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.