Monday, March 30, 2015

Having my shocks serviced by Dan's

I noticed that there was some oil when I touched the pro-pedal switch of my Fox Float RP23 rear shock after the Timberland ride. I can't escape it. I need to have it serviced. So I called Dan's Bike Shop to check their schedule, and I'm happy that they're open on Saturdays.

With only a few shops that are authorized to service Fox suspension, they said that my rear shock will be ready in two weeks. For those with only one bike, that equates to no rides until the shock is finished. Bummer, right? But I have no choice. I need to have it serviced.

"Don't worry," the mechanic said. "That's the standard turnaround time. It can be earlier."

True enough, come Thursday, I got a call from them. The shocks is ready! Awesome!

I was so excited, I picked it up first thing Saturday! They replaced the seals with a better material. The damage is just P1,695. Not bad. To compare, my friend from Singapore had his shock serviced for about P5,000.

When I rode the bike the following day, it felt great. I was finally able to appreciate their propedal platform! Before, when I switch it on, I couldn't tell the difference. Now, I can see that there's less movement so it's stiffer.

Dan's is the official distributor of Fox in the Philippines. Their office is inside the La Fuerza compound at the back of the Specialized concept store along Pasong Tamo in Makati City. They're open Mondays to Fridays from 9AM to 6PM (?) and on Saturdays from 9AM to 3PM. You can call them at +63 2 894-5541. Here's the map:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trying Out Strava

I noticed that I get Strava updates from my friends on my Facebook feed every now and then. I guess some of you with biker friends get the same thing. I get updates from the likes of Edmund Mangaser, who did well on his Tour of Matabungkay debut, to Ferds Faytaren, who did a Batangas - Lipa - Rosario solo loop.

Intrigued, I decided to give it a try yesterday on our short ride in Timberland. After turning on my old Garmin Edge 305 to track my ride, I launched the Strava app on my phone, clicked on the record button, and pedaled off.

I really didn't think about it at all until the end of ride. There was a very faint signal at the Timberland Clubhouse parking area, but I was miraculously able to sync my ride to Strava.

I was only able to appreciate my ride when I got home and saw the results on Strava's website. Check out my experience:

So this is the Strava app. I placed it in my Health folder.

This is the Strava app's launch screen

This is the Record page, where you start and stop your session. It has a big record button to make it idiot-proof.

This is the feed from my friends who also use Strava. That's Mitch Padua's Nuvali ride up there.

This is my ride yesterday. It shows me the total distance, time, and elevation gain from the moment I pressed "record" to the time I stopped it. The segments part is where it gets interesting. 

This is a sample of one of segments of my ride. Someone made it a segment and then Strava measured my performance and compared it to everyone who did the climb. It can also show how I did versus my friends. I'm now in 8th place.

It seems there's an option to upload my Garmin reading to the website. I'll give it a try next time. Overall, I like this experience. It's fun knowing how I did and it pushes me  to be better. On the downside, I might need to bring a powerbank on my future rides as it drains my battery quite fast.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tubeless, finally!

I have a tubeless-ready wheelset (Mavic XM 819 Discs laced up to Chris King hubs and DT spokes), but for the longest time I've been running tubes. It's because tubeless has failed me twice already. Tubeless conversion, to be exact. The first one was when I had the IRC Mythos converted to tubeless using Stan's. That didn't go well. The tire was unseated while I was climbing on an uneven terrain. The second one was with my Kenda Nevegals using Stan's. That was a fail also, mostly because I didn't have a compressor to blast it with air.

This time, I installed the Maxxis MaxxLite UST tires that I got from Agu. Burned from my experience, I didn't take the Stan's route and opted to do tubeless with a UST-certified tire. I followed the mounting instructions available online and didn't use any tire levers, unsure if it would hold air. The first thrusts to the floor pump was frantic as if I was in a porn movie.

Pump, pump, pump, pump!


Pump, pump, pump, pump!

Then the gauge started to go up -- 20 psi, it read. Awesome! The tire is holding air! Catching my breath, I slowed my pace and filled it to a few notches below maximum air pressure.

I was sweaty. I was panting. And it felt so good.

Tubeless, finally!

Time for a ride.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Danny Macaskill: The Ridge

Scottish trials expert Danny Macaskill is back with a new adventure and a bigger set of balls!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Linis-linis din 'pag may time: The Camelbak Antidote Cleaning Kit

Of all the places I was able to find a cleaning kit for my Camelbak, it was in an El Corte Ingles department store in Spain during my holiday. It was refreshing to find such a specialized item in a big department store. In the Philippines, you would have to scour the bike shops all over Metro Manila to find one (if you're lucky). But here, since they do cycling and the outdoors more, it's easily available.

I was fooled by the huge box because inside the Camelbak Antidote Cleaning Kit are just two brushes (one for the bladder and one for the tube), two cleaning tablets, a small hanger (this attaches to the bladder via the quicklink), and a pair of extra bladder clips (?) to make them stay open. That's it. There are no instructions on how to use them, so I had to go to YouTube to see how it's done.

