December 30, 2010

2010 In Review: The Bicycles

Everyone else is doing a year in review so I thought I would too...

By Month
January - Gary Fisher Rig 29
February - Vassago JabberWocky - Green
March - Giant Reign XO
May - Salsa Big Mama and Bianchi SOK
July - Singular Swift, Kona Honky Tonk
August - Specialized Epic Comp, Salsa El Mariachi
November - Rocky Mountain Slayer, Trek Rumblefish
December - Banshee Paradox

Local vs. On-line
Gary Fisher Rig - local
Vassago JabberWocky - on-line
Giant Reign - local
Salsa Big Mama - on-line
Bianchi SOK - on-line
Singular Swift - on-line
Kona Honky Tonk - local
Specialized Epic Comp - local
Salsa El Mariachi - on-line
Rocky Mountain Slayer - on-line
Trek Rumblefish - local
Banshee Paradox - on-line

Steel vs. Aluminum & Wheel Size & suspension
Gary Fisher Rig - aluminum, 29, hardtail
Vassago JabberWocky - steel, 29, hardtail
Giant Reign - aluminum, 26, full suspension
Salsa Big Mama - scandium, 29, full suspension
Bianchi SOK - steel, 29, hardtail
Singular Swift - steel, 29, hardtail
Kona Honky Tonk - steel, road bike
Specialized Epic Comp - aluminum, 26, full suspension
Salsa El Mariachi - steel, 29, hardtail
Rocky Mountain Slayer - aluminum, 26, full suspension
Trek Rumblefish - aluminum, 29, full suspension
Banshee Paradox - aluminum, 29, hardtail
Gary Fisher Rig
Vassago JabberWocky
Giant Reign XO
Salsa Big Mama
Bianchi SOK
Singular Swift
Kona Honky Tonk
Specialized Epic Comp
Salsa El Mariachi
Rocky Mountain Slayer (how to pack and ship a bike)

Banshee Paradox

The most consistent thing: Ergon Grips.

December 28, 2010

Winter Stuff

Fresh air, blue sky, sunshine.  Cross country skiing a few miles from the bike trails.  Echo Lake - Marquette, MI.

November 28, 2010

Trek Rumblefish - Gary Fisher Collection

He's been riding this for about a week.

29 inches. 
110 rear, 120 front suspension. 
Can ride it to the trail.

November 15, 2010

Fixing a Coil Fork that is Leaking Oil/Air

Where is it leaking?  Not the valve, but around the top.

He removed the top with the crank puller and brought it up...saying "I think I can fix this."  After explaining how the mechanism works with a rubber gasket at the top of the screwed-on cap I suggested plumbers tape for a fit that was more snug. 

Verdict = no air or oil leaking yet. 

Perhaps photos will follow after a few rides.

November 10, 2010

A new bike on the horizon...

It is one of these:

Singular Swift
Gary Fisher Superfly
Rocky Mountain Slayer
Trek Remedy
Kona - not a Kona, their website is too slow.

October 2, 2010

Ride the Divide

Whew! This morning, after sleeping in, we watched Ride the Divide. Inspiring to say the least. I like to see what they eat. Cashew granola bars, Emergen-C, olives, pork sandwiches, fruit, nuts, pizza.

We're going for a ride tonight...a night ride with the lights on, with friends. No snow yet, but in the next month or so I think it'll be here.
Watch it here while it lasts:

September 21, 2010

Is that new?

Last night his friend rode up and took a look at his bike and then said, "Wait, is that new or were you riding that the last time we rode?"

Thankfully he continues to ride the Salsa.

September 8, 2010

El Mariachi

I think the El Mariachi is going to be ridden for a while. Aside from some normal positioning adjustments he seems to like this bike. He's noticing the shorter fork length compared to the Singular. To accommodate this a riser bar may be swapped. He's saying numbers like 490 --perhaps the length of the fork?

Other components include his standard, trusty Bontrager wheels, straight seatpost, and Ergon grips. He has messed around with the gear ratio depending on the ride he's doing that particular week.

