After work today, I decided that it would be a good time to head back to East Fork SP to ride the Lake Trail again. What a fun trail! I am always amazed at how well East Fork drains after a bit of rain, as it rained this morning, just spotty showers, which finished around 8am. Then, in typical Ohio summer fashion, the heat was cranked to 90 with a huge chunk of humidity. While uncomfortable to work in, it makes for great trail drying weather. Just a few mudholes, nothing major. It is mountain biking.
Stopped at my favorite tree in the whole trail system, this Oak is huge. I can only imagine the stories it could tell…
I am really happy with my tire setup finally. I have settled on running a Maxxis Ardent 2.6″ in the front, and a Maxxis Crossmark 2.1″ in the rear. The Ardent in the front has great traction, especially when cornering, and it’s large size gives me the ability to run a little lower air pressure to give the false feeling of suspension on a rigid frame. As for the Crossmark on the rear, it is a fast tire, but it does have it’s limits. I am feeling it wash out a tiny bit on higher speed corners, but it is nothing unbearable. It is a great combo, and way lighter than running two 2.6″ Ardents. That will be my winter setup however.
Some awesome trail time lately, quite a bit more to come this week, then it is vacation time!
Just keep spinning…
Lately, I have been spending a lot of time on the Troll, mostly on the road due to SW Ohio being underwater this past month. While out and about on the road, it frees up your mind to wander a bit, and figure out all of life’s problems. Or just what to do next when it comes to bicycles. Even though I just recently finished the Troll, I am bouncing ideas around as to what my next bike move will be. Here are a few things that I have been contemplating:
A new wheel-set keeps popping up on these rides. It would be nice to have a second wheel-set for the Troll so I do not have to wrestle tires on and off my Sun Ringle wheels. A second wheel-set, like the Mavics above, would be WAY cheaper than another bicycle and it would make the Troll even more versatile. One set with MTB tires, the other with my road tires. Makes sense right?
On the topic of a second wheelset, I have started to think of something like this:
A more specialized wheel-set, specifically a fat bike wheel-set, like the Surly Large Marge rims. This would enable me to have a larger footprint for off road excursions, with the rim being 65mm wide. That would stretch out my Maxxis Ardent 2.6s out quite a bit. This would essentially make the Troll a lite version of a fat bike. If I went this route, I would no doubt end up with a Surly fat front fork, giving me the option of running the much larger Surly Larry 26×3.8 front tire. But, why go through all of that trouble, when you can just get one of these:
A true fat bike. I have wanted one of these since the first moment I saw one. If I would go this route, which model would I go with? Of course the Surly would be on that list, but another company that is on my short list is 9 Zero 7. Look at this beauty from the great white north:
There are a few other ideas that keep bouncing around in my head, but to keep this somewhat focused I will save those for a later date. At this moment though, a fat bike is what I am shooting for in the near future.
Now I need to figure out how I can sell this idea to my wife…
Just keep spinning…
Got out on the Little Miami path last night with friends. Spring is here in full effect here in Southwestern Ohio, with comfortable temperatures in the 50s last night. Lights were installed, supplies were loaded, and off on the path for a nice 18 mile jaunt in the darkness.
Just for this trip, I decided to switch out my tires from the huge Ardent 2.6s to a smaller more road worthy Maxxis Crossmark 26×2.1. Thees tires roll surprisingly well for a dirt tire, and very quiet. After the tire swap, I added some racks to the Troll:
I pulled the old Blackburn rear rack off of my T500, and then installed my new Salsa Down Under front racks. This was my first trip with the Troll loaded up, and it rolled very smoothly, which was expected. I am only using the Blackburn rack until the Salsa Minimalist rack comes back into stock, then that will be my weapon of choice.
View of the Salsa front rack from above.
After the ride, beers came out in the variety of a stout, a Belgian style ale, and a smooth golden ale in a can. Reviews on those to come soon. Get out and enjoy this weather!
Just keep spinning…
A couple teaser shots from today, just mocking up some things before other work is done…
Maxxis Ardent 26×2.6 fit, just barely, with the axle pushed all the way forward.
Mocked up, no headset installed as of yet. Checking the fit of the Salsa Down Under rack.
I am beyond excited about this build, slowly but surely coming together.
Just keep spinning…
So the new parts are starting to come in for the upcoming build. Every time that I order something online it is like Christmas morning when it arrives. Such a good feeling, thanks postman!
The past couple days have brought in a couple important pieces. First up was my Chris King headset from eBay. Apart from the faded finish, and some unexpected “hidden” shipping costs from the seller, it was still a great deal. eBay is a gamble sometimes, for example, when an item is listed as “Like new, excellent condition!” you would not expect fading right? Neither did I. Like I said though, it is in great shape still, and was a great deal, just a tiny hassle. Buyer beware I suppose.
Next up came two different packages. One carried my new Brooks B17 Narrow saddle. After lathering it up with some Brooks Proofhide last night, I took a 10 mile or so spin on it today with the T500. Right out of the box, I was quite surprised at how nice the Brooks fit me. Maybe it is due to me riding a little stiffer of a saddle as of late, but the Brooks was not at all terrible. If I am liking it now, I cannot imagine how comfy it will be once broken in.
The last package was one of the most important for a bicycle, tires. Those came in the form of two Maxxis Ardent 26×2.6″ beasts. After installing them on my Sun Ringle Singletrack rims, I would guess that they do not measure out to 2.6″ wide, but they are big nonetheless. Not a bad tread pattern as well:
I am planning on running these front and rear for MTB duties, but I do have the thoughts of putting a Maxxis Minion DHF 26×2.7″ tire on the front. The Troll has big tire clearance, why not use it all up? I think with either of those setups it will make a nice “fatbike lite.” This is probably a bad road to start down though, because it only ends at this:
Photo from Surly’s site.
So on my last post, I talked a bit about dissembling my HaroX cargo bike, and moving the parts to a new frame. What frame you might ask? This guy:
That’s right, a Surly Troll. If you have read this blog before, you know that I am a big fan of Surly’s products. As for the Troll, this is no exception. I was contemplating the Troll when it came out over a year ago, check here and here. It is an amazing frame with lots of options, and most of all, versatility. I will still be able to haul my daughter around, using the free trailer that I picked up this summer. So here is the plan:
Once the new frame is in I plan on taking it over to my father’s motorcycle shop to make some changes. First, the rim brake bosses are going to be cut off. I never plan on using them, it will make the bike look cleaner, and it will slightly increase my tire clearance. After that is done, it will be powdercoated. Not going to reveal the color choice just yet, I will keep that a surprise. Once I get the frame back, it will be parts swap time, and time to add some recently acquired purchases. Parts will look something like this:
-Sun Singletrack wheelset
-SRAM X7 shifters
-SRAM X9 rear derailleur
-Shimano LX front
-Avid BB5 disc brakes
-Avid FR5 levers
-On One Mary handlebars
-Truvativ FireX crankset and BB
-Shimano XTR pedals
And the new purchases:
Chris King headset
Brooks B17 narrow
Maxxis Ardent 26×2.6 x2
That should round it out. I am really pumped to be building this up. But the question now is: Should I order the frame now, or wait til March when the newer frame starts hitting the shops, with an extra bottle mount on the downtube and the extra mounts on the fork legs? What’s a couple more months?
Troll picture from Surly’s site
Other three pics from Google Images