Monday, March 26, 2012

Xcal on the trail and a new project.

I have been doing a lot more riding these days and a lot less posting but if you are reading along you know this, The weather has been incredible and what I would call perfect riding weather. The Adams trail a bike has been getting a ton of use with my daughter, I may just make a cyclist out of her yet! I have almost completed that Motobecane that I am working on and took it for a test ride, something unexpected happened while out on the ride in that I don't think that I am a road bike kind of guy. The bike felt uncomfortable to me and I am unsure why but I think that the bars are too narrow for my large frame and I just didn't feel comfy while riding down the street so I am not sure if I will keep the bike which is a shame after all of the work that I put into it.

Took a quick shot while we stopped for a break during Saturday's ride.

The Xcaliber next to my buddies Jamis Exile 1

I did get out this past Saturday with my riding buddy and we did just under 20 miles on the rail trail and I got a chance to take the Xcal out. The trail that I ride goes past the LBS that I use and the front brakes were feeling weak so we did make a pit stop and the mechanic had the brakes all fixed up and we were on our way pretty quick but I always like looking around at the bikes so I didn't mind stopping. I have to say that over all I am very happy with the Trek and my decision to go with this bike, it fits me great and is the smoothest bike that I own as far as function goes.

I mentioned that I was almost finished with the Motobecane and I like having something in the stand getting worked on so I decided that I would oblige my fathers interest in riding and put something together for him. My father has expressed interest in having a bicycle a few times to me "You should find me a bike" he keeps saying so as his birthday approaches I thought it would be nice to get something together for him, enter the Raleigh Rampar. I went into my Pile O bikes and found that I had a large framed Raleigh Rampar back there which was complete minus all of the cables had been cut by someone (before I took possession) so it was a good candidate for a clean up for pops. I am not going to chronicle the build but I will post a photo of the final product when it is done, the only things I needed to buy was a cable set, bar tape and I might need tires but may have a set of tires put away somewhere so this will be a decently cheap bike to get going.

Over all things are going good on the weight loss, I am down about 15 pounds in the last month and I think that the warmer weather with the added riding and walks that I have been doing are contributing a lot to those losses.

Keep on riding!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Motobecane progress, cables and wires done.

I needed some down time so I headed off to work with the Motobecane yesterday for a couple hours and finished up cleaning the rear derailleur, the shifters and I got the cables/housings installed. I am still not done by a long shot and there is still a lot to do before the bike is done I did make some good solid progress on the bike last night. I chose Jagwire platinum braided cable housings to blend in with the frame a bit and I really like how they look on the bike! I did make a couple decisions on just how closely I was going to polish things up, I was thinking about the fact that I am planning to ride this bike and polishing everything to a mirror finish didn't make a lot of sense because of that fact, I mean if its going to get grimy anyways why make it shinier than when it was new?

With that said, I did not skimp on the polishing! I think that the bike is starting to look pretty nice even if this shot makes my basement look like a dungeon! who am I kidding.. it IS a dungeon! I still have to completely do the wheels (I just tossed them on to see how the bike looked) as I have not touched them other than a small test spot where I polished the rust off of the chrome and I do believe that the wheels will look pretty good after some elbow grease. You can see that I laid the rack on there just for a look at how it would play out and I think that I like it and will stick to the original plan of doing fenders and rack on this bike.

Above is a closer shot of the braided cables installed on the shifters, I think they compliment the silver frame pretty nicely! I am still on the fence with what color I should do the tape/hoods/saddle in but I am sure that it will come to me... eventually. I originally wanted to do the bars and saddle in brown/honey but that is more expensive than the other options and since I am not 100% on whether I will keep this bike in the long run I keep going back to just do the bars red, black saddle and brown or black hoods, I am very on the fence with the whole thing. I don't really ride road bikes let alone vintage road bikes! and that is why I am unsure about whether this will become a permanent ride in my ever growing fleet of bicycles even though I have put a good amount of thought and time into this bike.

Finally a shot of what I started with compared to where I brought it, I think there is a big difference and when I am done I think it will be even bigger! Next on the list of things to do will be the tape and saddle and I am very anxious to see how it looks with a bit more of a finished feel to it. Now the decision must be made on the tape, once that happens I can choose a saddle and finally hood color, some new tires and we will be off for a ride to snap a couple photos in a nicer setting than my dungeon... er I mean basement!

Until then, keep on pedaling!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

First ride on the new wheels.

Yesterday was such an awesome day and I couldn't let it go without getting outside for some exercise, early in the day I packed the tiniest kiddo into the stroller and went for a walk around the lake which was awesome! Later in the day I asked my daughter if she would like to try the Adams trail a bike that I picked up last year for the first time and though she was a tad hesitant she agreed so off we went.

A quick stop next to the lake so that my daughter could play on one of the beaches.

Getting out for a ride allowed me to take a spin on the new wheelset too and I must admit that I really liked the way the smoother street tires rolled and they were silent compared to the Kenda Klaws that I had on there last year. I do need to adjust the brakes to the new Avid Clean Sweeps though, I did have brakes but I really had to squeeze down to get the back brake to grab good so this afternoon I will be making adjustments because my daughter asked if we could go for another ride today and I want the bike to be set up correct before we start riding around on a regular basis. I have a new stem and set of bars for the K2 as well that I need to install but I may just wait until I decide on whether I will be doing a rigid fork or not before I make that change and once that is done there will be not much stock on this bike.

That ride ended a great day where I got out for a nice walk with my youngest daughter and a ride with my eldest daughter, the sun was starting to set while we were stopped and above you can see the view across the lake that we had.

I have a feeling this year will be a good one when looking at things from on top of my bicycles.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New shoes for the K2

So Here I am, I have been how do they say? distracted? and frankly very busy so I haven't had a chance to get a post up but since I am just sitting here watching television I figured I would pop up a post. Last time I posted I had the tires mounted on the new wheelset and was waiting on the rotors to arrive and they did! so I installed them with my new torx socket set and inch pound torque wrench and snapped a couple images for the blog.

Avid G2 Clean Sweep mounted on the front Rhyno lite wheel.

Avid G2 Clean Sweep & SRAM PG-850 mounted on the rear Rhyno lite wheel.

The whole wheelset ready to hit the road!

You can see the K2 sitting in the background on trainer duty but it will be the first to get out on a ride this year because I really want to mount the new wheels and take them for a spin. The weather has been decent and I am planning to get out for a quick ride before the weekend gets here, I have been itchin' to get out there but by the time I can its been dark and in the 20's and I just ain't itchin' that hard.

The Motobecane has got some lovin lately too, the Jagwire cable set came in and everything but the rear derailleur is cleaned up and ready to go, I will likely post a couple more photos of the components as they are done but a whole bike shot will have to wait until its complete. I am 90% sure that I will be going with red bar tape on the Moto but still am unsure about saddle color, my initial feeling is to do black but the idea of doing brown hoods and saddle is in my head also so I just don't know at this point.

As far as my eating goes I am on track but not really kicking ass, I am doing my part by staying within my caloric range but I could be eating a bit cleaner meaning more veggies and fruits. Stepping up the exercise has to happen and I have been riding the trainer maybe three times per week so its getting there, now to start pushing it and add some time to the rides and sooner than later I want to get out for some real rides.

Can't wait to get out on the new wheels!

Until next time...