Thursday, December 04, 2008


We've gotten the first real batch of snow here in Faribault this week. Tuesday night dumped four solid inches on us. Last night we got another inch. As much as I hate to admit it, this pretty much is the death throw from my MTB'ing fr the year. Sure, I'll get out and ride, but the fun fast hard paced rides of the summer are gone. Between my asthma, (sucks to it,) and the hard ice and ski tracks that usually form on my favorite trials, this is about it. It's snowing really nicely here right now. Not blowing or heavy, just light idyllic flakes out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

The Karate Monkey is in full out winter commuting mode. It mainly gets ridden around a 6 block area in town, so it's not a big mile cruiser. Comfy, upright, small, and simple, it makes getting errands done far faster than by car or foot. This fall we added a BoB trailer to the shop fleet. This makes it possible to get bulkier items like wheels and frame sets to the UPS store 4 block away. This would be a real pain to walk, and to drive there you have to actually drive 7 blocks and go though no less than 2 stop lights and a stop sign. This makes it much easier. Mark, you should be seeing your wheels in a few days. Thanks again.

In getting the KM ready for winter, I threw a pair of Panaracer Fire XC Cross tires on it. I have had these tires for years, and have yet to find a better multipurpose tire for the mixed conditions around down town. They are narrow at 45c, but super aggressive. The narrow width cuts through the slop without wallowing around like some wider tires I've used. They also provide copious amounts clearance around the huge Planet Bike fenders. All in all, I hate this tire for almost everything, yet it's a perfect beast for the 5 month winter.

Here's a shot of the current roller set up. The Big Apples are a little hard to get up to speed, but hold it extremely well. They are a little bumpier than the Conti trainers I usually run on the road bike, but these are the best thing for this set up. My goal is to put 500 miles on the Rohloff over winter, so that it is getting close to broken in by spring. Having 5 months to do put on that many miles should be pretty easy. We'll see what's left of the BA's by then. They are shedding a lot of rubber on the rollers, but they are brand new. We'll see I guess.

My new favorite headset. Cane Creek's new 100 is simple, elegant, non-logo-ish, and pretty. My only bitch is that the top cap is black! Seriously, two colors can't be that hard. It's a bit of an eyesore on an all silver set up. I swapped this out for the black CC on my Rawland fixie. I have a silver Salsa that made it's way onto it for good measure.

Latest shop snack. Man these are addictive! At least they are better for you than chips.

One of the new shop additions. It's old, it works, it's loud, and is just a blast to kill time with. We'll be playing this a lot this winter. Stop by and give it a try!

Here's a shot of what's in the stand today. A killer Rawland Monster Crosser, with 29er x 1.8"s wheels AND 650b x 2.3"s! That's the way to rock it. The Santana is here for a tune, shifters, and cables. I love this simple bike, it's just gorgeous. The owners are really great people, and it's always nice to see them.

48h, 4x wheels! Damn.
Here's a little shot to remind you of what's waiting for us. I know snow's just arrived, but I miss Summer already. Take care.


Anonymous said...

48h 4x on a dishless wheel! Double damn! -what are the putting in their panniers? That Rawland looks sweet -can I get close-up shots of the clearance at the crown and chainstays?

Guitar Ted said...

Cool! It's nice to see that you guys actually live by what you "preach" in terms of utility and bike lifestyle. It's also cool to know my wheels were delivered that way. Thanks Ben!

A pinball machine?!! That is rediculous! I love those things.'s too bad I live as far away as I do, but then again, you'd probably get tired of seeing me! :-)

Talk to you soon! (And a big thanks!)

Ben said...

That wheel is pretty stout, but will last for years I'm sure. I have a friend who has an early 80's Santana with an even more over the top wheel. A 48h, FIVE cross, dish less wheel! Te bike has been ridden across the continent, loaded and has seen trailer duty, and the wheel is still going strong.

More on the Rawland later this week. I am waiting on some items to finish it up, then I'll do a full post on it. It's got some fun stuff going on.

The pinball machine is pretty great. Mark, you're always welcome, and this winter'll have a lot of time to kill for us. Need to see the family up here soon? I got some beer ;)

It is nice to be able to ride around here in town. With no good route to the shop most of the year, it's hard to commute to the shop. I try to balance that out by driving as little as possible around Northfield and Faribault. It's not a bad way to be.