Monday, March 21, 2011

KBK's Spring Checklist for Bikes


I realized that I didn't ever get around to giving folks my checklist for bike maintenance yesterday at the Knife Sharpening, so I thought I would pass it out here so everyone can enjoy! This is supposed to be a checklist for major tuneup Feel free to comment on things I forgot to include.

1) Start with cleaning
- Degrease all greasiness (clean chain, cassette, chainrings, derailleur pulleys etc)
- Clean your dirty dirty bike (really scrub everything else down with some good soap (not degreaser).
- Pay close attention to underside of bike, moving parts, and between the seat and chainstays
- Note anything funky/wrong/busted/dinged/dented

2) Inspection (check and note each - fix later)
- Check tires for wear (tread, sidewalls, weird bumps)
- Check chain for wear (use chain checker tool if you can)
- Check cassette and chainrings for wear (look for something like this only probably not as bad: this picture is of a ring about 2 years too far gone)
- Check brake cables/hoses/housings (looking for fraying, wear, holes)
- Check shifter cables/housing
- Check to make sure nothing is loose (handlebar, stem, seatpost, saddle, various levers and shifters)
- Wiggle wheels from side to side - you shouldn't get more than 1/8 inch of play with a light touch of your hand
- Check for clunking in cranks (bad bottom braket?)
- Check for trueness of wheel (spin the wheel while holding up the bike. Hold your finger tip near the side of the rim as close as possible without touching it. If you see the wheel getting closer then farther then closer, it's out of true - this can screw up braking a lot (unless you have disc brakes).
- Check rims for pitting, dents or other damage
- Check frame for cracks or dings.
- Check hand grips/bar tape (worn? tight? bar ends still on?)
- Check your fork/shocks for wear, scratches, dings, oil seeping, evil monsters
- If you have a drop seatpost do the same inspection as above and make sure it's actuating properly.

3) Fix problems
- Anything identified above.

4) Put on any new, fancy parts
- If you have any new stuff you're putting on for this season, now's a great time to do it!
- Also good time to put on new chains, brake pads, tires, etc that aren't quite so exciting

5) Adjustment and tune
- once chain is clean and dry (make sure degreaser has been removed before adding lube), lube up the chain carefully
- Adjust front and rear derailleur to shift properly through entire range
- Adjust seat height and angle
- Adjust brakes
- True you wheels
- Air up your tires
- Air up your shocks and set all the deelie bobs to the right place
- If you run tubeless, clean out the old sealant and put in fresh stuff

6) Ride test
- Ride your bike around the block
- Clunks, noises, funny feelings?
- Suspension feel good?

Good times at annual knife sharpening (bike tuneup) day!

It's amazing what a group of people, snacks, grease and a club dog can accomplish in an afternoon! This is the second year that I've gotten BSV involved in my annual bike tuneup day and we had a blast!

Working with a team of around 10 people who came in and out during the afternoon, we had all kinds of silly fun fixing bikes. Among the oddities were a road brake that was bent about 1/4 back (how did that happen?), putting in a Chris King BB, bleeding brakes (told ya we'd do it!), stripping down a couple of bikes, walking one of our sponsor (Jeff Linroth) through some basic tuneup tips, some hefty belly rubs for Izzy the designated club dog for the day and I managed to loosen one bolt on one of my own bikes when not helping other people!

Here's a photo of the spread. I need to have people over to my garage more often!

Izzy ready for her next round of cuteness!

The peak of the work flow! Wow, my neighbors are really nice to let us take over the whole
back alley this way (or at least they don't complain!)

Patrick's new unicycle - he's such a good rider he thought that going without a front wheel would be more of a challenge (actually sending his fork and shock to Push for rebuild before upcoming epic MTB trips!)

Paul and Jeff engage in some bench racing while Paul strips down a bike to donate.

Bob and Sue Prieto stepped up and said that they were going to host next year (well, not really, but Bob kept asking, "Do you have an augmented punch with a 30 degree twist tool for extracting micro ball bearings?" When I'd say "What the hell is that?" He'd tell me he had three of them in his garage only creating a sense of great envy on my part, so now they're elected for next year!

