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?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Challenge Course

The other night, Kate wanted someone to go for a walk with her. This doesn't happen often, so I got her quickly out the door before she changed her mind. Rather than pace around the neighborhood, we headed for the metro park. On approach, we did an excited fist bump when we saw that the challenge course was finally open.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Clem Again

Regular reader(s) may recall that I journeyed up to Ann Arbor to buy a Rivendell Clem Smith Jr last summer. That particular bike ride didn't end particularly well--I didn't care for the Clem's bars, hated the tires, found the saddle too painful to ride, and was frustrated by the poor shifting. At the end of a summer of biking and tinkering, I was too fatigued to deal with rebuilding the Clem to my specs, so I shipped it off to the distant land of my birth (Oregon).

I still had a thing for Clem, though. After selling my Stache, my bike fund was again flush. I was half heartedly looking at a Chinese carbon frame (again), but couldn't find the motivation to order anything. But when a Clem frame popped up on ebay, my bidding finger flew into action without hesitation. And that's how I ended up with Clem #2, in a color not as nice as my previous Clem's mustard gold, in paint that is significantly more beat up... but with part picks that are my own.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

City Bike Update

One post in, and my Fuji America has already gotten a pretty major update. A wave of bike changes cascaded down to it:

- I sold my Trek Stache (yes, the one I just bought). 29+ wheels are really just too much for me. Too slow to turn; not agile enough. A fellow down in Dayton is really enjoying it, so it has found a good home.

- That left me with just one mountain bike, my Niner ROS9 B+. That's all well and simple, but I like to have a second mountain bike to give me some variety on the trails I've been riding for 20 years. I rebuilt the KM from a city bike back to what Surly intended, a rigid single speed 29er. One of my favorite bike types.

- I still needed a practical bike for running errands and pulling the kids around. My first thought was to convert my Black Mountain Monstercross over, as I had done in the past.  I took it for one last ride as a fixed gear drop bar road bike:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

New Bike: 1981 Fuji America

Part Two of my good mail day is almost exactly opposite of Part One. Part One, if you look back a post, was my 2016 Trek Stache, a fairly modern mountain bike: formed aluminum frame, tapered head tube holding onto a suspension fork, dropper post, through axles, and plus sized tubeless wheels.

Part Two is nearly as old as I am:

It's a 1981 (I think) Fuji America frameset, non-aero brake levers, Nitto stem, and Grand Bois Hetre 650b tires. Yes, I'm trying yet another 650b conversion, on a bike that came out when I was nine years old.

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, thes...