Friday, August 25, 2006

Popped my 29er/Single Speed Cherry

Actually popped quite a few cherries last night:

1. Single Speed
2. 29er
3. Riding Rigid
4. Clipless pedals
5. Sub 40lb bike

It was amazing! And I don't think I will ever ride geary again! OMG, it was f'ing fantastic! This dog can freakin' hunt. Took the Q Ball to a popular ride spot called Mianus (also affectionately knows as My Anus) last night and had a blast! Great accelleration, climbs like a horny mountain goat and rolls over the gnarliest, rockiest, rootiest rock gardens. I chickened out a few times but plowed through quite a bit as well as my confidence built up. Single Speed totally rocks! I know understand why so many people try SS don't go back. Acceleration is so smooth! Of course clipless helps immensely and its a good thing I decided to wear all my armor this evening because I went down quite a few times. If it wasn't for the armor I would be bleeding from all over the place.

I especially love how I don't have to prepare to be in the right gear when hitting a climb. In fact, initially my fingers were reaching of for shifters a couple of times. I climbed just about everything, and the climbs that I had to walk, I started them, either unclipped in time or didn't and went down hard a few times.Being fully rigid was a unique exerience as well. Makes one think about where you are headed. I can see adding some suspension up front, but not much, though. Just enough to take the edge off. I can't wait to ride my Q Ball some more, especially on my local trails. Not sure I want ride my 40lb Giant AC any more.

So, here is my $1400 Bottle Opener!

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

I got pedals!

I put Shimano PD-545s on the Q Ball because I wanted the ability to feel comfortable riding unclipped and besides the CrankBrothers Mallet C/Ms, these seemed to be the best pedal for that use. I thought the Mallets were too wide, by the way. Taking the Q Ball in for a few minor adjustments to the braking and chain, and I think I am going to replace the 20t rear cog with a 22t.

Still haven't found a replacement seatpost and saddle for the Trail-a-bike, yet. There is a guy on Bustedspoke who is still trying to get me pictures of his two seat posts, but by the time that is all transacted and done I probably won't see that item until next week. If I go with Performance Bike, Jenson, or Nashbar, and get 2nd day delivery, I will have the items by Friday.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bar Ends

The other day I posted a question on one of my favorite forums to get an idea on how people feel about bar ends. Most people were strongly against mainly because they are of the freeriding/hucking mindset who believe bar ends are really for hooking onto small sapplings as you ride down the trail. I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% to 60% of all the 29ers that I have seen, especially the single speeds, all have bar ends.

I ordered a pair of Ritchey WCS bar ends from REI and they came yesterday. Quick to install. At first I was a little apprehensive about putting them on because they weren't the COMP style from Ritchey but then I remembered why I didn't get those - weight! These were 100 grams lighter and yet they still felt heavy. I guess they have to be in order to hold one's weight focused at this point.

Sort of tried them out by coasting a bit on the bike (still don't have pedals) and I can see how they will help climbing. Can't wait to try them out for real. Another week to go on the DL. I will post up a picture later.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Here is my Q Ball

Brown delivered at 12:40 PM! After unpacking it, called Scott and he walked me through putting it together and here it is. No pedals because I just ordered them from my LBS and they should be in next week - but I still can't ride on account of my surgery. I am waiting the full three weeks because there is still some discomfort down there that I don't want to risk and wind up not being able to ride for even a longer period of time. So, a ride report to follow in the near future.

Oh, did I mention how lite this bike is? It is so lite that when I picked it up I couldn't believe I was picking up a bike! Awesome.

I built a nice holder for the Q Ball in the garage last night. God, I love them big wheels and I can't wait to start riding them! C'mon guys, heal! Heeeeeeaaaalllll!

Delivery Day!

Checked Brown first thing this morning and Brown says Out for Delivery! Delivered to the distribution center in the next town. Now, its just a question on when they are coming here.
Checked at 9:30 AM, no box.
Checked at 10:30 AM, no box.
Checked at 11:30 AM, no box.

