Southridge Challenge Nov 2009 Winter Series and Triple Crown Finale

One week ago our MtnBikeRiders.com Team finished the SRC winter series and Triple Crown at Southridge.

I signed up for the Single Speed 34 and under XC race. At the start of the race I was the only one in my class, so I was convinced that the Single Speeds would be grouped together. In my head I was racing the 35 and up class as well, this power house named Robur (35 years +) was in attendance, he is a killer on the climbs and down hills. I have chased him and his carbon SS before in the Triple Crown series.

The race starts and I leading the pack though the course, I keeping telling myself to relax and keep the tires on the ground. Half way up the water tower road Robur takes the lead, I try to stay with him as we are passing other riders on the single track. I saw an opportunity to take the lead spot back on a tough uphill section, I charged and passed Robur on his right. Robur did not let up, he passed me about a mile later. I caught up to Robur on the flat section of  the course and started cranking as fast as I could, I peaked at 25 mph on 32 x 20 gearing too fast for Robur’s gearing, that was the near the end of the first lap of three. Race day I weighed 245 pounds, in the end the gear choice was key. It was not too hard to lug uphill and I could ring it out on the flat sections of Fontana.  After almost 13 miles of pushing my legs and the Redline MonoCog 29er to the limit, I came across the Finish Line first with Robur only 9 seconds behind Wow!

1
Eric
Hunner
ZH
235
S-S Men 34 & Under
01:08:27.00
1
Robur
Rodgers
ZI
804
Single-Speed Men 35+
01:08:36.00
2
Mark
Mumea
ZI
15
Single-Speed Men 35+
01:12:31.00
3
Rick
Lane
ZI
220
Single-Speed Men 35+
01:23:15.00

Click here for SRC’s home page if you want to get into racing http://www.southridgeusa.com/

and SC Velo’s site http://scvelo.com/component/content/article/90/103-2009-incycle-cross-country-challenge

Eric3

Thank You to all of our Team Sponsors

Racing the Redline Monocog 29er, Update #3

 It has been different on the 29er, even more so while racing, so far it has been positive. Redline gave me a Demo 29er to test/race/ and abuse. RL set this connection up for me and warned Redline that I break a lot of bike parts. I am “The Animal”, this is a nickname that the MtnBikeRiders.com Team has given me.

The First Race of the Triple Crown Series at Bonelli Park, I placed 1st in this race and finished strong. The next day I did a recovery ride, slow and easy started at Whiting Ranch rode up to the top, out the back gate, down the road to Blackstar Canyon, up to Beeks Place, and down Skyline to my friends house in Corona. The Redline did all this without any problems, after I did a few modifications.

 

The changes to the bike were done on my own dime to get it ready for some intense racing action. First and foremost the brakes were not up to par to stop a 245 pound Animal barreling down some tight single track. I changed the brakes to the new Shimano SLX BR-M665 hydraulic opposed 2-piston caliper, these brakes have been working great -so far no problems. I have replaced the crankset and bottom bracket after I rounded out the square taper bb that came with the bike, it was replaced with an isis splined bb and a Race Face crankset, currently using the ramped 32 tooth gear that was on the triple with no problems, I reused the bash guard that came with the bike. In a previous posting I mentioned how I changed out the chain and rear sprocket here is the link https://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2009/08/02/redline-monocog-29er-update-2/.

I am starting to really enjoy this bike it is BIG! The wheels do roll over most things, just like ever other 29 rider I have talked too. One thing that I need pay special attention to,  fast-tight-winding-single track, the Big wheels tend to go to the outside of a turn. If you keep that in mind and set up the turn both diving in you’ll do fine.

 

https://www.mtnbikeriders.com/ftc-disclaimer/

Vision Quest 2010

I stayed up late last night and got my spot in the Warrior’s Society Pow Wow, confirmed at 12:02am. The event sold out in under 30 minutes. Let the Hard Core training really begin, 56 miles, 11,000 feet of elevation, and one gear….

Review: Soul Cycles Dillinger

Over the past few months we’ve been lucky enough to test the Soul Cycles Dillinger 29er hardtail.  The Dillinger has been a fun ride and served as our test bed for the Powercordz cables, Geax Saguaro and Serfas Tegu reviews.

