Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flea Hub!

More Loots...

Front M900 XTR hub to match the rear I picked up back in December. Always good to have a pair around. I have no idea what for, but hey...happiness is a spare set of XTR hubs!

Unfortunately, the XTR skewers are missing though, (although I have a spare set...or two...of skewers.) Again, people must eat XTR skewers, because when these hubs hit the market, they almost NEVER have skewers. Maybe there's a XTR skewer nome somewhere? Pay the nome a skewer? Huh? Wha?
"What's your favorite color?"
"Red. NO...Blue!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Flea-Haul

Three bits this weekend. OK, Multiple numbers of two of these buys, but hey...ya gotta get spares!

Tioga brake tamers. These slimy little lever pads are made from the same gooey rubber as Tioga's Bio Grips. Good addition to vintage levers like Shimano 2 fingers, or Ritchey Logics.

27.0 XTR post. Yosemite bound.

Scully Bar Wrap from Profile. Nothing says "Ass Hole" like Profile Scully wrap. I picked up those Scott AT-4 bars a while back, and the wrap is for those. Nothing says "Ass Hole" like Scott AT-4 bars. The bars and the wrap are headed for the GT Avalanche frame I picked up off the fleabay last year. Nothing says "Ass Hole" like a GT.
See...there is a pattern to the madness after all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

EWR package!

I ordered some little trinkets from the boys at EWR last week. Just poking around on their web page and drooling over the new E-Motion Titanium, and I noticed that they only had three pairs of socks left, so you know I had to impulse buy all three pairs. I'm a whore for the impulse buys.

So Tuesday, the package arrives...

"Serving Outdoor Professionals Worldwide." Granted that while the box is obviously a reused item, it's still an applicable phrase for display on a package filled with goodies from the good folks at EWR.

Although the message on the flip-side was a surprise.

OK, I have to come clean...I added that just for the picture, but you know, somehow that message fits the culture of EWR too! Like big boobs and malt liquor.

And inside...the goodies I paid for! SOCKS BABY! Dig that east coast hardcore aggressive style!...or am I laying it on a bit thick? (work with me here...!)

And inside?...because those EWR guys are such cool bad asses? loot for me! Woohoo! I'm digging that head badge, and you know I like stickers. I'm a whore for the stickers.
So do the right thing, people! Go buy your EWRs now! If you don't, then the terrorists win!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bulb Replacement

Kristen teases me when I start projects on the Land Rover. She likes to make fun of the seemingly ridiculous level of complication that comes with even the most mundane service item. So when I lost a marker bulb a while back, I bought a replacement and intended to put the thing in straight away. I've had to do this already though, so I knew it would be laughably complicated for what it is, so I've just let the bulb bounce around on the console while I built up the fortitude to deal with it. Sunday, I got to it.
Here's the bulb. It is the tiniest thing you've ever seen...

With the key, for some scale and perspective. This bulb is truly dinky. How complicated could it possibly be to replace this thing?

Well, Land Rover likes complicated... So the first thing you have to do is remove the headlight assembly from the front of the car. That's right, you can't access the bulb from the engine compartment, like on most cars...oh no. That would be too easy!
So first up...locate the screw on the inside edge of the headlight assembly, shown here...

What? Don't see the screw? That's because the screw (one of three) is hidden behind this little vestigial hinged door! So, open the door and pull the screw.

Don't see the door to open to pull the screw? That's because first you have to remove the grill... to get to the get to the screw. Still with me?
Note that at this point, I start to drink beer. As per the Land Rover owners manual, I'm storing my pint of Blueberry Wheat in a frosted glass sitting on top of the primary fuse panel for the car. That's it there on the left. What could possibly go wrong!?
Note also, that while the headliner inside the car has begun to fail and droop, the black felt insulated 'headliner' on the under side of the hood is just fine. Note to Land Rover...put engine insulation panels inside car instead of headliners...

So, recap...grill off, door opened, screw out (along with the other two), proceed to pull the headlight assembly from the car, and locate the wire harness junction where it enters the assembly. Unplug the harness and remove the assembly. You now officially look like the perpetrator in a hit and run case! Oh the shame! The last time I saw a front end in this state was when I rear ended Nell Smiley and her Pontiac Bonneville with my Ford Escort back in 1986! I should pour old coolant underneath the car to simulate a busted radiator to complete the trip down memory lane...just for fun.

Ignore my yellow plate on the front of the car. You UK folks will call me out for that I'm sure. What can I say, I like yellow.
Back to the bulb. Locate the sealed twist off access panel on the back of the assembly that corresponds to the bulb that is out. Note that there are 4 access panels for the 5 (!) bulbs in each assembly. Twist and remove the panel. Do not damage the o-ring that seals the access panel. Replace bulb, reinstall access panel, and reinstall the entire front of the car.

Valet tip...when you have trim off your car, any car, for maintenance purposes, take the time to clean areas under where panels overlap, like the edge if the fender, where the headlight assembly would normally cover it up. Clean edge lines make for a clean car. Yes, I've also been known to dust my AC vents with Q-tips. I'm particular.

Sure the process in convoluted and unnecessarily complex. That's what makes Land Rover ownership fun! Hey, you could buy a Toyota, but then you wouldn't have brakes!
Here endeth the lesson. "Slew they the goats ye, and place they the bits, in little pots."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Nevegal tires. Paul says these are good. If I don't like them I'll make him wear them like a hat.

Step for the rear of the Rover. Maybe it's too tall? Even I can't reach the ladder!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Look! A Mutt!

On eBay as we speak!

$549 BIN! Makes my 200 buck less price seem pretty much the deal!

She even gotses my dropses!

Heintz 57

That's another term for mutt. And it fits a bike I'sa gots in my stables....a MUTT!

See, there's this crew of folks who weld titanium frames in the pacific northwest, and these guys pump a bunch of stuff out. Mostly Sandvik tubes, all assembled by a closely related company called TST or Titanium Sport Technology (or TiSports or Titanium Sports or whatever!) You can even contract with them to have titanium golf clubs or wheelchairs made. The dudes can flat out bend, miter and weld titanium like no body's business!

From their web page...

"Since 1989, the highly skilled men and women of TiSport have been fabricating road, mountain, cyclocross, triathlon and recumbent bike frames for a number of foreign and domestic customers such as Bachetta, Bontrager, Colorado Cyclist, Dean, Diamondback, Fuji, Gary Fisher, GT, Ibis, Kona, Marin, Mongoose Pro, Sampson and Yeti... All frames are made in the U.S.A in Kennewick, Washington using cold relieved Ti-3%Al-2.5%V seamless tubing, the same tubing used in aerospace high pressure hydraulic systems.

Now here's where the here-say starts. As I understand it...many of these frames are spec'd to their contractor's standards and design, and then welded up by TST. That part is pretty standard. The weirdness starts when TST is contracted to build frames that never get delivered...or if they bend up some seat stays or cut some seat tubes or whatever, and then the contractor doesn't step forward with the cash. No, that titanium doesn't go to waste, and those frames don't hit the trash, oh no. Not by a long shot. They hit the market. And then the game starts...If you buy a TST frame, and not from a contracted buyer labeling them as their own, it shows up with nothing on but a serial number. Nekkid as a jaybird, so to speak.

The game then becomes...what the heck exactly IS my TST anyway??? You saw the list of brands earlier in the post here...any design characteristic, or dropout style, or seat tube exposure, is possible. Sometimes it seems, these frames have a little bit of more than one design in them. A titanium mutt as it were. Albeit a darn nice mutt, granted! My mutt came to me in 2005, from, for the paltry sum of $345. If I know then what I know now, I'd have bought them all. These Tisport frames are wonderful! Hint...if you're shopping used, save yourself some dough and skip the Konas and the Deans and buy a Mongoose or Diamondback or something else with a goofy brand. Stickers come off, after all!

Me?...well I LOVE my mutt! When I scope out my bike, I see a bit of Kona in the seat tube exposure and top tube slope, a little DBR in the seat stays, and Mongoose Pro dropouts.

And the cool part?...because it's made from aerospace grade titanium, I can take it apart and make a toilet for NASA! Weeeee!

Spooky = Lame

I want to like these guys, I really do. But, back in the day they really pissed on a good friend of mine and what's worse is...

