Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stans + New Rim or Ghetto tubless part III

In this episode of Ghetto tubeless (part III), our lovable fat boy follows the directions and finds himself as frustrated as ever.

I read the compatablility matrix:

Rim Type: WTB Laser Disc Trail 29er

Stans Strip: Plus Four

Directions: This rim has an extremely large rectangle drop channel in the center of the rim. Remove existing rim strip, use two layers of my 12mm spoke tape over the spoke holes. Then apply one layer of foam weatherseal 3/8 inch wide X 3/16 inch thick in this drop channel. Then install Plus Four rim strip. (Use Frost King foam weatherseal Gray item # V443 $2.00 for a 17' roll)

Check, check, and check (substituted brown for gray weatherseal, it's all Home Depot had).

I watched the informational videos:

After multiple shake,lay flat, repeats I finally got my tires to seal. Overall the process was a complete PITA. As I shook, soaped and repeated thoughts of changing to a different tire sent chills up my spine. Is this how it would be every time? What is the advantage really? I had heard hype from so many people, about years of not having issues, did they all go through this much effort initailly? IMO, changing a tube isn't really that big of a deal. I was hoping that going tubeless would mean lower pressure, but since I routinely run less than 30 psi in my tires, I don't see Stans as being that big of an advantage there. They will lower rolling resistance, so that's good, and it's nice to know that small holes, thorns, and bits of glass won't leave me with a flat. But concerns of sidewall gashes and trying out new tires has me wondering if I didn't line the wallet of Stans & Home Depot unnecessarily. Only time will tell.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Going custom

So after many months of thinking about it, and kicking the idea around with the wife, I decided to go custom for a new 29r. This was on the fast track as I had a huge commission that was supposed to pay out in February, however things didn't go as expected and the commission isn't going to be what I had expected. Looking in the garage, and talking to my CIO (wife) I've decided to sell off the old herd. I'm selling the SIR9 and the ti Kona... and if I get what I'm looking for, I might even sell the Gunnar, but I'm really having a hard time letting go of that bike... every time I throw a leg over it, I tell myself I can't part with it. Sentimental bike for me. So anywho, if you know anyone looking for a a small SIR9 or a groovy ti Kona in 96/26 form factor let them know. I'll post more details about the custom build as I get them. I'm working with a builder, and hope to have CAD drawings early in '08.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

When all else fails read the directions.....

..... or watch the informational video.

If you've been following along, you no doubt know that I recently purchased a set of King Wheels for the new ride I'm planning (Thanks Joe P for the specs bro, talking to Scott about fit etc). I also recently joined the masses and tried out Stans Notubes latex system. While it worked great on my AC's it sucked on my older wider Crossmax. I figured I'd try it out on the Kings since they're new. The first go was tough, I couldn't get the bead to seat correctly and after about 40 minutes invested decided to toss a tube in and ride. Today I decided to try again. First I installed a tube to set the bead, once set I removed the tube while leaving one bead intact. Next re-install the loose bead leaving room at the bottom to accommodate a valve core and the liquid latex goop ... what a stroke of genius... sorta. This process worked w/o a hitch, but I found that the rim bed of the WTB Laser Disc is too wide, deep and has an ugly seam. In frustration I went to the notubes site to see where I had gone wrong.

Mistake #1 use the proper tape. I used the thin straping tape rather than the more dense yellow tape or rim strips.

Mistake #2 I didn't leave a tube in for an hour or greater to force out any air bubbles from the tape. Pretty important step apparently.

With those things in mind, I'm going to head down to my LBS to see if they have any of the yellow tape, and I'm going to pick up some epoxy or silicone to help seal the seam on the rim. I hope this will be a good solution, and if it holds up as well as it has on the AC I think I'll be pleased. I wanted to slam Stans for being too hype, but they have great detailed how to's on their site, and I really have no one to blame but myself.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

B!tchin' Camero....

My latest experiment had me swapping over forks from the Kona 96er to the Niner. There is a huge difference between the forks. The On-One is designed to be a suspension corrected fork for 26" wheels, a-c is 425mm. The Niner is a 100mm suspension corrected 29" fork with a huge a-c of 490mm!!! The resulting fork swap left me feeling like I was driving a soup'd up camero with the rear end jacked up and the nose scraping the ground.... very east coast.

