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)