Beautiful construction abounds on the Soul Cycles Dillinger

Not only is the Dillinger gorgeous in bright lime green, the construction impresses too.  The Dillinger is a lightweight, versatile EBB (eccentric bottom bracket) frame. It ships with a derailleur hanger and singlespeed dropout, is disk and V-brake compatible and Soul Cycles even sells a rigid fork! We ran the Dillinger as a singlespeed 29er with disk brakes and a 100mm RockShox Reba. You can read more about the build here.
At first I was nervous about the Dillinger’s set screw eccentric bottom bracket and aluminum hardtail construction.  My EBB fears were dispelled as it was easy to adjust, stayed tight and never produced a creaking noise.  Very good job Soul Cycles!  As far as the aluminum hardtail, I’ve given up on 26″ wheels.  I’d switched to 26″ steel hardtails and have been loving it ever since.  They damp out that high frequency buzz that sends your hands and nether regions into a land of numbness.  Amazingly the Soul Cycles Dillinger does this as well.  I know a lot of the credit goes to the larger 29″ tires, but it is quite obvious some thought and engineering into the seat and chain stays on the Dillinger.

When they say Easton Ultralite Tubing, they mean it! (Weight w/ EBB and seat post clamp, 16″ frame size)

Overall the Dillinger has been a very fun ride, it is uber-light and plush for a hardtail.  Yet it remains efficient under power.  Compared to my Redline Monocog (26″ steel singlespeed), the Dillinger climbed with more authority thanks to the 29″ tires better contact patch and smoother rolling nature.  On descents, the Dillinger mobbed over the terrain and showed me why everyone is now racing 29″ wheels in the SS categories.

My dislikes (compared to my Monocog) include the slower steering (though it offered more stability) and the higher up in the air sensation.  The Dillinger has a nice low BB height however and this sensation was purely mental and can be adjusted to.  The slower steering is a common trait among 29ers.  I do not want you to have the impression that the steering is slow, it is just not as fast as on my 26″ race bike.

Chainstay yoke around a 2.2 Geax Saguaro tire.

A small concern I have is tight mud-clearance at the chainstay yoke, though this is not an issue in SoCal!  The last nit pick I have is the cable stop location resulted in me catching my baggy shorts on occasion, but is definitely not a deal breaker.

The Moe at work

Bottomline:  The Dillinger is a fantastic buy as is.  When you factor in the reasonable prices and quality construction, it becomes clear that the Dillinger is head and shoulders above most of the 29er field.  In fact Moe is thinking about forking out the cash to keep this bike in his personal fleet!

Redline MonoCog 29er Update #2

  Here she is, a few tweaks here and there, soon she will be ready for racing. Some of the tweaks had to happen for me to be willing to enter this rig in a race. The V-brakes did not play nicely when jamming down some regular single tracks that I know like the back of my hand. Luckily the MonoCog 29er is disc ready, I installed some Shimano SLX Hydraulic brakes font and rear, very Nice braking action.

 

The stock chain snapped after mashing though a sand pit at Whiting Ranch with less than 200 miles on it. After trying to patch the chain with the help of friends and their 9 speed chain links to no avail I walked back to the truck. I got home and cut a SRAM 971 {My Favorite} chain to size, I soon realized this rear sprocket was not set up for a 9-speed chain {or 3/32″}.  It was sitting on top of the sprocket teeth.

Redline gear change
 

 I started thinking do I put a BMX chain {or 1/8″} on or a more common 9-speed chain that can be fixed with the help of geared riders if I run out of supplies on the side of the mountain. I wanted to stay with a chain that I know will last at least a 1000 miles doing SS duty. The SRAM 971 chain wasn’t going anywhere but the rear sprocket was tossed in favor of a SURLY HD 20 tooth sprocket.

When I went to change the rear sprocket I tried a new tool out, Pedro’s Trixie Fixed Gear Multi-Tool [$25.00] while shopping in the store I Goggled this tool on my phone and the first site that pops up is our friends at Bike Commuters, some more detail here   http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/07/06/review-pedros-trixie-multi-tool/. The rear hub has a small splined free wheel with a track style lock ring that needs a hook wrench {Pedro’s Multi-Tool} to be loosened with the help of IceToolz http://www.icetoolz.com/icetoolz/index.php chain tool supplied in my toolkit.

Most recently; 50 miles on new chain and rear sprocket and no problems, lets hope for another 1000.

Soul Cycles Dillinger: First Impression

Rl and I hit the loop for a quick short ride to “feel” and do minor adjustments to the Soul Cycles Dillinger. After a few quick saddle and seatpost adjustments, we were ready to hit the trail.

