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Bicycles

Just Riding Along… New Bike!

Some days, it just happens to be your day. Every thing is going smoothly, and things effortlessly fall into place. Today was that day. After randomly searching Craigslist for bikes, which I have not done in a while, I stumbled onto a bike posting that got my attention. After a few emails, I ended the day with this:

This is a first generation Kona Ute cargo bike. You might be thinking, “Didn’t you just sell an Xtracycle cargo bike kit this year?” Yes. I moved the Xtracycle, and regretted it after it was gone. That thought, paired with the idea of a different cargo bike to haul the kiddos around, ended up with this strange twist of fate of finding this bike at complete random. Timing is everything right?

This bike is from 2008 I believe, and it has the newer style Ute cargo bags that are super large, and very heavy duty. Drivetrain is set up as a 2×8, which is surprisingly low geared. After a little tweaking this afternoon, and a small ride around the neighborhood, this bike is going to be in the stable for some time. Or at least a year or so…

Just keep spinning…

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Just Riding Along… Airborne Sabre build.

After writing about Airborne’s Interbike sale not too long ago (here) a friend of mine decided that she wanted to get back into cycling. What great timing on her part! With the sale price, a bike in a box showed up at her place today for the amazing price of $250! Since I am the resident bike geek in the workplace, I picked up the box on my way home from work to put together the Sabre for her, and thought I would post the build process. I am still not so sure I would call this a build, it was that easy!

The Sabre was packed amazingly well. Every important part was covered, and most if not all of the bike was tied together in one unit. There was a small accessories box that was loose in the larger bike box, that held the manual, reflectors, and two cable ferrules. This box had a small hole that had developed in transit, but nothing seemed to be missing. That would be my only complaint in the shipping category.

Once out of the box, the seat post was installed to place the bike on the rack, and I spent the majority of the build time taking off the packing material. All of the tubes of the bike were wrapped and taped, the fork was bubble-wrapped and taped, the bars were wrapped and taped; do you see a pattern yet? It was packed very well, with nothing really forgotten about. Everything went together as smoothly as possible.


Sabre out of the box.

One non-issue, that potentially could be an issue(Maybe?) is that the stem is installed backwards. This enables the fork to be installed during the shipping process, as the stem in the reverse position makes the bike easier to pack. This only takes an allen wrench to loosen two bolts, but I could see some folks just turning the stem around, while attached, and ending up with a fork in the wrong position. I think it would be very obvious, but some might not. I feel it should be noted though…

After the stem was spun around, I mounted the handlebars, installed the front wheel, and inflated the tires to the proper level. While the bike was still on the stand, I tested out the shifting and braking, and everything was as it should be, so pedals were installed and it was time for a test ride.

The Sabre reminded me of my first “serious” mountain bike, only the Sabre costs around $200 less! Just around 15 minutes speeding around the neighborhood, mostly due to this bike not being my size. Anyway though, in my short time with it, I walked away impressed. The shifting was spot on. The Shimano 7 speed shifters, matched to Shimano derailleurs front and back worked like a charm. I was expecting to spend most of the evening fine tuning the shifting, and I did not even have to adjust it. Flawless! The Tektro Novela disc brakes also surprised me, being a great, easy, virtually set-up free disc brake. The fork did not impress me as much as the other items, but I am used to riding a rigid steel bike, so I would probably not be the best to judge the suspension. Top all of that off with a WTB saddle, and that is a smoking deal for your first mountain bike. Well done Airborne!

If you are on the fence about buying an Airborne due to putting it together yourself, don’t be. This ended up being maybe a 30 minute investment, with most of my time removing packaging. If you are interested in this deal, you need to move fast since it is over on the 23rd. Head over to Airborne’s site here to start your adventure!


Just Riding Along… Salsa Beargrease.

Fall is an amazing time of year. Leaves start to change, the weather turns a more comfortable temperature, and most bicycle companies start unleashing the hounds of their newest models. This year has been exceptionally good, and if you are in the market for a new ride then you might be a little overwhelmed with the new options. One company that never disappoints this time of year is Salsa, which upped the fat bike ante with this guy:

The Beargrease is the new “racing” fatbike. At a very svelte 28lbs or so, this is one of the (if not the) lightest fatbikes that you can purchase. Basing this model off of their successful Mukluk, they cut all of the fancy braze-ons to save weight, and added quite the impressive parts list to achieve such a light fatty. This bike just screams to be loaded up with a frame and seat bag and head off on a long distance winter race. It also looks like it would be a ton of fun just out and about on your local loop though…

Check out their site here to read more about it.

Just keep spinning…

Photo from Salsa’s site.


New Surly Cross Check…

For all of those not paying attention, this coming model year is going to be stellar for bicycles. Need further proof of that? Check this Cross Check:

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Yes, that is a Surly Cross Check. True, not a new model. Here is the kicker; this bike is now offered as a single speed complete, set up with mountain bars! This is the Cross Check that I have always wanted to build. Well done Surly!

Be sure to check out their blog this week, they are planning on dropping new products every day.

Pic from Surly’s site, also check out what looks to be a Krampus with an even fatter front…


Airborne Bicycles Goblin v2.0

Airborne Bicycles, based out of Dayton Ohio, have been turning out quality bicycles for a few years now, and at a very hard to beat price point as well. Last year, their Goblin 29er hardtail won over quite a few cycling magazines with it’s quality construction, smooth ride, amazing component selection, and well under the radar price, so how do you top that? By introducing this:

From the horse’s mouth, the changes from last year:
-Tapered HT with increased rear wheel mud clearance, increased standover clearance on the 16″ frame-size.
-Tapered Reba RL fork with increased 100mm travel
-Larger 180mm rotor up front for increased stopping power and fade resistance
-New 38/24 gearing on the all new SRAM X7 crankset that offers a better gear range for climbing paired to an 11-36 cassette.
-Geax AKA 2.2 tires that roll fast on hardpack and offer outstanding grip on loose and rocky terrain
-New Selle San Marco Ponza Power Saddle

All of those added features, a sweet new paint job, all for only $50 more than last year’s model. Amazing!

Just in case you are still drooling over last year’s version, hurry over to their website here and pick it up at a discounted rate, only until they are all gone. I would suggest that you move fast.

I am loving these product releases this year, for Airborne it is only getting better. One of these days I am going to get my hands on an Airborne! Well done!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Surly Krampus.

Just in case you don’t read the Surly blog….

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Photo pulled from Dirt Rag’s Facebook page.

Well done Surly! Bar raised again…


High Wheeling in S.D.

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While out and about yesterday in Ocean Beach, I spotted this beauty chained to a post outside of a local establishment. I love to see bikes like this getting some action. Well done San Diego high wheeler!

Now if only Surly would build one of these!

Just keep spinning…