Friday, April 25, 2014

Return of the Fat

Apparently I spoke too soon when I said the fatbike season was done...Snow has been pouring from the sky up on Mt. Idaho which means I "needed" to go and test the quality of such a nice event with the Fatback...Whoohooo!!!

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Amazing how much fun it is to ride the fat. The snow is wet and heavy, which means going to extreme in low tire pressure to maintain traction. This kind of snow gives you lessons in tire pressure...too high at 8psi means you spin out and slid around a lot, whereas 3-5psi is pure glory for riding smooth and without issue. Yes, that is really low by most standards, but not for a fatbike in wet snow.

Get out, ride your bike, explore, and seek out new biking adventures - fun you will have!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Woodchipper on the Lynskey Cooper CX Bike

I seem to never be content with a single bike setup, always need to experiment with something. Biking for me is a never ending experiment, a never ending adventure, a way of exploring the world around me. So changing my bikes up is natural for me. Last week I decided to try a Salsa Woodchipper handlebar on my Lynskey Cooper cross bike. I had the parts laying around collecting dust plus I'm all about gaining more comfort on my bikes. I thought that the Woodchipper would provide a few more hand positions to enhance ride comfort.

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However, I was not sure the Woodchipper would work well on this bike, but I had to find out since the idea came to me on a ride and it was already stuck in an endless loop in my non-stop brain. So after installing the bar I had to take it out for a spin (of course) to measure the perceived fit and comfort that I was dreaming of versus the reality in true use. Of course along the way I alway stop and enjoy some of the beauty I am riding past.

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Dissappointed I am not. I'm not sure this bar looks so stylish (depending on your personal opinion of such things), but let me tell you that the bar is comfy both in and out of the drops. My hands are truly in heavenly comfort with this bar setup. I am amazed at how natural it feels no matter where I put my hands. I opted for barend shifters (a 1st for me) and I'm quickly getting use to them...I should have tried them years ago, but I was resistent because I wanted to be stylish and look like everyone else. I obviously have gotten over that and could care less about being one of "them" anymore.

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I also layered extra bar tape in strategic areas to provide additional cushing. Doing this has become a habit of mine for any road-type bars. I'm still in the "experimental" stage here so nothing is completely permanent. When I'm satisfied then I will probably run a full cable housing setup with some higher quality housing. So far though this is a nice setup.

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Of course any bike experimentation involves test riding over countless miles with huge elevation gains and every possible road seems that my new Idaho back yard is the perfect testing ground. Get out and ride your bike, do some exploring!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Seems to be Here

OK, I'm back...It's not that I have not been out on some new adventures riding, but that I simply have not taken the time to put anything here. Also during the past month my online photo depository (picasa web) changed making it much more difficult to publish my photos here. Not sure why they have made it so difficult to make links to my photos, but it's their product. Anyway here I am.

Fatbike riding has essentially ended since the snow has been uncooperatively melting away. I typically have a nice crust to ride on this time of year, but warm weather up high created mush, then slush, then muck. My last ride was last month in the rain on a fairly deep snow bed. It was "fun" and challenging, but it was essentially the end for my snow bike riding this season. Rats!

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I took my Fatback to Grangeville in hopes that I would find more snow up on Mt Idaho (my new backyard), but I simply have not had the opportunity to expore that option. I did ride up to the top of Mt Idaho on my Lynskey cross bike a few weeks ago and found some nice snow that would have been perfect for the fatbike, but before I could get up there again the weather turned quite warm making it mushy. I've been having a blast exporing my new back yard and the gravel roads around Grangeville when I'm up there and have the time (I stay up there when I work and come back to Asotin with my family when I'm off).

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Spring is definitely here, gravel grinders on the cross bike are it for me now (one of my favorite kinds of riding beyond the fat bike). Get out and ride your bike, do some exploring!

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