When we arrived at Bootleg Canyon for the Dirt Demo, we noticed that there were two KHS Bicycles employees who were rolling in 2 new bikes. The one that grabbed our attention was a new Fat Bike that they were possibly going to offer for 2014. We were able to take a shot of the bike, there was no name on the frame other than “Sport.”
TALKING WITH TRAILRAIL
We at MtnBikeRiders.com have been doing some extensive testing on and a couple of goodies from a company know as
TrailRail Inc. from Easthampton, MA. How I came upon Trailrail was at Interbike just this last year and what impressed me was the quality in which their products are made.
What they manufacture are high quality machined mounts for most cell phone/GPS, flashlights ( or a flashlight system they have), bags system, or a system for your pump. In all they provide different ways for you to mount whatever your requirements will be.
I introduced myself to Jennifer Basile who is the Vice President for Trailrail, she gave me the quick run down on their product and I let her know we would love too test a couple of mounts, so Jennifer was kind enough to send us the Cell/ GPS Platform mount as well as the GoPro mount which RL Policar tested a few months ago (See TrailRail Mounting Systems). I also used it in my test of the Cell / GPS mount which you will see.
Trailrail has all it’s products made here in the USA and they are made by mountain bike/off road enthusiasts who design and manufacture the mounting systems for most of the popular electronic accessories out there. They call the system Integration Platform Designed to set and standardize the mounting of accessories.
Another great thing is all products are machined from solid 6061-T6 Aluminum billet, which they quote “translates into a product that is nearly indestructible.” I for one tend to believe it when you look at the quality of their product. The stuff it looks great.
THE CELL/GPS PLATFORM
I really like the different mounting systems that are out there and more than not we are carrying more devices like GPS, POV cameras, and smart phones with us on trail rides. We put them in our packs, seat bags, or in our pockets if we have them. Finding a system that would take a beating and have a secure mount for your device is a great piece of mind, another thing you don’t have to worry about is whether or not you’ll lose your device because you thought you zipped up the pocket on your pack and away you went only to find out five miles later you lost your phone. Yeah I came close.
Here are the basic specs on the mount.
As mentioned earlier the mount is machined from solid 6061-T6 Aluminum billet
Adjustable Cell/GPS Cradle: Adjustable Width from 2.110″ up to 2.605″ x 5″ Length using .060″, .100″, and/or .150″ thick spacers for nearly .040″ of precision incremental resolution
HB RING RAIL ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING SIZES:
If you would like one of the above sizes, rather then the 31.8 size please let TRAILRAIL know when you purchase the Cell/GPS mount.
NEOPRENE ID’s: Above lined with neoprene for vibration dampening and an enhanced no scratch fit.
RAIL SPECIFICATIONS: Standardized .600” RAIL
FINISH:MIL-STD-8625 Class II, Black & Sealed
THE FIRST TEST
The first test I did was on my road bike, yes not a very challenging test I know, but I wanted to see how it would work with my phone. Now my wife has an IPhone and It mounts nicely on the platform, but me on the other hand I have an Android Razor and since I have a great tendency to throw, I mean drop my phone a great deal I have the Otter Box around it to give me, I mean the wife peace of mind.
The phone with the Otter Box I could not put it on the platform the clamping arms would not go out far enough with the provided plate spacers and screws, so I took the Otter Box off and then I was able to mount it on the platform.
Do be careful not to over tighten the screws on the platform or you could damage your phone. Give it a good snug secure tighten and check it before you ride.
With everything set I turned on MapMyRide and was on my merry way. I do gotta say this was great to access my phone while on a ride on the road bike. What will it be like on a rough trail, well I got home from the first test and checked out the Cell/GPS mount and only found one small problem, I lost one of the handlebar mount screws, now this could have been a mounting error and not the product (reason for my roar test) error which I believe. It would be a good idea to have a blue LocTite on the screw tips I think.