In all seriousness, it was a blast! I can't recommend doing more events like this folks! Feel free to throw one yourself! A bunch of people came, we ate some good snacks, we fixed bikes and everyone had fun together!

Here are a few more pics that Becca took from the event!

Lake Pueblo Voodoo Fire Race Loop

Sunday morning David showed up at 7:30am to pick me up for a day of riding down in Pueblo, just a bit south of Colorado Springs. We loaded the car and noticed the wind was blowing a bit...ummm. Then I decided to throw a wrench into everything and mention that we could just save the drive time and go to the DBB to Lory loop from Loveland. We changed our minds, even drove out 17th from Longmont on our way, but then changed again back to Pueblo. Almost returned to the Loveland detour when a gas line (or something of the sorts) had CR1 shut down and blocked our access to 119. Seemed like someone was trying to tell us to head North. But we carried on and in a few hours arrived in Lake Pueblo State Park. Parking lot was pretty much empty and there was a little wind, but the sun was nice and warm! Goal today was to follow the Voodoo Fire Race course which occurs in April. Neither of us are racing it, but thought it would be fun none the less. Sunscreen was in order.

And then we were off. It was a short sleeve and shorts day for sure. The wind just mysteriously died down to a nice 3 mph--enough to keep you cool while riding and the bugs away--yes bugs--they are out there already! We started out off of Conduit trail up to Duke-->Rodeo-->Rodeo Ridge-->Cuatro Cinco to South Shore.

The riding there is through rolling prairie circling around the South West side of the Res. Here David and I are on Conduit

Nice tight single track for miles and miles--in and out of small gullies and washes--up and down all day. Lots of small sharp flint rock which chews up light weight tires--would not go super light on the race day here--not worth the punctures on your tires. This is the Cuatro Cinco Trail. There is a tight rocky short section on Rodeo that will be a bottle neck for sure on the race start--most folks will not clean it and will be walking/piling up--once up this short wash, the Rodeo ridge trial is wide open and fast all the way down to Southern Shore. Corners are a bit loose with the flint rock so check yourself to keep from washing out the front wheel.

David approaching the log piles on log drop trail off of Pedro's Point.

Log Drop rises up a bit on this rib which is surrounded on three sides by the Res. If you continue to the East, you run into the Outer Limits loop and waterfall trails which is later in the race.

A quick little log ride--nothing to think about, just fun! Video here! After Log drop you are on a double track until the Voodoo Detour trail--a couple miles and a nice time to pass, eat, recover etc.

David climbing up the Voodoo Detour trail to the Voodoo proper loop.

Here we are on the Voodoo loop still and it weaves in and out of the washes/ribs looping another finger surrounded the res. Nice scenery with snow capped mountains in the distance. Swoopy and fun, but constantly up and down like East Coast rollers!

Very Content riders! ;)

Here is a better picture on the trail and small sharp rocks--there is cactus everywhere too so watch on the passing. Plenty of sections with short double track to pass/relax throughout the loop so take advantage there--otherwise on these narrow trails with the sharp rock and spines, I do not recommend venturing too far off trail. We are on the Outer Limits loop now here--trail looks and feels just the same.

Cliff bike diving? Could be fun but with the Moots...maybe not.

David cruising the trail ahead. Once you get out to the point on Outer Limits the trail turns to double track until you get to the waterfall trail to the left. Here you can fly and use to eat/recover/pass.
Bottom of waterfall trail--short water section and nice bridge. There is a split coming down the waterfall trail at the bottom (about 400 feet before the above bridge) when you see the water--take the high road to the right or you will be swimming as I almost did. David got it right--I had to climb up steep slope about 15 feet to join him!

After the bridge at Waterfall you take a left, then a right at the next junction until you hit the bottom of Rock Canyon. Here David is cranking up a small rock section. There are a few and require a little power so make sure you have hydrated well and keep breathing to keep from cramping. This a nice long climb up tot he top of Arkansas Point and then you descend back down-- a little kicker at the end of the 35 mile loop.

Coming up Rock Canyon

Near Roller Coaster looping the mesa.

