Monday, February 28, 2011

From The Builder: EP Cycles Fat Tire Prototype

With great honor, I, Eric was asked to do a write up on the bike.  This is my first blog posting, so go easy on me. :)

It seems as though it has been forever since we originally discussed the fat tire build and now the dreams are finally a reality.  I finished fabrication Friday morning and quickly brought it over to the paint booth to throw some self etching primer and a nice satin red paint on it so I could start assembly right after work at 3:00.  I got about halfway thru assembly on Friday before the girlfriend started requiring more attention, so I put the tools down until the morning.  I woke up early Saturday due to an inability to stay asleep so i went to finish the build and take a quick shake down ride.  Everything seemed to go pretty well with the assembly, and with the exception of 2 things I am very pleased.  The first is the fork.  A minor/major detail was overlooked when purchasing it.  Apparently Salsa uses a REAR 135mm ss hub with a FRONT disc mount(IMHO two thumbs down). We have a FRONT 135 hub and the rotor flange is located just under 1/8" further outboard, and although it's kinda irritating, we do have a few options. 1: No front break for now(which is what I did and liked) 2: Cut the mount off and relocate it(which is what I will eventually do) 3: Switch to a Fatback fork(Which we will probably do for the future builds).  4: Switch to a rear hub for the front(which we will definitely NOT be doing).  The second issue is with the front derailleur.  It functions great but is way too big for what we need.  I'm thinking of going to a small road d that I can modify to work better.  There are many options here too.
I made it out for about 2 hours on Sunday and let me tell you, this thing is amazing. I couldn't help but smile and laugh the entire time.  I've been mountain biking for some 20 years and must say this thing is the most enjoyable bike I have ever ridden..... by far!
Running all 3 internals in the down tube was crazy but I think the results are exceptional.
 I picked up some red single speed chain ring bolts from Dennis which I think was definitely the right move.
 I really like the look of the internal housings, but I love the way the rear brake housing just lines up perfectly with the brake.  It was no accident, it was not easy, and it was way worth it!!
 The seat post clamp that I got down at the bike swap for $1 was just a bit on the big size so I appropriately made some aluminum shims for now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I tell Ya

I am sure most have heard, "The younger generation, I tell ya."  Well, let me use today's write up to tell you about just some I know.

 The first lighting system Eric put together 2 years ago which I have put a lot miles on and still use.  This year Brandon has an improved version.  The picture above is of the DIY lighting system put together by Brandon.  These have machined aluminum housing with the weight strategically reduced. This system uses 20 watt halogen bulbs and has a battery life of 2.5 hours for each pack.  Did I mention these are blinding bright.  They work well. 

This is the handlebar version and it weights in at a shade over 10 ounces including the housing, light, switch and mount.

And this is the helmet version.  This little beauty is only 4 oz.  Also the remote battery packs are nice and light coming in at 14 oz.  The combination of the battery packs with the halogen bulbs make this a very nice lighting system.

The big tire frame is coming along nicely.  Jeremy and Chris are CNC machine specialist.  They have been helping all the way along with fixture and frame parts.  Carbon fiber fenders are also in the works and I am here to tell you, even though they cover a very big tire, they are very very light.  Jeremy has already manufactured some and they are going to be sweeeeeetttt. 

I have mentioned that Eric is the designer and welder of the big tire frame.  Here he is doing some polishing.

With in a week, the proto-type will most likely be completely built and ready to ride.
Man, this younger generation...I tell ya! !

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I decided to get some practice in to prepare for my upcoming  early retirement, so I took a half day of vacation and went for a 2.5 mile snowshoe.  Things went well...I may be able to handle it.

It has been unseasonably warm here as of late with today around the 50F mark.  Snow///ice was melting from under this abandon Moose River bridge.

I crossed the Moose River and walked up along the St Croix River.

This is a hole the River Otter has kept open.  I went by a lot of these today.  I have more pictures of them that are more recent with fresh tracks, but I liked this picture, so this is the one we put in. 

I took 51 photos today and have loaded up some. 

Ice flows in Scotts Rapids

The wood peckers have been busy along the river.

My tracks along the river

River Otter tracks.  They run...and slide.  I didn't see them doing this today, but I have witnessed it.  Kind of neat to see.

Some of the ice was falling in today.

A lot of roots here...shallow roots

I blogged about this place one other time.  Click here if you wish to see that one.

One of the summer residents of this old cabin.  It is no longer occupied by the human.

At about 1.25 miles up along the St Croix River from the West Mail, I hit the North Country hiking trail and followed that most of the way back. 

If even some of these retirement days are like this one...oooohhhhh man!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sidi Trial

It was in October that I ordered some new Lake MXZ302 winter biking shoes.  Notice these aren't them.  They were due to deliver middle of November...then middle of December...then two more weeks they will be shipped and they will not be getting any in the size I ordered, so OK, I'll go up one size, might be better anyway and they will ship at the end of the week...NOT ! !  I finally ordered a pair of these, the Sidi Diablo GTX.  I tried them out today and they worked great at around the 30F mark for an hour and a half and I am sure they will be comfortable in temperatures much colder  because I allowed room for two pair of woolies. 

Very nice day to ride. 

It snowed most of time and some of the roads I rode today were free of tracks.  I changed that.  I always like leaving bike tracks in fresh snow.  It gives people something to talk about, as if I don't already give'em enough to talk about.

Eric has been busy with the big tire builds... frame with the Brandon/Eric heat sinks still installed. 

The frame is getting ready for the chainstays next.  They are cut, fitted and ready to go on in a couple days.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Build Update

The big tire designing and building is on going.  There are some really cool things happening, such as these killer dropouts.  These are the same dropouts used on the Civia Bryant.  They are designed so you do not need a split frame if you wish to run a belt drive.  They also are designed with an interchangeable dropout section so that a person may run it horizontal or vertical to accommodate single or multi-speed, which ever your current drive lust may be.  This means that by easily changing the drop out you have the capability of belt drive, chain drive, internal multi-speed hub or a chain cassette, single speed...hell, run it fixed if that's what you want.  You get the idea.  This bike will also feature a chainstay mounted disc brake for even more coolness.    

This is a photo of the head tube and down tube.  If you notice the little holes, they are for the internal cable routing.  The intended cables for use on this one will be the Gore Ride On sealed version.  Very nice cables indeed.

The cables will exit near the bottom bracket where this down tube will be so expertly attached.
PS...just got news the front triangle was tacked up today.  It will not be long before all the pieces come together :-)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Beautiful Mid Winter Ride

I had a stroke of good luck today...the tire was flat while still in the garage and not out on the road.  The front hadn't lost any air but the back lost 65lbs overnight.  Turns out the tube had an un-repairable  leak next to the stem.  The rubber is quite thick where the leak was so it must have been operator error somewhere along the line.  So before today's ride it was throw in a new tube time.  Better at home than on the road in the cold...and very possibly could have been dark also, as a lot of my winter riding is during the hours of darkness.  Today's pictures are again from the cell phone and are a bit fuzzy, but I may have figured something out.  I carry that thing in my front jeans pocket all the time and after I loaded the crappy pics up again this time I looked at the phone.  I will say there was a bit of dust and lint hanging around in the places there probably shouldn't be any if want to take pictures.  

The above pic is of the driveway of our local golf course, Gordon Pines.  It may be a while before they are ready to open.

Most of the roads were in this condition today, which is perfect for studded tire riding.

There was very little traffic today.  I think people may have been staying home resting up for the Super Bowl game, as there are a lot of Green Bay Packer fans in this area.

The temp was around the 25F mark as I left this morning.  I rode 21+ miles of snow covered  roads that were in perfect winter riding conditions.  We have been busy most weekends, so it was nice to get and ride during the daylight.  Very good time.