When I cleaned my hydration bladder last night, I realized that the most important part of this purchase is the tube brush. As for the rest, I can use regular household items. With the huge Omega port, I can actually put my hands inside to clean it with a sponge and soapy water. I didn't feel the need to use the cleaning tablets because it wasn't that dirty. I can use hanger with a clothespin to hang it to dry. That's it.

If you're looking for something to clean your Camelbak bladder, you can save up and just buy the brushes instead.

Got tips in cleaning your bladder, share them in the comments sections below.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Schurter sports new Oakleys in the 2014 World Championships

Nino Schurter lost the UCI XCO World Championship stripes this year, but if you watch closely, he's sporting new Oakleys! Nice!

UPDATE: Apparently, it made its short debut in this year's Tour de France with Mark Cavendish. Check out the article on BikeRumor.

The Mavic Trans-Provence Videos

My friend just shared the day one video on Facebook. When I watched it, I was instantly hooked. So now I'm sharing to you guys the same video so that you'll look forward to riding and pushing your limits more this weekend.

MAVIC® TRANS-PROVENCE 2014 /// DAY 0 from Trans-Provence on Vimeo.

MAVIC® TRANS-PROVENCE 2014 /// DAY 1 from Trans-Provence on Vimeo.

MAVIC® TRANS-PROVENCE 2014 /// DAY 2 from Trans-Provence on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wide Handlebar Convert

I'm an old-school mountain biker. I've been riding hardtails since the early '90s, and I've survived believing in some mountain bike norms during my time. One of them is the handlebar width.

Used to riding with my Onza titanium L-bend bar-ends, I was made to believe that the correct handlebar width should be just a tad bit longer (about a couple of inches more) than the width of your shoulder. That's it. Other than that and it gets sawed off. This explains why, during those days, some handlebars come with printed marks to make it easier to cut.

After riding my Intense Tracer VP for about a year, I didn't realize how I different the ride was when I used the hardtail again in our La Mesa ride. More than the harshness when I hit the bumps, it's the narrow handlebar width that made the bike handle differently. It may just be me, but I find flicking the bike on the singletracks a bit harder to do compared to the Intense. Maybe it's the lack of bar-ends that made it feel weird (I didn't install it for this ride). I don't know.

Now, I'm thinking if it's worth the effort in switching my old Truvativ Team flat handlebar with something that's wider and has a more hand-friendly angle. I don't ride the hardtail as much. Maybe I should just save the money for a 27.5.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Hardtail's Back!

I initially transformed the KHS to a touring bike and installed a touring handlebar, a Topeak BeamRack, and a Brooks B-17 saddle. After using it once in a leisurely ride around the Ultra area, and with no epic bike tour in sight (Domeng got sidelined because he suffered a minor stroke), I brought back the Truvativ flat bar, the Specialized Phenom saddle, and the Kenda Slant Six.

I've been riding for more than a year almost exclusively on the fully suspended Intense Tracer VP. I think it's time to go back to my roots and see how different the ride truly is.

Weather permitting, we're riding La Mesa Nature Reserve again this coming Saturday. I can't wait.

p.s., Feel free to join.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Biking in Manila: La Mesa Nature Reserve

Mawie Tadeo working one of the La Mesa climbs

I cannot do a Biking in Manila series without featuring the La Mesa Nature Reserve. This is one of the best places to ride your mountain bike in Metro Manila. Located northeast of Quezon City near SM City Fairview, this dense forest offers 52 kilometers* of singletracks, dirt roads, and fire roads. From beginners to more advanced riders, the La Mesa Nature Reserve has something for everyone.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Revisting Velo City

Revisting the Velo City Bike Shop always brings back a lot of memories. It was here where I bought my first branded frame in 1998 - a 16-inch mango-yellow Cannondale CAAD3 frame. A year after, I upgraded my fork from a RockShox Mag21 to a blue Marzocchi Z.2 BAM, which I got from here. Even my classic Onza titanium L-bend bar-ends was from this store.

Back then, when other bike shops were a dirty and dark hole-in-the-wall operation, Velo City stood out and offered something different - parts were high-end and the place was clean.

I went back to Velo City last Saturday after years of not visiting the area. I went there because of two things - to get myself a new pair of Giro shoes (the Terraduros, preferably), and have my Intense's seat tube fixed after the mecahnic at Extreme Bike Shop tried to use a 30.9 seatpost when it's supposed to be 31.6.

Some of the old stuff were there (the old helmets were displayed in a glass case in front of the store, exposed to the sun), but there were a lot of new ones. I saw the latest Giro and Bell all-mountain helmets, lots of Chris King goodies, weird-looking saddles, and the latest components from Crankbrothers.

The Giro Terraduros weren't available yet, so I got myself the Privateers while I wait. Check it out:

Aside from all the eye-candy, their wrench is, in my opinion, one of the best in the business. Hermie Nocum has been fixing my bike from way back, and he hasn't disappointed me yet. He was able to correct the seattube mistake and I was able to install the correct seatpost size.

If you're interested in going here, they're along Leveriza Street, Cartimar Shopping Center, in Pasay City. Here's the map:
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