Saturday, October 29, 2011

T-Minus One Week

This year I am extending the Endurance MTB race season a bit and racing the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow next weekend...Solo. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Sing it with me! (JenyJo might be the only one who gets this).

Race preparations are in full-swing and yes, there are spreadsheets involved. My stoke level is high for this one and I am looking forward to ending the MTB race season with a big effort in desert. Let's rock.

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 Giant Glory 0 For Sale

For Sale: A very nice Giant Glory O Downhill Bike, size large, with a few upgrades. This bike was used very lightly on Teton Pass & the Grand Targhee downhill trails. There are a few scuffs on the frame and fork legs from riding the lifts at Targhee.

2011 Retail Price: $5,700
Asking: $3,600
Shipping: $75
Payment Methods: PayPal, Cash, or personal check if I know you
Email me at "dave dot byers at" with questions.

(Full specs are below the pics)


SIZE: Large
COLOR: Smoke/Gold
FRAME: ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum, 8" Maestro Suspension
FORK: Fox 40 RC2, 203mm Travel
SHOCK: Fox DHX RC4, (Upgrade) RCS Titanium Spring

HANDLEBAR: Giant Contact AM, 750mm, 31.8
GRIPS: Oury Lock-Ons, Twenty6 GasCaps, Gold
STEM: (Upgrade)Twenty6 F1 Stem, Gold
SEATPOST: Giant Contact, 30.9, (Upgrade)
SEATPOST CLAMP: (upgrade) Twenty6, Gold
SADDLE: Fi'zi:k Tundra2 (Giant LTD Edition) w/ Manganese Rails
PEDALS: (Upgrade) Twenty6 Ti Prerunner Pedals, Gold

SHIFTERS: Shimano Saint
FRONT DERAILLEUR: MRP G2 Guide, Custom for Giant
REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Saint, Top Normal
BRAKES: Shimano Saint, [F] 203mm [R] 180mm
CASSETTE: Shimano Saint 11x28, 9-Speed
CHAIN: Shimano HG-93
CRANKSET: Shimano Saint, 38T
BOTTOM BRACKET: Shimano Saint, External

RIMS: DT Swiss EX-500
HUBS: Shimano Saint [F] 20mm Thru Axle, [R] 12mm Thru Axle, 32h
SPOKES: DT Competition, 14/15g w/ Alloy Nipples
TIRES: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C / DHR 3C 26X2.5 (currently setup tubeless)

Link to Giant Bicycles page for the 2011 Glory 0

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Works Components 1.5 Degree Headcup to the rescue

The Giant XTC Composite 29er has been in my stable most of the summer but I have only ridden it sporadically and have not mentioned it on this blog. Honestly, I just didn't love riding it so I haven't talked about it.

The XTC 29er has always felt twitchy to me and going back and forth between the rock-solid AnthemX 29er only highlighted this aspect of the XTC 29er. In my opinion, Giant made a mistake with the geometry of this bike. Giant put a steep 71.5 head angle on the XTC 29er AND they used very short chainstays. The result is an overly quick handling bike.

This is where the Works Components 1.5 Degree Headcup comes in. Basically, the 1.5 degree headcup changed my head angle from 71.5 degrees to 70 degrees, lowered the BB just a fuzz, and tranformed the XTC 29er from the "anti-fun bike" to a bike that I enjoy riding. I had the choice of a 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 degree headcup. (More after the pics)

The Works Components Headcups are sold as a complete headset including star nut & top cap

The 1.5 degree offset is machined into the cups so there are no moving parts to creak & pop

Just line up the headset and press it in. Simple.

My complete XTC, pre-Works Components Headset

The massive downtube makes the XTC Composite super-stiff and responsive. This results in excellent power transfer AND an unforgiving ride.

I would guess that UK-based Works Components sells the majority of their offset headcups to the gravity crowd as it is pretty common for a downhiller to want to slacken their bike by a degree or two. However, I think you will start to see more offset headsets on XC, trail bikes, and even cross bikes, as they are a great tool for customizing the ride of your bike.

Why the Works Components Headcup vs. a Cane Creek Angleset? I did a lot of research on the Cane Creek Angleset and I kept reading the same thing; they can be noisy and finicky. I wanted quiet and simple. Whereas the Cane Creek Angleset is adjustable, the Works Components Headcups are machined to a specific degree of offset. I am a huge fan of the Cane Creek 110 Series headsets but for this project I decided to go across the pond.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sneaking one in.

Quick Stats:
- 53 Miles
- 6K’ of climbing
- 6 hours of moving time
- 3 weeks to 25 Hours of Frog Hollow, Solo

It was very quiet on the Ridge Trail Sunday morning

I watched the NWS forecasts all week knowing that I had some serious riding ambitions for the weekend and as Sunday crept closer, the forecast looked grim. The glimmer of hope was that the “heavy stuff” wasn’t supposed to come down until after noon on Sunday.

In hindsight, I should have mounted the lights and started really early. Instead, I enjoyed breakfast & coffee with M and was riding by 8:30 AM. The first three hours was some of the best mountain biking I have done this year. Crisp air, tacky trail, lingering fall colors, and zero people made for a perfect morning on the bike.

