Thursday, May 26, 2011


In a period of about a month, I'd talked to my buddy Matt in Atlanta, convinced myself I wanted an early Turner 5 Spot (what the "Homers" on MTBR call a TNT or HL or something, suspended Turner...aka not a newer DW-Link frame), and found one on eBay and had it built. Total cost, around a grand, thanks to the piles of unused weirdness that crowd my palatial corner office here at One Utahdog Center.

Before, sitting on my den floor.

And after, shown here at it's maiden voyage out at Hanna Park. It's a fun bike, and when ridden with a little finess, such as that which comes from being an offroad cyclists that prefers rigid bikes, should last forever. The feel is like riding a couch, which should be nice for my aging back, and yet not nearly as vanilla boring as my Cannondale Rush 5, which was my last experience with suspension. Don't get me wrong, the Cannondale was a decent bike and I can't complain too much about it because I made money off the thing, but the Turner is more nimble, even with 5 inches of boinginess out back. Actually the Turner is more nimble than the blue EWR, at least in it's current configuration. I need to sort that EWR. I don't think it likes the Fox fork.

Hanna is a good test for a bike like this too, because the trails are tight and twisty and require mobility and squirtability that many suspended bikes simply don't have, and the trails and parking lot are never far apart, so shake-down rides that expose loose bolts and the like don't leave you stranded and walking 10 miles. I never carry tools or water at Hanna. Just swing back by the car and take a swig after every lap.

As for the build cost tally sheet, see below...the ones marked "$0" were obviously not free, but rather come from the hoarded stores of weirdness...

Frame - $575 shipped

Easton Mountain Two wheels - $275 from Pricepoint

Avid BB7 brakes - $110 from Pricepoint

Kenda Nevegals - $60

Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur - $55

Race face Deus headset - $40

Shimano UN-52 bottom bracket - $25

Sachs Extreme front shifter - $19

Oury grips - $7

Rock Shox Revelation coil fork- $0

Sachs Wavy 8spd rear shifter - $0

Altek levers - $0

SDG saddle - $0

Race Face System stem - $0

Race Face Air Hardened bar - $0

Race Face Diabolus post - $0

Race Face Turbine cranks, RF rings, RF bash - $0

Shimano Deore XT pedals - $0

Shimano IG90 chain - $0

Shimano Deore XT cassette - $0

Shimano Deore XT front derailleur - $0

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More goodies that got away

While they all earned 'watched item' checklist membership, only a few of these garnered bids to join the overstocked shelves here at the gleaming towers of One Utahdog Center, World Congress of the Americas.

Early Z2 Bomber, $90.

Control Tech 1" stem, $44.

Paul front derailleur, $248.

Race Face System stem, $15.

Race Face chainring set, $88.

Off Road Toad in Team Toad regalia. This little hottie made it all the way to nearly $800 before the auction was ended early by the seller...undoubtedly due to a side bar deal made outside eBay by the winged crankarm brigade.

And a nice little NOS Deore XT front derailleur, $26.

We can't have everything, and I've got too much as it is right now anyway, so I'll sit and watch. The Toad was tempting... at least until it 'disappeared'.

Monday, May 23, 2011

12 Hours of Tsali

My good friends Paul and Caroline were up in Bryson City, North Carolina for the 12 Hours of Tsali race this past weekend. Caroline was competing, and Paul was along to push out a few odd laps as time allowed, and to offer support and encouragement as necessary, (translation, his job is to clean and maintain the bike!) So a nice weekend of mountain biking and camping for them, and you know they had to send their Floridian friend a scenic picture to rub it in.

No word how Caroline did yet, but I'm sure she laid waste to the females and probably chumped out a few dozen dudes to boot. She's a beast.

Founders Bridge where the AT crosses the Nantahala River. BYOB!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Boulder Defiant

She had a pained expression. "Good Lord, Dear! Must you buy every frame you lusted over in your youth? Can't you just be happy with one? A nice one? Like the one you had when we were in love, in Pamplona? Drinking chianti and fishing for trout in the river? With the sun and the river and the green hoppers?"

