Thursday, January 22, 2009

in the stand

Here's a couple of other projects that are currently in the stand:

Warwicks El Saltamontes in for a suspension overhaul and other bits of maintenence like a new chain, etc.
rear triangle removed, bike cleaned and inspected.

remove the seized bearings.

polish the stays while they're off the bike with an aluminum polish

and also a complete overhaul on Kevin's older carbon tubed Trek 2100, but what ..... what in the heck is this nasty looking white stuff lingering on the brake hoods. U-really don't wanna know.

todays project

begins a little like this:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


the results of 3 days of sub 20d temps with the combination of a foggy inversion. As of today....still no sunshine. And to think that above 5000ft in elevation the sun was shining and temperatures were approaching 50deg.

photo of a photo

the original photo was taken by 71 yr old Hamiltonian, Bobby Evans who was kind enough to give us a copy of the photo. Bobby also brought in an older Schwinn mountain bike for us to tune up as well. Double thanks !

Friday, January 16, 2009


end of the year buzzkill......counting hundreds of small parts, bicycles, frames, and forks. Then, having to pay some guy by the name of Uncle Sam money for parts that sit on my shelf, in boxes, or tucked away in drawers. In some cases, parts that have been at the barn for almost a decade, patiently waiting for the right customer to walk through the door. Inventory equals revenue. I suppose though if there was to be a beacon of light across the rainbow it would be the fact that dust collected upon bags of bike parts is the catalyst for value parts mature in age, they depreciate more in actual value. Thankfully, that's the way the government works it, cuz i've got waaaaay too much old stuff in here. Old stuff re-acquianted on a yearly basis that enivitably makes my eyes light up like a youngster at christmas.

stuff like this:

and this too:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

big hole valley

The Big Hole Valley in SW Montana......and easily one of my favorite places to spend free time.

So it was pretty easy for me to jump in the car and drive the 4 hours to Dillon this past monday to meet up with Cory and Greg from the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance for a meeting with the Beaverhead -Deerlodge County Commissioners in regards to mountain bike access within the Lionshead Area. These are the same two fellas that continue to roll up their sleeves and work their asses off to insure that we Montanans have amazing places to ride our bicycles. The Lionshead area just SW of Bozeman is certainly one of those places. Cory and other folks from the MMBA had laid out a very nice presentation that made good sense, was practical and easy to understand. I believe the commissioners thought so too and they endorsed the Lionshead NPA which could lead to good things concerning other endangered areas in Montana.

To find out more about the Lionshead click here and here

to join the MMBA click here

Saturday, January 10, 2009

in the stand

Rick's Gunnar Rocktour was in the shop for some new handlebar tape......he decided to splurge a little bit and had us install a roll of the Brooks leather tape. Expensive stuff......but dang it sure looks nice when it's rolled out on a nice bike. One tip....if you do decide to use leather as a wrap just make sure to treat it with a proofide or of similiar leather treating quality. Weather and sweat will attempt to ruin even the finest leather wrap when left unconditioned.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ventana bearing service

Winter is the perfect time of the year to bring that full suspension bike in for it's annual bearing overhaul/servicing or at the very least an inspection to make sure that those linkages are running smoothly. On a typical service it's very rare that every bearing is bad or seized but it is noticeable when one or a few have gone bad. Not detectable through the slow degradation of the bearing but VERY noticeable once replaced. So if you're one of those guys or gals that hasn't had your suspension checked at all for the last couple of years then there is a good possibility that one or more bearings need replacement. Plus it's winter and i need something to do.

a bearing candidate, my 04' Ventana La Bruja
remove brake caliper, chain, rear derailleur and rear der.cable
chainstay and seatstay removed which allows access to individual bearings for inspection and possible replacement

bearings ready for retirement
in my case six bearings were bad.....keep in mind that your typical 4 bar Ventana has 16 bearings in total.
ventana's super nice and easy to use bearing press

bearing press in action

the tool also captures the bearing

and presses the new bearing back in, we like to lightly grease the surfaces of both the bearing and the bore hole of the swingarm.
bearings pressed and swingarm attached

Breg......puttin' it all back together

while we had the frame stripped down this far we also decided to overhaul the Fox RP23 with a float air sleeve kit. Mine had been oozing sludge for a bit too's okay to ooze a little bit but it's not good once it's stops as additional damage can be done to the shock stanchion from high amounts of friction.

maintenence finished and ready for spring.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ritchey Break away Frame

Brock brought his Ritchey break away frame by the shop to have the headtube faced and milled and it's bottom bracket faced and chased before re-assembly.

globs of paint before:



Sunday, January 04, 2009


Getting out of the door and into the freeezing cold can be the hardest part of the ride during the winter, at least for those of us in the most northern sectors of these lower 48 states.......It sure was for me last night, but in need of a serious biking fix prevailed and i headed to the closet to figure out the layers of clothes that i'd be needing for a short hour long ride.

Some wool socks, winter shoes, windfront tights, ss jersey, ls jersey, fleece vest, and a stout storm jacket. Skip the cycling gloves and go full mitts, rid the helmet to wear a nice warm hat, and a fleece neck gator to keep that warm breathe close at bay. I also packed up a few essentials into the fanny pack and headed on my way. It's kinda funny how this ritual of assorting clothes and gear almost takes as long as the ride itself on nights like this.

Eventually i load the Ford up and drove to the upper portion of sleeping child road which is always completely snow/iced over for about 3-4 months of the year. Tonite it was ice covered and i was very thankful for the little tiny metal objects that are embedded into my tires (Nokian Gazza 294). I rolled slowly up the canyon road just till the dead end and then pedaled softly back down, on studs but still cautious to gain much monentum. Afterall.....i was helmetless. Yeah go ahead and flame on me Chuck......i can take it.

quiet and uneventful....the perfect winter ride.