Posted by: Brendan | November 10, 2011

2011 San Jacinto Enduro

The 2011 Enduro is in the books and embedded in the minds of those who participated.

Some dudes from LA, particularly a guy by the name of Brian Kaufman, put together this most excellent video from the ride. You must watch it. It’s good. Really good. I’ve-gotta-go-ride-now good. Check out Brian’s stuff at Whiskey Dojo.

The San Jacinto Enduro enjoyed its 3rd year, brought together by Idyllwild peeps at Siren and Hub Cyclery.
I rode my new purpose built machine The Krush and loved it. Took major time off my old personal record.
Without further adieu, here’s the video. Enjoy.

Posted by: Brendan | November 7, 2011

Mike’s Cross Racer

Mike’s the proud owner of the very first carbon fiber tubed Siren. 

The frame sports custom fit & geometry, and a disc-specific brake setup. The head tube is a 44mm setup to use with either a tapered steerer, or a Zero Stack 1-1/8″ setup. The carbon tubes come from Maclean Composites in Utah, here in the USA.

Frame construction is made up of 7005 Aluminum lugs, chainstays, dropouts and head tube. This allows for the aforementioned customization of the dimensions and geometry. We picked out the carbon fiber tubes by diameter and wall thickness, each tube in its place for the intended application. 

Posted by: Brendan | November 3, 2011

Weyland’s Twinzer

Freshness!
Weyland’s dedicated singlespeed Twinzer goes to a good home along with his John Henry. The new bike sports a 44mm head tube for tapered steerer compatibility and a custom axle-to-crown height to work with the particular Fox fork he’ll be running. It’ll be getting a Cane Creek 110, perhaps the finest headset made.

Weyland came up to our shop (The Hub Cyclery) last weekend to pick it up and get a quick 48 mile pedal in while he was here. We hope to see this bike built up and ripping trail next time he’s up this way.


Purple? Blue? Cornflower? Hard to say. It was an accident, sorta. 


Look at the size of that head tube!


The new, experimental/alternate down tube label


Weyland announced: “Who wants a ride?!” to which the crowd replied “I do, I do!!”

Posted by: Brendan | October 13, 2011

The Krush

I don’t know what to call this bike, Krate? Krush? The bike is so much fun even “Girlfriend” applies.

This is my own bike, for personal use… though I do have intent to distribute. She’s orange, ’cause that’s the classic color of cyclocross. No, it ain’t a ‘cross bike. So what. Everybody should have at least one orange bike, so says Jon Hanson of Sabrosa bikes and I tend to agree with him.


It’s my first drop-bar mountain bike, and packs some other Siren “firsts” into one package:
– internal cable routing 
I silver brazed a length of stainless steel tube through the down tube. It enters on the top side of the DT near the head tube junction, in what I figured should be a lower stress area, and exits on the underside of the DT a couple inches above the bottom bracket. This keeps everything clean and extra awesome. Ditto for the internal brake line, which runs inside the left top tube/seat stay. I didn’t plumb a length of stainless here, but I’d like to do it in the near future on another bike.
Why stainless tubing instead of brass? Because stainless is tough, not brittle, and awesome. That’s why.

-drop bar mountain bike geometry
She sports a 55cm top tube to play nicely with the drop bars, a load of BB drop (75mm thereabouts) which absolutely positively rails the fire roads, my fairly standard 17.5″ CS length, and a taller head tube (5.75″) to go a bit easier on the back without need for a fredular stem. The geometry is 73/70.5.
I built this one in particular around a 445mm a/c White Brothers Rock Solid fork. Nice fork, it’s light and looks cool. In the future we’ll have our very own SIREN rigid forks, dedicated to this model. The main advantage is we’ll be able to tinker with the offset and go with something that might not come off the shelf otherwise.

 

Component highlights
The whole shebang is pretty much a rolling display case for all things Highway Two. They have recently become our pals and I thought I’d return the favor by decking out my bike with their stuff.
It’s my first time rolling on Crank Brothers Cobalt Wheels, which not only have some really smart features in their newly redesigned hubsets, but look sick as all get out on this bike. They’re set up tubeless with Continental Race King tires. (you’re supposed to use only “tubeless” tires on them but I cheated it). These tires rule, by the way. Fairly durable, fast, light-ish.

