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Advocacy / Western NC trails being evaluated as Wilderness
« on: December 11, 2015, 12:58:40 PM »

Obviously nothing concrete yet, but this has the potential to be absolutely devastating for NC Mountain Biking.
Please have a read and leave comments as mentioned on this page.


Tech Bench / GPS 'maps' instead of 'tracks'
« on: September 14, 2015, 12:08:43 PM »

I might post this on mtbr or garmin forums but thought I'd ask here first in hopes that people I know won't flame me for my ignorance on the topic.

I finally broke down and picked up a Garmin 1000, thinking it would be a good way to manage rides, and more importantly to use for mapping - although this part isn't quite what I had in mind.  Note - I got the bundle with the spinning speed sensor you slap on the hub so my distance will actually be accurate.

1. What would be the best place to download maps?  Singletracks looks good, and I get that it costs money to run a service.  But I was looking for alternatives before paying an annual fee.  I came across mtbproject recently and this seems to be the best source I can find.  Which brings me to #2.

2. Sometimes the tracks on mtbproject or other sources are broken into loops rather than an entire 'park'.  The Garmin seems to only load one 'track' at a time.  Any ways around this? 
-I have tried loading several tracks into map editors and combining them, which requires (a.) lots of manual editing otherwise (b.) crazy lines all over the place connecting the (previously) individual tracks.

3. When loading a track into the Garmin it seems like this function is set more to follow the direction / points that are already IN the track, rather than just using it as a map to know where you're at.  Is there a better way to go about this if you're say....going to pisgah? 
For instance, Garmin has a 'Birdseye' paid imagery that can be downloaded and overlaid with your maps. 
Would there be a way to make your own type of 'birdseye' imagery lining the trails, and overlay that on your maps (rather than using a TRACK)?

4. The new Garmin uses OpenStreetMaps which has free upgrades (nice).  Has anyone tinkered with adding a type of free topo map to their memory stick to use alongside the included maps?  Again, Garmin offers paid topo, or subscription based topo maps with their 'birdseye' function.  But I'm trying to avoid annual memberships.

5. HOW to get tracks from the web TO THE DEVICE.
The Garminconnect function on mobile phone (bluetooth) turns out to be pretty much non-functional for sending gps tracks straight to the device without a PC.  Rather than using a web browser to import a gpx file as an 'activity' (not included in the mobile app), THEN convert the activity to a 'Course', THEN use either a pc or mobile phone bluetooth to send the 'course' to the device, you can do this:
Place the .gpx file into the Garmin/new files  directory on the Garmin device or a memory card, and the device automatically turns it into a course.  This actually works, as the first method mentioned fails most of the time.  Since my phone doesn't have a memory slot, I found a 'USB OTG (on the go) device that will plug into a mobile phone's charging port and act as storage with the right app.  So I suppose I could use this device to place place a .gpx file from my phone onto the memory card, then put the memory card into the Garmin and Voila!  It's almost TOO EASY, right?

Buy, Sell, Trade / Careful about posting phone numbers
« on: June 18, 2015, 05:37:02 PM »

-I understand if this needs to be moved, but wanted to get the word out since this was never an issue here in the past.

Just a warning for other people - I've had the same number for about 10 years without issues until I posted an ad in the buy/sell section this morning.  I thought I was clever by cloaking my number with O's instead of 0's, and using mis-spelled words for numbers. 
I am assuming there are either very advanced scripts or people with a lot of time running some board crawling software hitting this site, because I've had about 20 telemarketer calls since this morning. 

-Tho it may be too late to keep the same number, can 'Guests' view the profiles if I were to place my number in there?

Tech Bench / Wheel Building fun
« on: February 16, 2015, 11:10:36 AM »
I just built my first set of wheels.  I may not have used the quickest method, but I would true, then even the tension, then true, then even the tension...
over....and over...and over again for what felt like hours, days, and centuries until I finally had a wheelset that is both true and evenly tensioned.  I did use a dish tool.  I knew it was just a slight hair to the side...but didn't realize this hair would be what looks like a couple mm on the bike.  Both wheels ended up sitting slightly to the left in the bike (but still lined up with one another).  I can either spend a couple more hours doing what I was doing...but at what point does something like this really matter?  I'm assuming on a really long ride this might cause somebody to be leaning to the left, or am I splitting hairs?  I probably shouldn't even be asking because my OCD will eventually get the best of me and I'll just fix it.

