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Looking for a simple brake adjustment.... is that skipping chain driving you crazy.... how about those leaky seals on your suspension fork..... oh you need a wheel built.... the search is over! Mighty Mobile is here to help!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

East Shore Trails G.T.G

I can confidently say with a big, shit eatin', I've been ridin' single track goodness grin that the TRT is open and void of snow on the east shore.


Brian "acclimatizing" to the steps high above Tahoe



Aaron..... taking the inside line on "that left".


Brian descending towards Tunel Creek Rd

Mark hiding in the shadows on the Flume



Rob gets his game face on for the girls 12 & under dodge ball tournament

Aaron..... feeding the machine!!

To see more pics from this ride, click here.

To check out a good trail map you can't go wrong with, try this.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Whadda U Ride??



"What's the best bike?" I often get this question while at a job or on trail and the simple answer is "the one I'm on right now".



The Colnago in the picture is nice. It's light, rolls well on its ceramic bearings and is cosmetically pleasingly to the eye. The owner of this "rig" is passionate about cycling and feels like his bike is the best thing on the road. Maybe it is? But at what cost? Let's put aside the fact that the bike has a street value of just under $15,000.00 (no, I'm not kidding and yes, the comma and decimal point is in the right spot) and look at some other facts.

I was on the same ride as this bike. I was on my trusty Jamis with its steel frame tubes, 8 speed drivetrain and wheels that have 32 spokes.... each. My bike has a street value of about $600.00 (no, I'm not kidding and yes, the lack of comma and position of the decimal point is in the right spot) and for my particular application, I think it's the best thing on the road. We rode 98 miles that day. We both had a really good ride. We both arrived at our destination at the same time. We both didn't want our bikes to get stolen while we hung out after the ride to check out some racing at the Nevada City Classic.





Keeping this ride in mind, I was reflecting back to a week ago when I needed a crush washer to do an oil change on a Fox 36. I didn't have one in stock, so I hopped on the trusty Kona cruiser. This bike has a street value of.... well.... not too much really. But DAMN, did I have a good ride! I blasted through the neighborhood, cut behind the cement factory, down the bike path into town. I stopped at the Treat Box for a glazed doughnut, headed over to the thrift store for some miscellaneous browsing and THEN went to a local shop to get the parts I needed.

Today I'll be riding with Megan, my girlfriend. I don't know what bike I'll be riding. I dont' know what ride we'll be doing. But I do know I'll have a good time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pictures!!!


For those of you who find work more interesting while surfing the net and looking at random bike pictures, I've got a few options for you here to do just that!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tour de Nez



There was some good racing in Nevada City this weekend. The ride down there was good as well. We had 7 people in our group and some company from other folks from Truckee that were doing the same thing. I managed to stay hydrated much better than last year and was rewarded with not "blowing up" on the final 14 miles of uphill to Nevada City during the hottest part of the day.

I'm going to keep the "road weenie" experience alive this week as the Tour De Nez is in our neck of the woods. This is always a really good event with lots of options for seeing some cycling action. The best one of all is the crit in Truckee Thursday night. The pro race starts at 6:15 but there's plenty of fun stuff going on before that. Click here for more info.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Golden Tickets !!!!!


Do you consider Friday the 13th lucky??

Cause I just got wurd from one ov da Bacon Strippers that there's 6 chances up for grabbs for entry into the single speed worlds! The promoters are giving 3 tickets away to 3 fast guys at this race and 3 lucky guys (or gals I suppose) in anytown USA. I already got mine so.......

Click here for the SSWC08 blog to get the skinny. Good luck.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stuff to do

If you're looking for a neat-o thing to do this weekend, head on down to the 48th annual Nevada City Classic bike race. Racing starts at 1:00 and goes until 6:30.

If you are heading down there, it sure does make for a nice century ride from Truckee! We take hwy 89 to Sierraville and then hwy 49 the rest of the way. That's a route even I can't get lost on! You'll pass through a few towns on this ride where you can get food & drink, eliminating the need to carry much in the way of supplies. You'll be glad you have the spare room in your jersey pockets for the clothes you'll inevitably be shedding as the sun ascends in the sky and you descend to lower elevations.

The heart of this ride is the 20 or so miles from Yuba gap to Downieville. You'll loose about 3,500ft of elevation on this section and have the feel of being in a pro peleton cruising along at 28-30 mph. Then you realize that those guys keep that pace on the flats, in a headwind..... for days and days on end. That's when I decide to stick with the fat tires and keep myself in the mountains with the roots and rocks. I seem to "wired" better for that type of thing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Got Sag??

