Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First tubeless attempt.

Background. I dont like nasty solvents. I have had very good luck running tubes weighing anywhere between 90 and 150g, at low psi with very few punctures and i dont live in an area with many thorns. However, the Vertigo is encouraging me to hit nasty, rocky trails harder: It is inevitable that i am going to puncture more. Meantime i've been using thick 26" tubes, with minimal problems, but they arent light and the feel of the tyre changes. So, out of curiosity and with the growing knowledge base and experience with Effetto Mariposa Cafe Latex, i decided to set sale for tubeless paradise.

Before starting, i did a fair chunk of interweb researching (a.k.a swimming through bullshit) and decided on a hybridised system....

First i drilled out the flow rim inner valve hole to 9.5mm. Then wrapped the rim in red 25mm effetto tape: installed the tyre and left it for an hour at 40psi. As you will no doubt imagine, it still had some bubbles under the tape when i removed the tyre and tube, but, like, whateva....

Next i added a stans flow strip (thanks just riding along!) and neatened it up....popped the tyre on, which inflated easily with my track pump. So, i deflated it, and whapped the circumference a la stans instructional video.

After spilling sealant all over the place i worked out the Effetto injector isnt valved, so got most of the rest of it - with about 5mm of pvc sheet filed into dust - into the tyre. The pvc dust should act as a clotting agent to allow the liquid to seal holes larger than pin pricks. With precisely 5% more than zero effort, i inflated it to 40 psi.

Initially there was a few hisses, but a lot less than i expected. With some funk on the stereo, i wobbled it around a la stans video again, turned it over, wiped with water and....

...... nothing - no hisses, no bubbling. So now i leave it on its side for a bit and maybe turn it over and see how we go eh?

I may need more sealant. I may need more pvc dust. Time will tell. More later.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2011 xtr.

As ever in the mtb arms race, shimano have managed to keep most of the new xtr group underwraps until very close to the release date...however, pictures and rumours are circulating.

The new brakes look extremely svelte, with a trail version and a race version - differences being the adjustments available, and hence the weight.

The shifter looks like it will mount neatly to the brake lever clamp. The crank has a different aesthetic from m970 and the tensioning mechanism seems to have reverted to the older style, as carried on the rest of the cranks. The mech is definitely less stylised (it always bothered me with m970 that the logo was incorporated so heavily into the structure) shifting across a similar range but increased number of cogs (10 speed, with availability of double or triples up front).

I think in the near future i see a xc race bike. Something that will take a suspension fork, or run rigid. It will run 1x9, or singlespeed. It will also hand me my ass, i'm certain. Hard to see past the cannondale hollowgram cranks and some xtr....we'll see.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mo' blues....


xtr pods

The more things change...

The Vertigo has had a wee bit of an update. An Eriksen 30.9 post, just cos. An xtr shifter: the clamp mechanism is narrower and has more lateral adjustment. The jones bars make setting up rapidfire a touch more difficult and this helps. Functionally seems similar to the Saint shifter, but the multi release (2 shifts to smaller cogs possible in one go) is excellent.

An ignitor on the front. Dunno if its a wear issue (it doesnt look too worn), but the ardent seems to have given up on any form of traction. Fortunately. ignitors still rock.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


By Percy Shelley.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Pork an' beans.

Got some good advice from some of ma peeps on barbecue technique. Theres obviously not a lot of aussie man in me, as i was struggling with my weber. Still, got it going eventually: good flavour and succulence on the meat. Mixed it up with some pork an' beans.

Sort of. Heres a w.park kerr mix for your beans and meat and rice supper. Sounds simple tastes supreme, especially with a lump of meat and a Pale Ale....

Cook some rice. My technique is pretty simple, white organic or mix white and brown basmati, put in a jug and pour water in until you have about double the volume of the rice. Then dump in a thick bottom pan with a teaspoon of salt flakes. use a little water to rinse the remaining grains from the jug, and pour into pan - in total you're aiming for about 120% water to rice...gottit?

