Thursday, November 28, 2013

A History of My Road and 'Cross Bikes

Time for installment #3 of my bike history (full sus bikes here and 29er hardtails here)

Update: hardtail 26ers here.

My road riding started on my pop's hand me down Schwinn. Typical early 70s bike boom, with Ashtabula cranks, steel rims, etc. But I'll start this history with the first road bike I actually bought:

1. 1991 Bridgestone RB-T

(not my bike pictured). I was heavily influenced by reading Grant Petersen's Bridgestone catalogues throughout college, so when I went road bike shopping, a quick spin to the Bike Gallery and this RB-T was mine. Must've been the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at the University of Washington. The Suntour drivetrain never shifted very well, but otherwise this was a great bike: good clearances, a nice frame, good geo. They're actually still quite in demand today, and I wouldn't mind finding one now. Mine was a 59cm, probably too small for me, though.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stupid Things Found in Mountain Bike Action (December issue)

Yes gang, it's time I finally got around to the second installment of "Stupid Things Found in Mountain Bike Action." (the first edition is here) I've had the issue sitting here on my desk for a few weeks:

** The December issue continues their relentless push of all things 27.5". The best stupid bit was their "riding techniques for 27.5" wheels" article (page 56). It's a primer on how to switch from 26" or 29" to the in-between size. Coming from 26" wheels, they claim you'll "follow a wider arc", and can "take a rougher line." Sure.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Winter is Coming

With the twins at my parents place for the night, Henry and I enjoyed some father/son time on Sunday with a quick bike ride. I let Henry set the course, and we mostly wandered around the 'hood, stopping to throw rocks in a pond. We eventually practiced some more "mountain biking", hitting the cross country trails behind the high school. We came across what looks like the rear end of a very old tractor:

I was riding my fixed gear Cross Check, which turned out to be less than ideal when riding slowly on bumpy grass:

Although it was sunny, with a strong wind blowing, it was COLD.  Our bikes and playground outings may be winding down for the season.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Earlington Park (again)

Way, way back on post #1, we mentioned visiting Earlington Park. I was still just thinking of this blog back in those sunny days, so Earlington only got a passing mention with no pictures. With nice weather this past Sunday (for early November), the twins and I headed out post-Blackbuck sale to take in a few parks.

Kate showing her midriff is cute now, won't be so cute when she's 13:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chinese Carbon Bike Frames

This post is a work in progress. If you have additional info or corrections, please leave a comment or use the contact form. If your favorite generic Chinese frame isn't included here, let me know the details and I'll add it. Maybe someday I'll get to the full suspension frames, but don't hold your breath (they don't really interest me that much)

There's now a community of people talking about Chinese carbon frames, this will also be a good source of information for anyone interested in these frames. You can see it here.

Apr 12, 2014: added info on the IP-256SL frame

Jul 20, 2014: I actually bought a carbon frame! Of course, it was none of these. See here.

Sep 9, 2014: I actually bought one of these frames! See here.

Oct 5, 2014: And now it's for sale. 

Oct 25, 2014: And now it's sold.


After my very recent good time on board the Trek Superfly 9.8, I find myself seriously thinking about a carbon frame instead of YASH (Yet Another Steel Hardtail).  Since the Superfly is SuperExpensive, and I'm cheap, I'm drawn to the Chinese carbon frames of the mighty thread. Problem is, with over 6,000 posts on that thread, it's hard to find any information without committing several days and several beers to read through it. Instead, I'm hoping to gather up some basic info on the major frames (major, in that they interest me) in one spot. And I'll try to include some basic background data, such as what the different weaves look like. Let's start there:

Trek Factory Demo, Niner and Gryphon, Selling News

Quite a bit of bike action over here in the B&P world this weekend. Friday, Sam and I rode to a playground and made a grocery run to Kroger:

Saturday morning, I hit P1 with my Niner. Considering our torrential storm on Halloween, just two days ago, the trails were in pretty good shape. I, however, wasn't feeling great, and did only one lap. But I did take a few better pics of my SIR9 when I stopped for a breather:

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 evo...