End of Roller Coaster and near start of Edge trail. You can see the canyons have some super cool stuff to play on--the race avoids these and only takes the easier canyons with the log bridges and big rock drops. I highly recommend coming back some time to play on them though--very nicely built.

Descending Stone Henge--appropriately named. You come around the corner and its surreal with these rock cairns built up.

Picture window!

Here we are just after finishing the Stonehenge trail and riding the South Shore trail back to Conduit and the car. A nice loop for sure they put together and great mix of the trails. For sure save the energy to climb back up the Rock Canyon/Stonehenge loop at the end and for the short steep climbs up and down on South Shore back to the start/finish. This loop is going to be tough twice and with the up/down all day on the trials, it wears at you so be ready--no real long climbs or long descents--all just short and steady. Trails rock though and remind me of riding 35 miles of Kestle run at 18road in Fruita--forever pump track.

(Click on images for larger one)
The loop was 33.5 miles and we had 1900ft of climbing per lap from my bike computer. Lap time was 3.5 hours at our slack pace plus a bit more for some picture taking/chatting with other riders and picking up tools/tubes--by the end of the ride, we had almost a new tool kit from the items dropped on the trail that day! A super fun day and worth the effort. Hope to head back in late April.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gettin that single track fix...

Clock goes off at 5:30am...its Sunday, and what is this, the ground is all wet, its socked in, and kind of chilly. The husky dog wants out, so much for sleeping in on the weekend. It is not that bad I tell my self walking around the neighborhood, we can still ride (I think?). I make some waffles, eat a banana and get dressed anyway. Toby calls at 7am--he is out front ready to go, so yes, we are going riding.....

And an awesome ride it was! Could not believe the conditions on the trail Sunday. We headed up to Devil's Backbone in Loveland--a place I have spent some serious time playing on and even building trail over the years. Pulled up in the parking lot and there are only a few cars and it looks like rain any second. We both completely over pack clothing not knowing what will happen and head off down the trail to see how things are.

The trail starts out with a nice few short climbs and then a gradual climb for about a mile. You turn a corner and bam, you climb 300 feet in 0.7 miles--nice warm up! Several serious switch backs to boot, with rocks, and more than the eyes want to look at while climbing.

Toby almost at the top
Cresting the top of the first big climb. Clouds still looked a bit iffy here.

One thing DBB has--techy as can be, plus swoopy buffed out single track you could pave.
Yep, techy for sure, but all very doable...with the right set of gymnastics crash pads appropriately places! We both gawked at this and decided to move on. ;)

Here Toby and I are just after the North side of the DBB park entering the Blue Sky trail.

This is looking North to Horestooth Mountain park. The Blue Sky trail follows this valley all the way there for about 7 miles.

Some great trail work was done here to sustain this great connector!
We opted for the Indian Summer loop about half way between the DBB and Horsetooth which climbs to the west on a nice Mesa and then drops back down. Toby topped out here--all smiles.
Crazy blue birds on the trail--neither one of us can identify them.

Then sun came out! We dropped into Horsetooth and the camp ground and stopped for some food. Chatted it up with a runner and then headed back to DBB. There are sections of the Blue Sky trail that have these large boulders the trail weaves in and out of. Great terrain, both directions and super fun.

Hero dirt today--best I have ever ridden up this way--not one bit of dust, amazing traction on the steeps and just perfectly tacky--plus again, no one on the trails! The rocks were a little slippery here and there, but again, amazing conditions!

Toby railing through some more rocks. It was hard to stop smiling and laughing here.

A few nice water bars and drops to climb back up and over on the way to the car. That chain ring is mighty close!

Just after the above section, there is another little tricky spot.....keep cranking...keep cranking

Well..almost, half crank more and it was all there--maybe I will clean it next time!

Yeah, that was fun!

Our ride from the sky, Blue Sky that is.

20 miles later, 2K of climbing, and 3+ hours, bikes and riders were all content all before 1pm! We ended the day with a short visit to Larry at Mountain High Cyclery in Loveland before trekking back to Longmont. Single track fix, CHECK!!