The Mountain Bike Life

As mentioned in Part One of this journey I decided over the winter to build up a Monstercross bike instead of a Cyclocross. And the  base frame I was using was a 29er frame. And this would be a build that would evolve over time as mileage was put on. And one must acknowledge that with the end of winter and melting snow in the last week and a half the mileage has increased.  Though it will be a few more weeks till the Singletrack is ride-able. The first major change was thanks to the Warranty frame I received earlier was a swap of the previous frame for the warranty one. Yes identical but decided the more used frame was to be the 29er…

There is something I have noticed on a lot of bikes that is often overlooked. You can see it on random bikes at the trail head, your buddies bikes, or even your own. It can even be seen on brand new bikes sitting on the show room floor. I am talking about cable routing. A lot of the time how and where you route your cables and housing sounds as if it is such a simple and inconsequential thing. I want to outline why it matters, and how it will make your bike ride better for longer. Good clean cable routing can create a very symmetric and pleasing aesthetic.  The reason for so many riders over looking how they route…

If you remember the MacGyver TV star from the late ‘80s, you know he could fix anything with what ever was at hand along with his knife and duct tape. My husband has a knack for MacGyverying and this has come in very handy for those unpredictable mechanicals on the trail. Way back in the heyday of MTBR gatherings, we were in Jasper, Alberta on a group ride of the Valley of Five Lakes trail. At the far end of the loop, riding down a series of foot high, stair step type drops, my husband heard a “snap!” – the linkage plates on his Sunn Xchox had broken on both sides. The cranks were now hitting the ground, the seat…

After a recent purchase of discounted tires from a “big name” online store, and an incredible customer service experience, plus a free overnight shipping upgrade, I found myself asking, why does everyone seem to hate these online businesses so much? Why do I feel guilty about buying anywhere other than a Local Bike Shop? Then I realized, I shouldn’t, Online Stores aren’t the bad guys, they are simply businesses, just like the Local Bike Shop, they are simply producing a different more successful product. A hefty debate grows throughout our cycling industry, with opinions running rampant, but where is simple logic? The accountability of a business? Why must I donate my money to a Local Bike Shop? Picture this: A…

Dropper posts are one of the hottest products in the mountain biking industry. They vary in price ranges starting at around $250 for the cheapest ones, up to around $600 for the top end. But what if you are on a frugal budget? For instance, you might have an inexpensive $500 – $700 bike. Spending close to $350 on a good reliable dropper post might not be your cup of tea. So what are the alternatives then? Dropper posts are awesome! I was very fortunate to test ride a few, and I was instantly sold. I can easily see why they are so popular. Many new frames now commonly come with built in internal dropper post routing. Droppers are awesome…

We often focus on the big things, wheels, frames, drivetrains…but I think it’s the small things that really make the difference. I have compiled a list of a few things that I have found to make my Mountain Bike Life better, I hope that you will find these items to be as useful as I do. Chromag Seat QR Not all seat QR’s are created equal, you would think that there is not much you could do to improve the basic design, but Chromag hit the nail on the head when they made theirs. I have used, Hope and Salsa, but neither come close to the smooth and trouble free action of the Chromag. This may be one of the…

Packing Big and Packing Light are no longer mutually exclusive. Gearing up for those big summer rides demands the proper pack for the job. Many of the High Country rides here in Colorado are remote enough to be very very far from help should one need it. Even something as mundane as a flat tire can become dangerous if it means that a 6 hour ride turns into a 12 hour hike back to town. Better pack a lunch, it’s a long walk back to the car When I can get away with it, when I’m kicking around on my local trails, not going too deep, burning a quick hot-lap or when racing my SS in a supported fashion I…

You remember it don’t you? It was a defining moment, for some of you it was THE defining moment. It changed everything.  Since then you have spent thousands of dollars on kit, yet one piece of kit was the ultimate game changer. You spent thousands of dollars in gas and day passes and for great rides, yet there was one ride changed everything. No mountain biking dollars have ever been better spent than those that bought your first real mountain bike. No ride has ever matched that first real ride.  This past week my son had that moment. Introducing the newest steed in our collection: The Trek Superfly 20.  Read below to the break to see  my initial impressions. Trek…

The simplest and quickest way of transporting or shuttling your bike with your pickup truck is the tailgate pad. Just throwing your bike in the back of the truck and the front wheel over the tailgate keeps your bike from getting scratched up and secure in your truck bed. Dakine Pickup Tailgate Pad For 2013 Dakine revamped the tailgate pad by adding 5 individual straps on the small pad and 7 on the fullsize for securing your downtube. They also added some more colourful options as well as a forest camo version. The new straps will help prevent someone’s pedal from scratching up your new bike’s paint job. . I’ve been using the 2012 model for a year now and…

As we delve into Spring and with Summer rapidly approaching, we are seeing more and more product releases by companies. I love this time of year and all of the new products to drool over, but it can be a bit over whelming. Sometimes it seems like wherever you go, you cannot get away from the latest marketing buzz words. With all this noise, does the average consumer really care? Oh, and did I mention that it is “enduro specific”? 26, 650B, or 29? Who knew that something as simple as the wheel could be so complicated? What got me thinking about this topic was when Specialized released their first attempts at a 650B bike. Specialized has released their very…

When you haven’t seen a trail since December it starts to wear you. So, when the thermometer got up to a wonderful 20F I decided I was going out. That by itself isn’t that great, but there was no wind and it was actually sunny out. As far as this winter has gone it may has well been summer. Anyway, I decided to drag my lazy but out to a trail and log some miles in the snow. I have to admit as far as winters go, this has been the longest, coldest and snowiest I can remember. Kinda makes me wonder why I live in the midwest……… I was hoping the trail would have been packed down a bit…

Last  year I discovered the Velominati site while following a link to the The Rules provided by a riding buddy. While initially I found the site humorous as it is primarily geared towards roadies or at least the initial perception, but with winter I browsed the site a bit more and started reading more. But the true getting hooked moment was when they posted 2 articles last January. Dirty Innovators initially with it’s look at what roadies brought over from mountain biking. But it was the Anatomy of A Photo: A Screen Grab from A Golden Age that got me hook line and sinker. Remember I’m the resident old man here and remember when John Tomac raced with drop bars…

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