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Posts Tagged ‘MTB’

SMSG MTB Race Hanging By A Thread

July 21st, 2010 [print] No comments

Per my previous post, there’s a chance the 2010 Show-Me State Games mountain bike race won’t happen if the rain doesn’t stop.  I emailed an event organizer yesterday about whether the race might be canceled or postponed, and here’s the response she gave me:

"The park folks are supposed to let me know on Sat afternoon if they are going to cancel the race.  They are a bit more lenient because they really don’t want to have to cancel it.  If it is wet there isn’t a rain date for the race, so there just won’t be a race this year. "

Mid-Missouri was hit with a huge storm on Sunday, and then another on Monday night, into Tuesday morning.  More is expected for the weekend.  I’ve been planning this race for a year, so this pretty much sucks.

Categories: Cycling, Missouri, MTB Tags: , ,

Racing, Rain and Tires

July 19th, 2010 [print] No comments

BAH!

That’s what I have to say about Missouri’s increasingly wetter July’s.  We had a nice, dry run through the latter parts of June and early July, but now the storms are here again.  Normally, I’d just be annoyed, but this time I’m getting pissed.

The Show-Me State Games MTB race is less than a week away, and the forecast is grim for race day, with a good chance of showers.  However, if it’s dry enough to race, I doubt it’ll be called off.  What this means for me is, my proven fastest tire choice has to be tossed out, and I have to prepare for sloppy conditions.

I discovered last Fall that my fastest tire set-up happened to be a skinny 1.8" Kenda Klimax Lite in the rear, with a 2.1" Nevegal up front.  The rear spins up quickly for sprints, while the front adds extra suspension (at 25psi) and better braking.  So long as I keep my ass planted in the saddle, the rear’s excellent L3R compound gives it plenty of grip, despite a lack of tread.  However, that only helps if it’s dry… which it most likely won’t be.

My options are this:  keep the current tire set-up, have less weight in the back, but less grip and braking in the mud.  Or, put on a heavier tire, lose some speed in the flat areas due to weight, but have ridiculous climbing grip.  Light weight is worthless if I’m just spinning my tire, so I’ve gone the heavier route.

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Enter, my new set-up:  the 2.1" Nevegal in the rear, with an old and proven 2.35" Kinetics Stick-E up front.  In the past, I’ve run a pair of Kinetics Stick-Es, and nothing has ever come close to the grip they offer in slick stuff, which Rock Bridge park is full of.  The braking grip of the front tire–even with my antiquated rim brakes–will just about pop your eye sockets out.  I’ve never run the Nevegal in the rear, but it seems to have performance matching the Kinetics, only at a lighter weight.  Since I have no time to order something else, this is going to have to do.

In the mean time, I’m going to pine for the old days of dry, horribly hot Missouri summers, where we’d go for weeks without rain at times.  It makes the trails more predictable, and for my first race, I could really use that.

Categories: Cycling, Missouri, MTB Tags: , , ,

650B Tire Diameter

July 10th, 2010 [print] No comments

I posted the other day a link to 650B Palace’s list of 650B-compatible 26" mountain bike frames, but that doesn’t help much if your frame isn’t on the list.

Assuming you already have a frame that isn’t listed, and all you want to know is actual measurements for various 650B tires on the market to see if you have clearance, you can check out the shared Google Doc below.  The list originally showed up on MTBR.com, but I honestly can’t remember who shared it.

Link:  https://spreadsheets.google.com/

Also, if you’re looking for a 650B-compatible fork, here’s a thread on MTBR.com that will hopefully make it easier for you:

Link:  http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=392220

26" 650B 29er Comparison

Categories: Internet Goodies, MTB, Tools Tags: , , ,

650B Compatibility

July 5th, 2010 [print] No comments

There’s a growing number of mountain bike riders out there who have chosen to keep their 26" bikes, while converting them to the new-to-MTB 650B (or 27.5") wheel size.

