The problem with XC mountain biking

mountain biking

One of the beefs I have with XC mountain biking is this constant need to go fast. What I mean is, people can get so caught up with their Personal Record or wanting to be King of the Mountain. Hey, I get it, you want to see how well you’re progressing with your training and riding.

But my main issue is that people just don’t take the time to soak it all in. Enjoy the scenery, smell that fresh air and ride in a casual pace. Years ago we coined the term “Relaxed Vibe.” It basically means we go out there and have fun. We take a bunch of photos, videos and tell jokes.

mtnbikeriders.com

Personally I appreciate those types of rides more than the ball busting fast paced rides.  For starters, a relaxed vibe ride means less injuries. When you’re going at 100%, you’re more likely to tear something and the margin for errors are way higher. Crashes, breakdowns, and other problems can be mitagated by going at a slower pace.

So on your next ride, go a little slower. Soak up the experience and have fun.

Betting for Beers

If you ever raced downhill or XC with your buddies then you may want to start a wager. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your group of riding friends are participating in a race, then why not bet each other a 6 pack of beer? Sure the event will rank riders based on their finish times, but to add some fun to it, do the beer thing.

Let’s say you all are doing a DH race; everyone is timed to see who gets to the finish line the fastest. So the premise is this, each of you has to bring a 6 pack of beer. Make sure you all keep it in a cooler so you can enjoy it after. Go race and once they post the results, see which one of you came in the fastest. Back in my racing days, there were a few of us who were in the same age group as well as same riding level. It was pretty fun to compete with each other to see who came in the fastest. Sometimes the times would differ by thousands of a second, while other times we knew that the fast guy in our group would win. However, there were times we’d see an upset. The fastest guys in our group wouldn’t always be fast. Often times they’d come in too hot during the race and crash, thus causing them to lose.

SHIMANO MT33L IN ACTION
SHIMANO MT33L IN ACTION

One of the things we figured out during our time DH racing was “slow means fast.” This mean that sometimes you have to go slow so you can go fast later. I’ll give you an example; there was a deep rutted turn that I was having a hard time on during practice. I talked to one of the Vet Pro riders to get some advice on how to handle it. He told me to just go slow. At first it didn’t make sense because you’d think I would have to go fast…I mean it’s a race isn’t it? He explained to me that if I go slowly on that section, I won’t risk crashing or making a mistake, and I could make up the time somewhere else in the course. Makes perfect sense right?

Alright, back to our bet for beers. Another game you can play is BettingTop 10 with your buddies. So all of you puts in $10 in a pot. If you or your friends make it on the top 10 of the top finishers, then you pay accordingly. But the higher you are on the list, the more money you get. So out of your group, let’s say one person gets 10th, another 7th, and another 2nd, then the person who got 2nd would get the whole pot. Doing this just ads some additional fun to your race experience. Besides, it’s a great incentive to do well for the next event.

Clickity click…click…slip click

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

Sunrace CSMS1 11-36 10-Speed MTB Bicycle Cassette 11-36T fits SRAM/Shimano Black

Red Derailleur Pulley Set Upgrade for Shimano & Sram 9/10 Speed Derailleurs

drive

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.

Build Update

marin palisades 29er

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.

marin palisades 29er

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!

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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.

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Have some fun at Betting Top 10!

Trying to get the bug back

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.

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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…

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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!

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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.

 

 

Ok…I’m trying.

Two weeks ago I was feeling down. Rather than drinking my way to happiness, I decided to get on the bike and do a short ride. 6 miles to be exact. Mind you it’s been months since I’ve ridden so that meant my pace was slower than usual. What’s difficult for me is when I was riding, all sorts of emotions started coming up and at one point I wanted to cry. Eh…this sucks.

Then part of a trail had a little jump, I took it and while in mid-air, I quickly remembered why I love to ride. My heart jumped and all my sorrows went away and it produced a big smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong, the whole ride was just tough on my body. I took everything slow and wanted to enjoy the moment, you know, be present.

I stopped at a local lake to just take it all in. I was grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. Maybe if I just approach riding as a way to enjoy what’s around me and not focus on what was and focus on what is, that might help me get back into it a bit more.

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Top 50 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get into Mountain Biking

As much as I love mountain biking, I realized there are some pitfalls to the sport. But I found these out AFTER the fact that I started riding. Perhaps if someone told me about them, I may have gotten into bowling or mopeds….ya I can picture…mopedriders.com….

With that in mind, don’t get into mountain biking because…

1.Expensive to get into.

2.Parts break all the time.

3.Parts wear out.

4.Flat tires.

5.Throwing up after a climb on your single speed.

6. Sweat.

7.Dirt.

8.Falling.

9.Getting hurt.

10. Ticks.

11. Poison Oak.

12. Bug bites.

13. Moldy water bladder.

14.Walking after your bike breaks down.

15. Driving 50 miles to ride 10 miles.

16.Loss of money.

17. Poor resale value of products.

18.Addicted to mountain biking websites.

19.Always looking out for a good deal.

20. Getting into online fights about what is better, 26,650, 29er.

21. Convincing the wife to let you go riding.

22.Trying to get the girlfriend into riding.

23.Hoping that your kids will become the next world champion.

24. Sweaty balls.

25. Chamois…how come it’s not spelled SHAMMY?

26.Bicycle that cost more than my car.

