Monthly Archives: May 2009

New sponsor: FRM

We have found another sponsor for our team:  FRM Lightweight Parts. In 2008 I have got already a set of the new 29er rims (XMD 29er) for testing and since then I have done quite some miles on them. Right after lacing they suffered a riding week around half of Lake Garda, where I unfortunately killed the front rim in an accident (my mistake). The rear rim however is on the bike since June 08 and it is still their, after Marathon races, touring and riding. Just lastlast week I hammered it again over the volcano trails of La Palma. Still no problem so far.  To complement the rear rim I have put a FRM crankset on the bike and laced a Lefty front wheel with a FRM hub, both of them riding fine and smooth without problems yet.  More parts are to come soon. Check their products on

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City Bike Marathon ’09 Justin


The race went well until the end, where it didn’t go as planned.  I lined up with 350+ racers for the 87km race inside the Munich Olympic stadium.  The pace from the gun was high, indicative of the flat race ahead.  We raced through the city for a few kilometers until we hit the dirt/gravel bike path following a river.  At one point in the city, a polizei car in front of us just stopped in the middle, giving riders only a few meters on either side to pass.  This almost caused serious carnage, and as guys went around, they would slap the car, knocked the side mirrors in, and cursed, shocking how little respected the polizei seem to be.

I worked my way up through the field, pulling sometimes more than I should have, but once I yelled at a few of the BMW team guys who had found a home on my wheel, they seemed more than happy to continue the pace setting.  Only one short climb before we made it back to Olympia Park, where a number of short punchy climbs awaited.  We finished a maze around the park, utilizing I think every sidewalk/bike path in the area, and then shot us back into the stadium.  This is where things went wrong.

Apparently at that point, we were around 82 kilometers, with 5 or so to go.   At the entrance stood a post with a little sign indicating left blahblahblah, and right something “runde”, or lap.  I figured right meant for the second lap, or second time, and to back up my belief, I followed a guy I had been working with to the left.  WRONG!  Around the track we went as 400m sprinters through the finish line.  Within seconds kids were cutting off the transponder from the bike, time had stopped, end of the race, disqualified.

Originally I wasn’t mentioned in the results, but yesterday I magically appeared in 95th with a time of 2:50.  There must have been quite a few including Michael that suffered this same fate, so they figured they would throw us in there somewhere.

The food spread at the end was remarkable, from giant pretzels, sandwiches, cobbler, Weizen beer (alcohol free), crumb cake, fruits and so on.  This is the first time I had to pay for parking at a race, 3.50 euro.

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City Bike Marathon ’09 – Michael

Me in Munich Olympic Park

Me in Munich Olympic Park

This was year No. 2 for the SOG Events City Bike Marathon. Essentially, it’s two different distance marathons (64 Km and 87 KM), plus a kids race that starts and ends at the famous Munich Olympic Park. Last year turned out to be a mess because some people tore down marking tape, moved arrows, etc. and caused major confusion on the course with people going the wrong direction then returning toward oncoming traffic, etc

The start of the short course. Long course a few minutes later.

The start of the short course. Long course a few minutes later.

This year, they really did a great job of having people stationed at virtually ever corner and ground markings, mixed with the occasional arrow to help you confirm that you were indeed going the correct direction. Well, that is until about the 80-something kilometer mark inside the Oly Park (as we call it). When we rounded the corner to enter the stadium there were two paths. One had a very small sign with maybe 1″ tall letters (very hard to read at 25 km/hr) which we now know led to a second round of the park. The other, the one that Justin and I (as well as seemingly many others) took went to the finish line with no way to get out to finish properly.

Therefore, I finished, didn’t finish it again this year. Didn’t make me happy, but there was nothing I could do about it once I’d crossed the line and realized what was actually going on. Oh well, hopefully SOG and I will learn from these mistakes. Hopefully.

Map of the long course

Map of the long course

Long course profile

Long course profile

The course led directly toward the Isar river from the park. From there we headed North for many kilometers where a lot of carnage ensued. It always amazes me how many people manage to crash on dirt/gravel roads and end up either heavily bandaged or going to the hospital. After almost reaching the airport, we crossed the river and headed back south. At one point, we went west to the windmill hill up/over and around the Alliance Arena and then started doing a long flat curve around the north end of the city. Then we started working our way back to the park were we were supposed to do two rounds and then finish.

A couple of equipment comments. I ran singlespeed at 32X17. The course was sooooo very flat. I’m not sure whether I’ll do it singlespeed again or not. If I do, I may do it 32 or 34X16. Maybe I’ll do it on a fixie next year. Anyway, close to the end I had to stand to climb and both legs simultaniously locked up. OUCH! I kind of spun that out going into the park but I attribute it to 80+ km of spinning and not enough fluids. My Ergon grips (sadly, the Euro team couldn’t gain sponsorship for ’09) really did the job. I really love their products. Also, my GEAX tires were amazing! I’ve got the Barro Race 2.0 tires on now. There’s amazingly light and definitely a race tire. I can honestly say that they probably upped my average speed by a 2-3 km/hr. They roll so smoothly and even though they have a super low profile they never once let me down in corners. Oh… FYI, I’m also running them tubeless which works very well too. Thanks GEAX!

Here’s a link to all the photos that I bought. Go HERE.

Look on the right... thats where I should be. Grrr!

Look on the right... that's where I should be. Grrr!

So, at first SOG didn’t post our results. Then, a few days later they popped up. Here they are. Keep in mind that over 2000 people participated and that people were continuing to finish over an hour after I finished. So, doing it on a singlespeed wasn’t the worst that I could have imagined.

Here’s a link to Justin Koppas post about CBM too.

82nd in Senior Men, 244th out of all men


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GEAX Barro Race Tire review by Justin


I have been riding a set of Geax Barro Race foldable 29” tires for the past month, rocking them on pavement, mud, sand, and wet roots .  The GEAX Barro Race has very low tread and the width is just shy of 2.0.  The sidewalls are very thin, but with the advertised weight of 425 grams, there isn’t going to be much there.  I mounted these tubeless onto a set of Stan’s 355 rims yellow taped with minimal exertion and fuss.

The Barro Race has a little vibration feedback when on pavement, but unnoticeable on everything else.  The tire has excellent traction on most everything when running 25-28 psi, corners very well especially when thrown into the turn allowing the lower outside knobs to grab, and provides ample confidence in rooty downhills.  This tire is the easy choice for fairly dry race courses no matter the terrain based on its light weight and the rider confidence it instills.

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24 cremona 2009 – By Ed

Sand is not my friend

Sand is not my friend

Well, well, well, I have been reading another blog and it seems as if I the target of the blogger.  You know the one who doesn’t have much to say about much I don’t post much and don’t have a head the size of a hot air balloon.  So in deference to his extremely popular blog and my much less so popular blog I will avoid using the words “not much to post” and “took pics on my ride today” and stick to his uncanny ability to pump up his own inflated ego.

Racing is not really the best way to have fun, 24 hour racing makes racing even less fun and as I did one last weekend I have spent the past week trying to recover my will to ride.  Not as easy as one might think.  I don’t want to see any mountain bikes at all, I don’t want to ride the road bike and I want my freaking calf to quit cramping.  I broke a chain and raked the teeth of my crank set up the back of my calf causing an immediate cramp and bunches of blood, but the cramp won’t go away, it seizes up at random times while walking the dogs or riding causing a bit of pain.  Not that it bothers anyone else, but I care about me, at least when things hurt me.



So the race went well, I got one flat, one broken chain, one continually dragging rear disc brake, 16 hours of rain and mud more slick than ice. Fun, no?  Well not really.  The race began with a stupid long run, I hate runs to the bike, it makes me tired and hurts my feet in my cycling shoes.  You must get to the bike, and although all the people competing for the overall run like sprinters, I, myself, trot slowly.  As I get to the bike most everyone else is already flying onto the trail acting as if this first lap will decide the final placing of the race.  NOTE TO ALL YOU GOOFY PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THIS, IT IS THE FINAL TOTAL NUMBER OF LAPS YOU DO THAT MATTERS, NOT WHO FINISHES THE FIRST LAP FIRST.

So I cruised around dodging people, getting passed and in general saying hi to folks I have met at previous races and members of the Los Lobos club.  It was kind of nice, well really I felt good so I was having fun and for the first 8 hours it was pretty much just like that, ride along have a good time and enjoy the off and on again rain.  It all changed as I stopped at 10 PM to grab some food and take a quick shower and have a few beers before I went off to sleep for a bunch of hours because my partner in the duo class had gone home and wasn’t going to ride anymore that night, so why should I?  Well we were in first place!  What me in first place at any race, no.  So instead of kicking back and having a good time I looked for a coke, some meat and some chips and ate as much as I could as fast as I could and was back out on the course.

Overnight I managed to do a bunch of laps, but our rival teams had two riders going all night, not one.  (I should clarify it was cumulative not cooperative for the lap total) So for every two and half I did, they did four.  It was mentally wearing to pass people, and know I was still losing laps.  I managed a brave “I can do it” face until 0400 and just had to sit down for a few minutes and promptly fell asleep for an hour.  Upon waking I jumped up and realized I was really really hungry.  So I ate and ate and ate and then finally left the dry safety of the Lobos tent city for seven more hours of fun in the rain.

