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Bigger than a 29er?

Posted by Jeremy Yang On February - 13 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

I just finished reading an interesting thread on the MTBR forum. The author was working on a mountain bike with 36″ tires! Check it out here.

My first thought was “Why go that big when the 26 or 29 inch bike works fine?”. But then I stopped myself and realized that my thoughts are the same thoughts most 26 inch bikers have when the 29 inch bike was introduced. So, with a more objective mind, I decided to read about the 36 inch bike.

As with any increase in bike tire diameter, you are going to gain some major benefits in keeping momentum & rollover ability. The trade off is weight and fit (as in ability to fit people).

Most of these have been mentioned before in the 29er advantages/disadvantages so we won’t rehash those. But something interesting to note is that as the wheel diameter gets bigger, the more funky the geometry has to be and the less people it will fit.

The geometry numbers posted:

Wheelbase: 46 inches.
Weight: 36 lbs, (with full Surly flask and holder!)
Chainstay length: 520 mm
Drivetrain: 3 X 6, 20-90 gear inches
Standover height: 30.5 inches
Top tube length: 24.5 inches

To me, the chainstay length jumps out. The new Ibex Section 29 has a chainstay length of 17.7″ compared to 520 mm (20.47″), the Section 29′s chainstay is small. Of course bigger tires are going to equal larger chainstay length.

But the number that surprises me for being quite normal is the 36er’s Standover height. Although a standover height of 30.5″ pretty much limits this bike to riders over 6’2″ tall, I was suprised that they were able to build a frame with that low of a standover height to begin with. After all, we’re talking about a bike whose wheels are a full 10″ larger than a 26 inch mountain bike.

Another number that is almost normal, is the wheelbase. A 46″ wheelbase is pretty big, but if you think about it, it’s not really all that much out of the norm. An XL Gary Fisher 29er has a 44.27″ wheelbase while a XL Niner bikes R.I.P. 9 is 45.5″. It’s not that much of a “stretch” to get to the 46″.

So maybe the geometry is not too funky.

Before I become too technical about this, I have to remember that what really matters when mountain biking is the enjoyment derived from it. Some derive joy from climbing, some from descending, some from being able to roll over cars with ease. And if the 36er provides lots of enjoyment, then that’s a good bike. For me it would be a cool bike to have in the stable for those days you want to cruise around the neighborhood/park/trail/beach and surprise people!

Good luck benwitt1 1 and keep the updates coming.

Horny?

Posted by RL Policar On February - 13 - 20073 COMMENTS

Now that I’ve got your attention. Check out this little accessory that every mountain biker needs….a nice loud horn!

Bells are nice, and so are little squeeze horns that look like animal heads. But nothing gets heads turning once they hear that obnoxious sound!

Besides it adds a certain sexiness to the Woodstock 707.

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Home Made Studded Tires

Posted by Randy Policar On February - 12 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

Icebike.org is a site that caught my attention. It has all kinds of suggestions and how to on winter riding. HERE they talk about how to make your own studded tires.

Studded

This is what you need to make your very own studded tire:

One tire. You need a tire with knobs big enough to support the stud. the stud as explained further down, has to be on the

50 (approx.) Robertson head #8 by 1/2″ sheet metal screws (the square head, you’ll thank me for this tip) for mountain bike tires (26inch) or #8 by 3/8 inch for hybrid tires (700c)

Liner for each tire. This can be made by cutting the beads off an old tire, cutting out the valve and slitting along the inside of an inner tube or just buying a Mr. Tuffy tire liner.

Baby powder.

Studded

Instructions

Count the knobs and evenly spread out the 25 screws for each side.

Punch holes, from the outside of the tire, into the designated knobs. You can drill the hole, however, drilling tends to tear the fabric and thus weakens the tire. Caution you don’t need a million screws in there! Too many screws just slows you down.

Use Robertson bit in the drill to drive the screws in the tire from the inside.

Put liner inside tire and make sure it covers the screw heads

Put a generous dusting of baby powder between the liner and the tube.

Mount tire on the rim (ouch! watch out for the points!)

Inflate to maximum pressure. Put the wheel on the bike (mind the points). Spin the wheel to make sure that the studs don’t catch on anything.

Comments

You only need to stud the front tire to keep upright; however, if you stud the back tire as well, it’s even better. One caveat is that these tires are only suitable for winter conditions. The difference between one studded front and no studded tires in phenomenal. When the bike is travelling straight the studs shouldn’t be hitting the road too hard; otherwise, they will just wear out too soon. Don’t worry, when the tire slips just a bit the studs will bite in. You rarely notice the slight side to side movement.

You don’t need to stud the middle knobs since you only need the added traction when you are turning. The studs should touch the road enough to allow sufficient braking. The studs in the middle knobs wear out very fast and soon become useless anyway.

Stainless steel screws will last much longer, but also cost about 3 times as much. You can change screws as they wear out, your tire can survive several sets of studs.

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KMX K Class Kontest

Posted by RL Policar On February - 12 - 20071 COMMENT

This morning I gathered some of the neighborhood kids to have a little contest to see who can get the best time when doing 2 laps on my front yard.

We had 4 boys and 5 girls. Each of them were competing for some cool prizes such as a brand new Sweetskinz t-shirt, candy and some delicious Bumble Bars.

The boys went first and some of the best times we got was 2 laps in about 39 seconds. The girls were much faster by clocking in the low 30s.

At the end, we had an elimination round between the 1st place boy and girl as well as the 2nd place boy and girl. The prize for this elimination was some sour straw candies..mmmm!

After that heat was done and over with, my two older girls won the contest. Alyssa came in at 36 seconds and Breanna who was second place earlier, beat Alyssa’s time by coming in at 35 seconds!

