Category Archives: fatbikes

Cold\Bike Pumps

Back in the day I used to post here everyday. Not so much anymore but I could. I’ve kinda decided in the past to keep this more of a personal blog. Try not to let any store advertising in. That can ruin things here. I could probably go on forever about stuff I use. I go thru a lot of stuff. I like to try everything. Its a perk of the trade I guess. And Im always curious about new products. I like riding different bikes. Like riding a BMC Roadmachine last summer or the Borealis fatbike this winter. I just like checking things out.

As far as writing everyday it seems I have the time now. Especially now with the temps below zero every nite. Not much riding going on. And its going to stay that way for another week. Store is slow as no one wants to go out in that temp. It doesn’t bother me so much. Im walking on the beach in shorts. I do wear a heavier jacket during these time tho.

I had a ride planned this morn. Was looking like 5 degrees at ride time and I was just happy it was above zero. I had planned to ride with a buddy and was half dressed when he called to say he was under the weather. I had no problem undressing. We will try it again tomorrow although it looks like it will be the the neg tomorrow morn at ride time. Whatever.

So how about a product evaluation today. Let’s talk tire pumps. I’ve had a million of them. Im kinda a bike pump snob. They need to work well. And with the invention of fat bikes I needed another. One that could read single digits. So now I need two pumps. The fat bike pump gauge goes up to 15psi. Then I need a MTB pump that can do 30 to 50psi, then a pump for the road bike over 100psi.

Out with the old.

So I had to carry these two around. Fatbike pump on left, everything else on right.

Sure, I could have just used the normal pump and use a pressure gauge and thats what most do. But I do like the fact the fat pump has more volume. Save a lot of time when your setting pressure out the back of your car in 5 degree weather. And the gauge is super accurate down to a pound. But still, I hated carrying two pumps around.

Enter Pro’s new digital pump. One pump to rule them all. Digital gauge. Super accurate and it has good volume too. One pump for road bike, cross bike, MTB, plus bike and fat bike. There are a lot of nice digital pumps coming out. This Pro and Lezyne are two good ones. Now the same pump can pump up your fat bike to 4 pounds and your road bike to 120psi. These things are expensive. Both mentioned pumps are around $120. Careful, there are cheaper ones available. Im sure they all work nice but the better pumps just last much longer and make sure they are rebuildable. And as I find out lately it works just fine in the sub zero temps.

So here’s the bike pump Im using today and I really like it. It’s in my car 24\7.

Thus endeth the product evaluation for today.

Tomorrow its Friday and I hope to get in a small ride in the morning. We have a dusting of snow on the way. Less than a inch so that might just make the local woods a bit whiter again. Still not enough snow to groom any ski trails and thats a bummer heading into January. I always have big expectations heading into December and Im always disappointed. I look at my ski’s in the store and wonder why I even bother sometimes.

Saturdays group ride is in jeopardy as it looks to be about 2 degrees. Not a lot of people will attend that one. Some of that ride is on the road.

As we head into another Holiday weekend I have another 2 days off. Temp steady in the single digits for highs for the next week. This most likely will be my last post till next Tuesday so have a good Holiday weekend. Get outside. Don’t forget to layer up!


Two in a Row


Its been awhile since I posted two days in a row but I woke at 430 am and could not get back to sleep. So what do I do? Go to work of course. But not before I spent a little time with my freind Lake Michigan. Was a nice visit.

Another thing I need to get back to is some product evaluation. I like to try new things whether its tires, a bike or car rack or whatever. Last week I got the new Rocky Mount Switch Hitter roof rack bike rail. The reason this one caught my eye is the fact that you can mount your thru axle bikes WITHOUT a adapter of some sort. In the summer I mount the bikes on back the car, but in the winter its all op top to help keep the bikes out of the elements and road grime.

In the past I used the Rocky Mount locking adapter and it worked great. But was just another link in the puzzle that needed to be tightened and locked. You need to lock the adapter to the rack to be able to lock the bike to the adapter.

Old School.

Don’t get me wrong. As far as adapters go this is the best. But in the winter I took it off when the bike was not on the car. So it was a double lock, two key operation.


Now with the new mount, I just thread the thru axle thru the mount and tighten.


As far as locking, its got a cable that hides in the rail until needed. Its keyed. Thule does not have this.


As far as thru axles, its got you covered with 15 by 100, 12 by 100, 15 by 110 for all you boost fans and of course 15 by 150 for our fatbikes. And its got a quick release 9m sleeve for all you old school riders. To change the axle sleeves you just pop off the front plastic cover and need a #4 allen. Takes about 3 minutes to change.

I’ve used it twice now and its good to go. I will get another for the other side soon. Its gotta be all matchy. I do have one complaint. DSCN5744

The rear clamp is odd the the side of the rail. So I can’t clamp the rail to the utmost outside of my cross bar because it hits the mounting tower. So for now the rail has to be mounted to the inside of the tower as opposed to the outside that my old Thules bolted on to. I like my rails as far out as I can get them. Just easier to lift the bike up and attach. I think what Im going to end up doing it bump the cross bars over a couple inches so I can mount one on the outside one and then one on the inside. The outside one will be drivers side and the one I use mostly.

