Lunartic Cycle – Hubless Wheel

August 14th, 2010 [print] No comments

Designer Luke Douglas is showing off a concept bike he came up with as an entry for the James Dyson Awards.  The bike, which is still in the early prototype stage, uses a tiny front wheel for maneuverability (I’ll complain about this momentarily) and a much larger rear wheel for stability.  The rear wheel has a toothed drive, which sends power through the rear wheel rim, totally negating the use of spokes.  The overall design is a bit awkward compared to typical 700c bikes, but it looks like it might work over the long run.

Lunartic Cycle

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Categories: News, Photos, Videos Tags: ,

Bike Security Fail

August 14th, 2010 [print] No comments

I want to make fun of this, but I can’t.  Back in ’98, after shelling out over $1,000 for a Gary Fisher Joshua, I did something just as stupid.  I was headed to a bike shop downtown, and all I could find to lock it to was a parking meter, so I locked it up and went inside without putting much thought into it.

It wasn’t until I came out and saw that I’d just locked my new bike to a post that was no more than 4" high, that I realized how dumb I was.  I was just lucky no one took it.

Bike Security Fail - FAILBlog.org

Via FAILBlog.org

Categories: Links Tags:

How to Adjust Epicon / Axon Fork Travel

August 12th, 2010 [print] 29 comments

SR Suntour ships its SF9 Epicon RLD and Axon RLD forks with 100mm of travel, however, both can be adjusted to 80mm, 120mm, or 140mm if you need more or less travel.  For this How-To, I’m using my 2009 Epicon RLD, but the Axon’s travel is adjusted the same way.  The only difference between the two is how much torque you use when tightening the lower bolts during re-assembly, so pay attention to that part.

First, you’re going to need a few things:

—  5mm and 8mm Allen wrenches (or 8mm & 10mm for the Axon)
—  large adjustable wrench
—  rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer
—  grease
—  fork air pump
—  in-lb torque wrench with 5mm and 8mm bits (or 8mm & 10mm for the Axon)
—  various shop towels
—  hammer
—  pin driver
—  bench vise or something similar

** Don’t even bother with this if you don’t have all the above tools already at hand, unless you want to end up with a (partially) disassembled fork, broken parts, and a bike that can’t be ridden until you have it put back together again.

As I mentioned, my Epicon came with 100mm of travel.  It raised the front end of my bike about 1.5" over my rigid fork, slowing cornering response.  I ended up lowering it to 80mm, and I’ve been riding it like that for the past few months.  After my little flight over the handlebars last week, though, I thought I’d raise it again, giving me less of a forward-leaning stance, and perhaps lessening my chances of that happening again.  Besides, I’m close to giving this fork a full review, and I figured it’d be better to try it at different travel lengths to see how it performs overall.

Instead of going back to 100mm, I decided to go to 120mm, which is the most amount of fork travel I’ve ever had (as a long-time XC rider, I spent about a decade at 80mm, or on a rigid fork).  My frame came stock with a 100mm fork, so going to 120mm adds some stress, but not so much that the frame can’t take it.  However, I think 140mm would be pushing it a bit much, and I don’t want to take a chance with snapping my head tube.

Here’s the fork before I took it apart, still set at 80mm of travel.

Click for larger image

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Hateful Rock

August 11th, 2010 [print] No comments

After I slammed pretty hard last week, I figured I’d take a couple weeks off from trail riding to heal.  Of course, I got bored with that idea about 4 days later, and headed back to Rock Bridge for a re-do.  Along the way, I found the rock that I faceplanted on when I flew over my bars.

It was still sitting on it’s side, same as it was when my chin came in contact with it.  I snapped a photo, then chucked it about 30ft into a lower-laying creek bed.

Click for larger image

The little fucker is about 5" high and 9-10" long.  Had it been on its side, I doubt I would have made contact.

Anyway, the whole point of my ride was to put together the ultimate Rock Bridge ride, flowing as much as possible, and hitting all the major trails (aside from Karst, which is too far removed from the rest).  It also has 5 climbs:  one is a long, two-stage climb that’s part of the SMSG race course, with lots of rocks and roots; two are in the High Ridge series of trails on grass; and two others are damn near impossible, just the way I like ’em.  As soon as I get a chance to put a map together, I’ll post it.  All together, it’s a little less than 13.5mi, which is doable even after a long work day, but still challenges you quite a bit.

