Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Favorite Tires - Maxxis Advantage

Having been on a 29er for the past year and a half, I haven't had the chance to personally sample any of the current crop of 26er tires. Now that I've recently built up a Turner 5 Spot, I get the chance to play with 26" treads once again. I built the Spot up of parts I had around, some lightly used and some new. My wheelset of choice was non UST (DT240s laced to Mavic 717s - had this pair on 4 bikes already) so I'd be running "normal" tires with tubes. I also happened to have a nearly new set of 2.1 Maxxis Advantage tires.

Allison Dunlap (hence the AD) helped develop these tires for use in her conditions. AD is a Colorado Spring dweller. Her terrain mostly decomposing granite and hardpack. With that background, and since this is one of our drier summers on record, I thought the Advantage would be a good tread for our gravel over hardpack and our crumbling conditions in steep terrain. I didn't know if the 2.1s were going to be enough but, hey - I already had 'em, so I mounted them up.

My first several rides were around Peaceful Valley and Camp Dick. Lots of embeded rocks and the trail conditions were still relatively moist. The 2.1s were good, but I couldn't help but think that they could be better. With that thought, I grabbed a 2.25 off the wall and mounted it in the front, leaving the 2.1 in the rear. Results were definitely improved - better front braking and cornering traction. Conditions were drying out still, though, so I thought I'd bump up a size again all the way around.

2.25 in the rear

2.4 in the front

On to my current setup and probably my favorite all conditions/all mountain (god I hate saying that) combo that I've tried to date. Maxxis Advantage 2.4 front, 2.25 rear. This combo hooks up everywhere and still rolls relatively efficiently. The front tire has been great so far for everything that I've encountered - sand, deep dust, crumbly rocks, roots, and baby heads. The 2.25 in the rear hooks up better and slides more controllably than it's 2.1 little brother but doesn't weigh that much more. As a Hall Ranch tire, it excels. To be effective at Hall, a tire must roll fast, grip on rocks, and not slide in the pea gravel covered hardpack. The 2.4 has given me confidence to rip corners at Hall faster than I have on a 26" bike in a long time.

These Maxxis Advantages have been a confidence boost all the way around. It's good to be back on 26" and I'm glad I have these tires for that.

Here's the stats:

Maxxis Advantage 2.1 kevlar, 70a durometer - 640g
Maxxis Advantage 2.25 kevlar MP60 durometer- 660g
Maxxis Advantage 2.4 kevlar MP60 durometer - 860g

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Intense Tracer VP coming!

Jeff Steber of Intense put a few pics up on mtbr the other day. The first production run of Tracer VPs are now coming off the line. This first batch will be for sales reps, magazine editors and the like. The rest of us will have to wait until September for the first consumer production run.
Beauty all those frames lined up.
They will come with cable routing for remote seatposts as well.

Can't wait to get 'em in. The first batch is almost sold out. Call or email to get on the list!

Just a Couple of Tuesday Nighter Pics

You know it's a good descent when you see this. We were going to where the rainbow ends.

There were lots of flowers there.
Good riding, too. Thanks for coming out, all!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good things to come, Intense Slopestyle

Here's a sneak preview. We're building up this beauty Intense Slopestyle for Rich. Just waiting for the rims on this and then we're ready to build. Think DHX air and 36 rC2 Float. Think Race Face, Chris King, XT/X9 and lots of blue bits. Ahhh yeah.

beautiful welds
more beautiful welds
Not to mention the perfectly machined rear dropouts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tuesday Ride this week - plug your lights in

This week's Tuesday ride will be a lights mandatory affair. To the forest we will go, and what time we'll be back we won't know. All that I do know is that there is a high propensity for riding technical trails under cover of night. Hopefully, we'll be back to an open kitchen. See you at the shop at 5:30!

Near the beaten path

Headed out in a not so ususal direction this morning. Not so ususal for me, or anyone else it seems. Saw one other bike, on a rack at the trailhead, and maybe a dozen or so hikers. That qualifies as deserted as far as I'm concerned for a beautiful Sunday morning.

And a not so usual shot of Longs Peak.

Flux Time

It's been a while since we've put together a Turner Flux. Lots of Intenses and Turner Spots and Sultans but the Flux hasn't been in the limelight so much lately. Too bad, because the Flux is as fine of a 4" travel machine that you can get. This fully pimped large Flux weight 26.12 lbs with big ol' tires and pedals. Pretty darn sweet. Let this 4" travel beauty saturate your senses.

The Flux in full dress.

Lots of Xs in this pic
more Xs. Carbon, too. mmmmmm.

XTR brakes front and rear. Tell me those XTR rotors aren't beautiful, too.

