Monday, July 20, 2009

Superweek Postings

As Adam said I am at the International Cycling Classic/Superweek for the week, and will hopefully be posting nightly on the team site. It was a great weekend and a great start to the week here hopefully we can keep the ball rolling. Peter, Mark, and Dan K. are all racing this week and then we will be joined by a lot of others for the Chicago Crit next Sunday, and that is an awesome race. Feel free to check out the race reports, as the top finisher each day has the duty of posting one. Oh yeah and top finisher also picks sleeping arrangements and it felt really nice not to have to share a bed. Ha.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some people have good weekends...

Some people have good weekends, others great... Now, I don't know if I can speak for Geoff on this one fully but as he put it...

'Good start to super week'

And I'd say so... check it out here...

That's right... he won the NorthShore University HealthSystem Grand Prix! I don't know any of the details on how he won but hopefully I can get him to do a recap on here when he's back at the end of the week. I'm sure that he'll have a few stories to share and I'm hoping a few more wins under his belt as he then transitions from CAT 3 to 2.

My weekend was good, no race wins here but just a great two days. One at the shop where the day went fast and today was spent doing the four great R's: relaxing, reading, riding and supporting a race.

Did a little 15 mile ride with a good friend Jenny. It started to rain pretty good and cut the ride in half and because of the water I didn't want to risk messing up my phone so sorry no photos. It was a good spin as we officially marked the calendar for doing the Apple Cider Century in September. We, or should I say I, had an interesting encounter with a traffic cone on the ride though. We cut through the street by the 5/3 Ballpark just north of Grand Rapids and I got a little confused on which way we were going and as Jenny told me to follow the road just in time to take out an innocent cone just doing it's job, dead center. Fortunately, I had a firm grip on the bars and good speed and ran it over. And much like when a car hit one, the cone decided to hang on for a bit and stuck on my left crank arm as I carried it for a few feet further than planned.

Then this evening headed downtown with Tom to help put on this summers first King of the Streets race. It was great time with no crashes but to fun courses from what all the guys said. Jeff Jacobi [picture on the left] ended up taking home the trophy for the fastest times on both the course run. Good times, now just waiting for next weekend to start!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The making of a hipster...errr, a fixie

A few weeks back, a friend of mine stopped into the shop and said 'Let's build a fixie'. Maybe one of the greatest 4 word sentences around, partly because building up a fixie from scratch is always fun. Each build is never quite the same but always simple and just plain great to see the excitement grow as all the parts come together to make the bike that before was simply a dream.

I try my best to just empower the people who are building them, selling them the proper parts as we discuss what they want their bike to do and in the end hopefully teaching them a few things on how to maintain and service their new bike.

Here is the before and after of Marcus' new fixie... if you want to see the full progression here is a link to the Facebook album. Enjoy.

The bike is so very close to being done. Marcus is rocking my extra fixie wheelset until he can jump on some blacked out Deep V's and it sounds like down the road more black will be introduced to the bike in general. Needless to say, it's still a hot bike!

Have a great weekend everyone, get out and ride! And if you're in the GR area and looking for some thing to do or watch this Sunday evening, I hear there is a pretty sweet event going on... hopefully see you there!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Who's counting the days til January?
This guy, I thought we met!

I did it. I placed the order today for the 2010 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 1. I'll be getting the XL frame size and excited to see what the weight will come in for it given that the Large weighed in at 18 LBS. Yes, 18 lbs! 5 lbs lighter than the Super Fly! Crazy!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


So you've seen these bikes before in different forms and set ups, but after much thought I believe I've landed on the best possible set up. Here is a quick journey through where these bikes have done starting here to here to here to... [sorry for the picture quality]

My camera died so here is the best I could do for a time lapse of Saturdays project...

So as most of you know the Surly Karate Monkey is a 29er, big wheeled goodness. The Xtracycle kit that I had purchased a good 2 years ago now was for a 26" wheel. I decided to keep the rear wheel from what was on the Giant frame and so you guessed it kids, I'm running a 69er Xtramonkey as I'm calling it. I'm sure it has been done before but the set up is amazing! I can't believe I put up with such an aggressive position previously. Obviously with the larger front wheel it moves the bar positioning up but it's good, dang good! If you're looking into putting a Free Radical on an older bike running 'traditional' geometry or a completely rigid that doesn't have a suspension corrected fork on it it's the least you should do. Your body will thank you!

