4th Annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride in Bellevue

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Rides No Comments

I found this in the comments spam folder, which is rarely looked through- so if you have an event you’d like up on the calendar, it’s best to email us.
If you’re in the Bellevue/Seattle area- this could be a fun little ride with a low entry fee and proceeds going to a good cause.

4th Annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride, June 13, 2015

An enjoyable, non-competitive recreational ride for the whole family. Two unique loops; a mostly flat Greenbelt Loop flat 8-mile route; and the Lake Loop which is a more challenging 22-mile route. Routes are about 80% on-road and 20% off-road (gravel). The routes take riders to and through Bellevue’s award winning park system exploring hidden treasures of Bellevue. Benefits the City of Bellevue youth camp scholarship fund.

Entry fees are low.

Participants receive a t-shirt.

Custom socks to the first 150 to register.

Start and finish, Lake Hills Community Park 1200-164th Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 Ages 8 and up.

Volunteers are needed.

 

More info at

http://bellevuewa.gov/lake-to-lake-bike-ride.htm

 

Ages 8 +, Under 8 must be in a tag a long or trailer

Entry fee
Pre register $15.00, day of event if space is available, $20

To register go to http://parksreg.bellevuewa.gov/ activity code 95182

For more information: bikeride@bellevuewa.gov

Day of event registration opens at 8:00 am
First riders depart at 9:00 am

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On the Cheap– (Don’t?) Try This At Home: Rockshox Coil to Air Fork Conversion

Written by Neal Poland on . Posted in Bicycle, DIY, Mountain Biking, Seattle, Washington No Comments

Full and utterly not shocking disclaimer: The advice in the forthcoming article WILL (not maybe, probably or might) void any SRAM/RockShox factory warranty on your fork. If you’re not comfortable reading service manuals and/or if the thought of beating your forks with a mallet makes you ill, don’t try this at home. If you’re ok with those things, by all means, try this at home.  

I recently purchased some stickers from AHTBM which read, “My Life Is a Cautionary Tale.” Those words echoed in my head as I stood on the deck of my apartment beating the lower legs off my 2014 RockShox XC 32 29er forks. Up until this moment, the forks had another year left on their factory warranty.

Let me back track to explain how a man in his late 30’s gets to the point where he feels the need to take a plastic mallet to a perfectly good suspension fork:

I purchased a squishy bike on clearance from my LBS late last summer. Obviously, a budget bike isn’t going to be spec’d with a high end menu of parts. In the case of the Fuel EX 5, that means a  fantastic Monarch R  air shock in the rear and a coil XC32 fork up front with a 15mm thru axle. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of those products on their own, the mix of a tunable air shock on one end and a basically non-tunable coil on the other end makes the bike do sketchy things when the terrain gets sketchy at sketchy speeds.

I’ve been a fan of RockShox products for years, mainly due to their easy maintenance. In the case of the XC32 coil, there is basically no maintenance to be had and changing spring internals to help “tune”  the fork to the rider’s weight is a 10-15 minute process with spring kits running about $25 from my LBS. Changing the firmness of the springs on this fork really does make a significant difference. You can even adjust travel from 100–120mm by adding or removing the rubber spacers included in the spring kits, which is a nice feature on such a wallet friendly fork.

But I was also aware that RockShox makes a Solo Air version of this fork, which I could purchase for a couple hundy. However… I heard rumors on the ol’ interwebs that any rider worth his blood alcohol level could convert one of these babies for around $70. Since the Solo Air system is a self contained cartridge system, it appeared to be a simple plug and play process as the IT nerds say.  I found out that it really is pretty much plug and play, but with fork oil and hammers involved.

Things you’ll need:

1) A copy of the SRAM/RockShox service manual

2)  A SRAM/RockShox Solo Air cartridge for the XC32 fork (DUH!!). I managed to finagle one from Bikewagon for about $55.

3) A long handled 5mm hex wrench, or in my case, a ratchet with a long extension and 5mm hex attachment. More on tool length to cum.

4) A 2.5mm hex wrench

5) 24mm wrench or socket.  An adjustable Crescent style wrench will do the trick as well since this is just used to remove the top caps from the fork.

6) 15wt fork oil

7) Graduated fork oil syringe with about 5″ of rubber tubing. Brake bleed kits work great for refilling this fork. I tossed my brake bleed kit because I’m an idiot, so I used the body of an old ball point pen to get all up in there.

8) Not a requirement, but I also recommend a seal kit because you’re going to have the whole fork pulled apart anyway, so why not rebuild the whole damn thing, Capt. Halfassington?

9) A bike stand or at least a good bench vise. Remember, you will be beating things off with a mallet, and everyone knows that beating off requires good grip.

10) A rubber tipped or plastic mallet

11) Last, but not least: a drip pan. There won’t be a lot of oil that comes out with this procedure, but you probably don’t want fork oil all over the floor. But if you don’t mind a little floor lube, who am I to judge?

The Plan:

In hindsight, I recommend removing the fork completely from the bike. Just makes shit easier to work on. I kept the fork attached to the bike, so it’s definitely possible to do it, but I think it would have been easier to remove the fork before proceeding.

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California dreamin’.

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle 1 Comment

Q: Why doesn’t California fall into the ocean?

A: Because there is a wingnut on every corner.

