30 July 2010

Waltworks Waitlist- We are in Production!

The last time I posted anything about my Waltworks custom cyclocross bike was back in April when I made the wait list. Now Walt has the tig welder out and cutting tubes.So the dream is coming together.

Now this process is totally different than going down to the LBS and purchasing a bike.We spent a week on the phone an emails on the design. We would talk things out, I would take another measurement or a picture and then we would adjust and talk again.

I think the biggest difference in building a custom bike from purchasing one from the LBS is you have on idea what it is going to look like or how it's going to fit.I mean you know what a bike looks like but how is a longer TT or HT going to look and how is it going to fit. I think this is where you have to have trust in your builder and they have to have great communications skills.

The fork has been completed and the frame has been started. I did order a headbadge from Revolution Cycle Jewelry and I think that will make a nice touch to the bike.

16 July 2010

Gear Review-Chaco Sandals

I guess it's time to do a gear review and it's not bike gear.Two years ago for Christmas my wife bought me a pair of Chaco Sandals.How she found a pair of sandals at a local store at Christmas I don't know.

This is my second summer wearing them so I have some miles in them to do a review.First off I will tell you that if I have a bad pair of shoes or boots my lower back will kill me. So a mark of a good shoe or boot for me is that I can stay in them all day and I will have little to know back issue.

The Chaco Z/1 Vibram Unsweep is a simple sandal with boot like support. Matter of fact that's what they look like. A Vibram boot sole with nylon webbing. Unlike other sport sandals all there is between your foot and nylon webbing is nylon webbing. You would think that this would not feel good or cause hot spots but it does not. Also there is no Velcro to have to clean sand out of, just webbing!

Bottom line, buy them! Yes $95 bucks seems like a lot for a pair of sandals but your feet will thank you and in my case my back does.

08 July 2010

What Post! I've Been Watching the Tour!

I have been riding and watching the Tour and the blog has been on the back burner. But I do have a few things to post from over the weekend. So I will leave you with something today...

For the last couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of fire road riding. I know that the best ride for the Devil's Backbone is a cross bike and I will not have mine by that time and I am going to make due with my Bontrager. With this in mind I need to pick the best tire set-up. So I have been doing my own Bikewright tire test.

On the left I have a Bontrager Connection 1.95 410g which is the tire I used at last year's DBMCX and I have been riding for the last couple of weeks. On the right I have a WTB All Terrainasaurus 1.95 655g tire. I had used this tire way back in 99 when cyclocross was still a off-beat sport around here.

First let me start off by saying that I think both tires are out of production and Bontrager doesn't make what I would call a replacement model tire in 26". But it looks like this would be the replacement for the WTB tire.

The Bontrager Connection is a good tire that performs well. The two things I notice is the front wants to washout a little with speed in a curve and the rear keeps good traction on a uphill climb out of the saddle like this.

The WTB All Terrainasaurus is a solid tire on the road. I could also tell it was a heavier tire. Hard to believe that you can tell the difference of 245g. The front hooks up in the same speed curve and the rear looses traction on the uphill.

So I am think about running the Terrainasaurus on the front and run the Connection on the back and see how that works. It might give me the best of both worlds! I have seen a post on another site that said that a good tire might be the Panaracer Pasela. I think this would be okay on the road but I would not ride it on a gravel road which half of this course is.

I think I might checkout this blog to get some ideas on some tires.