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Knowing your mechanical limits

Posted by RL Policar On February - 7 - 20137 COMMENTS

I consider myself pretty mechanically inclined. Whether it’s wrenching on my own bikes, cars or even assembling furniture we bought at Ikea, I can do it without any hesitation.

However, in some of my mechanical endeavors, there’s a limit on what I’m willing to take on due to the fact that I can easily get myself in more trouble than I wish to take on.

For example, with my vehicles. I can do brakes, belts, water pump, install tires (yes I know how to mount and balance)basic lighting and a few other things that helps save me money since I can do these simple repairs at home (except the tire mounting thing). But for what I call “BIG” jobs such as timing belt, valves, head gasket or anything that requires me opening up the actual engine, then I leave that to the professionals.
mechanic-hands
The same thing goes for bikes. I can pretty much do about 90% of bicycle repairs. But I can’t build wheels. I’ve rebuilt shocks and forks, those are actually easier than you would imagine since half the time all you have to do is swap out o-rings and seals. However, I know my limits. I recall as a young kid, I had a BMX bike that I took the rear wheel and removed all the spokes. I then tried to re-lace it back together. Needless to say, I couldn’t ride my bike for weeks until I ended up buying a new wheel…

New Bars on Burt ReynoldSS

Posted by RL Policar On February - 5 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

One of my favorite things to do is take an existing bike and make it more interesting. The Redline D600 is a prime example of it. This bike started off as a 24speed, 29er, then it got transformed into Burt ReynoldSS…the rigid single speed that you see below.

But this morning I was in the shop (my garage) and looked at Burt and thought, what can I do to make this bike even more interesting and fun to ride? Then it hit me! New bars and stem. I grabbed the Fyxation Alterra Cafe Bar off my commuter bike and installed it on Burt.

Here’s how it looks.
redline d600

A better angle to show you the bar position.
fyxation alterra cafe bar

The riding position is actually quite comfortable.
Burt Reynoldss

Reminds me of those “Mary Bars” or “M” bars that other brands sell.
mary bar alternative

A great angle to show you how far the bar drops.
fyxation

Though the Fyxation bar isn’t really meant for the rigors of mountain biking…especially in a rigid setting, I figured it might be fun to see how well it holds up. I’ll be trying this set up in the near future!

Yokozuna Disc Brake Pads

Posted by RL Policar On February - 4 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

We received some Yokozuna Disc Brake Pads to test out on my Avid Elixir 5 for Cross Country use.
yokozuna
As you can see my old OEM pad needed replacing.
yokozuna
IMG_5150
I’ve went ahead and installed both front and rear pads to test out.
yokozuna
Stay tuned for the upcoming review.

Valentine’s Day is coming!

Posted by RL Policar On February - 1 - 20133 COMMENTS

Alright fellas, listen up! It’s February and that means Valentine’s Day is on it’s way. The 14th to be exact! So what are you going to get your better half? A box of chocolates? Jewelry?
120213093427-hewett-chocolate-allergies-story-top
Ya those things are good, but it’s pretty much predictable. Just go to any grocery store and they’ll have aisles and aisles of Valentine’s stuff and a good 80% of that would be boxes of cheap chocolates. So why not get out of the mainstream of Valentine’s gifts and get her something bike related? This will only work if your significant other is into bikes. If not, then it would be similar to that episode where Homer getting Marge a bowling ball named “Homer.” If you didn’t see the show, it turned out bad and caused Marge to get tempted into having an affair…so do you really want that for yourself?
simpsons+bowling+ball

Anyhow let’s get back to bicycle gifts. This all depends on your lady and how much she’s into mountain biking. For some, new apparel would be great and others may even appreciate some carbon  parts or even color matched components. Heck a new bike will have the same effect as an expensive piece of jewelry!

Here’s something I’ve always believed in and most men don’t realize. For starters, don’t give her your seconds. Meaning, don’t give her your old bike gear. If your wife/girl friend really likes riding, why not better her experience by getting her own stuff to enjoy her rides? I recently had a conversation with a friend where we talked about riding our motorcycles together with our wives on a date. But his wife wanted her own pink helmet. Mind you, he’s always wanted her to ride on the back of his motorcycle for a while. But he responded by saying that she can use his old helmet…the response he had could have been a missed opportunity to get her more into riding motorcycles. It’s the same thing when it comes to riding mountain bikes. Make sure she’s enjoying her ride by getting things that is meant for her. Apparel that fit nice, components she likes, and even tires that would help her have more grip show’s that you care. One thing I’ve learned over the years, our significant other love it when we make a fuss over them. It’s the reality of women in general. If you show genuine interest in making her experience in what ever you do as a couple, that effort goes a long way.

My own brother does this for his wife. Though they don’t mountain bike, they do like playing paint ball together. In fact they’re part of a team that plays in a league. So when she showed interest in playing, and found that she likes it, he went out and bought her own gear and even a pink anodized paint ball gun.