Ok. bring to just shy of rolling boil, and take down to minimum simmer with lid on. Leave for 12 mins and then switch off. Do not open the lid at any point unless you think there is a major issue. Set aside.

Get some good quality italian pork sausage (uncooked, skin removed) and crumble it into another thick bottom pan, then cook on a low heat....til its browning. add a big, chopped yellow onion, some good chile powder, ideally chimayo or similar new mexico style, 3-4 cloves garlic chopped up, some dried oregano, toasted cumin seeds ground up,

Then you want to crack open another beer....

Add a little oil if the sausage was light on the fat and cook it down for a few minutes. When the onions are beginning to go a little soft, add two cans of kidney beans, drained and 250-350 ml of chicken stock and a can of tomatoes chopped up in their juices.

If you can, roast some green chiles over a naked flame, skin, chop and add. Or you could just use some chopped, dried-off pickled chiles. Reduce everything down (including your beer) over a brisk heat, stirring the goeey stuff off the bottom of the pan, but try not to mush the beans.

Grab another beer. Sit down with your lady, spoon out some of the now cooled, dry, rice, and some pork an' beans over the top. Carve off some meat.Maybe some 'slaw. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Folk used to look at me a bit funny....

...when i brought a skip rope to warm up for cyclocross.

But i've been training, yo.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is video the new photo?

I tend to like lucas brunelle's stuff. I'm never quite sure about glorifying the cat and mouse game of cycling in heavy traffic....you *know* that someone is going to copycat and the stakes are as high as they get...but there is a gritty hedonism that catches the act better than most courier/street/fixed vids'.

It is showing at the Bicycle Film Festival this year, along with The Birth of Big Air. Go condor!....

Hoffman still rules.

Then there is Brian Vernor's new film - The Cyclocross Meeting....

Awesome stuff, as ever.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The stoopid 50 is a race i'd love to do. On ace trails near state college and put on by chris scott what is not to like?

Here is a couple of vides of matt ferrari (love those sideburns, the kit and the hubcap matt!) ... chris is narrating in his own, inimitable, style :-)~

Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt

...and jeff schalk...

Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt

(from cycling dirt )

Maybe next year....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


As some of you will know, we have been in Verbier, Switzerland, for a bit. We stayed in an amazing apartment: the view from the balcony alone was a holiday in itself. Needless to say with some helpful hints (Rob/Jonas: thanks!) i got to ride some spectacular trails.

Got to be careful when looking at the scenery though. It's a long way down.

The bike performed flawlessly. These are some of the first trails i've ridden in the last 10 years plus, where i have had to lower my saddle.

A good way to recover from the Bristol 12, where i managed to squeeze out a 2nd place in the solo singlespeed cat. Read about it here.

A special thanks goes to all those who kept me riding when i veered violently between being an aching curmudgeon and a moaning bastard. Do i actually enjoy these things? Well do i ?!? Who knows....

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Aint got nuttin.

Spent this afternoon getting my legs kneaded and pummelled. I think folk who dont get a decent (sports) massage somehow misinterpret that it will be a 'nice' experience.

Its not that it isnt 'nice': more that it hurts. A lot. Especially if you havent had one for a while. My mileage has upped considerably witht e coming of the sun, and being out on the skeletor has added a new body position to get used to. So lets just say my legs are tight. Marbles under the skin tight.

Anyway, ill hobble around this evening then things should be loosening up for bristol bike fest. Last year i (think) i was 5th overall in the solo...but with the overnight drive down, i doubt thats going to be realistic. Also i seem to be in the singlespeed class. My aim is to spend the first few laps enjoying the course, and if its going well, give 'errrrr, if not keep it tight but loose...

As its a race i'm going to try out a race tyre. Ive been playing around with tyrs recently. 2.4 Schwalbe Racing Ralphs were briefly mounted, but we didnt get on too well. Back to soft compound cross marks rear and mountain king front for its great edge.

Then this arrived at just riding along.....

590g and the sidewalls seem to have some meat to them....As long as i avoid thorns i should be golden.....