Sunday, August 31, 2014

Surly Cross Check and Velo Orange Camargue

I gave a short update on my somewhat new VO Camargue a few posts back. For no good reason, I haven't been particularly warming up to it. So much so, in fact, that I recently changed my trusty CC from "lean and mean" to, er, family... "pudgey and friendly?"

Now I have the two bikes set up very similarly: racks, fenders, gears, flat pedals, fattish tires. I think I lean towards the CC just because I like the way it looks better: the dead horizontal top tube appeals to the traditionalist in me, even as I grunt to throw my leg over it every time I stop while riding around with the kids (which is pretty often). Thinking about the VO, I think the stupid reason I'm not warming up to it is the top tube: it's neither flat nor really sloping, just kind of dropped:

Technically, this addresses my concern about the standover on the CC, but it exists in the nether region between a traditional road bike and a mountain bike. It smacks of compromise.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Last Day of Summer

Tuesday last week was the last day of summer before the kids started school on Wednesday (yes, I'm behind in my blogging) Coincidentally, I had the day off so Jodi could go to a doctor appointment and we could attend the "meet the teacher" events in the afternoon. Nothing to do for it but break the kids away from their iPads to hit the road for some playgrounds:

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.

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&#...