Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Salsa on da gift card!

Salsa goodies...compliments of a gift card from my brother. What was the gift card for, I hear you ask?... both f you? Well, as you can probably figure out on your own unless you've spent the last 3 years of this blog's existence trapped under something heavy in your basement... FleaBay baby!

35mm purple Salsa Lip Lock seat collar.

And a set of Schlick Salsa Skewers in fancy schmancy blue. I dig the blue stuff, that's pretty common knowlege around One Utahdog Tower World Congress of the Americas, but in secret Im also a sweaty slut for the purple. Ohhh, it rubs the lotion on its skin!! Oop!...uh, sorry about that.

What can I say...we all have our secrets. Next thing you know I'll own up to puffing nasty White Owl Grape Cigarillos in the bathroom! The shame of it all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

eBay for the hOliday!

'Tis the season!

For a nice red SDG Comp Ti!

And a 29.4mm 425 length Syncros post! (with a free Thomson seat post bag!)

And a 31.8mm 410 Thomson post! (to go with the free bag? What the hell is WRONG with me!?)

And a "NOS Marzocchi Z1"! (I'll explain the quotes soon!)

And a lobotomy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry ME!

Happy holiday wishes to myself this festive season. You know how much I love to do things for myself, so when the opportunity presents itself for me to buy myself some goofus mcpoofus VRC crap, well, you know I'm going to take it.

So... Merry Xmas...all you haters.

46 tooth SG ring, NOS. 32 Hole XTR M900 front hub, and...for the old Trombone player in me, some tuning slide lube for the Blessing D88. Toot Toot! File this post under "Lube"... and "Goats" for good measure.

You can buy anything from eBay without ever leaving the couch.

God Bless America.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Conversation with an Engineer

As a cycling advocate and planner, I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've had this conversation with a transportation engineer. Video compliments of

We over think things in government and planning. Always.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Freezing temperatures here in Florida mean I've been bringing my new shiny friend into the house and sleeping with it. I am warped.

Also feel free to sweat my vintage Preway fireplace and my topographic and geological maps of Zion National Park. Dork alert!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


EWR update pics!

Remaining from the last incarnation, SDG and Altek, Race Face Diabolus bar and post and the Profile stem, Race Face Atlas topo cranks and gold BB and a Gold Chris King. Added for this time around are the AMP F3 Carbon fork and the brand spanking new 217 Sunset Deore DX wheels, complete with Surly single Speed conversion.

Those of you paying attention will notice only a rear brake. Being a single speeder, this means I only have one cable.

From da front. The AMP fork. When I picked up the AMP B4 (MB) as a complete bike, I only intended to keep the fork, the rest has or will head to eBay.

Rear DX, as a single speed.

One would wonder, why a chain tensioner on a horizontal drop frame?...well, the drops are too shallow and the wheel must be pulled very far back in the drops, which negates the EWRs short chainstays...not good and not fun so QR it is.

And a dumpy little Avid brake. They work great, better than most, and I only have one brake on the bike so it had better be worth something other than glamor points. This Avid fits the bill.

She's a fun one. I'm glad that after all these years (it spent a few of those years with a buddy of mine) I still have this bike.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rocky Mountain on tires!

I posted the Brodie updates, and the WTB updates, and I mentioned I'd post the EWR updates, so I'd be remiss if I didn't post the Rocky Mountain updates.

So here's a Rocky Mountain update.

Deore DX hubs, Mavic 717 rims, Deore cranks, Deore XT U-brake, DiaCompe 986 front brake, Deore XT thumbshifters, Specialized Ground Control tires, Ritchey Logic levers, original to the bike Suntour post, RM stem and Tange Prestige bar, and a suitably patina'd SDG (read BEAT!) Needs cables and a chain, and an endless clamp front derailleur to fit the bulged seat tube and then I'm set!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brodie has New Shoes

First things first. I want this Brodie to be a rider, which is one of the reasons I used cans to paint the thing instead of paying somebody to do it. Similarly, I don't want to waste a clean SDG on a bike that will be thrown in the mud, so off the hooks comes a dusty SDG with a little bit of the old 'loose Kevlar syndrome' for a quick reglue before it gets pressed into duty underneath my fat butt, AKA "The Lair of the Barking Spiders".