TEST TWO: IN THE ROUGH
For my second test it was time for the rough trails of ALISO, but I was determined to mount my Razor with my Otter Box on the Cell/GPS mount and to do this I would need more spacers ( Sorry Jennifer I know I could have called you), so I Jimmy rigged it to work. I went down to the local Home Depot and purchased longer screws and small flat washers and spaced out the locking arms wider.
This worked perfectly, but I would have rather had the nice machined spacers which I’m sure is no problem to get from Trailrail.
Please consult Trailrail and let them know what type of device you wish to mount so you can order the correct one.
This time I made sure everything was tight before the ride seeing that I was going to be hitting
the rough stuff. Before the ride I set up the GoPro mount on the seat post facing the Cell/GPS mount, I had my phone camera facing me filming while climbing and descending so you can see
the stability of the mount. I have to say that the Cell/GPS mount preformed “OUTSTANDING”, I was so surprised at how well it shot the 1080HD from my phone of me it was like looking at my GoPro footage and when I looked at the GoPro footage of the Cell/GPS mount it was the same just great. Now keep in mind the shaking you may see is not form the mounts, but from the bike it self when you view the product film I will have later.
One other thing I liked was the fact that I had great access to my phone well riding. I was even able to answer a call while riding something I don’t like to do, but for the sake of the test I wanted to. Getting to your apps or touching your screen won’t be easy with gloves on, so you will have to stop and take off a glove to do this.
On the descent I stopped a couple of times to see if anything worked loose and found the mount to be solid each time.
WHAT’S THE BAD
Well the bad is not much at all, like I said in the first test ride I lost a screw and I think having the tips of the screws with LocTite would help.
The only other thing that would be nice is to be able to remove your device without having to pull out an allan wrench to do this when you want to say stop for a bite to eat or when removing your phone after a ride. These are the only two things I could come up with that bugged me, but really it wasn’t that big a deal
MY FINAL NOTE
The Trailrail Cell/GPS Mount I find is one of the most solid mounts I have yet to come across. It offers solid mounting that will not move once mounted with full access to you device while on a ride. Its made with the finest of materials to a military grade spec. It should last by far longer than any plastic mount out there and with the cost of our bikes, lighting systems, and POV cams its worth it to spend on something that will last for a long time. At a price of $219.50 the Cell/GPS mount comes in four colors and two finish types ( Mil-spec & bright anodize). It’s built tough, very adjustable, and well worth having for a 24hr event, epic ride, or to have for your everyday rides.
To contact TRAILRAIL go to trail-rail.com
Probably not your most common pairing, but those are two things I enjoy, but not necessarily at the same time. But check this out, here’s a little tip that might come in useful if you like to smoke. One problem I had with a batch of cigars I recently purchased was that they were hand-rolled a bit too tight. So that means the draw on them is somewhat difficult. Rather than spending some cash on a drawpoker from a cigar shop, I used my noggin and a bicycle tool.
What you see here is my handsome hand, one of my favorite cigars, a Dolce Vita and a 2.5mm allen tool by Ice Toolz.
So what you want to do is carefully insert your allen tool on the base of the cigar.
You’ll want to get your tool all the way in, then rotate it to make the opening bigger inside.
What this ends up doing is opening up the cigar for a better draw so you can thoroughly enjoy it. If I may add, this works really well and I saved myself at least $15 from having to buy an actual drawpoker tool.
Yes you read it right, FULL SUSPENSION 29er from REDLINE!!!
The suspension “binary link” provides:
1) Improved pedaling efficiency by managing to keep the theoretical pivot point moving close to the crank. This proximity minimizes pedal induced bob.
2) Our suspension and geometry places as much weight towards the bottom of the frame as possible – thus providing a low center of gravity and a grounded controlled ride.
3) Our suspension has a closed rear triangle and a shock travel path that minimizes wear, maximizes life of the product. Also, it just feels “there and solid” if that makes sense..
