Offseason Maintenance Projects

It’s getting close to the “offseason” for many outdoor activities.  Or, at least, the shorter days and holiday business tends to reduce our enjoyment of some of these things.  It also happens to be a good time to take care of any maintenance you might need to take care of.  Several years ago, I made use of the winter offseason to sew a couple of down quilts.

Don’t be a Stravatard

I wish I could stake a claim on that word, but I can’t. I have no idea who came up with it, but I’ve been seeing it around lately.

Early Aug Night Ride at SFA and New XT Shadow Rear Derailleur

Shimano M772 XT Shadow Rear Derailleur

After my ride in Indy and the mechanical I suffered (being the second time I had that particular problem recently), I decided I needed to replace some worn parts…particularly my 9 yr old XTR M952 rear derailleur.  It still “works”, but I’ve had to bend the cage twice recently.  It’s on its last legs, I believe.

Fort Harrison State Park (Indianapolis, IN) MTB 14 July 2012

I got to ride these trails for the first time recently, though they’ve been open for a few years now, I think. I grew up just a couple miles from here and wish these trails were open when I started to mtb. Alas, they were closed to bikes long before I started riding. Yay for them being open now. The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association has done a great job with these trails.

First Bike Video

My GoPro HD Hero arrived today and I got to take a couple minutes of video before it got too dark. I used it on the default settings, which are for 960p HD…essentially a tall HD format. I tried out the chesty mount first because it was the easiest to set up. It is pretty clever. I have quite an assortment of mounts I can use, and I’ll be playing with a couple of them tomorrow when I hit the trails with some buddies.

First Ride of 2011

It took me awhile to get my first ride of 2011 in. No excuses here. I was lazy for the first couple weeks of January, but we’ve also had rain moving through the area on a regular basis since the New Year. We’ll only get a day or two of dry, sunny weather, and up until now, those days have coincided with days I’ve had other stuff to do. Today, I had time to ride, so I took advantage of the nice weather.

Prestaflator

I got an air compressor (well, a gift card for one – because we weren’t going to haul one 2,000 miles with us on our trip to visit family for the holidays) from my wife for Christmas. I ended up choosing a portable Kobalt compressor for my uses, since I mostly just want it for inflating tires (car and bike) and for the occasional other random use (like installing/removing grips and for blowing dirt out of my drivetrain). The inflator and hose that come with the Kobalt compressor are pretty lame, though. There’s not even a pressure gauge on the schrader inflator.

WSS Open Source Sealant for Tubeless Bike Tires

After my experiment with inflating standard tires dry on UST rims, it was quickly obvious that I needed a sealant in order to use them tubeless.

I did some searching on homemade tire sealants and I stumbled across the WSS Open Source Sealant.

The basic recipe is as follows:

A Semi-Ghetto Tubeless Tire Conversion

I’ve been interested in trying tubeless tires on my mountain bike for a long time. I bought the Mavic CrossTrail UST Disc wheelset for my bike many years ago partly with the idea that I’d eventually try it out. I had a fairly new set of tubed tires at the time and I didn’t want to spring for $120 worth of rubber with those wheels at the time.

Suspension Rebuild and New Grips

Today was maintenance day for my old 2003 Specialized Stumpy FSR. Very little of this bike is stock anymore. Basically just the frame, fork, and rear shock (and a few drivetrain bits believe it or not). Being that I’ve been sick and haven’t ridden this bike in so long, I figured it was due for some maintenance. Suspension maintenance in particular. I’ve slacked a bit, and never even changed the oil in this fork or re-lubed the seals. Nada. I was cautiously hopeful that I wouldn’t find a problem.