Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cannondale Habit Ride #2

On Sunday, Ryan and I hit up the trails in Fort Ord.  We first headed over to Toro Park, but were stopped at the gate.  Apparently, the trails ("all of them") had just been restored and because of a bit of rain they were closed to bikes and horses.  No problem.  Plenty of fun to be had in The Ord.

Ryan had just installed a new (to him) Pike on his Felt Virtue, so he was all fiddly with it, and I was a little less fiddly with my new Habit.  We rolled in to Fort Ord at the low point of Oil Well and headed up to the top of Jacks Road, up to Three Sisters, and down Trail 42 to Skyline.  This time I was committed to getting used to having a dropper, but it still felt strange.  I may fight change a bit, but I'll get over it.  Apparently I did ok since Strava (which I use for personal comparison, not competition) later told me I got a PR.  I'm now tied for 325th place on that trail.  Movin' on up.

Next, we rode up 49 to Lookout Ridge and over to the 80s.  There are some fast and fun rollers over there.  Popping out on Crescent Bluff, we caught the pavement on Eucalyptus Rd to take us to the other side of 49, and back up we went.  Back down 49 I got another PR and was really getting in the groove and feeling comfortable with the dropper.  Low low low.  A certain song comes to mind here.

After a bit of whining on my part, I let Ryan continue to drag me around the trails.  Out of 49, we turned right and began climbing Skyline to 44.  Fun trail.  Cross Three Sisters and 44 turns into 41 (Goat), which traverses across the hill toward Jacks Rd.  Before Jacks, we took a hard right to continue on 41, up to the lookout.  Quick photo break and back on it to ride the rest of Goat.

All was going well until just after the hard right at the bench.  Tree down.  Momentum killed.  Still fun.  Back on Oil Well, we took the short route back to the road and to Ryan's truck.  A little talk of our next ride and I then rode the two blocks home and straight to the back yard to hose off the bike.

19.5 miles, lots of smiles, and only a little pain (that I'll admit to).  I'm incredibly happy with the Habit and it does everything really well.  I'm not a lot faster on it (yet) than I am on my Santa Cruz Highball hardtail, but I am overall more comfortable across the varied terrain that Fort Ord has to offer.  Yesterday I took care of the excess dropper hose at PBW, so the next thing I need to do is drop the stem 10mm (slam it, I suppose) and cut the steer tube.  There really isn't much to upgrade on this bike.  I've done ti bolts on the rotors and rear caliper, because pretty.  I suppose wheels, but I see no reason to do that for a while, if ever.  Unless someone wants to throw a set of Project 321 wheels my way.  I bought Steve at P321 a beer at the 2014 Sea Otter.  I should collect on that this year.  Silver hubs, spokes, and nipples on black rims.  Pretty please.

Yes, that trail is closed.  No, we didn't ride it.  Just a nice spot for photos.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Cannondale Habit - If I Can't Ride It, I Should Write Something About It

New bike day came on December 10th, 2015.  It was a good day.

What's in the box?  WHAT'S IN THE BOX???
But let's back up a bit.  I had been looking at the Cannondale Habit for a while and Bike Works got the Carbon 3 in as a demo.  It was a size large, and I ride a medium, but I took the opportunity to flog it a bit anyway.  The Habit and I had some fun.

In the stand, getting all set up.

After getting it set up, I took it out to Toro Park to climb Ollasen and then back down Pipeline.
Ollason Peak - 1800ft
Then a couple days later I took it out to Fort Ord to ride down 42, over 44 (Outhouse) to 41 (Goat Upper & Lower). Good times.
Beautiful sunset over Fort Ord.
The bike was great, but definitely on the big side. When I returned the demo bike, I talked with Sean about what was available in a medium.  The Carbon 3 and Carbon 2 were available, but the Carbon SE wasn't available until April or May 2016.  I wasn't terribly fond of the graphics on the 3, so after much nagging to my wife she caved and I ordered the 2.  Much stoke.

The bike arrived and I built it that night as soon as my daughters were asleep.  The only things I changed were the stock 60mm stem to a 75mm Thomson and the stock grips to ESI Fit XC.  I also added a titanium King Cage and a set of Crank Bros Eggbeaters (since replaced with Candys).