OK, so let’s start with the geometry, the bike felt “big” as in tall, but I was not stretched out. I found this “bigness” to be an advantage on the quick and short steep downhills, I never felt as if I was going to fly over the bars.

Climbing off the saddle, I didn’t feel any flex, the bike was solid. The Reba Race’s poplock remote was very convenient, just a flick of the switch and the fork was almost fully rigid.

At 35 psi, the Geax Saguaro Tires struggled for traction on the loose terrain, especially on the uphills. I will play around with the tire pressure to see if I can achieve more traction, I usually run my 29er tires at 30psi.

The Powercordz brake cables felt amazing, I’d forgotten that I was riding mechanical brakes and not hydraulics! Quick note on the Serfas Tegu saddle… COMFORTABLE, even RL noticed it when he was riding the Dillinger for a bit.

I’m hoping to put a lot of miles on this bike, I really need to get in better physical shape and I find that riding a Singlespeed is one of the fastest ways to do it. I will write a full review of this bike in about 2 to 3 months.

Ride to the Top of Saddleback…almost [Upper Holy Jim]

One week ago I was riding up the Holy Jim Trail, here is last weeks ride report.

 IMG_2511
 
 My friend Eric Y.has been celebrating his birthday by jumping on his bike and riding from his house to the top of Saddleback Mountain and back home totaling about 65 miles. This year was his tenth year in a row, a personal milestone for him. I have joined him once before two years ago, it was a burner. I skipped his birthday ride last year after competing in the 2008 Traverse it took me a month to recover from racing in extreme heat. The weather was great for climbing on Saturday overcast and 54 degrees, no worries about running low on water.
 
    IMG_2444
Getting to the top of Saddleback is not for the Faint of Heart, you need to be mentally and physically prepared along with a dialed in bike. Hike-a-bike and water crossings are a few obstacles to conquer.
 
   
 
  
I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed Saturday, the mountain was telling me to turn around at mile 12, it might have been the lack of gears on my bike as well. I dug out another mile to the start of Upper Holy Jim trail. I said Happy B-Day to Eric and he continued up to the top of Saddleback to have his B-Day lunch. I slammed my seat all the way down to drop into Upper Holy Jim.
 
   
   
 If you like descending, this trail is Sweet. Almost no climbing for 13 miles to Santiago Road, about 8 miles of switchbacks, drops, a little bit of everything.
 
 
 
I was able snap a few pictures of the clouds rolling in on the trail, it is a cool feeling riding in the clouds….

 

REDLINE MonoCog 29er, Big Wheels, BIG Fan {Part 1}

 
Here it is my first Redline 29er experience. My riding of any 29er before this totaled less than 100 yards. A bike is a bike right, well not exactly. I have become a believer in the 29er setup read below.
 
I grabbed the family and drove out to Hurkey Creek in the mountains of Idylwild. This is great place to visit, many trails, excellent camping and a place that I raced in the past.

 
 I set out on my first ride on the Redline Monocog 29er. I followed the 24 Hour race course, I soon realized the benefits of the big wheels on the first dip the bike just seemed to roll in and out of the dip very smoothly. The climbing begins, the stock gearing is 32×20 which is very similar to 32×18 on 26″ wheels. It was fast up hill, the bigger wheels take a little more effort to push uphill, but the results are worth it. I made every switchback and transition on the technical uphills this was a first for me at Hurky Creek.
 

 Let the downhill adventure begin, one word WOW! It took me a few days to figure what was so different and why it was such a pleasure to charge downhill hill. Most importantly I never got the sensation I was going to get tossed over the handle bars when rolling over large rocks in middle of the trail or dropping large steps, the 29er created a lower center of gravity I felt. Second I was able to pick some unreal lines between ruts and stay out of them. One last thing about my downhill experience on this Rigid Redline 29er bike was the ability to shake off the speed bumps when flying downhill, the bumps that usually tear me up on 26″ wheels were not there I simply rolled over them.
 
 I was looking forward to the boulder in the middle of the trail in the back of the course. I have only made it over this monster rock once on 26″ wheels, today was different I attacked the boulder and drove over it without any hesitations from me or the bike.
 
Anyone looking into Single Speeding that wants to keep some green in your wallet should seriously consider the Redline Monocog 29er, I can honestly say I am a Big Fan…
 
{ Future reports to include minor tweaks, and improvement’s kept on the cheap }

Animal

Soul Cycles Dillinger 29er

After a long hard week at work and fighting through the Friday traffic, there’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to a package waiting at your front door, especially a big box.  This Friday I came home to a package from… Soul Cycles. 

