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Fantastic 4 / Conditions of Hoosier National Trails??
« on: August 25, 2019, 08:35:12 PM »
Does anyone here frequent the area and ride these trails (the Hoosier National ones)?

I'm considering taking a couple days to come down and explore, possibly even a short bikepacking trip. But since nobody has even been active on this forum regarding these trails for over a year now I have no idea if they are passable by bike or not. What kind of condition are the trails in? I'm familiar with Nebo and Combs but not these other trails that seem to criss cross all over the forest. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

Tech Bench / Crank arm flew off! Hollowtech ii XT
« on: April 24, 2018, 05:22:59 PM »
Riding at the fort the other day and came up on the rooty section on Schoen near pipe dream and whooops, my left crank arm flew off onto the ground. Hmmmm. I also noticed the preload end cap thingy was missing as well but my understanding is that it doesn't hold the crank arm anyway. I tightened the pinch bolts back up and, you probably guessed it, it went loose again.

 I made it home after some mostly one-legged pedaling and inspected the crank arm. The splines were nicked up a little bit but the main spindle looked good. These are 9 speed XT Hollowtech ii cranks. Do you think a replacement left crank arm would be sufficient or is the whole crankset done?? I can't even find a left one at a reasonable price at the moment. Does anyone have a spare arm they would be willing to part with? Or possibly a whole crankset? I mean, you guys don't even ride the historic 9 speed anyway right? Thoughts, comments?   

Tech Bench / 135 QR Rear wheel to 142 12mm frame??
« on: September 17, 2017, 05:41:37 PM »
Help me out please as I'm a little confused what I can do here.

 I broke the rear triangle of a  Salsa Spearfish frame. The rear end is spaced 135 and is quick release. I have someone who is selling another Spearfish frame that I'm considering but it's a newer year with 142 12mm thru axle. Can I use some adapter with my current wheels to run them on the 142 12mm frame?? I have two rear wheels, one is a Sram x7 hub to stans arch and the other is a DT Dwiss 350 hub to Stans Arches.  I don't want to buy a different frame only to find out I need a new set of wheels as well.

I get a little lost in what I can convert.


There is a locked thread on the second page titled "Directions and Information" but it just redirects to the HMBA homepage. This is near New Castle right? Thinking about riding it tomorrow so looking for the info on it since I've never been there. Any help with the directions and trail info?? Maybe I'm missing it somewhere. 

Seems trail conditions are good now?

Rants and Raves / Bells on bikes..
« on: July 27, 2017, 09:17:46 PM »
I found this bear bell at Goodwill and strapped it to my handlebars to make a little noise as I ride as I didn't have a normal bike bell. It's has a magnet to help mute it when I don't need the sound but it pretty much just jingles as I ride the trails.

The only reason I'm writing this is because you would not believe the amount of positive comments I get from it. Numerous people, many times, have thanked me for having it. Often times people are completely out of the way on blinder turns allowing me to pass and thanking me as I pass. I was really shocked that such a little thing helped so much.

I'm not sure what you all use, if anything, but thought I'd pass along my experience. I believe once I had a few bikers that may have been annoyed with the jingling but it's so worth it that I'm keeping them on. The only thing with a normal bell is that you have to ring it manually. Sometimes you may not know hikers are present and may come up on them faster than you'd like because you didn't know they were there. The constant ringing seems to alert people that may be hidden from view. Like em or hate em, just thought I'd share.

The ironic thing is that I rode in Michigan by myself recently and came up upon a bear that I don't believe heard the bells. Go figure.

Tech Bench / Undoing chain Connectors?
« on: October 10, 2016, 04:38:58 PM »
I stopped and tried to help a guy with his chain during the Epic. He had connected a new quick connect link after breaking the chain but he routed it wrong so he needed to undo it to route it correctly. I've been there done that. I looked at it and was like no problem.