Next up the Cobalt cockpit, the unsung hero of the Crank Brothers line. The stem and seatpost are both forged, light, and totally awesome looking. Check the Level 3 stem here.
I used a Fizik Gobi saddle. This thing is awesome. Seriously awesome.
Even pulled my beloved Time pedals off and swapped in a set of Egg Beaters… time will tell how this goes.
I used an Iodine headset we had in the shop. It looks cool.
The Split Lock skewers are pretty darned smart, good looking too.

Non-H2 stuff that kinda rocks:
1×9 drivetrain, Ultegra/XTR STI shifting. Coming from a singlespeed-only lifestyle this setup feels good and hauls the mail. I’m using a 34T ring up front mated to a 12×27 SRAM cassette (also orange). Yesterday my Homebrewed Components chainring came in. (not pictured) It eliminates the spider on the Middleburn cranks. Totally dope. And totally cool that it was made here in California. And doubly cool that I’m using my lovely lady‘s old Middleburns, too. She rode the Divide and a bunch of solo 24’s with them.

BB-7 road calipers. I might swap the housing to some of that linear stuff the BMX crowd uses. Still pretty decent compared to cantilevers.

Salsa Woodchipper bars. I’d be remiss not mention them. They’re nice. But the extensions are too damn long. Thankfully I know a guy with a hacksaw.

The ride
I could explain pretty much everything about the ride if only I had one of these stickers on it.
Alas, I do not have that sticker. Yet.
I took the bike out for her first spin a couple weeks ago on a “social paced” ride highlighting a portion of the San Jacinto Enduro course. A bunch of superhumans showed up and I was glad to have a “race bike” for the ride. It carves (CARVES!) doubletrack turns at ridiculously high speeds. Hauls the mail on the flats. Feels fun & frisky in the singletrack.

She’s primarily intended to haul the mail on doubletrack, with secondary applications on singletrack and asphalt… much like the style of bikepacking I’ve been moving toward lately. Seems you can get anywhere you want to go out here in California by lacing fire roads together.

Since I built up this bike, I’ve been out with my mountain bike zero times. The fling with my road bike came to an abrupt end. It’s so much fun it’s just a bit hard to imagine trail with any other bike at the moment.

Posted by: Brendan | October 3, 2011

Missy’s bike

I’m excited and honored to have built up a new bike for our friend Missy.

Missy is a local friend, sharp witted and fun on the trail. She was bit by the bike bug and decided the time had come to upgrade herself to a particularly attractive Siren Polly Ann. (Polly Ann= John Henry’s wife, btw). Speaking of spouses, Missy’s husband Doug just so happens to have the very first Siren John Henry. It was my bike for a while and it puts a smile on my face to see it in a good home. Pretty cool, eh?


Designed, built, serviced, and ridden in Idyllwild, CA.

Missy had been riding Doug’s old FS bike and came to the conclusion she’d be better off with a well made, lightweight hardtail. We met at The HUB Cyclery and talked over a number of ideas for her frame, build kit, and finishing options. We settled on a forgiving but fast frame design and a smart component group.

  
Component highlights include a Reba XX fork, DT Swiss/ No Tubes handbuilt wheels, and a 3×10 drivetrain. Note the white accents and customized brake lines. 


Missy takes delivery of her new steed at The HUB Cyclery. I really enjoy building bikes for friends. 


Missy and her new bike on the Grotto Trail, overlooking Strawberry Creek in Idyllwild. 

 

Posted by: Brendan | October 2, 2011

Kerry’s Twinzer

Kerry in Utah made a new home for this beauty back in August. 

Kerry was referred to us by the talented Jon Hanson of Sabrosa Cycles. We busted out his Twinzer in standard Medium-Large configuration with the addition of a third bottle mount on the underside of the down tube. Finished in Stealth Black with pink decals. Shredaliscious!

