Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Money is Money

Let's talk.

Bikes are inexpensive to maintain. And we at Salvagetti want you to be happy, so we have a short list of how to save a pretty decent amount of money while having a better running bike.

In order of the magnitude of how much money you will save:

1. Replace your chain before it is too stretched out.
After a chain stretches, it acts as a hammer on your gears and derailleur. Once a chain is TOO worn out, you have to replace the whole drivetrain because the new chain will not interact nicely with your old stuff. Chains can safely stretch to about 0.75% growth before they should be changed out. Drivetrains *can* last several chains...
Money savings - $100 to a huge amount depending on how fancy of a bike you have.

2. Wipe off your chain after rides.
This removes the nasty stuff that causes the chain to wear out. After you wipe your chain, look to see if it looks like in needs lube. It should look sweaty if it is lubed properly. After you lube your chain, let the chain soak in the lube before wiping it down.
Money saving potential - see above.

3. Pump up your tires
- This saves your energy. This make the tire act like the experts have designed it. Tubes aren't all that expensive to replace, but wheels (which a properly inflated tire protects quite well) can get very pricy. Road tires also are going to give you more miles if they are properly inflated when in use. Pump up your road tires before each ride. Mountain tires should be checked about every 2 to 4 days.
Money saving potential - $5 to the cost of wheels.

4. Don't skimp on tires
- This is one of those touchy subjects for some. Tires, like the Continental Ultra Sport ($16 MSRP) are great tires, BUT NOT FOR DENVER. Getting a slightly more thorn resistant tire will end up saving you more than the difference in price. A great Continental Tire for the money is the Ultra Gatorskin ($40 MSRP). In addition to you not visiting the bike shop for flats, you will also get more miles for the dollar and have a better riding bike the whole time. The Gatorskin is a *less expensive* option.
Money saving potential - $5 to who know how many flats you could get with one tire.

Please feel free to post other ideas for maintenance that pay you back.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Buffalo Creek vs. Dodge Ram Van

We rode in the shop's new Getting-To-The-Trails-And-That-Is-All Van to Buffalo Creek, near Pine. Pine is a community and not a city (from what I understand). The new to us van handled the trip quite well. Since it is still not quite ready for the public, we simply stuffed the 3 bikes into the back of the van and headed out.

Nick, Dave and I (Scott T.) arrived at the Ranger Station where the temp was a good bit cooler than in Denver. It hadn't rained up there for a couple days, and it appeared that we were going to have nothing but sunshine. We suited up and began our trip.

Within about a half an hour, arm warmers were too much and water was being consumed. I was in some knickers that were probably a bit too warm as well. But, soon we were in the midst of same amazing singletrack and temperature was our last concern. The trail was fantastic. Lots of fun swoopy climb/decent/climb sections. Lots of grinding climbs. By grinding, I simply mean that having a granny gear was useful. The climb to the "top" was not horrible, not techy, but all around fun.

Side note: The shop just got a GPS computer. I am new to it. And I loved messing with it during the ride, which is completely unnecessary. But, I didn't know that. So, there is a 2 mile section on this map that it appears we teleported. We might have... but I remember it as being one of the more fun, fast and oh-so-downhill sections of the trail. The teleported section appears as a perfectly straight line on the map. Very impressive. Oops. I know it wouldn't pushed the average speed up a bunch.

Down sides of Buffalo Creek would be that you pretty much have to drive there (hence, the van) and the trail gets sandy and loose in lots of places.

Was it worth it? Hell yes.
Will I go again? Hell Yes.
Did I eat a tremendous amount of food after the ride? Hell Yes.
Should you go next time we ride together? I think so.

Nick: Kona 29" SS - Green with a grinning faced rider
Dave: Vassago 29" Fixed - Orange with a crazed faced rider
Scott: Jamis Dakar XAM - Gray with a always hungry faced rider

By the way, look at this if you want to be bewildered for a few days: Buffalo times Eight

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Trail Maintenance is fun!

This is a good thing that one of our customers sent us. Pass it along to people you know who ride mountain bikes.