Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Mountain Bike Ride On the 650B Stumpy

Rich left me a message on my phone, Friday. "Hey, dude. Want to go mountain biking for a few hours, up in Buffalo Creek, tomorrow?" (Words to that effect, anyway...)
-
"Hells yeah!" I thought. "I want to try the 650b bike out on the dirt.
-
So, plans were made, coffee was drunk and we eventually found ourselves at the trailhead parking lot outside of Pine.
I figure we got the "odd couple" award for our mismatched bikes. I was riding the 1984 Stumpjumper Sport 650b conversion, while Rich was on his new YETI ASR.
-
OldSchool/New School Shootout? Nah, I leave that kind of crap to the guys at Mountain Bike Fiction magazine. We were just two guys riding the bikes we wanted to ride.

Did I like the way bike rode? By the looks of the maniac grin I'm sporting in this picture, I'd have to say so. I love Mustache bars, off-road, and the big wheels and tires hooked up well on the sandy trails.
-
Plus, it's a hoot to ride rigid, again, after all these years. I think I've slowed down so much, in the past couple of years, that I ride about as fast rigid as I do with suspension (or as slow with suspension as I do rigid, I suppose).


Part of the ride took us through the burn area. Lots of vegetation has reestablished itself, but the horizon is still a lot farther away than it was ten years ago when the whole area was heavily forested.


Rich on a climb.
-
The one shortcoming of the bike was the brakes. I was running Avid Shorty cantilevers, and they just weren't cutting it on the long downhills. I had a few "life flashing before my eyes" moments, and pretty much was constantly on the brakes just to avoid gaining enough speed that I'd overshoot a turn, unable to slow down enough.
-
In other words, I was transported back to 1996.
-
In all, we rode 19 miles of trail. Rich sent me the elevation profile from his GPS:

That last downhill was worth the price of admission.

Today, I decided to make some V-Brakes work on the bike. I modified the 29er adapters I had made, back when I was running the 700c wheels on the bike, so that they aligned the front pads with the rim. The rear brakes were close to usable, and I was able to slightly lengthen the mounting slot on the brakes, themselves, to get good alignment.
The road bike brake levers were replaced with some V-Brake levers, modified to fit on the Mustache bar diameter. Presto! I got stopping power!

Here's the Dr. Jekyll personality of the bike. Road tires and the rear rack convert the mountain bike to a randonneur/touring rig.

Those are the stock tires from the Raleigh Portage I just sold. I'll be getting some newer, nicer tires for it, eventually. I'd like to get another pair of the Schwalbes like I put on the Portage.
-
Fenders are in route from Velo Orange. Maybe I'll actually get around to installing them, on this bike. I sent the fenders I bought for the Portage away with the bike, still in undrilled, new condition.
-
Oh, well, gotta get the snow bike ready for the commute, tomorrow. Close to 80 degrees, today, and a winter storm is supposed to move in overnight. Rain/snow in the morning, snow in the afternoon. The forecast is for only a few inches, though. The blizzard is apparently going about 90 miles north of Denver, this time.
-
x

6 Comments:

At 10:53 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Love the "YEAH!!MOUNTAINBIKING" look.It's still too wet on most trails here on the BIG "O",but I have gotten out on the trails a couple of times.It is suppossed to freeze weds. night so maybe Thurs. morning I'll go ride on the "hopefully" frozen mud.My favorite trail(my own)is still a mess trees down from the winter,and the snowmobiles got out there and made some of it 4ft wide.Looks like it's time for a reroute in few places.

 
At 11:59 AM , Blogger Jon said...

I have to admit, I actually felt like a mountain biker, Saturday. Never got out of the middle ring, for the climbs, hung with Rich on the downs, despite the lack of suspension. I was pretty stoked.

...as you noticed.

 
At 8:19 AM , Blogger Apertome said...

Badass bike! And so versatile. That grin is priceless.

 
At 10:34 AM , Blogger all ideas are good said...

Do you have more details on the SJ conversion? I'm looking into doing the same thing. Which V-Brakes did you use or are they modified V's to match the rim diameter?

thanks - great blog

 
At 1:52 PM , Blogger MMcG said...

Hey - can you tell me more about the modifications you had to make to the V-brakes to get them to work with the 650b wheels?

Thanks.

Mark
mmcg25@gmail.com

 
At 9:35 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Mark,

I sent you an email with a sketch of the adapter. Check your spam filter, if you don't get it.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home