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Full Suspension Single Speed Update

Posted by RL Policar On January - 20 - 2008

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Pricepoint.com stepped up and sent me the Sette Single Speed Conversion Kit. I received it Friday and I was riding on it on Saturday and Sunday.

I’m happy to report after riding with the Sette Single Speed kit, I didn’t experience skipping or any type of issues with the drive train. I used the 18t cog in the back, previous to that, I ran a 17 cassette cog that would occasionally skip. But with this new kit, I was riding smooth the whole time.

The Yess Pro Full Suspension Single Speed Chain Tensioner…phew..that’s a long name…it has been a dream. Though I had to McGyver the tensioner to make it work on my bike. I simply added some washers between the tensioner and the drop out. Due to my chain line, the tensioner would sit too far in and cause the chain to ride on top of the lip of the roller which would then skip and make tons of noise. Once the washers were in place, no issues. In fact it works REALLY well!

You can barely see the washers between the dropout/hanger and the tensioner.
full suspension single speed tensioner

As of today, I have NOT broke anything, the Sette single speed kit and the Yess Pro Tensioner have been working better than I expected.

Twice in one weekend!

Posted by RL Policar On January - 14 - 2008

It’s a rarity for me to be able to ride my bike on Saturday and Sunday. Since I had to work on Saturday, my buddy Joe from work and I decided to ride a short loop at Aliso Woods before we had to come into the office. We started super early and found that the conditions provided a nice cool ride…40 degrees and thick fog.

Here’s Joe after climbing up a trail called Cholla…its a wicked climb. The kind that makes you bitter about climbing.

Here’s some of the thick fog that I was talking about. Below is Laguna Canyon..passed those mountains is the Pacific Ocean.

We came from the bottom of Woods Canyon on the lower left corner of the photo.

As we’re going down Rock-it, we were greeted by a dozen riders climb up the trail. Now from what I understand, riders going down had the right of way. Meaning they should have pulled over for us…right? Or do I have it backwards?

Sunday
The next day Priscilla and I hit the Fullerton Loop. I was out testing my newly built project bike. As we’re going through the trail, we encountered this group. A dad and his two sons. Great Kodak moment right. Well you can’t really see this, but the dad didn’t have a helmet, and the kids had their helmets on their handle bars. Not the smartest move…So I roll up to the dad and say, “You’re boys should really be wearing their helmet.” He said thanks. Then I roll up to the kids and said…in a very nice manner, “You boys should wear your helmets, that way you don’t hurt your head if you crash.”

The good news was, we later saw them on the trail and the boys were both wearing their helmets.

We then ran across a group of what I call “Filipino Freeriders” who were trying to get back to the trailhead. I say freeriders because some of these guys had full face helmets, down hill bikes, pressure suits, pads…the whole nine yards! Here’s what’s cool about meeting them, one of the Pinoy fellas says…”hey, aren’t you the guy from that website…MTB…MTN…Bike…” I say yes and he even recognized Priscilla from the Birthday Ride we had for her. So he then introduces us to the rest of the guys.

Super cool fellas…I just wished I had gotten their info. But I did get a group shot of them. So if you are one of the FreeRiding Filipinos, then leave a comment with your contact info!

RL’s Pet Project: Full Suspension Single Speed Bike-Maiden Voyage

Posted by RL Policar On January - 13 - 2008

I think I’m done with my bike, meaning I don’t need to tweak it any more. I installed a KMC chain that I had in the garage, though its vintage, its brand new. I took the advice of Jack “Ghost Rider” Sweeney and use a 3/32″ 6-8 speed chain. Doing so actually eliminated my chain skipping problem.

What I like about the Yess PRO FS/SS chain tensioner is the adjustability of the unit. I tried out a 32/20t combo and found that it was way too low and found myself spinning like a hamster. So when I went to a 17t, I thought I had to break the chain again to change the length. But no! With the Yess PRO, I was able to adjust the spring tension because it uses a standard V brake/canti lever spring. Once the tension was set, there was no need to break the chain to accommodate the 17t cog…nice eh.

He’s a handsome bike.
full suspension single speed

Having just one gear naturally limits your climbing ability…well not really.

