Friday, October 19, 2018

Monday, October 8, 2018

New Soma Riff

I've been working on my fleet a bit this fall. After my Niner died, I've been searching for another bike that gives me that same feeling of confidence when charging through the rough stuff. My Trek Fuel is OK, but I can never get into a long term relationship with a full suspension bike. I tell myself I don't want the extra maintenance, or that they allow me to go too fast, but in reality full suspension bikes just don't fit my early 90s image of what a mountain bike should be or look like.

My attempt to copy the Niner was a Soma Riff, somewhat impulsively bought when ebay had a sale coupon:

The frame is only a size large, a bit small for me, but the top tube length is comparable to the Niner or my KM. Alas, the higher bottom bracket exacerbates the low stack of this frame, leaving me to use a handlebar with three inches of rise to get the bars where they need to be. I haven't used the Velo Orange Klunker bar much previous to this, and I'm not terribly fond of it so far. It's heavy, steel, and has a bit of a dead feel to it. Why do steel frames feel so good, but aluminum wins for bars?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Bikes and a Playground

Sam has been biking a bit more this fall. His usual bike ride is down the block to his buddy's house, but he's up for a longer ride now and then. Last week we headed over to the metro park:

There's a small hill in the metro park. We zipped down it only to turn it around and climb back up. "Sam, do you want to do that again?" "Sure!" So we did two intervals of hill climbing.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Billie Bar Review, with bonus Pine Tar Soap review

I placed a Rivendell order the other day to try out a few new products. My main purchase was a new bar for my Fuji. The Billie bar is an evolution of Nitto's Albatross bar: a bit wider and longer. I've ridden an Albatross copy a while back, but I didn't care for the narrow width and the bolt upright main position (the "Mary Poppins" effect).

So off came the Noodles, on came the Billie:

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fleet Update VII

Whenever I need to get my thoughts in order about my bike stable, I realize it's time for a fleet update. As I sometimes try to do, these are ranked from top to bottom in whatever the current pecking order is:

1. Riv Clem H: I tried the Clem as a mountain bike, and it wasn't great. After experiencing more modern mountain bikes, the front end of the Clem feels nervous. And after my Niner failed at the head tube, looking down at the skinny fork of the Clem doesn't fill me with confidence. It's probably fine. But since I've set aside any aspirations to ride it on trails, I can outfit the Clem for city duty: slicks, racks, baskets, and kickstand. In this build, it works well to ride around with the kids or run errands or go camping.

The Jones bars are a great spec for this build:

Far more comfortable than the stock Bosco bars, they're good for going as fast--or as slow--as I want to go. That's a rare range for a handlebar.

Sunday, July 15, 2018


I've been doing my regular change up in my bike fleet this summer. Riding with my fast buddies Marc and Chris had me eyeing full suspension bikes again. I can keep up fine on the climbs and smoother stuff, but they can keep pedaling in the really rough spots, where I slow down on my rigid bike to find a line. I ended up stripping down my Niner for sale, and to use the parts on it's replacement (more on that later).

I posted the Niner online in the usual places, but fortunately the buyer was a local guy. He hemmed and hawed a bit, but we finally struck a deal. As we're walking out into the sunny driveway to his truck, he noticed some paint chipping around the head tube. Except it wasn't just chipping:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Road Trip With The Boys

Jodi and Kate are off to see Taylor Swift tonight, so I decided to set up a road trip with the boys to give them something exciting to do over shut down week.

The twins were both participating in Dublin's Fourth of July parade, so we couldn't leave until Thursday. Sam marched with the Cub Scouts:

and Kate with the Dublin Youth Athletics (lacrosse):

Thursday we headed south. Our first destination was Mammoth Caves. I was a little nervous at signing the boys up for a two hour tour, when neither boy had ever been underground. Would they get claustrophobic?

Happy Jones Day!

Celebrate Jones day with a Jones soda! Listen to Mr. Jones !