Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Component upgrade considerations...

After a long season, I am going to be posting a few of my equipment findings.  Call them long term reviews after a thorough beat down of over 30 races.
One of my favorite bike component additions this year has been the E13 XCX chainguide.  Ask yourself, "Self, when was the last time I shifted my front derrailleur here in the Midwest?"  My answer to this question would be over a year ago!  I have ridden the MRP chain keeper and still had trouble with it bending and not keeping my chain on.  However, this is not the case w/ the E13.  It is SO solid and easy to adjust...I set it up at the beginning of the year and haven't touched it since.  I also haven't dropped a chain all year even on the roughest of decents including the DH race at Mont Du Lac!  Anyway, I will be putting one of these on my snow bike (the direct mount one is awesome too), and all my bikes next year.
So, do yourself a favor and drop 1/2 lb of your bike the cheap way.  Take that front shifter, front derr, and those extra chainrings off.  Put one of these babies on!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

For Sale - Fork and Wheels

For sale are a wheelset and fork to convert your 26" bike to 15QR. 15QR drastically stiffens up the steering of the bike.

Fork - Brand new, never used (taken of a stock bike) 15QR Fox Fit RL with remote lockout and Kashima coating. The steer tube IS tapered (1.5" lower bearing). The steer tube is 8.5" long.

Wheels - RXXXL Bontrager Carbon wheels. The front is 15QR and the rear is standard quick release (135x10). The wheels have seen light use mostly on the road. I estimate at 1/4 of a season total use because I have 2 other carbon wheelsets for the bike that I race and mountain bike on.

If you have top fuel or other tapered head tube bike from a previous year running the front 9mm QR, this is a worthy upgrade! I am asking $1000 which is a great deal, but I don't have a use for them and just want them to go.

email me at bjmoore1@uwalumni.com with questions.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Chequamegon was partly successful this year in that I didn't go down like I did last time, but my result stunk!  Someone almost took me down by grinding their front wheel against my shoe and pedal (before we even hit 77!).   I am not sure what they were doing but I was going straight.
I started in a fine position near the front, but by the time we hit Rosie's I was probably 100th due to my caution after the little wheel grinding incident.  I passed ~60 people in Rosie's and was in a very long line but was way to far back in the front group.  At some point there was a split and that was all she wrote... the rest of the race I plotted along in a group until Fire Tower, passed most of them there, and rode the last 10 miles solo.
Me at the top of Firetower Hill not happy w/ how the day was going...although, that climb is definitely the most entertaining part of the course that is left.

I had a inkling that it wasn't going to be a good day, as my legs have felt pretty hollow since that stretch of racing that ended in Maplelag.  When I say hollow, I mean I just can't seem to access the high end power and intensity.  For the most part I have avoided a "bad race" this year until now, so I guess I was due=)  Either way, the weather, the scene at the finish, the Freewheel party (thanks guys!!!) and test riding a new Superfly 100 on the Ojibawa trail behind Telemark lodge all made it worth the trip. 

A couple hours after the race I took my dad out on the Makwa trail for a while...he loved it.  I could not come to the Hayward/Cable area and miss out on the sweet mountain biking!  Late afternoon we settled in on a deck of our family friends beautiful lake home and enjoyed bacon wrapped fillet medallions with a couple adult beverages.  That took some of the sting out of my poor result.  

I may do a couple more races if the weather is nice, but my body, family, and brain are telling me to just ride and get that snow bike built!


P.S.  Come on Lifetime, this is not cool:  “Our thought was, like him or not, doping or not, allegations or allegories..."
Doping of any kind, legal supplement or not, - HGH, EPO, testosterone, etc - is NOT ok at any level of any race and you should honor any USADA sanctions.  I am not for or against any one rider, but a clean race and level playing field should be paramount for any race organizer or promoter.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Slice of Heaven in MN...

Just a heads up...lots of links to great media in this post, but if a picture is worth 1000 words, mathematically a moving picture has to be at least 24x that.

Maplelag, which hosted the 9th round of the the MNMBS, is one of my family and I's favorite weekends of the year...mtbk related or otherwise.  Maplelag Resort is a little slice of Heaven perched on a little lake north of Detroit Lakes, MN, and it happens to have some of the best singletrack, maybe the best for those of us that like the tough stuff, in the Midwest.
The weekend's racing schedule is not just about an XC race though.  It is a complete stage race w/ time trial (TT), short track (STXC), and XC.  The winner is based on all the times added together.  Oh, and you can't forget about the kids race! Tegan rocked it runing 14 psi rear 12 psi front;)

We should all smile this big when we finish a race!
Skinnyski.com has all kinds of pics and all the results, but here is my recap

TT:  This is the most painful 10 min of my year...every year.  It is a 3 mile course that is ~75% ski trail and 25% singletrack.  For whatever reason I prize this race the most...the race of truth as TT's are often called.  This year it wasn't a cool morning which suits me well, and it helped me to set a new course record of 9:28.  TJ Woodruff, a very strong Pro from Wisco/Tuscon/Boulder (depends on the time of year=) was ~15 seconds back.  I knew TJ was going to be tough all weekend.
STXC:  This is like a dirt crit on a course that was ~2 min per lap.  The first few laps saw little separation and lots of positioning.  Then a few of us stirred things up getting it down to 5 in the lead group including Scotty KJ, Mason Basco, Paul Hanson, and TJ.  Near the end, I decided to get on the front and just pull the last 4 laps.  Well my non-tactical approach to a tactical form of racing almost worked out (got it down to TJ and I) but TJ went around me the last lap for the win.  I was a couple seconds back.  Video recap here.
XC:  The course is long at 10 miles or so, and I much prefer 2 long tough laps over a bunch of short ones (as I think most racers do).  I am not joking when I say it is tough, and the dry conditions made some spots even more difficult.  Soon after I passed TJ at the beginning of the race, he fell victim to a race ending mechanical.  I kept on it and ended the lap with a large gap of nearly 4 minutes.  I found out about TJs misfortune (had no idea before that) about 1/4 of the way through the second lap and eased up a little, but just a little.  I expanded that to over 5 min by the end of the race.  I was COMPLETELY blown after the race...well until I got some dinner and a beer!  The weekend had included 3 race starts, 2 TT efforts (end of the STXC was like a TT), and finished out a 8 race in 15 day stretch for me.  That is probably my most intensive stretch of racing ever. Video recap of Sunday here.
While I was really happy to win the stage race again, I still had a significant, maybe most difficult, challenge to overcome.  After seeing tempting video of the lakeside jumps on Jay's blog I just HAD to do it, but I was quite nervous.  That said, what kind of stage race winner would I be if I wussed out on the famous lake jump?  While I wasn't nearly as impressive as Jake or Jon Richards... I did it, twice!  Video and picture proof:

With my tasks complete, we finished the night w/ a complimentary keg of Fat Tire and a bonfire by the lake.  You really cannot beat this weekend for fun IMO.  Try it next year if you like relaxing, family, great food, and mountain biking.  No, you don't have to be a crazy racer, and they have trails to suit everyone.

Next up will be that big gravel and XC ski trail race in the north woods.  I haven't been there in a while but figured I should give it another go.  The course does not suit me, but it will be good to see all the Wisco boys again.