Probably going to be an afternoon delivery.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Brown says ...

That delivery is scheduled for 8/9!

Hopefully, I will have the garage ready to receive my new baby! Of course, I still can't ride.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I've become a 29er Junkie ...

... and I don't even have my bike yet. I can't wait, although, I am still recouperating from my surgery and the doc says no riding for at least three weeks. Grrrrrrrr. I am just really excited. Of course from what I have read so far, going rigid and single speed is a completely different platform and there will be big changes to my riding style, XGruntry. Oh, and don't forget I am going clipless, too. While I am waiting, I have been reading all there is to read on on 29ers.

Yesterday, I went to my LBS and ordered a pair of Louis Garneau shoes and Shimano PM-545. Still not sure about the bar ends, though. The ones they had a the shop didn't jazz me so I am going to continue looking around.

I did ride around my drive way the other day on my AC by lowering the seat post way down and that was pretty comfortable but the reason for the check out was to see how its running and it was terrible. I had tried adjusting the front deraileur but I think I screwed it up because it stopped working all together. And the rear deraileur wasn't so hot either but I have learned not to touch that. I think once I get bike holder set up in the garage I might take another shot at bike maintenance.

Brown says that the boxes were picked up at 8 PM in Lansing, MI and arrived 2 hours later in Livonia. Then they were put on a truck for the east coast and Brown says they are still in transit. Well, the garage is not ready for the Q Ball anyway, in fact both SUVs aren't parking in the garage anymore because I've torn it all assunder to in my effort to finally organize it. I went through 10 boxes from the move and chucked about 65% of the contents.

This all started out because I had to find the key to my table saw that I still hadn't found since we moved from Ridgefield. I went through 20 boxes and guess which one I found it in? The twentieth. Then I find out that the table saw wasn't going to work, so I had to go back to the mitre saw but I still needed find a component to make that work. That was in the same box. I was able to cut up the 4x4 I bought at Lowes in order to fix the stairs leading up to my deck.

Lowes just opened up in Danbury. Shiny new store and aisles but unlike HomeDepot, there is no one to help you find anything or have any expertise on any of the products that you are looking at. Selection seems to be more limited as well. Probably go back to HomeDepot. OK, enough rambling.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Here comes my Q Ball!

Got an email from Scott today, my Q Ball is done!
Hi Mark, I have your Q Ball built. It looks great and the parts build is something the will last to the abuse too. It is about 25 lbs w/o pedals. I took a few pictures of it (sorry I know they are kind of crappy photos) and installed some pedals and took it for a few spins around the parking lot. I wanted to tell you a few things about the build. I added a few extra spacer on the steerer so that you could adjust the stem higher or lower if you want. Also I moved the grips in for your bar ends. Third, I left a little extra rear brake cable housing so that if you have to move something around ever (i.e. when changing gears) you'll have extra cable to play with. Also I am suppose to by law supply reflector kits for your bike so you don't get run over in total darkness by a car. How about I just throw the reflectors in the box 'cause I know you'll just take 'em off anyway before hitting the trails? Lastly, I did put the flat bars on. I think they are worth a try but they are not very wide for most hardcore SS'ers (sorry). I am wondering you may want to try some wider bars or rizers in the future? I will try to get it bubble wrapped and boxed to ship to you for UPS pickup today.
Some pics:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

XGruntry, now that's a new one!

I came across an interesting Ride Recap (or Recrap) on that I thought was really fitting to the way I ride right now with my 40 pounder (Giant AC) in which the rider describes his style of riding with a heavier bike as XGruntry. Feel free to read the whole recrap but simply stated:
XGruntry riding (XG is when you have an XStuntry bike but you suck at riding it and don't have the quads yet for real XC on a flearide 40 lb. bike, so it's XGruntry)
I think the describes exactly the way I ride with my bike. I am no hammer god, more like an XCountry wannabe and every once-in-while, I will willing fling myself off some sort of natural stunt. So, I am changing my own vernacular from XStuntry to XGruntry.

Thanks Mr. Pink!