 I run 9 speed and have used both SRAM and KMC connectors and never really have a problem getting them off. Some are a bit snug but I just squeeze the middle and push both together and it will come off eventually. This was a 10 speed connector (the only one he had) and it would not budge! Pressing as hard as I can, getting better leverage, ... nothing. I tried a ziptie to get more force around the links to push it off and could not do it. After about 20 minutes there was nothing else I could think to do. I couldn't give him one of mine cuz don't think it would match a 10 speed chain. No one was able to offer a pair of pliers or any tool to get enough pressure on the link to get it off. Thankfully he wasn't too far from the Crooked Creek SAG and hopefully he got help there. But I'm normally able to offer a solution and it kinda sucked not being able to help.

What could have been a good solution to get that thing off?   

I'm starting to sketch out a few routes to give this bikepacking thing a try. Just a short trip to start as I'm completely new to it but have backpacked many times. The one thing I'm not certain about is water availability. How feasible is it to rely on water sources in the forest along the route? Right now I'm looking at centering around Nebo although I may venture into Hickory Ridge trails. I'm hoping if I stay low, maybe near Maumee or other low-lying area there will be streams to access water but I'm really unfamiliar with how reliable it is.

Can anyone comment on the water sources in the area? My other option, I suppose, is to cache some but I'd rather not. My map looks like there should be ample sources but thought I'd ask those that frequent the area.   

Tech Bench / Can't get rear wheel centered
« on: April 28, 2016, 04:16:54 PM »
I bought a used Salsa Spearfish frame off ebay over the winter. It's in really good shape and I've been riding it as the weather allows. But it has one little issue. I'm riding with 2.2 tires right now and they fit and don't rub the rear part of the frame or anything but the wheel does sit to the non-drive side a little bit. The wheel is dished correctly as I've put it in another frame and the wheel is centered. I also put another wheel in my Spearfish frame and it also sits closer to the non-drive side.

 I'd like to possibly run a little bit wider tire but if I can't get it to sit in the center then it's going to rub the frame. The bit of research I did told me that perhaps something is possibly askew in the rear triangle. Another bit of research said that sometimes certain frames are manufactured this way (for what reason I don't know).

 But here's the question. Can I use a spacer (washer or something) before the hub locknut to help space things correctly and get the wheel on center? I'm just not sure if that would put too much stress on the rear triangle and pieces involved. It's really only a couple mm off but that would be enough to allow me a centered wheel and a little bigger tire. Anybody ever run into such a thing??   

Rants and Raves / Earbud Syndrome
« on: April 24, 2016, 09:49:19 PM »
The last three rides of mine at Ft Ben have featured a trail user in front of me that had earbuds in. Apparently the music was loud enough that they would not respond to my normal voice or even my raised voice. Look, I love listening to music when I'm riding. I always wear earbuds although I do the "one in and one out" type of thing most of the time so I can, you know, be aware of my surroundings. In all these instances I tried to make myself known by talking to them at varying distances, even as close as right behind them. No dice. I've even tried to wait for a corner for them to catch a little flash of me coming behind. Not paying attention.

 So each time I ended up getting fairly close and just started yelling loud, ... "HEY!!! HEY!!". Finally they jump around and realize someone was behind. They let me pass and I try to tell them I've been trying to talk to them for a good distance. But I'm sure they don't hear what I'm saying. I kinda feel like saying saying, .. "Hey dumb$ss, have a little awareness here". But I don't.  Maybe I'm just more aware being a biker on the trails but I think it is just common courtesy. I don't mind other trail users at all. I'll stop and let hikers pass, talk with people, encourage those little kids riding bikes, thank everyone I pass, etc. The trails are for us all and are used for many different purposes. I know there isn't any solution to this which is why I put it in the "rant" section. So, .. I guess rant over.

I have to believe you guys and girls have encountered this sort of thing. Is there anything you do differently that might help? I figure it's a lost cause and I'll just have to continue yelling to clear the path.     

Tech Bench / Repair for Tubeless Tires?
« on: March 09, 2016, 03:56:53 PM »
I haven't even been on a trail this year yet but yesterday I ran over a small stick and it punctured my tubeless Geax tire right in the center of the tread. I had to pull the quarter inch or so diameter stick out of the tire before sealant went flying everywhere. I've never had this happen before and usually just receive really small thorns or stuff that seal up with no problem.

