Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Building the Salsa Selma Ti Singlespeed

I picked Selma up on Friday afternoon from Fitzy's and immediately built her up in time for my planned six hour ride on Saturday. If you haven't seen one of the new Salsa Ti bikes in person, you should check them out. They nailed the geometry and the welds are gorgeous.

Salsa Selma Ti Build from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Silence, Please!

Have you noticed that almost every squeak, creak, and groan from your bike "sounds" like it is coming from your bottom bracket? Fitzy and I were discussing the fine art of troubleshooting mysterious bike creaks last night and we agreed that the bottom bracket is rarely the culprit.

I am currently in the process of chasing down a mysterious creak on my singlespeed and I think I have narrowed it down to the rear wheel. Specifically, I "think" it is the interface between the cassette spacers/cog and my DT Swiss SS rear hub. I tried to address it by greasing the faces of each spacer and the cog but after riding for about an hour the creak started to return.

Has anyone else seen this before?

Rear Hub: DT Swiss 240 SS
Cassette Spacers: Aluminum, DT Swiss (came with hub)
Lockring: DT Swiss (came with hub)
Cog: Chris King SS, 20T
Chain: SRAM PC-1

EDIT: To eliminate other variables, I did the following first:
1) Cleaned & re-greased bottom bracket
2) Cleaned & greased pedal spindles & pedal washers
3) Cleaned & re-greased the chainring/XTR crank interface
4) Cleaned & re-greased the chainring bolts
5) Checked tightness of rear skewer

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 Knobby 9 to 5 Race Report

Quick Stats
3rd Place Men’s Singlespeed
Laps: 9
Gearing: 32 x 20
Fuel: Carbo Rocket, Carbo Rocket 333, and EFS Gel, Pepsi
Bike: Niner One9

Single, ready to mingle

This was my first race of any kind on my singlespeed and would be my longest singlespeed ride to date. I am not ready to sell the geared bikes but I really enjoyed racing the singlespeed in Boise and I definitely see more singlespeed racing in my future.

Not only did I race singlespeed, I raced with no computers, HR strap, or power meters on my bike. For a guy who likes to see the numbers, this was a wacky divergence. In the spirit of full disclosure, my decision to race without flight instruments was not a planned one. As Michelle and I were setting up our simple pit before the race she said “I forgot my Garmin” in a somewhat panicked voice. She is hooked on the numbers now too so I gave her my Garmin 500 for the race it worked out great for both of us.

Even after a Friday pre-ride, there was a slight fear of the unknown in the back of my brain because I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after several hours on the singlespeed. However, I was encouraged when I came through the first lap and the timing tent yelled “48” which meant I had done a 48 minute lap. The real surprise came when I followed that up with a 49 minute lap, then a 50 minute lap…and felt pretty good doing it. The demoralizing part was that I knew there were at least five or six solo singlespeeders in front of me after three laps. Sheesh!

Hamilton is looking lean & mean already

I settled into my groove and went about executing my plan to ride as fast as I could for eight hours. Drink. Eat. Smile. Repeat. Notoriously absent from my view was my teammate and fellow singlespeeder Hamilton. Hami passed me in the first ½ mile of the race and I hadn’t seen him since. My teammate Hamilton and I have a friendly rivalry but it has been on the back-burner ever since Hami started riding his singlespeed exclusively a couple years ago. At around 2 PM I started asking our friends in the pit “Where’s Hami?” “Five minutes” was the usual answer and the gap wasn’t coming down. Had I been suffering like a mangy dog I wouldn’t have cared but I was feeling good and had visions of seeing Hami in the distance and then executing a glorious final hour attack. But that didn’t happen. Hami was chasing his own rabbit in the form of 1st place rider, Mike Shane.