Once again Interbike is here. Well technically it starts next week. But we’ll be heading out there to provide you some Dirt Demo and Interbike Coverage of the shows. So many companies are coming out with the latest and greatest products and truthfully I just can’t keep up! So here’s what we’re planning on doing, anything we find interesting, that you the consumer (AKA: Joe MtnBiker) could find useful or make riding more fun and easier for you, then we’ll publish articles on it.
Extensive coverage during the shows can also be found on our Facebook Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/mtnbikeriders. So there might be things on Facebook that don’t necessarily make it on here and vice versa.
So this week we’re getting prepared to head over to Vegas. We’ve got our ample supply of beer, energy drinks, beef jerky and sun block…what? You need to protect your skin when you’re out in the desert riding bikes. Oh yea for forgot to mention, our Team for Media Coverage: Art Aguiliar who will mainly be providing coverage for MtnBikeRiders.com and Jack “Ghost Rider” Sweeney of BikeCommuters.com. Jack is our Editor at our sister site, BikeCommuters.com and he’ll be providing media coverage for that site. I’ll be bouncing back and forth between both sites publishing as many articles as I can.
One thing I forgot to mention, Art is currently in Italy. Yep, Mr. World Traveler is at Dainese checking out their factory and hopefully he’ll come back with some photos of then new elbow and knee pads they are offering. Art has been practicing his Italian in hopes he can communicate well enough to at least find the restrooms. He took some lessons from Peter Griffin.
You may have seen the most recent project we’ve been working on, if you haven’t then you’re in luck. This is a photo-rich article that will show you some of the stuff we did over the Labor Day holiday. So I called up some fellas to see if they’d be interested in hanging out. The Moe and Dial Tone were happy to do so. Actually what happened was the three of us were supposed to check out a motorcycle dealer, but we found out they were closed. So I figured, we’ll go and put the sidecar together instead.
I loaded up the Limo with this “Steel is REAL” sidecar and headed over to a neighboring city to buy a 20″ BMX front wheel for it. We met this guy who had a shop-like set up in his garage. I paid the man $10 for a new BMX front wheel and we were out.
As we were driving, The Moe said he was dehydrated and needed fluids in his body STAT! So we stopped off at a Messican Food place for lunch. Notice how happy The Moe looks, yep he’s fully hydrated. That look he has on his face is of him saying a quick prayer thanking the Lord for sustenance he provided that day.
After lunch we headed back to the World HQ of MtnBikeRiders.com to mate an old GT Dyno BMX bike that DialTone donated for the project. We found that due to the down tube of the bike, the sidecar mount wasn’t going to work. But we tried it just in case it would. Those sexy pair of legs belong to DialTone.
The Moe and I went for a test ride.
This was our celebratory pose in completing the mount job. The Moe enjoying a Cohiba while I puffed on a Dolce Vita. This was short lived because the set up flexed way too much. So that mean we couldn’t use the Dyno as a donor bike.
We were about to go back to the workshop to see if we can try a different bike. The Moe was a bit buzzed and tried to see if he can be his own designated driver, but he just kept going around in circles.
After about another hour or so we came back out with this. I mounted a Manhattan Hot Rod to the sidecar. Fit was perfect!
In this photo you can see how it mounts to the bike.
I actually have a backrest the the sidecar, but it broke during shipping. So I’ll have to fix that first. Another idea I did have was to get orange vinyl and redo the sidecar upholstery. The project is far from complete, there’s still so much to do to it. But for now it’s totally ride-able and I may add that it’s a blast!
Eh..you impressed with my Mexican talk? I did take 3 years…or should I say “tres anos” of it in high school. But that’s about the extent of my Spanish. But I still remember how to say, “La entrada esta alli, no aqui.” When I was 18, I was a security guard at a grocery store and I had to tell people that the exit, where I was stationed at, was not the entrance. Anyhow, let’s get back to what we did this weekend. So we rounded up some of the amigos de MtnBikeRiders.com to join Lady, The Moe and myself at Snow Summit in Big Bear, Ca. We loaded up the Team Limo and hit the road. You’d think with all the KHS Bicycles we have, that we were sponsored by them…
LadyP, The Moe and RL.