Glue spread and 15 minutes of drying time, I stretch the Kevlar back into shape and use little alligator clips to hold the cloth in position while the contact cement sets up. This Kevlar aint going anywhere now.

Dingy but serviceable. I could sell this sucker on eBay for 80 bucks, or I could put it under my butt, AKA "The Lair of the Barking Spiders".

And a shot of the build to date. Fresh Mavis 222's and Deore DX hubs, an M900 XTR Cassette, Race Face post and stem and a set of used blue Turbine cranks with a new ring, bash ring and hardware. should be a fine bike when I get it all cabled up and ready to go.

Nose of the saddle is a little low in this pic. Something to fix before I lump my butt (AKA, "The Lair of the Barking Spiders") on the thing and hit the trail.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wheelfest 2010

Been a little while since the last update, but there's a good reason. My Lenovo netbook's screen hinges began to crack, so I had to send the little guy back to Lenovo for warranty repair. Props to Lenovo for sending me a box next day, covering shipping to and from, and finishing the repair in less than a week including shipping time.


Remember those 400 pieces of wire that cost me 300 bucks? Well I've been boasting to folks that I have all the parts for my unbuilt frames sitting around in bins, except the wheels, and while I did already have the parts, they needed to be laced up into proper wheels, so after the spokes came in I set to it. 7 wheels in 2 days. My fingers are sore!

First up, 217 Sunsets and XTR M910 hubs. Here I've assembled all the goodies onto the dining room table, in my own little warped celebration of Thanksgiving.

Blink and I'm done! The rear laced up and tensioned.

And then football started, so I migrated to the back porch so I could build my wheels and watch USF fall to Pitt. That is the lucky hat. It was not so lucky this day, although I blame myself though, as I wasn't sitting in front of the big TV rubbing the logo and repeating to myself, "Please, Please, Please."

At least the wheel worked out great.

All mounted up on the new home, the WTB. I had a set of M950 XTR hubs and Sunsets on there originally, but they are pretty advanced in age and mileage, plus the front is 1 cross lacing on that set, so I've retired those to light duty work and these 3 cross, M910/Sunsets will see trail work on the WTB.

Da front.

Phase two. This is a rear to match the already built front wheel that I had for the Rocky Mountain Avalanche It is a 130mm converted Deore DX HG hub, in 32 holes and laced 3 cross to a Mavic 717 in black. The Mavic 717 is a great rim for vintage bike builds like this because they are subtle and without the label, very hard to discern as a modern rim. The profile of a 717 is the same as a 217 though, and the Deore DX takes the same spoke length as the M910 XTR, so I can use spokes from the lot of 400 to lace this sucker up too. All the wheels I built this weekend have essentially the same measurements and take the same spokes. Shimano hubs and Mavic 217 or 222 rims, and the spoke lengths are 264 front and 262-260 ND-D rear. Clear as mud? Good.

Next up, on Sunday, Deore DX 135mm 8 speed converted hubs and blue Mavic 222 rims, for the Brodie. These 222's are a step down from the 217's, but they are still fine rims, and the slate blue color makes them perfect for the Brodie. 3 cross and 32 holes, like the others, and the wheels turned out great.

I also laced up a fresh set of Deore DX and Sunsets for the singlespeed white EWR, but I neglected to take pictures of those suckers. I'll snap some when they are on the bike. That EWR is going through some other major modifications too, so the next time I post that sucker is will be a departure from what I've shown before.

SO...M910/Sunsets (2 wheels), Deore DX/Sunsets (2 wheels), Deore DX/222 Blues (2 wheels), and a Deore DX/717. Seven wheels in 2 days. And I'm spent!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fleabay Spoken Here!

That has to be the worst pun ever. Get it? "Spoken" Here?

They're SPOKES!

Specifically 200 264mm 2.0-1.8 double butted spokes and 100 262 and 100 260. That is enough to build 6 sets of 217 Sunset rims into wheels, which will still leave me with 5 spare Sunset rims, and will also prove to everyone reading this that I am, in fact, insane.

The best part of this post though, is the double picture gank. See the picture above is actually watermarked with "QBP", which means its from Quality Bicycle Products' site, and somehow it became part of the auctions for my spokes, and now...indignity of indignity, the poor pic gets crapped out one more time, here.

There is no shame here at Utahdog World Headquarters, Congress of the Americas. None whatsoever. Even as I silently move gobs of wealth from the coffers of the Utahdog corporate empire into my own private offshore accounts in preparation for bankruptcy and my request for a federal corporate bailout. Except that is, for the shame that comes with spending 300 bucks on what amounts to 400 individual lengths of wire.

But then that's to be expected.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

WTB fork part 2 - Solved?

My MTBR conversation continues with the guy that says I need a 440mm fork, so in an effort to be a little more definitive, I'm breaking out the digital angle finder and taking some scientific accurate measurements here in the Utahdog World Headquarters, Congress of the Americas' research lab, (aka, the laundry room).

So, with the 410mm fork, bike facing to the right, seat tube angle is 73.2 and to the left, 73.1

410mm, headtube is 72 and 72.1, again facing east west respectively.

Using my certified accurate fork length adjustment gauge, (a copy of "Field Guide to American Houses") which measures at 30mm, I simulate the length of a 440mm fork, as prescribed by MTBR self proclaimed WTB specialists.

And the results...

70.1 headtube

71.3 seat tube.

The WTB catalog page posted below says the numbers we are looking for are 71-72 head tube and seat tube angles. So actually, my 410 is a wee short, but the 440 would be a wee long, by nearly the same degree error margin, a full degree steeper with the 410 and almost a full degree slacker with the 440.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that my 410 will still stay, because 72-73 is a very standard frame angle measure, and 70-71 would be pretty slack. It also means that the 410 fork stays because nobody I'm aware of makes an off the rack 425mm fork, which would split the difference between my measurements and give the numbers seen in the catalog. 425mm forks exist, though, for example my AMP F1 measures 420, and my F3 measures 430, with no sag on either counts. It also means that cold weather has come to Florida, and I wimped out on riding this morning, so that I could instead eat eggs, grits and coffee with my family, and play with my tools in the warmth of my house. I am a wimp.

Friday, November 5, 2010

From the desk of...

My office playpen...of sorts. What unfinished work do you have sitting on YOUR desk?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

eBay out door

I don't have unlimited storage space here at Utahdog World Headquarters, One Canine Center, Congress of the Americas, so something has to go out as other goodies come in.

Headed for my out door.

AMP Calipers in Red. The red is pretty swank-a-licious.

Of course, I have the three bolt rotors too.

And if you need wheels for that, I have the AMP wheels also. AMP front hub, Deore XT rear with AMP adaptor for the three bolt rotor. Mavic 221 Blue rims. Nice stuff.

AMP front.

And the rear.

And a 31.8 oversize FSA bar that I'm bundling with a Race Face Deus stem. This was from the orange E-Motion. Now getting dusty, so out the door it goes! Watch for it on the flea!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WTB fork solved

After the cryptic responses faded into the background, a helpful member over on MTBR posted up this page from the WTB catalog back in the day. With the P2 I'm using, I've got about 11 7/8" (11.875") bottom bracket height, and according to this sheet (for 1999 non Phoeni labeled frames, but with the same geometry I understand) My 18" frame should have 11.688 inches. My eyesight is bad enough to explain the 0.187" discrepancy, so...consider the "mystery" solved.

The 410 a-to-c P2 is spot on the a 1997 18" Phoenix. Done and done.

