Monday, October 31, 2011

Tubeless Conversion Fail

Tubeless Fail
I have a bottle of Stan's tire sealant that's gathering dust in my storage area. I also have a wheelset with Mavic X819 rims that's tubeless ready and a pair of Kenda Nevegals to go with them. I figured I should go for gold and do the tubeless conversion.

I've been trying to flirt with the conversion several times but this time was the first time I was serious. Because this time I had a pail of soapy water. And according to the Stan's site, that's the way to go.

Well, so how did it go? If you're reading the title, you'd know I failed. After pouring about two cups of sealant to the tire and getting the side all wet with the soapy water, I still couldn't get it to hold air. I was pumping like a madman, but I achieved nothing.

Maybe I really need an air compressor to make this happen.

Or maybe I can just take it to the shop and have it converted there.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bike Fit: Flipping the Stem

Flipping the stem
Lately I've been having problems with my shoulders and back when I ride my bike. During our Timberland ride this morning, Agu and King suggested that I flip the stem from a negative to a positive rise.

Now I have to be honest. I'm not a big fan of an upright stem primarily because of the looks. A negative rise stem on a hardtail cross-country bike makes one seem like a bad-ass bike racer, while the opposite screams newbie.

Well, for the benefit of my back, I pulled out the allen wrench a couple of hours ago and flipped the stem to a positive five degree angle. Judging from the pictures, it doesn't look that bad at all.

We'll be riding in La Mesa tomorrow (I love this four-day weekend). I'll find out if my shoulders and back would thank me for valuing substance over style then.

Flipping the stem

Well, I didn't get to ride La Mesa today because King forgot to bring his bike shoes, but I took advantage of the situation and rode around the La Mesa parking area to try my bike's new stem position. Judging from this few minutes of riding from the car to the gate then back up to pavilion, I must say that there's a significant change in terms of my comfort. Of course the true outcome will reveal itself after a few hours on the saddle, but as of now it's very promising.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Maintenance: Servicing the Crank Brothers Eggbeater Pedals

Crank Brothers Egg Beater C - right pedal
When I turned the pedal after lubing the chain yesterday, I knew there was something wrong with them. Maybe it's from all the long rides that I did or from all the power hosing it endured or probably a mix of both. Whatever the reason may be, one thing's for sure -- my pedals weren't turning as smoothly as they should be.

I bought this pair a year ago after I discovered that the wings of my old Eggbeaters were broken during the Livestrong ride. Now, after hundreds of kilometers of riding, these babies are crying out for some lovin'.

Quickly, I searched the internet for a step-by-step way to basically revive my pedals, and stumbled upon Pedal! Damn it!'s Crank Brothers Servicing blog entry. After reading it, I had all the tools needed to do some basic relubing except for the 8mm socket wrench.

I couldn't sleep well last night knowing that I was just a tool away from getting my pedals fixed. I had to get up at around two in the morning to pull out an 8mm allen wrench and remove the pedal from the crank.

I was glad that I was able to pull the pedal out easily. My past pedals felt like they were bonded to the crank when I tried to remove them.

Today, right after work, I went to the mall and got myself an 8mm socket wrench. After treating myself to dinner at Pepper Lunch, I hurried home to start the operation.

After removing the dust cap with a flathead screwdriver, I managed to pull out the bolt that was keeping everything together with my brand new socket wrench. When that was through, pulling out the spindle was as easy as pie. I removed the old grease with a rug and some degreaser, and applied a fresh coat of grease right after. After that, I rebuilt the pedal and attached it back to the crank arms.

I was ecstatic with how smooth it was when I turned it. Maybe I was a bike mechanic in my past life.

Now it's time to ride again!

Love the photo? I took that from Earthmound of Flickr.

Biking in Batangas City: The Tabangao via Dao Malampaya Trail

After last Sunday's cancelled Batangas Ride which brought me to Maarat instead of the city of steaming pancit guisado, I was determined to make take two successful.

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and left Pioneer at about 5:00 a.m. One hour and P306.00 poorer (can you believe that's how much I have to pay in toll fees for just one way?), I was in my hometown. I parked the car at Eric's Carwash at the corner of P. Herrera and Noble streets, geared up, and joined Onad and Davison for a nice morning ride.

After climbing up Tabangao, we made a left turn at the top to a dirt road for some more climbing. This is where our dear friend, Carlito Benoza, used to live. During our afternoon rides years ago, we would see him go down this road on his BMX on his way to work.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Sunday Afternoon with Agu

The plan was to go to Batangas City last Sunday and do some trail riding with Onad and Eric. Since I haven't been there for some time, I guess I was a bit too excited that I wasn't able to sleep. You know how the feeling is the night before the race? It's the same thing. Well, because I was still up at four in the morning, I had no choice but to cancel the ride. Bummer!

At least I was able to salvage the day and managed to ride in Maarat in the afternoon. Actually, I would say that it was a blessing in disguise because the ride was awesome. Joined by Agu Paiso of www.mynextbike.com, we rode the green trail, then down Roxas Boulevard, up to Araneta and back to the parking lot via the main road.

Except for some muddy sections, the trail condition was perfect -- just the right amount of stickiness for your knobbies! Mix in with some sunshine and cool breeze and you've got heaven on earth right there.

On the not so good side, the road to Timberland is still under repair, which means that we had to pass the old way through the city market with all the traffic. That's a major turnoff. I hope they fix that pretty soon.

All the photos courtesy of Agu.

Map of the ride to be posted soon.

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