Thursday, May 14, 2015

Work Free Wednesday

I've been trying to take a three day weekend for a few weeks now, but things always kept popping up at work until I last I ended up taking Wednesday off this week. So instead of a three day weekend, I only have to deal with a pair of two day work weeks--not a bad trade! In the end, Wednesday was a great day to head out riding.

I started my day off with some pre-breakfast comparo riding between the Surly:

and ye Olde Trek:

My intention was to do four laps of my Avery Park extended loop, two miles each, alternating between bikes. My hope was that it would help me decide which of these two very similar bikes I liked better. But that wasn't quite what happened.

In the end, I only did a lap each, and then got bored with the whole process. By now, I know each bikes' strengths and weaknesses, but neither is towering over the other:

- I like the Surly's tire clearance, brakes, wheel size, and modernity (all hex head fittings, for instance), but don't like the tiny head tube.

- I like the Trek's Compass tires, tall head tube, and skinny tubing, but don't like the caliper brakes, small wheel size, and shortish top tube.

I might just sell 'em both and pick up one bike to replace them. I'm somewhat regretting passing on a few 64cm Quickbeams that were for sale recently, but I have another candidate in mind now.

After breakfast and making lunches for the boys, I got the kids on the bus and loaded up my Accord (Accord Sport), bound for Dillon State Park. Dillon is famous for its rocks:

My 29+ tires rolled through them pretty well--at least, I think I got farther than I did last time before I had to stop and walk. Then again, maybe I was helped along by my "high porformance" hub:

When I got home, my new parts had come in the mail, so I cracked a beer and set to work on my Mukluk. I want to try fat tires for a spell, but I needed a chainring so I could run gears without continually dropping my chain. It was just lucky chance I got a green one to match my bike:

I picked up the new wheels from mtbr, blingy Hope hubs and Marge Lite rims:

I couldn't find a budget wheelset to match my front fork spacing, but I ended up paying about that same budget money for this much nicer wheelset, slightly used. I couldn't find rim strips locally to fit the rims, but I realized I had some white duct tape that was just the right size, and matches my frame nicely.

No mis-spellings on the Hope hubs that I can find, not even "aluminium."

The whole build turned out well:

I'm enjoying this Mukluk much more than I thought so far. I'm a steel snob, but the Muk's aluminum frame is perfectly fine--not springy like an exceptional steel frame, but not harsh and dead like a cheap aluminum frame. My only issue--and it may be a big one--are my knees. Before picking up the Mukluk, I took some rides on my cheapie Gravity fat bike to see if I could get along with the wide bottom bracket of a fat bike. No issues then, but now that I'm putting a lot more and harder miles on the Muk, I'm starting to feel some unusual soreness in my knees. Sometime when riding, I feel an unusual soreness in the muscles at the sides of my hips, but that's only while riding, The knee issue is something I can feel while I sit here typing. A bit worrying, especially since the Muk is my only mountain bike at the moment.

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