Monday, May 30, 2011

Continental The Movie

Rapha Continental – The Movie from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Urban Epic

Wet, mud, cold.... The 3 things that define winter riding.
9 started with a mix of SS & gears. SS was the choice for the conditions. My geared pig was enjoying the conditions til 10 kms from home when serious chain suck commenced.
The 9 where whittled down to 3 bit the we ran into some friends which built the numbers for the return trip.
Bruce suffered a double flat, not even his sealant could stop the gush of air. Luckily he was not far from home and he could swap his bike over.
I rode in to the start so I was fried by the time I limped home. Lazy 80 kms for the first time in a very long time...... I was cooked when I rode in the driveway after 6 hrs of ride time.
The washing of the bike was less than inspiring but had to be done. Two washes later and bingo it was sparkling!
Thank you to the flat hill crew for leading the way!
Happy trails!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2011 Tour of California — Intro from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Urban Epic time

This Sunday see's the Flat Hill Crew leading one of the Urban Epic rides. Gears or SS your choice, mine option this time will be gears due to recent burst of illness and being unfit. Its a sweet loop and usually has a good showing of a friendly crew. So get on down if you have the time and the interest.
Check details here

Niner Air 9 Scandium

At the same time that I had my 29er SS off the trails being given some love by it's creator I had my new geared ride show up. For a number of months I had been running a Karate Monkey 29er with many set up issues. I dont have any real complaint about the Karate Monkey other than for me I could not get it right, I feel that the XL size was to small for me and I struggled to ride it as ultimately it was not comfortable. The Karate Monkey also does many things ie geared and ss, disc and canti brakes but I had many issues with the set up that in the end turned me off the frame. I think for a commute frame around town it would tick many boxes.
Anyway after trying to buy a Niner off the interweb (very hard to do) I bit the bullet and approached DC @ Fitzroy Revolution to intially pick up a EMD. After a short discussion it was suggested that I look at the Scandium Air 9. Now as I am a bit of a big unit I am sceptical how long the Scandium will hold up to my torture tests, thank god for warranties! Why not buy steel I hear you say? Well due to constraints of my build with a fork that could only fit a certain headtube length which the Air 9 could handle. I did not want to buy a new fork when I had a Reba that was in perfect working order.
So impressions of the Air 9 have been fantastic. Handles tight trail well for a big wheeled bike with a big rider on it and climbs like a cat up a tree (as good as the motor allows). It is a stable and predictable platform when descending and goes where it is pointed. So after a few trails rides of local trails and a jaunt out at Smiths I am happy with it.

The final build of this bike is
10 speed XT groupset
DT 370 hubs with DT swiss 470 rims
Thompson collar and post
Specialized stem
Fizik arione seat
King Headset
Reba fork
Avid Juicy 5 brakes
Big cheese grips
Giant riser bar (its all I had, not my prefrance)
King Cages - stainless
weight 11.6kg

Big thanks to DC at Fitzroy for helping me out with the frame.
Happy trails!

Gellie Custom 29er

Now I have my sweet ride back together as you know from previous posts. Just to fill you in on my love for this frame I have a few details about the repairs undertaken by Ewen.
I discovered a crack on over the Easter period by accident as I was sitting in the shed looking at something else. For some reason my eye caught a familiar line on the frame. I tried to wipe it away without luck. Crack time.....
After a quick email Ewen picked the striped frame up and I indicated that maybe the dents from my head on could be fixed. Part of the reason for using Ewen to build a frame was for the very reason that if I had a issue it could be repaired easily, sure I could have bought another OS built frame but repairs would be timely and costly.
Now I am always after answers why things fail, sometimes these questions cant be answered other than I am a big unit and I break things.
Ewen worked out that with limited information from the frame tube supplier that the heavy duty seat tube had cracked due to the use of a undersized (0.2mm) seatpost. Ewen had been trialing a new super sized seat tube to build a strong bike for me. The decision was made to reinforce the area for the repair and increase the diameter of the tube by reaming it out to take a 30.0 Thomson seat post that Ewen supplied to me free of charge as part of the repair process.
Ewen decided to use a Fat Chance inspired seat tube reinforcer, which in my opinion adds another element to the frame that works with the diamond shaped bottle bosses, chain peg and the stainless touches around the track ends at the rear. This reinforcement will hopefully hold up to the torture of supporting me around the trails.

