Monday, May 18, 2015

How to get those weak rotor bolts out of your wheel

One of the issues with the Mongoose fat bikes is the torx bolt they use to hold the rotors in. They must be made with insta-strip technology. I'd like to know if someone has ever gotten one out with the correct driver.
Here's a short tutorial on how to get them out so you can replace the bolts with a higher quality screw and a better rotor. This is actually really easy with the right tools.

Tools I used:
a big and wide flat screwdriver
Dremel cut off wheel

Alls you got to do is take the cut off wheel, grind a nice flat groove in the bolt head and take the screwdriver and unscrew it.
Do you really need a tutorial on this? I don't. But I know a lot of people {myself included} likes to research and look at pictures of something before diving in. So here goes...
Cut off wheel.
You can see here how I grinded the slot in the screw.
Just like that

Always has to have one that breaks off. I just grabbed what was left with pliers and turned it out that way.
New rotor mounted and ready to roll.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Well, I got my first century under the belt. I think it about 103 miles total. It was a mix of rail trails and the road with a nice ending loop through Valley Forge National Park. I got a cramp at mile 85 and mile 102 on the last hill. I said, "Screw it!" and pedaled with one leg until it worked itself out. My butt was a swollen the next day. I think it's time for a Brooks Saddle!

Taking a break while the fat tired road bike changes his flat...
No one on my facebook got that that was 100 miles. People run a stupid 5k and they get 100 likes. I ride 100 miles and get 2.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmm post century grilling.

I've been toying with the idea of setting up my old Schwinn Moab as a gravel grinder road bike. Here's some pictures of it mocked up. I didn't like how high the seat was in comparison to the bars. So it goes back to being a vintage mountain bike that I never use. Bummer.

A week after the century I went to MT Penn for the first time. It beat me up. 32x19, with 1700 feet of elevation change in 10 miles, and east coast rocks. Most of the trails are downhill trails that people shuttle up but, the few crazies like myself who decide to SS it. Next time I go I'm taking the FS and having some fun!
I had a horrible week of flats commuting. It was bicycle nightmare. I had some glass hidden in my tire that would be fine for a while then poke my tube. A bad valve stem after that kept me guessing. Finally got it straightened out, I think. I saw this picture wayyy too many times that week.
This past Sunday I was able to get out to the trails I volunteer at. I haven't been there in a while so, it was good to go see what kind of damage took place from the two heavy rainstorms we got in the past two weeks. Trails were fine. The fire roads... not so much. I wish I would of taken some pictures of how bad the roads are. I need to ride there more often. We have the most obstacles in the area and you're either climbing or descending. A good workout even if it's only 7 miles.
Within the first 50 feet of the trail I bashed my finger between my handlebars and a fence post. Man, did that hurt! Just loss of skin though. Nothing broken.

Today being Memorial day we went out for an early ride at Nockamixon. Got about 20 miles in. It was pretty fantastic. They added a bunch of skinnies and we had fun on them. Here you can see me falling off. I know you're thinking, "That looks like a really really easy skinny." Well, There is a weird muddy rut right before you get on the skinny that messes you up. Took us both a few times to get it. Coated your tires in some nice muck and slowed you down to a crawl. Which isn't good SS.
They have alot of fun with their chainsaws at this place. There are a bunch of stump carvings hidden throughout the trails and log couches everywhere.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Work has been incredibly busy the last few weeks and hadn't much time to blog. Doesn't mean I'm not biking. Last Saturday, I did a brutal 20 mile SS mtb ride. It was brutal for a few reasons. 1. I had wings for dinner the night before. 2. I was out late. 3. I'm still getting used to the 32x19 gearing I started running. Nothing like knowing you can do more but, your body telling you, "NO!" I guess every now and then you need a reminder that diet is just as important as riding all the time.
The next day we did a 52 mile road, rail trail, and singletrack ride. We were supposed to do a century but, it got pushed back so others could have time to get in shape for it.
It was nice to have my road bike stripped of all it's commuting gear. It's nice and light now. We did have one flat on pavement about 30 miles in. Not on the single track with big rocks and roots everywhere. On the paved rail trail right after someone made a comment about a flat...
Of course the spare tube had a slit in it and we wasted a CO2 on it before we discovered that. Luckily, I always carry a pump and CO2. I've had my share of CO2 failures and pump failures to know better. Once we discovered the slit, I patched the original tube and we were on our way.

While I was going downhill on one section of road I was close to 38 mph and I started getting crazy front wheel wobble. Scared the crap out of me. I never experienced it before so naturally, I loosened my grip and took weight off the front while braking, making it wobble even worse. I thought I was going to be skinned alive. I finally managed to slow down enough for it to stop. Later on I researched it and found out that you need to add more weight to the front and grip the frame with your knees and hope that fixes it. Scary.

A few weeks ago my wife's uncle gave me a 1989 Trek 1100 aluminum framed road bike with a cromo fork. It rides beautifully. Since, it was just sitting in my shed and I liked having my specialized without all the commuting crap on it. Yesterday, I decided to set it up for commuting for a while. At least until after our century.
I think I need a shorter stem on it but, I'll ride it a week and see. I might just need to raise up the current one. I need to get a battery for the computer and see if that works, too.