Today at the Fullerton Loop, Priscilla accompanied me on this daunting task of making sure the bike is legit. I had to test the integrity of all the components installed by mashing on the pedals, jumping and doing what ever I can to put stress on the bike. So far, nothing broke!

We rode about 10.5 miles of the Loop and I have to tell you, there were a few times when I dry heaved because I was exerting myself more than I normally do. On each hill, I was mashing each pedal stroke and to be completely honest, I thought something was going to snap on the bike. But like I said, nothing broke.

What surprised me most about this rig was the fact that I spun as much I did. Here I was thinking that I was going so frigging slow. But when I would look behind me, Priscilla was further back on the trail than I expected. She did compliment me though, she said that I was pretty fast…faster than I would be on my regular geared bike…huh? How could that have been? My only guess is that since all my options of having multiple gears was taken away, I made the best of what I had. Through out the ride, my legs were on fire! Lactic acid and I became really close.

On one of the hills I was trying to climb, I sped up to build momentum, I was standing the whole time and I pushed myself to clear that portion of the hill. Once I got to the middle section where I had to turn left to do more climbing, I stopped. I got dizzy and started gagging, and tried to throw up! While I’m doing that here’s Priscilla passing me on her bike and at the same time she’s saying…”C’mon! Get it OUT! Just throw it up! You’ll feel better!” I knew she was right, but I couldn’t get anything to come up! Bleh..I hate that feeling…

The nausea finally surpassed and I was able to gain some sort of composure through out the ride, but my legs were spent. By the time we got back to the car, I was was worn out. But this was a great feeling. Yes I was tired, but also pretty excited because of the potential I see in the bike. Sure the bike has less gears, but that’s the beauty of it, less is more. No problems, no hassle, and all the same pluses of riding a regular full suspension multi-geared bike.

I’m not going to lie to you, this was a brutal ride for me. Legs were burning, lungs felt like they couldn’t get enough air…but hey..it did provide a great work out. I do look forward to riding my new favorite bike. I figure if I can just ride this bike a minimum of 2 times a week, I’ll already be ahead in my fitness level than I would be if I rode a multi-geared bike with the same amount of saddle time.

Man…some bikes look the same

Posted by RL Policar On January - 11 - 2008

Ok so this is the Turner Nitrous. The guys at Evomo got some of these frames as part of their sponsorship.

Sweet frame…
turner nitrous

So here’s it’s look alike. This is my Woodstock 707.
woodstock 707

I know that one is 3 times more expensive than the other and yes, the Turner is a few pounds lighter than the Woodstock. But when I was building the bike up to be the single speed machine that I am hoping it to be, I had some one ask me what kind of frame it was. The bike does look cooler now that the original paint is gone, but when I told him the brand of bike….silence…awkward pause…then the guy says, “hmm, never heard of it?!” So I’m really tempted to put on some stickers on the Woodstock of some other brand that has the same frame design to see if people would react differently to bike. Oh well, some people think just because its a name brand, the product is better. That maybe true for cheesey puffs…cus you know that generic sucks compared to the Frito-Lay brand of Cheetos…

RL’s Pet Project: Full Suspension Single Speed Bike Part 2

Posted by RL Policar On January - 8 - 2008

Today I received the Yess Pro Full Suspension Tensioner. One I got the chance, I slapped on the hardware and tried to see how it works.

Here’s what I got…

The tensioner can work with a hard tail, the only difference that is has for the FS…in my opinion, is the roller that you install onto the pivot.

Here’s how it looks.

But now I’m having chain skipping issues. I suspect that my chain is all fudged up since I had to lengthen it. Since it was getting late, I decided to leave it for another day.

RL’s Pet Project: Full Suspension Single Speed Bike Part 1

Posted by RL Policar On January - 6 - 2008

Today I was able to set up the Full Suspension Single Speed Woodstock 707 with a SS chain ring, spacers, and a 17t cog in the rear. As far as the chain tensioner, I’m still waiting on the Yess FS/SS gadget, but since I wanted to start riding, I purchased an inexpensive chain tensioner to see if it would work. So far so good.

I headed down to the Jax Bicycle Center in Fullerton. Matt K gave me a hand in installing the tensioner and setting up the chain length.
full suspension single speed

17t rear cog and tensioner.
full suspension single speed

Side profile shows chain tension.

