Thursday, December 14, 2006

Built by Scott for Scott

Scott, the owner, built his first ever bike frame! It is made of butted steel and lugs, silver and brass. The frame has a 60cm top tube and seat tube and horizontal drops.It was designed by Chris from Generic Cycles, with Scott yelling all the while in the background to move this here and change that there, until... they came to an agreement about the geometry with a given fork (a carbon wrapped Cheapy).

Next thing you know the tubes are getting cut and filed, the lugs cleaned up and thinned and shaped. The jig that was used is a Blacksheep cycles exclusive that is easy to set up and maintain. After a few tweeks to the tubes, lugs, fork ends and jig brazing began.

Scott's minimal experience with a torch was seen immediately, hence the spots of extra silver here and there all over the lugs. The secret is to be good at welding apparently, which comes with practice.

After a few hours of fluxing and brazing, laughing and staring, there was a completed bicycle frame of a tiny bit over 4 lbs. What a breath-taking sight, a frame made by an amateur.

Anyways, once Scott gets off his high horse and builds up the bike, maybe he'll let you ride it. But, only after you sign a waiver...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Taste of Dirt

I remember the first time by brother really actually hurt me. We were playing catch with a tennis ball and he got very confident that I could catch anything he threw at me, so he launched one. I got hit in the nose. So hard, that it just fell cold and blood started gushing out of both nostrils. His immediate response was to *sort of* compliment me by telling me how cool it was to get a double bloody nose. I have to say, I felt pretty proud of it; even though it hurt like crazy. And I went to tell my mom on him.

The taste of dirt was on my nephew's lips on Thanksgiving. We went to the Lake Arbor dirt jumps. He doesn't know what to be scared of yet and he sure did rip through several jumps for about an hour. Then comfort set in... and.... POW! His bars turned to the side on a landing and his face stopped him from skidding. I watched his head bounce on the ground (with his helmet) and the pause before the scream. I tried to pull the complimentary comment out: "That was a great wreck! Wow, I'm impressed!". Aidan looks at me with dirt on his mouth, a little bit of tears and lots of rage in his eyes and says exactly what I first thought when I had a double-bloody-nose. "I DON'T CARE!".

He got back on the bike within 10 minutes and was doing the same jump within the half hour.

"Gotta get back on the horse"

Aidan: Giant STP 125
Carl: Bridgestone MB4
Andres: Mountain Cycle Hardtail
Scott: Brooklyn Park Bike

Monday, November 20, 2006

Three Sisters walk into a bar

We rode Three Sisters today. Everyone wrecked atleast once. Everyone will be sore tomorrow. And everyone ate too much food afterwards. It was a blast. I can now endorse the follow items whole heartedly: 1) The Giant Trance (Holy Crap) 2. Adidas El Moro Shoes #3 Rock Shox Reba 100mm (Zero Problems) 4. Chickening out of hairy sections (5) The Louis Garneau Gemini Jacket (Just right on everything).

Please enjoy the photos and come along on the next ride.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Race I Want

I want there to be a new kind of race. It will be a race to not make cycling companies more money, but to have the cycling companies make better bikes. I want a race that will be fun for everyone involved. It will have a little mystery and a little flair. Here goes:

Racers gather at a destination with a properly tuned bike and tires selected. This is where the race gets different. They don't know what kind of race it will be. It could be road followed by a downhill course. It could be a short track cyclocross style course followed by an uphill scramble. There should be 4 or 5 different variations, but only 2 used. Perhaps, even the list of events could change. Maybe for the final race of the series, you just have one event. Or maybe all of them! Fun.

The reason this could draw some attention is because the cycling giants that be would have to produce a bicycle that could work on the road, in the mud, on downhill rock gardens, in the air, etc. The industry needs the specialization to keep it going financially. This would be the jack of all trades bike. It would change the whole market if it were successful.

My prediction about the winning bike would be this: 29" wheels, front suspension, maybe a soft tail. Tires would be somewhat tacky, mostly slick. Super light tough wheels, probably Mavics, and the rest doesn't make enough difference to comment on.

