Well there really isn’t a rule on how to do this. But if you’re happy with your component group, then start making some changes on how your bike looks. A lot of people will change out the color of their grips, bars, stem, seat and etc. Changing out those items is a sure fire way to give it a personal touch.
Personally I like to accentuate some of the subtle colors that the bike has. For example, if my frame is orange, but the graphics like the logos are white, then I’d go with a white saddle and grips. If the bars and stem are black, I’d keep it the way it is.
One of my bikes had a pretty blue frame with white letters. So I made sure I got white wheels and a white saddle as well as a white seat collar(eventually).
The Moe followed the same idea with one of his older bikes. At the time there was a tire company called Sweet Skinz that sold these colored tires. They had a variety of designs that could make your bike’s appearance pop.
My newest bike in the stable is all white with black logos. I decided to go with a USA theme with it. I ordered red bars, white grips, blue water bottle cage, USA flag water bottle and a frame bag that is black and blue. I thought about getting star stickers to make it more patriotic, but I’ll probably do that later on.
So that’s about it…customizing your mountain bike can be as easy as changing out the colors of your accessories. Unless you get your frame painted or Plasti-Dip it, then you’ll have to work with what you got, and that’s what makes it fun!
One of the benefits of riding with close friends is the talk time you get. I’ve called it Therapy on Two Wheels. I’m not sure about you, I tend to ride with some of my best friends. These are the people who know me and my story like the back of their hand. One of my riding partners is The Moe. We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. Our friendship actually started from mountain biking.
Throughout the years we’ve both gone through some challenging times. The Moe had to deal with a divorce about 10 years ago, and recently I had to deal with divorce. Those two events in our lives were…to say the least tougher than anything we’ve had to deal with.
Fortunately we had mountain biking to help us cope. The Moe and I would often schedule rides and for those two hours, we talk about all sorts of stuff. It starts off with the latest news with each other, new toys or gadgets we just bought. But a few more miles into it, the real stuff gets aired out.
What’s cool about Therapy on Two Wheels is that while you do get angry or frustration comes out about what you’re talking about. You can easly let out that energy to the pedals. Sometimes I just zone out and let it all go as I roll through the trail
After all that purging, there’s usually a peace that comes over you and allows you to take stock of how good life is. While bombing down the hills, I am usually smiling ear to ear and quenching all that angst as the cool air hits my pretty face.
So the next time you’re feeling stuff, need to vent or get a different perspective, try mountain biking with a good friend. You’ll find that talking through life stuff while riding is definitely helpful.
About a week ago, I got into a bidding war on eBay for a new Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike. Normally these sell on BikesDirect.com for about $299. Since I felt that I was getting a good deal, I kept bidding. I won the auction at $220 shipped.
The bike arrived at my doorstep in 6 days and I was excited to put it together.
The bike was packaged nicely. Frame was protected by foam and other wrapping material.
Here it is on my stand. It also came with two different wheel tapes, the red one was already installed, then there was also a yellow set. I guess if I want to change things up a bit I could. Oh it also arrived with 2 rear cogs. The 22t was already on the wheel the there was a 18t in the box. I’m sticking with the 22t…I’m in no shape or form to try and pedal the 18t.
Tires were inflated to only 15psi and already it felt too much. I’m probably going to drop it down a few psi, let’s say around 12-13 and see how that feels. Bikesdirect.com claims it can fit up to a 3.5 tire. Since tires of that size aren’t necessarily cheap, I’ll live with the 3.0 for as long as I can.
Equipped with mechanical Tektro Novela disc brakes. I actually love mechs over hydros, so much simpler.
The no name bar and stem are going to be replaced soon. My T-Rex arms will need a 50-60mm stem and I usually go with wider bars, somewhere along the lines of 780mm-800mm. Besides having all that leverage will help with climbing on a single speed.
The color scheme on the Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike is a little too conservative for me. I may switch things up with different colored bars, grips and etc. I’m still trying to decide…once I get it installed, I’ll make sure I post an update.
I haven’t had a chance to get it on the trail yet since it’s been raining pretty good where I live. I probably will have an opportunity to try it out next weekend after it dries out.
It’s been years since I’ve ridden a single speed mountain bike, so I’m really looking forward to throwing up…oh yea that’s one of the side effects of single speeds…the hurling from all that exersion your put your body through. Fun times ahead!