Posted by: Brendan | August 31, 2011

Shano’s Twinzer- Aloha

Twinzer! The name-that-twin-tubed-bike contest winner is Shano. His prize?
This bike.

(no he didn’t really win the bike. But he earned it.) 

The “Twinzer” moniker comes from surfing, Shano’s other (primary?) pastime. I’ve never been surfing, and don’t really comprehend the purported characteristics of these boards, but I’ve tried by reading this. The story I’m sticking with is these boards are fast & loose, and give a soulful ride. Kinda like the bike.

Shano’s bike is a standard handbuilt Medium-Large size, aka that sweet-spot size for dudes taller than me, but not so tall they go through their days being asked if they play basketball. We left off the cable provisions for gears (see the aforementioned soulful ride) and I made a few improvements over my own bike with a better sized seat tube bridge/carrying handle and twin tubes spaced apart such that they don’t threaten to pop off digits come hike-a-bike time.

I love these bikes. What’s my favorite thing about this particular one?
-The fact that Shano was a customer of ours at The Hub Cyclery. Shano came up a while back with some friends for a weekend of riding our trails, came into the shop, checked out the bikes.. talked with Dave, then talked with me. And then we built him a bike. I’ve come to love this face-t0-face framebuilder gig I’ve been moving toward this summer. It’s better for the rider, better for the builder. Like what I hear people can experience with custom surfboard shapers…

Aloha

 

Posted by: Brendan | August 23, 2011

Idyllwild to Solana Beach Bikepack

Two days, one night… Idyllwild to Solana Beach. Family pickup at the end.
About 160 miles or so. Our chosen route to the beach incorporated a lot of dirt road, some asphalt, and very little singletrack. I was striving to load my bike in such a way as the keep the center of gravity low, so I left the backpack at home and carried everything on the bike. It meant I couldn’t feasibly carry a water bladder, so hydration would be tricky but I figured it could be a worthy tradeoff for better handling on dirt roads.


Climbing out of Idyllwild on Tahquitz View road. The last view of Strawberry Valley for the trip.  

We descended some of our familiar trails out of May Valley before making a bee line for Paradise Corners, at the end of Garner Valley. Along the way we ran into Geno… a local with the sort of warm demeanor that’s welcome in any setting, even at a place called Cow Pie Springs.

We topped off on a snack and some glasses of icewater at Paradise Cafe. The heat was turning up.


Starting the California Riding and Hiking Trail. 

We joined the California Riding and Hiking Trail and pointed the bikes South. It got hot. And sandy.
We took a break at a small pond, which provided some jungly shade and cooler temps. An old apple orchard gave us a sweet boost on the next climb out to Chihuahua Valley.

We enjoyed the riding, tried not to focus to heavily on the Warner Springs destination. We’d get there when we’d get there, I figured.


CRHT is marked sporadically by yellow topped posts.


The first significant stretch of pavement, coming in to Warner Springs. 

We ended up coming down a dirt track to Sunshine Summit rather than into Lost Valley / Warner Springs. Though it set us back about 9 miles (pavement, even) it was a blessing as we were able to stock up at the Sunshine Summit Market and the Mexican joint next door. The woman at the market remembered us from the last time we’d bikepacked down her way, for Nick’s birthday.
We loaded up burritos, split a sixer (cans for easy carry out) and headed out to find camp.


Dave making his signature California Rolls

We found camp beside a draw in a comfy sandy area and celebrated with a feast. We bivvied under a nearly-full moon, sleep was sublime.

Day Two


Climbing around and up past Lake Henshaw

We hit another 11 or 12 miles of pavement to Lake Henshaw, then climbed up some rural pavement past The Hideout Biker Bar…


Might’ve been for the best that we rode through on off hours?

… and UP a very steep grade. We had some misadventures in navigation up top, and eventually found our way to Black Canyon road. A long, pleasin’ dirt descent.


We rode this twice :-/


Black Canyon road. High speed dirt bliss.

We descended Black Canyon road to the town of Ramona. I don’t recall the length of this road, but it was long enough to keep going… and going. Long enough to require a break. The road was fast, offered improving views and kept things lively. I was very pleased with the way I’d loaded gear on my bike, the Twinzer handled all the high speed curves with aplomb.

