Monday, February 28, 2011

PFB: Coming Together

Here's what I have so far:

I don't have enough cable housing to make the full-length run to the rear derailleur, so this is where I stopped for the day.

The fork is set at 130mm, right in the middle of its range. I figure that's a good starting point.

I'm also not sure the "racy" Silverado saddle is staying. I might want something a bit more substantial.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project Fun Bike: Rear Wheel Built

I finally finished building the rear wheel. It isn't quite as exciting as the front wheel since everything—rim, spokes, hub, tire, tube, rotor, cassette—is old and used.

I would have liked a matching Chris King rear hub, but at around $380 it wasn't going to happen. So for now at least, a boring Deore XT hub will have to do.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Project Fun Bike: Part Two

Here's the fork that the guy in little brown shorts brought:

It's a Rockshox Sektor.
  • 110-150mm travel
  • U-Turn
  • Coil Spring
  • 20mm Thru-Axle
I've never owned a fork with over 100mm of travel, so this should be fun. Since I'm rarely happy with my head angle on any bike, the U-Turn will allow me to play with the travel settings until I'm satisfied with the steering response.

That's it for now.


Saturday, February 19, 2011


We awoke to a little snow on the ground this morning.  Nothing like last year in terms of depth or beauty, but still a nice surprise. It was pouring rain and 37 degrees when we went to bed, so I thought we had a chance of getting a little during the night.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

First Pieces

Some of the first pieces of the Project Fun Bike puzzle showed up Tuesday. The coolest thing was this:

I've never owned a King hub in all these years, so it's pretty cool to finally have one. Really, it's a work of art. And so light. Notice the 20mm thru-axle.

Yesterday I laced it up, and the wheel came out straight and true.

What's this, a 26-inch wheel?

Yep, the old man can still build a decent wheel. With a big 2.3 inch tire, this baby is ready for action.

Now I have to build the rear wheel.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Laying Low

I kind of walked away from the computer for a while. I think at some point every IT professional cracks and has to take a step back. Some difficult projects at work really took a toll on me, and they definitely contributed to my overall computer fatigue.

I let the blog sit for a couple months, killed the Facebook account and deleted a number of e-mail and web accounts. It felt good and healthy to step back, and also to cover up my Internet tracks a bit.

I also started ridding myself of things I didn't need or want. I gave away a bunch of clothes, sold my CD collection, and put a lot of old bike parts on eBay. I feel lighter now.

On the bike front, I sold the Redline:

I also sold the Karate Monkey:

I bought the Karate Monkey in 2005, and it changed the way I rode. It blurred the line between road riding and mountain biking. A cyclocross bike does OK in the dirt, but bombing rough trails simply isn't possible. A 26-inch mountain bike always felt painfully slow on the road, but the 29er was a true mountain bike that actually rolled well on the road.  It extended my range and allowed me to link together long rides using asphalt, gravel and dirt roads, and singletrack trails. The Karate Monkey was a great all-around bike for me.

Unfortunately, I tend to go overboard when I find something I like. After buying the Karate Monkey I sold all the 26-inch bikes and all the parts—tires, tubes, wheels, rims, forks.  I filled the garage with 29ers because I felt they were superior in every way. Now, I'm not so sure.

One thing I can say for sure is my mountain biking has almost stopped at this point. I haven't been out for a ride in a year. It was last President's Day, as a matter of fact. This isn't to say I don't ride in the dirt; I still do, but only in short stretches as part of mostly asphalt rides. And it's never anything terribly technical.

Last spring I built a mountain bike for my dad. After I finished it, I rode it around the property for a couple days. It was light and quick and fun. I played around on it for hours before I took it up to Tahoe and gave it to my dad. What was so great about it? It was a mountain bike. A regular old hardtail mountain bike like I rode for many years before the 29er bug bit.

I think you can see where this is going . . .

I sold a couple 29ers, and I sold a bunch of parts. With that money I am starting a new project that I hope will rekindle my love of mountain biking and get me back out there. More to come.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Vacation Time

We went on a little vacation in January. If you want to see some pictures, click on the little triangle to make 'em go. If you don't want to, that's OK too.