I parked at Phillip’s Canyon TH so that I could do a couple of big loops and have the option to grab more layers and/or raingear when I needed them. This proved to be a good plan. I got lightly rained on 3.5 hours into my ride and then with 1.5 hours to go, the skies parted and I got shelled. No big deal. I would like to find some good shoe covers with a tight seal above the ankle though.

Much of the trail was covered in Aspen leaves but there are plenty of fall colors left

I just had to stop and give this guy some head-scratches

No trails were harmed during this ride

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011 Moose Cross - Bigger. Faster. Awesomer.

The 4th annual Moose Cross Cyclocross Festival is in the books and it was the best yet by far. With two weeks to go, I have to admit that I was nervous that it wouldn't come together but our team rallied as usual and our volunteers stepped up big-time. We could spend a lot less time on the event and put on an "average" cyclocross race but that is not how we roll. We want the racer who travels from Missoula, MT or Boise, ID or Elko, NV to leave Victor feeling as if it was worth every hour they spent in the car to get here.

THANK YOU to all of the racers, volunteers, spectators, and my fellow Victor Velo Board members. It takes a team effort to pull this off each year.

Why do we do it?
Victor Velo exists to promote healthy lifestyles and economic development in Victor, ID by providing diverse cycling opportunities.

Every cent of profit generated by our cyclocross races goes back into Victor Velo and specifically the Victor Bike Park. We try to make our races affordable and attractive for both locals and the traveling racers. This year, every racer got a free entry into Oktoberfest, a Moose Cross t-shirt, and a yummy Tram Bar.

JayP leads out the kid's race. Kids, don't follow JayP's example and ride with a sucker in your mouth. Photo by Chris Larson

This little ripper exemplifies the Moose Cross stoke. Photo by Chris Larson

It wouldn't be Moose Cross without Peeto on the mic all day. Photo by Chris Larson

The Men's 1/2/3 leaders railing the "Narrows" section. Photo by Chris Larson

Frank Gonzalez, John Curry, and Owen Gue broke free early. Photo by Chris Larson

The chase group in Saturday's Men's 1/2/3 race. Photo by Chris Larson

Gabe "Fiddee Cent" Klamer airing Sunday's mini barriers. Photo by Tracey Petervary

Tim Kelley, always a Fitzy Teammate at heart, runs the railroad ties. Photo by Tracey Petervary

Frank "The Tank" Gonzalez won Saturday's Men's 1/2/3 race. Photo by Chris Larson

BC/DC rocked Victor's ice rink following Saturday's racing. Their version of "Thunderstruck" was especially good. Crappy pic by me

A few closing thoughts:
1) We are better race organizers than we are race promoters. Doing a better job at promotion is the only way we will continue to increase our racer numbers.
2) Seeing many racers attend their 4th consecutive Moose Cross was very cool.
3) Moose Cross + Oktoberfest + Live Music = Good Times!
4) As we do every year, we are already making notes on how to improve the race next year.
5) Timing and results still kick my ass but for the first time in the history of Moose Cross we had results online Monday morning. Woot Woot!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

6 Hours of Frog Hollow Race Report

Technically, I should say that this is the 5 hours, 1 minute and 30 seconds of Frog Hollow race report because that is exactly how long I raced.

The Start/Finish area of the 6 Hours of Frog Hollow. Photo by

The Frog Hollow course reminds me of the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde course in that is fast and flowy in places, and chunky and techie in other places. The course keeps you on your toes and rewards you for being smooth. The highlight has to be the JEM Trail descent where you are rarely going in a straight line and have lots of opportunities to catch a little air.

My strategy was very simple: Go as hard as I thought I could go for 5 hours in order to make the cuttoff to go out for a 6th lap...even if that meant that I was totally wrecked for my 6th lap. My strategy almost worked. Although the race runs from 9 AM to 3 PM, the race rules state that you have to start your last lap before 2:00 PM.

I came in after my fourth lap at 1:01 PM so I knew I needed to uncork a fast lap and I felt like I had it in me. I pushed hard on the opening climbs and about one third of the way through the lap I spied the 2nd place solo male. He still looked good on the bike so I stayed on his wheel for a bit but when offered to let me by, I went. And he stuck to me like glue. I didn’t want to look back and make it totally obvious that I was very concerned about shaking him so I played it cool and focused ahead, pretending that I was riding by myself. I was also racing the clock so I attacked on the next climb and tried to keep the pace high before the JEM Trail descent. I never let off of the gas but in the end I needed another minute...I guess I shouldn’t have lubed my chain after Lap #3. Ha! I came through the timing tent after my 5th lap at 2:01 PM and therefore I was done, 2nd place Solo Male. I really wanted to do six laps but it would not have changed the final standings at all.

I kept the fueling simple and drank Kiwi Lime Carbo Rocket in my bottles and took EFS Gel for some extra calories. No electrolyte pills needed despite the warm temps.

This was a fun race and a great tune-up for the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow on Nov 5-6. To get a feel for the course, check out the short 6 Hours of Frog Hollow YouTube Video put together by racer Troy Allison.