I hope this race happens someday. Maybe I will have to put it on.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Denver Film Cycle

I should've posted this a long time ago. Sorry DFC...

There is a film festival today and tomorrow in Denver specifically for bicycles. Pretty cool idea from some great people. If you are interested in finding out more, go to Lots of good stuff happening. I will be speaking on the physical happenings of a wheel at 6:30 on Saturday in the Science Building.

I believe this is going to be an overwhelming success and there will be more people than seat by a 3 to 1 margin. All of this goes to benefit the Derailer cycle co-op. Derailer is a bunch of kids doing the right thing and getting pushed around by the man (mostly because the man is cross-eyed and gun happy)

See you there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

29ers 29ers 29ers

This may be an obvious post, but I want people to know about this.
29ers are 700c mountain bikes. The tires would be like 700x60s. Big tires. Big rims.
The 29er technology is finally catching up to the frame builders who reached their stride really quickly. If you haven't ridden a 29er in the mountains, you need to.
They roll over things more easily.
The foot print that the larger tire makes is much larger (25% and up)
Climbing is easier because of the last 2 listed
Because of the size of the tires and wheels, suspension is much less necessary for the rough stuff.

Still not much of a selection on tires and forks
In tight singletrack techy sections, you may find you need to go slower to clear quick turns.

All in all, if you are over 5'7" you may be a candidate to go faster with less effort. We are getting in Kona Unit 29ers for demo and I would love to show off the ti black sheep that gets parked at the shop. We believe that if you go on a familiar trail that is not ski lift style, you will go faster. The builder for Black Sheep went about 15% faster on his favorite loop in Fort Collins, on his first ever 29er ride. That was enough for me to be impressed.

Favorite 29 tires: Maxxis Ignitor
Favorite 29 frames: Black Sheep
Favorite 29 rims: Salsa Delgados (I hear rumors of Mavic soon...)
Favorite 29 fork: Black Sheep (lots of healthy flex)

Have fun. Go ride.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Snowy Ride in Buffalo Creek

3 of us went to Buffalo Creek because we *heard* it was dry... it wasn't.
As we drove up, we realized that the insider info was wrong. Lots of snow.

(This was the first ride on the new demo fleet of Giant Anthems)

We parked at the ranger station and started our climb. On the for road up, there was a bunch of puddles that were coated with ice. The fire road soon turned to ice and snow. Not the easiest climb I've experienced. The bike was fish tailing all over the place. We finally found the entrance to the trail. It was a hike of about 200 yards in snow at least a foot deep to get to a ridable place. For about 6 miles, that was what we faced. Sections of snow that we hiked and sections of sort-of-trail that we rode. Both Chris and Scott flipped over the bars twice during the ride. Both times landing in snow with a large eruption of laughter. No broken bones or bikes, just bruises. The descent was decent. We all got really wet and muddy which was fantastic. At the bottom of the ride where we had crossed over from puddles to ice, we stopped and defrosted our frozen feet in the sun. After a good 15 minutes we were refreshed and warm, so we moved on. The last section of the trail was a little tiny loop before the car. It was easily the fastest most fun part of the day. Lots of scary icy and snowy turns with pine straw for added uncertainty. Fun fun fun stuff.

Dave - Surly Cross check
Chris - BlackSheep FS Ti
Scott - Giant Anthem (1st ride with)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Researching a bike

Mountain bikes are starting to sell again. Mostly because people are buying more than one bike for different riding. They are starting to follow a trend toward simplicity on one side and over complexity on the other side. Examples are single speed 29ers and Santa Cruz's Virtual Pivot Point (VPP). These two machines can be compared only a little and contrasted everywhere. The main thing that they have in common is that given the right person on the right size, these bikes are FUN. People are getting so caught up in the technology and weight and over-toughness that they are losing sight of the thing that matters: riding the bike. My advice to those who are considering a fully rigid bike because it appeals to you is to ride one. See what you think. The same goes for people who want suspension. Go ride one. What will happen is what I call the "at home factor". If the bike feels at home, you will enjoy riding it. If it doesn't feel right, you will not enjoy it. You cannot expect to have the feeling of "at home on a bike" if you have not ridden many bikes. My advice to the new rider is pick out 3 bikes that appeal to your sense of what a bike should be and go try it. Buy the one that feels the *most* at home so that you will have a great bike to start with. When you are ready to buy a new bike in a few seasons, you will have defined your needs and wants because you will have a vocabulary of what you like and don't like. And all that time in between you will be having a blast without doing all that insane research. Research what trails you want to explore instead. Look up the trail photos on Google Image Search.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Evergreen Ride - Wine vs. Whine