I might add that the thrill I'm having at running this as a 69er by no means that I support the confused line of bikes offered by a few companies that come stock in this set up. For the mountain application you cannot beat a 29er.

Skinning a Cat.

I stumbled onto this video a few minutes ago and well... it's one of those that just proves that there is multiple ways to skin a cat. I will forewarn you there is some language in it...

A few thoughts from it from right after watching it...

_he's taking a part a freewheel, not a cassette.
_he wants to be 'careful' when clamping down a pipe wrench to the gears not to 'ruin' them.
_I love youtube, it teaches so that we can sell people new parts!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Urban Assault...

Tuesday Nights here in Grand Rapids there is group of guys who do a little Urban Assault on some mountain bikes and since I know a few of them, I figured I'd tag along. Not too mention I'm helping out with a urban race called King of the Streets being put on in here in a few weeks... be checking out that website as all the details start to get hashed out.

I was more of a camera man than anything, given that I was on the Cannondale cross bike... enjoy some pics from the evening. Most are in black and white for your EPIC viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The NEXT bike.

So I've decided. I would say I'm around the 93% sure mark on whether I'll go through with this or not. But if I had to say yes or no right now, it's definitely a yes.

I'll be getting a 2010 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 1.

Over at they have the full line of '10 Cannondale 2ers shown and given probable specs and some have rumored that this will be a sub 20 lbs bike! Crazy, given that the Fisher Superfly without pedals came in at 23 lbs. I guess seeing is believing in this case but regardless, I want to get my hands on one. I know, suprise suprise, I'm not going single speed.

Here's what G.Ted wrote for spec on this beauty...

Carbon fiber comes to Cannondale 29″ers: We’ve been reporting this for a couple weeks now, but here are the details as we know them. First, the spec sheet I have seen is saying that the Flash carbon 29″ers are “Hi-MOD”, which one would asume means that it is “high modulus” carbon fiber. The story is being told now that this isn’t the case, and that “standard modulus” carbon fiber is going to be used in these frames to keep the cost down. (Reportedly between $2500-$3000 for the Flash 29er 1) At any rate, even with the confusion there, the rest of the spec is exciting. The fork is a Lefty Carbon SL with DLR set at 80mm. The stem/steer tube is Cannondale’s SI (System Integrated) set up. The frame is also a BB-30 frame with FSA K-Force Light crank and BB-30 bottom bracket. The drive train consists of SRAM X-0 rear derailluer and shifters with a Shimano XT front mech all working to turn the DT Swiss 240 rear/Lefty SL front hubs laced to Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Arch rims with DT Swiss Aerospeed spokes.

The frame itself is very interesting with flattened chain stay sections mated with minimalistic looking seat stays, presumably to give better vertical compliance. The junction of the top tube to the seat tube is also curiously tapered. The seat post is a Cannondale branded piece that is reportedly using S.A.V.E. technology gained from working with the Synapse line on the road side. Note the flattened, thinner section at mid-post. This is again in an effort to provide more rider comfort. Avid Elixir CR Carbon brakes with a 180frt/160r rotor set up, Fizik Gobi XM with Kium rails, and TruVativ Stylo World Cup 10 degree bar round out the spec highlights here.

I'm already imagining it with a little bit more red on it...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Trains Iowa

Only a few months ago Brian and I attempted Trans Iowa v.5 and since the moment that we called it quits we started talking about how we were going to train and finish Trans Iowa V. 6. We've slowly begun the conversation as to what we want to do each month to get there and so far here is what we've come up with...

_A century a month (dirty or clean) starting August.

Remember, Brian and I are normal guys, simple shop rats for the time being and training for us typically just means getting out on the bike and riding and riding a lot. I am debating investing in a training program come November that will give me direction in the fall.

So far here are a few rides I'm debating doing, hopefully this list will grow longer in the next month:

September 26th - Heck of the North
September 27th - Apple Cider Century

October 3rd - Grand Rapids 60 mile Ride for Refugees

Brian and I are hoping to meet up a few times and go for a few day or days rides if our schedules work out, which may be a bit trickier since Brian and his wife have a baby on the way! All I know is it's good to have the ball rolling.

Hope everyone had a great 4th!