Appreciating the Nomads…

My trusty Nomad...

My trusty Nomad…

Although we are enjoying our new state of the art wonder bikes I can’t help, but appreciate how well our Santa Cruz Nomad’s compare despite being 2008 designs that were only updated this very month. That’s 6yrs for a product cycle which seems almost unbelievable in today’s non-stop “new and improved” world.

The main downside with the Nomads is their weight which is largely due to the workman level parts they are built with and the big tires we love rolling on.

Surprisingly that weight is also a plus when it comes to stability and sure-footedness. It’s harder to knock a heavy bike off its line once it starts rolling.

Even our cat loves a Nomad...

Even our cat loves a Nomad…

At one point I was pretty sure we’d sell the Nomads, but now I’m thinking they are pretty special and should be kept – maybe even pimped a bit.

Santa Cruz’s VPP suspension seems to resist our wet winter weather really well so I can see us switching back to the Nomads in September and taking the opportunity to overhaul the new bikes. Then swap back in the spring and overhaul the Nomads.

In the summer speed, agility and efficiency for long rides is important.

In the winter stability, traction and low maintenance win the day.

Surly Knard & Rabbit Hole Tubeless…

Surly Knard + Rabbit Hole tubeless...

Surly Knard + Rabbit Hole tubeless…

I’ve been thinking about setting up my Krampus’ wheels tubeless for a while, but it really only made sense at the start of the spring/summer touring season. That slipped by last year without getting the project done so when this spring rolled by I jumped on it.

Going tubeless has a number of advantages:

  • less likely to flat
  • better traction
  • less rolling resistance

You’ll notice I didn’t mention weight savings. I didn’t do the math to 8 decimals places, but my feeling is that going from a 29er MTB tube to this method of tubeless doesn’t save much weight.

Why the split tube method?

  • easiest and most reliable method for rims/tires not designed to be run tubeless
  • reliability is critical on a touring bike
  • easy to remount bead and seal on the trail with a small pump

 

What I used...

What I used…

What you need:

  • Surly Knard tire [I use the 120 tpi version]
  • Surly Rabbit Hole rim
  • duct tape or other rim strip material
  • a 26″ bike tube
  • tire levers
  • scissors
  • sharp knife
  • Stan’s sealant
  • CO2 cartridge x 3 [1 is minimum, but having some spares is nice]
  • floor pump
  • bucket or something else to lay wheel on its side to seal up
Sealing tire/rim after seating bead...

Sealing tire/rim after seating bead…

How to:

  • remove tire from rim
  • remove existing tube [save it as an emergency spare for your pack]
  • inspect rim strip and replace if needed
  • cut 26″ tube in half so it forms a rubber strip with a valve stem in it
  • lay split 26″ tube in your rim roughly centered
  • install one side of tire bead so that bead pinches split tube against rim [excess split tube can flap around for now]
  • then install most of the 2nd bead inside the split tube
  • I find the next step easier if the wheel is hanging off a work stand or get a friend to hold it
  • shake your Stan’s bottle really well and fire 3 scoops into your Knard through the section of bead still open
  • pop the 2nd onto the rim
  • make sure the split tube is showing all the way around [doesn't have to be even]
  • use a CO2 cartridge or a compressor to inflate the tire and seat the beads
  • optional – lube beads with soapy water before you seat them
  • tip – if bead won’t seat [CO2 blowing out sides] use a cargo strap of tape all the way around the tire to compress it a bit
  • use more CO2 or a floor pump to get tire nice and hard – say 30psi
  • shake tire for 3-4 mins to get sealant well distributed
  • let wheel sit on each side for 10-15 mins at a time
  • shake well and flip to other side
  • trim excess split tube with a sharp knife [sharper the better]
  • open beer and celebrate being finished! ;)

21 Strong!

View from the top...

View from the top…

Our Dirt Hombres club ride today had 21 riders come out with a number of regulars missing the ride. Wow! Nice turn out. :)

Dirt Hombre Ladies...

Dirt Hombre Ladies…

Getting that many riders around a challenging loop wasn’t easy, but everyone did their part and lots of fun was had.

Muddy bikes...

