Thursday, March 29, 2012

For $1,600, Fish On.

By: Rolling Hall

Two Hump Bikes ago we asked if you'd kick down the coin to ride a vintage Giant; and 'Friends with Benefits' took the majority vote. Sufficient for careless socializing or a good romping when the SO's being a crazy ass bitch, the Red Sled would make a legit addition to any two-wheeled horde. Today's Hump Bike keeps the rigid and Taiwan-built theme rolling, but is its asking price too fishy?

Fishers have a rich history of clever marketing and bold claims, and today's fully customized, used Trek Bicycle Corporation Gary Fisher Collection Sawyer (really Trek, really?) embodies just that. Fisher once claimed to have invented the mountain bike and pushed hard for acceptance, even going so far as to falsify a build:
"…Gary Fisher paraded a bike that he claimed was the first mountain bike, but it was easy for Frank Berto to show that many of the components were not yet available when the bike supposedly was built. Gary Fisher admitted that it was a replica loosely based on the long-lost original…"
He did start a company called MountainBikes, and he was part of an off-road cycling movement during the late 70's, but he did not invent the mountain bike.
A similar story goes for his brands marketing of 29er wheels. They were an early adopter, but by no means the first company to use 29in wheels. Their early marketing, however, would lead one to think otherwise. They did, in fact, ride the 29er wave like pros. Aside from failed, I'm-first claims, the Tweed Tool has contributed to putting mountain bikes into the hands of countless riders. For that we're forever grateful and today's Hump Bike continues to do just that.
Looking to cash in on niche styles, the Sawyer sports the clean lines of a NAHBS piece and early mountain bikes, but forgoes the progressive, passionate, and hard work of custom builders in favor of cheap Taiwan labor. Like mainstream fixters, the Sawyer looks to prey on PBR-fanboys. Tatt's? Check. Cool facial hair? Check. Custom, hand-built mountain bike … no? Well, check off that box with this 'custom' Sawyer!
So, what makes this mass produced mountain bike custom? It appears this Fisher's been the fine recipient of some bolt-on upgrades -- qualifying it as custom. (We were hoping for some custom, trippy paint … but, we'll have to keep wishing.) According to our seller, Bontrager-branded DT Swiss wheels, XT drivetrain components, and a Ti Brooks saddle make this Sawyer custom.
It's pretty apparent the seller fell victim to the shiny bits under the glass counter at the Bike Shoppe, like a large mouth falls victim to a spinner. The seller doesn't state why the Sawyer's being returned to the pond -- only that it has about 50 miles on it. Maybe the missus didn't like the tatt's and soul patch, or the sleeveless flannel and cut-off jeans rubbed him the wrong way on the first ride.

Either way you can purchase a Trek Bicycle Corporation Gary Fisher Collection Sawyer with a warranty for $1540 from a Trek Concept Store or catch this 'custom' Sawyer for $1600. So, what do you think, is the seller a master baiter? Or, is this a fish that's worth riding?

Let us know if you think:

 something's fishy … I'm not going down on that.


Reel it in, she's a keeper.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bike Tech of the Week-New Patents

More signs of spring include a slew of new patents, including several by the bicycle heavy weights.  First up, for you freeride and DHy types, Big Red has a new chainstay guard:
Patent 8,132,824 discloses a bicycle chainstay protector invented by Brandon Sloan, Joseph Buckley and Robert Egger and assigned to Specialized. The '824 stay protector resiliently engages the stay and comprises a body member including a resilient material adapted to resiliently engage the stay, meaning it clips on. It includes a molded image and a guard member that has a different hardness than the resilient material of the body member. I'd like one for my SX Trail.

Next up, a crank mounted shaker/slider generator (think flashlights and auto winding watches) which feeds a pedal mounted light:

Patent 8,132,945 discloses a lighted bicycle pedal invented by Doug Lunde. The '945 invention employs a magnetic component moving slidably inside a tubular structure housed in  a bicycle crank. When the bicycle crank rotates, the magnet slides back and forth through the magnetic coil generating an electric current that is used to power an LED at the pedal end. No provision for a USB port.

