Mighty Mobile Bicycle Repair is guaranteed, top quality bike repair parts & service that comes to your doorstep!

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!

Let 20 years of friendly service help you out of your next bike conundrum. Serving all of Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

Gregg Stone
Mighty Mobile Bicycle Repair
(530) 362-0458
fixthebike@gmail.com

Saturday, December 29, 2012

mondays

After just having skied the pow for the past 4 days and realizing it's my day at the ski shop, I can't help but think of this.



More as I recover from Christmas and freshies.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas

Damn.

The holidays are nipping at my heels like a cattle dog straight off the farm and WOW am I off the back. With most stores only open for "limited hours" today I still find myself in a position of being in need of more than a few items. I'm sure todays lunch break from the ski store will be an interesting hour of scrambling in an attempt at finding everything from playdough to powertools. I'm sure the streets of Truckee will be free of traffic and I'll just be able to "zip" in and out of a few local stores.... NOT!! Traffic in town the past few days is typical of what it's usually like in the Bay Area or LA... probably because most of the people in town right now are from the Bay Area or LA.

As is typical, utilizing a bicycle would normally help with my navigation through town but the 3 feet of snow that just puked all over the streets of Truckee limits my usual "bobbing and weaving" capabilities while aboard the bike. Although the streets are plenty navigable the normal bike riding options of cruising the sidewalk, cutting through the grass at the bank and passing cars stacked up at the stupid 3 way stop sign in Old Town just aren't possible with piles of head high snow in every direction. Meh. Whaddayagonnado?

Last but not least, Merry Christmas!! As Mighty Mobile Bike Repair is a unique service and business model, it's only appropriate that it send out some holiday cheer that's a little "outside the box". Enjoy.



Friday, December 21, 2012

the shortest day

So, not only did the world continue on with its ways today instead of coming to an end as was forecast by the Mayan calendar, but the sunrise from my bedroom window was amazing!

The Mayan calender world ending thing is also tied in with the shortest day of the year (aka; winter solstice). I'm usually one to maximize daylight hours but today I chose, instead, to sleep in and maximize sleepy time. Umm... sleepy time.

I spent all of Wednesday and the better part of yesterday morning at one of my distributors in Reno putting the final touches on a customers bike so he could load up and head to (hopefully for his sake) sunny Las Vegas. His plan is to maximize trail rides for the next four days leaving just enough time to get back for the act of tearing off multi-colored paper off of random sized boxes with loved ones (aka; Christmas). Smart guy. His next four days will be spent riding trail as he bobs and weaves his way through the desert, swooping turns and eating burritos after a long day on the trail. His weather looks like this:
Me. I'll be perfecting the act of snow redistribution as I shovel the deck, snow-blow the driveway, clean off the cars and try to keep the woodpiles from getting buried by old man winter. My forecast looks like this:
Meh. I'm not complaining. The skiing on the other side of this weather cycle will be off the hizz-O. (that's a good thing if you're keeping track)

People always ask "what's new" and instead of the normal "not much" answer you're probably used to getting, here's "what's new" around the shop at Mighty Mobile:
  • We will O-ficially be going to electronic billing and receipts for 2013. Some of you have already experienced this in the "test phase" during December and things so far have been successful. Need a receipt, no worries... it'll be in your emails "inbox" next time you're at the computer. No muss, no fuss.  
  • We're running a sale on Schwalbe Hans Damph tires through the month of January. Yup, if you're hard core enough to be riding through the winter, you'll be rewarded with saving some of your hard earned "duckets" on one of the sweetest tires on dirt. I used this tire all of last summer and it's sick. Don't believe me, read this review. MSRP $89.99. I'm selling them for $69.00 through the month of Jan. (Caveat/disclaimer/other legal mobo jumbo): price is only good for 26x2.35 TLR Trailstar compound. (it's the one you want... trust me) Offer good while supplies last.
  • Mighty Mobile welcomes Bicycle Technologies International to its lineup of vendors. I like these guys. They aren't afraid to carry the obscure, itty bitty parts that most people don't know what to do with. Let's face it folks, bombing through the woods on a sub 30lb bicycle is hard on parts. If you're bike's in need that little "doo-hickey" buried deep inside your hydraulic brake lever, I can probably get it from these guys.
 Hope this finds everyone well and ya'll have a good Christmas/New Years.   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Motivation

Rain finally stopped a few days ago.

While it was raining, I was seriously (not really) thinking about getting some more versatility out of the mountain bike. This was an idea I found early on.

But after thinking it through and watching the video a couple of times to see how the mechanics of the whole thing worked, I realized that I might want something with a little more speed.



