Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Walgoose Fat Bike Coming

Well, I obviously haven't been on the RatRod forum, for a while...

I got a question, in the comments, about my opinion of the Mongoose Dolomite. The only bike I knew of by that name, was a bmx model, from years ago. So, I looked at RatRod, and MTBR, and this what I found.

This is basically the Beast, with disc brakes, 1x7 freewheel gearing and a threadless headset. The projected price is $250.

I'm excited that the Mongoose is going to be available with gears and disc brakes, out of the box. $250 for that? Hell, yeah! I spent more than that converting my Beast. Admittedly, I ended up with better parts than what this bike is specced with. But, not having to modify, engineer and fabricate everything, in order to hang those parts, would certainly have made things easier.

And, this actually provides an entry-level machine to get into fat tire riding. And, before you leave a nasty comment about the bike being useless offroad, keep in mind that I have ridden my Beast conversion on some pretty gnarly Colorado Front Range trails, and it worked just fine.

I am tempted to order one of these, once they are available, and upgrade it a bit. Then, I would have a "guest bike" of the fat persuasion (which I would ride, and put the guest on my ti bike), to introduce people to the joys of fat bikes.

But, I am really trying to get out of the bike shop mentality, which makes me feel that I need to keep a fully stocked inventory of bikes around, for stuff like that. Maybe I'll just try to convince some of my friends to pop $250 on their own Walgoose, and then help them with the upgrades...


Monday, February 17, 2014

More Work On The Fat Ti Bike, And a Trip to Trader Joe's

I got some parts for the bike, last week, and finally got them all installed. First up, was a Problem Solvers bolt-on cable stop.

 I coupled that with the Problem Solvers Cross Pulley, which allowed me to use the bottom-pull derailleur I already had. I didn't really want to buy another derailleur, and this piece was affordable.

New seat post clamp

I had a mismatched set of GripShift shifters lying about, So, on they went. (Thanks to Danny Mc for the rear shifter!)

 The cog set had to be spaced out so that the  chain wouldn't rub the tire while using the small ring on the front.

The large cog on this stack is a 36-tooth. I should be able to climb trees with this rig!

I actually broke out the Funk ti bike, today, and rode over to the new Trader Joe's at Colorado and 8th, with Brad. Brad wanted some bottles of Two Buck Chuck, and I just went along for the ride. I ended up getting a Colorado whiskey I had never seen, plus one bottle of the wine.

On the way out of Trader Joe's, I found this squeaky-toy giraffe. In the background is a really cool two-sided sundial, in a park on the way home.

The top side tells time, in the summer, and the bottom (where Brad's bike is) tells time during the winter. I thought it was really cool.

This giant spider is in the back yard of a house across the street from the sundial. We managed to get by it, without it seeing us...

 Heartbreak awaited, when we arrived home. Apparently, the bottle of wine knocked a hole in my bottle of whiskey, as we rode. I didn't even get a sip!

Overall, though, even with the broken bottle of booze, it was a good ride, with temps in the low 60s and plenty of sunshine. Not too shabby for the middle of February.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Elk Meat Pies/Titanium Fat Bike

What do elk meat pies and ti bikes have in common? I assembled both in my house, this week...

Danny Mc brought me some elk meat, part of the elk that he took in this year's hunt, which included some ground meat.

 I browned some of the ground meat in the skillet, along with onions and garlic. Then, I rolled out some canned biscuits, put some of the meat, along with some cheese on it. and folded the dough over.

 Once folded, the dough got sealed along the edges, with a fork. Then, into a 350 degree oven. (I used my toaster oven, to cook 4 at a time.)

I cooked them until one side was brown, then flipped them and waited until the second side was browned, as well. (The photo makes the browning look a little darker than it is, by the way.) They were quite delicious, and I plan on making them, again, soon.

 This is the titanium fat bike, which I also assembled, this week. The frame is from a local frame builder, John Hargadon. I couldn't really afford it, but the price was such that I didn't feel that I could afford to pass it up.

 The wheels, brakes, bars, stem, rear derailleur and fork came off of the Walgoose Beast. The rest of the parts are either new, or parts I had in the shop, awaiting use.

 The Beast will go back together as a fat-tired cruiser, for Danny's wife. I plan on lacing an internal-gear hub into the rear rim, and the frame will get an orange respray.

I'll miss the Beast. It is the only bike I have ridden within the past 3 or 4 months, and I ended up with just shy of 650 miles on it, since I added the odometer. If I had the money and space, I would keep it around. But, at least it is staying in the family,

 I stayed up until 12:30, this morning, getting the bike ridable for this morning. Appropriately, and typically for me, the first ride on it was to Kaladi Brothers Coffee. The temperature was a relatively balmy 25 degrees, so I didn't put the bar mitts on, this morning.

 It's still not complete, but it is usable.

 I haven't figured out how to run cable to the front derailleur. Oddly, there are cable guides for a front shifter, but no cable stop on the frame. Not sure how I am going to get around that. Plus, I have a bottom-pull derailleur, and the routing is for a top-pull.

 While the frame accepts a 30.9mm seat post, I shimmed it for a 27.2mm post. This way, I can swap the seat between this bike and the other ti bike, depending on whether, or not, I want the saddle bag on the bike. It is a lot quicker and easier to swap the whole assembly than it is to take the bag and support off of one bike, then reinstall them on the other. (That cheap seat post clamp will go away, as soon as I find another one which fits. It was just what I had in the shop.)

 I bought Ergon grips for the bike. I have them on the Funk titanium bike, and they are pretty comfortable. I have a pretty severe problem with hand numbness, on longer rides, so the relatively expensive grips are worth the cost, to me.

 I am not a big fan of Shimano Rapidfire shifters, but this one was lying around, and I needed a shifter. It works great, as the Shimano units usually do, but I am not fond of the complexity of the shifter. I will probably find a GripShift shifter for it, eventually.

The ControlTech seat post is new, also. It has a bit of a set-back on the clamp, which works well with the Brooks saddle.

My eventual plan is to build up a conversion kit (rear wheel, suspension fork, and front wheel) which will allow me to run 29er tires on this frame. At that point, I will have the two ti bikes which allow for all of the different styles of riding I care to do (except for fixed-gear riding). I will have the fixed-gear road bike, and a fixed mountain bike with studded tires (for icy commutes), as well. If all goes according to plan, I hope to sell the majority of my other bikes, both to pay or this frame and to simplify my life, a bit.

It is easy to become a slave to one's possessions, and I feel that I have, to an extent. So, I hope to mitigate that, somewhat, by clearing out a few bikes.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

9 Below Zero

Not sure why I can't get this to print, right side up... Anyway, this is the walrus-like look I was rocking when I arrived at work, this morning. Local temp? That's right, nine degrees below zero (F).

My glasses iced up, on the inside of the lens. It was a bit chilly, this morning. I hear it's supposed to warm up to a balmy 4 degrees (F), this afternoon.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Snow, Snow, Snow

Yesterday, in Observatory Park, on the way home from the coffee shop.

New frame bag, a gift from Danny Mc. It is really handy and holds more than it looks.

Sun came out, today. As long as you are not in the shde, it's pretty nice out. Currently 28 degrees (F), outside...

My pump has found a new home, in the frame bag.

Danny picked his bike up, yesterday. This morning, he took it out in the snow.

This Beast is a monster!

In related news: I have had enough of the freaking snow and cold. And, the forecast, for the coming week, calls for ... snow and temperatures below zero.

Crap. Must be February.