My wife wanted to go for a ride yesterday so, I took her to the local rail trail. I took the Dolomighty. You get lots of stares and smiles on that thing.
Finally today, me and a friend took a trip to Delaware to ride White Clay State Park. I love that place. It's pure trail bliss. IMBA helped in building it and the Trailspinners do a fantastic job of keeping up with it. A lot of skinnies throughout the park, rollers, climbs, creek crossings, a skills park and about 30 miles of trails. Can't beat it.
I just love my Raleigh XXIX. It's pretty much perfect. I would like to put a 180mm rotor in the front but, other than that I think it's my perfect bike.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How to drill your rims.

We've all seen the "holes in the rim" look seen all those expensive fat bikes. Well, You can do that yourself, on the cheap, and save some weight. Here's how to do it:
1. Take the wheel off the bike.
2. Take the tire, tube, and rimstrip off the rim.
3. Mark out your center holes. They should be equally spaced between each spoke, like so
I kept away from the tubes valve hole. the 1.5" just seemed too close. I heard you could use a 1'' one but, I didn't have one on me.
I set my wheels on my workbench, pressed up against the wall, on two 2x4s to give me a flat and steady surface to work with. This kept me from bending the brake rotor or putting unstable pressure on the axle.
4. Take a small drill bit and drill out a pilot hole. You do this to ensure accuracy of the hole saw
5. Take a bit larger than the one you just used but, smaller than the hole saw drill bit, and drill your pilot holes bigger. You do this to make sure the hole saw bit doesn't catch, bind up, and break.

6. Get an 1.5" hole saw and a drill. I used an electric drill. I knew it'd be a lot of drilling and the batteries on my drill aren't the best, anymore. The benefit of a battery drill would be instant stop when you let go of the trigger. While the electric one keeps spinning for a while. I use these things all the time at work and have the feel for it so, I knew I'd be safe.
7. It's going to get messy. Put a sheet down to catch all the metal shavings.
[Not the one off your bed. That'll pis your wife or mom off}
8. Drill, baby, Drill! I kept the rim secure by having it on the floor between my legs. Worked fine. Make sure as soon as the hole saw goes through you pull it back up. It'll mangle your spokes if you don't. You also want to drill straight down. Not like it looks in the picture. That was for illustration purposes only. Also, spray some oil on the rim where you are drilling. It'll save your bit and it'll cut quicker.
9. Once you're done drilling, go back onto your 2x4 platform and take a rounded file and get rid of all the extra metal hangnails. Smooth out the edges of your holes. I picked up this file at a home improvement store for 8 bucks.
10. Give the rims a good wipe down from all the metal shavings. Inside and out.
11. Now you need to cover the holes with something. Some people use gift wrapping ribbon for special colors. I thought about white but, it would get really dirty and I didn't want to have to take them apart all the time. I stuck with a black waterproof gorilla duct tape. I wrapped around the rim twice with the black side facing the holes. I put the rimstrip then over the duct tape.
12. Replace tube and tire and you're ready to roll!
Now everyone will want to ride your fattie!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Finally, Found Dirt!

This morning I woke up dark and early to head far east to the land of good drainage, New Jersey. Batsto Village to be exact. It's fast and flowy. Nothing technical at all. Super flat. I don't think there was one time where I stopped pedaling. Either going down or up. Total I think it's about 23 miles. Good way to kick off the season!
They did an awesome job of marking these trails. There are mileage markers every few miles and half way through the 19 mile loop here is that map kiosk from the above picture. They have that at the start of the trails, too. Every trail is color coded.
As you can see the terrain is sand and pine needles. It must get really dense in the summer time. I am also testing a new cockpit setup. I'm testing to own a set of Carver ti handlebars. I think they're 710mm. A little bit wider than my 680mm. I also put on a 65mm SunlineV stem. My other one is a 90mm. I loved the setup but, my left arm was asleep the whole time. I had that trouble before with this stem. I think it puts me in too much of an upright position. I'm going to swap back to the 90mm next time I ride.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Beast...errr... Dolomite has arrived!

And it's sweet! Sweet looking at least. I only got to ride it from the back to the front of my shed, so far.
I was busy the first night tearing things apart and regreasing everything. I swapped out the handlebars, pedals, brake levers, and stem for stuff I had laying around. The fact that I can do this is one of the reasons this bike is better than your other Walmart bikes. The BB5's I was planning on using didn't work with the brake mounts. So This morning before work I quickly swapped the stock ones back on. They work pretty well. I've been planning on upgrading my SS's rotors to something higher; at that point I'll use those mounts and put the BB5's on. I need to get some seat post shims so I can use the one I have laying around. I'll probably wake up early again tomorrow and work on it for a few minutes before work.

The frame had some skuffs on it from packaging I imagine. Stickers are a little bubbly. I'm probably going to rip those off and have a "Walgoose" sticker made or something to make it look like it was an expensive bike.

I planned on getting starting on drilling out the wheels tonight but, our sink drain started leaking so I had to attend to that. Of course I had everything but, the one little washer that makes all the difference in the world. Such is life.