Jun 17, 2013

Pickett's Charge Long course

Jun 10, 2013

Ibis Ripley

I bought a Ibis Ripley size large. The parts were mostly pull offs from my 2011 Breezer Cloud 9 LTD.
So the build is:
Large black green fame
120 mm stock Ripley fork(fox)
stock shock(fox)
xtr 2x10 drivetrain 28/40 chainrings and 11-36 cassette
2 ti bottle cages(king)
seatpost will be a easton ec70(was a thomson elite when bike was weighed)
stem is currently an oval 120mm carbon(will be something else)
Easton Haven handlebar
WTB silverado seat
xtr pedals
xtr brakes
xtr derailers
Easton Haven front wheel
Easton ec90 rear wheel
Scwalbe rocket ron front tire
Maxxis Ikon rear tire
Ergon grips
The bike weighed in at 24.5 pounds
I will add a heavier stem and a lighter seatpost so I think it will stay the same.
I see this build as a real solid XC build. You definitely could go lighter on almost all of the parts and get the bike around 23 pounds or so but I like the stiffness of most of these components. I may experiment with putting the EC90 wheel up front and/or running Havens front and rear. Right now I like the Haven in front for control and the ec90 in back for climbing. My last bike was a 29er hardtail and it has been probably 5 years since I have ridden a full susupension bike(and that was a 26 inch bike) so I really can't compare the Ripley to other modern full suspension bikes but I can compare it to my hardtail. So far I feel like the Ripley is going to be not just a super fun bike but I beleive I can race this thing. It feels real XCish. I know it will climb a little slower and go down a little faster. But also I think the cornering will be a little faster. All in all I don't really expect much time difference at the races but I sure will have more fun! I'll probably make another report after some races. I have only ridden this bike 4 days so far and have not really had a good leg day yet so the best is yet to come. I definitely expect to set some personal records on Strava. I have not had any real issues yet with the bike. The rear travel is so efficient that I am leaving it in the open position almost all of the time, same with the front. I have found flicking the levers to trail or lock out mode while riding is not very difficult, but the rear in particular seems to almost be a set it and forget it thing. I always ride with my headphones in so I have not heard to many noises from the bike but I a pretty sure I am hearing the cables slap around a bit in rough sections. basically after today's ride I would say hardtails are dead to me. Riding bikes needs to be fun and the ripley just tears around corners and fly so smoothly over rough sections.
I am sure my legs are about to come around and I'll get some fast rides in and report again.

Feb 4, 2013

Gluten free pancake mix shootout.

I have gone to a gluten free diet and found pancakes to be a great mid day meal, especially before a training ride on my bike. I found eleven different mixes at local stores and tried them all. I judged these mixes on taste, texture, price, and ingredients. Out of the eleven I have four that I consider excellent products and seven that I am not fond of.

For the record I prepared all of these the same regardless of what the directions said. One cup of mix. One egg. About a tablespoon of Olive oil. Served with real maple syrup.

Here are the losers:

Arrowhead mills Organic gluten free Pancake and baking mix. Just bad, as I recall they came out kind of crepe like with a weird taste. Too bad because I do prefer organic but if they don't taste good they are out.

Kinnikinnick foods Pancake and waffle mix. Taste was just ok and texture was good. I think it was the traditional sugar ingredient that turned me off of this one, and the taste.

Augason Farms Pancake mix. I think I got this at Walmart. Fair texture and taste. Just not great like the winners.

Hodgson Mill gluten free pancake and waffle mix. They were fluffy, but too much if you can believe that, and they tasted weird.Too bad it looked like a good product.

Gluten Free Cafe Pancake and Baking Mix. Just really bad. Thats it bad.

Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Dreams pancake and waffle mix. Kind of close with good texture and fair taste. The ingredients were kind of a negative with white rice flour and sugar.

Gluten Free Pantry. Texture was fair and taste was ok.Ingredients were good but just did not cut it.

And now the winners:

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake mix.Good texture and only fair taste but good ingredients, fair price, and widespread availability makes this on a winner.

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Pancake Mix. This was kind of the standard for a while. Available at Safeway, not cheap but a good tasting product with great texture and fair ingredients

The Cravings Place All-Purpose Pancakes And Waffle Mix. This one was really good. No sugar, great taste and texture. A real winner. I think in the end it was price that kept this from being number one.

And the best one for me was...
Namaste Foods Waffle and Pancake Mix. Just really good taste and texture.Good Ingredients. Paper packaging. Made in Idaho. Can be found on Amazon for a really good price.