August 31, 2010

Epic Photos

I had a picture after all.
Specialized Epic Comp 2010.

August 25, 2010

Epic Out, El Mariachi In

Spending too much time messing with it in the basement, thinking about it when he was riding, and wanting a hardtail bike again, the Epic has been sold.

I don't even know if I have kept the Epic photos on my computer.

He is now in posession of a Salsa El Mariachi. Here's a link to an article by Matt James about the Salsa 29er:

Quick and dirty:
Steel, rigid, 29er, blue. The fork length is shorter than the Singular Swift fork. He's noticing that difference. One thing that he seems to like is the rear dropout and the ability to adjust that area. He's using Bontrager wheels because they never give him problems.

August 5, 2010

Specialized Epic Comp 29

Purchased locally, the Epic does what he far.

Here's a webpage that has a nice picture gallery:

July 30, 2010

Researching Full Suspension Bicycles


-ride to the trail by road without being totally inefficient (ie: not a 6-inch travel bike)



-decent components

-not upgrading parts

-not rigid

He says:

"A do-it-all-reasonably-well-and still pedal fast bike. I wanted a performance bike…I have been marketed to. I want to ride every kind of MQT/Midwest trail and have a bike that performs consistently in all conditions. My rigid does this…but in a way that is more costly to my physiology.

Hate to admit it…sound engineering…over 10 years of refinement to linkages, bearings, tube shapes, suspension bits.

Warranty. Lifetime. Good LBS support.

Fit and finish had to be high quality…"

What do you think he bought? What would you buy? Or would you alter your Singular to accomodate your current desires?

Testing Out the Bike Rack

While testing out some beer. Both worked very well.

Bikes pictured: Gary Fisher Rig (2008), two Trek Classic Cruisers(2005/6), Kona Honky Tonk (2009), and the bike rack (2010).

July 23, 2010

Siren Bicycles

Do you know about Siren Bicycles? How about Ride the Divide?

When he was researching steel hardtail bikes he considered a custom build and found Siren Bicycles. I started following them on Twitter for the heck of it and then heard about Ride the Divide out west.

Have some time on a Friday afternoon? Check them out.
He's getting ready for a 6 hour race/ride tomorrow. Read about the 12 Hours of Potluck here:

July 21, 2010

Steel Road Bike

He had been looking for a steel road bike for over a year. Two days ago he saw an 09 Kona Honky Tonk two blocks from our house at Quick Stop Bike Shop. What are the odds?

There's a new steel bike in our house.

Upgraded the wheels, changed the seat and pedals.

Kona's 2010 website has nice commentary about the new bikes here:

July 19, 2010

Singular SWIFT (not Siren)

The bike is still with us. The fork is not. He's riding rigid and riding single speed. 6 hour race this weekend.

Oops, not a Siren. I must have heard about the Siren Bikes in his quest for this steel bike.

June 22, 2010

Superior Bike Fest - Marquette

Friday Night - Downtown Criterium
Saturday - Road Race and Downhill
Sunday - XC Mountain Bike and Circuit Race

Bikefest Home
Michigan Road Racing State Championship

Entire Race Schedule Here:

June 16, 2010

The step-child was adopted.

Trek and Gary Fisher made a big announcement today.

"Trek joins forces with two-wheeled wizard Gary Fisher for an innovative line of bikes for mountain, road, and all points in between."

I like the new group--just wish it didn't have big T R E K letters on the "collection".

His favorite in the new group:

May 28, 2010

A Couple Upgrades

Salsa Big Mama - Upgrades. New fork and brakes, swapped over to a white seat so it is all matchy-matchy.

May 24, 2010

The Green Loop - Heartwood Forestland

We headed out Saturday morning and rode up the Bridges Trail, then up Division Street to the main South Trails trailhead where we began up "The Green Loop". Up, up, up, then down the sweepy, fast Pioneer Loop. Bill rode the Big Mama, I rode my rigid Rig 1x9. I was tired at the end with a sore lower back.