During our first run, we ran into Cuz’n Joe who happen to get a flat. Here we are helping him, that’s what family is for, we help.
It was right after this run I started to have issues with my bike. I noticed that there was some play on the headset. Kinda odd if you ask me. So I tightened things down and went for another run down the mountain. Half way through I notice the play go worse and worse! Now there was major play in it and no matter how much I tightened the top cap down, it would still move. I make down the mountain and I decided to check out my headset. I pulled off the bar/stem removed the upper crown race and bearings I noticed that the FSA Pig Heaseat pretty much blew up. I noticed that the lower bearings wore out so much that the piece that holds them all together was pretty much a goner. During that inspection, I noticed I was missing 3 bearings. Not sure if they fell off while I was up on the trail or they fell out while I was working on the bike at that same spot.
I called a show down the street called Chains Required. I asked them if they had that same model headset available for purchase. They didn’t but invited me to come in and see if they can help me out. I get there and one of the mechanics took me to the workshop and gave me some bearings that closely matched what I needed, at no charge! I hurry back to where I left my bike and tried to reassemble the headset, but there was still some play. I’m only guessing that the bearing cups and race wore out so much that it was the cause of my problems. After 2 runs down Snow Summit, I had to call it a day. Bummer. That’s ok, I knew that LadyP and the rest of the group was having a great time on the trails. Check out this photo of her.
All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time. No one got hurt and we got to see Cuz’n Joe! Not sure why I posed like this…oh wait, now I remember! Look where my left hand is…haha.
Before I go, I wanted to leave you all with this piece of magic. This is Doc Thunda, after a few beers, he can cuss in any language.
Well technically not all of them have been put on hold. Just the ones that will cost us to dip into our beer money. So for now I wanted to share with you what we’ve got going on at at the World HQ of MtnBikeRiders.com. Check it out! It’s a custom-made sidecar from the Philippines! If you grew up there or have visited the Philippines, you may have ridden on one or your own family might have had one at some point. My family and I did! I recall doing really stupid things on the sidecar with my brother. So in the 80′s when my family immigrated from the Philippines to America, I was jonesing to have a sidecar. Seemed like no one made those here, but in the Philippines, you could normally find a “Latero” or fabricator who can build you one in a matter of hours.
Fast forward nearly 30 years later and just by chance my mom was going back to the Philippines to visit some family. I had asked her to look into the cost of getting a sidecar built and shipped to the US. As she was enjoying her trip I get a message from my mom asking about my bike and wondered which one would I be using with the sidecar. You have to understand, up until this point, the sidecar was more of an idea rather than an actual reality. About a few days later my uncle sends me this photo…I said to myself…”hmm…could it be?!”
A few more days later I get messages from my other relatives stating that when we pick up my mom from the airport,we’ll need a big vehicle like my van since my mom was bringing home a sidecar for me…whoa whoa whoa! For me! WOW! My mom came through! She really came through and boy was I excited!
Here’s how she brought it back with her on the airplane.
After I got it home, it took me nearly 40 minutes to remove all that wrapping.
So in order for me to complete this project, I will need a 20″ wheel for the sidecar then a BMX bike to mate it with. I tried mocking it up to my daughter’s Manhattan Hot Rod to see if it would work. It’s possible, but it’s a bit too short and the person pedaling might feel a bit cramped.
So this is the reason why our projects have been put on hold. Then again, now that I think about it, the tandem project hasn’t been put on hold. In fact NickD and I are going to work on it next week.
But I do want to thank my mom for getting this sidecar hand-built for me and bringing it all the way back from the Philippines. Just the excess baggage fees alone were astronomical , but my mom said that this was my birthday and anniversary present all rolled into one. Thanks mom!