We arrived in Ramona mid day. Hot. Noon thirty or warmer. We hit some highway, I think Hwy 78… white knuckle fast, plenty of traffic and HOT. We likened the descent’s breeze to having a blow drier pointed in our faces.

We pulled off the highway for what should have been our final major leg: a poriton of the San Dieguito River Trail. We estimated our arrival the beach to come in the next few hours, perhaps… just down the trail, under Interstate 15, into the Lake Hodges trail system, and through some hoity-toity residential area to the grand Pacific Ocean… we allowed ourselves some excitement.


River bottom + irrigation & fertilizer = Goathead Thorn Paradise

We took turns pulling the front, moving along at a good clip. I was taking a pull when I heard a familiar crunch-crunch-crunch sound from the tires, accompanied with a low hiss… in a flash, all four of our tires looked similar to chocolate-dipped ice cream bars, the kind you get rolled in peanuts. We were in a goathead minefield.
We rode up the road another quarter mile on softening tires to a trailhead kiosk and took measure. It wasn’t good. I discovered both my wheels’ sealant had dried, and we only one tube between the two of us left. The only patch kit (Dave’s) was missing its glue.
I set to work on my Swiss cheesed tubes using every bit of ingenuity I could muster… an abrasive rock to scuff the tube (we were missing the sandpaper too) and a tube patch remedy a homeless man taught me many years ago, in Moab: pushing small pieces of plastic bag into the holes with a paper clip. The idea was to have the plastic bag “mushroom” inside the tube, filling the void. I’ve seen it performed, and work… but I didn’t have anything small enough, just a chopstick. Long story short, it didn’t work. After well over an hour of work we called Mary to pull the plug. Coincidentally, she was on I-15 just an exit away. She swooped in, cold beer in hand and saved the day… we looked awful.


Are you wearing arm warmers, Dave?

We quickly freshened up and jumped in the Rescue Subaru. Zander was stoked. We proceeded to the beach post-haste.

In the end, the timing was right. We did the right thing, enjoyed every moment of the trip… especially the play time we shared at the ocean. It was Zander’s first time to the beach with full comprehension. It blew his mind and delighted him… We grubbed down with the delicious offerings at Pizza Port.

Will I do it again? You bet. Maybe a different route next time, and maybe with some fresh sealant in the tires. The trip has also got me thinking more and more about this style of bikepacking, a less technical mode of transport. This dirt/highway stuff really has some potential.

More to come.

 

 

 

Posted by: Brendan | August 21, 2011

Wowzers

We’re having a great time up here in the mountains.

Our retail shop, The Hub Cyclery put on a demo day/ fun time this past Saturday. Festivities included demo rides from Intense Cycles & Siren, as well as all manner of offerings from California-based companies or other like-sized companies such as Zoic Clothing, Revelate Designs, Wingnut Gear, Homebrewed Components, and Crank Brothers.

We had a number of rides departing from the shop, and live tunes from Terry Okey & Glenna. The feedback was outstanding, people were buzzed, and happy to see a shop in SoCal that lives, eats, and breathes riding.

Good stuff.

Posted by: Brendan | August 17, 2011

Splicin’ genes. Mike’s 650b bruiser

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a 650b wheeled flying machine.
This frame is bred with linebacker stock and a pinch of supermodel genes just to keep things interesting.

What’s it all about?
Well, for one it looks awesome. Tough, burly, bad-to-the-bone, and maybe just a little sexy.

And it’s also built to haul the mail. The super short chainstays (16.5″ on a 650B wheel) mated to the 68.5 degree head angle (with 140mm fork) set this beast up nicely for agility in the rough. The backbone of the bike is an oversized down tube, mated to a 44mm head tube (for future proofing with tapered steerer forks) and a hand bent seat tube… and feast your eyes on those throwback BMX styled seatstays, yummy. The don’t just look badass, they are badass. They afford more tire clearance and make for a rock solid seat tube junction. The Paragon sliders give the bike singlespeed versatility and allow for a more *normalized* chainstay length for cross country riding.

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