Sunday, May 23, 2010

Time for Brake Pad Replacement

I realized that my rear brake pads were already rubbing the rotor on my way back to the parking lot during our La Mesa ride last week. It was a perfect excuse to be at the back of the pack and play the laspag role.

When I checked it at home, I discovered that the pistons weren't clamping on the rotors equally. As a quick fix I just added more micro-shims to correct it. (I'm using International Standard brake mounts versus the ideal Post mounts.)

We were in Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street last night. As the wife browsed through the paperback novel section, I went straight to the sports section and opened a copy of a mountain bike maintenance guide to see how to fix my brakes. I learned that I can actually push the piston back in after removing the pads.

Well, that's what I did this afternoon. True enough, the offending piston went back to original position after pushing it with a flathead screwdriver covered with a rag. After putting back the brake pads and reinstalling the wheels, I pulled the brake levers and realize the it was soft. Slowly, each time I pulled the level, the piston slowly protruded until it finally reached the rotor. This means one thing - my brake pads became thinner over the number of times I used it. It needs to be replaced soon.

Oh well. Maybe I'll visit the bike shop later.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My gloves as our Kitchen Rug

I washed my mountain bike gloves now because I just felt like it. Well, I gotta tell you, it's not a pretty sight. I thought it just needed a little cleaning. Well, after putting it in the wash bin with some laundry soap, the water turned brown that it looked like I was washing the kitchen rug. And to think I wipe the sweat from my face with it. Yuck!

Don't be like me, guys. Wash your gloves regularly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Test of the Tire Gods

It has been a long time since I experienced a flat tire on the trail. I think the last time was in La Mesa also, when I was using the Kenda Klimax Lite tires. Well, the good luck streak ended today.

As we were leaving the kubo (hut) going to Tower 8, I almost crashed when I mounted my bike because my front tire was too soft. At that point I didn't know what caused the leak but I was in a hurry to find out. Everyone in the group was already in the singletrack. What I did was pumped in some air to the tire and rode it, hoping to make it to Tower 8.

To make the story short, I didn't make it to Tower 8. Just a few meters of singletrack to go before reaching the tower, the front tire was just too soft that it was impossible to ride it. I had to do a front tire change.

I pulled out the usual stuff to fix the flat: mini-pump, inner tube and tire levers. After removing the front wheel and taking out the inner tube, I checked the front tire to look for the cause of the flat and found it - nothing but a small thorn. After removing it from the tire, I easily inserted the new inner tube and pumped up the tire to the right pressure.

Fixing a flat tire is very easy if you know how to do it. For newbies who didn't bother finding out how to do this, it might easily be the end of his mountain bike ride and the start of his long hike back to the parking area.

If you're one of these people, here are my tips:
1. Don't be ashamed to ask your riding buddies how to do this. It is way cooler to ask them how to do it now rather than when you already have the flat.

2. The internet is also a great place to look for these how-to videos. Just go to YouTube and do a search. Yes, the internet is more than just porn!

3. Knowing is half the battle. Doing it is the other half. Truly, practice makes perfect. Try it out with your own set-up so it'll be easier for you when the time comes.

Got questions? Maybe I can answer then. Post them in the comments section below or in the guestbook at your right.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mountain Biking in Batangas City with the BMB Legends

It was the country's first automated elections and a three-day weekend. What better way to spend it than do a mountain biking spree with the BMB Legends? I'm registered to vote there, anyway.

Joining me are the usual suspects: Aldrin, Topher and Michael. This time we got a "new" recruit - Alex Papasin! At first we thought he won't be joining because his bike had slick tires, but we egged him to do it.

We had so much fun exploring the trails that we didn't know existed long ago. From Pallocan, we ended up in Ambulong. And as usual, the ride ended in the local panciteria.

Below's the GPS reading of our ride.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ancient Mountain Biking Photos from Batangas

Facebook is such a hilarious social tool. Just now, my friend from Batangas City scanned our circa 1990 pictures, uploaded them and tagged each one of us. This is just too much! And he said that he's not even finished yet. He's looking for my pictures back in 1989 when I still had my Haro bike complete with neon pink Uni disc wheels, Brahma handlebar and bar-end combo and aerobars! I can't wait!

If you're willing to take the trip back with me to memory lane, then check out the pictures below.

This picture was taken at the top of Mt. Banoy, it still is one of the toughest climbs I did because I had to pedal (and walk) on rocks all the way to the top. I was still using my custom-made Tange Ultimate Ultra Strong frame with Spinergy Rev-X-Roks wheels, Rock Shox Mag 21 fork, Continental Cross Country 1.5 tires, Onza CWA bar-ends and Azonic riser bars. Talk about retro! And that's not all! Check out the shades I'm wearing. Those are the first generation Oakley Zero 0.4 sunglasses. Far out!

This was taken in one of the stops of Visita Iglesia. I don't remember the year. All I remember was that I don't feel like biking 90+ kilometers in the summer heat so I chose to do the support car duties instead. That's me with the white Oakley Trenchcoats. I miss those shades. It's just a pity that the frames crack very easily.

These are two separate photos scanned together. The one on top was taken at the Ponderosa Golf Course in Puerto Galera. Duff was still alive then. Note that I'm wearing my blue leggings. The photo at the bottom is us resting on our way to Mt. Banoy.

Again, two pictures rolled into one. The one on top was taken at Tamaraw Falls on our way to Puerto Galera, while the one below is another picture at the Ponderosa Golf Course. My helmet then was a Giro Exodus, which I had to order from Performance Bikes in the US. At that time I was using a Cannondale CAAD3 bike with a Marzocchi Z.2 BAM fork and Spinergy Spox wheels. Those wheels were light but it can't handle my weight. It was squeaking all over whenever I ride it.

Both pictures are taken from Mt. Banoy. Check out the helmet I was using - a teal Giro Helios. At that time, it was one of the coolest and lightest helmets in the cycling. How time flies.

You can see more of our pictures in my Flickr album.
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