So you’re out riding, and you put some force down on the pedals and clickity slip! Ugh. You try again, but click…clickity slip! From my experience that usually means my drive train is worn out. If you’re anything like me, I usually look for the best value in parts. I tend to shy away from anything super high end because all this crap wears out anyway. So I might as well save money when I’m replacing parts.
Personally I like to go on Amazon or Ebay to shop for my parts. I’ve been doing this for years. Ya I know that we should all support our LBS, but I’ve got to support myself first. Anyhow, I ordered some value parts and it came in within a few short days.
What you see is the following:
KMC X10.93 10-Speed 116L Stretch-Proof Bike Chain fits SRAM Campagnolo & Shimano
Red Derailleur Pulley Set Upgrade for Shimano & Sram 9/10 Speed Derailleurs
I went with the KMC because I’ve used this brand before and I’ve never had issues of them snapping. This is my first run with Sunrace. I honestly bought it because it was black. Then I needed some new pulleys since mine are cracked in half. I bought these, not because they have ceramic bearings, but because they were cheaper than the SRAM brand and they were red. My total spend was $66.35 with free shipping. If I had spent the money on SRAM branded stuff it would have been over $90, so going with the value parts I was able to save $23.99.
Once I get these bits on Madea, I’ll post a quick assesment on how they did. In the mean time, here’s a video to keep you entertained.
As you may have read from my previous POST, my bike broke and I bought a new frame. I found a Marin Palisades 29er on closeout from Ebay for about $130. I pulled the trigger and the frame came in.
I sat on building the bike up for a while because I had to order parts for it. I had to get bottom bracket spacers since I went from a 73mm shell to a 68mm. I also had to order a new headset since the Marin’s was larger in diameter than the Titus Rockstar. All that took a few weeks to arrive. Once I finally got the parts in, I got sick.
But laying in bed all day sick gets a man all bored and stuff. One can only watch so many hours of Youtube videos before he gets cabin fever. So I decided to get up, go into the garage and start building this bike up. I ran new shifter cables and housing, installed the new parts and got everything dialed in.
Voila! I’d like to introduce you to….MADEA!
Yes her name is Madea, just like Tyler Perry’s Madea. I named her that because she’s a tall bike! This is a small, but with the big honkin’ fork, I can’t even touch the ground flat footed unless I’m practically off the bike. I’ve yet to ride Madea, still recovering from my cough, but soon…soon.
Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s my busted frame. This was my Titus Rockstar 29 Alloy. The unique part about this bike was it had a carbon rear triangle. I thought it was sorta cool and stuff, but I’ve always been weary of carbon parts due to them breaking.
As you can see the brake mounts ripped off the seat stay. Fortunately Art and I were finishing up our ride. The oddest thing is that this happened while I was going up a hill…I recall hitting the brake and then I heard a snap.
I’ve reached out to Planet X, the parent company of Titus Cycles and all they said was “bummer.” Ever since they closed down their US office, they’ve sorta sucked. The frame was out of their warranty period of 2 years and they didn’t have any spare parts to sell. After that I reached out to 2 reputable carbon repair places and both turned down the job because they said this was a high stress area and didn’t feel good about the longevity of the repairs.
So that left me stuck without a bicycle to ride. Funny thing is, I haven’t ridden much at all in the last few months. But on that day I told myself that I should get back to riding again since it was so fun. Well what’s a fella gotta do to get back riding? I didn’t feel like dropping over $1000 on a new bike. I tried looking for frames, but most of them were out of my budget. I settled on a hard tail aluminum Marin Palisades 29er Trail frame from Ebay for a cool low price of $130. I figured I could just transplant my parts over to this new frame and keep riding.
Maybe in the Spring or Summer season I can hustle up enough money to get a decent bike, one with a better warranty…
A few months ago I posted a little heart to heart article on me saying that I won’t be riding for a while and etc. Well things have gotten better. Not to air out my dirty laundry, but what I mean by getting better is I’ve grown from the whole experience. I remain grateful for my friends and family and I know I’ll be ok. Plus I get to do what ever I want now…within reason.