One of the concerns I had with this set up was having enough tension around the cog. But the tensioner we had installed seemed to be working just fine.

So to find out if the chain/cog/chain ring would skip, I had one of the guys, Scott, do some bunny hops around the store to see if he could get the chain to jump or completely fall off. If you watch this video, you’ll see that it doesn’t budge.

Now the real test would be how well the bike does out on the trails…stay tuned.

RL Vs. Sette DH Strike Saddle

Posted by RL Policar On October - 31 - 2007

When you take a husky rider like me and do something like this…

With a seat like this…the Sette Strike DH Saddle…

Then I don’t quite land the right way…

You’ll end up with a seat like this…

When I landed, I went one way, the bike went the other. Luckily, I hit my thigh…not my nuts. But the Sette seat acted like a crumple zone and absorbed my weight…Poor saddle, that was my first and last ride with it.

Saturday Ride at the Oaks

Posted by RL Policar On October - 22 - 2007

Saturday morning the group met up at Santiago Oaks for a challenging but short ride. The Oaks makes you climb three considerably steep hills before it pays you back with some entertaining downhills. RL didn’t care for the first ascent so he tried flapping his wings to pass up the next two.

We had a good sized group that included RL, Priscilla, Khoa, John, Joel and myself. I was playing tour guide for the day. I think everyone was hating me by the end of the second climb. Khoa was nice enough to be our photographer for the day and had to lug his equipment up the hill. He said he kept seeing exotic birds that required him to stop several times. That’s an inventive excuse if I ever heard one so I’ll take it!

As we crested the last climb I looked back to see Priscilla passing a guy(not from our group) who looked thoroughly humiliated. Way to go Priscilla!

After everyone made it to the top without puking, we saw a table jump someone had built up, with a perfect, gentle rise. John, RL, and myself got some playtime in. I felt like a kid again. Good, dirty fun!

RL jumping

Jon jumping

lance, 3feet of air

We also hit up this little 5 foot drop. It’s not too big but you can’t see the landing until your already in the air so you have to keep your nerves in check. RL attacked the drop, but his foot came unclipped, mid-air. He put on his game face and saved it nicely.


Speaking of saving, further down the trail we hit a technical rock descent. During Joel’s attempt he did a perfect nose wheelie and even kicked his feet off the pedals for some style. Showoff!!

I was really impressed with the way everyone tackled the rocky downhills. This trail demands your utmost attention. Mine faltered at one point and I took a little face-plant for it. I think everyone had a great time on the twisty downhill runs and we all made it out alive and with some big smiles.

Sunday Ride

Posted by RL Policar On October - 7 - 2007

Once in a while our Church service is later on in the day on some Sundays. So this gave Priscilla and I some time to go for a quick ride.
woodstock 707

On our way back home, we decided to take some “modeling shots.” Being a former Super Male Model, I felt like I was back on the run way back in Milan…check out my serious shot.

Here’s Priscilla showing offer her “I’m a bad ass” on the bike shot. I was actually impressed that she was able to lift up her 30lbs bike over her head.

Then while we walked away to try and take more modeling shots, I turned around to find these two were going at it…in broad day light!

We started to throw rocks at them to make them stop…but they keep going!
…dirty

Almost All Mountain

Posted by RL Policar On May - 29 - 2007

One of my favorite bikes is the Woodstock 707. I love how this bike rides. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like to lean too far forward on my bike. Some would say that is how XC riders ride.

But for me, having short stubby arms, I require an All Mountain set up. You’ve seen it with long travel bikes where the rider sits at a more upright position. The 707 that we have is a small, but its rather perfect for Moe, Priscilla and myself. Priscilla is about 5’6″ and Moe and I, on a good day about 5’7″.

Going back to the All Mountain Set up. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing the rear suspension travel is about 4 inches, and it’s stock Manitou Axel was at 100mm (4 inches). With the stock set up, the bike is considered a cross country bike. But with the aid of a new Marzocchi Bomber fork that has 5 inches, I’m able to get pretty close to that “All Mountain” feel that I’ve been looking for.

The Woodstock 707 really is a fun bike, if you lower the seat before going down hills, you’ve got yourself a bike that can not only take on the trails, but its easy to handle.

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