Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Snow Bike Upgrade

5 minutes ago I was nice and healthy. In that time, it seems that I have come down with a cold: congestion, sneezing and wheezing. What's with that?? Just in time for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE! I have 4 days off work!!! After spending 4.5 hours of testifying for a fraud case on Tuesday, I NEED A BREAK FROM WORK!!!
My new wheels are finished. 1.5 inches wide, downhill rims but also used here for riding in snow. Wider rim + lower pressure = more squared tire = larger footprint = more floatation on snow.

Everything was going smoothly to get them on my Kona winter bike. The cassette came off the original freehub fairly easy, I didn't have to round up any extra muscle to get it off. I got it mounted on the new wheel and then started working on realigning the chainline, the cassette is a seven speed and the new freehub is for a 9 speed so I had to add spacers. The cassette is now further out than it was so adjustments to both derailleurs and the high and low screws. I got it all shifting smoothly, the brakes adjusted for the new rims...ready to go except for the tires mounted on the rims....

That's were it all ended.

Nokians are really great but I just CAN"T get them off and on. Twenty minutes, hands sore from the studs, the rubber coating looking like it might separate from the bead if I continue. So I stop. Damn.

I grab Capt'n Balance's Schwalbe Ice Spikers and get them mounted with no problem. I go out for a test ride but pretty quickly notice the Ice Spikers just don't grab the same as my Nokian. It was a beautiful ride, it was snowing big, fluffy flakes and about 20 degrees. Perfect for winter riding. Bike Boy was on his snowmachine packing me a bike trail over the hill and through the woods. I tried filming it with my camera but I need to figure out a way to mount the camera, holding it doesn't work. The test ride confirms I want the Nokians on my bike.

So to Bike Guy I go with the new wheelset and the old wheels with the Nokians. Bike guy gets them off the old wheels in about 33.7 seconds and mounted on the new wheels in an additional 42.1 seconds. He says it's all hand strength and I ain't got it. Yeah, I know.

So my bike is ready to go with the new wheels and Nokians. I was looking forward to going for another nice snow ride this holiday weekend but the temperature was 48 degrees at 5 am this morning when I got up for my morning ride. Everything is melting fast, icy slush and puddles everywhere. Slush so thick the front wheel doesn't like to move. Sheesh, it's more like spring break-up than the end of November.

Some people like this warm weather but I don't. My winter bike is busting to get out and ride and so am I. Winter should be COLD!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Future Cyclist

In our video game obsessed world of full of obese kids, I think this is a GREAT idea. However, I don't know why they used a car graphic instead of a bike graphic. I'm sure the person who thought of this is a cyclist.

BTW, my daughter and her fiancee have moved back from Montana!!!! The job that Safeway had promised him down there never panned out because Safeway decided to delay remodeling the store for a few years so he was stuck stocking shelves at a very low wage.

Out of the blue, a manager at a Safeway store in Anchorage called him and they offered him a management job of a new department. Twice the pay and a staff of 4 to supervise. BUT he had to be at work at the Anchorage store in 3 weeks. After teleconferences, he takes the job and then it's a mad rush to get out of their lease, pack, ship the car and household items, arrange a place to live in Anchorage.

My (immediate) family is all now within 65 miles of each other again! :)
See the Smart Cycle here

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I HATE it when I do THAT!

I'm working away on my Kona Hahanna snow bike, changing out the grip shifters for rapid fire shifter, changing out the pedals and getting it all cleaned up and ready for some serious riding...if the snow actually sticks around.

A big dufus friend stops by for a visit. 1st he scares the sh** out of me by lurking in my shop window. So he comes in and visits while I finish up replacing and adjusting the rear derailleur cable and get it shifting perfectly. Then we have a beer and keep chatting. I start to work on replacing the front shifter. I go to cut the old cable and just as I am squeezing the cable cutter I realize I am cutting the REAR CABLE. The just replaced, perfectly adjust rear cable. DAMN! I blame it on big Dufus for distracting me with weird conversations and beer.

The weather is not very winter-like. It's too warm and any sloppy snow melts quickly and everything is covered with ice. The ramp to my bike shop was extremely slick this morning. There was a beautiful rainbow the other day. I don't think I have ever seen a rainbow this time of year - we don't normally get rain.

In expectation of snow, I am getting some new wheels built for my Kona with wider rims. It will flatten out my Nokian tires and provide more floatation (surface area) or I can forgo the studs and get some other fatter knobbies. Nokians are hard for me to mount, so I will probably stick with them and decided later about other tires. Much cheaper than a $5000 titanium FatBack.