Find a Ride / Pisgah late oct / early nov
« on: October 21, 2014, 08:21:21 AM »
I was able to schedule some vacation:
Sun Oct 26  --> Tue Nov 4

I'm considering a trip to NC or just find anywhere fun/interesting to ride for a couple of days during that time.  Is anybody planning to be down there?  I don't mind going by myself in the summer, but the leafs could pose a bit of danger in that regard. 
If nothing else, I would imagine Bent Creek should still have a lot of bike traffic during the day; Has anybody been there this late in the year?

Tech Bench / SPD on roadie
« on: September 29, 2014, 03:52:09 PM »
So I understand that most road pedals have a larger platform to avoid 'hot spots'.  But is there much advantage to road-cleats when using carbon-fiber soles? 
I've read a lot of opinions from people who haven't tried it.  Since I got some nice winter boots with SPD I wouldn't mind having the same platform across all my bikes.  I've got carbon road and mountain shoes, but I'm not so sure the 100 grams per side on the mountain shoe would matter for a non-racer.  I'm considering ebaying my Specialized Pro road shoes (44E - 10W) and just using the same model (mountain) shoes on the road.
Also, I would doubt the carbon soles would ever lose their rigidness anyway...certainly the rest of the shoe would fall apart first?

Tech Bench / Goin' wide (bars)
« on: September 13, 2014, 11:08:30 AM »
I realize this is going to end up as personal preference, but I'm curious to hear others' experience regarding the general changes in geometry in the past few years (stem length, bar width).
-My main bike is an '09 Giant Trance X (5") (just before all the big geometry changes I've noticed).
I just moved from a 120mm fork to 140 which I think fits this bike better.

After test riding some newer Giant Trance models, I was not convinced that the difference in ride was affected THAT much by wheel size alone.  I noticed that the stems are generally 3-4cm shorter and the bars are about 6cm wider than they used to be...I wasn't too crazy about it.

After finding a few clearance sales, I was able to back my stem down from 120mm to 90mm and I actually like it.  A lot.
So I took the next step and moved from a 630mm bar to a 700mm width (haven't cut yet).

It's been rainy so I've only taken it around the street.  It just feels so sluggish at the moment, but I realize it takes a few real rides to decide if it works...being such a big jump I'm sure I will cut at least a little off.  I can see where it gives more control as a trade-off.  It pretty much feels like all the new bikes I've test rode. 
So what types of widths are you guys running these days?  Do most of you cut the crazy-wide bars that come on new-ish rigs?  I'm 6'0 and ride a size L frame.

Tech Bench / Latex Tubes
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:36:03 AM »
After converting my Off-road bikes to Tubeless, I decided to try latex tubes in my roadbike paired with my 25mm 4000S tires.  Supposedly they make the ride more supple.  I've read that you can lose air faster, up to 10PSI in 24 hours, so I figured I top off before riding anyway.

However, I'm losing 10psi in 2 hours of riding, or 4 hours of sitting.  The tubes are not pinched...same rate in front / rear.  Because of this, they are basically useless for commuting to work, and long distance / centuries.  Has anybody else tried latex in a road setup with better success?

Rants and Raves / Angry Ram vs Bike
« on: April 06, 2014, 10:23:23 PM »

Can we get one of these angry rams for Town Run?  I've become very slow over the winter, and I think it would encourage me to ride faster...

Tech Bench / XT Rear Derailleur lost tension mid-ride
« on: September 06, 2013, 12:20:29 AM »

XT Rear Derailleur lost tension mid-ride
Model:  shimano xt rd-m772-sgs shadow top-normal   
Bike is from 2009.  It has about 2000 miles.  I tend to store the bike with the tension taken out of the derailleurs (small gears).  Up until today, I had absolutely NO shifting issues.  In fact, it was shifting fine when my ride begain.  A few miles into the ride, the shifting got sloppy...it worked, but not under load (chain-slack).   
The swingarm had COMPLETELY lost tension.  Rather than pulling the chain tension back, The Derailleur just sat there , swingarm sticking straight down.  The big spring is still fine (left to right tension is there when shifting).  I believe something happened to the spring in the swingarm pivot.

Picture here:

If you look at the shimano tech doc, I'm wondering if it has to do with part 6 (P-Tension Spring)

I'm thinking of looking into a new 9speed derailleur, but first I'm wondering if anybody else has had this happen, and if they were able to fix it.
I would venture to guess that most shops will not want to do this.

