First step to gaining 3lbs on your bike is to get a wild hair up your butt like I did and somehow convince yourself that going from a 3×9 drive train to a 2×10 would be “upgrading.”
Second step is to procure yourself a slightly used SRAM X7 2×10 drive train.
Step three, install said drive train and watch the pounds add up!
Once you do this, you’ll visibly and physically notice the weight difference.
Before the 2×10 drive train swap, Burt Reynolds weighed in at 27lbs. After the swap, you can see he gained a bit over 3lbs…Hmm, not sure if this 2×10 stuff is worth the excess poundage. I can tell you this, that dinner plate sized cassette would be one of the culprits of this weight gain. But I’m willing to give it a try tomorrow and see if the weight will be over shadowed by the benefits of the new drive train. If at any time I don’t like it, I’m taking that stuff off and putting back my 3×9 drive train.
We received a Guest Article from our friend Stuart from the UK about riding in cold weather. Read below and you’ll see he’s got some great tips!
Mountain biking in winter typically isn’t a very pleasant experience with the limited daylight hours and cold weather and for many riders the biting temperatures are too much, preferring to hang up the bike and bide their time until conditions improve.
However, if you’re living in an area with such a variable climate throughout the year as the UK, that could mean not riding indefinitely until an all too brief summer, which would be a shame as winter rides can still be very rewarding provided you’re fully prepared.
We’ve put together a list of essential items for mountain biking in winter, much of which can be retained for the months of spring which can still be wet and on the chilly side, depending on where you live.
Picking the perfect mountain bike jacket isn’t always easy but it will be an essential piece of kit for colder climes. The perfect jacket is one that will keep you very warm whilst also allowing your body to breathe enough to maintain comfort whilst riding.
Working as either as a base layer under a jacket or on their own, arm warmers are great pieces of winter kit, providing warmth and protection against the wind as well as being easy to remove and pack down should you get too warm.
As with arm warmers, leg warmers are excellent for keeping your limbs warm when temperatures drop. With a range of brands on offer and a variety of different fibres and fabrics available, leg warmers also benefit from being easily removable and not taking up valuable bicycle storage space.
Many MTB riders will wear gloves all year round but it is particularly crucial in winter. We would suggest wearing full-finger gloves in the winter and then switch to finger-less gloves as the warmer weather approaches.
Formed by a diverse group of cyclists, Cycle Stuff Direct are providers of premium quality cycling clothing, parts and accessories to make riding your bike more enjoyable!
Here’s the most recent upgrade on Burt, it’s a red chain. In my previous article, I mentioned that I’d go with a gold theme. But I realized, I had plenty of red on the components that it made more sense to go with that color. My previous chain broke, so here’s what I got to replace it with.
It’s a bright color that should pop.
Looks great don’t it!
As handsome as Burt looks, I’m still having some chain skipping issues. I’m going to try a few more things and see if that helps it. I really doubt that it’s the rear cog, but I’m suspecting the culprit might be the tensioner…aye, we’ll find out.
Yesterday during my lunch ride I decided to take Burt ReynoldSS out for it’s maiden voyage. I was pretty excited about since it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a single speed.
But during my climbs the chain was skipping. Ugh…I thought I had addressed that issue by placing the rear cog further out and spacing my tensioner with a set of washers. However, if you look at this photo below the tensioner is pushing the chain in and when under load, it will cause it to skip.
With this in mind, I’ve got two choices. 1, I can tray and mess with the chain line by putting the front ring inside of the crank arm and align the rear cog a few spaces back to see if the chain can fall within the roller from the tensioner. The other option would be 2, that’s to get a new tensioner that allows some adjustment on the roller.
Getting a new one seems to be the best option, probably the easiest. But you know me, I’ll find a way to make what I have work and my last resort would be purchasing a new tensioner.
Another issue I found was the stem height. Not a big deal, just have to move it down a bit since it felt really high. It made it difficult to climb when the bars feel like they are up to my chest and it makes it tough to gain leverage.
On Sunday, Nick D. and I participated in the first race of the Triple Crown Series as tandem racers. Mind you, they don’t actually have a tandem category so we entered in the 200+ category since our combined weight along with the tandem was probably over 400lbs. We made sure that we matched our jerseys and wore the highly coveted Pink Tuxedo jerseys. This ensemble along with us riding the tandem proved to be a crowd favorite. In fact even the Race Marshals through out the course kept taking photos of us riding.
Nick and I warmed up by practicing some parts of the trail, already we knew this would be a tricky race since there were some great single track. Tricky as in weaving with up and downs, great on a regular bike, but on the tandem it would be far more difficult.
One our first lap we were doing pretty well, we managed to do all the climbs and at some of the tougher descents, Nick dismounted and I would blaze down the trail solo and meet him at the bottom where he’d jump back on. I have to hand it to the race organizers, they marked out a great course, very challenging and fun on the techy stuff.
As we were finishing up our first lap, we come in to the spectator area and one of the marshals yells out “PINK TANDEM PINK TANDEM!” As soon as he said that the MC started talking about us and then the crowd erupted in cheers! Nick and I felt like super stars because we had so many people taking pictures and videos of us as we rode by. This certainly boosted our motivation to finish the race.
On lap 2 is when all hell broke loose. First our rear brakes stopped working, then we’re coming in super hot into one of the descents and BOOM! We crashed! The front wheel went into a sandy rut and we went down. But we didn’t just go down, it was one of those things where I landed on my left side, hit my shoulder and my head on the ground and then Nick falls on top of me. It was what I would call a very “intimate fall.” We brush ourselves off and make small chit chat to shake off that awkwardness of falling on top of each other by saying, “So how about them Saints?!” and “Ya, what about them Jets!” We were fine and the bike was in great shape. So we continued onto the next climb. On our way down the mountain, there’s some great single track, again perfect for a normal bike, but a beast to handle on a tandem. Then we get to a point where we had to muscle our way up a steep climb, we shifted gears, I called out to pedal hard and we’re motoring up the hill and BOOM! Chain comes off, we start rolling backwards down the hill and could barely stop. Upon inspection of the bike, we saw that due to the amount of torque we were pushing out, we bent the cranks.
We knew that this was the end of our race. We make our way down the hill towards the cheering crowd and I signal to the Marshals that we’re done due to a mechanical. Nick and I were both bummed and relieved. We wanted to finish the race, but we knew how hard the course was. So for now we DNF’d due to a mechanical, not because we didn’t want to.
Watch this clip and you’ll see the damage on the crank.
By the way, I do want to thank Nick for racing with me. Not many are brave enough to take on a tandem, let along race with one. Great job to him for being a great Stoker!
Check out this guy proudly showing off the MtnBikeRiders.com logo at 13,500 feet in the sky.
This is my brother, Staff Sgt/HALO Instructor, Randy Policar.
At a certain point before he deploys his chute, he does let go of the banner.
So somewhere in the desert, you might be able to find the banner. If you do find it, let us know and I’ll buy you lunch!
Big thanks to Randy for showing his love for MtnBikeRiders.com