The advantage of 650B is that they’re larger and smoother rolling than a 26" wheel, but lighter and more agile than a 29".  This disadvantage is, it’s hard to know what current 26" bikes on the market have room inside their chainstays for the larger wheels.

Fortunately, Cracked Headtube (if that is his real name) over at 650B Palace has put together one hell of a list of 650B-compatible frames, so if you’re looking to upgrade, take a look at his list.

http://650bpalace.blogspot.com/2010/07/creating-offroad-conversion.html

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Categories: Miscellaneous, MTB Tags: , , , ,

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Map

August 17th, 2009 [print] No comments

I realized there are no good Rock Bridge Memorial State Park trail maps online (this one on the official MO State Parks website is not only small, but horribly inaccurate), so I emailed DNR and asked if they had a better one.

Since we’re talking about state government here, they obviously didn’t have one, and mostly likely won’t anytime soon.  So, I took it upon myself to make one…

I scanned one of the trail map brochures that you can find at any parking lot, screwed around in Photoshop with it for a while, and ended up with a very large, accurate map (save for the exclusion of the new Springbrook — Sinkhole Trail connector) for anyone who may be looking for one.  Why the parks department couldn’t provide it, I have no idea, but I guess that doesn’t really matter now.

Click the photo below for a 2500 x 2050px version (also on my Flickr Photostream):

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Hopefully this will be of help to others.  Enjoy.

EDIT:  Here’s an additional map, showing the course used for the Show-Me State Games Mountain Bike race (click for larger view):

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The Rigid Fork Rides Again

June 15th, 2008 [print] No comments

I just found this older post from a guy who calls himself Guitar Ted, about the resurgence of the rigid mountain bike fork.  Thought I’d share:

http://g-tedproductions.blogspot.com/2007/01/rigid-fork-rides-again.html

He didn’t really go into a lot of detail as to why it’s once again become the trend to ride a rigid fork, however.  Personally, I always thought it was pretty stupid to ride rough ground without some sort of suspension, but since I’ve been riding a couple rigid forks these last few months (aluminum and carbon), I’m a believer in fat tires and rigid forks.

Yes, it’s bumpier, to say the least.  But with that, I’ve gained a better sense of the ground as I roll over it, no longer wondering where my front tire is.  I descend a little slower, obviously, although I make up for it on the climbs due to zero energy being lot through suspension bobbing.  I can definitely see why so many 29er and 650b riders are ditching the suspension forks in turn for larger-diameter, smoother rolling wheel/tire combos.  For the time being, though, I’m more than happy riding rigid on 26" wheels and 2.3" tires at sub-30psi.

If you haven’t given it a try yet, find an inexpensive steel fork and go for a ride.  It just might change your mind about needing suspension to make up for your riding technique.

Categories: Cycling Tags: , , , , ,

Mosso Aluminum Rigid Fork Review

May 10th, 2008 [print] 42 comments

I don’t normally write reviews on anything, but since the internets seem to be lacking in them for Mosso’s increasingly more popular rigid aluminum fork, I thought I’d do one.

I bought this fork last fall from eBay for $55 (incl shipping).  I didn’t know what to expect of it in terms of performance or durability, but for the price, it wasn’t a bad investment.  At the same time, I re-sold my ’06 Rock Shox SID, so the Mosso became my primary fork, and forced me to get used to riding a rigid bike.

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Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,

A Pig in Mud

March 1st, 2008 [print] No comments

To paraphrase a post on one of my bike forums, "I don’t care how light a bike is, slap heavy tires on it and it’ll climb like a pig in mud."

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Well, on my first ride of 2008, that’s exactly how I felt today.  Not just because my ridiculously light bike had super fat, heavy tires mounted on it.  Not just because the parks and rec department threw a fresh pile of gravel on top of all the trails.  Not just because it was extremely windy…

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Categories: Cycling, Miscellaneous Tags: ,