Interesting enough, I didn't crash once on my test trail although some drops made me pucker pretty tight. The handling was razor sharp, dare I say I felt like a Dr. with surgical tools in hand. The slightest hint of a turn and the bike shot in that direction. I was diggin' it until I hit the drops, where I felt the roll out nose wheelie action a little too long and felt more like an up side down weeble woble. Needless to say I don't think this experiment is going to stay as is. If I can find an inexpensive disc fork with an a-c more in the middle maybe there will be hope for the niner.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ghetto tubeless part II

A little over a week ago I decided to convert my 96r to a ghetto tubeless set up. I had heard a lot of hype about how good it was, but I just wasn't convinced it was for me. I learned a very important lesson this week. Older rims + new tires + stans = not compatible. The first night of stans in the 26" rear left the tire flat. I was able to keep the bead set and just pump up the tire. After a week of being in the stand flat, this was not the case, I couldn't catch the bead with my floor pump, nor could I catch it with a compressor. Being in a hurry to make the post turkey day ride, I chose to go back to a tube in the rear.... what a mess it is cleaning up that junk. I can't say I'm all that impressed, and had this happened trail side it would have been ten times worse. Ironically the front is holding up just fine, but now the fear of a sidewall gash or too little psi and losing the bead are stuck in my head.

* I didn't get pix of the stans cleaning process. I think it took about 20-30 shop towels to clean it all up. Special thanks to Fern for his help cleaning it all up.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More new things.....

For the last few years I've been pretty happy to stick to the SS scene, but since I've been off the bike so much lately and I've been playing around with the Kona, I thought I'd try out some new things.

One of the things that has been an issue for me is pinch flats. Since I'm a rigid rider, I tend to make up for suspension or cush by running the pressure in my tires pretty low. When I was fit and had some skillz this wasn't really a problem, but pushing clyde weight and having the finesse of a bull in a china shop, I've had my share of pinch flats lately. I've decided to try out some ghetto tubeless. My Canuk chum Aaron hooked a brutha up with some "Stans" and his special secret sauce to make it all work. Rode Government Canyon today with almost no issues. The only minor thing was my phatass came down hard and off center on a rock and the rear wheel let me know by blowing what I've dubbed a "Stans fart" (three actually. Much to my surprise (pucker factor 10+ as I thought I blew the tire) I didn't lose all that much air, just sounded the part. First ride with Satan, I mean Stans and I have no complaints. I've resisted so long, could I have been wrong all this time? Only several rocky thorny rides will tell.

The next thing I got, was an uber wide bar. I've been riding a Jones for a couple of years now, and really like the hand position, but wanted to try a flatish bar. A quick search on ebay found a gently loved On-One Fleegle for next to nothing, how could I resist. This bar is W_I_D_E, if I were back east I'd hook every tree in sight, good thing I'm in the wasteland know as TX... not much for trees, pretty wide open. I have around 3-4 rides on the bars, and I'm really digging the leverage I can get out of them.

some pix for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


So the 96er experiment has been in full swing for half a dozen rides. In theory this is the perfect solution for a shortie like me. I fit a full on 29r ok, but stand over even with a sloping top tube leaves a little to be desired. One of the biggest things for me on the 29r is that I notice that I can't "flick" the bike like I could on my 26er's. The 96er gives me the ability to maneuver and use my body english more (flick), but I've been crashing left and right and couldn't figure out what was goind on. The HTA was a concern of course, but after speaking to several builders, it looks like I didn't take "trail" and "rake" into consideration. One of the builders was good enought to get technical with me, but mostly what stuck was that I would continue to experience the dreaded "washout" that I've been experiencing. So with that said, looks like I'm back to the drawing board. I'm wondering if going with a 650b wheel would change geometry enough to make a difference.

Anyone got a 650b wheel lying around you don't need ;o)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Project 96'r Recipie


1) Old Kona King Kahuna Ti

1) 29" front wheel

1) Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc caliper

1) On-One Superlight Fork

1) Star Nut

2) Zip ties

Bulk Cable Housing and cable

Dozen spacers gourmet or standard

Dash of single track dust to taste

Take Old Kona and carefully remove old squishy bits off of front including 26" wheel. On a clean work bench, combine On-One fork, Mechanical Disc. Take ingredients off of bench and incorporate with Old Kona. Measure rise of stem, install spacers as needed and cut fork to length. Mix star nut, cable & housing and tighten everything to spec. To finish, add 29r wheel, sprinkle with single track dust and enjoy. Makes one serving, guaranteed to make you smile.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What happens when....

....175#'s of Phataass meets a 165 gram saddle?.......

Next time, no hollow rails for FB.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What's old is new again.....

Circa ~'94/'95 TNT cranks. If only I could find my ti S-Works crank bolts....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Year, new FB

Ok.... who am I kidding. I did better in '06 than '05 in that I did ride a bit more, and I blogged a bunch more. I dropped off the last two months of the year, but oh well. This year I'm back at it. I want to ride more, now that we're finally settled into the house, and start running (once I find a good trail or route). So not quite a New Years ride, but close enough. Some of the local guys have been building this cool new trail. Enjoy!

1st re-route... this is meant to be the up portion, but I'm a wuss and rode down it

This is the down section... it's much higher than it looks and there's no great run out. We cleaned it up a bit and added some boulders to help keep the bounce to a minimum while riding down.

Same as above, but me trying to ride up it.... I cleaned it ... yeah, that's right...