Im sure there are other roof rails coming soon just like this. Of course Thule has a nice one. Almost $50 bucks more per rail. This is cheaper, simpler and has almost no moving parts. The Thule thru axle clamp system Im sure works nice but it looks like it was designed at NASA. There’s a lot to go wrong there.

And who knows… maybe I will get one of those to try out sometime. But for now its this one. For now.


Tues Nite Ride

Morning after nite ride.

Another successful Tues nite ride in the books. 12 bikes, two groups. One casualty.   One unlucky guy had a stick all up in his rear derailleur. And the stick decided to take the derailleur with it. Bummer. It was a new bike…

Being about 40 degrees at ride time made it a comfortable ride. The temps are set to plummet in a few days. It is November in Wisconsin. We are on borrowed time in that respect.

We have done 3 of these nite rides and each time Ive had a different light on my head. Started with a Niterider Lumina 750, then to a Lumina 800 (which I think is the same light) and last nite I had a Portland Design Urban 800. The PD is a lighter lite but not as bright as the Lumina I think. But it seems that because the PD spreads the light out a bit more. More of as flood than a spot. All the lights run about 150 bucks.

Im a winter guy as much as summer so Im waiting patiently for the snow. In the 10 day forecast (which I look at everyday now) there is colder temps and some snow. Nice! In my mind (and on paper) Im planning my winter getaways. Marquette and Hayward\Cable on my mind. Door County too. Skiing up there is fun.

Todays trip to the ol’ happy place was a busy one. The sun was out so I left the house early. The sun is still kinda high enough overhead to warm you up a little in the cold. The beach is still a warm walk then.

There was a ton of people in the park this morn. That will not be the case when its 10 degrees out. I’ll have it to myself and thats fine by me.


Yesterday I saw a eagle during my visit in the same tree that I first saw them in 2008. They like it for some reason. As temps turn cold and the inland lakes freeze up they will be a daily sighting along Lake Michigan.

Today in the store I will take inventory of bikes and fill in the holes for Christmas. And then most likely not order bikes until February unless I sell one thats not here.

Then its game on for ski’s and snoshoes. This winter Im bringing in a new product. These things called crampons. You strap them to a shoe or boot and they have spikes underneath. They are very light and used for winter hiking where you don’t need snoshoes.

Right now is the slowest time of the year. Besides all the fatbike stuff nothing else is really happening. For the fatbikes, I have already sold about half of last winter. The Treks are sold out and Im waiting for the 9zero7’s and Felts.

It just seems nobody can get delivery dates right. Treks came out early but as expected did not make enough. They could have almost doubled their numbers there. But its not just them. Pretty much everybody except Surly. Pugs and such are available year round.

I know of many dealers that are bringing in Surlys Ice Cream Truck to fill the gaps and maybe thats what I will do but the mainstream buyer just does not want a steel frame. Everyone wants a 30 pound fatbike under 2k. But those models are sold out.

I’ll talk more on this fatbike availability stuff later. Very frustrating.


The Report


Guess I’ll take a break for all that history stuff. Maybe more on #TBT.

The weekend report is a pretty good one. Saturday I got out with the group. They spent some extra time on the woods so I followed them on my cross bike. Still, the cross bike is pretty much the greatest bike in the world to ride. Once out of the woods its all road and thats where it helps me stay in the peloton of MTB,s.

But it was cold. Just under freezing for the first time and as usual I dressed wrong. It usually takes me about three rides to get the layers right. I was under dressed and cold. But it was tolerable.

Also, I had a first on that ride. For the first time my Di2 went into low battery mode. The chainring moves to the small and stays there. You only have the cassette to shift. I then realized I never charged it out of the box two months ago. And of course never check it. My bad.

I noticed that the front derailleur does not auto adjust either when that happens. When I was on the bottom of the cassette the chain was rubbing in front. Pretty loud. That was a bit annoying but understandable. Once I got back it charged up in less that two hours and this charge will most likely take me to the point where I’ll sell it.

Sunday was a smallish ride on the Farley. It was one of those lazy days where you just get up and lumber around the house. Around noon I decided to grab the bike and just tool around awhile. These are pretty much the best rides. Looking around, stopping to look at stuff. iPod in my ears. Sun is out. Good stuff.

Sunday was way warmer than Saturday and I did dress right for that.


This morn was even warmer yet. Had a nice stroll on the beach with a tshirt\no coat. The days are numbered to do that. Maybe even the single digits. I still want winter to come quickly but there are times I could be talked out of that. This morn was one of those times. I haven’t looked at the extended forecast yet but I hear next week is going to be the end of this. I’ll enjoy it till then and plan a ride before the store opens tomorrow.