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Giving Props

Posted by Randy Policar On January - 25 - 20071 COMMENT

Sometimes it’s easier said than done. I have to give mad props to those who commute or mountain bike in the bitter cold. Currently it is 24 degrees with the wind chill factor it feels like 11. Snow is on the ground, but what’s giving people a hard time is the bone chilling wind. A bit too cold for me.

Randy

I rode my bike to work and just could not stay warm. I had several layers of clothing but the wind just cut me down. I think the heated seats and the warmth of the heater in my car is just too much to resist.

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Test Ride: KMX Kart X-Class

Posted by RL Policar On January - 25 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

Today was another hard day in the office. I had to go test ride the KMX Kart in parts of the Fullerton Loop.

I tested out my DIY Helmet Cam and filmed my little excursion. YouTube quality sucks but here’s some vids to give you an idea.

I even met some horse lovers and we chit chatted for a few minutes about trail etiquette. They actually just wanted their horses to see the KMX so it won’t get spooked next time I ride through the trails.

The KMX Kart is very exhilarating! I haven’t had this much fun on wheels in a long time. I love how I can power slide or drift (same thing) into the corners like a rally car. The only complaint I have would be the Maxxis Hookworm tires, they’re made for the road not for trails. But luckily KMX is sending us some off-road tires pretty soon. Other than that, it’s a blast!

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1 More Week For WoodStock Bikes!

Posted by RL Policar On January - 25 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

It’s official, in about a week from today, Woodstock Bikes will have their 2007 line of bikes, the 505 and the 707.

We’re fortunate enought to be able to get the 707 to test and review. Man I can’t wait!

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How To Make Your Own Helmet Cam-Mount

Posted by RL Policar On January - 25 - 20071 COMMENT

For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to get a helmet cam. But dude, those things are way too expensive for my budget. So I decided to make my own by using my current digital camera and about $1.97 in parts from Wally World.

I bought 1/4″-20 x2″ machine screws, 3/8×1-1/2″ fender washers for less than $2.00 at Walmart. Got an old bottle cap, box cutter, felt furniture pads (I had those in the junk drawer), pair of pliers, and my skater-style helmet.

First I took the felt pads and cut some holes into them by using my box cutter. Then I placed them onto the washers.

I removed the top padding of my helmet and inserted the screw and washer into the vent.

I placed another felt covered washer on the other side of the helmet and tightened 2 nuts in. I had already made some cuts to the bottle cap. If you have a drill bit, just make a 1/4″ hole on the cap.

Placed the cap on the screw.

And…Voila! You’re ready to roll! I placed my kid’s digi cam to show you how it mounts.

Just make sure you put back your padding, or else that screw will be very uncomfortable.

So this is how it looks when you put the helmet on.

Heck you could even use HandyCam on it.

Side profile…

So I’m going to play around with my new Helmet-Cam while I ride the KMX Kart.

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Turning The Big 3-0!

Posted by RL Policar On January - 25 - 20077 COMMENTS

Yup, I’m 30. Surprisingly I don’t feel 30. Perhaps my 3 kids and the great wife help me feel young. Heck, it could even be all that bike ridin’ that I do that makes me feel so young! Anyways, check out the “card” my kids and dog Chuy made for me. Things like this just make you appreciate family and uh…your dog.

So don’t be afraid to wish me a Happy B-Day, in fact, if any of you are in the OC area this Friday night, we’re doing a short night ride through the Fullerton Loop and heading over to Shakey’s for Beer and Pizza afterwards! Let me know if we should expect you. EMAIL ME.

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Gary Fisher Cobia: Test Ride at Aliso/Woods Canyon

Posted by RL Policar On January - 24 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

This morning I headed out to one of my favorite trails in Southern California, Aliso/Woods Canyon.

I took a bunch of pictures during my ride to document what I did. All I have to say is that I had such a blast! Riding a 29er through some baby heads, switchbacks, and berms was definitely fun.

Here’s view of one of the gnarly trails there. I didn’t get to go up or down it but it sure is calling my name…

Headed up Cholla.

Here’s a shot of the nice mountains.

In between the mountains is the Pacific Ocean, it was perfect day to ride!

Now here’s the start of my favorite part of the trail, Rock-IT!

Check out the baby heads sticking out…that’s why its called Rock-IT.

Another part of Rock-It. One wrong move…down you go!

Here’s some great info at one of the Kiosks.

The overall feel of the Gary Fisher Cobia was good. I have to say its tough riding a hard tail through a rock garden, but having a 29er gave me more confidence in rolling over some of the obstacles. The climb up Cholla was super easy. I was also using the Thudbuster on the bike and man….I think I’m in love! If you have a hard tail, you NEED a Thudbuster, trust me you’ll love it!

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A little too much cushin’ for the pushin’

Posted by Priscilla Policar On January - 23 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

So as I was stuffing my face with dinner tonight, RL and I were talking about how we really need to drop some weight. With these cold months it’s so easy to pack on a few extra pounds. Aside from just not feeling our best it can be a real hinderence for our riding.

