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.