Bill re-rode the loops the following day and commended me for sticking with it on the rigid bike the day before. There are still trails that he has not ridden in Marquette in 6 years of mountain biking.
Heartwood Forestland area that is home to many of the South Marquette is in jeopardy. Read more here: and map here:

May 13, 2010

Perhaps a NEW RECORD!

The Bianchi Sok is for sale! My earlier prediction was correct:

This prediction was made May 5th.

I think he will want a steel bike. I think he will want a suspension fork on the Bianchi. I think the Bianchi will be sold before summer's end because the frame is too big. I think he will update the components on the Salsa -- wanting a better suspension fork than the one that he is swapping over from the Bianchi.

Seems that the Bianchi was a bit too big. He may confirm or deny this claim. He has said that he likes the Salsa Big Mama so much that he's going to ride just the one bike.

Salsa Big Mama vs. Niner RIP9

He's keeping this frame for a while. Last night I asked him to compare it to the Niner RIP9 that he sold a year ago because he kept falling. He says the suspension design of the Big Mama is much more simple with one pivot vs. the pivots of the RIP9. This morning he e-mailed me:

The Salsa really does everything pretty well. I like it. My body doesn’t hurt. I can ride roads to the trails. I can ride the trails. I can ride home. I can go with one bike…there are a ton of people who don’t even have that.

There is talk of upgrading the fork from the gray fork that came with the Bianchi--perhaps a Fox.

May 11, 2010

If I had a giveaway...

The options would be:

1) Lakeshore Bike Pint Glass -- drink and think about the next bike, new components, the last ride, the next ride...
2) Foam Pipe Insulation -- works great for protecting bikes during shipping
3) Free room rental (futon) for the Ore to Shore weekend or Superior Bike Fest along with personal tour guide.

May 10, 2010

Churning Rapids - Hancock, MI

We rode our rigid bikes on the Churning Rapids bike trails in Hancock County, MI. What a beautiful day for riding--50 degrees and sunny. We saw seven people and two dogs in our three hour adventure on the sign-filled trails.
Bill had some rear derailleur trouble in addition to rear break rubbing early in the ride. About half-way through the ride he wrenched on his cranks and his rear wheel popped out of the dropout on one of the pieces of trail. He says he is going to swap out the Easton skewers.

There were many different trails that intersected throughout the trail area -- both single track and two tracks. The IMBA (recognized?/certified?) trails were well maintained and as more people ride them, the better they will be. The trail system reminded us a lot of the Kettle Moraine trails in southeastern Wisconsin with the baby head sized rocks along the river trail. You can even work on your ratcheting skills while crossing the river.

What we rode: He rode his new Bianchi SOK and I rode my Gary Fisher Rig.

Where we rode:
We started at the Christianson Road trailhead in the north part of the Churning Rapids: Great Oak Trail south to Oaks Cross Cut, south on Spring Creek, east on Sunset Trail to the River Trail. Somewhere along the River Trail we popped out onto the highway M203 where we rode the road back north to Brooks Road. At Brooks Road we turned back into the trails which meant climbing Brooks Road --similar to the Mount Marquette road (steep). At the top there was more single track that wrapped around a biker's house (Bill saw an Indy Fab bike leaning on the house). We got back on the Sunset Trail then headed north backwards from the way we rode south. The trails (thank goodness) were smoother and more flowy on the way north.

May 7, 2010

First Ride: Salsa Big Mama '09

He rode the trails north of town and was able to ride the bike right from the house--rather than hooking it to an SUV or putting it in the back of our Subaru. First impressions are good. Stiffer than the Rip9 that he rode last year. "It's confidence-inspiring like the Reign but you can pedal it." Hey says the Reign was a HOG.
I was the paparazzi when he returned yesterday evening:

(Monona Terrace, University of Wisconsin: thinking about the bikes that were on the way this week)

May 6, 2010

Reign Accommodations

When he bought the Reign it was close to stock. He made some accommodations to it during the time it was with him. 1) He replaced the air shock with a coil shock 2) upgraded the front fork 3) made special protective sleeves for the fork out of neoprene and velcro. 4) new wheelset 5) swapped handelbars and grips 6) went 1x9 on the gears 7) and back to 3 x9 8) probably swapped cranks 9) swapped pedals 10) anything else I'm not sure? brakes? cables? headset? cassette?