I tore it down and the only thing I can think of is the P-Tention spring is shot  The whole pivot chamber was full of dirt.  Hopefully I can pick a spring up locally...I'll be very happy if it's that easy.  Now that I've cooled down, I think it may have actually been pretty slack lately, and finally crapped out today.

Tech Bench / Li-Ion Battery Packs - rebuild?
« on: December 18, 2012, 08:00:07 PM »
I thought there was talk a few years back about people having their lighting battery packs locally rebuilt (Batteries Plus is one place that was recommended).  However, every location I've contacted has told me that Lithium Ion battery packs may NOT be rebuilt, for a few reasons.
-Too combustible, they aren't willing to rebuild anything with Li-Ion.
-The cells are not readily available to the market; only to the the companies which build approved packs.
If this is the case, I do not understand why I am able to go to all-battery.com and order raw cells.

Has anybody found out otherwise?  I have a couple 5 year old Dinotte Lighting packs, and the cells are understandably next to worthless now.  The 4-cell will be $70 to replace, and the 2-cell is $50.  Perhaps by the time I find someone who is willing to do it, and pay the cost, it might be worth just buying a new retail pack.
Note: I have no interest in doing it myself...the idea of soldering a li-ion cell is not something I find appealing.

Tech Bench / WD-40 Bike
« on: October 09, 2012, 04:32:35 PM »
Call me old fashioned, but this doesn't seem right!   :o   We may no longer be allowed to tell people not to lube with WD-40 since they are entering the bike market...anybody heard of this?


Find a Ride / Pisgah
« on: August 08, 2012, 07:04:17 PM »
Anybody happen to be riding in Pisgah between August 9th - 14th?

Tech Bench / RaceFace X-Type BB replacement
« on: July 03, 2012, 03:25:53 PM »
I've got an '09 Trance X with the X-type BB.  Recently, I started getting a loud CLICK every time my RIGHT foot hits the lower part of the stroke, only when pedaling hard (out of saddle, up-hill)...left foot does not cause it.  I'm going to give the frame bearings/bushings a look since that is a possibility, but it sounds like it could be a BB issue (from what I've read the RaceFace X-type don't last too long).  Has anybody ever replaced these?  If I'm going through the trouble, I am considering ordering a compatible BB from Enduro seals.  Or for half the price, I could just get the enduro bearings alone, but then I would have to tap and press them into my existing BB (never tried it, but I have threaded rods and socket sets for a make-shift press).  Just wondering if from anybody's experience, it would be worth the extra $64 to get the whole BB pre-assembled.  Or if it does turn out to be due for frame bearings, has anybody done the job without the "real" tools and not regretted it?

Tech Bench / Saddles...Flite vs SLR
« on: February 27, 2012, 02:54:30 PM »
First, I realize that choosing a saddle varies among personal preference...I'm just looking for some info before I continue renting saddles from the LBS.  Note - this is for my road bike...Once I have this figured out, I'll probably start swapping MTB saddles (my WTB silverado feels ok on my MTB), but the road rig is the only one making me want to cry at this time.
I'm 6'0, 180lb.  I ride fairly agressive, but I don't race or get in the drops too often...50 miles is about average for my rides.  I've also had my bike fit several times, so I do not believe that is the issue. 
My stock Cannondale seat hurts EVERYwhere.  soft tissue, sit bones, you name it.  So I just rented a saddle...more of a triathlete seat it turns out.  It took my typical pain away, but causes rug burn along the crease between my sit bones and my legs.  I think this is because it is made for a more dropped tri position, which rotates the hips and takes weight off the sit bones...plus I hear it requires THIN padded shorts.
That being said, I've heard many good things about the Selle Italia FLITE, and SLR....and SLK which I don't see much of anymore.  Does anybody have experience in using both models from Selle Italia, and if so, can you explain the differences you experienced?  I've heard that the SLR is flatter, which gives more room to move around and ride aggressively.  I've also read that the SLR is better for somebody with a flatter rear area (not me).  Some say that the FLITE is more comfortable for longer rides (tho one user reported a taint-wedgie from the cut-out)...the idea of the cut-out looks good in theory, but do they actually tend to flatten and squish inward?  For the most part, these comparisons I've read have been older, from 2007-2009.
Any input would be appreciated so that I know what to look for while I continue the demo process.

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