Apr 17, 2011

Breezer Cloud 9 LTD

So I finally received my new Breezer Cloud 9. It arrived on my birthday April 14th. When I got to the shop it had been built up with Crank Brother Eggbeater 11's, Easton Monkey lite SL handle bars, and Ergon GX2 Carbon grips. The bike weighed 24 lbs. I was not terribly impressed. As an XC racer I am looking for a light bike. I did a little investigation and found the major culprit to be the tires, 775 grams for those WTB's. That's gotta go, and tubes? No tubes. So I put some Bontrager XR3 550 gram tires on without tubes and sealed with Stan's sealant. The bike lost well over a pound right there. I tried a Sele Italia SLR seat with a Thomson post. I like the post as it puts the rider more forward on the bike than the stock Oval setback post. But the SLR saddle proved to be a little uncomfortable. I am not real sure why, I have used that very saddle for years. I think it is mostly because I am at the end of a seven day run of 2 hr days, a lot of which has been high intensity. So I put the stock saddle back on. The stock rotors are too heavy, I swapped out to Sram's xx rotors(160mm front and rear). The stock cassette is very heavy to, about 340 grams for the XT 11-36. On order is a Sram XG 11-36 cassette that weighs 237 grams. So the bike should weigh 22 lbs when I get the new cassette, very respectable.
When I first threw a leg over the bike things were feeling good. My prior 29er was a Spot Longboard 9 and this was feeling somewhat similar, a little shorter of a cockpit, but still felt comfortable. First adjustments were the saddle height and position. All of the way forward is normal for me with my short femurs? Then adjusting the XTR brakes, takes an allen but works well. Air pressure on the fork is 120lbs in the positive and I started at 120lbs in the negative and let air out till it felt right. I weigh around 165. The tires are a little skinny so 26lbs in the front and 31 in the rear.My Spot has had a rigid fork on it for the last 6 months so the first couple of rides on this bike have been amazing. This bike feels as fast or faster than my Spot on the climbs. That does not make a lot of sense because they weigh about the same and the spot has a rigid fork but I attribute it to efficiency. I think this bike( and probably a lot of new carbon 29er hardtails) is very effective at transferring the power into forward momentum. Good news. Then the downhill. This bike is of course even faster here. I got used to the shorter cockpit immediately and I am no technical wizard on the downhill sections. The bike is quiet as a mouse. All you hear is the tires humming along. The carbon mutes a lot of noise. It seems to me tire choice is not as critical when you have suspension. These Bontrager tires seemed a bit sketchy on my rigid Spot but felt a lot more controlled on this bike with the suspension tracking the dirt.

I really feel at this point this bike will take many minutes off my race times compared to my Spot. Granted the Spot with rigid fork was kind of a limited race machine. Oh yeah I changed the wheels set to Easton EA90's but I think they weigh about the same as the stock WTB's.
Bottom line is I think any new carbon fiber 29er bike will be a great improvement over any older bike. I feel the geometry of this Breezer bike is very normal and comfortable. It feels like you are riding a very solid predicable machine that only moves in ways it was designed too. The new XTR stuff is great. It feels like the bicycle has finally been perfected and I am very happy.
As my legs get fresh this week I'll advise of any new thoughts and feel free to ask any questions.

Dec 8, 2009

Bend Nationals Course as of 12/8

Ok so I am not going to mess with this very long but there are about three inches of snow on the course. It packs down to about 1/2 inch. Everything looks more severe in person but it's all rideable. I hear they are going to remove snow around the beer garden area. I would say about a third of the course.
These pictures are roughly in order start to finish. I hope the snow melts off the pavement, or they put cinders down because the road is packed snow, very slick for a start. And the start is going to be critical if the snow is still around because you start into the section that is not going to be cleared so you want to have good position because there may be only one line. I think the snow will be around thursday and friday but things may change by saturday and i bet the course will be clear of snow and moist(perfect) by sunday.

thats a runnup, looks like barriers first.

Aug 16, 2009

High Cascades 100 update

So the Mount Bachelor loop remains the same with the Kwolh butte climb and descent. The Swampy loops remain the same but they are a little shorter than we thought so the Funner loop has been extended to go all of the way down Funner and then up Tiddlywinks instead of road 4613.
I think the course is right at 100 miles.
The Swampy loop and the Funner/Tiddlywinks loop were marked yesterday, and the Mt. Bachelor loop is being marked today. The interconnects will be marked during the week. If you are riding one of those loops during the week and feel the marking has been removed/altered or is inadequate let me know or contact promoter Mike Ripley. You can get his contact info from his website Mudslingerevents.
Weather is looking dry and warm so we will have plenty of sand and dust. Be prepared for a cool start in the A.M., I am guessing 40 at the start and in the 70's during the race.
We are real fortunate to have Mike Ripley putting on events like this, I know he has been working real hard on this one. Look for him to put out an update or two this week, and if you can't make it this year I hope you can next year.