Growing up, I was fortunate to have a neighbor, Kevin, that had a Kawasaki bike with rear shocks, similar to this Yamaha pictured here. Man was that thing neat! You could bounce up and down on the seat getting the plushest 3/4" of travel on the block! Only problem was, there wasn't another bike with rear suspension on the block to compare it to. Heck, there wasn't even another bike in town to compare it to. We'd heard rumors of a kid in Carlisle with one of the Yamaha's, but that was 6 miles away.... a lifetime when you're 11 years old!!

Fast forward to 1991. Always on the cutting edge, Cannondale releases its SE1000. What a beauty. I forget how much suspension this puppy had, but it was cool (note: there's a difference between cool & good). Too bad the rigid aluminum fork sent every rock, twig and other trail inconsistency into your wrists. Hey, at least your butt didn't hurt.... too much. Before people decided that this design wasn't all that great Hanebrink tried it's hand in the "rear suspension only" market with their effort, the Shocker.


In 1992, Trek released their full suspension bike. It's still debatable weather or not the rear shock was helping to smooth the ride (albeit only slightly) or the rear swingarm had so much flex it would deflect off rocks to make it "seem" like the rear end was working. Unfortunately, most of the time you realized you had rear suspension was during a long climb on a sunny fire road when the bike would inevitably "pogo" up and down robbing you of precious energy all the while.


In the mid to late 90's manufacturers would toy with different ideas. During this same time, I would leave my job at a bicycle shop in trade for a position as a suspension tuner at a motorcycle dealer. The area had more than a couple of really fun motocross tracks with my favorite being Doublin Gap. It was always easy to talk the boss into heading out to the track for some "testing" on our 1996 KX 125 shop bike. The shop sponsored some really good riders at the time as well including Jeff Yentzer who had a national #56 one year.... no easy task, trust me. This guy was FAST! During my time at the moto shop, I completed a 3 day seminar on suspension theory taught by Paul Thead who started Race Tech. You think I'm a tech geek? This guy takes it to the 5th power! I absorbed as much information as my little brain would handle in those three long days and continued to apply it to that beloved 96 kx125.

Through all of this, I was still mountain biking. It was the era of the earlier Marzocchi Bomber forks, they were orange back then. In my opinion, this is when bicycle suspension really started getting good. Marzocchi abandoned the "cartridge style" forks (like Rock Shock's magically exploding Judy's) and went for a system referred to as "oil bath". Manufacturers were still "tinkering" with rear suspension design and ideas, but Marzocchi had set the standard for what needed to happen in the front. Oil bath forks were a little heavier but the trade off was good reliability, constant lubrication and most importantly buttery smooth action.

Even with all of this, suspension on today's bikes is soooooo much better than it was in the late 90's. Manufacturers have come to terms on rear suspension with a few different designs that seem to be the best for our intended use. However, to get the most out of current suspension designs, the suspension needs to be set up properly. I was going to get all "fancy like" with some pictures and step by step instructions on how to get the proper sag for your bike but found a couple of good ones already on line. The most easy and basic is from Bicycling Magazine . They seem to get the point across without too much confusion. It's really not that hard, but oh so important.

The reason you want the bike to sag a little, is so the wheels can travel in BOTH directions. Even the poorest suspension set up will "give" when you push down on the bars or hit a bump at speed. The magic however, comes from suspension that's already sagged slightly allowing the wheels to "reach" DOWN into trail inconsistencies. Think of skiing through bumps completely straight legged (comparable to too much air/spring preload in your shock/fork) vs skiing through bumps with your knees slightly bent, allowing you to "push" the skis with your legs into depressions on the hill. Turn this theory into wheels on your bike and... VIOLA!!!

Personally, I like to run 20% of sag on my fork and 25% on the rear shock. This seems to fit the bill for my intended purpose which is xc/trail riding. The bike climbs well, has good small bump compliance and sticks like glue in the corners.... my favorite.

If you're still reading this, you either have a "cushie" job that allows you hours of internet surfing, your hurt (how you doing Shawn), or your independently wealthy like me (my dad invented velcro). If you fall into this category, head on over to First Flight Bikes to check out some more pictures from cycling's past. That website inspired this post.