We set out to ride in Evergreen at a reasonable hour and it was damn cold in Denver. I wore some nice wool socks and heavy cycling shoes to keep the toes warm. The rest was layered up and I brought 2 pair of gloves so I would comfortable no matter what the weather. As soon as we arrived in Evergreen, it was obvious that we had all over dressed for the occasion. I was able to get down to shorts (with diaper) and a lightweight wool jersey, but the feet would have to stay warm.
So, we set out to ride and within one mile Dave lost his chain. We tried several things, but it was actually broken, so rigging it was out. He has lived in Evergreen, so we left him to walk back into town with an agreement that we would meet him at Creekside Winery. We continued on our way. Not more than 15 minutes later, Andres broke his chain clean in half. We got him up and running, but decided that something wasn't right with the world... something was just weird. So we carefully rode for another 8 or so miles up and down around Three Sisters and found our way downtown.
We were met by the staff of Creekside Winery and they showed us where Dave was. Somehow, the owner knew that we were having a rough day, so he talked us into having lunch. They seated us out on the deck right beside the creek. We ordered a bottle of wine and some amazing sandwiches. The butternut squash soup was exactly what was needed for all of us to come out of our funk. If you are in the Evergreen area, make sure you go by Creekside Winery for lunch and some wine. Thank you to the staff and cooks for such a day saving meal.
Andres - Mountain Cycle - broken chain
Chris LGB - Black Sheep Full Suspension - Actually feeling sluggish
Dave - Fixed Surly Cross Check - broken chain
Scott - Black Sheep SS 29er - Hot Feet

Monday, October 16, 2006

Snow Bike

I think I am going to set up my Kona 2-4 as the ultimate city snow bike. The bars are already wide and high like I want, but I am going to put on a 24x3.0 tire on the front and something with paddles that is light on the back. This way, I will be able to skid at my leisure, while still maintaining a line of my choice with the ridiculous footprint of the huge front. The bike only has a rear brake, so ice is not negotiable. I just plan on falling when there is ice on the road. My commute has seen 1 patch of ice in a couple of years.

I did, on this Kona 2-4, fall nicely in a patch of ice that was an intersection close to Denver Univ. I was sliding comfortable and silently and knew I would be out of control for atleast another 30 feet when I saw a car coming up from the side. They slammed on the brakes and started to slide quietly toward me steering into the skid as they are supposed to. We smoothly got closer and closer and finally I found a spot to dig into and we missed each other. I didn't have any adrenaline for about 3 minutes, but then it dumped. This won't happen this year, because I'm going for the huge tire.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


5 of us set out to ride on the 9th of OCT. We knew it was going to be cold. Hah.

We decided on Golden Gate Canyon State Park and left at 7:30am from Metropolis Coffee. The temp in Denver was around 42 when we left. It was misting on the way up to the trail, but nothing major. It seemed to be around 35 to 40 degrees outside. We had prepared well. All of us had on lots of layers. I personally went for 2 layers of wool on top with a wind/rain layer on the outside. I wore long cycling pants with short on over them, and shin guards for fun. We headed out only to find that it was too much clothing. I shedded a few items here and there after the first long climb, mostly to protect against sweating a great deal (don't want it to freeze). We continued to climb up lots of beautiful singletrack until it finally turned back down. I think this is when it started to snow/sleet lightly. It was absolutely beautiful. We all kept commenting about how quiet and perfect it was. As we approached the top of Windy Peak, it began snowing big flakes. BIG ONES. On October 9th! It was nice since we were all warm enough. Then we started getting cold.

We all cycled through losing feeling in different parts of our bodies, mostly extremeties. This all changed as we got into the creek crossing section of the trail. Lots of water on airy cold feet meant that I started seeing ice on my shoes. Not too good. From the last creek crossing was a really long climb on jeep trails with stumps for feet. We all agreed that it was good timing, cause we did warm up for the most part. We finished up on the road because we had some mechanical problems.

We all thawed out on the way back to Denver.
All in all it was a great ride. Hard to explain why, but it was amazing.

Dave - Surly Fixed Mountain - Surly Steel Bars
LGB - Black Sheep F/S - Push Fox parts
Greg - Indie Fab F/S - Sqwarshy
Danny - Giant Trance - Whored out as usual
Scott - Black Sheep SS - Boing

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Car Run Ins

Everyone has them. My latest was really great:

On my commute home, I roll through Capital Hill up 12th Ave. I always take a lane, because there isn't another safe choice.

On this early evening, I was stopped at a light waiting for it to turn and the car behind me honked its horn. I thought they knew me or someone else around, so I just looked quickly and continued my commute. They rolled up behind me again and honked again. Being that I haven't slowed this car down at all (by taking my advance greens when i get them) I decided to see who this person was and if they knew me. I got up the the passenger window and leaned down to look in. It was some college kid with his mom driving. I was alarmed to say the least. What good mom in their right mind puts a cyclist at risk (hahaha)? Here is the exchange:
Me: "What's going on?" (still polite)
Boy: "You need to scoot over!" (NOT POLITE) (Mom is afraid and will not look at me)
Me: "Haha. No. I can't" (about to not be polite)
Boy: "You need to be over to the right so cars can pass you" (STILL NOT POLITE)
Me: "No no no. See? The problem is that there are inconsiderate people like yourself who will not look before they open their doors and I will be hit. Have you ever ridden a bike in Denver?" (OK, now not polite)
Boy: "Yes, I live on Capital Hill" (SNOTTY)
The light turned green and mom peeled out of there. I followed them and actually parked before they did. But, since being diplomatic is a practiced art, I left them alone.

I am still taking a lane. I am pretty proud that I didn't do what my imagination forged from stupid person adrenaline.

Someone needs to start a website to report MEAN driving to others. Submit pictures, a story and see what happens.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Aidan's Bike

Salvagetti picked up Giant for 2006/7 a few weeks ago.
I finally got the chance to give my nephew his bike. It is a 2007 STP 125. This is a great kids bike. The parts are perfect for a kid who is really going to beat up a bike. A real suspension fork that actually works under a 50 lb rider. The brakes are just right. The frame is way overbuilt and still very attractive. Then you start to take a closer look at the parts...

The stem is an oversized 31.8mm attached to a super tough alloy bar.
The saddle is the 8mm dirt jump kind, just because Giant can.
They spec'd Kenda K-Rad tires.
And lastly, they put on a full on legitimate chain guide on the chainring.

With this kind of detail in a kid's bike, I can hardly wait to see what they are going to come out with in their adult mountain and road bikes. As bikes arrive, we will update the website as we know what, where, how, when, but we all (already) know why.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nederland can snap your bars

Woke up at 4:30am. Had coffee.
Rode to bus only to miss it by 1 minute. Dave was waiting there for me.
Chris showed up. I was still not awake. Not even close.
Got to Nederland and had coffee at Happy Trails (the big caboose near the bus stop). If you are in Ned and don't go to the caboose, you are missing out. Their bike shop is great too. Randy is a top notch guy.

Went to the "high school trails". I don't know my way around up there, but I can tell you, we went right a lot of times. The trails were in perfect shape. My only whiny pants complaint is that it was a little bit chilly; God bless arm warmers. We rode up and down through aspen-leaf -carpet-tight singletrack. It felt like a movie; it felt insane and great. Even the dirt roads were fun. All of the climbs were doable, some much tougher than others, but all could be cleared. I'm not saying I cleared all of them, but I will.