Ahh. Here we go. This guy seems like he's got the velocity I'm looking for. Tahoe Lake is fairly large after all. Seems like he's got a surfboard for floatation while stopped or slow speeds and then some sort of hydrofoil deal-e-o when it's time to hammer. I'd probably rename it "hyd-brofoil" since I'm in California and all.

Then, this morning, I stumbled onto this:
 
This changes EVERYTHING! Realizing that if I'm actually going to do this series I need to start training. After racing the bike for so many years I've grown sort of tired of the same ole' training regiment I've used in the past. It usually starts with base miles, then intervals, then still managing to suffer like a stuck pig in the first few races with a reward of missing the podium by a couple of spots. Searching for a different training program that's "outside the box", I came across this and realized that it might just be the thing I'm looking for and give me some motivation.  

 

Even though my family tree has some of my elders originally sprouting up in Germany, I do not understand the German language. I think, however, what the guy in the video is saying is: "don't be a sissy girly-man like the guy in the last video with a surfboard for floatation. Real men just hop off the dock and start hammering. You stop pedalling, you sink.... like a sissy girly-man. Sissy's sink. Real men that keep hammering stay a-float. Don't be a sissy." Yup. Pretty sure that's what he's saying.

This could be great training motivation. I rig my bike up with one of these, hop off a dock and pretend I'm Jan Ullrich for the next three hours. In fact, I think this is him on the west shore of Donner Lake training a couple of years ago.

I'm sure this will work. The motivation of not sinking is multi-faceted. First thing, if I can learn to make a face like this for an entire race, there's no way I'm finishing off the podium. Secondly, there's the obvious motivation of not sinking because the water is friggin' cold and will shrink up your "nether regions" at light speed. Then there's the fact that submerging the bike will require rebuilding all of the bearings, replacing of all the cables, water logging my foam grips and filling up my dinosaur horn with lake water.... and we can't have that now can we.
 
Yup. After many a year of racing the bike, I think I'm finally starting to figure it all out. It's all about motivation.

 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rock Out!

Zappa.

Not gonna lie. The majority of Franks collection leaves most listeners scratching their heads wondering just what in the hell their listening to. It's not uncommon to have instruments out of sync and played along with other instruments that just don't (at least for me... and probably most folks) pair together. Sort of like toothpaste and orange juice. Sometimes things just don't work together.

Then, then there's the other stuff. The stuff that turns your pedal wrench into an imaginary air guitar as you play along with some of Franks above and beyond guitar solos. No lyrics, no weird xylophone solos, stuff that just flat out jams.
  
This is some of that stuff.




Friday, December 7, 2012

Fat Chance Buddy


Some folks are gonna click past this post because they have more important things to do like clip their toe nails, sweep the front porch, or watch paint dry because they just don't know how rad this bike really is/was.
 


Others folks.... well, other folks are going to sit back in their chairs, sip on some coffee and let their mind take them back to a day when steel wasn't only real, it was almost the only choice a rider had while in the procurement stage of acquiring a new rig in which to ride through the woods with.

 
I never had one of these. Even though I worked in a shop in the early 90's that carried the brand, I was in my late teens and the thought of dropping that much cash on a bike was beyond me. After all, I nearly went broke just trying to get a Rock Shox Mag 21 on my (then) current bike. No, owning a Fat Chance meant that you were either sponsored or had a job that probably required you wear something other than a T-shirt and skate shoes to "the office".
 

As if ponying up for a Fat Chance wasn't enough, there's no way you would EVER build it up with anything other than XTR... something else that my status as "junior mechanic" wouldn't allow me to afford back then. Shit, come to think of it, I still can't afford XTR! No, all I could do with XTR back then was drool on it while adjusting its tiny bits and dream of a day when my bike would be adorned with such componentrial wizardry.
 

 

MMMM. XTR.
 

Ahh, cantilever brakes. I can almost hear dry leaves stuck in the straddle cable from here. Adjusting cantilever brakes is sooooo easy. (you can skip this part if you're not into dry humor, even though the following statements are completely true and legitimate) All you need to do is make sure that your brake pad angle is set so the brake pad posts are perpendicular from the rim and the trailing end of the pads contact the rim juuuussst before the leading end (known as toe in). Not doing this step means that your brakes will probably squeal as well as lack power which is important as canti brakes don't have a ton of power to begin with. The pads need to hit the rims braking surface in the center. If the pads are too high, you'll cut the sidewall of your tire. Too low and your pads will develop a "lip" on the bottom causing the pad to hang up slightly on the rim. Also, not having full brake pad/rim contact results in brakes that lack power. Don't forget to check for low spots on the rim while adjusting the position of the pad. A low spot on the rim means that the brake pad will hit the tire resulting in a cut sidewall (and probably lack of power). The angle of the brake arm in relationship to the rim is also critical and changes dependent on brand and style. On this particular brake (WTB) the arms worked best at a 45-ish degree angle. If your brake arms aren't set properly, the brake will lack power. Now that your brake arms and pads have been simultaneously adjusted, you need to have the straddle cable carrier (the piece that looks like a silver triangle thingy) positioned so the straddle cable itself is at a 90 degree angle with the brake applied. If the angle is too steep, the brakes will lack power. If the angle isn't steep enough, the brake lever will feel "spongy".... and lack power. So, now hook up your straddle cable and you're all set. That's it! Of course, this all changes after you ride through the first couple of mud holes and the brake pads wear down throwing off all of your angles.... resulting in a brake with a lack of power.


lack of power!


