Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baggie Bibs

I ran across the Dirtbaggies the other day and thought the idea might be good for those of you bib lovers out there (I'm not really a fan). I'm trying to get my Dan Lucero to buy a pair so we can get his opinion. Of course the guy in the picture is a little goofy but the product seems well thought-out.


Charlie S.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Liteville Frame

I just ordered a Liteville 301 frame from the US importer, and in the process, Bikeworks chose to become one of only a select few dealers in the country. For those of you who don't know, Liteville is an Uber-German company with ties to Syntace (another Uber-Germ, who make some of the best components out there). It's kind of a Trail/AM bike with all sorts of geeky details. I couldn't possibly do it justice myself, so check them out at Liteville. They have more information and whatnot than any bike company website I have seen.

If you want to go check it out, the frame is over at Bikeworks right now, and will be hanging there for at least few weeks until I can get all the parts I need to build it up.

More importantly, during all my research on the frame, I encountered the video that I have linked below. I love it not because of the bike, but because the trail he is riding looks awesome and a bit scary.

That is good stuff.

Charlie S.

Monday, May 14, 2012

12 Hours in the Wild West Report

Zia rides (Lyndsay) put on another good race this year. I was supposed to race but due to my leg injury, I gave my spot to Dan, which created a cascade of other Bikeworks guys deciding to go to the race, and then suddenly, the store was closed and everybody raced. I was there for emotional support, and to poke my finger in their thighs and hamstrings really hard late in the race to try and start a cramp.

The weather was ominous when we showed up. It was pouring rain, and had been for some time. It cleared up later that night, and the next day began with sun and blue sky. The rain from the night before was a memory, but dropped enough water that the race to be delayed one hour and caused a slight re-route of the major climb (and only real technical section) on the course.

Apparently the trail was very fast this year because people were beating their times by about 15 minutes or more. I hiked up on the course to take a couple photos and it definitely was a harder packed surface than last year.

The rain tried again just before the end of the race. It was halfhearted, but I felt bad for anybody out on the course late because the temperature dropped quite a bit as well.

                                               Dan and Dan taking it easy on the first lap

                                             Dan and Dan taking it easy on the last lap

                                                         Dr. Dave waiting for Dr. Jeff

                                                       Mike waiting for Maggie

Good Times.

Charlie S.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Trans-Alp Tour Guide

I just read about a tour operator, Wilderness Breaks, that does a Trans-Alp style trip that sounds awesome. Unlike some other tour companies, this one seems to understand what's important- Singletrack, and more downhill vertical than uphill.

It is 10 days of riding from Geneva to Monaco with over 60,000 vertical feet of descending! This is a British outfit that caters mostly to Brits (and even has some American trips) but us Yanks are more than welcome.

It is a pretty good deal at $2,400.00 +/- for all breakfasts and dinners, all lodging, airport transfers, and lift tickets for the uplifts. That leaves you to buy lunches (and I assume-some alcohol).

Cash in some frequent flyer miles and get it done.

Charlie S.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Impressions

Schwalbe makes some good tires and the Hans Damf 2.35 is no exception.  It was designed to be an "all-arounder" and was developed specifically with North America in mind with all the varied conditions we can see in different parts of the country.

The Hans Dampf is a Proper 2.35. When cornering hard, I can get it to rub the chainstay. I really like that mine both weighed in at around 780 grams. That is bad ass! These are potential trail tires extraordinaire! They have stronger sidewalls "Snakeskin"- Schwalbe's nomer, and are tubeless ready (not UST).

I mounted them up on two different bikes and headed out to Sedona, AZ. to see if they would make me a hero. They did very well but I didn't manage to achieve hero status. Sedona doesn't have a huge amount of variable conditions- there is slickrock, and loose sandy stuff, and that's it, but they did just fine. They did what they were asked and sometimes more, and the more I rode them the more I liked them, and trusted them.

I have ridden the foothills a handful of times on them too. Again, they pretty much do what is asked. When they do let go on the corners, they do it predictably. I only ride on tires this wide once in awhile (usually Moab or Sedona)  and I have noticed that they can float around a bit, and loose traction earlier on the loose-over-hardpack trails of the Albuquerque foothills and similar areas. The Hans did this too, but not as bad as other tires this size that I have tried, so I'd actually put that in the positive column for Hans.

They feel like they roll pretty dampf well for their size and level of traction, and I'm excited to try them on the longer rides in the East Mountains and up at altitude.

On the negative side, the knobs are "chunking" and "mushrooming" (like most Schwalbes do) and they will probably wear down quicker than most tires. The price paid for the triple compound rubber and whatnot...Of course, Schwalbe being Schwalbe, they are freaking expensive!

There are definitely tires that do some things better, but these are very good all-around tires at a great weight. The price is too high and the level of wear too high for them to appeal to the majority of riders, but if you want a great all-conditions tire in a large size, at at low weight- then the Hans Dampf is your bad boy.

Charlie S.