Sunday, February 26, 2012

Surly is funny.

There has been Pugsley wheel building this weekend, swapping hubs between two wheels.

When dealing with Surly products, sometimes you find something in or on them (Besides the names) that makes you laugh and say "I love Surly..."

Like what I found as I was mounting a "Nate" tire on a freshly built wheel:
Deep Fried Meat Fueled Natepocalypse.
I love Surly.
Mileage: 3

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ride to Restore (In)Sanity: Build.

Now that the garage door works properly, the box of bike parts is organized, Bi's tail lights work properly, as well as Bi now having a clean and oiled chain, and a bell to politely request people to get out of my way, I can chill and blog.

Wasn't Sunday supposed to be the day of rest?

Friday, after work, I rode to Absolute to pick up a few things, a disc brake for Tri being one of them. Along the way, I ran into Exe and Su, on their way to the bark park. Plans were changed, and we all went to Absolute, where stuff was bought, including the disc brake for Tri. We ride home, Su setting the pace. As Exe takes Su out for her post ride business, I pop open the box containing the disk brake for Tri, to see if the rotor matched the one already on Tri.

It seems I am rather obsessed with this disc brake for Tri. I think you can see where this is going.

Imagine my surprise when I found, instead of the disc brake for Tri, a pair of old, dirty, Tektro V-brakes. For Tri.

A call to Absolute was made, and after laughing about it and checking the stock, I was assured that a disc brake for Tri would be waiting on the special order shelf, with my name on it, and I told Anthony, the manager, that I would likely be in tomorrow to pick it up.

After the ordeal, I wandered out to the garage, where I proceeded to make Exe's new Ogre rideable before calling it quits for the night. Though, we did get some very TRON-esque shots of test-riding the Ogre in the street before hanging it up for the night.

Saturday comes around, and I wander out to the garage  with the intent of finishing the Ogre, putting the rack and fenders on it, then riding to Absolute. But Exe said nay nay, that I should finish up the Austro-Daimler first.

...I can get behind that.

 A couple hours, a spin on the rollers for adjustments, and this is what I wound up with:
Spot the Su!

And then I took it outside.
In Motion!

So worth the wait.

I'll have to put together a bike porn post of it, but here's a teaser:
Mandatory garage door shot.

After assembling the Austro-Daimler, Exe and I finished off the Ogre, took pictures, and proceeded onward to Absolute on our new bikes. Once there, breezes were shot, bikes were shown off, and my disc brake for Tri was indeed waiting for me, with my name on it. (This time I opened the box.) They really liked both our bikes at the shop. After the bike shop, I split off and took Lonetree and J.W. Powell home, to get a feel for the Austro-Daimler at speed, on hills, and to see what a 52 tooth chainring can do.

How was it?

There is something to be said about classic steel framed bikes. It's very solid and stable feeling, but the ride isn't harsh. It's quick and responsive, but it's not overly twitchy. And despite the steel frame, it is surprisingly lighter than STeve or Tri, which is very odd feeling to me. It accelerates like a rocket, and when I run out of the gear I'm in, I can shift up and keep accelerating! I'm used to heavy singlespeeds, I just can't get used to this. Gears, who'd a' thunk it?

In Tanzania, Josh is laughing at me.

All that said, there are some... oddities to get used to. Down tube shifters for one. I have no complaints about them, it's just a little... "Ehhn..." to reach down and move the levers to shift when you're cruising at speed. As I said, something to get used to, and I have no plans on changing to bar-ends or STI levers.

All this getting used to will have to wait. Today it was cold, windy and snowy off and on all day. While the weather is supposed to be better tomorrow, I'm a little wary of taking it out on long rides just yet. Cinders and salt and water on the roads don't mix too well with steel road bikes, and while I did treat the inside of the frame to prevent rust, I'd rather not try my luck. But it'll get ridden, and ridden a lot soon enough. Yesterday's test ride was just a taste, and more than enough to make waiting 5 months to ride it worth it.

As yet, it still doesn't have a name.
Mileage: None today, about 9 yesterday.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New stuff!

It has been quite a while since I posted, but there is enough exciting bike stuff going on that it warranted a post!

First up, the Pugsley got new shoes!

In case you were wondering, that is a Surly Larry up front and an Endomorph on the rear.   And a dash of puppy cuteness; don't judge me. 

Secondly, my road-ish mountain bike, Crash the Karate Monkey, is getting an overhaul!  Polar Bear posted about the bike building already, but I'm posting more. Crash is getting a Surly Ogre frame, full fenders, and a Surly Nice Rack. In addition, he is getting an internally geared hub.

Yup, Shimano Alfine. Should keep the drive train simple for winter, but flexible enough to not die on a 25 mile day.

I sound like a bleedy advertisement for Surly, so here is a little down-side.  In working on both bikes, I've found that the rear hubs (both Surly single speed jobbers) have toasted bearings.  Not the worst thing in the world, since they are serviceable, but a bit of a downer.  Will need to replace the Pugsley's, along with its cog, since that is dead, too. 

Will post completion pictures of the Ogre, so stay tuned. =-]

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter Weather: Let's Build Bikes!

It seems our mild winter is getting a bit more active, at least for a few days. If I were to compare Flagstaff's current winter intensity to the rating system used for salsa, (Pace Picante, in this case) in the past week, we have gone from "Raw Tomato" to "Mild." Honestly, that's not saying a whole lot. The temperature dropped, and there's snow on the ground again, that's about it.

Seriously... it's been so warm that I've been seriously considering taking Tri for a mountain ride on Mt. Elden. I'd heard rumors that Rocky Ridge was nearly dry, and fully passable.

But, in true Flagstaff fashion, the weather changed.
The heralding of the first storm over the peaks, during an after work ride home last week.

Fast forward to... Tuesday, I think. (Work's been blurring my days together.)
Three to five inches of snow is the perfect depth to ride through. Deep enough to make it fun and pack in cool ways around the bike, not so deep that you're plowing through it.

It's not a whole lot of snow, but I'll take it. I've gotten a lot more riding in than usual for this time of year, in the form of after work rides. I've got a great loop that I've been taking, with how dry it is. Out Route 66 to the Naval Observatory entrance, then to Woody Mountain Road, and on to Purple Sage Trail, which takes me to Fort Tuthill. From there, it's ride past the airport, then homeward on High Country and the FUTS. Probably about 16 miles, round trip, with not much traffic, and a fair amount of time in the woods away from town, which is relaxing.

But, with more snow, that route will be under a healthy layer of mud. We'll see if I attempt it before it dries out, or if I find some other after work route.

But, for now, I've got things at home to keep me occupied. The on-going construction project that is the Austro-Daimler, and Exe's new bike, the Ogre. No pictures of it yet, as it's his bike, and if he wants build pics, he has to take them. He'd better hurry, as it's almost half done... I'm sure he'll make a post about it at some point, though. I also have a new frame to move Tri over to, a result of the Ogre build. Figure in running maintenance, and there's lots of bike work to be done. And yet, here I am, blogging... mostly to show off this pic.

Today, on the way back from the Airport after work with Exe and Su.

Freak out and throw stuff.
Mileage: 10 or so.