Is there any kind of fix to a hole in a tubeless tire like this or am I resigned to just using this tire with a tube from now on? 

Fantastic 4 / Gravel and Forest Roads??
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:21:16 PM »
Wasn't sure exactly where to place this post but this will probably suffice. With warm temps the trails pretty much everywhere will be horribly bad, muddy, and not rideable.

 What kind of condition are these forest roads, say through Hoosier National, Deam, and possibly Yellowwood? If the trails are bad(red), are the forest roads a viable option for somebody with cabin fever ready to get out of Indy for a day? Maybe some of the dirt roads are better than others? What are the best areas?

  I actually love riding on the forest roads with the big climbs and scenery. Sure it's not singletrack, but if they are passable and decent condition I would consider making a trip down to avoid the relentless paved pathways I've been riding. Appreciate any info on the conditions.       

Fort Harrison State Park / Winter tires.
« on: January 23, 2016, 10:51:00 PM »
Are any of you guys running normal size mtb tires (2.2ish) out there right now or are most people running fatbikes and studded tires?

Tech Bench / Rear Derailleur not shifting down very well
« on: January 03, 2016, 09:11:29 PM »
I have an XT rear derailleur that I've had forever. Never given me problems. It is straight, the pulleys seem fine, and it shifts up fine. But it has a tendency to not want to shift back down to smaller cogs(unless I shift twice in which case it will shift down one and maybe eventually all the way after many pedal strokes). The housing and cable fairly new and I have a new lx shifter. By eyeballing it the cage looks pretty lined up with the chainline and cogs.I've played with the cable tension enough that it never finds the sweet spot.

 I don't know that I've heard of this before but could it be the return spring that is giving me grief?  I'm just about to give up on it but thought I'd ask for some input. Is a spring something that can be replaced if that is the problem? Just guessing here as I can't seem to find the root of the problem.

Tech Bench / PressFit30 Bottom Bracket options, .. help
« on: December 23, 2015, 09:25:07 PM »
So I just bought a frame (Salsa Spearfish) that has a Pressfit30 bottom bracket, .. yea, another bottom bracket type!

 I want to run 9 speed stuff with hollowtech II cranks and I already have to use an adapter on this bottom bracket to run them (essentially it allows me to use 24mm spindle type cranks). I have a bunch of 9 speed stuff that I'd like to keep running because it's a heck of lot cheaper right now than buying all new 10 speed bb30 stuff. But the current bottom bracket it came with has just a little crunchiness to the bearings on one side. I know that a new BB is inevitable.

So does anyone have an idea of the options I might have on this? I've seen all kinds of setups for this BB type, ... a plastic shell (that gets pressed in) that allows threaded BB's, another PF30 with adapters(but I can't find anything like the original), a PF30 conversion BB (praxis), etc. The current pf30 installed is basically two individual cups with bearings but I don't see that kind of BB anywhere to purchase which makes me think it might just be an older model/system. What I see shopping online are basically cups with bearings that are somehow connected through the shell.

Confused? Me too. If you have any experience I'd love to hear any recommendations on how to best proceed with a new BB for this PF30 shell. I'm light headed just thinking about this again.     

Tech Bench / Fall leaves, ... tire change?
« on: October 07, 2015, 06:19:30 PM »
I normally buy tires and wear them out. However at this time of year I'm always a little less confident with the leaf cover on the trails and the underlying roots, wet trail, rocks, etc. Most tires I have are good for more hardpack situations and typically drier conditions.

But I'm wondering if any of you change out tires at this point in the year. The Epic has me a little concerned as I'm not as familiar with these trails and that underlying slippery stuff can always toss you down off the bike in a flash. I ride tubeless 26 inch tires typically and plan on using my widest tire with a little lower pressure. Unfortunately that is only 2.2 in front (WTB Mutano) and 2.1 in back (slant six). My throwback bike, and my only mountain bike (98 Ellsworth Truth) will only handle smaller widths in back.

Any suggestions or tires that you like in these fall conditions especially considering the 26er? I believe 29ers may have a stability advantage in these conditions with bigger tire volumes and possibly more traction but I have not graduated to that yet. 

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