Nice ride today right from my laneway. Rode some trails and abandoned roads in and around town. The fat bike is also in full winter mode now, 2x10 driveline with a snow crushing 22x36 low gear. Just need some snow, although if we don't get any I won't be heart broken.
This new subdivision has been being built for years now. Each year there is less cornfield and more houses creeping closer to the woods. I suspect that eventually these trails will be bulldozed and made into more houses.
The first piece of "Bric's Ultimate Bike Build" has arrived. A good old Lefty MAX 140. A lightweight, easily modified, coil sprung fork in need of some love. I got it for a song so I can't complain about it needing some work. Rebuild is going to be cheap anyways.
Some people get nervous ripping down suspension components, especially Cannondale's proprietary Lefty fork. Not me. Bring that shit on. Having rebuilt my fair share of motorcycle and dirtbike forks over the years makes this stuff seem like a breeze.
Started with this oil leaking mess.
An hour later I'm looking at this.
Internals are in good shape, needle bearings are good as well. Its going to need a seal kit and the foam isolator on the rebound damper shaft. I'll grab the appropriate spring for my weight as well and some decals to return it to its original glory. I'll also need a steerer tube adapter but need to sort out what headtube I'm going to build my frame with. One step at a time.
The perfect bike.
Does it exist? I once thought that my 26er hardtail was the perfect bike for me. Then my 26er FS bike, then my hardtail 29er, then my fat bike. Its hard to say what the perfect trail bike is, especially given personal preference and riding style, terrain, etc. This year I found myself riding my fat bike all year when my aluminum 29er cracked. I got a warranty replacement after a bit of debacle which sat in a box for a while while I happily continued to ride fat. I ended up selling the brand new warranty frame with my fork and some other bits so I could afford to build a nice set of 29er+ wheels for the fat bike.
The 29er+ wheels did not disappoint. Lighter than full fat and faster rolling. Retained SOME of the cushion of the fat. Grip was great for summer conditions at the ever sandy trails of Turkey Point. Hmmm, could this be the perfect bike for me? Whats not to like? The fat bike was built for snow, longer chainstays and lower bb meant stable and predictable. With the 29er+ wheels it was still stable and predictable just a bit quicker.
I began to think...... a 29er+ bike with a suspension fork, shorter chainstays, proper bb height, and better gearing might be my "perfect bike". I built the bike in my head.... 80-100mm travel, 2x10 drivetrain, 435mm chainstays (I loved my Scout 29er with 433 chainstays, holy shit it was fun), 83mm bb shell, 150 x 12 mm rear, 4130 cromo double butted frame fillet brazed, 30ish lbs weight.
A guy can dream right? No one makes this bike, and 29er+ is so niche I doubt anyone will, especially with the 650b+ offerings coming out for "summer fat" and no problems fitting in a 29er suspension fork. Suddenly I saw the light. It was a 'field of dreams' type moment. The voice in my head said "build it, then ride the shit out of it".
All I can say right now is that bikecad has been busy lately and tubing has been specced. The torches are waiting to be refilled and my brazing stock is being looked at. Parts are being stockpiled. I have not built a frame since 2009 so it will be nice to get back into the swing of it. Mitering, filing, brazing, measuring. Mans work, no mulling about what frame to order and what compromise I'm willing to take.
Looks like 2015 will see the first ever "BricWerks" bike roll out of my garage and onto a singletrack near you. I'll leave you with some photos from my 2009 frame build just the whet your appetite.
Damn cold again this morning. Decided to treat myself and change it up from my usual TP ride and hit up Hardy Rd Trail in Brantford. Dirt was frozen solid and fast.
The ride from the truck to Powerline Rd along the rail trail was cold but once I descended into the flood plains along the Grand River I was sheltered from the cold breeze. The cliff side section from Powerline to under the 403 was littered in downed trees, one that was particularly large and hard to get around because of the cliff side.
There is some interesting plant life along this trail in the summer months, but it grows over pretty bad and is unrideable from June to October. There has been Giant Hogweed spotted out here too, which is dangerous stuff. Lots of Poison Oak as well in the underbrush. I avoid this trail in the summer months.
The trail is also home to some pretty old growth trees along the Grand River, this one is the biggest I've spotted. I wonder how long its been here.
There are some cool structures along the trail as well, passing under the 403, various storm sewer drains into the Grand, an old fire department water water hook up, and the "hut". This building has been on this trail for as long as I can remember but has recently collapsed. Here it is today, and about 10 years ago.
Good ride today at TP. Was freakin cold. I didn't bother to stop and take any pictures but the trails are A1 and the dirt is frozen. Its like brown asphalt out there. Played around with the tire pressures on the full fat today as well. What a difference 1 psi makes, bike feels much more nimble and rolls faster. I'm guessing that part of the problem is my cheap ass inaccurate pressure gauge. I need to see Russ at Outspokin Cycles to grab one of those sweet 0-30 psi gauges he showed me.
I also need some heavier tights, mine are a little thin for the below zero degrees stuff. Time to see who has what on sale right now. I need warmth but the kids gotta eat first.
Nice morning ride to check things out after the wind storm we had. Just a few downed trees that the TPMBC trail gnomes already took care of.
Trails are in fantastic shape right now, East Side had a little bit of tack in a few corners from last night's rain. West Side was pretty slick and I ended up skipping most of it taking West Ridge and bailing onto Planet of the Apes.
Last few rides on the fat tires have felt slow and sluggish, I guess the 29er+ wheel format is growing on me. Maybe time for a custom dedicated 29er+ bike? Got enough parts in the bin if I build the frame myself.
Good ride overall.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.