So I hope you’re getting where I’m going with this. If your wife/girl friend loves to ride, consider getting her stuff she’d really like for riding. Besides if you get her a box of chocolates, she’ll get mad at you because she’ll think you’re trying to make her fat..

 

GoPro Hero Lens Replacement

Posted by RL Policar On January - 29 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Recently I noticed there was a scratch on the lens of LadyP’s GoPro Hero2. Not sure if you can see it on this photo, but there’s a little scratch.
gp scratch
Though the scratch is small, I didn’t think it would affect the camera’s ability to take video or photos. But check out this photo, notice the blur? That’s where the scratch is.
blurred gp
To fix this problem, I went ahead and ordered a Lens Replacement Kit from Ebay for less than $20. This kit comes with 2 lenses, 2 rubber gaskets, new screws and a screw driver.
gopro replacement kit
After removing the screws, the lens easily lifts up. Notice the position of the gasket, make sure when you install the new lens and gasket, that it’s facing the proper way.
gopro replacement kit
Once the new lens and gasket is in place, reinstall the screws and you’re all set!
gopro replacement kit
To prevent any future lens damage, I’ve utilized this Koozie as a protective case, fits perfectly!
gopro koozie

 

Baller on a Budget

Posted by Albacore On January - 25 - 20132 COMMENTS

So I spend a fair amount of money on my bike addiction. Most of you like-obsessed readers do. I hit up all avenues for a deal. I need to make the most of disposing of my non-disposable income. Like many of you too I suffer from that most common of money hemorrhaging afflictions — a wife and kids. I am by no means an Extreme Cheapskate. I DO use toilet paper, I DO NOT eat roadkill, and in a show of extreme financial waste, I have both 26″ and 29″ wheeled bikes outfitted with TUBES! Gasp! However, I do try to save money where I can. An example of which was a daddy-daughter-day yesterday.

My daughter and I spent the day at Knott’s Berry Farm. Money savings #1 was we got in the park for free. $$$ Money savings #2 was I packed our own snacks and drinks. $$$ Money savings #3 (this is where frugality trumps convenience) I ensured we had free parking. The lot adjacent to the shops near the entrance has free parking for 3 hours or less. Therefore, I park, set a timer, hang with Snoopy, return to lot, get in the car and exit, drive 200 yards to re-enter lot, park, reset timer, $15 saved.

Why am saving money? College? Nope. Braces? Nah? Shoes for the Mrs? Are you kidding? No, it is for a new one of these sexy beasts. . .

Courtesy of Transition Bikes

Courtesy of Transition Bikes

Courtesy of TwentyNineInches.com

Courtesy of TwentyNineInches.com

On this day (many years ago) a Legend was born…

Posted by RL Policar On January - 25 - 20131 COMMENT

That’s right suckas! It’s my birthday! Don’t forget to send cash and presents!
Pinky

New MtnBikeRiders.com T-Shirts

Posted by RL Policar On January - 24 - 20131 COMMENT

We’re doing a small run on these new white cotton T-Shirts with a black MtnBikeRiders.com logo on the front. We’ll have a short sleeve and a long-sleeve version available.

Short sleeve will be $15.00 Shipped US Only.
mtn cotton shirt

Long sleeve will be $20.00 Shipped US Only.
LS mtn white cotton

They’ll be available in about a week or so. We’ll keep you updated.

2 Saddles I Really Like

Posted by RL Policar On January - 23 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

There’s 2 brand/models I’ve really enjoyed the last few years of riding. The first one is the Serfas TGU-1 Tegu Titanium from 2010.Though this particular model has been discontinued, Serfas does offer other current year models of the Tegu priced around $55.

Serfas Tegu

The next choice is the WTB Speed V. This model is readily available through most online retails and the average price hovers around $30.
WTB SpeedV

I highly recommend each brand/model due to the fact they are super comfy. But don’t worry they aren’t too wide where you can’t get a full leg extension. Oh by the way, both saddles are 29er compatible!

A new to me trail

Posted by RL Policar On January - 21 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

This past Saturday Animal showed up to our ride at Whiting Ranch. He rolls up and tells us he had just finished a lap and was looking to add more miles that morning. One of our other buddies J-Kewl joined us for this ride. By the way, all the photos were courtesy of Lady P and Animal.
whiting ranch
Animal tells us about a section of Whiting Ranch that not many riders dare to climb. In fact while we were there we only saw one other guy on a bike. Check out the this photo that Lady P took of Animal, J-Kewl and yours truly. She was pretty fierce that day and was mashing up all the climbs.
whiting ranch mtnbikeriders
Here’s one of the look out points that Lady P found. Click on the image to make it bigger.
whiting ranch with mtnbikeriders.com
Once we got to the top we were greeted with a picnic bench where we could relax and take in the scenery.
whiting ranch
Animal was riding his Airborne Goblin.
airborne goblin

I took a little video of our ride with the GoPro while it was mounted on my handle bar via Trail Rail Mount.

As tough that new trail was, it certainly was rewarding. It’s funny, I’ve ridden Whiting Ranch for years and I never even knew that part was there. I guess it pays off to go exploring once in a while.

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