Montagne de Romont on January 5, 2020.
Montagne de Romont on January 5, 2020.
Patrick

Patrick (52)

Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion; always on two wheels, no suspension and certainly no flipping motor.

Patrick

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part III)

Enve aluminum stem.

This is a continuation of Part I from July 18th and Part II from July 24th, in case you missed them. When Andy launched the MK5 in the spring, ETA for the framesets was August. Because a certain percentage of the population has forgotten that living in a modern, democratic society doesn't just come with personal liberties but with responsibilities as well, we live in a seemingly never-ending pandemic. And as long as the Coronavirus has the upper hand, our economies will continue to stutter each time case numbers explode, supply chains will remain broken, and bike components will be in short supply.

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Patrick

Time To Retire A Few Bike Helmets

Lazer Genesis in Orange and Chrome.

Helmets aren’t just head protection, they’re also a piece of one’s cycling wardrobe. When I’m out on the bike, I want my helmet to be somewhat color-matched to the clothes I’m wearing. I, therefore, have a few of them. All the lids I’ve been wearing for road and gravel, are now all beyond the recommended service life for helmets. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends replacing a bicycle helmet every 5 to 10 years. The Snell Foundation states a firm five years, and many helmet manufacturers tell you to get rid of your helmet after as little as three years. My Giro Synthe and Aeon helmets are 5 to 7 years old. While they still appear in good shape, it was time to start looking for replacements.

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Patrick

Back On 700C Wheels

Gravel road to Plagne, Switzerland.

In May of this year, I swapped my 700C Nox Composites wheels for 47° Nord hand-built 650B wheels. While I prefer the smaller wheels in combination with wider tires, I put the 700C wheels back on the bike for the fall and winter months. I did so for no practical reason other than that the 650B wheels needed new tires and the fact that I have the 700C wheels hanging in the basement with a few pairs of 700C tires sitting in my bike parts storage cabinet. In particular, I had a set of WTB Nano Race tires, which according to WTB aren’t tubeless compatible. For that reason, I tried to sell them, but I never found any taker. One evening, I got the tires out and tried them tubeless. Despite the manufacturer’s note, they were easy to mount tubeless. Easier, in fact, than some tubeless tires I’ve dealt with. For the next couple of months, I’ll therefore be on those Nanos. I have a pair of 42mm wide Teravail Washburn tires that may be mounted next.

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Patrick

New Road Front Light

Magicshine MJ-906S front light.

Since I don't Zwift during the dark season of the year, time had come to look for a new front light. I've been using Magicshine lights since I bought a Magicshine Racer's Special from GeoManGear in 2009. I got two more MJ-808E lights in 2014 and have been using them ever since for mountain biking, road cycling, and most often for nightly fat-bike rides in the snowy Jura.

The MJ-808E series of lights are not super ideal with their rubber O-ring that wraps around the handlebar, particularly on the road. Over time, the lights tend to rotate out of position and have to be re-adjusted. So, for the past few years, I've kept an eye out for new lights but never actually pulled the trigger.

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Patrick

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part II)

Onyx Centerlock Boost front hub.

At the end of 2019, my wife and I moved eastwards. Switzerland being as small as it is, it was a move across borders into a different canton. With the move, my bike territory changed. While we're once again living at the foot of the Jura mountains, now slightly elevated at 550m (1800ft), the flanks north of our house are considerably steeper than they were in my old mountain bike playground. They're too steep for my 44 Marauder single-speed, and I quickly discovered that my 44 Big Boy fat-bike was also not the ideal machine for my new trails. So, I sold it in the summer of 2020 and started making plans for a bike that would feel more at home in steep terrain. In May of 2021, I pulled the trigger on a Stooge MK5 and used the following months to purchase components for it.

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