Not a big Fan of the Boing

Since I started riding my rigid single speed, I’ve become more attached to the harshness of it than riding a comfy full suspension mountain bike. Don’t get me wrong, a nice squishy bike is sweet, especially during technical rides, but for this fella, I’ll be sticking with my rigid for most of my XC rides.

I’m curious to know how many of our readers are rigid riders…

Full Suspension Redline?

Could it be?

Well not really…here’s the story behind the picture. My friend bought a used Raleigh Ram 1.0 but found that the headtube had a crack right down the middle. So he took it to a dealer and they filled out a warranty claim. But since Raleigh doesn’t make this model anymore, they pulled one from stock sans OEM decals and sent a blank frame that was painted black.

Being that my friend was a former BMX racer and loved riding Redline Bikes, he felt compelled to place the Redline badging on the frame. I think it looks pretty cool!

New Build Project: XC Race and Epic Machine

We’ve got a new build project that we’ll be working on soon. This one is a bit unique from the Ultimate All Mountain Bike, The Sette Reken, and the Full Suspension Single Speed. The bike we’ll be building has two purposes.

1. Be comfortable enough to ride epics

2. Be aggressive enough to race with

I’m sure there are plenty of bikes out there that can do that, but the goal of our build is to customize it for the rider. As you all know, Priscilla is our Podium Girl…no she’s not the one that gives the winners their medal and a peck on the cheek, nope, she’s our girl that places when she races. She’s also been known to enjoy an epic ride.

The problem that Priscilla faces with her current set up, a XC hard tail is that it can be a harsh ride, especially if she’s on the trail for hours at a time. That said, this bike we’re building will suit her racing and epic needs. We’re going to build it up with some great parts…nothing that would break the bank and of course some pink accents to celebrate that she’s a chick.

If you’re wondering which frame we’ll be using…here’s a hint!

We’ll be getting this frame later on this week and once we have it in hand, we’ll post some glamour shots of it…you know on the bed, with a feather boa and all polished up….oooh!

Getting your mechanical brakes to feel like hydraulic brakes: Update

I’ve talked about this subject quite often for the sole purpose of trying to save a buck. My mechanical Avid BB5s have been great to me and I really don’t see the need to upgrade to hydraulic brakes. For one its too expensive and secondly I’m just poor and frustrated so that means I have to find ways to make what I have work and last. To give you some history on this, it all started because a few guys that I worked with at a LBS told me that you can run 4mm derailleur housing with your brake cables. This process is supposed to give you compression-less braking in which would feel more like you’re using hydraulic brakes.

So with that all said I started my experiment with installing some 4mm der. housing for my rear brake and left the 5mm brake housing for the front. On my first ride out with the new 4mm set up, I was quickly impressed with the modulation that my rear brake provided. Braking was quicker and snappier. To help you understand this…if you’ve ever tried hydraulic brakes…well think back to the first time you tried them. Remember how you first pulled the lever when you were riding the bike. Remember how quick the wheel(s) locked? Well think of that when I’m describing how the 4mm der housing felt when I first pulled the levers. I was actually shocked on how well it worked!

Fast forwarding, Nokon Cables have provided me a set of their wold famous compression-less housing and cables. Gore also provided me some cables as well, but that’s going to be tested later. For now I’ve installed the front brake with the Nokon Cables and left the 4mm der housing in the rear.
nokon cables

Right now the front brakes feel pretty decent, but later this week I’ll testing out this set up on my favorite rock garden, Rock-it in Aliso Woods.

Before you go out and replace your 5mm brake housing with 4mm der housing…you may want to wait a while, just for liability reasons. One of the warnings that my old coworkers as well as Steve Richey of Nokon said was that 4mm der can explode or fail while under braking pressure. So for now, let me take one for the team…cuz’ that’s the kind of guy I am.

I’ll be reporting back soon with some more information to see how this all works for me. Keep checking the site!

Sette Reken Single Speed Build Complete

This morning I got up around 5:30am just so I can put on the finishing touches on the Sette Reken frame. Magally of sent me this frame so we can show our readers that you can easily build a single speed bike for allot less than what people think. First of all this frame only cost $69 from…not bad if you ask me! The single speed kit that I have on there was only $12…also from I’ll get into the cost of the other stuff later. But for now I’ve built it so I can ride this weekend. I’ll probably do a test run on it just to make sure nothing snaps.

Those tires are the Rubena Harpie set that I recently reviewed.

