Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010

It's the last day of the year and it's that time to look at the best of 2010. Well the stuff that stands out that I used this year or events I took part in.

Best Components:

Hope Stainless BB: What can one not say about this bottom bracket. It has stood up to the dust of summer and now is taking on winter. And proof that the masters of riding in mud, filth, and grime know what needs to be done.

Marzocchi Drop Off 4: Not new but was a major upgrade in the fork department. Solid with little flex. And it met the finance committee's cost cutting requirements.

Best Clothing:

Endura Singletrack Shorts: Simple black shorts that are great. Well stitched and comfortable. Pretty adaptable to riding in spring, summer, and fall. One big bonus is that they do dry quickly.

Wool Socks: Keeps you warm even when wet. Doesn't stink the car up like a bag of 6 month old hockey gear. Is cool in the warm of summer and warm in the cool of spring and fall.

Yaktrax Sport: Simply put, I would have spent half of last winter doing head dabs as I ran or walked. Just don't try to walk across a tile floor with them on your shoes.


Paul's Dirty Enduro: Good local event that supports a good cause. Chili post race with lots of fun singletrack. Laid back race crew.

Dundas Monstercross: Fun non race event. New place to ride as well as meeting new people. Good pumpkin soup and warming beverages for post ride festivities with good people.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hope Stainless Bottom Bracket

Last June I finally picked up a new external bottom bracket from Hope Components.

What can I say. This BB has impressed me to no end since it was installed. Other then a couple of tightening the crank bolt to remove a little play. This BB has been rock solid since it was installed.

The first thing while installing I noticed was that the plastic piece was simply a cover for the bearings. Unlike Shimano's or Race Face BB's where the cover also acts as a shim between the bearing inner race and the crank axle. Hope went a different route. They went with a bearing that when you install the crank actually is in direct contact with the inner race of the bearing. No plastic shim that can crack or start creaking after a while. It's a good tight fit.

The other change is that tube piece that one installs between the 2 BB cups that one installs in the BB Shell of the frame. Again no plastic here. This comes as a tube made of metal. A much better alternative to the plastic pieces that others use. It is also has O ring seals to help seal the unit even more from the crud and moisture of the world. And Hope offers this piece seperate from the BB. Even in different lengths depending upon you BB being either 68, 73, or 83 in size.

As I mentioned already about the seals. This BB is built to deal with crud, nud, and nasty winter. Should be no surprise as Hope comes from the land of filth riding. And have learned what it will take to increase the longevity of bearings. So far the seals on the Hope have exceeded those on Race Face and Shimano BB's by a huge margin.

As a former mechanic and a coach, I would be installing this BB on anyone's bike who was either doing and adventure race or a off road triathlon. Simply because I know it can take the abuse. Which even in Canada faced with our Canadian muck and grime plus add winter crud. Well, only something good and sealed can fit the bill.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Duffins Creek Pizza Ride

In the continuing mission to ride new places and explore. Hooked up with my buddy Nick to attend his Duffins Creek Pizza Ride on the last weekend of October. So again on a over cast day headed out to the meeting loction. Both bike and pizza fixngs in tow. At least this drive was short with Pickering nearby.

We gathered at Nick's place and like any group ride it took the usual extra time to get ready. Add the usual attempt to figure out what gear to wear. Nothing like a fall day to make gear selection fun. Part of the problem being it was forecasted to rain. Plus waiting for Ilan and Wayne to get there as they where a little late due to the GO Train being delayed. Then it was off.

Nick led us down a couple of streets then into his local trails. Which like the Dundas ride I still have no clue where we went. Lot's of rocky hill climbs and some fun descents. Though sadly I had to walk some of the descents as my front brake decided to take a vacation- no power at all. But after a bit of tinkering was able to ride some DH. Though did figure out that hydaulic brake seals in the cold tend to leak.

At one point while moving at speed watched Wayne do the front wheel mud slide to ricochet into the brush. Proving again, that easier sections lead to lack of trail focus which leads to crashes. I say that as it occured while riding 4x4 track towards more singletrack.

During the ride back to Nick's place he showed us his little downhill run he built. Nothing big just a simple little line. Some of the best times can be had on the simplest of lines. The we continued back to Nick's place. Which after 20 minutes of riding we returned to his place. After 3 hours of in the woods riding it started raining.

Then it was time to crank up the oven, crack open a beer, and make pizza. And for the record Nick makes a good pizza dough.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In The Snow

Working on something... pic's of the snow today to fill the gap.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Anti Shopsmas Ride

Headed out to ride CB for a bit today. Ground was nicely frozen and it was a balmy minus 6

This section of new trail is a marsh in the fall and spring. Yet ridable in winter.

Clan approved anti freeze.