Categories: Missouri, MTB Tags: , ,

How to Remove a Star Nut

August 7th, 2010 [print] 13 comments

Removing the star fangled nut from your fork’s steerer tube probably seems like a pain in the ass, but it’s actually quite simple.  Many people have given up trying to get one out, since they can only be hammered down, and not pulled back out from above.  The lazy way to go about it is to simply hammer the existing nut further down inside the steerer tube, then installing a new one above it.  But chances are you found this page because you’re wanting to go about it the proper way, by actually removing the old one.

First off, you’ll need a few tools, but there’s a good chance you already have everything you need:

— A drill
— 5/16" drill bit
— hammer
— flat-head screwdriver
— needle-nosed pliers and/or a hook

The star fangled nut basically consists of two similar ends riveted togetther about 3/8" apart.  The rivet is the part we need to attack, and once it’s out of the way, the rest is easy…

Click for larger image

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OTB Friday

August 7th, 2010 [print] No comments

One thing I’d prefer not to get in the habit of each week:  flying over my handlebars.  As much fun as it sounds, what with the flying part and everything, it’s actually much more painful in the long run.  The problem may be that I wasn’t in the air long enough to become distracted, thereby forgetting that I was flying, missing the ground completely, and continuing to stay airborne (props if you get the reference).  As it turns out, I was very aware of my impending doom, and had little time–about .5sec–to think of anything else.

With August finally bringing some dry weather, I decided to head out to Rock Bridge State Park for a long ride after work.  I had the whole ride mapped out:  basically, taking the SMSG race course, but veering off at the top of Sinkhole trail, which I would take counter-clockwise in a complete loop back to the Boy Scout connector.  Then, at the intersection of Spring Brook and the White Connector, I’d hang a right (instead of going straight), take the cliff–side section down to the parking lot, head over Highway 163, and loop around the extended section of High Ridge Trail, in a sort of figure eight.  Back over the highway, I’d head up the nearly impossible rock garden climb section of Spring Brook, hop back on the White Connector, and finish the race course.

If you’re not familiar with Sinkhole trail, coming counter-clockwise from the top is some of the cleanest singletrack in the entire park.  It’s slightly wider than everywhere else, and since it’s up high, it’s usually dry.  It’s also slightly downhill most of the way–eventually leading to a steeper downhill section before a sharp left turn–and just windy enough to be fun, but not so much so that you have to brake for the turns.  After the sharp left-hander, you’re no longer on dirt.  The trail turns into an old, dried-out creek bed/rock garden, again on a slight downhill slope.  It’s made of larger, chunky rocks, most of which move as you roll over them, with larger, flat rocks firmly attached to the ground, sometimes covered in moss, and usually slippery.

Click for larger image

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Categories: Cycling, MTB Tags: ,

Friday Links

August 7th, 2010 [print] No comments

Remember when I posted a bunch of links last Friday, and said I’d try to do it every week?  Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen.  Not because it’s too much work, but because I’m too lazy to do a tiny bit of work.  You know how it is:  you can go for a 50mi bike ride and it’s not even a thing, but picking up a pair of dirty socks and walking them over to the hamper is the biggest hassle in the world.

So, what I’ve done is made things a lot easier for both of us, but mostly for me.  I’m taking advantage of being able to embed my Friendfeed stream, and every link I share gets posted on this page:

http://gearinches.com/blog/about/friendfeed

Just click on News Links at the top of the page, or Friendfeed Stream in the sidebar; they’ll both take you to the same place.

It’s a never-ending stream of links I find interesting from other sites, but am too lazy to post on my own, and my Flickr photostream.

Categories: Links, Miscellaneous Tags:

WolframAlpha Calorie Calculator

August 5th, 2010 [print] 1 comment

I discovered a cool use for Wolfram-Alpha the other day, in particular, calculating calories used on a bike ride.

Okay, I know it’s not 100% accurate, especially since it can’t look at such things as gear ratio, terrain, tire drag, etc.  However, it’ll still get you in the neighborhood of your calorie usage if you do your best to input as much accurate information as possible.

You can also change the activity type from bicycling, to running, walking, etc.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=bicycling

Via WolframAlpha

Categories: Internet Goodies, Tools Tags:

Article: Bikes vs Cars

August 2nd, 2010 [print] No comments

I’d normally add something to a topic like this, but Steven Elbow seems to have done an excellent job covering an issue many cyclists–including me–have with a small percent of angry/a-hole drivers.

Link:  A biker to drivers: Let’s call a truce

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Categories: Links Tags:

Bicycle Dumbassery

July 30th, 2010 [print] No comments

What happens when you mix a combined 87 IQ, bicycles, and someone’s discarded trash?  Waste seven minutes of your life and find out…

Via YouTube

Categories: Videos Tags: