First ride on the Soma since just after the Pugsley arrived. Swapped bars, dropped the stem, pulled a used saddle from the OSH. Running fixed 32×17 at the moment. Nokians are still on – which helped in the woods this morning. I need to shorten the cables – I swapped from the Jones Titec back to the Soma Odin bar. Great morning to spin easy – the VT 200k is this Saturday, so I’ve been lazy all week.
I spent Friday morning on the Soma with Nokian studs. Last year these tires inspired confidence in their width and grip on ice and snow – especially in mixed conditions. Friday morning was rough. Terrain I would have cruised over on the Pugs slowed me down, had me second guessing my lines, and the (relative) high pressure (25?) and narrow width (2.1!) had me chattering on frozen ground and over frozen post holed trail. It was unnerving and exhausting.
I rode some of the same terrain Saturday morning on the Pugs, and covered all and more Sunday morning again on the Pugs. I’m much more confident on the Pugs – the float of the tires over chop and through mixed conditions is drastic, not to mention the places I could ride with the additional snow that arrived over the last two nights. I didn’t have the bite of the studded Nokians – and I payed for it a few times when the base was frozen and the snow atop simply slid out of my way as I washed out my front wheel several times – but overall it was great to be back on the fatbike. The Soma will get slightly higher gearing and I’ll keep it for fixed winter road duty. With the Pugs in the stable there is little reason to take out ‘skinny’ tires in mixed conditions.
A small tweak. New Titec Jones H-Bars on the Soma Juice. I threw the Ergons on as I ran out of time to tape. So far I like them over the Soma Odin bar. Time will tell.
Enjoyed a really slow roll on the lakefront Monday morning. Was under geared for flat riding – so I cruised along at whatever speed 32/19 would take me. Listened to the birds. Watched cormorants fishing. Sat by the lake. Slow bicycle movement – maybe I should sign up.
Beers, homemade chili, bike talk, and testing my homebrew free motion rollers. The things I get to do when the wife and little one leave me home alone for a week.
Photos and video courtesy of Patrick.
I know larger tires work against you when comparing rolling resistance, gear calculations, and overall effort… but since putting on the Kenda Nevegals I’ve felt like I’ve been riding with both front and rear brakes dragging. Sure, they certainly are not the 28s I ride on the IF, nor the 35s I used to ride on the CrossCheck, nor even the 42s I started with on the Soma…
This morning I heard a chirping sound. Damn! I was dragging a brake. Cool. I can fix that. Except that even with the brakes wide open I still heard it. Then I spun the rear wheel by hand. I made it about 1/4 revolution before stopping. Bearings must be mal-adjusted. Picked up the appropriate sized cone wrenches, spun off the single speed side, and loosened. Nope. Bearings were shot.
Off to the internet. Plenty of instructions on removing sealed bearings from Surly hubs. These have served me for 3 winters… rain, snow, salt, dirt roads – pretty much everything. Pulled the axle. Tap tapped the bearing as instructed in lieu of a fancy bearing puller. The innards popped out and I now have a collection of tiny steel balls rolling around on the garage floor.
Which leaves the problem of how to get a sealed bearing race out of a hub shell. Dirt Rag provided the answer. I opted to not hammer the star nut from the opposite side, and instead applied a bit of finesse (in short supply at this moment in my caveman actions thus far) with a bolt and socket. Success. Now to wait for some new bearings – and to let the LBS pull the opposite side.
The Juice is coming along. Front wheel ready for disc brakes, bar padded and taped, levers pretty close to finalized. Steerer tube cut to length. Gearing will be an ongoing challenge. Adding those fat tires certainly changed things – it takes some muscle to get them moving.
New monstercross / bikepakcing / ss fg mountain bike platform. Soma Juice 29r in ‘midnight silver’ (dubbed the ‘grape ape’ by a Sunday ride friend). I retired and traded off the CrossCheck and did a parts transplant. I’ve also cleaned out the garage and am selling off parts and pieces and bags and gear to fund this adventure.
I’m still awaiting parts for front disc brake wheel build. Trying a Surly Mr. Whirly crank… which has really wide Q compared to the CrossCheck (now retired) and my IF rando rig with TA cranks. So far I’m not a happy camper spinning when I feel like I’m riding a horse. Strain on the outside of the knees, sore hips. Might have to go to a Sugino XD or something…
Playing with the gearing – currently running a single ring with fixed dingle cog – but will eventually settle on a dual dingle + freewheel setup. Soma Odin bars (wide!) and taped for now. Awaiting some WTB Nanoraptors to get some fat rubber on there. Silver seatpost is a loaner till a Salsa arrives. Steerer tube is left way long… but I’ll probably be able to keep the bars dropped tight to the headtube. Need to add another cm to the stem, probably settle on 12 cm with minimal or no rise.
Love it so far. Aside from the color, which was listed as ‘midnight silver’ – but is really a purple(ish) silver. It is growing on me, and I should just STFU and ride.
Flat this morning in the rain. 35 degrees and dark. Of course I needed to be home so Jen could get in her swim workout. Pulled the wheel tire and tube. Sloppy mess. Got the new tube on with no issues. Pump pump. Unscrew the Lezyne from the valve – and the core comes out with all the air. Screw it back in tight. Pump pump pump. Same results. 5 tries later manage to get the pump off and only lose 1/3 the air. WTF? This is the second flat on these tires – same issue last time with another tube (from the QBP). Seems the threads down on the valve core are messing up the whole works. Grabbed a coffee to warm up then took it easy to get home so I didn’t pinch flat.
Only to be locked out. My keys are probably sitting where I dumped my bag to change the tire. Amateur.
But – mobile WordPress is good for these situations… Aside from the fact that I’m standing outside my house cowering from the rain feeling that wet cold seeping in. Glad I put on the RainLegs this morning. Helped to keep me that much warmer.
Going to have to research the valve issue a bit and figure out WTF is going on. Pretty sure the way my CO2 threads on I’d have the same issue. And I’ve never seen this on the IF – but I’m pretty sure I’m running a different brand of tube. I do use a different Lezyne pump model but it uses the same method for attaching to the tube.