Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fun Factor

Click me please

This is the stupid stuff I do after too much beer and too little biking.


P.S. Thanks Mike Miller for the inspiration.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


My cabin fever spiked today so I busted out for a two hour gravel grinder. It felt pretty good in a sucky sort of way.

"I wish February were a couple of weeks longer"
     -- said by no Pennsylvania mountain biker ever

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Seneca Ridge connects Gaithersburg to the Schaeffer Fram trail system. The track says it all. Twisty rolling terrain. Great Flow. I only had time for a quick out and back, next time I'll include the Schaeffer Farm trails for four hours of singletrack bliss in the middle of the DC suburbs.


"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose  ."
     -- Dr Seuss

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Breeding Ground at the C2C Disco

Photo shoot at the C2C disco where two Inbreds saw
First Dirt. That's a fresh Breeze(r) in the background.
First Dirt ride report for my On-One Inbred single speed.

I haven't weighed it yet but I know it is not a light bike. However it does feel light when in the saddle, probably because of the light Easton wheelset (1,700 grams), the Conti X-King tires (700 grams each), and the kicker of adrenaline that comes with any first ride.

The steel frame, large volume tires (2.4s), and springy wheelset produced a very smooth ride for a hard tail on some very hard frozen ground.

Finally, trail manners were superb. The bike felt nimble on tight singletrack but was stable when rolling fast on wide open downhills.

I'll be making a few tweaks (tubeless conversion and extend fork from 80mm to 100mm) but I think I've got a winner here.  SS definitely makes me a better rider, perhaps because I am feeble minded and worrying about finding the right gear is too much of a distraction for me. Feeble minded or not, I do think short technical uphills are best done in a large gear and on a geared bike it is just too tempting to downshift for mechanical advantage. SS definitely gives the whole body workout as well, as evidenced by the whole body soreness (a familiar friend) I am feeling right now. Even MY HANDS are tired!

Yep, we have a winner.


"29 and single"
     -- unknown

Friday, February 1, 2013

Inbred Inbreeding

Fresh off the boat. Limited edition
single speed only steel frame.
I Guess I'm Inbred Now
The Inbreds are inbreeding.

Rob picked up a used On-One Ti frame last year and seemed to enjoy it. Then over the holidays On-One ran a sick special on steel frames so Miller and I both jumped onto the Inbred bandwagon. I picked up a Limited Edition Single-Speed Only frame with my likeness painted on the seat tube.

This would be my first build from scratch. I've done just about all the component procedures (except facing and chasing), but never all on one bike at one time. Some parts would be harvested from my Rig, other bits I have picked up from various fire sales and LBSs.
Assortment of tensioners and one
broken thumbscrew, all with really
awesome mojo
Long Tangent: A tensioner was on my list when I made my monthly pilgrimage to Shirk's. I love this shop because they know their stuff, they have an awesome inventory (Trek, Niner, Lynsky, and some custom stuff), and I also appreciate their Mennonite sensibilities. They were out of Surly Tuggnut tensioners (I like their "versatility") so I ordered one, paid for frame facing and a pile of parts, and left. I was in the parking lot for about ten minutes catching up on email when I heard a knock on my window. Scott (?) said he heard my car idling in the parking lot so he came out to tell me he had found a Tuggnut in the back. Did I say I love this shop?
It gets better. I had a problem installing the Tuggnut. Long story but the result was a busted thumbscrew. I didn't want to miss this weekend riding opportunity, so I fired off an email looking for a loaner tensioner. The next day I came home to a baggie of tensioners sitting outside my garage. Thanks to Rob I would not miss a single crank turn.
Used a 3" gear puller to remove a
cranky crankset from the Rig
But that's not the end of it. I went to LoweRiders today to order a replacement thumbscrew. We were trying to find the parts online and having a little difficulty. Tim said "hang on I'll be right back." He ran out to his car and came back in with two surly Tuggnuts, slapped them both in my hand, and said "six pack. something brown." Done. Now I'm drowning in great mojo and now have a great excuse to head to State Line Liquors in Maryland.

Bearing cups about to
be installed with Rob's DIY
headset press
Other challenges included a crankarm that didn't want to come off the Rig. It came with some amber colored goo to smear on the splines when I installed it. Some sort of locktight I presume. I used it because I'd been dealing with a creaky loose BB for months and didn't want to deal. That was three years ago. Now that locktight (or whatever) was set up pretty good. I wound up using my father in-law's gear puller. Worked like a charm.

The Inbred SS is also known for tricky positioning of the brake mount between the seat and chain stays. It is supposed to be particularly difficult for BB7s. Yes I have BB7s and yes it is tight, but I think it will be workable.

So finally after three glorious nights in the workshop I took the bike for a spin around the basement (it was 10:00pm and raining outside). I think I have bike that is ready for First Dirt (that's two First Dirts in less than 12 months)!

In the spirit of never being satisfied I'm already considering some tweaks:
  • Flip the stem over to lower the hi-rise carbon bar
  • Remove spacer from Reba to extend travel from 80mm to 100mm
  • 180mm rotor for rear wheel to improve access to the caliper
  • Tubeless conversion
Ready to ride!

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a bicycle, must be in want of another one."
     -- Unknown