Unfortunately, due to rain and holiday travel, I've only been able to ride the bike one time.  For 9.5 miles.  Ugg.  And now the forecast is for rain for the next two weeks.  Yay.  My one ride was great.  The bike climbs well, as all reviews have claimed, and is a great descender.  I've never used a dropper post so I was a bit lost when first trying it out on Trail 42.  I've always used the seat as a reference to where I am on the bike, so I need to get comfortable getting lower and changing all I've known for the last 20 plus years of mountain biking. My next step will to experiment with the pressures and settings for the Lefty fork and Monarch shock.  So far, so good.

Cannondale Habit Carbon 2
Cannondale Habit Carbon 2

Friday, November 13, 2015

Built & Ridden: Vintage LeMond Road Bike

I finished the LeMond restoration a couple weeks ago, but only got around to riding it last weekend because of a nasty cold that was lovingly given to my by my daughters.  Thanks, girls.  I wasn't even close to healthy, but had to get out for some air and exercise.  My lungs protested most of the way.

The ride is beautiful.  Even at 47mph on a downhill the bike was stable and smooth.  Maybe it was the extra weight of the bike, but I was faster than on my Trek Emonda.

My usual loop in Fort Ord consists of a dirt connector that is only rough in a couple spots.  The LeMond handily navigated the dirt and only protested (rightfully) when I accidentally hit some sand.

Overall, the Campagnolo Athena 11 parts are wonderful and are a fantastic upgrade for any vintage frame.  Compared to my Chorus 11, the shifters only drop one gear at a time but I like the new thumb lever design more than the previous one.  The new lever is easier to reach from the drops, which is awesome for people like me who have smaller hands.

The full build spec:
Frameset - 1987 LeMond "Team LeMond Club" - Columbus Aelle steel tubes
Headset - Chris King 2Nut threaded
Seatpost - Aero aluminum generic
Seat - Selle San Marco Regal perforated
Stem - Nitto Dynamic 10
Bar - Soma Highway 1 42cm
Tape - Lizard Skins DSP 2.5
Bottle Cages - King Cage stainless with alloy bolts
Cables & Housing - Campagnolo
Brakes - Campagnolo Skeleton
Brake Levers - Campagnolo Athena 11
Front derailleur - Campagnolo Athena 11
Rear derailleur - Campagnolo Athena 11
Crankset - Campagnolo Athena 11 50/34 172.5
Bottom Bracket - Campagnolo Power Torque
Chain - Campagnolo Record 11
Shifters - Campagnolo Athena 11
Cassette - Campagnolo Chorus 11 11-29
Hubs - Zipp 100 F 28h / Campagnolo Chorus R 32h
Rims - BHS C22W
Spokes - Sapim Race silver
Nipples - Sapim blue
Skewers - Campagnolo
Tubes - Standard butyl
Tires - Continental Grand Prix Classic 25c
Pedals - Speedplay X/2
Other - Arundel Uno seat pack / Bar Fly Garmin mount with custom shim

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Our First Weekend With The New V5 Mundo

I ended up staying up later than originally planned on Wednesday to finish the Mundo.  As usual, I had to change some things to better suit my preferences.  Instead of the swept-back bars I put on some Race Face riser bars I had lying around along with a set of orange Oury grips.  Along with the usual box build, I also had to install the Yepp seat (which was insanely easy), the Bread Basket (which required headlight relocation), and the stoker bar (which didn't happen).
My little helper
 After adding my personal touches and getting it 90% tuned, I took it for a very short spin on our street.  So far, so good.  It felt mostly like a normal bike and I was able to get the cockpit pretty close to my mountain bike setup but with much more rise for cruisin' comfort.  The problem with the stoker bars is that they are made for the previous version Mundo, which has a 31.8mm seatpost.  The V5 Mundo has a more standard 30.9mm post.  On Thursday I snagged a Coke can from the recycle bin and proceded to make my own shim so I could take the girls for a ride.  Yuba has a shim available, but forgot to send it.  Kindly, they did overnight it to me but I'm going to wait for my zero setback Thomson seatpost to arrive before swapping it in.  The stock seatpost has too much setback for my liking.
Ready to ride!
Rollin' with smiles
The girls love it.  We rode over to say hello to the horses and around the neighborhood.  They didn't want to go home.  We did pretty much the same ride the next night.  On Saturday I took advantage of nap time to make a foot rest (aka Leg-Up).  I used an old aluminum Cannondale CODA handlebar, orange grips, unused spacers that came with the Bread Basket, and two M6 by 50mm bolts and washers from a hardware store.  It turned out perfect, looks better than Yuba's, and was much more rewarding than just buying one.  Also, those bar end plugs light up for night riding!  After nap we rode over to our friends' house for the kiddos to play.
Foot rest for little feet.
Sunday was filled with riding to the park in the morning...
Park smiles
And to the pool in the afternoon...
They like Jane's Addiction.  Rad.
I have plans to keep improving the bike.  The next change will be an upgrade to a clutch derailleur and 10 speed drivetrain.  Using an Amazon gift card (thanks, Julie & Brian), I got a killer deal on a Shimano XT Shadow Plus rear derailleur.  I wasn't planning on going higher than Deore, but couldn't resist.  I think the clutch derailleur will really help with the chain tension and reduce slap on the frame.  I'm also planning on ditching the low end square taper triple crankset for a 38/26 double, likely Deore.  The bike came with a 170mm crankset and I prefer 175.  Justification, right?  Also, all the parts I'm removing will be used for Gears 4 Good bikes.

