Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.
Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.

offtrail.guru

A small blog about offtrail riding, allroad cycling, fatbiking and singlespeeding.

Patrick

Portable Camera Equipment

Replay XD 1080 held with a Spiderpod.

When I started bringing a camera along, it used to be a Canon PowerShot digital camera. I had three different ones over the years. I used to set them up along the trail and have them snap a series of 10 photos, usually a second apart. A minute timer would give me just enough time to hop on the bike and ride into the picture. The cameras were small enough to fit into a jersey pocket.

My first action camera was a Replay XD 1080. Image quality wasn't all that great, but it's cylindrical shape is still what I consider one of the best form factors. It was easy to attach it to basically anything. Later, I owned a GoPro Hero 3+, which I replaced by a Hero 5 Session. I picked the Session for it's small cubic form, an ideal shape for POV chest mount shots. I have a Feiyu WGS 3-axis gimbal for stabilization and a self-made mounting plate that fits between the straps of my backpack.

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Patrick

Custom Carbon Front Light Mount

Carbon plate for lights and batteries.

Designed on Sunday, November 11th 2018, ordered same Sunday, payed and made the following Monday, mailed on Tuesday, arrived on Wednesday. If you ever need something done out of carbon plate, contact Rolf Meichtry at CNC-Modell.ch. He's not just quick, he does some quality work.

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Patrick

Offtrail Riding

The ridge that no one rides.

Sometimes a bike comes along that totally changes the way you have been going about things. I started mountain-biking in the mid 80ies and have been practicing that sport very much the same way ever since. Sure, bikes got better, gained suspension and more gears, then in my case lost both while living in California. In 2006, 26" David was kicked off the trails by 29" Goliath, but none of that dramatically changed how and where I was riding.

In 2012 I decided that I wanted a fat-bike. I had been riding my 29er single-speed bikes in the winter and carried them a lot through deep snow. A fat-bike would have me carry the bike a little less, so was my thinking. Most of the time I jump into a new bike category by buying an affordable big-brand production bike first. Not this time. I had Kris Henry of 44 Bikes build me a rigid steel fat-bike. Construction started in the fall of 2012 and my first ride on my all-blue Big Boy happened at the beginning of March, 2013.

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Patrick

Making Tools For A Bearing Swap

Disc side bearing installation using a lathe.

When the rear HED Big Deal carbon rim on my BigBoy got damaged while riding due to the pilot not being careful, I unlaced both wheels. Those Big Deal rims are not designed for trail riding and I knew it. Since trail and offtrail riding is the future of BigBoy, the broken rim was an opportunity to build a burlier set of wheels. It was also just the right time to treat the Industry Nine Classic Torch hubs with new bearings.

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Patrick

A Look Back At Some Home-Brew Hubs

Front Hedgehog hub on my Merlin MTB.

Once in a while you run across something that throws you back to your good old mountain-biking days. Such was the case when Kris Henry posted a picture of bike hubs he built while being a student at PSU. In the last year of my apprenticeship I designed my own set of what later generally came to be called V-brakes. Years before Shimano and Avid brought low-profile V-brakes to the every day mountain biker, GraftonMRC and a few others made this style of brakes. For a very long period of time, I ran my own set of MTB brakes.

While in college for mechanical engineering I no longer had ready access to lathes and mills, but new ideas were always on my mind. Ideas that were often put on mechanical drawings, ready to be made whenever the opportunity arose to let chips fly. Memory is already a little fuzzy about the exact timeline, but around 1994-1996 I designed and machined a set of hubs for my Merlin mountain bike. I first machined a front hub and about a year later completed the project by making a matching rear hub.

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