Friday, August 22, 2014

Buyer Beware: Selle AnAtomica Review

I bought a Selle AnAtomica Titanico X saddle this winter when they had a half off sale. I was looking for something less hard and slippery than my Brooks B17N, but still with the bag loops and traditional leather saddle appearance. I didn't ride much this winter, and my early review of the SA wasn't exactly glowing: I thought it flared out too much at the skirts, and the way those raw edges rubbed my thighs was annoying and made me avoid the saddle for longer rides.

I continued to not ride the saddle much over the spring and summer, but this month I finally decided to contact SA while my warranty was still in effect.

If you noted the title of this post, you can guess their response wasn't all I hoped it would be.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Bike (Not Mine) and Fleet Notes

I've been on a downsizing swing lately. Again. The Breezer is for sale, though I don't actually expect anyone to buy it. If it were a 29er, it would have been sold long ago, for more money. But an XL 26er? No market there.

Today, I sold my FSR frame and fork to buddy Charles. Charles had been riding another of my ex bikes, a Habanero Ti 26er. A nice frame, but his front Marzocchi fork was blown out, which caused the front end to bounce uncontrollably. He was more or less used to it, but when I tried it briefly at Alum Creek, I was left white faced and shaking. Charles came over today, and we spent a few happy hours this morning tearing down the Habanero and rebuilding the FSR with his parts (seems like half that time was spent adjusting the front derailer... another reason to like 1x drivetrains)

A "before and after" picture would be great right about here, wouldn't it? But in our excitement, we only took an "after" picture:

I led Charles on a shakedown tour of the Dublin singletrack scene. A few short sections of indifferent trail linked up by road miles, but it was still a nice day to be out, especially if you could tune out the sound of the rubbing front derailer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Alum, Alum, Henry's S24O, and Chestnut Ridge

It's been a busy week of biking around here. Wednesday after work, I went to P2 with a few friends. Our first lap was still slick from an afternoon thunderstorm, so it was slower and a bit tentative as we warmed up and the trail dried. But the next lap, I was ready to open it up with my latest bike build:

Still (but not steel) singlespeed, but now with 100% more suspension! I really enjoyed railing this around the twisty, rooty P2 singletrack. For solo rides, I tend to putter around the trail, but group rides bring out my competitive spirit. In this case, I ended getting a bit too far ahead of our group while I chased down a pair of racy looking guys (one had a number plate, even) on what I think of as Midwest race bikes: carbon hardtails, big drop from saddle to seat. In the end, I caught them just before the parking lot, and the quick lap allowed me to get home before bedtime for the kids.

Saturday morning, Brian and I hit P2 again. We took some action shots:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Indy Races to Irish Fest

We had a busy weekend that, strangely, involved no playgrounds and only a few bikes:

Saturday, my dad and I took the boys to Mid Ohio for the Indy 200 race. The Big Race was on Sunday, but I much prefer to watch the GT cars on Saturday--it's also less crowded, and easier to get around with the kids. We got up close for a good bit of racing:

Unfortunately, a thunderstorm hit mid point in the race. We saw a few spectacular off track excursions at turn 4 (?) the cleared out a good chunk of the field, but all we had for rain protection was a fleece blanket, which, it turns out, wasn't particularly waterproof. We made a chilly exit for our car.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Three Bikes On and Off the Bubble

I'm up to six bikes now, which is about twice my comfort zone. Of course, this has me thinking and scheming about how to rearrange my bike fleet. I'll explain this through three rides on three different bikes:

1) Last weekend, I took my spare parts build Cross Check for a quick spin to the library. I actually had the CC posted for sale, but I set my price on the high side, perhaps subconsciously knowing I didn't really want to sell it. That, and I'm really enjoying the way it rolls on the supple Racing Ralph tires. Those supple tires, though, didn't help when I couldn't bunny hop over the sharp edge where the road had been ground down, pinch flatting my rear tire (I can't bunny hop worth a darn if I'm not clipped in). I got a little nervous when I opened my tool bag to only find a 26 x 2" tube. Luckily, I also had my patch kit, AND the glue hadn't dried, so I successfully patched the tube and carried on.

With only a mini pump to use, my tire didn't have as much air as I normally like. Finally, I had a legitimate use for the public bike work stand near the rec center. I started to pump, only to realize there was no resistance. Maybe this was why:

I carried on, soft tire and all, and had a nice afternoon ride.

So with my Camargue having a solid grip on the utility duties, the CC and ye Olde Trek are left to duke it out for sporty bike duties.

Night Rider's Lament

OK, so there's really not much "lamenting" in this post, but it was a title of an old Garth Brooks song that has stuck with me...

Friday, the local metro park had a night ride. After a cookout at the neighbor's, I loaded up all three kids to head out. Strangely, Henry didn't want to ride his own bike... I think he was a little nervous about riding at night. So for the first time in a long while, I was pulling all three kids:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sette Razzo SC Introduction

I've had my Sette Razzo--my first carbon frame--hanging around for some time. Due to commitments in my weekend schedule, work, and the general crapiness of Oury grips, I wasn't able to take it for a good ride until this weekend. But before I get into the ride details, let's take a closer look at my build and the frame:

Coming off my Krampus, my goal for this was to make a lighter version of that: big tires, smooth riding, but light enough to be a realistic single speed. In that respect, I'm pretty happy how it turned out: the wheels are my Velocity Blunts from the Big K, the front tire is the Knard, the rear is a Mission Vee 2.4. I'm impressed that this frame has the clearance for this big tire: