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

A Bike Jacket For Next Winter

44 Snakedriver in a bike jacket.

A broken down car right ahead of Christmas and New Year, meant driving a loaner until we purchased a new car. No roomy vehicle meant no fat-biking. That was followed by one of the poorest winters in years for snow cover. No snow, oh well, no fat-biking. A new vehicle on our parking spot created another necessity - to safely transport my studded fatty inside the new car without damaging the interior. Tire studs are short, but they're awfully sharp and will scratch interior plastic panels and tear fabrics or leather. In our old car, I did my best to be careful. But a scratch now and then wasn't a big deal. With a brand new car however, being careful isn't quite enough. I wanted something that would protect our car from those sharp metal studs. Thanks to Google I came across a post in the fat-bike forum on MTBR which pointed me to Amy Middleton's Bike Jackets. I ordered one and then waited ages because it got hung up at Swiss customs. It didn't get much use during the no-show winter 19/20, but will hopefully come in handy for winter 20/21.

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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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