Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday News And Views

The Blackborow DS
It Came Early!

The Blackborow bikes were due to be delivered by late November. The geared ones, that is. The Dingle Speed ones were not supposed to show up until December. I wasn't thinking I'd see mine until then or later. I know the usual drill with bicycle companies- over-promise, under-deliver. I was fully expecting something along those lines.

However; I walked into the back door at work Thursday and there it was! The "Forest Service Green" Blackborow DS. Oh boy........I was excited but I also was in a pickle since my financial house wasn't quite ready for this. That's my problem, so I'll just tell you all what you really want to know- how does it ride? 

Two things: Smooth and nimble. The tires I figured would be horrible rollers, and while there is no escaping the tell-tale rumble of the Lou's tread, it rolls far better than I figured it would. Then there is the handling, which is really dialed and the shorter rear end is definitely noticeable.  This acts more like a "regular" mountain bike than you'd ever expect. I was cutting turns at slow speed in the shop that were eye opening from the standpoint of how easy it was to steer and maneuver. Kicking the pedal and popping the front end up is far easier than on a Mukluk. I can also see where putting a Bluto on this would be a really great idea. Stuffing the front wheel into a rocky rut for rain drainage out back showed me that much to be true.

The shop also received this geared Blackborow
The dinglespeed thing was intriguing, and I purposely put it in the "low" combination for my brief test ride to see what I thought. Honestly, it is pretty spot on for any single speeder's trails. It isn't that "super low" gear I might need for slogging through deeper stuff, but it'll be fun to see how far I can go. The higher gear should be perfect for commuting in the slop and on snowy streets.

The bike has all the braze ons for a geared set up, I'd just need a new drive side Alternator plate and I can gear this up no problem. I figured I'd try this set up for Winter and then decide where to go from there. I really feel that this will be the smart way to go for at least the Winter time. Last year I trashed a chain and many of my drive train bits were really put through the ringer along with the brakes. I had a piston seize up on a caliper and rust set in on the rotors as well. It was a rougher year last year, but still. Wasting decent 9 or 10 speed stuff on roads for commuting really doesn't make sense when this dinglespeed set up is made to resist that sort of corrosion. Time will tell how that works out.

Trans Iowa Clinic:

We're all done with T.I.V11 registration so now we are announcing that the Trans Iowa Clinic will again be happening. The date is December 6th. The place will be the same as last year's venue, which was then called Tacopocalypse, but is now dubbed Krunkwich Ramen House. Of course, this is all in Des Moines Iowa.

We're working on bringing some gear out all set up for Trans Iowa and the panel will consist of a few women and men that have finished Trans Iowa who will be available for a Q&A session. There may be a couple of slides and we may be doing something for those who will not be available to attend, so that the riders who live far off can maybe pick up some pointers.

One question: Does anyone want to see the movie "300 Miles Of Gravel" again? Give us a shout out here so we can add that in if there seems to be enough interest in seeing that again. More details will be released soon as far as specific times and hopefully we'll have a sign up list going soon. Stay tuned......


Rob said...

The DS is a very cool rig! Bravo to Salsa for bringing something out like this...

Joboo said...

I'm looking forward to your report on the Blackborow come late March, early April.

Tyler Loewens said...

You feel this is more nimble then the Mukluk? Not at all what I was expecting. That is too cool.