DT 240 centerlock discs that we laced up to DT 4.2d rims. Very nice

Beautiful machine work and welding.

More machinework. Functional and weight saving, but this baby is still very laterally stiff in the rear.

Another example of Turner's ample mud clearance. Those are 2.35 Nevegals on there, too.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The General Bites Back

So last night, about 6 of us fellas went to sit in line to get early entry tickests at Rocky Grass which is being held here in Lyons at Planet Bluegrass. We got there at midnight after a couple of beers at Oskars and after about 30 minutes, we got a little bored. With a cooler of beer and the General Lee sitting there along hwy 36, we got bored. It just so happens that there is a digital speed limit sign directly across from us and Clay the Diesel Dusel decided he would try and see how fast he could the get the General going. Well it turns out he set the bar high at 27 mph which is actually speeding in the 25 mph zone we were in. Naturally, as most guys like to show how big their balls are took turns to beat it. This went on for at least 2 hours with cheers coming from the others waiting in line. No one could touch the 27 mph bar, mainly because the damn thing wouldn't pick up our speed but nonetheless, we gave it our best. Our good friend Erik went even as far as surfing the xtracycle while someone else was at the controls. He did this about 3 or 4 times with no incident. Well about 3am rolls around, Erik decides to take the bike out and get measured on his own. We all watched him roll up the hill into the darkness and waited for him to come rolling in. We waited and waited and then all of the sudden we heard some carnage. Turns out as he was coming in hot nearing the radar, he hit a traffic cone and hit the pavement full force. Since it was so dark, he had no idea where the pavement was so he was unable to brace himself and took the full force with his head and body (no helmet of course). We all ran up to him to find him covered in blood. He looked like he just got hit by a truck. The Bluegrass employees call in the medics and began to assess the situation. Fortunately, Erik was coherent and was able to explain how he was feeling. He had some major road rash and one big cut along his right eyebrow which required stitches. He also mentioned that his teeth weren't lining up right and after a visit to the ER, it turns out he cracked 3 of his teeth. When all was said and done, Erik had some major roadrash and cuts all over his face and hands. I'm just glad to say that he had no major head trauma, which going at least 20mph is pretty damn lucky. He toughed it out and was on his way with a ride home from Dan Farrell instead of the ambulance (which by the way, there were two ambulances and the entire Lyons Fire Department).

Here is to a quick recovery Erik and we are thinkin about ya.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A bear in it's natural habitat...

A Studebaker!

Actually, not a car but my backyard. I had to get into the garage the other day to gather up a few things for a bike ride. I saw a somewhat large black mass move quickly from the side of the garage as I walked out of the house. I was curious so I walked around the garage to check it out. I was a bit surprised to see a bear crawling up to the top of my garage and into the tree next to it. I've been here 8 or so years now and have yet to see bear in the yard.

Pretty cool. I went inside to grab my camera, hoping it would still be in the tree. It was.

Shortly after I took the pic, he started snarling and growling at me so I thought it best to pursue another strategy. I went back inside and figured he'd take off.

Well, he didn't. He came back to root around our trash storage (looks like I need to bearproof the trash now). The trash can is just outside of the window of the garage. I went back out to work on bikes and take a few more pics. He was just outside of the garage window so I got to watch it close up. Pretty sweet.

Now, my youngest daugher is having trouble sleeping because some random creature is ouside up on the mountain and is screeching loud enough to keep the neighborhood awake. Don't you just love Colorado? I do :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday Ride, 7/21

Meet at the shop at 5:30 and we'll caravan to Lion Gulch from there. Lion Gulch is a great ride that takes you into an historic meadows area with several homesteads from the early 1900s. Lion Gulch is also about as tough as riding gets in the front range. We'll go up it and down it. Going up is very difficult, with rocks, roots, big steps and creek crossings the entire way. We'll be walking/hiking at least up some of it. There's also a baby head field in the steeps for good measure. When we go down, it's the same thing but the pitch is such at over the bars are likely if you are not paying attention.

If you like steep and technical riding, this is your ride. If you do not like rides that are steep, loose, and/or technical, this probably isn't the ride. This is probably the toughest Tuesday nighter that we'll do all year.

We're going to have fun! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I like cars too.

Matt's a good buddy from Nebraska. He rides bikes a lot, & not just hauling his kids around. Thought I'd share a story he was featured in this weekend in the formerly local paper.

“I like cars,” Wills said.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shop closing at 4pm today, closed Sunday

Just wanted to post up a reminder that the shop is closing at 4pm today/Saturday and will be closed all day Sunday 7/20. The family is going camping. Wish us luck :) and see you on Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday Night Ride

Good ride everybody! A couple more pics. Wish I had one of Chris finishing up on a bare rim with the barking dog on his tail...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bikes are nimble

Good stuff tonight gentlemen.