Part of this crap was me neglecting my bicycles. In fact my Titus Rockstar whom I’ve affectionately called Bon Jovi was a mess. Just think of it this way, a rich guy buys a nice expensive Harley Davidson, rides it for a bit, gets all the HD gear like jackets, boots, t-shirts and mugs. But after riding it a few times, he just lets it sit there…not riding it. Carbs get gunked up, tires get flat, rubber seals deteriorate, gas tank starts to get rusty, battery is dead and it’s covered in dust. Anyhow, it’s like that, so Bon Jovi’s fork seals were blown out, dry chain and constant creaking. Well I’ve addressed one of those items. I purchased a new fork for him. I upgraded the old Marzocchi TST to a fancy Fox fork with Climb Trail Descend (CTD). I got it online for a practically a bro-deal.
Installation was rather simple because I’ve done this so many times and I can probably execute the job with both hands tied behind my back while I’m drinking a beer. Check out the old Marz fork compared to the Fox. Oooh this pic is boner inducing…
Once I got it installed I rounded up the fellas to do some riding at Santiago Oaks. Unfortunately I don’t have any action photos of my shredding and getting gnarly, but all I can say is the fork performed like a champ. It’s a world of a difference from the Marz…so plush now. I did get a photo of two of my favorite riding buddies. These guys make mountain biking way more fun. We take our time, BS, joke, harass each other, encourage and take pics. If you’ve ever had the pleasure riding with us, then you know that we’re a ton of fun…slow but fun!
So there you have it. I’ve been riding more. My investment into my fork forces me…in a good way to get out there and ride again.
If you’ve ever bonked or on the verge of bonking, quick energy might be the thing that saves you. For the most part mountain bikers will carry energy gels like Gu or the like. They work really well because they contain sugar that your body needs. The problem with these energy gels is that they can be pretty spendy. One gel pack can be as much as $2.00 and eventually that money cuts into your beer money. So here’s an alternative that saves you some money, gives you energy and it tastes great. Take some Nutella, a tablespoon and a zip lock bag. This 26.5oz jar costs about $6 at any grocery store. Next step is to scoop in one or two tablespoons into the bag. Gu packets have about 2tbsp of…Gu in it, so we figure we’ll do the same. There’s a trick to getting that gooey goodness in. When you scoop it, turn the bag inside out, use your fingers to get the Nutella onto the bag. Once you get all of it in, close the bag and try your best to move the Nutella into one corner. This makes it easier to consume while you’re on the trail. To eat the Nutella, all you do is tear off the corner and squeeze the contents into your mouth…enjoy the chocolaty yummyness, drink some water and then get back on the bike! You take this bag with you the next time you ride. Keep it in your hydration bag or jersey pocket and bust it out during your rest breaks. So before you start judging how effective Nutella is Vs. Gu, let’s look at some facts. 2 tbsp serving of Nutella is 200 calories, (100 cal if you do 1 tbsp) first ingredient is sugar. 1 packet of Gu Chocolate, 100 calories, first ingredient is Maltodextrin…
The idea of this DIY is to get you some quick energy for very little cost. You figure the cost of Nutella is roughly $6.00. For the same price you could get about 3 packets of Gu. That jar of Nutella can yield you about 51-1tbsp servings, which by now you should be able to see the financial benefits. Another benefit to this method is taste. I’m mean, c’mon! It’s Nutella for Pete’s sake! This stuff is soooo yummy! Anyhow, I’ve showed you how to package your own energy gel of sorts for a fraction of the cost. If you don’t like this method, Nutella does have individual serving packets that you could buy for about $1.00 a piece, still a savings over energy gels.
Here’s something you may never had thought about, it’s the use of maxi pads when you go mountain biking. For those of you that don’t know, a maxi pad is, then go ask your mom. She can explain everything about them. 1. Maxi pads are great for first aid. If you’ve crashed on your mountain bike and don’t have a first aid kit with you, then bust out the maxi pad! Place it over a wound to help stop bleeding. 2. Elbow and Knee Pads. Before tackling a tough downhill section of the trail, pad up! If you crash the pads will protect your joints and in the event you get injured, use the pads to stop the bleeding! 3. Give a pad to the guy in your group who keeps complaining and say, “Here, this is for your vagina.” 4. Clean your bike with it. 5. Use it for added cushion for your seat. 6. Keep the sweat off your eyes. Nothing is worse than getting your sweat in your eyes. The pad will absorb and keep your face dry!