27.Garage becomes your own personal shop.

28. Can’t decide on which jersey to wear.

29. Cycling socks…you don’t need them. There’s no Sock-Police to tell you that you HAVE to wear them. Just use regular socks.

30. You don’t like people.

31. You don’t like douche bags.

32. You are a douche bag.

33. Racing.

34. Jumps.

35. Rocks.

36. Air shocks.

37. Tubeless tires that leak.

38. Too many types of lube to choose from.

39. XT, XTR,XO,X7,STX,KKK,ABC, BBW,DEORE,RED…too many product lines to remember.

40. Not being able to breathe after a climb.

41. Can’t bunny hop.

42. Can’t wheelie.

43. Can’t change a flat.

44. Can’t fix your bike.

45. No power tools involved when fixing a bike….pssh. mOaR POWaH!!!

46. Garage full of bikes.

47. 1Bed Room Apt full of bikes, no room for furniture.

48. Bike hoarding.

49. Excess parts…you’ll never need that 7speed freewheel again, but you hold on to it just in case!

50. Fun. Yes…it’s too fun.

But don’t you worry, I’m not a Negative Nancy, I did find one reason why you should get into it and it’s probably the main reason why I tell people to try it…and that’s #50…yep, It’s fun! I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a fun time riding with Lady P and my friends. From all the memories of racing, biking trips and the great conversations I’ve had over the years, I simply love mountain biking.

All done…almost!

Ok kids, I now present to you the world famous…BURT REYNOLDS…again!

Here he is in all his glorified glorehh! You like his new bars? Those are the On-One Midge bar. I think I bought the last one since I checked this morning, they were out of stock.
redline d600 burt reynolds

This bar tape you see, it’s the On-One Micro Fiber Bar Tape. Easy to install, comfy on the hands, legit on the looks. The tape it self makes the bike look uber-fierce.
on one bar tape

I say that it’s almost done because I’m having chain skipping issues. Could be the chain I’m using because the line is perfect. Basically what happens is when its on the stand, it works fine. But as soon as I put pressure on the pedals, it skips.

Did the 26er jump the shark?

For all you youngins’ if you don’t know what Jump the Shark means. Well, let me edumacate you a bit.

The definition:

jump the shark
phrase of jump
1.
informal
(of a television series or movie) reach a point at which far-fetched events are included merely for the sake of novelty, indicative of a decline in quality.

This dates back to a TV show called Happy Days. It was set back in the 50s and you had this ultra cool character named The Fonz jumps…a shark. So the thought is, there’s a certain point in which things start going down hill. Basically in the show Happy Days, when Fonzie jumped the shark, that was the mark of when the show started to go downhill.
Here’s a video clip of the actual attempt.

Ok let’s get back to talking about bikes. So if you’ve been in touch with the world of Social Media, then you may have seen a video floating around where manufacturers are talking about how 26ers are being replaced by 27.5 and 29ers. In fact some of these manufacturers are even talking about how they’ve even done away with 29ers. Apparently they’ve got some science and proof that 27.5 is better than 26 and 29er.
wheel comparo
But what I found interesting is that this science they have talks about how 27.5 benefits shorter riders or bikes with 140mm of travel or more. For taller riders, 29er would be a better choice. You can watch it all here. Be careful, these guys speaking are the Marketing Geniuses of the bike industry, they might just convince you to ride something other than what you currently have.

As for me and my house, we’ve gone 29er. Both LadyP and myself ride 29ers. Last time I counted, I only have 2, 26ers left in my stable and I’ve recently added added another 29er and a 650b. So do I believe the hype about 29ers? Ya I kinda do, sorta, not really, sure, maybe not, absolutely.

Hurt my back, no ride, got bored and built up a bike

Yep that’s how my Saturday turned out. So without boring you with some lame details, here’s some pictures. But first, let me tell you about my Bro-Date with Art Aguilar. He’s so dreamy! We had some tacos by the beach.
Art McDreamy Aguilar

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what I did. So ya, I hurt my back moving stuff the night before and I woke up with my back still aching. Oh sorry, I forgot that I said I’d spare the details, oh well. So let’s get to it. Since I wasn’t riding, I decided to spend some time in the garage. Pulled out the Retired Burt Reynolds. I had some parts laying around I figured, I’d build him back up again.

First thing to deal with was to remove the Plasti Dip that I put on a few months ago.
burt reynolds
That whole process took me about an hour. Crazy how long it took. Actually I’m so A.D.D or ADHD…not quite sure which, but one of those, that I decided to leave some of it on the hard to reach places like the drop outs, and other nooks and crannies that the plastidip got into.
plastidip bicycle
One of the things I like to do while working on my bikes is to smoke cigars. I didn’t feel like using up one of my premium ones, so I opted for a “daily smoke” cigar. I realized that a bike frame makes for a great cigar tender.
cigar and bicycles
The Plasti Dip did a great job in preserving the paint on the frame.

Yep this is the same 1×10 drive train that came off the the Titus Rockstar. I didn’t want it to just sit there and gather dust.

Here’s how it looks now with the 1×10 and honestly, it looks like how it did before I dipped the bike.

For the kids that like to weigh everything, here’s the weight of Burt Reynolds. 25ish pounds.