As the race continued parts of the course where closed due to danger for the riders, and as the course was modified we got to ride new and more slippery sections of “less” dangerous trails.  Well they where wider than the stuff they closed off, so when I fell I had less chance of smashing a tree with my face, but more of a chance of smashing the ground with my face.  Fun, fun, fun.   I made it until noon, when, generally speaking most 24 hour races stop, when I crashed.

At this point I was standing up and riding more than sitting, and I won’t tell you exactly why, just think water, mud, 17 hours and a nice light and normally comfortable saddle and well I hope your imagination takes you to why I was standing.  So I was pedaling down a pretty straight slippery flat section of double track when I lost concentration for a second lost my front wheel and fell way faster than it took you to read this.  It hurt, not just my pride, as a few people saw me, but my wrist too.  It felt like a mild sprain and hurt like a mild sprain and I needed a reason to hang up the old cleats.

At this point we couldn’t catch first place and third was too far behind to catch us so why not take advantage of the excuse?  I could have taken some advil and kept on going, or eat a bunch of grilled Pork and sit down and relax.  Well relaxing seemed the order of the day.  The pork was very good.  Thanks Stefano.

All in all a pretty good race.  I am recovered physically at least, my legs felt good two days after the race, but I am not motivated to ride at all.  Bikes are bringers of pain, not the fun machines they where prior to the race.  Another week maybe the fun will return, but today it is drizzling and instead of riding I am typing this drivel.  I need three more hours this week to reach 18 hours riding, but what the hell, I like popcorn and petting our dogs, so I will eat popcorn and pet the dogs and think about riding, that should help my fitness level, right?

Mmmmm, I'm hungry!

Mmmmm, I'm hungry!

I had a good race and had some bad luck, some good luck, thanks to SingleStoff and the Lobos guys and took second overall.  Not a bad weekend, I just hope to ride as well in a month in Finale.

For those of you who are interested, King Cages rock, not a single lost bottle for me but others lost bottles everywhere, the Avid brakes I used where very good, aside from the constant dragging which turned out to be the fault of a bad bleeding job by a local shop, I used Kenda and Maxxis tires, the Crossmarks where not great in the mud, the Karmas not any better, but no tires would have been good on this course.  Who else?  Oh a great frame by Stoic cycles that is now being painted and the best handle bars in the world Luv Handles by Groovy Cycles.  Oh and I used several products for energy from Hammer nutrition to keep me fueled physically.  Mentally, well I am never stable there.  Hope you are all well and next time I hope some funny stuff happens because it is more fun to read about my failures than successes.  Of course I have very few successes so I won’t have to wait too long to write something funny, to me at least.

(From Michael…. many more photos of the race here on Flickr)

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CaffeLatex, Slime and the Wrong Tires. Well, the tires are not quite right.

The Front Wheel:

I wanted some more rubber on my Redline Conquest and run lower pressures since I was riding it a bit more like an MTB than a cross bike. So I decided to try WTB Mutano Raptors 700cx44. I am using Salsa Delgado Cross rims, Stans’ rim strips, and CaffeLatex sealant. I was so eager to start the project that I did not mount the tire with a tube first.


The front wheel: Salsa Delgado Cross rims, Stans’ rim strip already mounted on the rim, a WTB Mutano Raptor 700cx44, and the CaffeLatex sealant and syringe.


I mounted the tire, but I could not seat it with the compressor, even after liberal applications of soapy water and a lot of cussing. So I decided to add sealant and then try it again. I pulled the valve core to to add the CaffeLatex.


The CaffeLatex syringe comes with a Schraeder valve and a Presta valve adapter. The Schraeder valve has a cool little one-way valve. But neither the Schraeder nor the Presta adapter would screw onto the Presta valve’s post.


The valve adapters on the end of the tube did not fit the Presta valve stem (I had the core removed) so I floated the end of the tube under the bead like a catheter and injected the CaffeLatex into the tire.


After adding the CaffeLatex I blasted in air with the compressor. The tire was brand new, never seated on a rim before, and I could not seat the bead before I added the sealant. At first I blew CaffeLatex sealant everywhere. Little drops of stuff that turned into stringy rubber. After a few seconds foam and bubbles formed and sproing… the tire seated and sealed.


I cleaned the CaffeLatex foam off the tire with a sponge and some soapy water. The tire sealed very quickly but there was minor foaming around the rim and CaffeLatex liquid was running around the bead. I think the thin liquid was a mixture of CaffeLatex and soapy water.