And a shot from the previous owner, The Phoenix in a previous life.


Fundamentalism runs rampant in everything...

Now available (for purchase, of course) on eBay... Funny, but I would've thought he'd have more important things to do.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More WTB...

An update of sorts.

I posted some pictures and the story (at least the chapter covering ownership by Utahdog World Headquarters, Congress of the Americas) of this WTB Phoenix, over on MTBR and I got a few little morsels of info, and some typical cryptic remarks.

Apparently this is the last Phoenix ever made, and I am the 4th owner. Both sort of sad observations in their own right. But then again, the future looks bright for the old girl, because I don't sell many frames so it will probably have a home for a good long time.

Another MTBR'er made the comment that the fork looked short, which I don't see as accurate, but I want to give this thing the fair shake it deserves so I thought I'd ask, before I shoot an email to Mr. Potts himself. The frame is suspension corrected, and I have a 410mm a-to-c fork on the thing. Anyone know off-hand what the fork length should be for a 1997 Phoenix? I can't imagine a 440 on the thing, as I think that would make it handle like a bus, but then again, I'm used to EWR geometry which others would consider twitchy. Previous owner ran a yellow Judy SL.

The 410 feels very natural, and I didn't need any time at all to really dial up some speed and put it through its paces in NC two weeks ago. I guess either way, the 410 stays, but it would be nice to know that I'm running the thing as designed. Does the 410 feel right to me even if its too short because I'm used to east coast geometry or does it feel right because its right? The bottom bracket does not seem low.


Friday, October 29, 2010

The Also-Ran auctions

This is what happens after one set of Alteks goes on the flea and sells for nearly 200 bucks. The "also-ran" levers come out of the woodwork. Sorry boys*, there are some issues with your offerings that will keep me looking only...


Silver, the most common color, and already at 130 bucks. probably wont go much higher than that.

More silver. Similar clean but used condition, and the youngest auction...only a day old and only at a buck right now.

And the clunkers of the bunch. Crash damage, faded blue anodizing and a stripped bolt hole means this auction will sit for a while even with the seller offering them for 89 bucks or best offer. Someone will take the leap but it won't be me. There's good parts here, but that is a lot of money for parts.

And what is that one thing that these 3 lever sets don't have that the 200 buck pair do?...RED BABY!!

All pics boosted from respective auctions. Search eBay for 'Altek' if your pants get tight* for silver brake levers and you're fancying yourself as a prospective buyer. Bid 'em up!

* - sexist disclaimer. Most retro wackos are fellas, and in the interests of avoiding an adult tag for the blog, I'm not even about to try to explain in print the female equivalent to tight-pants! You can go find a Lady Gaga video on On Demand cable for that!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Altek RED!

Looky! Looky!

Red ones too! Shown here in the shamelessly ganked auction photo is my new set of ridiculously overpriced brake levers. Not to be too disgustingly blunt pants are tight!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Late October in Tsali - Part 2

Them there trail shots I was talking about. You have to use phrases like 'them there' when describing North Carolina trails.

I took the full rigid Phoenix this time. Matt and Paul and I were joking that we have more EWRs between the three of us than any other group of friends and yet only one EWR was on the trip, Matt's. Paul had the full suspension Ventana.

First day on the trails, just me and Paul. Friday was Right and Left loop, so we started out on the Right and went to it.

I had no idea that yellow and Sunset 217s would match the fall foliage so well. I should be a style consultant.

The view of the Blue Ridge from the trail, away from Fontana Lake.

And toward the lake on the other side of the trail. Water was pretty low this year, but not as bad as last.


Second day was Mouse and Thompson. These two shots are from the same switchback stream crossing on Mouse, the first looking up toward the trail to come and the second looking back where we'd been. Not as many pictures of the second day. More focus on riding instead of photos.

The temperature in the daytime was a nice 70 degrees or so, a welcome change from the freezing temps overnight.