Last, but certainly not least, was the Nuke Proof hub. Ahh Nuke Proof. Something else that was (fortunately) out of my price range back then. This hub had aluminum flanges bonded to a carbon (yup... carbon) shell. Most of these puppies failed. Seems as though the glue that did the bonding of the flanges to the shell wasn't "gluie"  enough. This always resulted in an interesting warranty claim requiring the wheel to be dis-assembled and the hub sent back to the manufacturer resulting in an unrideable bike for a couple of weeks. After a successful warranty claim, the hub would get sent back to the shop, a mechanic would re-build the wheel with new spokes, nipples and rim tape. Then the customer and shop manager would have an hour long discussion about who's financially responsible for what aspects of the "warranty" which usually resulted in a pissed off customer, pissed off shop manager and a remaining quantity of  267mm spokes that was just shy of a complete build. Ahh, Nuke Proof.

In closing, I'd just like to say.....
lack of power!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm back...

... I mean... MY BACK.

Yup. Threw my back out again. Actually, it's just on the cusp of being throw out. I've been here before. Ordinarily I don't have back problems but on the occasions when I do, it's usually something I can feel coming on and don't do anything about.

It's something that goes like this: I'm busily doing (insert project here). I feel a tightness in my back while doing (inserted project). I stop for a second and think about the ramifications of continuing on with (inserted project), realize that if I stop doing (inserted project), take an Advil and relax for a few hours things will probably be fine. It's usually at that point that I grab (insert something grab able here) and continue on with (inserted project) and an hour later.... wah lah.... my back seizes up and I spend the next couple of days laying on the floor of the living room watching TV.

This time, however, was different. Don't get me wrong, I didn't stop doing (inserted project) which in this case were projects (plural). No. I'm way too stubborn for that kind of logical thinking. I continued on with getting a Cervelo restrung with new internally routed shift cables (a rant worthy for an entire post someday), revamping a sweet ass Fat Chance and installing new shifters and rear derailleur on an old Kona. Oh, I also helped the UPS man bring in a few boxes from an order I did a couple of days ago.

Yup, stupid.

    

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sleep...

Something I've not been getting much of lately.

I'm usually up early. It's not uncommon for me to be swerving towards the coffee maker in the dark at 6:00am for my daily fix of bean juice followed by a little interweb surfing and preparing for the day. I'm usually in bed by 10:00-ish, so I still get my "recommended 8 hours" of shut eye which keeps me alert and feeling "normal" throughout most days.

For the past week, however, the digital readout on little Ben has been spewing numbers more like 4:00, 4:13, 4:11... way before 6:00. After tossing and turning for the better part of an hour I give in and get up. Although weird, this didn't prove too much of a problem.... until yesterday. I think the lack of sleep finally caught up with me and yesterday was like walking around in a fuzzy cloud of funk making even the most common tasks seem like huge projects.

Meh.

This morning was better. Damn near 7:00. Let's hope this is a continuing trend.

Still remembering this is a bike related site, I'll tell you that although we've had some enormous amounts of precipitation here in Tahoe the snow levels have been high and the bulk of the moisture hasn't punched through too far to the east. This being the case, there's still some good riding to be had in the Galena area of Reno/Mt Rose. Info: here ya go. There's also Keystone Canyon, but CAREFUL!! The mud down there can be bike destroying.

As for riding in the foothills, I'm not too sure. Rain totals in the Auburn and Nevada City areas were somewhere in the "shit-ton" to "ass-load" categories and I'm sure the trails felt the effects. I'll head down there next week and see how things are. Stay tuned.

More: I've been way into the bike commuting thing for my days of working at the ski shop. There's something about 30 minutes on the bike that just make the rest of the day better. The therapeutic sound of the chain snaking through derailleur pulleys as I turn the pedals makes an already bitchin'  sunrise seem more epic. Cold? You betcha'. But it's not like I'm commuting in Antarctica. I'm somewhat fortunate that my commute starts with a small climb which gets the blood pumping and my body temperature up to a more comfortable level. Within' reason, cold is just a state of mind. As is being happy, so I do what I do.