So the fellas are heading back out again for our yearly pilgrimage to the best industry show in the US. Interbike 2013 should be fun and we’re looking forward to providing you media coverage during the show. I forgot to mentioned that we’ll also be at Day 2 of the Dirt Demo to test out various bikes that tickles our fancy. But before we do all that, we’re actually sending Art over to Italy to check out some of the new protective gear that Dainese is coming out with. Ya, serious, he’s going to Italy! I would have gone, but the last time I was on a plane, there were too damn many snakes!
You may have noticed that we haven’t been doing much on the site lately. Well there’s a few reasons. We’ll blame Art. Why? No reason really, just thought it would be fun to do so. But seriously, I’ve personally been busier than normal. I’ve been doing some freelance work that has me writing 200 articles per week. Yes, I said 200 per week. So by the end of the day, my fingers hurt and I’m mentally gone. But I did want to update you on a few things that’s been going on. I’m still riding, but probably not as much as I would like. So below will be a summary of two-wheeled goodness from the last few weeks. I promise it won’t be boring.
Let’s start of by speaking in my native tongue. That language would be called Tagalog, from the Philippines. Don’t worry, I won’t make you eat Balut or dog, I’m just going to teach you a few words that you might find useful when riding with your friends. It’s a good way to tease them and sound somewhat intelligent because you know some words from a different language. So as you read them on your screen, begin to say them out loud. One suggestion is to make sure you say the words with short vowels. For example, if there’s an A, you say it as a short A, like “Ah” and a not like how Fonzi used to say it, “AAAYE.” Get it? Ok, here we go!
Anak ng pusa!: Son of a cat
Ano ba yan?: It’s like say, “What the heck?!”
Ok those are a few good words/phrases. But if you want to get PG-13 and learn some cuss words, you can go HERE and practice.
So about 2 weeks ago I headed up to Snow Summit for a mid-week DH ride. Going up there during the week is awesome, the lifts and trails are practically empty and you have the whole park to yourself. This was the photo I used to upload to Facebook to make all my friends jealous who were stuck at work.
This was the scene at lift #1. Place was empty!
As I was on my 4th run of the day, I was coming down a trail called Westridge. I’m in a berm but I ended up overshooting it. My front wheel goes over the lip and down I went! I hit the ground so fast that I didn’t even have time to put my foot out. I hit my head hard. I slowly get up, dust my self off and felt that my head was hurting. I was a bit dazed from the hit, right after that, I decided to call it a day. I couldn’t think straight. Here’s how my helmet looked after the crash. I still need to clean out all the pebbles and dirt that got left behind.
Oh and this past Saturday, I had a donut. You’re probably wondering what this photo has to do with mountain biking? Well the shirt I wore says “AVID” on it. Got it as a birthday present from one of my buddies who now works at Shimano. Apparently when he got the job, he wasn’t allowed to own anything that wasn’t Shimano, that included clothing.
In addition to all that, check out what my mom had custom-made when she went to the Philippines. It’s a Side Car! As a kid growing up near Manila, my family had one of these. We used it as our main mode of transportation. This sidecar isn’t for sidehack racing, no! It’s for leisure bike rides to the grocery store, parks , around town and anywhere we want to go in style. I’m planning on picking it up this week from my mom’s place. You may have noticed that the sidecar is attached to a BMX bike. Yep, it means I’m going to have to go BMX shopping soon, unless I can figure out how to mount it on one of my other bikes.
I’m actually not sure what the finished product looks like. I don’t know if it was painted or if a seat was installed. I guess I’ll find out when I go pick it up.
So that’s about all the goings ons here at the World HQ for MtnBikeRiders.com. We have a small group heading out to Snow Summit this weekend. If you’re interested in joining us let us know via Email: email@example.com. Don’t worry we’re not hardcore, we just like to have a good time.