The hoppers were good. She was right. At least about that. About the hoppers. And the chianti. As for the rest, not as much.

"Hmmm?" I replied.

Her face twisted into a maligning and aggresive snarl, "Please don't be such an arrogant sot!"

"Yes" I said.

She hit me with a shoe.

"Hmmm?" I replied.

Hanna on the Phoenix

I've launched a new riding schedule since I can't seem to get myself comfortable with commuting to work after my hospital stay. I surely cant sit around and only ride 2-3 times a month off road and expect to not turn into a complete fat slob, so something must be done. I say that like it is a crappy experience to ride the bike!

New schedule is...7:30-4:30 work time, I bail out of work and beat the going home rush hour traffic to the park and I'm on the trails by 5. Two hours and about 12-15 miles later and I've gotten in a good days work. Twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) makes for a nice compliment to weekend trips around the state that I have to make to hit the trails.

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon on the trail. I took the Phoenix out, for a little comparison ride to my Tuesday ride on the blue EWR. The experiences were very different, and not really in a good way. I'm beginning to wonder something about the EWR (at least how I have it built). Does a long travel hardtail really make sense? Am I the only one who feels like the front of the bike wants to take big hits and drops all day and complains about technical riding and tight trails? While the back end wants to hit the twisy stuff all day long, but still seems to buck you occasionally as if to say "Don't get too frisky there pal, I'll still spit out a dropout if you ride me like a full susser"? Compared to the flickable WTB, the blue EWR feels like riding in a bowl of pudding. My white EWR never felt sluggish. Is it the fork? The travel? The general concept? Do I have to be Jordie Lunn to appreciate a long travel hardtail? I'll have to give it some thought...

...Jordie Lunn I am not!

Anybody else mildly questioning the worth of their long travel hardtails? I'm thinking I may buy a rigid fork for the EWR and give it a fling. The Turner is built now, so I don't need this bike to be suspended.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lust-less Flea

Utility goodies. Not sexy, but purposeful. Like Me!

31.8 top pull STX front derailleur. As I mentioned in an earlier post...these suckers are nicely made, and a crap load lighter than many modern derailleurs. This one is headed to the TST. Buy now and save!

Shock pump. I own a shock now, so you know what that means....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turner 5-Spot

Closing in on completing the Turner.

Here, sitting in the weeds of my overgrown lawn, sans brakes and drivetrain.

And Complete!

Avid BB7 160mm rear brake, Deore XT 8 speed drivetrain, Easton wheels with Nevegal tires...

Race Face Turbines and bash guard, Fox DHX shock, more Deore XT in the pedals and front derailleur...

Rock Shox Revelation coil fork, BB7s with a 185mm disc up front...

Race Face bar, stem, headset and post, Sachs twistie shifters...and an SDG saddle and Altek levers to tie it all together. I'm waiting on a shock pump, and when that comes in I'll take it out and let you know what I think!

Speaking of taking it out...I went to Santos and did 30 miles with a fella from the SORBA-JAX crew on Saturday, and then yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) I went to Hanna and did a few laps. I'll be flexing my schedule this summer and riding Hanna twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays to keep myself from becoming a complete potato. Godspeed.

Double Bogey, inbound!

Ratio of inbound to outbound packages is running about 1-1, but we're still generating income and the number of frames I'm falling over is decreasing, so power on I shall, single-handedly floating the economy I am, such as it is.

Sachs Quartz shifters. Twisties are good, just ask your local porn addicts.

HG70 cassette...headed for the Rocky Mountain. I might actually RIDE that bike soon...

Monday, May 16, 2011

More tasty bits to take a pass on...

More flea goodies floating around out there. If you've healed up from your lobotomy, then you'll appreciate these fine levers...

Alteks with a stratospheric BIN of $199.

Grove Hammerhead bar stem combo. Sold for a nice plump $125.

And the Grove fork to match the hammerhead. Where's the Grove?

Inbound bogey, 2 o'clock!


Sachs Power Grip front shifters, total 3, to match some Power Grip 8 speeders I ganked a few years ago, cheap.

Rocky number 1

"We're getting low on gas, Mav, let's land this sucker!"




"Cougar's in trouble!"

LX grade bottom bracket, for Race Face Turbine application...73x110mm

XT rear derailleur, Turner bound.

"You're writing checks your body can't cash!"

old school XT front top pull. Guess where THIS picture came from.

XTR 900 front, with a bottom pull to top pull adaptor, which is nearly as valuable as the derailleur itself if not more so.

"Ghostrider 3/4 of a mile, call the ball."

"Roger, Maverick has the ball."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More missed potential...

Goodies on the flea. These are file-able under "Them that got away!"

Kona O-Beam titanium post. Kona didn't always churn out gutless inported crap. Back in the day they were responsible for some pretty swanky stuff. This here be a very very nice titanium post. $202

Paul brake brace, in green. I'm a slut for green anodizing. I'm not a slut for Paul stuff. $75.

Ritchey 2X9 Sachs shifters. Proving once again that there are no new ideas, Sachs made these 2X shifters long before SRAM regurgitated the idea back in our laps with XX. Of course, Sachs became part of SRAM, but still....there's shame here somewhere I can smell it.

And this little sucker? Well, it hasn't closed yet...and I won't tell you what it is until it does. But I can say that it looks to me like it could be cracked in at least two places, and it is STILL north of $400 , with 7 days to go.

Get your popcorn ready!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flea Action!

No I don't buy everything I watch on the flea. Some things fall through the cracks, and some stuff I just let slide. The quality of my judgement though, and the true value of what I haul in versus what I let pass, is up for debate. John Boehner, "Tan-In-A-Can" style, blame riddled, myopic debate. These three either slid, or will.

The fabled Mantis Pro Floater for example. This one sold for $585, which is a pretty good buy for a bike with all the goodies this one has...IRD brakes, Kingsbury/American Classic Ti post, AC cranks, early logo-less King headset, M900 XTR bits and a Ringle freewheel hubset. Too bad these frames are so brittle and prone to cracking that they are practically perforated...

This SDG only sold for $10.49. I forgot it was even out there on the flea, and it closed at like 3am, and for a pittance, so apparently most everyone else forgot about it too. The porno-gone-wrong, red tint, camera filter doesn't help.

And this one is from the WTF files. A titanium road bar, mitered and welded at all the typical turns and drops instead of mandrel bent and swagged. You'd have to be puffing the chiba big time to buy into this logic. Can those angles be comfortable at all? Meh! (still on the flea for sale though, so smoke up, Johnny!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Duds

Did a little clothes shopping a few days back... picked up a new t-shirt...



Never let it be said I'm not sensitive.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

More Danny MacAskill

Over 9 million views on YouTube for this one. I'm not sure when it came out, but it's a good-un!

Clicky da picky!

Does he have teeth anymore?!

Monday, May 2, 2011


We had the house behind us sell, and overgrown camelias and ferns and cherry laurels cut down and heavily pruned back by the new owners. Previous owners enjoyed the privacy that the overgrowth provided, and so did we. Recently, we've had the feeling that the new owners just sit in their backyard and watch us. It is a weird feeling to say the least.

Plus they have some loud pit bull mix dog that charges the fence out by Jane's playset whenever we're over the time had come for us to erect a bit of privacy of our own.

So stick that in your obnoxious pit bull and smoke it, bitches!


Syncros cranks on eBay.

These forged aluminum cranks were on eBay a few weeks ago, and sold for a whopping $257. I was so impressed and amazed that I decided to list my Syncros Revolution steel cranks, which are more valuable than the alloy cheapies, and see how they'd roll...

...and roll they did! $305 shipped! God Bless America.