He also sorted out the dents with a bit of loving metal work, which I am happy to say have it back to normal.

As I also sweat battery acid a few of the cable guides were slightly worse for wear as the powder coat had failed to get into all the nooks and crannies. Ewen swapped these out for me for a newer style he was using, it enables the powder coat to get in and cover the frame.

So after a gloss coat of silver powder coat, new decals and a few hours of love in my shed the beast is back together ready to rock and roll.
So frankly readers if you have a need for a custom frame dont look any further than Ewen. He builds a sweet frame (I have 2, road and 29erSS) and I always check what is coming out of his work shop as there is many a sweet bike being nurtured from bare steel tubes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Busy signal..... beep beep

Been so busy between picking up bike parts and frames to rebuild the 29er line up, work, packing up a house, playing dad.... life just keeps on getting busy. The weather and recent illness have all taken their toll. I have only been on the bike once in the last week and that was a quick hour long roll on the new Niner Air 9.
It rolls sweet and I will post pics and a bit more about it soon. The Karate Monkey was retired promptly as I had some issues with it big time.
The Gorilla (Gellie 29er SS) came back from repairs with Ewen after a crack was found in the seat tube just under the seat clamp. Ewen's prompt service blew me away big time as he picked up the bike on Good Friday post a email and had it back in my hands 2 weeks later reinforced and re powder coated. I took the liberty to get Ewen to refill and sort out the down tube dent post my head on on the Yarra Trails 12 months ago.
So last Monday night and a fair chunk of Tuesday was spent in a rather cold workshop pulling apart, cleaning and reinstalling bike parts to get the two 29ers into riding shape. It was worth the time and effort!
With the weather forecast looking crap for Sunday I am going to pull the pin on any attempt for the Bendigo race. Cant be bothered driving up and racing in crap weather when I ain't been putting in the time. Plus I have a lot to organise here at home and time is limited for packing and storing of the house prior to the renovations commencing.
Back on the morning commute tomorrow to keep myself sane and get at least a little bit of bike time. The new Rapha kit should keep me toasted on the chilly dark roll to work. On Thursday if time allows I am going to hunt down some new trails that I have heard a fair bit about and get out amongst it.
Enough for now..... happy trails!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's taking time

The 29er single speed is down for the count. I found a small crack on the seat tube just under the clamp. It was time to get the dents on the down tube from last years head on repaired anyhow. I sent a email to Ewen who promptly replied and later that night picked up the stripped frame. I am nothing but impressed with the speed at which Ewen has sorted it out. Currently the frame is getting a new paint job and should be back on the trails next week.
The replacement Niner for the Karate Monkey is stuck on a dock somewhere in Sydney and it too should be in my possession next week.
Bike time has been minimal this week a I have been super busy starting the demolishing and clearing of the garden for the extension. So Saturday was spent in the garden digging, pulling, chopping everything that needed to go. Plus I moved two water tanks to new locations which has totally wrecked me.
I did get out yesterday morning for a quick spin on the mtb with Gav at Smiths.
The place was rocking with stacks of people in the carpark which is usually unseen. It appears the place now has a small reputation to live up to. I was wrecked after one loop so was quite happy to have a java and put the feet up. My sinus infection has returned and happily giving my head a work out that I don't need at the moment.
So plan from here is to slowly get my shit together in the bike department and enjoy the time out on the bike. As for up coming races I am not to sure what I want. I know I have the enduro at Forrest in a couple of months so I have to find something between now and then. Maybe the 3 hr at Bendigo might be a goer.
The ski season is fast approaching and I am going to be in struggle town if my weight doesn't come down the the fitness stakes go up.
Anyway enough from me, get out and enjoy it!
Happy trails!