CaffeLatex doing its job. What you are actually seeing is CaffeLatex seaping through the rim/bead interface and some soapy water making the sealant even more viscous. After several iterations of shaking and flipping the wheel the foaming stopped and the tire held pressure overnight. There was some minor seepage and a small puddle of liquid on the floor the next day.


The Rear Wheel: (Fugging Catastrophe)

After making a mess (see CaffeLatex_8) with a brand new tire, I mounted the rear tire with a tube and let it conform to the rim overnight.


I mounted the WTB Mutano Raptor 700cx44 on a Salsa Delagdo Cross rim fitted with a Stans’ rim strip. Even though the tire did not seat when try to inflate it with the compressor I thought this was OK since the front tire seated and held air after adding sealant. See pic CaffeLatex_8. It was NOT ok as it turns out.


When I added sealant to the front wheel I pulled the valve core. Guitar Ted’s blog mentioned that he injected the sealant with the valve core in the valve so I did that. Easy… just inflate now like the front tire. Bullshit. The rear tire would not seat itself. The only difference to the front tire was that the tire had been mounted overnight with a tube. Using the compressor I blew out all the sealant, added more, blew it out in streams of foam and got CaffeLatex everywhere. I could not take pictures. It simply did not work like the front tire.


The CaffeLatex was trying to seal the rim/bead but it could not, it was too runny and the air kept blowing it out of the tire. I needed some thicker stuff so I took everything apart and washed the tire, rims strip and rim. CaffeLatex cleans up easily with soap and water. Then I added about 30 or 40ml of Slime “Tube Sealant” by popping the bead and pouring a scoop in.


Initially the tire did not seal and I was now blowing green shit all over the place, getting pissed, and about to give up on this tire when ‘spronk’ (that’s the noise it made) the tire seated. Escaping air bubbled out of the rim / bead interface sounding like frying bacon, but it seated. Shaking did not help much since the Slime Tube Sealant is so thick that it does not coat the inside of the tire quickly. I dropped the tire pressure to about 1 bar (14 or 15 psi), put 50ml of CaffeLatex in the syringe and screwed the tube onto the Presta valve. The Presta valve adapter screws into the Schraeder valve adapter which has a one way valve. This is cool because the tire pressure can not blow sealant out of the tire back into the syringe, so all you have to do is put more pressure onto the selant in the syringe and it will flow into the tire. That is some cool shit. Anyway, after adding the CaffeLatex and shaking the tire the bubbling and oozing on the rim/bead interface stopped. I cleaned up the tire and it held pressure overnight.


So is CaffeLatex and Slime compatible? I really don’t know and my little test here doesn’t prove anything… but… I added a small squirt of Slime to a clear water bottle. Vigorous shaking could not get the snot-like Slime to coat the bottle. I added an equal amount of CaffeLatex and shook. The CaffeLatex and Slime mixed and created a viscous green foam that covered everything. There is not a lot in the pictured bottle, less than 20cc total, about 10cc each of Slime and CaffeLatex.


Refilling the front wheel:

Since I blew a lot of seleant out of the tire (see see pic CaffeLatex_8) I topped off the tire. The CafeLatex syring is pretty cool because of the one way valve and the sealant will flow over the valve core. I dropped the tire pressure way down, screwed on the syringe and squeezed. The sealant flowed in and all was good.



When I mounted the rear tire with a tube, it fit, I even rode it around a bit. I guess the tire stretched overnight because now, after all this work, the rear tire just barely fits with the eccentric hub’s axle all the way to the rear. Unfortunately the chain is now just a bit too short, if I add a complete link the chain will be too loose on the rear axle, so I guess I need a half link… or a smaller tire.

I always thought it was better to mount the tire first with a tube so it conforms to the rim. In this case the new tire, folded and flattened out, seemed to initially push the beads tighter towards the rim allowing CaffeLatex to seal. The previously mounted tire’s beads did not push against the rim as much ans as such the thin CaffeLatex would not create the initial seal needed to seat the tire. Slime Tube Sealant (not the tubeLESS sealant), with a consistency thicker than sinus-snot, did form such a seal and it appears that a CaffeLatex and Slime mixture might work.

The WTB Mutano Raptors mounted and are holding pressure, but the bead does not sit crazy tight like the GEAX TNT tires. And it looks like I might have to find a 700cx38/40 tire for the rear and the associated unpleasant removing and cleansing.

Removable valve cores: not necessary with CafeLatex.

Anyway, it was kind of fun, not a lot of fun, but working on bike is almost as good as riding them.



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