Even though this is a reissue patent (clarifying a prior application), this combo motor/battery wheel has some market potential for ease of retrofit or hot swap (think fleets):
Patent RE43,232 describes an electric wheel motor invented by Alexander Pyntikov and Mark Benson and assigned to Matra Manufacturing & Services. An electrically powered vehicle has a motor, controller and power supply contained within a wheel compartment. It features a stator frame coupled to the axle through bearings, with the inside of the stator frame housing the power supply and controller circuitry. A plurality of electromagnet stator segments are mounted on an outer surface of the stator frame and the inner surface of the rotor frame with an air gap between. Batteries surround the outer surface of the rotor frame forming a supporting structure for a vehicle tire. Remember all that rotating mass theory?..I'd imagine these would be good for utility crowd.

Not one to be left out on the bike electronics front, Shimano has developed a BB mounted force sensor:
Patent number 8,117,923, Bungo Sasaki, assigned to Shimano shows a bicycle bottom bracket force sensor. A strain gauge on the crank axle bearing is mounted perpendicular to the rotation axis of the crank axle. In one embodiment it is shown embedded in the drive-side bb cup.  Is this an attempt to compete with SRM or is it designed to support electric bikes?

Not to be left out, Trek has been granted rights to an asymmetric steer(er) tube:

Patent 8,128,112 discloses a bicycle with asymmetric steerer (their spelling, who knew) tube, invented by Steven Moechnig and assigned to the Trek Bicycle Corporation.  The bicycle steerer tube assembly has an oblong asymmetric cross section with a first diameter that is generally aligned with an axis of rotation of the front wheel and a second diameter that is generally aligned with a plane of rotation of the front wheel. The first diameter is greater than the second diameter and provides lateral stiffness to the wheel assembly and the second diameter accommodates longitudinal impact absorption of the fork and wheel assembly.  I'm not so sure that dividing up the steertube functions along 2 axis is a good idea, especially at the transition point between the ovoids, but I'll leave it to Fabian to test the theory.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hump Bike- Sled Sled

You may have seen this bike out on the Utah DH race series, or maybe up at the Canyons, or over in Boulder City doin' some preseason tuning but, you were probably most likely to see this bike on the Bobsled.  It's owner, Demi, is an Aves local who likes to send it. Look for this aqua and white flash as you carve the sled this spring.

So this sled is a Yeti 303 DH v1, I have to put the v1 there because v2, in carbon, even, is due out soon.  The v2 bike is totally different. This 303 is a sled with its shock rate entirely linear. No rocker arm, swing link, or arcing frame member controls the shock:

Rather, the shock is driven by this shuttle and rail system in line with the spring. Pure linear.  Want to know what a coil spring feels like? Ride this bike:

BB and head angle are adjustable via the lower shock mount.  Lots of hydroformed and machined aluminum. Interesting mounting blocks that connect the swingarm to the shock driver:

Triangulated swingarm and shock driver assembly. Code brake and DT Swiss wheel are strong and reliable:

Lookin at the cockpit, it is wide and low, kids these days.  The Fox 40 in white nicely compliments the white rear triangle:

This sticker says something about all-moutain use only:  Being the favored child, Demi gets special stickers and mods:

Sram, DT Swiss hubs, corncob cassette and giant rotor, must be a DH bike:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cool Tools- Magnic

Kickstarter has hope all over it.  Lately a couple of bicycle products caught Fahzure's eye.  The Jiggernaut is a great solution for the hobby frame builder, especially working with composites or bamboo. But, Bike Tech of the Week comes in the form of the Magnic an inductive power system with no losses to friction.  Paramagnetics...Wow!:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hump Bike- Taking a Giant Hump or Dump

For $95, is this Old Skool Giant Too Cool?   
By: Rolling Hall

Enter Your Vote>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What's dressed in red, sports a perky rack, and shifts smoothly?  Up for purchase is a Giant MTB that appears to have seen little use in its hometown of Sprawlsville, UT.:

Its manila-mo owner probably rode it around the cul-de-sac once, explaining why this ferrous frame hasn't returned to base elements. It's an LBS-notch above 80's-department store quality, and for close to the same price, after taxes, you could buy this four-and-a-quarter star POS. So, with that monstrosity as a gauge, would you hump this Giant, or dump it?:

At first glance, the NICE NICE NICE upright riding position might look tempting. It'd provide a lucky cyclist with a commanding view of populated streets. But, unfortunately upon further inspection, the quill stem is mounted at a ready-to-snap height. We'd advise lowering it a bit, unless you'd prefer an impromptu introduction to Terra Firma (no, not the exotic dancer you perv). That's a quick, costless fix, and the rest of this red-sled doesn't appear to need any more coin tossed at it to get going on your first Giant adventure.
Inside the ad's beehive-edjumacated listing, the seller claims this bicycle is 'weighting' for a person who loves 'out doors adventures.' We're pretty sure he intended to type outdoor adventures. And given the undeniable reliability and serviceability of thumb shifters, a Shimano drivetrain, and cup n' cone hubs, we wouldn't hesitate weighting the rack with camping gear to spend a weekend exploring the White Rim.:
On the stopping end things, (my God, he didn't mention breaks!) this Giant pile piles on mediocre power with a canti front brake and rear U-brake. While it's adequate stopping power to cruise rail trails with your most precious possession rolling along in a child seat, that stealthy U brake hidden under the chainstays wasn't a high point of slowing ATB's. Early mountain bikes favored this brake and location because its low-profile shape provided ankle clearance with a shorter actuation cable. Unfortunately, the more powerful, easier-to-adjust, and less affected-by-mud canti's would hang out too far from the seat stays. They'd snag stone-washed jeans and hit rider's calfs and ankles when getting rad -- not cool.
The seller of this particular 'smooth shifting' 21-speed beast (we're willing to bet he hasn't shifted a modern drivetrain yet) claims that massive saddle is brand-spanking new and 'confy' – by which we are assuming he means comfy. And that's a good thing when the only filter between you and your Giant adventures is foam grips and pinner 2in-wide tires.
The price is 'fi,' whatever the fu that means. So, for 19 five-spots do you see yourself leaning this retro-ride outside Alta's Peruvian? (A pair of Black Widow tele skis strapped with used tubes to the rack, of course.) Or is this 'classic' better off donated to the SLC Bicycle Collective to fulfill its two-wheeled talent fetchin' forties and blunts from a corner mart?

You decide!
Hump it: That's a NICE NICE NICE price!
Dump it: That price is Fu…

See the poll on right sidebar

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bike Spot-15th and 15th

You may be aware of some of the local bike spots like, 21st South and Trax, with Cam Wood's BMX specialty shop, The Bicycle Collective and the soon-to-open Performance Megastore (!). 90th South with the soon-to-open Scheels (hear that Trek dealers?), Highland Drive and 9th and 9th have a bit of this going on, as well. The latest hotspot may be the 15th and 15th neighborhood, with the newly open Beehive Bicycles.  Look for the Applesque (or is it The Hive?!?! with their Chub Design theories) logo with fat and funky bikes in the window:

Fat bike and low-voc parts washer:

Owner Greg Steele is reaching out to niches by being open on Sundays and promoting brands such as Boo:

Thousand dollar truing stand:

After an introduction from Rolling Hall, I was curious to go across the street to the 15th Street Gallery, where Steve Smock, wrench turner at Really Competitive Cyclist, shows off his creative side with a supersized photorealist exhibition of bike parts.  Huge canvases show accurate machining and detail of bike components, even the individual cuts on a modern mirror finish cassette (click to enlarge):

The background collage/tech manual detail is amazing, too:

While I appreciate these works for their precision, attention to the mechanical and their expression of utility, I can also Imagine that some folks have a more Rothko approach searching for meaning in that which is abstract and unfamiliar.  Consider it an opportunity to take someone out, without a strong fondness for components (maybe sitting across the table from you), and see what your takeaways on the art are.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bike Swap at the Fairpark

Well, by now, you know two things: 1. Fabian, yet to peak, from a small group at 10K, crushed them, like he crushed rock, in heroic form, on Strade Bianche;  2. The Bike Swap is over.  Here's what you might have seen or missed. There were a number of $300ish late seventies/eighties road bikes.  This one was the most novel, an Urago mass production:

A welded by Kieth Bontrager for $800.00:

Farari Bianchi's for sale:

Betty Boop did not sell for $265:

This Yeti 303 was interesting, but hella heavy and not that great a deal at $3200:

Sly Folks, Sly Fox, fistfulls of cash:

This is a video of Iltis not buying it at the Bicycle Collective table; which is hilarious, because otherwise he can't stop giving. This man puts out gives a lot to Utah cycling:

Fahzure, always slow, went down to A Putt in electric bike slicktrack oval racing:

Because it had all of the right markings: vintage, mixte, cool paint, I thought this bike was going to be best of show:

But alas this bike, like the Betty Boop, was priced at about $300, lacked much of its original equipment and posted later model add-ons and components of a down-grade quality. On the other hand, here was a $750, nearly stock Kona Stinky with everything in dirty, but working order. Start a DH lifestyle for under $1000 (it'll need a little work) with a dependable, fun bike. Freeride! Best of Show:

So, while there were a few opportunities, the problem with this year's swap lies in the fact that the pickings were particularly thin on the used front and traffic was slow. The people did not come out, especially those looking to get a deal on a new bike. More than a couple of vendors probably didn't cover their booth cost. The Bicycle Collective, who registers bikes for free at the event, only stickered about 45 bikes.  Let's hope that weather, the North Temple reconstruction and $5.00/gal gas conspire for a busier swap, next year.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Choice Is Yours- Best MTB Shuttle Vehicles

The Choice Is Yours-our weekly feature where we take the best responses from Monday's You Must Choose and polish 'em up to show off. Monday we asked for your opinion on what the nastiest MTB DH Freeride bike shuttle vehicle is. Here are some of your answers with a little analysis by Fahzure and Rolling ( Kid in D') Hall:
Suggested by: Brian
Why it's a worthy shuttle vehicle:

Brian sums it up pretty good, "Swiss surplus Pinzgauer. Simple 4-banger engine, massive ground clearance, can ford rivers a foot and a half deep, climb 45 degree slopes, and has a shitload of room for people, bikes, and all the beer anyone could drink." All those reasons alone make it worthy enough for us. Here's one for sale priced less than your brah's lifted Toy' with Moto Metal wheels. Yes, you're losing some creature comforts and MPG's are going to be questionable but, you're gaining trailhead envy -- and for that reason we can see ourselves running shuttles up Grafton in a Pinzgauer.

Suggested by: Reverend Dick
Why it's a worthy shuttle vehicle:

A nod of the helmet goes to the Rev, for our first shuttle-vehicle suggestion, and most efficient one -- a bicycle. While it is possible to complete rides like The Whole Enchilada without a shuttle, it's not something we're going to add onto the ol' bucket list any time soon. Rather, like the Rev and others on Fahzure's bachelor ride, a more realistic freerider would say that taking one of multi-reniasance man Jesse Marshall's Franken-bus's to the top and enjoying the ride down with long travel sleds, is more like it.

The Minivan
Suggested by: Rolling Hall
Why it's a worthy shuttle vehicle:

The Minivan with two in the front five in the back, is the mullet of vehicles. Your GF might not like it, but we do … for its capacity. You can find a running one for less than a new triple clamp fork and given their boxy shape you'll have room to move bodies up the mountain. Avoid car-based ones if you don't want to drag the rear bumper and struggle up passes.  The Astro/Safari twins, come in all-wheel and have an EPA ratting 16/23mpg, and its low-profile soccer-mom stigma will help keep the boys in blue of your back. 

Ford Excursion
Suggested by: WakiPaki
Why it's a worthy shuttle vehicle:

Surprisingly no one mentioned a Ford Raptor, instead we got a nomination for the Excursion over Barley sodas at the local watering hole. His reasons: comfortable leather seating for seven, V10 or diesel power, and room for bikes and gear. Sounds luxurious. But, we hear the blue oval is introducing a $4K Kashima coated option for the Fox-suspended Ford Raptor next year. Maybe that'd change the WakiPaki's flavor.

Suggested by: Busti
Why it's a worthy shuttle vehicle:

The Mega Cab can hold a mega shit-ton of gear, and with a Cummins engine as an option it flirts with 20mpg's, especially if you Yewtah Edge it. Not bad. What is bad is paying for major repairs like injectors. What is good is the option to belch dinosaurs, and for that reason we can see ourselves running a Megacab up the pass in Jackson Hole.

Suggested by: Marac
Why it's a worthy shuttle vehicle:

As a professional driver, Gisto Marac, is likely to go with the purpose-built choice which comfortably fits 15 and bikes with the Moabesque roof rack, and has as much power as any of other choices. Why take two vehicles when you can take a whole Posse in one. Not having compromise every other choice is just an alternative to the obvious winner. As a total fantasy, Marac notes that if your posse is slightly smaller (say, 8), you might consider a  Sportsmobile Chinook Baja,  $150,000, which also makes it versatile for those weekend getaways with the sweetie:

Looks like the van that wallet can best afford, takes the day.