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.
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.
42-year-old mountain biker finally gets on the fat tire bike fad with his purchase of a new single speed fat tire bike. These types of bikes have been around for quite some time and people who live in non-snowy areas have gotten them too. Ya sure they’re gimmicky and they look fun, but this fad…well, it’s a fad. There are plenty of brands who offer fat tire bikes, but the thing is, these bikes aren’t their biggest sellers. People still love their XC or Enduro/Trail bikes. Heck, even the E-bike craze is starting to become more popular than the fatties. But don’t quote me on that, it’s not like I have scientific data. It’s a matter of what I see on the trail
With that said, we’ll wait around and see how long he’ll keep this bike. When asked why he bought one, he said: “Well truthfully, I got caught up in a bidding war on eBay…and guess what, I won.” But did he really win?
When I look back at all my years of mountain bike riding and racing I have done, then come across something I have kept as a memento from my early days, it makes me think just how far we have progressed with bikes, parts, and riding gear.
While reorganizing my mountain bike area of my garage I came across my first DH helmet. This was one of Troy Lee Designs first helmets that he brought out, sort of, but he did and it was the “Sh_t to have” (read on).
After strolling through memory lane in my mind of those fun DH days, it made me think about what this helmet resembles or more about what it represents today. There’s no way this would be close to a DH helmet by today’s standard. Then it hits me! It’s more like an Enduro or All-Mountain helmet.
THE FUTURE IN THE PAST
It was called the EDGE Comp, but what most of you out there may not know is, the Edge Comp started life with a well-known helmet company. My guess is they thought their name would make the sales in mountain biking, but as we all know this may not be the case and back in the early days of mountain biking this really didn’t work to often by name and reputation alone.
Shoei Helmets brought out their first mountain bike helmet with no chin bar at the time, it was a new cool style XC helmet. Something way different then the traditional XC helmet (which had about as much style as an all foam helmet from KMART).
We go back to 1990, Shoei helmets (big in the moto market) thought to break into the MTB market, calling the new helmet the RC3 it came with no removable chin bar (like the TLD Comp) and looking to capture the XC crowd by storm Shoei was heading in the right direction, or so they thought.
Shoei knowing Troy Lee for being a leading graphics painter in Moto race circles, thought Troy Lee could do something with it, spice it up a bit, make it look COOOOOL.
Troy Lee recognized the potential with the helmet. He tweaked the peak, added a decal graphics package with it so you could make it cool and “BAM” you have a seller.
Next you have some of the top pro riders at the time wear it, BAM!! Pros loved this helmet, Troy Lee eventually acquired the rights to the RC3 and Troy Lee called it the Edge Comp.
With Downhill becoming more and more popular in the mid 90’s, Troy Lee saw the need for more protection. At this point he added a chinbar that could be removed simply by unscrewing the four screws. suddenly you have the best of both worlds, a DH helmet or an open face XC helmet.
Something we call All-Mountain, Trail, or Enduro helmets today.
THE FUTURE NOW
I started noticing what made this helmet so unique in itself is that when you look at all the features it has, you see what a lot of the newer helmets have in them. The DNA of the Troy Lee EDGE Comp is evident with the new designs out there from Its full rear / side head coverage, removable chinbar, large venting and overall fit, not to mention cool style.
I found it funny to look at it and think, “Wow, the new helmets out there today are not that much different in the style and design structure (OK structure is different, but you know what I’m talking about).
Just look at the Bell Super 2R, Giro Switchblade, Leatt DBX 3.0., 6D, Fox and so many more. When you compare the look of these helmets in full-face or All-Mountain mode to the older Troy Lee Edge [RC3] they share the same general DNA features. Some may be a full-face helmet with removable chinbar, big venting, or All-Mountain / trail helmets like 6D, FOX, and others. In other words you get great coverage and comfort for long rides all in one.
LOOKING AT THE NEW
With the advent to new technologies, better materials, and better understandings of head trauma, cycling helmets have become far better safety wise these days.
Style is everything to most of us, I mean really, we have to look good on the trail. From the moment you pull up to the trail and unload your bike the style points are starting with your peers, Lol.
All kidding aside we do care about safety and the manufactures care as well, especially to the head.
