January 30, 2009

Giant Trance

Getting to know each other, Bill had a pretty good idea that I don't like credit cards or those gimmicky 12-month no interest options available everywhere. After work one day he said he wanted to make a quick visit to a local bike shop. I thought, sure, why not. He said he wanted to look at a bike. Me being a naive girlfriend of a soon to be "dual suspension" owner, I said sure. What he meant to say was "I want to pick up the bike that I bought on credit with one of those gimmicky 12-month no interest credit cards that I know you hate." And here begins the bike buying. It was a 2004 Giant Trance - black and red. He said he thought I would like the look of it because of the colors. I did like the colors and the bike was pretty sharp. --I'm pretty sure Bill called it "dual suspension" back then.

He rode the Klein with big ole platforms--afraid that if he had the toe strap thing that he would fall like he had before. Since he has been riding with the Shimano pedals he has not gone back to the platforms--except for his cruiser bike.

The Current Debate

Whether to sell the Niner R.I.P. 9 and ride the fully rigid S.I.R. 9 Niner or keep the Niner R.I.P. 9. I'll replace the borrowed images with actual pictures this weekend. The "Steel is Real" SIR is equiped with a Surly Karate Monkey fork. I'm pretty sure "we" have owned four or five Karate Monkey forks throughout the fully rigid ride debate.

January 28, 2009

Jamis Dakar

These photos are from the 2004 Ore to Shore.
This was the bike he bought after the Klein. If I can remember correctly, he wanted something that wasn't as stretched out as the Klein. He bought the Jamis at Lakeshore Bike in Marquette. This was the first bike that he had that came with disc brakes. The problem, though with disc brakes, is that they sometimes rub. The solution to this? Use pliers to bend the dic. --I thought this seemed a bit strange at the time--and I'm sure he shakes his head when he thinks back to the days before he knew what the heck he was doing.

What else can we see in these pictures--regular Mountain Dew (fuel for the race, I'm sure), clipless pedals, the 2001 Subaru Outback, Patagonia bike shorts (used from Ebay), Patagonia bike jersey, brand spankin' new Ore to Shore bike socks, and a big ole helmut.

Superior Bike Fest

Here's a picture of him riding the Klein in his very first mountain bike race summer 2004.

January 27, 2009

Favorite MTBR Forum


Does your husband keep switching components on your bike?

Me: I really like these handlebars - nice and narrow.

Him a couple of days later: Oh, I switched out your handlebars for these new ones, I thought you would like the rise better.


Me: I really like the gear ratio and the crank length, I seem to be able to climb really well.

Him a couple of days later: Oh, I switched out the crank for you. This one is lighter.


Me: These tires are really fast, I really like them.

Me a couple of days later: Did you switch tires?

Him a couple of days later: Yeah, I thought these would grip better.


One of these days...

Him: My bike is tuned in. The Ergon grips are lined up perfect, the crank is the perfect number of millimeters, the pedals are tightened perfectly, the seatpost isn't sliding, all of the parts match, and the seat is at the ideal angle.

Me a couple of days later: Oh honey, after watching you adjust everything on my bike for so many years I thought I'd do you a favor and cut the Ergon grips off and replace them with regular ole grips that you use to like, replace the crank with this one that has three chain rings, remove the singleator, swap your pedals over to platforms, replace the seat clamp and lube up the seat post, replace your Salsa components with Bontrager and Race Face, and move the seat just a hair forward--so it would be better for your climbing.

