Archive by Author

Litespeed M1 aka “road rage”

12 Oct

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I originally got this frame for a fixed / singlespeed project I had with custom laced Zipp 404 carbon tubular wheels. I then had a vision of a fast roadie with only 6 gears like a sports car and a paddle shifter to control.

I scored a set of wheels from Real Designs which is a partner with Litespeed (providing them with their carbon forks, wheels) and then went to work on a custom 6speed gear setup using a Shimano Dura Ace 9 speed cassette.  I used a SRAM Force rear derailleur which is designed for 10 speed but I modded using longer stop screws to work for 6 gears and not running the chain off the freewheel over shifting. Up front is a SRAM Force carbon crank with a single 48 tooth chainring, gearing is two gears for climbing, three for flat and one for downhill.

My next favorite part is the use of a SRAM time trial bar end shifter (shown on the end of the handlebars on the right sid) to control the shifting, acting like a paddle shifter on a sports car. The bike is built reliable with carbon clincher tires for easy changes and weights in at 16 pounds. It spins up quick and shifts on a dime.

Posted from Long Beach, California, United States.

The Salsa returns!!

12 Oct

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Ok so I know iv been slacking major on the blog, but here’s what’s been going on!

After the West Coast tour I took some down time and tore the Salsa down to the frame and sent it off to the powdercoater to have a new hammered bronze finish which will be a lot more tough for all other future riding, on and off road 😉

The color came out great and I built the bike back up again. This time I added a pair of Ritchey Speedmax Pro 700×40 tires to make this rig into a “monstercross” plenty capable of eating up mountain bike riding and even some small children…

My bro Ray was way awesome getting me a Crane Brass bell which is now my favorite feature on the bike ! ( besides the crappy moots ti parts, or classic xtr parts…)

Iv taken this bike off the beaten path and it is pretty much at home off road and I can’t wait to do some mountain touring in the future.  Salsa has it right with their slogan, Ride and Smile !

Posted from Long Beach, California, United States.

Gear Review: Panaracer Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 700×28 tire

12 Oct

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These were the tires I used on my 2011 West Coast tour, a pair of Panaracer RuffyTuffy tires in a 700×28 size. These tires were designed by Rivendell Bicycle Works (known for their touring framesets) to be the toughest tire for touring and fast tandem use. They use a 2.5mm thick Kevlar belt for flat protection. These tires also feature a checkerboard tread for a fast rolling tire with traction when needed.

These tires have a PSI rating of 90 and I used them with a heavy bike load at 80-85 PSI, which seemed to be just right for me.  Along the tour we pretty much rode over everything, from smooth pavement, rough/potholes /road construction that would eat normal road tires up. These tires held up pretty awesome! We even had a few dirt road/trail sections which I made through great with out much traction loss or damage.

At about 1000 miles, I did get one flat in the rear tire from a larger piece of glass that punctured through the tire which we repaired with a tire patch on the inside (see pics)  Also about this mileage I was seeing wear in the rear tire (as expected) which wore the tread pattern flat in the center portion (see pics, tire on left was on the rear)

Overall these tires handled anything that was thrown my way, from road conditions including rain which I had no traction problems with. Also going fast downhill kept me planted in corners and never felt wobbly .  The only issue I found was wanting these tires in a bigger size!! I would recommend these tires for any touring or commuter looking for a solid tire.

Posted from Long Beach, California, United States.

Goodbye Cali and howdy Oregon!

17 Aug

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Don’t let the Redwoods kick ya on the ass on the way outta Cali. My bro and I rode into Oregon all smiles and were ready for the much talked about OR hike and bike camping along the coast.
Though the smile went away when I ended up with a flat rear tire while waiting at a stop light! Ugh 1000 miles and I get one now? Fixed it quick and were back underway onto our camp. Ended the ride with food and drinks then heading to the beach. The smile was quickly returned. 

Avenue of Giants

15 Aug

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We cycled from the foggy / steep cliff coast line and climbed in altitude up to the Redwood area. As we approached the Redwoods we found to be overtaken by giant redwood trees, had a nice a cool climb into where we camped for the night.
The Avenue of Giants stretch of highway was one of my favorite rides thus far just due to the amazing sights ! The road might not have a shoulder and there was traffic we had no problems riding through.
This Redwood forest you just have to check out for your self to experience what its like! If you do drive through the ave. of giants just please be easy on the cyclists passing through!

Up hill both ways… in the snow..

6 Aug

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Well no snow just some awesome morning fog, then the heat kicks in…. My phone has been outta juice for a few days but I have been full power! ( coffee, chocolate pies, loaded hot dogs, the usual..)  and hauling the bro up some big climbs!  Now iv done some harsh up hill battles before but never experienced climbing a fully loaded (and heavy) touring bike up a long steep grade. Add in having no shoulder to ride on and traffic that does not want to stop is Hella ( being closer to NorCal) good times !!  I might have to replace the granny gear after this trip, oh and my legs are lookin good 😉

So far my Salsa bike is performing great! It’s pretty comfy and the handling is great, up and down hill and the gearing seems spot on. Though a kick-stand is a next thing to work on..

Things iv learned? so far:
* no amount of sun screen spf works putting long hours on the bike..
* riding posture comes back to haunt you…
* steep climbing is better then flat riding with head wind.
* the amount of people from all over the world out doing the same thing I am, still amazes me
And well etc. As they come to me during the ride.
* finding places to lean my bike against…

Day 1 West Coast Tour

1 Aug

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Just a quick run of what we did before my phone dies… We got underway from my place in Long Beach CA at 6am and by 1pm ish we arrived at Pt. Magu state park CA ( just past Malibu ) to camp for the night . Total for this leg 70 miles.  Fried Seafood was eaten ! 

More then just a bicycle ride

15 Jul

The biggest change in my life was going into the service and joining the United States Coast Guard. While I have been riding bicycles my entire life, the CG actually brought my cycling to a whole new level. Sure I could have lived anywhere with any job and kept riding, but it feels more satisfying to be able to ride for something more that has helped me ultimately get where I am at today, also providing me with more opportunity to expand my cycling hobby.  The CG put so much time and effort into me, I will represent it even in my cycling life.

Long story short, My brother and I have wanted to do a bike tour, an issue was me being able to take enough time off to do one. Here is where the big THANK YOU’s come in… I spoke with my supervisors and had my tour plan passed up my chain of command and was greatly excited to see how much support I got back from everyone. Timing seemed to work good and was given the green light.

With this command support I wanted to represent my unit on this ride and being in a unit that promotes health and fitness, this tour fits right in. It was also hyped up to a few CG PA’s to get a story and a few photos, so I can get this bike tour featured in the Coast Guard Magazine. ( ill do autographs later)

Thank You MSST LA/LB 91103  and everyone involved or helping me with this personal goal.

enjoy the epic photos

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Get yer gear!

12 Jul

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Built a cool bike and need to carry gear for your cycling tour? Or even just need a rack to carry your beer back from the store?
Wayne from The Touring Store will hook you up with everything you need!

The online store offers some of the top gear from brands such as Ortlieb (panniers) and Tubus (racks) and more. They offer great prices and ship quick and Wayne is probably the best iv worked with and deserves some cred. Send him and email and you will get everything you need.  Plus you get free candy with your order, sold!

I will be using both Ortlieb and Tubus on my touring rig, and will give my thoughts on the quality, etc. through out my adventures.

 

Mikey’s Salsa ride!

11 Jul

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Salsa Cycles

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