Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The resurrection is... not!

Well, well, well... they said it wouldn't last. And they were right. I gave it three weeks, Big Nath estimated two, but we were both way off the mark.

Josh's Stumpy singlespeed conversion actually saw the light of day, getting fitted first with a rigid fork and the wheels and cranks from his Turner, and some new bars, stem and tensioner to top it off. Then the hand of death, our inept bike builer James, decided that the tensioner needed a tension check, pushing it down hard until the spring bent. Josh cursed him and all that he stands for, but forged on like the little soldier he is, before deciding the rigid fork left the front end too low.

Cue the Marzocchi fork from the Turner... alright, blinglespeed. And then, the maiden voyage, up to Makara, in the mud, perfect conditions for a no-frills machine to excell. Or so you'd think...
Until, of course, the hand of death comes back to haunt you.

The tensioner decided to shit itself halfway up to the peak, leaving an angry soldier to scooter his way back down the hill, tail between legs. Well, I presume that's how it would've looked, as I actually wasn't there, but hey, I'll improvise.

Now, you'd expect that after putting so much time and effort, and some dollars, into a bike that was going to be "ridden all winter", that he'd be looking at alternatives for the job of tensioning the chain, and getting that SS groove back on ASAP, right? Nosireebob, it was in the stand and being stripped before you could say "Surly Crosscheck conversion", with the Turner regaining it's missing bits pronto. Total time in existence: A week (and that's being generous)... Anyone want to buy a Stumpy frame, hardly used?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The resurrection is nigh...

I'll admit it: I went soft this summer, taking the easy path and doing all of my mountain bike riding on a fully suspended geared bike. Although I flirted with the single speed thing late last year (briefly), technology lured me back to the "all the bells and whistles" fold. I'm not ashamed of that; even on my light and speedy Turner I was still coming home completely fucked from the mammoth suffer fests that Carl calls bike rides.

If any of you were wondering about what happened to the plans to ride the Surly off-road, that modification didn't last out the week - that bike's place really is on the streets, and it just feels strange setting it up any other way. Ho-hum. In the end I wasn't too beat up about not making it to the nationals; I still hadn't shaken a chest infection I'd picked up a few weeks before, and the SSSS was well represented by Bretto showing up on his crazy single-cross bike.

The need to faff with all of my bikes, complete and otherwise, combined with fond (and probably inaccurate) memories of my summer of single speeding glory in 2006 on this bike, has driven me to pull out the old Stumpy hardtail again for a makeover. Pictures to come soon, but for now I can reveal that this bike will be bringing the pain (and exorcising some of my softness) fully-rigid style; the cro-mo fork's just been fitted and the rest is nearing completion...