Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mountain bike tweaks

 The sharp-eyed reader will notice two obvious changes to the Kona: the stem is stubbier and the fork stantions are sparkly clean. Let's deal with these in order.

A few months ago I was chatting with Mr. Tobin about bike fit. I was carrying on about how I wanted to be more stretched out on the mountain bike. Ben has a look that is sort of a smirk/smile that he was deploying as I told him this. That smirk/smile is his "I'm hearing it but I'm not buying it" look. Generally, his take was that he liked being more up-right. He likes how it distributes his weight.

Ben is a great trail rider -- just super smooth and natural. He's been riding and hucking for years so his skill is the best kind: it's informed and shaped by years of practice, experience, pondering, wrecking....

So the conversation has stuck with me. And today I changed stems after a quick trail ride. I had this stubby stem in my stash and I'm looking forward to trying it out. I'll report back. Here's a pic of the bike with the longer stem.

And here's a great, unrelated pic of Alex and Andre man-handling something.  But my favorite part is Jon calmly putting together his meal in the background. Good eggs all.

Part two: forks. I blew a seal on these forks during my and Glen's last adventure. I was hoping to get one more summer out of them before sending them to Fox. I assumed Tom at 2 Wheel would be the guy to take care of these, but that's not on the menu there. Ironically enough, Bike Hub, in the old 2 Wheel spot does fork rebuilds. And what's more: they had the seals in stock and had it done in three days. It was $81+tax. Frickin rad all around.

Friendly advice from the Bike Hub guys: wipe down the stantions after each ride to make your forks last longer. I'm not big on maintenance, but I can handle that. Hence the sparkly stantions.

Finally, if you are going to blog post about technical parts of a suspension fork and you want to make sure you (over)use a term (like, for example, say, "stantion"), you can refer to this handy picture.


Anonymous said...

I think it is actually "stanchion" if people are out there googling around for help rebuilding their fork.

Christopher Grande said...

Some dudes I know who race mountain bikes are really into the super short stem with mega wide bars--like shorter than what you got. Looking at your photos, I'm almost incline to say that Kona looks a little too small(?) I'm hardly the authority on mtb fit.

John Speare said...

Anon: dang it. Looks like "santion" and "stanchion" may be interchangeable? But it appears that "stanchion" is pretty much the standard.

Christopher: yeah the mega-stubbies and ultra-wide bars are becoming a standard it seems. I know what you mean on the Kona -- I find mnt bikes generally awkward looking. The thudbuster adds to that for sure... I don't think by mnt bike standards that it's too small. But one can't be too sure, so -- there's a theoretical elephant mnt bike in my future...

Wileydog said...

I was sorry to see 2WT move from that spot since I work downtown & it was convenient for me. I could drop my bike off and bus home. So I'm happy Bike Hub moved in there - esp since the repair shop seems to be up to snuff
Scott (king of late replies)