You will find many companies out there using the regular old EPS designs still and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but if you have the chance to help save your head with a bit more safety, why not be smart and do this for yourself.
We may all know someone that may have had a head injury from mountain biking, I know I have and with what’s out there now makes me wonder if it would have made a difference had my friend been wearing one of these new helmets today.
THE NEW MOUSE TRAP
These new designs come in many acronyms. The most well-known of them all and I believe one of the first was MIPS. You have 360Deg Turbine Technology by Leatt, and 6D has ODS.
These new technologies have been the big game changer for off-road cycling helmets today. Manufactures are making helmets that will help the rider to better survive a nasty shot to the old noddle. Even if you may not have a whole lot up in that area, let’s keep what you do have intact, shell we.
What do these safety features do? There are two things that are being achieved here, one is the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and number two is the absorption of energy during impact at concussion level.
So, let me give a brief explanation of what these do for you, told by the companies that make them.
Most of you out there may know or have heard of what MIPS is. The MIPS system is used widely by many companies.
Some will simply add this to their helmets EPS liners, while other companies will design it into their helmets for better fit with your head.
Bell uses it in their Super 2R, Giro in the new Switchblade, and many bicycle manufactures like GIANT use the MIPS systems with their MTB helmets.
MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, this is a leading slip-plane system placed within the helmet to help reduce the rotational forces that result from impact.
Kind of like having a floating layer the will move when hit.
360Deg Turbine Technology
LEATT, a leading safety company known for the development of neck brace protection has developed their own system called 360Deg Turbine Technology. Turbines made of 3D molded energy absorbing material.
The best way to describe this is they look like small rubber disc that are placed within the EPS liner around the helmet.
The two advantages to this are the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and the absorption of energy upon impact at concussion level.
6D helmets is another company that takes their helmet safety seriously. They have developed their system called Omni-Directional Suspension technology (ODS for short).
What make their helmet safety unique is how it works. You will notice the word Suspension in their description of the technology.
That’s right, suspension in a nut shell or brain bucket in this case. 6D has dual EPS liners with Elastomeric Isolation Dampers in between. What this does is allow for downward and upward, rotational, and side to side impact safety.
If you look at one of their cut-away, it seems like it would be free floating within the two EPS liners with little rubber shocks so to speak. Very cool.
PICK YOU POISON
This is just the tip of what is out there when it come to new helmet safety. It blows me away to look at my old Troy Lee and see what we have today versus what we have now. It makes me think, “WOW, I rode in that thing and took a killer hit to my head in it while racing a Big Bear AM-CUP. I rang my bell for sure and it saved my head, but how would that hit have differed to my head while using one of the new helmets with this new safety technology in.
With all research in head trauma, new technology and materials, it has made one thing clear.
Companies care about their customers well-being, not just making a buck off of us.
So, when you are out there and you are ready to make that next helmet purchase give a little thanks to guys like Troy Lee and Shoei for seeing the future, pushing the envelope and making us safe.
And give thanks to all the new guys that are pushing forward on how to keep us riding everyday.
March 31st was full of milestones, new looks, and great business relationships made stronger.
Mike Franze owner of Fullerton Bicycle was celebrating his 15-year anniversary of ownership. Mike purchased the store back in 2003 then shortly after he purchased Buena Park Bicycle in 2005. Family owned, Mike treats his customers just like family. Something that is unique with retail stores, but so needed in today’s E-Commerce environment where brick and mortar is going the way side.
Just to give you little history about Fullerton Bicycle, they first opened their doors back in 1967 and have been a big part of the community since. Always providing the absolute best service, in the best environment. This is a store where the staff is not only friendly, but knowledgeable at what they do.
These guys don’t just sell bikes and fix them, they are pure cycling enthusiast through an through, even Mike is an avid rider himself and this is what makes a customer come back to a place like this. They know that a shop that rides is a shop that cares.
After 6 weeks of remodeling both stores, it was time for the celebration of 15 great years hard work.
The minute I walked into Fullerton Bicycle I was blown away by the changes. This was a whole new store with a whole new feel of space. Giant Bicycle gave a helping hand to the remodel and they did an awesome job of it. New paint (my favorite color, Giant Team blue), brighter lighting, new flooring, well-marked Giant kiosk for accessories and gear, plus beautiful counter tops for the sales and service areas.