Single speed kit from includes spacers, a 16t and an 18t cog. They also have tensioners for as low as $20. I happen to have this one laying around, I figure I’d use it.

These are Avid 5 Single Digit V brakes, courtesy of Priscilla’s old bike. I recently converted her over to Avid BB5 (Disc)

Marzocchi Bomber with ETA. I forget the actual model, its either a EXR or MX Pro or something like that.

I really dig how the bike is basically all black. Those are Tektro brake levers, but they’ll soon be replaced with some Avid levers. Uno handle bar and a 90mm WTB stem.

I weighed the Reken…about 24lbs…eh not too bad. But a huge improvement from my full suspension single speed that weighed close to 30lbs. I figure the fork and low end Alex wheels are the culprit of the chunkiness of the bike. But then again I wasn’t trying to build a super light bike. I was building this with a budget conscience mindset.

All in all, I’m happy with the build. I’ll be trying this baby out soon enough and I’ll come back with a full report and the cost breakdown of the build.

Will Steel Make a Come Back in Mountain Biking?

Over at BikeCommuters, we’re running a poll about what type of frame material our readers are riding on. As of this morning, 62% have answered steel. Even more discussions could be found HERE where readers are talking about how much better steel is compared to any other frame type.

Now if steel is such a hot commodity for bike commuters, I wonder if steel could make a come back in mountain biking.

Lately the only type of steel bikes you can get are hard tails. Our very own Khoa even built one by using a steel Nashbar frame.

The reason why I ask if steel will ever come back, well simply its out of the fact that steel does feel really good as a frame whether you’re on a road bike, commuter, or a mountain bike. I’m curious to even see if there are any steel full suspension bikes out there(not from walmart). If so, does it ride nicer than aluminum?

But the other side of this argument is that steel is heavy. Some have even said that carbon frames offer the same dampening properties of steel, but without the weight. Lemond makes a few road bikes that are steel and carbon, from what I’ve heard, that bike is a dream to ride. With all that said, “will steel make a come back in mountain biking?” Leave us your thoughts and comments.

But I like my bike…….

I have rarely talked to a mountain biker that has just one bike in their stable. Hard tails, single speeds, full suspension bikes, rigids…we all have come a looonng way from the Klunkerz days. Our household has a lot of variety in our garage because RL LOVES to build up bikes…and our collection is growing. lol.

The other day RL and I were talking about how I want to tackle some more technical trails. I am starting to really feel comfortable on this new bike I am riding and I think I am ready to tackle some harder stuff. You won’t see me doing weelies up the hill anytime soon though! lol. So he suggested building up another bike for me to do this.

Another bike?? Why should I build another bike to improve my skills? I am a simple girl. Once I get comfortable on my bike, I am a happy camper. It takes me a few rides to adjust to my bike so that it is JUST right. Once I have achieved that I am all smiles out on the trails. Aside from that I think that if I want to expand my biking skills I should work with what I got.

So I guess that’s where RL and I differ. More of you will probably agree with RL but I like my bike and I don’t want to feel like I have to change out my bike all the time. I still dream of the Gary Fisher Hi-Fi 29er (I am drooling) but I love feeling like my bike and I are one out there on the trails and that comes from spending a lot of time on that bike. Not sure that I can achieve that by constantly changing out bikes?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to try something new everynow and then. I really enjoyed Moe’s Trek Remedy and ultimately that turned me on to full suspension. The downhills were a lot of fun on that bike. But again, I want to have one bike that I will always go back to.

So is there anything wrong with that? Am I really limiting my skills with this mentallity? And even so I have seen singlespeed hardtails jammin down hillsides quicker than some full suspension riders. Mabye someday as my skills progress out there it will be easy for me to jump from bike to bike more often? Just seems this conversation has come up a lot with RL and I. And he gets pretty insistant on wanting to build up something else for me. I think he is just trying to distract me from the Hi-Fi 29er though….hahaha.

Rebound on your rear shock

The rebound dial is what slows your shock or springs extension after taking a hit. If you didn’t have rebound dampening, your rear suspension can buck you off the bike like a mechanical bull.

Too much rebound can result in your shock not being able to fully extend after taking a hit on a bump or jump. If your taking a bunch of hits your shock starts to what they call “pack� and it pushing your shock in causing you to not have enough travel. It also makes for a harsh ride.
If you have too little rebound, your bike will bob like a pogo stick.

Here’s a tip, set your rebound as fast as your shock can take without it feeling too springy. If its too bouncy for you, then adjust it one click at a time. You’ll have to play around with it until you find what’s right for your riding style.