May 5, 2010

Out with the Old

The Vassago was sold on ebay and the Reign is in the process of being sold. They are being sold as the frames only. Some of the other components were saved for the two new bikes.

Speedgoat has sent a Salsa Big Mama frame that will arrive sometime tomorrow.

Jenson USA sent a Bianchi SOK 29er with gears. It arrived a day early (yesterday). Assembeled, customized, and ridden today.

I think the fork from the Bianchi will go on the Salsa, the Bianchi is being ridden rigid with the carbon fork from the Vassago.

New pictures soon.

What changed: He wanted gears. He wanted 29 inch wheels. He didn't like the hassle of the Reign (in order to ride it at a trail he would have to either get a ride from a friend or put it in the back of the Subaru). The Reign's fork doesn't fit on the Thule rack system that we have on the car. He really liked the Vassago, but when he rode with friends who had gears on their bike he felt like he always had the wrong setup 32x16, etc.

My prediction (in white highlight to see): I think he will want a steel bike. I think he will want a suspension fork on the Bianchi. I think the Bianchi will be sold before summer's end because the frame is too big. I think he will update the components on the Salsa -- wanting a better suspension fork than the one that he is swapping over from the Bianchi.

March 22, 2010

Giant Reign XO 2008

He went out for a morning ride on Saturday on his singlespeed rigid Vassago. He got the itch for the full-suspension bike after swapping bikes throught the ride with some of his riding pals.

Remembering a Craigslist ad for the Reign, he made contact with the owner and the deal was done on Sunday morning in a parking lot.

Two more wheels in the house and a lot more suspension. He "picked up" the 2008 Reign locally from a guy that recently switched to a Giant Trance. The Reign has Maestro suspension--which means I can wear my Giant bicycles t-shirt with the Maestro logo on the front without feeling like a weirdo.

The Vassago remains.

March 19, 2010

Friday Night

Friday night after a few beers in town. Basement internet-surfing and bike-building. Easton XC-2 wheels replacing the Stan's Arch. Tires seated in a matter of minutes(seconds) and a new birthday bike pump here:

March 16, 2010

March Update

Stan's Arch wheels are not in our house anymore (thank goodness). He spent an entire day (7am-5pm) working on bike stuff particularly hours trying to seat the tires while using a crappy pump. FAIL.

Dear Bill,
For your birthday I am going to get you a Lezyne bicycle floor pump. I hope it is the last one you ever own.

Anyone have experience with these products?

There was talk last week of selling the Vassago. After reviewing the bikes of '09 I think I convinced him to keep the steel bike.

Bikes of '09:
Niner SIR9 - Green, Steel, Rigid
Niner RIP9 - Blue, Full-sus
Gary Fisher Rig - '08 model that I'm now riding
OS Blackbuck - rigid, singlespeed, 29
Trek Remedy - Full suspension 26-inch (couch)-another bad decision (my thought)
Fisher Cobia - Brushed crome color-this was a bad decision (my thought)
Niner MCR - I don't even remember this bike. I think it was dark brown and glittery.
Gary Fisher Rig - '09

March 8, 2010

Early Spring Riding

The Vassago is pretty sweet. It is very similar to the Ferrous.

He went out for a 3 hour ride this past Saturday morning. Some frozen over backroads, and then some snowpack singletrack. The temps were perfect for riding on the snow. He got out back on to the road just as the snowpack started to get spongy from rising temps and sun.

March 2, 2010

Quiet Bikes

Don't you want your bike to be quiet? No chain slap, no creaks, etc.? Then why would you want this?

Seems awfully loud to me.

February 26, 2010

Awaiting Trial

He spent part of the evening in the basement working on it. All that needs to be done is a chain and chain ring. That and the snow to melt. 60 days until the trails will no longer be snow-covered.

February 21, 2010