Huge thank you to my parents for largely funding the purchase of this most awesome bike.  It was a great birthday surprise!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arrived: Yuba Mundo V5 Cargo Bike

I got a call this morning from Sean at Peninsula Bike Works to let me know that my Yuba Mundo and accessories had arrived!  Armed with an extra large pizza and bread sticks, I headed over to the shop during lunch to pick it up.  I am going to build it myself because I want to involve my daughters in the process.  Arguably, they're too young to totally get it, but they can handily turn a hex key or screw driver and will be happy to pull parts out of the wrapping.  The box is currently sitting in the bed of my truck, which I have a clear view of from my office window, and I'm watching the minutes slowly tick by.  Tonight our living room will be a mess of cardboard, packing material, tools, accessories, and a glorious new family bike.

For now...

Monday, August 03, 2015

Yuba Mundo v5 Cargo Bike Announced

I called Sean at Peninsula Bike Works to have him order a Yuba Mundo v4 for me, then just saw this video and had to call him back. The v5 has been announced...

It has the features I wanted in the v4 (and more) and would have had to upgrade. Cromo frame that is 5 pounds lighter, 1-1/2" headtube, lock tabs, Yepp EasyFit mounts, 10mm axle dropouts, hydraulic disc brakes, maybe a cassette instead of a freewheel, and Shimano components.

Now I just have to figure out when it will be available.  Unfortunately, Yuba doesn't have a phone number available so I'll drop them an email for some more info.

UPDATE 1: I found out from Ted at Yuba that the v5 will be available on August 17th.  I will have mine in hand shortly thereafter!

UPDATE 2:  Mine is on order!  They are currently in port, waiting to be delivered!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Purchased: Vintage LeMond Frameset

So... I bought another frameset.  It is actually an early birthday present from my very understanding wife.  The frameset is a 1987 LeMond "Team LeMond Club" in yellow.  The white "Team LeMond Pro" versions were built by Della Santa, but this one and another white "Comp" model were built in Italy by Carnielli (basically Bottecchia, but that's another story).  I've been wanting a LeMond for just about as long as I can remember, and this one fit my current needs (wants) with size, price, and a touch of rareness.
Vintage Team LeMond Club Frameset
Photo from the eBay listing
The tubing is Columbus Tretubi Aelle, which means that the three main tubes are Aelle and the rest, including fork, is builder's choice.  No way to know what it is.  Aelle was pretty low (if not the lowest) on Columbus quality, but it's still Columbus tubing.

Overall it is in very good shape for how old it is.  The dropout screws were broken and bent, so Sean at Peninsula Bike Works has ordered new ones for me.  As I type, the frameset is in the hands of Hector at Winning Wheels in Pacific Grove.  He is re-spacing the dropouts from 126 to 130 and cleaning and chasing the threads of the bottom bracket and derailleur hanger.  My plan is to rebuild it with new Campagnolo Athena 11 silver components and modern but retro-styled wheels.  Pacenti recently released their SL23 rim in silver, so that's at the top of my list right now.  Other touches will include a silver Chris King headset, white perforated Selle San Marco Regal saddle, Arundel  stainless bottle cages and white Gecko tape, and probably white cable housing.

Vintage Team LeMond Club Frameset