Our general direction was the southeast side of Ned heading toward Boulder. We started down a county road that was washed out from recent rains. Long sections were washboards. I almost lost my hands several times, because I was trying to let the tires and fork do what they needed to do to clear. We took a hard right and were all together talking. It got steep again and we got aero to coast as fast as possible. Chris and I usually have bursts that are a little faster than Dave, so we got ahead. We stopped at the next major turn and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. We turned back to see what was up. We rode back about 3/4 mile to find Dave walking his bike. He was holding himself funny from a distance and was definitely limping. As we got closer, we could see his pants were BLOODY. Closer, we could see his left shoulder was covered with some nice dirt. Closer, we could see his handlebar was broken in half. Chills. Absolute sick feelings. Dave was riding through those same washboards that I almost lost control on. He was going very fast and his bars SNAPPED. "Pow!" was what Dave heard, then he was sent tumbling. He cracked his helmet and cut his forehead... but he remembers everything.

I ran to a house right next to where we were. A young woman named Pamela (thank you again, you are great) ended up driving us all back down to Nederland to go the the medical clinic there. The clinic snuck Dave in very quickly and bandaged him up. Dave is one of the toughest people I can think of and I saw him wince a few times in pain. They ended up having to remove a chunk of skin so that his knee would heal properly, but no stitches.

So, we went back out riding. Just kidding.

We headed home on the N bus, to catch the B bus.

What a day. Hope you feel better Dave!

Chris: Black Sheep full suspension Ti - Push industries upgrades
Dave: Surly Cross Check - nerded out to no end
Scott: Black Sheep SS 29er - silly light, cheap parts

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Las Vegas and How

Vegas is exhausting.
Interbike is insane.

I have seen every production bike and part made for the US consumers to look at. It took miles of walking and lots of talking, but I feel pretty complete. The two companies that are making perfect stuff for Denver, in my opinion are:
Serfas - lots of new stuff coming for commuters and cyclists in general. They are bringing out lights for seeing, new pumps that can take lots of abuse and easy to use gloves that will save the famous ulna nerve.
Giant - so many nice bikes that fit the front range. I'll detail them on the website as it gets updated.

We are working on getting more Serfas in as soon as possible.

Awful and funny story, made as short as possible:
Smooth Marble and Split Pea Soup by Scott T.

I got off the bus at my stop to go back to the Golden Nugget (FANNNNCCY!!) and watched a woman, who was about 80, slip and fall. She fell like a person having a chair pulled out from under them. I mean this lady fell hard. HARD! She landed right on her arm. I and a few others ran over to help her up. She was absolutely fine. But, she had slipped on someone's vomit. I still haven't laughed yet. Oh, there I go.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Why I wear a helmet. By Scott T.

I owned a Surly Steamroller (59cm), in baked bean brown a few years ago. Everytime out was an adventure of some kind. I set out one evening at around dusk on my bike to go get groceries. By the way, I was living in Cary, NC at the time. (You can laugh if you want. It was a good place to catch my breath.) Anyways, I was riding in the middle of my lane on a 4 lane road. I wasn't going particularly fast or slow, just cruising. I'm very good about watching for people turning and ignoring, so street accidents are a rarity for me. A tow truck swerved abruptly. Crossed in front of me. I swerved abruptly toward it. Both of us turned left sharply. I missed the side of the tow truck by about 6 inches. It would have killed me. I almost puked immediately. I made it to the grocery store and stayed there for about 2 hours wandering around feeling the adrenaline. I bought a helmet the next day. I love helmets. I swear by helmets.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wheel Builds

I get to build the most expensive *front* wheel I have ever built today. It is a disk brake compatible generator front hub from Schmidt (a German company that you can check out at Peter White Cycles) laced up to a Mavic X717 Disc Rim, black double butted DT spokes. Ironically, this is the matching wheel to the most expensive rear wheel I have built: Rohloff to X717. Total value of wheel set is approaching $2k. These wheels are completely off-road touring specific, and so far the customer loves them.

