Monthly Archives: May 2015

High Waters

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Today I get to my happy place early only to find someone already occupying my fav bench. So I took a stroll. Its crazy how high the water is. I’ve noticed this last year but the lake seems to still be getting bigger with time. Pretty soon you won’t be able to walk along side the water without getting your feet wet.

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I wonder what the land owners are experiencing? People with expensive houses here had a ton of beach on their property, now the lake comes within 20 yards of their living room window. I remember riding the beach this winter and noticing how much closer we were to the houses.  A ton of people in the park this morn. I guess its game on. Soon I won’t drive down in the morning anymore but ride instead. My alone time out there now put on hold until the end of the summer, when it gets cold again. Then I’ll have the place all to myself. But until then I don’t mind sharing.

Its Thursday. heading into a Holiday weekend. Always a crazy time in a bike store. People showing up at the last minute needed their bike fixed before the weekend. Asking for same day service. We accommodate as best we can but ultimately cant do all of them. Im in the store early to try and stay ahead.

I have a ride window today of noon to 2pm. I will take advantage.

Im not sure what Im up to this weekend. Still too early to tell. But I’ll shoot for five days in a row on the bike with Monday off. Maybe will try and do something special like head up to Door County to ride this weekend. All last minute stuff.

Im thinking I need to ride my MTB more. At least more than the once so far. I’ll give that some thought.

Ive still got some time to figure out my weekend.

DLD

CARBON?

Just the mention of the word and watch an avid cyclist lite up. I have bikes that 90 percent of the bike is that form of plastic. Pretty much everything except the chain, cassette and chainrings. And a few other little tidbits.

Early on carbon was pretty experimental. And early on it was pretty crappy too. Many throw away bikes in those days.

But Im not going to go into the history of carbon fibre.

Im going to comment on the huge amount of its usage in the bike industry. While the cost of this stuff go’s up, the procedure cost of making a carbon bike frame is way down. You can buy off brand carbon frames from China for $300 bucks. Which just kinda takes the allure away. Bottom line is its not high end anymore.

You can buy a very nice Trek Emonda 5, full carbon frame and fork, for $1650 bucks. That same level of bike 10 years ago was $2800 or more

But nowadays, carbon is pretty mainstream. There’s now heavy carbon and lite carbon. Im not an engineer but one would have to think that the heavy carbon is cheaper to make. I think that can be assumed.

So as the carbon bikes get cheaper, they get a bit heavier. So why carbon if its heavy? You can say the ride factor. Less vibration travels thru carbon than aluminum. But that scenario does not apply as much on a MTB as it does on a road bike. You can still get a pretty nice high end MTB that aluminum. And now that thought process is heading to road bikes.

So here’s the new thing.

Trek, and I assume others will follow, is making a high end aluminum frame road bike. The cost of the bike is a bit less than a low end heavy carbon frame, only lighter. Yep, the carbon frames got so lower end and heavy they can build a lighter aluminum frame now. And do it cheaper. Lighter and cheaper in the same sentence.

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Lighter, high end aluminum.

Check out the Emonda ALR

Super duper aluminum $2200 bike thats lighter than a super duper carbon $2600 bike? Could very well be. Have we gone full circle? If they put all the technology back into aluminum will that get lighter than carbon? Certainly the engineers saw that the cheaper carbon was no better than the good aluminum. Does this mean we will once again see aluminum frames with carbon seat stays, like 10 years ago?

On the high end of things, carbon will continue to rule. Good, expensive carbon is light and strong. The high end frames will always be carbon. When you use the high end material with the best production procedures you will always get the best results.

But over the years the carbon production techniques improved and the different levels of carbon grew. The  manufactures were so hell bent on the cheapest carbon bike they let forgot about aluminum.

And here we are, many years later, bringing high end aluminum back with yet again more updated production techniques.

Never a dull moment in this industry.

DLD

Finally

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After muddling thru the weekend, staring out the window at the 70 degree weather for 12 hours yesterday, I finally got a ride in this morn.

Its was 42 degrees, almost 30 less than yesterday, and yes, I froze. But… it was not foggy or raining so I’ll look at the bright side of life today. With all my “winter” stuff packed away I wore everything I had. Still cold. Warmer temps every day this week. Today Im daydreaming a bit…

Im mean, Im looking toward the weekend already. I actually have TWO days off in a row. Both Sunday and Monday. I had planned on a mini trip with the 920 but just no campsites available. And its going to be a bit cold at nite, and I still didn’t pull the trigger on a tent. I really should. But anyway, there will be bike riding to be done.

Cripes, its only Tuesday and Im talking about the weekend.

I have an interview tomorrow for some summer help. A girl. If hired she will be the second girl I have working here. And I gatta say I think that is a good thing. Other bike shops gasp at the thought. I welcome it. I hope things turn out.

No ride for me tomorrow. But I have a bike post brewing for tomorrow. A post about carbon.

DLD

I Give Up

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815am Glorious morning.

What a beautiful morning. What a contrast to the weekends weather. Its not fair. Cold, rain and fog all weekend. This morn 70 and sunny. Look at the pic. At the water’s horizon is the bank of fog that attacked us all weekend.

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closer look at the fog bank. couple miles out.

After some nice rides on Thursday and Friday I woke to huge fog on Saturday, and cancelling all ride plans. Little did I know that just 6 blocks inland was as clear as can be. Stupid lake. East winds had fog at the store pretty much all day Saturday. It would come and go. Either way I was out of a ride.

Sunday was still a bit foggy but not as bad. A little warmer. I got to the store and dressed to ride. Helmet on and walked out to find a pretty good drizzle going on. Ground wet. Dammit. I and another tools around a bit only to complain and pull the plug after 10 minutes. 15 minutes after that the drizzle stops and no rain the rest of the day.

Maybe I just give up too soon. Maybe when the weather seems bad I should ride first before I make a decision. But on days like Saturday my riding window is small and very easy to miss. Hesitate 30 minutes and its gone.

Sunday I had all day. I woke up and even ate stuff thinking today was the day for a 3 to 4 hour ride. When we hit the street it was drizzling to the point where we had to take out glasses off. If we waited just 15 minutes we would have been good to go.

So both days instead I just went home and sat on the couch and ate. So self destructive. What a wasted weekend.

I need to stop giving up so easy. On rides that is.

DLD