...they once insisted on cloaking themselves with this pseudo straight edge ethos. Way too preachy for me thanks. Just make the damn bikes and answer your customer service questions.

A reincarnated Spooky came back around a few years ago after falling off the map a while before that. Lots of good companies from the heyday of the mountain bike boom died and found themselves reborn as empty shadows of their former glory, (ala Syncros.) In an inverse switch to that, here's to hoping the new Spooky is better than the old.

I'll let you be the one to give it a try though...let me know how that goes. Matt?...ready for another 'Metalhead'?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

French Connection

First off. Represent. Gen Hackman and his character "Popeye Doyle" is one of the true bad asses of modern cinema.

But we aint talking about Hackman here, we're talking about international shipping. My skewers, from France, arrived safely, and within a week. Taking about a 3rd of the time to get here than my Saint hub took to get to The Netherlands. Some faith restored in support of offering my eBay goodies for sale to international bidders.

So why so long to ship a hub to Holland?...hmmm. Flooding? Windmill trouble?

Rover, before and after...

Before, albeit loaded down like a sooner wagon headed to California!

And after, sitting in the environment for which modern Land Rovers are made...the driveways of suburbia!

See what I mean. It does not look glaringly lifted, which is what I wanted to avoid. Rather it still has the stock proportions that make Land Rovers sexy. I mean, if you were ever predisposed to think a Rover was sexy. I guess most people think it looks like an Igloo cooler!

Separated at birth?

Are Igloo marine coolers made in Solihull too?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lifted Rover

I've been so pleased that my Rover has made it another year without barfing up its oil pump, that I decided to invest in the necessary suspension goodies so that I can get the truck lifted and Hurricanes all mounted up. Plus, one of my old Michelins was separating, so new tires were long over due!

I had intended to do this all on my own, but who am I kidding...I barely find the time to install 7 door knobs in my house, much less safely lift a 3 ton truck! So, I farmed it out to the pros...

The larger Hurricanes rims and 32" Avon tires do a lot to keep the additional 2" of lift from looking too pimpy, and the truck still has a very stock look. Thankfully. Overall the truck is about 3 or so inches higher than when it left the factory. Once upon a time I had all kinds of crazy dreams for this truck, then I grew up and took my head out of my ass and started saving money for my kids. Not that you'd know that from my eBay activity!

And from the back, Rover still has the "fat calves and skinny ankles" presentation. Like Burt Reynolds says..."Cowboys love fat calves." Not that I'm a cowboy, or that he is, for that matter!

Lenovo S10 Ideapad Netbook

Took the netbook plunge this past weekend. Actually, I ordered it a little before that, but it recently shipped. It's a cute little thing and it's pretty speedy. 1 gig RAM, 1.6Ghz Atom processor, 160gig hard drive, 10" screen and a slimline 3 cell battery, all for only $249. I had gone to Best Buy previously, but all they have there in stock is a bunch of pretty lipstick pink and red netbooks, way too fancy for me. Best Buy sucks.

I chose the Lenovo because it looks like a laptop...period. Flat black plastic. Free shipping. Perfect. Now I'm doing damage to Ebay from the comfort of my bed! All I need is for somebody to train my Roomba to serve cocktails! I'll need a Roomba too, I guess...

Took a lot of photography skill for me to plan this shot and execute RIGHT when it went to sleep, either that or I've set up my screen saver to look like my hands holding a camera!

Proudly made in China. Grrr,

Overall, I'm quite pleased.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend Loot!

The three of us; my fat ass, the white EWR and I, went to Hanna Park this past Sunday, for a little 'shake off the cob webs and remember how this whole bike thingy works' session. I was so please that I neither tore a muscle from the sudden increase in activity, nor stroked out from the gluttonous red meat consumption over the past few months, that I ran right home and bought a bunch of worthless crap off the Internet!

Scott AT4 Pro combo bars, new in the box.

A cool Moose sticker! (Don't ask!)

And 5 seat post binder bolts. You'll never guess in a thousand years what these are for, and don't say seat post binder bolt binding or bolting!

You fans of Canadian mountain bike goodies will probably guess when I give you the following clue:

Revolution Cranks