We’re thinking of a little healthy wager to help motivate us. I need to drop about 15lbs and RL needs to drop about 30lbs. So anyone out there interested in joining us for our own version of the biggest loser????

Not sure of all the specifics yet but we could wager some fun gear or money. Of course we would be going on good faith and honesty of everyone involved. Anyone interested? Anyone on staff interested? Unless your afraid of losing?!?!

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Awaiting Package

Posted by Randy Policar On January - 23 - 2007ADD COMMENTS

I love coming home from work and seeing a package waiting for me at the door. Today I received one from RL. In it were a bunch of little goodies listed below.

Ahrens Bicycle’s WiseCracker Bottle Opener

WiseCracker

A handful of Bumble Bars

Bumble Bars

Hoss Technical Gear Rustler Jersey

Rustler Jersey

Hoss Technical Gear Ponderosa Camo Shorts

Ponderosa Camo Shorts

We would be testing these products in the New Cumberland, PA. and surrounding areas. Stay tuned for a first impression and a thorough review.

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29er Disadvantages

Posted by Jeremy Yang On January - 22 - 20071 COMMENT

Yeah, sure there are some.

Wheel Weight
Probably the biggest disadvantage the 29 inch wheels have over their 26 inch brethren is that a larger wheel equates to more wheel weight. A 29er wheel made from the same material as a 26 inch wheel will always weigh more. Therefore, the lightest 29er wheels will weigh more than the lightest 26er wheels. Photo below courtesy of Wikipedia.

29er versus 26er

Major Manufacturers
Major manufacturers of 29ers are limited. Cannondale, last year, came out with a geared hardtail 29er called Caffeine and there are rumors that Specialized may have a 29er in the works (although oddly enough they have a high volume 29er tire, the Resolution, with no in-house bike to wear it!). But Giant is still not on board and Trek decided to go half way with a singlespeed 69er (a 29 inch tire on the front and a 26 inch tire on the rear). Kudos to Gary Fisher for getting on the 29ers early and establishing itself as the largest manufacturer of 29ers along with the most complete lineup to date (singlespeed, aluminum hardtail, steel hardtail, full suspension).

Fork options are limited as well. White Brothers, Rock Shox, Pace, and Maverick compose the current manufacturers (that I know of) of 29er suspension forks. But some of the big boys haven’t come out to play yet, Fox? Marzochi? Manitou?

Currently Rock Shox probably makes the standard for 29er forks with their excellent Rebas. These air forks are light weight, plush, infinitely tuneable and sold at a great price. But there is more room for fork growth. The 29er is almost begging for a longer travel fork (Rebas limited to 100mm) because of it’s natural advantages in rollover ability and grip for the freeride and all mountain riders.

Rock Shox Reba SL 29 mounted on Gary Fisher X-Cal.
Reba on X-Cal

Tire options are also limited, but thankfully growing. The number of tires out there can not begin to compete with the selection of 26 inch tires currently available. But, there are choices which could not be said without a smirk last January.

Short Riders
Lastly, 29ers do not fit shorter riders as well as they do taller riders. Most people suggest that the 29er rider needs to be at least 5’6″ to ride a 29er. If not there are serious geometry issues for the shorter rider including toe overlap and (very important!) stand over height. But custom builders have been known to build 29ers for the shorter rider.

Should these hold you back from riding a 29er? In my humble opinion, no. The wheel weight disadvantage will always be there but unless you are racing professionally, where grams can determine podium placement, wheel weight will not take away from your enjoyment of riding a 29er.

The fact that the major manufacturers are not producing 29ers is really their loss. Some of our partners who are 29er advocates do have 29ers available:

Ibex Section 29.
Ibex Section 29

KHS Tucson.
KHS Tucson

Raleigh XXIX+G
Raleight XXIX+G

Ahren’s Revolver
Ahren Revolver

And as I mentioned before, for the shorter riders custom is always available. Personally I think the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages and that’s why I own and enjoy riding the 29er.

What do you think? Are the disadvantages too much?

Thudbuster Seatpost Installed

Posted by RL Policar On January - 22 - 20071 COMMENT

The folks of Thudbuster sent us one of their suspension seatpost to test and review.

I installed it on the Gary Fisher Cobia.

It came with 3 sets of elastomers to fit your riding needs as well as this Lizard Skins dust cover.

Here’s the Specs:

* 3″ of ultra-plush travel
* Only 565-585 grams (610 grams or 4XL)
* 1-year warranty
* Unique US Patented design
* New CNC-machined aluminum alloy linkage
* New 1-piece forged tube and receptor
* New larger-diameter stainless-steel pivot pins
* New Teflon® coated pivot bushings
* New super-strong, twin-bolt, micro-adjust saddle clamp
* Complete 6-piece Double Barrel elastomer kit
* Illustrated installation and tuning guide
* Choice of tubing diameters

For more information about the Thudbuster, click HERE.

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