7. Use it as a handkerchief to blow your nose of to keep in your tuxedo pocket. 8. Use it as a top tube pad, so you don’t hurt your nuts.
9. Clean up spills with it.
10. Use it as a napkin so your snack doesn’t get dirty.
Well, you kinda get the point, right? The Maxi Pad has so many uses and when it come to mountain biking, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep one or two of them in your hydration pack, you never know when you might need it.
Every once in a while I get caught up in wanting to get a new bike. Lately I’ve been wanting to build up a 29er HT. As I’ve done some Googling on which frame to use, I found that Planet X has the On-One 456 EVO frame available and it’s super affordable at $213.99!
What stood out to me the most was that the head tube angle on this bad mama jamma was 67 degrees! Plus it’s made out of steel and as the saying goes, “steel is real.” There are other numbers associated with the geometry that would make this one relaxed ride through the flats, yet aggressive on the techies and able to climb. It’s basically an ALL Mountain 29er Hard Tail. Can you imagine how much fun that would be? Oh…man, all I’ve been thinking about is this frame…perhaps when the funds come in, I can order one of these…but for now, I’ll go back to day dreaming…
Um…your fingers stink and it’s all because of your gloves! Seriously, when was the last time you washed your gloves? If you haven’t in a while, it probably explains why you smell funky! Think about how gross your gloves are. You ride with them, so that means they’re covered in trail dirt, what about the time you dropped your chain…now they’re covered in grease. Oh remember when you did a snot-rocket, ya, now they’ve got mucous on them. What about those times when you wiped your sweaty face with them…man just thinking about it paints a clear picture in my head that your gloves are probably grosser than a 3 month old dish sponge that’s been sitting at the bottom of your sink full of dirty cereal bowls.
With that in mind, wash your gloves every few rides. I typically will throw them in the washer with my regular laundry, but hang dry them. Doing so, keeps my hands and fingers smelling so fresh, so clean…clean.
Ok am I the only one that is kinda getting tired of all the buzz words that the bicycle industry is trying to come out with when it comes new new bikes? Just recently a famous brand just released their “short travel-enduro bike” with only 80-100mm of travel. Um, last I checked that same brand already made one like that and they called it an XC bike…
I know that brands are trying to capture yet another segment of the bike industry, but what ever happened to just building a bike that can do XC, some SuperD/Enduro yet it’s ballsey enough to hand some light DH riding? I mean seriously, do we all need a different bike for each riding style? Ya I know there are many of us that actually own all those types of bikes. But think about it…let’s just say you have one bike that does ALL of it. That means if things break, you only have to fix ONE bicycle. You save money on bikes in it self, but you also save money on parts in the long run. Don’t even get me started on prices of tires and brake pads. Remember I’ve talked about how bike brake pads are more expensive than car brake pads? Well guess what, motorcycle brake pads aren’t even as expensive as mountain bike pads…
So I recently acquired a new On-One Ringmaster 30t to install onto the Titus Rockstar 29er Alloy. But when I installed it with my existing drive train (chain and cassette), I started experiencing some chain-skippage and as you know, this type of skippage kinda does suck. With that newfound info, I decided to text a photo of what was happening to El Guapo of Planet X (distributor of On-One and Titus).
Notice how the chain was binding? El Guapo said that I need a new chain. So I took his word for it and ordered one the same day. I went with a decent budget chain, a KMC X10.93 10Speed. I picked it up for about $20. Once I got it, I installed it. Below is a photo of the new chain right before my ride.
I’m happy to say that El Guapo was absolutely correct! New chain totally fixed the skippage. But now I noticed that my cassette needs to be replaced. Looks like I’ll be doing that before this weekend. Anyhow, I want to give a big thanks to El Guapo from Planet X for his Suprese (pronounced-Soo-Preh-seh) knowledge!