Cycling Terms

Some random terms that I have gained in my vocabulary courtesy of marriage to a biker:
A - Avid -some kind of brakes - Avid Juicy 9
B - Bontrager - parts maker
B - Bikes Direct - on-line, inexpensive, components galore.
C - Component = parts "I need to upgrade some components." "He switched the good components from the old frame to the new frame."
C - Cross Max Wheels - super light, super stiff wheels, also super expensive. Available in 26 and 29 inches.
C - Cassette - the thing that the chain goes around on the rear wheel - helps change gears. Not found on a singlespeed. This can be replaced with a lighter one to reduce the weight of the bike.
D - Deralleur - also known as the shifter-changes gears. There is a front and a rear.
D - Disc Brakes - instead of squeezing the wheel like the "oldfashioned rim brakes" (think of your Huffy pastel pink 10-speed brakes) this disk is near the hub of the wheel and is better than rim brakes - though usually heavier. Allows for better stopping power, more control, and braking when it is wet.
E - Ellsworth - an expensive bike, usually riden by a guy who is over 40 because he can afford it.
E - Ergon Grips - "must haves" - basically hand grips with a rest on it so you don't have to wrap your fingers around the handlebar. One of his favorite bloggers is a sales rep for Ergon, Jeff Kerkove.
F - Fox - they make the best (expensive) front forks - http://www.foxracingshox.com/fox_bicycle/bike_index.htm
F - Fork - this is the thing in the front of the bike that goes down from the handlebars and connects to the wheel. There are rigid forks that don't have shocks and there are one-sided forks - made by Cannondale.
G - Gears - 1=singlespeed
H - Hub - can be a rather expensive component. Chris King Hub
H - Headest
I -
J -
K - Kerkove, Jeff http://www.jeffkerkove.net/
L -
M - mtbr.com - forums about bikes, bikers, biking, you name it.
M - Moots - if he says he wants a Moots - tell him you want one too.
N - "A niner" --29 inch wheeled mountain bike.
O -
P - Performance Bike - cheap components and clothes, on-line dealer
Q -
R - Rotating weight - this is when your husband says "rotating weight is 7 times heavier than regular weight" and you think--does that mean that the 20 grams that you want to loose by replacing the cassette is more effective than eating 3 less pieces of lasagna?
S - Singlespeed - one geared bike. Good for commuting, toughness, and looking cool.
T - Travel - the amount of travel the bike has determines how squishy the ride is. The more, the softer the ride.
U -
V - velo = bike in French. On fait du velo? Wanna ride some bike?
W -
X -
Y -
Z -

Klein Attitude Race

When I met him (January, 2004) he had a Klein Attitude Race. It was similar to the bike pictured above, but the fork was RED. What he loved most about this bike (from what I heard over and over) was the paint job. This was his first "real mountain bike". He went on his first mountain bike rides wearing Montrail boots, Patagonia G-pants and capilene tops. Before his rides he would fuel up by eating an entire rising-crust pizza--usually Jack's. He would come home and talk about how Johnny could ride over everything and sometimes he would have to "hike-a-bike". I learned that this was due to his bike being a hardtail and that a "dual" suspension bike would fix this.

Trek Singletrack 920

The Trek 920 bike, is a non-suspension mountain bike. According to BikePedia.com, the year of the 920 was 1994. I think it was called a Trek Singletrack because the wheels that are on the bike, also made by Trek/Bontrager are called Single Track. Made of steel, the 920 will be relatively heavy compared to aluminum bikes that were made more recently. Steel has favorable reviews because of its smoother ride capability and it has "more soul". My husband swears by steel bike frames now, preferably Reynolds 853 steel.

The bike that I got for my high school graduation was a Trek Mountain Track. It was also TIG-welded steel. We got it from Marinette Cycle Center in Marinette, WI.

My husband had the Trek Singletrack before I met him. The story goes that he either gave or sold the bike to a friend of his in college--Matty Battjes. This is the bike that Bill rode when he initially got interested in mountain biking. I imagine the bike looked a lot like this one available on Craigslist. I just googled Matt Battjes, who now is on Facebook in Portland and has commented a few times out there on the internet about "spinning cranks"--seems to be riding bikes.

I'm Married to a Biker

I get to be part of the decision-making when he buys a bike and when he sells a bike. I figure, I better start documenting (should have started a long, long time ago). We have been married almost five years and he has had many, many bikes. I'll do my best to remember what he liked/didn't like about each bike. I'll start at the very beginning.