It is so hard to dig down for that extra 5% when you can’t see your adversary. Due to the rolling & twisting nature of the course, I never saw Hamilton or Mike during the final laps but I had a feeling I was closing the gap down just a little. In the end, Hami stayed strong, Mike Shane stayed strong, and the three of us finished within 2 minutes of each other. I am going say that my first SS race was a huge success.

Pretty close race in the SS class

Mike hasn’t officially committed yet but we have a potential three-way rematch looming at the Cream Puff in July and my motivation just got ratcheted up a notch.

The race itself was excellent again and the Knobby Tire guys do a great job creating a festive vibe. Big thanks to Club Ride for donating a pile of great stuff for the raffle as well.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

XC Racing, More Rain & Snow, and Single-Mindedness

XC Racing
The City Creek Pedalfest XC Race last weekend was like one of my favorite Clint Eastwood movies: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The trails in Pocatello, ID and the race itself were definitely the “Good”. The overall stoke level was very high and I appreciate the fact that the organizers went out of their way to thank several of us for making the drive. This event will be on my race calendar moving forward for a long time and I would highly recommend it. The “Bad”, and more accurately at times “Ugly”, would refer to my performance as a XC racer. Holy crap, going from 0 to 60 hurts! Every time I do a XC race I vow to mix in more of them so that the explosive effort doesn’t feel quite so foreign to me. I do think that racing 2 to 4 XC races early in the season would help my endurance racing as it forces me to work on my bike handling at race speed as well as my race starts.

City Creek Pedalfest Racecourse

Great trails, sunshine, and racing with friends...what's not to smile about?

More Rain & Snow
Yeah, I rode the trainer again this week. Ugh. If I had to pick one word to describe this year’s weather in the Tetons it would be “Relentless”. I can count the number of shorts & short sleeved riding days so far this year on one hand and I won’t even disclose how many “trainer” days I have. Let’s just say that I am very stoked to ride in Boise this weekend where it is supposed to be in the mid 70s with just a 20% chance of a thunderstorm.

Teton Pass Webcam - June 9th, 9:03am

As soon as I finished the Cream Puff last year I decided that I wanted to race it again in 2011 on my singlespeed. And now the 2011 Puff is only a month away! I have been riding the singlespeed a bit but I am getting ready to ramp that up quite a bit and all of my “dirt time” will be on the singlespeed between now and July 10th. To prepare for the Puff, I am racing the Knobby 9 to 5 this weekend, the Cache to Game XC on June 22, and doing several long rides with lots of climbing…all on my singlespeed. My longest singlespeed ride to date is 4 hours.

When I built up my Niner One9 singlespeed last May I put a 32 x 20 gear on it and just rode it all summer like that. Now that I have been swapping between cogs a bit I am realizing that I don’t love the EBB. Mainly, don’t like how it changes my knee-over-pedal position every time I adjust it. My knees definitely notice it. The creaking isn’t so sweet either. Regardless, I do really like riding the singlespeed and I am looking forward to the next month of total single-mindedness.

I snuck in a lunchtime ride Wed before rain hit again. The views did not suck.

Halfway up the Targhee climb, June 8th

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Racing in Poki this Saturday

This will be the second year for the City Creek Pedalfest in Pocatello, ID and I am looking forward to racing and seeing some new-to-me trails. It has been a long time since I have done a XC race but this one is a bit longer than most at 27-miles so I am guaranteed plenty of suffering for my entry.

Anyone else heading to Poki this Sat? I hope some of the SLC contingent head north...its not that far.

The City Creek Trail Network squeeze a lot of trails into a small area

I just registered online via and I have to admit that I threw up in my mouth a little. I really dislike and that sentiment was a major motivator for me to start Athlete360.

Sure, I am biased but:
  • The Athlete360 processing fee would have been $3 instead of $3.95
  • Athlete360 would NOT have tried to trick you into signing up for magazine subscriptions or joining multiple e-newsletters
  • While registering via Athlete360 you will never be confused by what is real content and what is advertising because there are NO ADS to distract you. Zero, none, nada.