The lights that are to be used with the Schmidt hub are obscenely bright. One of my favorite stories about these lights is a customer/friend of mine who set up this system on a Heron for long rides. He set off for a night ride and went to Washington Park for a nice long spin. Everywhere we rode around, people acted like they were caught by the cops. They thought he was on a silect motorcycle. This guy is a retired officer, so he laughs everytime it gets brought up. Great stuff.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm a duck

It is raining this morning which means I'll be dressing a little smarter than normal. When it has been weird outside, like today, I've been wearing the lightest merino pieces I have and then wearing a hoody over them. I don't like looking techie when I am going on my commute. The weather in Denver is so up and down that I've been trying all sorts of combos to see what helps me regulate my temp the best. So far, it is merino with some sort of relatively breathable material over it.

I'm thinking about moving my Xtracycle over to this beautiful red Bridgestone MB-3 frameset I was given. It is a bit more my size(19"), plus I have a front rack like no other for the rigid fork. It is damn tough looking; it will hold 75lbs. easy. That means I can carry about 275 with my bike-truck. The only reason I don't want to is because I don't want to make it impossible for "shorter" people to ride it. I'm 6' and it is still totally functional. Maybe I need a fleet of these bad boys for people to borrow. I'll work on that.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Xtracycle and Good news

I used the xtracycle yesterday morning to move several hundred pounds of bricks to the shop. I was carrying about 100 lbs per trip. Under that kind of load, the bike does funny things. It feels like someone sitting on the back is swaying to a slow song that they really really like. Anyways, it was kind of depressing to see how small of an area 100 lbs of bricks will cover. Danny later came in with this truck and we moved the remaining 500ish pounds.

I love the Xtracycle. In a no pedaling race, I can get so aero that I can beat most anyone. I just sit on the wooden platform and go superman.

By the way, the Xtracycle is available for borrow if someone needs it for grocery shopping, moving, weddings, etc.

We heard more good news from Giant times 2. I can only tell one of them: we are listed on the giant website. When you search Denver, CO, Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop comes up first. Yeah! We don't have the bikes yet, but this is a good sign that they are on their way.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cool off plus Interbike

It got damn cold. Glove cold.

We still have not received the Giants yet, though we did get the 2007 catalog. I see atleast 2 bikes that I *must* own. By the way my stomach dropped when I saw them, I am getting an OCR C1 (or C0). The debate is still out on which MTN bike I want, but the Reign X0 looks like my push-up-hills-cause-i'm-too-lazy-to-climb-but-not-too-lazy-to-decend bike. It might climb though. I'm not terribly skilled, having fun while riding is my strong point. Not too fast uphill, and I'm clum-zay going downhill. I will make up for my weakness through my purchase.

Interbike is a week away. I'm excited about seeing the new 29er stuff, specifically the tires and rims... the frames are all going to end up the same eventually. I will do my best to update the website ( and here with new and interesting stuff. I get to play at the dirt demo on Tuesday and will be at the show for the rest of the time. I hope to nail down some great lines for 2007, but I'll have to wait to tell you exactly who it is.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Go Bike Go!

Yesterday, Scott and Chris went to Elk Meadow for some easy-fast-fun riding. The trail was perfect on the way in, with exception to the gentlemen who were *killing us* by going slowly up the climbs. The singletrack through the trees reminded me of times when I have been in a car with someone who was going too fast for conditions. Except that Chris was whooping it up loudly and Scott was smiling ear to ear, far from hanging on for dear life. Scott endo'd when he saw a "huge red fox", but otherwise, no good crashes to speak of. The whole time, rain was trying its best to fall, but to no avail. Until we got to a clearing at the top of Too Long trail. The clouds unzipped and pow! Rain, followed by hail, followed by lightening. We obviously turned around since lightening is a no second chances hazard. On the way back down, we let it all hang out. We were definitely pushing on the too fast for conditions line. We made it back unscathed and soaked. It was one of the most fun rides I have been on in recent memory.

Scott's bike: Brooklyn Machine Works Park bike, fox fork, singlespeed 26"/24"
Chris's bike: Black Sheep Full Suspension Ti, Fox suspension (w/Push inside), 27 speeds

And lastly...
We are placing our very first order with Giant Bicycles today. It will be a momentus occasion for Salvagetti to receive these bikes. I have my eye on several of the 2007 mountain bikes.

Thanks for reading,

Scott T.