Muddy bikes…

Recent rains meant soupy slippery trails.

Sean and Deanna...

Sean and Deanna…

It was good to see some new Hombres out for their first ride and some old skool Hombres back out after some time off the bike. :)

Crooked Goose!

Crooked Goose!

After some great riding we hit up the Crooked Goose where the Dirt Hombres are regulars!

Hartland Session…

Up and over...

Up and over…

The Dirt Hombres crew spent yesterday doing some skills building at Hartland. Stopping to session many features on a few of the lower trails.

Click for larger map and GPS track...

Click for larger map and GPS track…

Then we climbed up Lazy Line and Falling Satellites to put our new skills to work and rode Fun Trail/Shock Treatment back to the car without stopping.

Going the other way...

Going the other way…

It’s great to have the time to work on each feature learning some new and fun lines up and down.

Always a fun roll on this rock...

Always a fun roll on this rock…

Also nice to have the DSLR out on a ride and get some decent photos. With better weather here I’m going to have to just get used to carrying a small child on my back again! ;)

Slab-alanche!

Slab-alanche!

If you want to see more ride photos go to the bottom of this Flickr set and work your way back up.

The forest is very pretty in the sunshine...

The forest is very pretty in the sunshine…

I hope you are getting out for some great rides in your neck of the woods this weekend! :)

Spotlight...

Spotlight…

Today I have to do my taxes while it’s raining outside, but tomorrow we ride again!

Chilling in the Deep Forest...

Chilling in the Deep Forest…

 

Summer at Partridge Hills!

Dirty Hombres Girlz!

Dirty Hombres Girlz!

Southern Vancouver Island was blessed with summer conditions last weekend so we rounded up a crew of Dirt Hombres and hit the trails at Partridge Hills. :)

Click for larger map and GPS track...

Click for larger map and GPS track…

With sunshine, warm temps and virtually zero wetness it was a lovely taste of the summer riding yet to come.

Michael rolling the Heckler...

Michael rolling the Heckler…

Woosti the super trail dawg...

Woosti the super trail dawg…

Sharon charging on the Mach 6...

Sharon charging on the Mach 6…

Zoe enjoying the sunshine...

Zoe enjoying the sunshine…

Bev colourful and smiling...

Bev colourful and smiling…

Joanne representing on the Bronson...

Joanne representing on the Bronson…

My Mach 6 taking a break in the forest...

My Mach 6 taking a break in the forest…

Dirt Hombres!

Dirt Hombres!

Rockshox Reba RLT mods for 29+…

Big green and rigid...

Big green and rigid…

I’ve been meaning to modify my RS REBA RLT for a while now, but kept getting side tracked. Finally Saturday after a solid morning ride and a nap I had the late afternoon free to tackle the project.

Jammed...

Jammed…

The Knard on RH jams up nicely in the stock fork. Won’t turn.

Gentle sanding...

Gentle sanding…

So I hit it with the dremel and sipped some beer while creating the clearance I needed.

Now she rolls...

Now she rolls…

Took about 1 beer’s worth of gentle grinding to get the clearance I was after and the tire turning freely.

Still solid...

Still solid…

Looks gnarly, but there is lots of material left and this mod has been done many times with zero reported failures so I think it’s pretty safe.

Clearance on top...

Clearance on top…

There is clearance now for all the conditions I ride it. We don’t get really sticky clay type mud in my part of BC and that’s the only situation I think this fork would be a problem with.

Clearance on the sides...

Clearance on the sides…

Lots of side wall clearance. Before mod sidewall would rub fork.

Next up tubeless Knards...

Next up tubeless Knards…

All in all a pretty minor quick mod that lets me use a “normal” 29er fork with my Krampus and not have to go Lefty and/or run some weird front hub.

I’m going to setup my Knard/RH wheels split tube tubeless next and see how the wheel fits before I mask off the Reba and paint it. The tubeless tire might change size and need a slight tweak to fit well.

BTW – the fork will go on my Krampus. I just left it on that 29er to make it easier to work on until I was ready for an install on the Big K. The puny rear tire is a Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4″ on a Stan’s Flow rim.