This was truly a remarkable change. When you walk in it feels warm and inviting, a kind of Feng Shui feel to it all.
You could feel the pride in all the staff members as well as Mike Franze himself.
LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED
So how do you do a Grand Reopening party / Anniversary party? I’ll tell you how, you get Giant Bicycle bring out their Demo rigs for Giant and LIV bikes, but you don’t stop there. How about kicking off a morning group ride around the Fullerton Loop with all the customer’s.
Then you lead that ride out with none other than Giant Factory Off-road Team Rider, Carl Decker and LIV Pro Ambassador Leigh Donovan, two legends of mountain biking. Now that’s an awesome start to a long day of fun.
Let’s not forget having some food to go with that ride after you get back. Tacos with all the trimmings, rice, beans, salsa, and soft drinks to wash it all down. “Mmmmmm gooood.”
Throw in some great raffles for the customers, a great big sale, plus have a booth to get your drivetrain all nice and spiffy after that morning ride. Boy was this guy ever busy all day too.
The Giant demo crew was busy all day as well with demos going and coming, and the store was busy none stop helping customer with all their needs too boot.
It was nice to see happy customers leaving with their newly purchased Giant bikes. From a dad with his young son and his first Giant PRE, to a young teen getting his new Trance, and a father and son both getting new Trance bikes to rip it up together.
Carl Decker and Leigh Donovan were busy chatting and posing for pics with customers also.
This turned out to be quite a day of smiles everywhere.
You can tell the staff and Mike Franze are very well liked. I spent the better part of all day here and it was evident just how much the customers care for Fullerton Bicycle. To the customers, this is just as much their store too and the well wishes were flowing to all the staff and Mike.
All this because of a philosophy and business practice Mike Franze believes in and shares. He Cares about his customer’s and his community.
It was great to see all the Giant members that were there to help celebrate the Grand Reopening and Anniversary with Mike, showing their support. You could tell this wasn’t just shaking hands and saying thanks then goodbye. This was a long-time relationship that has been built into friendships. Something you may not see to often from a company. This shows the importance of partnerships between dealer and company.
Giant Bicycle recognizes this philosophy, Mike Franze has been a Giant dealer for as long time and he is clearly a dedicated and passionate person to cycling.
Mike was none stop all day, I don’t think I saw him take a break at any moment I was there, true hard work pays off and for Mike Franze it does.
The highlight of the day came when they got him to stop long enough for all the Giant crew and customers to gathered briefly for Giant Bicycle General Manager John Thompson and Regional Manager Eric Woods to present Mike with a plaque certifying Fullerton Bicycle as a new Giant Retail Partner.
This is a big thing to have happen for any store and I’m glad to see it happen to a store that I may not be close to, but have always considered it as my local bike shop.
So that was the first plaque, a second was also given to Mike and as this was pulled out and presented to Mike you could tell he was taken by surprise.
It was a photograph with a personal message from Tony Lo the chief executive of Giant (just retired) with Mike in the photo.
Partnerships have been built, but friendships have come out of this. The massage from Tony Lo was just that.
Yep, Mike Franze has not only built a business relationship with Giant, but a true friendship and it’s worth saying over and over because you don’t see this to often and I like this.
Mike gave a grateful many thanks to Giant for all the support and love throughout the years and mentioned how blessed he was for it all and that he is.
Mike, Happy Anniversary and congratulations for 15 years of outstanding service and dedication to our cycling community.
Congratulations becoming the newest Giant Retail Partner. You and all your staff are professional, courteous, and there for the needs of your customer’s. With a Customer First attitude that shines through.
We at MtnBikeRiders.com thank you for being there and wish you many years to come.
His friends call him “Short Arm” Steve because he’s got short arms. He’s had a hard time finding a mountain bike that has a short top tube and a short stem. He’s been known to use a 25mm stem to help his reach problem.
Here’s Short Arm with his lady friend who doesn’t seem to mind his short comings…pun intended.
Short Arm almost gave up on mountain biking until he found a solution for short arm problems through an unconventional method. Back scratchers!
Short Arm Steve stated; “These back scratchers not only changed my riding life, but now I have more confidence to start racing this coming season. My wife also likes my back scratchers. Sometimes she wants me to scratch her back and that always seems to lead to some hot sex right afterwards!”
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…