Thursday, October 24, 2013

Waiting for winter, but having fun in the fall!

I'm still testing the Dumond Tech lube I referred to in the last post. I should have a report on my experiences soon. I just want to run it through it's paces, and see how it performs in a variety of environments. For now, here are some pics from yesterday's ride in the Glacial Blue Hills of Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine northern unit near West Bend. I'm having the time of my life as I (re)enter into the mountain bike discipline. Just a really nice transition into the fall and winter.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Epic ride plans and chain lube test

Tomorrow I hope to do my longest Moonlander (Fat Bike) ride yet. I will start on the north end Port Washington, WI, riding along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and hopefully take me as far north as Kohler-Andre State Park, just south of Sheboygan. Since the ride will be on the beach all the way, I've been contemplating what is the best chain lube to use when running through sand. After speaking my concern with Mike, a coworker (who is also a first rate mechanic with a pro cycling team), it seems I have a couple options that might work.

Mike mentioned that some Belgium cyclo-cross riders use talcum powder on their chains when racing in sandy conditions. It sounds interesting, since any kind of wet lube would obviously let the grains of sand just stick to the chain and turn into a highly abrasive paste.

My second option to consider would be kind of a unique chain that is actually supposed to bond to the metal of the chain links and last longer than most other lubes without attracting dirt the way most chain lubes do, especially the wet-style of lubes. So after doing a thorough cleaning of the chain in our shop's ultra-sonic parts cleaner, I applied a small amount of the Dumonde TECH Lite chain lube. Thank you, Mike, for supplying me with a free test bottle!

Tomorrow we roll the beaches!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beach Bombing!

I've always heard about fat bikes being great for riding on sand. Bring the tire pressure down to ultra-low levels, 3-9 lbs., and the bikes are supposed to just glide over the soft sands of your local beach. So over the past 2 days I have bombed the shoreline of Lake Michigan, from Lion's Den Gorge at the south end, up to Harrington Beach State Park on the north. I've been told that you can ride at least as far north as Kohler-Andre State Park. So if the weather holds out, I hope to get up there one of these days too.

Most of the riding surface so far has been pretty clean, soft sand, except for a stretch of a couple miles between Lion's Den Gorge and Port Washington, where I encountered a lot of larger (1"- 3") round pebbles. Although that surface was slower rolling and required a bit more concentration, it mostly just offered a new facet to the riding experience.