If you’re in SF or LA, there are a couple things coming up that you should check out.

fit-tour Flyer

The Speedvagen crew will be packing up their smart car and headed down the coast in order to solicit orders for new bikes. That starts with getting fitted- just as fitted as Sacha White’s tank top. Then you just fill up their armored truck with deposit money and in approximately 3 months you’ll have a bike that costs just about what the average worldwide median income is. If you have the money and are looking for some one-on-one time in the back of an armored truck, then make an appointment HERE

The dates are as follows.
SF; April 30th – May 3rd
LA: May 4th -7th
In other news- if E-bikes are more your thing and you live in SF or LA, Bosch is setting up 1 month loaner programs in those cities. They’re working with a handful of bike companies and putting little electric assist motors on them. Even Xtracycle is in there. You just email boschsmiles@gmail.com between 4/1 and 4/20 and see how you fare. Go ahead and get grandma that electric bike she’s been wanting so she can race the streets between episodes of All my Children.
bosch smiles larger

And still in other, sadder news- I’m not going to make it to Sea Otter. Why? Well, life I guess.


Believe it or not, this bike blog thing doesn’t pay the bills.

ANY bills. Like, not even one bill.

It’s a labor of love that is to be put aside if I’m to have food with my meals. It feels like I’ve been working a ton lately, and my legs agree. This week I go back to boat life- putting down my hammer on Thursday and baiting hooks on Friday. It’s the beginning of spring here and things are ramping up for a summer full of long days and longer nights.

Part of what I’m putting aside is my trip to Sea Otter, which I was looking forward to, being it’s 25th year- and an opportunity to ride with friends old and new, camp in the sunshine and see what’s going on in the mountain bike world. Life goes on.

So if you are lucky enough to make it to Sea Otter- hell, even if you don’t- shred hard and drink deep. I’ll be in the Gulf of Alaska up to my elbows in blood- and dreaming of my next time on the bike.

Until next time,

Ryan

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Comes with Baggage

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Bicycle, Events, Gear, Mountain Biking, Travel No Comments

Sea Otter is just around the corner and bike nuts are getting ready to head to Monterey to enjoy some sun, salty air and bicycles in California later this month. Oh- it’s also the 25th anniversary!

Blackburn will be there, along with a number of companies offering ways to get off the beaten path to explore the great outdoors. Blackburn is hosting a debut screening of a moving showcasing the history of bike travel. If you’re there, check it out. I’m sure they’ll also have some of their bikepacking gear around to play with as well.

COMES WITH BAGGAGE FLYER (1)Here’s a little trailer of what you’ll be watching

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Fear of the Dark: Serfas TSL-1800 Trail Light Review

Written by Neal Poland on . Posted in Accessories, Bicycle, Gear, Reviews, Uncategorized 1 Comment

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If you have a day job like most people do, chances are, your only time to ride during the work week is either during the morning before dragging your ass to the office, or after work when you’re free from the evil talons of corporate America.

In either case, a good set of trail lights are in order to make sure you make it out of the woods alive. They’re also a good addition to the road bike if you ride in rural areas with little or no artificial light.

On top of being a cheap ass, I also have terrible night vision. I’m the guy who gets up to piss in the middle of the night and ends up busting his head open on the door frame–true story.

So, when shopping for trail lights, I spent hours scouring the interwebs, innerwebs, outerwebs and spider webs reading reviews on sub-$200 light sets.

After changing my mind approximately 235,000 times, I settled on the Serfas TSL-1800, which happened to be on clearance at my semi-local bike superstore BikeTiresDirect.com for half-price.

Total out the door price: $160.

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Seattle Bike Show 2015

Written by Neal Poland on . Posted in Bicycle, Bike Porn, Events, Seattle No Comments

The Seattle Bike Expo is no longer. Thankfully, Cascadia Events picked up the ball and created the Seattle Bike Show for 2015. The event will take place Feb. 28th & March 1st at Century Link. This year’s events feature speakers such as the one and only “Bobke” Bob Roll, local celeb and mountain bike coach Kat Sweet, and of course, trials rider and yogi from the north, Ryan Leech.

This year’s shindig will feature a pump track for adults, and what appears to be a zipline. Your $10 ticket also gains you access to the Washington Travel, Trips and Adventures expo, featuring cool outdoor gear and local outdoor trip planning and advice.

Hope to see you there!

Sat. February 28th 10:00Am–5:00PM

Sun. March 1st 10:00AM–4:00PM

Adults $10

Kids 17 and Under FREE

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On the Cheap Reviews Pt.2.–Rock Out With Your Rock Hawk Out

Written by Neal Poland on . Posted in Bicycle, Bike Parts, Reviews, Seattle No Comments

As a lover of all things two wheeled and pedal powered (a bike-sexual if you will), I’ve been spending more and more time in the dirt than on the road.

Since mountain bikes and mountain bike parts have become increasingly more technologically advanced and expensive over the years, it pays to do your research and get the right parts the first time.

One of the, if not the (IMHO), most important parts on your MTB is a set of tires. After all, tires do a lot of work keeping you upright and shredding when the going gets gnar. With the ever changing trail conditions of the Pacific NW, it’s best to have a few sets of tires laying around the studio apartment for mud, rocks, dry trail, blue groove, snow, and sandy conditions.

Oh, and one set for night racing on Wednesdays.

But, if you’re on a small budget, all those tires add up. Then you can’t pay rent and you’re living in your Subaru.

Even a single set of high end tires can set you back a few hundred smackers.

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