IMG2949 by you.

What’s in the box?  The Dillinger 29er EBB (Eccentric Bottom Bracket) frame in Pearl Green, a singlespeed machine.

IMG2958 by you.

Wow this frame is beautiful!   Amazing craftsmanship utilizing Easton Ultralite Race tubing.  Check out the following pictures:

IMG2961 by you.chainstay and the eccentric bottom bracket.

IMG2963 by you.

IMG2957 by you.

IMG_4432 by you.

Also included is the Rock Shox Race 29er fork with remote and a set of Geax tires. 

IMG2964 by you.IMG2965 by you.

IMG2968 by you.

The lucky guy that will be testing this beauty is the “The Moe”.  Check back in a few months for his review.  You can see more of Soul Cycles by going to their site www.ridesoul.com

Race Report By Eric “The Animal” Hunner: The Traverse 2009

RL Policar-The Animal shares his experience during the 2009 Traverse. Read his report and you’ll be amazed by his strength. I swear man, its like reading about Paul Bunyan or Hercules or something big and strong…I would like to add that The Animal is a very humble guy. The whole team as well as strangers alike are always commenting on how amazing he is or how powerful and how he has these massive banana sized hands, but The Animal remains low key about his abilities. Not only is he a great racer, but he really is a super cool dude.

I am starting to write my report a little more than 24 hours since the finish of “The Traverse” an epic race though the Santa Ana mountain range. Today has been a little rough, I am still feeling the after effects of the race,

traverse 2009

ergon bd1
I raced in The Traverse in 2008 which was a burner with temps hovering in the mid 100’s, so I didn’t take any chances as far as hydration was concerned for this years race. I outfitted my Ergon BD-1 with two bladders, one 3 liter with straight water, and a 2 liter with a mix.

This combination works well for me at 240 pounds I need a lot of fluid, and weight is not an issue with the Ergon backpack. I stuffed my Hoss shorts full of Sportlegs, Ibuprofen {a necessary evil when riding rigid long distance}, Hammer Gels, Power Bars, taped another Power bar on the seat post, and taped more gels on the handlebars. I didn’t want to start thinking about the catered El Pollo Loco at the finish half way though the race. I wanted to race my race and not stop at check points to eat. Lots of food, lots of fluid, and a hassle free Single Speed geared 32×20 on 26″ wheels with lots of PSI in the tires.

My wife was kind enough to drop me off at the start on Blackstar road. I took a quick spin down the road to loosen up, and it was about time to line up for the mass start all 175 of us. I chatted with some familiar faces that I met while racing with the MTNBikeRiders.com Team, one fellows name was Mark [we met at a Mt. SAC race] small world. Mark and his son were racing The Traverse together, very cool I hope to do the same with my little girl some day.

The Pro and Expert class take off promptly at 7am and the rest of us follow. I started right behind the Pro and Expert class and stayed to the side for the first two miles of flat terrain to stay out of the way of geared riders Big Ringin it down the the fire road. As the climbing started I began weaving though the same riders that passed me minutes before. Next stop Beek’s Place, I put my head down and started pressing on I had a long race ahead of me.

Beek’s Place is only a few hundred yards away and I hear RL hooting and hollering. It is an incredible feeling to have support on top of the mountain especially coming from from your team, it is no easy feat to get up to the ridge by car/truck/or suv and be on time for the event. Joe hauled his camera gear up the mountain captured the action unfolding in front of me. I was chasing a single speed up Blackstar and made my pass just after passing Joe [by the Golf ball], I kept up a fast pace and held off the other Single Speeds behind me. In The Traverse they do not have a Single Speed division but I chose to ride one anyways and so did about 5 other riders.

traverse 2009

The weather was about perfect this race I don’t think the temp went over 100 degrees and there was a slight breeze. After many miles of riding and eating a bunch of science food all I could think about was El Pollo Loco at the Finish Line. It was 11:37am and my friend Mark caught up to me as I slowed down to ward off the cramps. We were riding up the last climb to West Horse Thief trail and I said, “El Pollo Loco is going to be served in 23 minutes I can not wait” we are still an hour away from the finish. That hour felt like two hours after going down loose shale rocks and ruts on a rigid bike. I finished the race for the second year in a row, and improved my time by an hour. 2008 time 6hours 36minutes, 2009 5hours 36 minutes. I was glad just to finish this race, it it one of the hardest races I have done yet.