downed tree and somebody must have ran over a yellow jacket nest because everyone was getting stung. Not me! (this time atleast). So, Tom and Dave decided to ride with them and I was just tagging along so cleaned up the rear. While bombing one of the nice singletrack downhill trails I went off a one footer and got some nice air! Woo Hoo! Freeride baby!

Got half way around the park and decided to do the Hero Loop, what I call the Lollipop. I rode part of this last winter with the Meatman but never completed the entire loop. There are quite a few really steep descents and some nice rollers. The Herdes were nice to wait up for me but they are in a class by the themselves. Midway through the loop I was bonkin, so I tried one of those Goo Packs and it had the consistency of jam. Slurped that down with lots of water and when I got off the loop I was feeling really good!

So, I lost the Herdes and found the Intermidate group with Ed, Steve, Joanna, Eric, and some new people and we did Rock and Roll and then took the grassy trail back to the parking lot. I like that route - much better than taking the carriage road to the end and then climbing that hill. It's kind of a slap in the face after good hard ride.

My track was 8.4 miles. Still can't get over how well the GPS works mounted to the stem. Need to create something a little more sturdy but what I have right now seems to work great. I will post up a picture of it sometime.

7/23/2006: Happening at Huntington

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

7 Stings and 2 Endos

Returned to West Rocks for another ride. There were a mixed bag of riders from both and The Big Game, Sarahbean, 9.8 m/s/s, and yours truly. Plan was to get to the ridge and meet up with 9.8. So about a quarter mile in we come to a hornet's nest hanging low over the trail. TBG aggravates the next and I try to ride past only to find that I am now the object of the wasps affection . After two or three stings I was OTB. Jumped back on and tried to get away but they kept coming after me. Got a total of 7 stings. Ouch. Then, further down the trail, I tried to ride a plank over a stream and I cleared it, only I should have went to the left but ended up going right and my front tire got stuck in some roots and once again, OTB!
The true irony however was in the fact that I had such a great ride on Wednesday without armour that I was pretty cocky and decided not ride with the armour as well. That was a bad move. Knees, shins, and forearms got pretty scraped up.
Despite the scratches and bumps it was a great ride. I was able to clear the rock pile on the first go that I choked on last time. Didn't get over the log jam, this time, but I was close - again. Rode some new trail, including 9.8's private stock down hill which really wasn't a downhill where you can fly rather a series of rollers and drops along the way to steep stuff. Overall, a great ride and can't wait to return to this place again.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Afternoon Mullikin

Did a quick ride in Upper Paugussett SF this afternoon. I felt soo good today - I was hammering! I one footed the up-and-over on the first downhill section on the Mullikin Trail and then decided to bail out on the lower section and head back to the Polly Brody.

Hadn't been this way in a while and it was looking nice but after the hike-a-bike on the blue tape I noticed a well made fire pit in the middle of the trail and it appears a tent was pitched, too. There was a towel within spitting distance that I dared not touch for fear of something untowardly upon it. Perhaps this was an overnight rendezvous for some teeny-boppers? Hunters perhaps trying to get the jump on the turkeys? What ever their intention, camping and fires are prohibited.

I dismanteled the firepit and used the rocks to create a nice up-and-over on the downed tree blocking the trail. If you are comming from the PB, you have to swing out wide to hit in straight on, which I did and cleared it on my first try. The ramp on the other side was little shaky so I made a few adjustments and was able to one foot it on the way back, too!

Another comment about riding this evening was the fact that satellite reception was awesome. Heavy tree cover through the whole ride and not a single dropped signal. As opposed to an earlier ride a couple of weeks ago in the morning before work, I wondered why I brought my GPS on that ride. I have to say, that satellite reception seems to be better in the afternoon, at least when you have heavy tree cover. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 15, 2006

West Rocks, New Haven

Rode West Rocks with Ed and his friend John today. Beautiful place! 8+ mile ride with a killer hike-a-bike uphill to the ridge that you can see from the Parkway when you pass through the tunnel. No humidity in the air but it was still pretty hot.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thanks Polly for the correction.

If you look at the comments, Polly Brody has corrected the spelling my trail. It should be MULLIKIN.

So, I rode this morning. Just a quickie. Up Tamarack, Sanford, into the forest, on the Polly Brody and then down the Mullikin, a little bit of Al's, up the horsey trail, back onto to the PB and out onto Hanover. I think I might have mentioned that there was tree down on the Mullikin that I haven't decided what to do with yet because its on the narrow, switch back section. It makes sense to cut it but it would be cooler to create another obstacle in case those ATVers probe deeper into the trail.

Looks like they are only going as far as the first log crossing and then turning around and heading back. There are some old logging roads from the last century that are still recoginizable and I think they are going on them. With the turn in the trail and down trees and stumps, I don't think they will venture any further. Hate those double ruts they make and so far they haven't made any anywhere I have seen.

Still no logging. Someone marked the trees but nothing is down yet. That will be cool when they log that section out because there is the makings of a good connector trail through there to hook up with the hunting trail that runs between the PB and the old ROW that I discovered last year and will shortly become the NBLA and CTNEMBA Multi-use trail that we are planning on creating. More about that one later. We need to set up the final trail walk with all concerned parties before we bring the state in.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Going 29'er!

I have decided to pull the trigger on the 29'er. I put the Trek up on Craigslist and hopin to see maybe two hundy for it. So, this is what I am thinking. This bike replaces the Trek, so it means it will also be the family bike that will pull the trail-a-bike and the soon to be purchased kid carrier. In fact, I might get a second seatpost that is a little more durable with the spring loaded post and double wide saddle for my fat fourth point of contact for riding with the kids. Hey, I might as well be comfortable!

I am going to start out on the low end, meaning, cantilever brakes, single speed, and rigid fork, and then over time probably build it up into more of a racing bike. The key to all this is of course choosing the right frame, in which it has the ability to convert from Single Speed to Geared. Still, if I never do anything with it, I will still have a fun bike to ride and I won't have to bring two bikes the next time I go on vacation for those times I want to ride alone.

Unless I find another frame, I think I have narrowed it down to either the Surly Karate Monkey or the Voodoo Damabala. Then there is the Soma Juice, that I really like the bent top tube configuration and I like the horizontal dropouts. It looks like the Dambala has a vertical dropout and I can't tell at this point if that is better or not. I am still learning what the differences are.

Then there is the Raleigh, that my LBS, wants me to look at. They are getting a demo that I think I am going to have to wait and ride before I decide to see if I am indeed worthy of Single Speed. Of course, I don't know if the Raleigh is capable of going geared. If not, then its out of the running. Of course their Web Catalogue makes no mention of their 29er and they don't want product questions via email so looks like I need to call them.