Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's Your Tire of Choice for Northeast Riding?

There have been some discussions going on in the local forums lately on what's the best tire for local riding so here's my list of favorites for typical rocky, rooty and sometimes wet Northeast trail riding...

Bontrager Big Earl Wet, F and; R, 26 x 2.5
Bontrager Big Earl Dry, F and R,  26 x 2.5
Hands down and without question the Bonty's are still my favorite for local riding. They wear well, grip is awesome in any terrain, they are light for such a big volume tire, and rolling resistance isn't that bad. I love the GumBi compound too, the low rebound gives these tires unbelievable grip at the right tire pressure. Check out the pic below. The tires just conform to the terrain and I have yet to pinch flat. Pressures were 30psi in the pic.
Wow, check out that tire deformation!
The wet version is better than the dry version but only in wet conditions. I haven't noticed any other difference in dry or even moist conditions. They both shed mud well too, that's a huge plus. I've used 2.3's as well but the 2.5's are just more sure footed. Best of all you can find these relatively cheap on ebay or locally. I think I paid $30 for the Dry versions in the 2.5 and they were new. I think Bontrager is discontinuing these in favor of the new lines coming out like the XDX which I hear great things about. I hope they are at least as good as these because I dread the day I will no longer be able to purchase new ones.

Kenda Nevegals, F and R, 26 x 2.3 DTC
I have used the Kenda Nevegals too but my one beef with them is their mud/wet conditions is terrible. I have the DTC version, maybe the other compounds work better...I don't know. The rolling resistance on these are minimal thanks to the ramped center treads and the knobbies really allow you to get the bike leaned over in corners and still hold the line. Also light for such a big volume tire. Right now the set I have are slated to got onto my SS after mud season. They make riding with a rigid fork a bit more bearable. I also run these about 30-35 psi.

Kenda Kinetics, F and R, 26 x 2.6 Stick-E compound
I bought these on a whim. I like the tread design and the compound and the were on sale for $9 each. I had read reviews that some had issues with the sidewalls being too weak and failing. I figured even if they don't last long, no big deal they were cheap. Tire are surprisingly light for a 2.6 although they were slower rolling due to the compound and the big knobbies but that's also why they excel in cornering and grip. So far these have been the best. I didn't have them on the bike long but only because they rolled slower than the Bonty's. I had no trouble with these and they were actually the best big volume tire I have tried in snowy conditions to date. I will probably put these tires on again but maybe not till later in the year. I had these aired at around 35psi.
Riding at the Pine Bush these tires performed really well in the snow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

RIP Race Face...You will be missed!


Did 45 minutes of Yoga from the P90X program at lunch with some co-workers and I learned two things...I am way out of shape and I am about as flexible as a wooden board. I feel great but have a long way to go. I am hoping this translates directly into better performance on my mountain bike.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Icon Soft Brown Stripe by Skullcandy

I've been looking for a set of over the ear headphones for a while but two things were holding me back. One, I already had several pairs of in ear headphones that worked fine and two, I didn't want to drop a ton of cash on something that I may not like. Also many of the headphones I had seen on the market just didn't catch my eye. Some were boring, others were too big. I also wanted something was different, that looked different. I think I found it in the Icon Soft over the ear headphones from Skullcandy. I got an email from The Clymb, they had several versions on sale. I found these and had to have them. I love the color and the name of this version, called the brown stripe, reminds me of mountain biking in the early and usually wet Spring. I paid $13.98 for these and they came with a decal which I affixed to my phone, a black dew rag with gold graphics, and a small template for spray painting the skull graphic on your skate board, bike, or helmet. For the price these are a fantastic deal. Construction looks like quality, they are comfortable, and they look awesome. I'll be using these mostly for listening to music from my phone and thanks too the in-line mic and can use it as a headset too. I also like the nylon braided speaker wire, much nicer than the rubber stuff and is tangle free. Yeah I can't use these while I am rippin' the local singletrack but that's not what I got them for. I'll be stylin' in my cubicle, listening to sick beats while cranking out killer designs from my workstation. Gonna go get some more tunes onto my phone and give these a proper shake down.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Race Face Closing its Doors!?!

Race Face, no longer a maker of delicious bits for your bike.
I first read about this on pinkbike and has been confirmed by several other sources...

Bike Rumor
Bike Biz

There is speculation as to why they are closing but I have not seen any official company statements. I checked their website this morning and it mentioned nothing of the closing.

I have been buying their products for years and I am pretty sure I still have every piece, still going strong too...bombproof. Never owned any of their carbon components but from what I've seen they are top notch. Race Face is one of the reasons I originally bought my Rocky Mountain. I really hope someone picks up the company and continues to produce these beautiful and well designed products. If not they will definitely be missed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making Time on the Trainer Less Painful

I am dyin' to get out and ride. So desperate in fact that I have actually resorted to the trainer in the garage. Luckily, I found that Blue Sky Cycling was having a huge sale on DVD's. I got nine DVD's and each for under $3! This will definitely make the trainer more bearable. I really can't wait for the warmer weather.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New York Bike Law Could Mean Mandatory Licenses and Insurance For the Whole State

"This afternoon, Gothamist points us to a proposal by assemblyman Michael DenDekker, a Democrat from Queens, which would require by law that every bicycle -- not just in New York City, but in New York state -- have a license plate, to be re-registered every year only after an inspection of the bike. A second bill, also in the works, would make it so every rider must be insured and carry identification. The enforcement would mean about $1,875,000 for New York, plus $375,000 every additional year in fees. But that's not the point, lawmakers insist."

I am not sure how else I can put this but its TOTAL FUCKING BULLSHIT! This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. It's just another way for NYS to remove hard earned cash from our pockets. And what about mountain bikes? I don't ever ride mine on the road and this schmuck wants me to insure and register the fucking thing? There is no way I am gonna put a plate on my Rocky...forget it! Can you hear it? The world is once again laughing at us...unbelievable.

Winter is killing me...

I swear I have had enough. No more shoveling. No more snow blowing. No more cold. ENOUGH! I need to ride! Good news though...I found a bunch of mountain biking DVD's on sale at Blue Sky Cycling for less than $3 each! Not really a substitute for riding but it'll help me kill time on the trainer.