Ron Rocking it.

Heading down fast.

James Creek

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July Tuesday Ride Schedule

Here's the scoop. For all of these rides, we'd like to leave the shop around 5:30 so we can be pedaling as close to 6 as possible.

7/15 - Jamestown. Meet at the post office at 6pm. We'll come up with something creative up there that we haven't done yet this year.

7/22 - Lion Gulch. The mother of all front range gulch trails. Hard up and hard down, this is one of the toughest rides we ever do. This will be an experts only ride. Not experts as in "I race expert and can climb with anyone," rather, expert bike handling skills because there are rocks and steeps there that are out to get you. Expect carnage, this one will be fun.

7/29 - one more time up at Peaceful Valley. This could become a lights mandatory ride because the days are getting shorter. Stay tuned!

the riding is good in these here parts

Wow, the riding sure is good out here. I'm trying hard to stay away from Peaceful Valley (fighting the addiction, rather). I'm always amazed at the sweet rides you can put together from here with very little drive time. I drove up the hill today, only 20 minutes, to the Lion Gulch trailhead. I heard that Hermit Park is open for business, so I boogied up 36 to Larimer County's newest open space. Surprisingly, the 4 or 5 miles on the highway was safe, went quickly, and I was able ride most of it in the big ring. Hermit Park is beautiful. It's nice that we can ride thru there legally now. The plan was to enter Hermit Park to connect to Homestead Meadows. From there, some looping around the historic homesteads before returning to the car via Lion Gulch.

A few switchbacks up the road in Hermit Park, I turned around to see the storage building off the highway with RMNP and Estes Park beyond.

It's a few miles of dirt road with beautiful views before you reach the trail that gets you into Homestead Meadows. I talked to the ranger about it, too. It's the only trail open right now (cause 99% of it was already there) and it's all good for bikes. Just gotta pay your $6 Larimer County day fee...

I think that it's important to note that if the above picture was a trail in Boulder County, the trail would have to be perfectly manicured to be open yet. If it was Jefferson County, you'd already see 3 wooden waterbars with rubber mud flaps on them. Good thing Larimer County is realistic and down to earth enough to realize that trail thru the grass is exactly that...

There's still a few relatively hidden gems in the meadows area, too.

I checked out a not oft checked out spur. It dead ended after going the the hardest hit area of the Big Elk Fire. I found these and my head started playing tricks on me. A group of antlers like this was more than likely collected by people at some time or another. Either that or a monster cat that specialized in taking down big game bucks and racking up the kill with a bonepile. This is also where I turned around because the trail had petered out by this time and I was kind of bushwhacking.

The return trip down Lion Gulch was as sweet as ever. I only encountered 2 other hikers, which was rare for a Sunday. I guess Sunday eve at 8pm is a good time to descend LG.

Yep, purdy good.

Tuesday Ride Suggestion>>>

Any chance for some Jamestown fun. Much closer for me from work so I can be there on time.

I rode the roadie up to Jimtown today and on the way back I took a shot of the area where we top out and start descending. Its such an amazing view.

Don't we start descending near the saddle on the top right of the photo?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Closed on Sundays for a bit

The shop will be closed for the next couple of Sundays. Carry on...

The General Lee

Most everyone has seen this now but I thought I would share it on the blog. Dave built me up a 1959 Schwinn Cruiser not long ago. This bike has been sitting along side his garage for quite a while (probably as long as I've known him). His buddy up in Montana had it powder coated orange. About two years ago I was over at Dave's and pulled the bike out and said "you need to sell me this thing". He said, "yeah, I could probably part with that". Then I mentioned how the color was "Duke Boy Orange" and then he thought for a minute, "well, I might hang on to that one". Two years have past and i emailed about 3 or 4 weeks ago and said, "I won't bug you anymore but please sell me that bike." Finally he let go of this classic and ordered me a new fork and bars and put it together for me. Then I got my hands on an xtracycle and with the addition of an "01" plate and "01" sticker for the headtube, it is officially the General Lee. Ready to haul moonshine across county lines. Fightin the law the only way I know how. Oh and I use to haul my kayak down to the river, all legal like.

Now I just need Dave to build up a "Cooter" bike (because he is the local mechanic). And then find someone in law enforcement who has a Basset Hound and build up a Roscoe or Enos bike. The only thing that remains is the dixie horn and maybe a CB. "Lost sheep to Bo Peep".

Here are some photos:

Turner Frames on sale 20% off!!!

Get 'em while they're hot. Turner is placing all frames on sale thru Aug 31. Valid on in stock frames (no custom geometry or paint) while supplies last.

email or call if you're interested. They will go pretty fast.
303.823.5810 or