Monday, September 24, 2007

2008 Magura Louise

Magura's new Louise stumbled into the front door today. It appears that they're going to keep last years design (which has been a favorite hydraulic brake of mine for a while) around for a while longer until these are a proven winner. The 2008's have numerous differences mainly the fact they've designed the caliper as a two piece, which should make the maintenence of the pistons a possibility. Most other design differences appear to be cost effective changes which have effectively brought the price of the brake system down a whopping $45 per wheel compared to last years unit ($125 compared to $170 per wheel).

so far.... i'm still liking the 2007's better based purely on appearence. The word isn't out yet on how well these perform but i'm sure that we'll let you know soon enough (as we're sorting out a set on a Knolly Endorphin). If they keep the dynamics of the 07' system then Magura will surely have created another outstanding brake.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

rainy sunday blues

Yessir ! So it's rained nearly an inch and a half since last night and it's probably way too muddy to ride the trails not to mention that i can see a fresh layer of snow in dem der hills and she's kinda chilly and all, but the good news is that the Bitteroots are recieving some VERY much needed rain. Rain that will eventually turn the dry and dusty trails into some fantastic singletrack. But since the sunday ride was called what ?

Football ? go for a walk ? welp.....i suppose there would be countless other things to do since its waaay to wet to ride the bike today. For me, i decided to come into work to mess around with a couple of projects that i've been putting off, waiting for a break in the shop action. Hobby wrenching i call it(sorry i'm not working on your bikes on a sunday folks)and sunday is better than any other day to goof around with the wrenches i guess, so i took the old Iver Johnson Truss frame down from the counter top to throw a few parts on the recently restored frame, fork and parts. Man, she's been sitting naked for soooo long that it felt really good to throw the bike into the repair stand and to finally get busy on it.

really good.

first...there was a ton of frame prep to do since the frame recieved it's fresh coat of paint. And since the parts recieved a fresh zinc plating all of the parts have all increased a little in size too ( i did have most of the fasteners plated also but not the threads). But still, there was a bunch of paint removal that needed done. The seatpost was and still is the most difficult fit and it still needs a flex hone to ream out the diameter a little more. As i worked on the old bike it was the old saying.... " take two steps forward and one step back ", however progress was made.

i also had to rebuild the wooden wheels with some Torrington spokes that were laying around.

beverage of choice while working on the old stuff:
Sierra Neveda's IPA

music choice when working on the old stuff:
6 1/2 hours of Bob Dylan compilations.

In six hours i felt like i made pretty good progress but there's still the needed attention of finding a 28 X 1 1/2 inch tire, installing a skip tooth chain, and reaming out the damn seat tube. Here's how she looks after a day of goofin' off in the shop:

thanks for looking !

Friday, September 21, 2007

a sneak peek

of KHS's new twenty-nine inched dual suspension bike....the Flagstaff (msrp of $1999).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Heart Lake

This past saturday we had a fantastic fall ride on a trail near the Idaho border. .....i was spending the day getting to know the El Rey , which is one of Ventana's 29" wheeled offerings and also one of the Red Barn demo fleet of bikes. With four inches of travel via a Rock Shox Reba up front and a Fox RP23 in the rear it has just enough suspension to tone down any rough trail (mind you that i'm typically on a 6" travel trail bike). Honestly i'd have to say that there were certainly portions of this trail that seemed a little easier with the larger diametered wheels.....steep, rocky sections and at average speeds just seemed sweet. The bike just rolled over the large boulders lessening the typical endo sensation and i was able to pilot the bike downhill at a very controllable rate and without locking up the brakes. Technical terrain tackled with a little bit of momentum seemed slightly easier than my 6" bike. But in a sense it also didn't feel like it wanted to be ridden overly aggressive....a mellow steady pace seemed to be the theme. Just find a good flow and roll with it. The mellow attitude was certainly present, maybe it wasn't the bike at all BUT the fact that i had an entire saturday to hang with good pals and absolutely no where to be.

Also.....the Heart Lake ride is one of many throughout the Idaho/Montana region that is currently subject to be closed based on a new Proposed Wilderness ruling....the best thing that any of us can do to keep super nice trails like this one open is to join IMBA. Please consider it, thanks !

Monday, September 17, 2007

Red Barn intraweb Tour

It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year and a half since we've finished the remodel of the barn (est.2000), and she's starting to feel pretty darn cozy as her newest facet of being considered a bike shop.

a little for the history buffs

Originally built in the early 20's-30's she began life as a dairy farm owned by the McCrossen's who kept an immaculate dairy record (which was found during the remodel). Alvin Schmitt (my wifes grandfather) purchased the farm in the early 50's and he too ran the farm and kept a few head around for dairy. Alvin added to the barn and built the two lean-two additions that you see in the pic on the banner above. Alvin also in his later years converted the barn from Dairy to wood shop by adding a concrete pad, updated electric and a little bit of drywall. My father in law has tons of great stories about this old building, but honestly my favorites have to be about all the mischeif that he and his brother got themselves into and then actually being able to see the knife scar initials, udder napkins stuck to the ceiling, and cracked ceiling joists from jumping around in the hayloft. Actually, the fact that either of them made it past their teen years with their arses still attached is beyond either of their imaginations as ol' Alvin had quite the temper. But wife and i made a home of this place and it didn't take long for the barn to transition into a bicycle shop, it was all too natural.

still....this place wouldn't be anywhere near it's current state if it were'nt for damn good friends and the support of a kick ass community. And folks, we love ya.

looking in the front door:

the shop

the crap in the man's junk is a red barn treasure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Schwinn Twin

Kimberly's new/old Schwinn Twin

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

get your cross on

Cyclocross season is nearly upon us, and Oct. 7th will be the first CX race on the calender and held in Butte. CX bike by Gunnar Crosshairs !

Thursday, September 06, 2007

2008 Avid BB7

Take-e-peek at the 2008 BB-7's, larger pad adjustment dials a refined body and new charcoal color are the main differences this year. These simple stoppers still have to be some of my favorite stoppers due to ease of adjustment and super easy maintenence.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Nitto Lugged stem

Here's a look at the new(ish) Nitto lugged stem. Pretty darn nice looking and should compliment a few of those lugged steel beauties that are roaming around, and good for you if you're one of those lucky folks. Price - $100

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New Belgium good times

So, saturday was good....damn good. Good buddy Rick and i loaded up the Ford truck with a load of less desirable cruisers dug out from the depths of the barn and we headed up to Missoula for the New Belgium Fat Tire Fest., The Festival is always a carnival of freakish bikes and folks....mix the two together and a throw downhealthy sampling of New Belgium and you have yourself some fine entertainment.

The old cruisers were well recieved and i ended up selling a handful, actually truth be told i think rick did all of the selling/collecting fundage. He's a pretty decent salesman (professional b-s'er) with a couple of brews down his neck.

so we headed home much lighter than when we left....paid for the gasoline to get up there and back and also to get a couple of burgers down our throat so i suppose we faired out pretty well.

riders and obstacles courtesy of the Bike Doc

entertainment courtesy of Mr. George

Rick the bike salesman
good pals