Thursday, May 31, 2012


Just a quickie post. First are two panoramas from our Diablo trip. I'm a crappy photographer, and I use a cheap camera, and it shows. I am however stoked to use photoshop's merge tool to make a pan shot because it's to only thing that comes close to the sense you have in the moment. The two shots below are more or less the same position, one at sun set, and the other at sunrise. You can see the shape of the mountain in the shadow on the sunrise pic.

I also just scored some lightly used Schwalbe Supremes 700x50 or 29x2." Below is the before pic.
The after. They feel so good! SO big! So stoked!
Figured I'd snap a pic or two from before the fenders came off. There is so much room in the frame that it necessitated spacing the fenders down towards the tires when running a 32. It's just a long allen inserted from inside the fender with two nuts locked in place and some lock washers. This set up worked without adjustment for an 800 mile tour and a year of riding. (although to be fair, I mostly ride my MTBs)

Not elegant, but it worked.

This is the clearance with the new tires. Plenty of space. My ancient calipers read 1/32" over 2" wide.

It's a little hard to get that shot under the rando bag...oh well.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

El Diablo dos, trail streak, insane iboc, grease guard, tees

Headed up to camp s24o style on Monday night on Diablo. We figured that it won't be long till the mountain is just too hot to be fun and took advantage of a slow work week.
Stumpy brothers
Slowly ascending. A very nice roadie slowed to ride with us for a minute and chat. Later, on his way back down he stopped to chat again and mentioned that we "weren't doing very well," by which he meant that we weren't just mashing like hell to make it up. He didn't mean any real criticism, but it was a funny reminder how different our two mindsets and ways of riding are. We were taking breaks in the shade, stopping just to look at the view or some bird, just taking our time to goof off. He was out on more or less a training ride with the clock in mind. I suppose it's just nice to keep in mind what you are out to do and not blast when you should be chilling and enjoying the scene, and I think even though we all know that, we also sometimes forget.
Baby rattler
70's shot from Juniper.
We were fascinated by this pine tree that was abundant at higher elevation. 
It has GIANT cones
There's the perspective shot. We tried to key it and our best guess is a Grey Pine, well, that or a Coulter's pine.
Taking it in.
This is a jankier version of Gabe's "brotisserie". It's just a spare spoke skewer; would have been better with two spokes, but it did the trick.
This lady was hanging out in the food box at the camp site. Pretty freaky thing to see especially after you've been reaching in and out of there all night. I think I saw her husband's corpse dangling up in the corner of the web...
We got surprise "fog rain" just after sunset and were woefully under prepared. We used Nate's serape as the floor and my tarp as the lean-to.  It managed to keep us dry!
Descending 3/4 of the way down on dirt.

This is just some old Diamondback Trail streak I saw at BART.  It's not fancy like the ridgerunner, but there are nice details of an early MTB. 
Biplane fork crown. Someday I'll do real research and find out who made all of the different fork crowns from this era. This one is very similar to the Stumpy.
Diamondback only bullmoose bars with the bent struts.
tigged frame
Then there is this very funny thing. I recently traded an old funky table saw for a old funky Mongoose Iboc Pro. The guy I got it from told me how he likes to "fix" stuff. It's pretty amazing how crazy his fixes were. I was hoping to give the bike to a buddy with no bike, but the bike was just too trashed. It seems that my "fixing" friend had managed to mess up almost every part of the bike that he touched.
This is a cartridge bb installed backwards with a lock ring from another bb on it, and it had a bb cup on the other side from a loose ball type bb! Wow.
The only real score here was this. The rear hub is a thread-on XC pro grease guard model, and the cartridges are still good.

Oh yeah and I just experimented with our new home made screen printing rig, and made some Oakland Dirt Owl tees.

and a bandanna for jon
And lastly, I just wanted to put this up because I thought it was crazy. We all saw that solar eclipse and of course didn't see that solar eclipse, cause well, you couldn't look at it. I shot this just with my phone and didn't realize till later that somehow the eclipse was caught in the glare. The world is magic.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lake Del Valle

Apparently they say it like "Lake Del Vahl." Anyway a bunch of folks rode out there this last weekend and took a bunch of different routes. Nick and I decided to rep the dirt owls and tried to hit about 50% dirt on the ride out. Other than waking up with flu like symptoms, it was a totally rad ride!

Nick checking on his baby, his Farfarer that is. I really am stoked on this kind of touring set-up; panniers are always a little funny on the dirt.
meadowitude, floweritude
There is really a lot of variation in Chabot.

Paved paths aren't so bad when they are in places like this and don't have cars on them.
At the bottom of the mega climb.
An once we barely made it up...
And the lake on the other side of the ridge...
It was still about an hour to camp from the ridge and there was a bunch of fun singletrack in-between. Here's the stumpy with my funny loading.
Yup. Supermoon peepin'. So Pitted.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

1984 Stumpy and the grizz

I just picked up this '84 Stumpy as a frame/fork/headset from a very nice guy with similar taste in old mtbs. I've been tinkering on it building it up for a buddy and here is the current iteration. I'm trying to keep it on the cheap even though its a nice old bike and deserves a nice build. The paint is kind of toast, which isn't a huge deal, but still a bummer. I did some half-assed rust protection with some T-9 inside the tubes and even right over the paint in places. It seems at least for the moment that the T-9 is safe on paint and the gloss (what little is left) looks nice.  It's currently a commuter build with a 1x6 setup. The single ring up front will need some work though, probably a non operational front derailleur, since it's pretty prone at the moment to drop the chain. If I was being fancy I'd go for a nicer chain guide like the Paul Chain keeper.

 The old deer hear derailleur probably won't stay, the springs are too worn, and the pivots are too sloppy. Tires are some cheapie Chen Shin 2.125". They seem to be ok, heavy as hell, and they have a crazy oil/rubber smell, otherwise they are fun on the bike.
 That's an old 600 freewheel on there with a nice big granny. Vertical dropouts too.
 Nice reinforcers on the brake bridge stiffener.
 Even the canti posts are nice on this thing, not clunky and square.
 Fastback stays show a little uneven brazing, but are cool. This is one of the details that distinguishes the Stumpjumper from the Stumpjumper sport.

 Pointy lug undersides, a bad idea as they create a stress riser at the tip and can cause a crack. It was early days and they hadn't figured it all out.

 Like many of the bikes in 84 the stumpy has the wishbone shape chain stays that connect to almost straight rear facing sockets in the BB lug. I love this, look how far the wheel is from the seat post!

 OH Biplane, oooooh biplane! It's got an interesting brake yolk too.
 Black annodized headset
 Kinda period correct cockpit. Grips are VO.
 When I got the grips I tried to run a VO Postino bar on a tall riser stem, but it wasn't to be. The handling with those bars and the tall and long stem was jittery because, I think, of the super slack head tube angle, ie lots of wheel flop. I'm so used to these old bikes with their crazy long wheelbases feeling very stable, so this was a shock. I mostly remedied the handling by using a shorter stem with less rise and wider bars that are less swept back. It finally feels a little rowdy now (wheelies), and more stable.
 These are the little brother of those long Dia Compes, also Dia Compe, but less power.

Then there's the Grizz. updated as my commuter. really just added a nicer newer wheelset and a new chain.
 Old style pump mountin'
 Those new (old) wheels
 I am digging these bars!
Oh yeah, and my sweet new basket I found at the dump bungeed to the rack. Not cool, but so cool!