Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday News And Views

Single Speed Energy Vortex
"The Belt" Update: The last few days I have been dealing with an issue that arose with my Gates Carbon Drive Center Track set up on the Fisher Collection Sawyer.

I was up at the Camp a few times with this set up and never had an issue. I've ridden it a bunch since getting it squared away last summer. No issues. No noises. Nuthin'.

So I go ride at the Camp this past week and hit this steep climb. It is a toughy too. You come off a bumpy section and start gradually going up. Then the pitch steepens right at the point where you have a few roots and lots of embedded rock sticking through the dirt, just waiting to stop your forward progress. As if the hill's pitch wasn't enough.

Well, right as I get out of the saddle at the very point where the trail pitches upward, I hear the dreaded "pop" of a belt ratcheting.


I dismounted to examine the situation, fully expecting to see that the slider had shifted, or the belt had popped off a tooth, but nothing of the sort. I did see that the belt was looser. that happened I don't have a clue. Well, I couldn't continue on with it the way it was, and tightening it trail side was not a possibility since I didn't have a 8mm box end wrench for the jamb nut on the tensioner. Bah!

Well, after a bit of a disgruntled Tweet, Gates contacted me to find out what was going on and they are administering a fix. So, I should be back up and running again soon. Stay tuned for further updates.....

When will this wintery scene happen again?
Next Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A. That means that within days the skies will open up and start dumping the white stuff on the area.

Well.......that is if the pattern of the last three years is any indication. 

Typically the "Turkey Burn Ride" at the Camp is the last ride on open trails for the year. Usually just after that the snow falls. Well, last year I didn't have the Snow Dog, and now I also have "Big Fat Larrys" to mount on it, if need be.

Last January I had a longer ride into the country on snowmobile trails where I was wanting for a tiny bit more float than the 3.8" Larrys were giving me. Also, truth be told, I was running maybe a couple psi too high on the air pressures. I never ever got down there to the point where the sidewalls were flexing. Maybe had I got down that low, I would have made more riding and less walking.

But no matter. Now I have bigger tires in the arsenal, and flotation will not be an issue this year. Then again.....maybe this will be a return to the brown winters of years past. 

 And if so, no big deal. I've got gravel roads to be riding. I love it. Now, short of massively thick coatings of ice, I am ready to take on winter on my bicycles. I even have thought that it may be time to bring back the KMFDM and run it this winter. don't know what "KMFDM" means?  (Not the band) It stands for "Karate Monkey Fixie Death Machine", because I probably will eat it on some day commuting since it is fixed and I can't hop curbs well riding fixed. I have a tendency just to bash over them!

One thing though- that fixed gear in winter is really much, much better on slippery surfaces. So, I am pretty sure some big, fat tires are going on that bike and the Tomi Cog as well. Ditch the rear brake, and all will be good.

Hope ya'all have a great weekend. Ride somewhere if ya can! winter is nigh!


mw said...

twitter is amazing

Rob said...

We don't get much snow down here (over here?) in NC, but last winter during our "Winter Storm of 2010" aka 4" of snow for 2 days, I flipped the hub on my San Jose and rode the local road loop in the snow. Had an absolute blast, fixed is without a doubt the best way to ride in snow I think! And being the only one out there was neat, as well as the priceless looks from sledders, etc.

Ride on!

Exhausted_Auk said...

Fixed vs. freewheel in the snow - an excellent topic for discussion!

Interesting that you are thinking of going fixed in the winter. I do the exact opposite. I ride fixed to work all year, then switch to SS when the snow falls. My reasoning is that I can use platform pedals with SS, allowing me to put my foot down quickly. It also allows me to use my regular snow boots to keep my feet warm. With fixed, I have to lock in, and I always worry about wiping out on a patch of ice.

I definitely agree that fixed gives a better feel for the ground, hence better control in marginal conditions.