The kids really enjoyed riding the KMX K Class. I have to establish rules to make sure none of them fight over it. All of the neighborhood kids come over when they see my kids riding it around.

One of the most memorable times in today’s event was one of the boys actually didn’t know how to ride a bike. But he was able to do really well on the KMX!

Check out the video from todays festivities!

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GPS Trails partnership

Posted by Moe Ramirez On February - 12 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

Garmin Legend
Besides having a great How-to DVD, the folks from www.videobikerepair.com also host a good number of GPS trails. We have formed a partnership that will enable us to share trails for you to upload and download. Check out our GPS trail page, we have added over 700 GPS files from all over the United States.

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Cane Creek Thudbuster First impression.

Posted by Moe Ramirez On February - 12 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

Cane Creek Thudbuster
Although my very first mountain bike was a hardtail, I quickly sold it to get a full suspension bike. Going to a hardtail took a little adjustment, I had to stand on some bumpy sections that I normally ride seated on my FS. I’ve seen and owned some of those cheesy ‘comfort’ seatposts, but the Cane Creek Thudbuster looks rugged and ready to take more abuse on the dirt than paved trails.

Cane Creek Thudbuster

When RL told me that the fine folks from Cane Creek were sending one for us to test, I was very excited and eager to test it mounted on my Cobia 29er. Last friday I rode my Cobia 29er with the Thudbuster installed.

Cane Creek Thudbuster

My experience:
As I was riding the first bumpy singletrack, I’d forgotten that I was riding a hardtail. It was until RL asked me how I liked the Thudbuster that I realized that I was riding a hardtail!!! The seatpost did not feel springy nor spongy, it gave a sensation of riding on a firm air rear suspension (which I like to do). There was no ‘bobbing’ effect as I climbed hills or while riding small gears. This seatpost is an awesome addition to my 29er hardtail, it makes riding a hardtail more enjoyable.

Cane Creek Thudbuster

There are times that some products come along and you wonder why they are not standard features on bicycles. The Thudbuster would be one of these products. We will continue testing the Thudbuster for durability, meanwhile, it gets a big thumbs up.

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Disc Brake Quick Tune – Mountain Bikes

Posted by RL Policar On February - 11 - 20073 COMMENTS

Fezzari Bicycles provides pretty thorough guide on how to perform a quick disc brake tune within 3 easy steps.

Step 1 – Loosen Mounting Bolts where the brakes mount on the frame or fork.

Step 2 – Squeeze and hold brake lever while retightening mounting bolts

Step 3 (only if previous steps didn’t resolve rubbing noise) – Manually align pads (note: this takes a little bit of feel and patience, but your brakes will adjust great!):

1) Loosen Mounting Bolts Slightly
2) While keeping one hand by Mounting Bolts, carefully spin the wheel with the other and move the brake mechanism back and forth until it spins freely.
3) When it spins freely, hold it in place and retighten the Mounting Bolts.

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Monthly Bicycle Maintenance

Posted by RL Policar On February - 11 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

I found these on TotalBike.com

Chain – Use the “12 links equals 12 inchesâ€? rule. Measurements of 12 1/8â€?+ are grounds for replacement. Use one of our chain wear indicators for a precise measurement. A worn chain will quickly wear your chainrings and cassettes.

Chainrings/Cogs — Inspect for straightness, bad teeth or small chips. Excessive chain suck with a new chain usually indicates that you need a new chainring. Check chainring bolts for tightness using a torque wrench for accuracy. Do not overtighten.

Crank/Bottom Bracket — Check for looseness/smoothness. Remove the chain and spin the cranks around. They should spin freely. If tightening crank bolts doesn’t solve the problem, rework bottom bracket (cartridge or cup-and-seal).

Handlebar — Check for bending or looseness. If it’s bent or if there is any indications of cracks or stress areas, replace it.

Pedals – Check for axle play by wiggling the pedal. Clean and repack bearings once a year at least. Tighten clips and check straps/clips for excessive wear. Clipless folks check release entities for wear/lubrication.

Saddle/Seatpost — Look for saddle rail deformities or cuts in the upholstered material. Lube seatpost liberally with white lithium grease for proper operation. Use electrical tape on small tears.

Wheels — Check rims for cracks, dings, dents, loose or broken spokes or other deformity. True wheels-if you can’t do it yourself, take it to a shop-a trued wheel is a strong wheel. Check hub bearings for smoothness/lack of play.

Disclaimer: All information supplied is for reference only. Have all installations and repairs done by a professional mechanic.

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Contest Winner Kevin Berman

Posted by RL Policar On February - 11 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

See that guy in the snow? Well, that’s Kevin Bergman. He won our Tifosi Optics give away last month and he was kind enough to send us his photo during a snowy ride.

Here’s what Kevin said about the Tifosi Optics he won.

Hey RL,
I finally got to try out the new Tifosi Q3′s on the bike. It warmed up
to the high 20′s, the sun was out a bit and the wind died down. The
trails were really hard packed for the most part so out the bike came.
The glasses worked great, no glare off the snow, quite comfortable, and
look really cool. They also don’t fog up at all, even after I had to stop
and fix a flat I was able to keep them on with no issues.

Thanks again and keep up the great work
Kevin

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Evomo Ranger

Posted by Randy Policar On February - 11 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

The Evomo Ranger shirt came in yesterday and I just had to pimp it out.

Pimpin

I was really impressed with the design. It instantly catches your attention. Obviously, that was the whole idea.

Evomo

For those who do a double take as you pass them by, the Evomo logo is printed on the back as well.

Sleeve

The Evomo Ranger shirt not only looks great but it feels great. You could easily pimp this shirt both on and off the trails.

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