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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Homemade Helmet Cover

Helmet Cover

I have been saving this plastic for a while now.  I am doing a gravel grinder this weekend:

This will be a very cold race.  High speeds and freezing temps are expected.  I usually have an interior layer of insulation in my helmet, but this plastic will give me some aerodynamics.

Like a TT helmet with no forward vents, this plastic will smooth out the windward profile.

This is heat moldable plastic that came off my spinach container.

I cut the container lid before taking the photos, so this is all that remained.

 Take an ordinary helmet

And with a heat gun mold the plastic to the shape of the helmet.  I used the heat, then my sleeve to press the hot plastic into the helmet.

You end up with this, a clear plastic form of the helmet.  Next step for me is to clean the sticker residue.

The final step is to secure it to the helmet. I used electrical tape which is able to stretch to the contours of the helmet.

With it clean an optional step is to paint the underside.  It will appear shiny from the outside.

Now I have a more aero helmet that will also keep freezing air from flowing through the hemet.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Speed Evolution Valve Stem

Lightweight tubeless valve stems.  3.8 grams!

Upgrade your bike to Speed Evolution's alloy presto valve stems.  Reducing the rotational weight and improving the ability to inflate and seal your tire.

They feature many colors and have a removable valve core.  The rubber end seals against any rim easily, and the raised portion helps keep sealant out of the valve.

Pictured here with the other leading brand which is brass.  The weight difference is tremendous even for such a small item.

To the right you can see how much more volume there is inside the valve stem.  Being able to move air fast when attempting to mount and seal a tire is critical.

Mounted with the Truckerco Blue rim tape.

I ran my valve nut upside down without the O-ring. This way the cone shape of the nut centers into the rim hole and helps make the valve more stable.  Valve wobble can be a source of air leaks, and with my double-walled rim there is no need to seal the rim on this end.

I have been very happy with my new valve stems.
Lighter, with more air flow and they do not need much force to make the seal, so changing a flat (removing the stem) in the woods on a 15 degree day was easy this time.

With a true tubeless rim you can use the nut and supplied O-ring to seal the rim airtight from the outside  This is pretty standard operating procedure, so no news there.

Colors include:
Black, Purple, Gun Metal Gray, Red, Blue, Gold, Green, Orange and Pink.

Stem Lengths: 38mm and 48mm in all colors
and 60mm in Gun Metal Gray.

Get yours for $23.99 at

From the website:
Speed Evolution’s tubeless aluminum presta valve features a patent pending larger recessed locking O-ring, a larger internal diameter to provide for more airflow and a less plugging caused by tubeless sealant. The vulcanized base includes a raised center so that the sealant does not seep inside and a vulcanized base that is big enough so seal a Shraeder valve and fits almost all rims perfectly. The valve core is removable to easily inflate and add sealant. Speed evolution valves are made from aluminum, about half the weight of brass, and come in cool anodized colors: gold, green, red and pink. They’re perfect accent to a customized bike.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Saving an old bottom bracket

These old bottom brackets were not meant to be rebuilt.  They last long enough that buying a new one every year or two is not that big of a budget crisis.  As this is old technology, and on my beater bike, I decided to revive the bb instead of replacing it.  This particular one has a titanium spindle, so would have been a pricey replacement.

Here is my trick:

Using 80 Weight Gear Oil.  Add oil to a baggie and let sit for an extended period of time.  Spin the bearings to help assist the oil penetration by moving the spindle inside the shell often.

This is not as good as axle grease, but you would never get grease inside the bearings using this method.

I also use a similar method to oil those suspension bearings that have the metal dust covers.

Make sure all the dirt is cleaned off before oiling your bearings to reduce the chance of contamination.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Products on deck products
Brake pads
aluminum wheel valves (in colors)
tire sealant
ESI Grips

Bar Mitts Road bike winter covers

Magellan Cyclo 505 Bike Computer

Coppi Merino Cycling Cap
Wool cap

Cool little hat with a brim to be worn under the helmet, or alone in any outdoor activity.

Volagi Liscio
Disc Brake Equip Road Bike

Other long-range products:
Truckerco brake pads
Truckerco tire sealant
Electric scooter
Fuji cross bike

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Speed Banana 4-Hour Epic Saga

Speed Banana Epic Sage 4-Hour XC
formerly Winter Thaw
Yellow River
Stone Mtn, GA
Sunday April 19, 2015
One Day Only

CycleYouth is hosting Speed Banana's Epic Saga, a 4-hour multi-lap timed race.  This is shorter than a 6-hour race, but longer than a regular XC event and will provide a full filled day of riding on great trails.

The trail system uses all the best single track at the park to offer a fun and rewarding loop for all. Old-timers will remember some of the original trails that are back in use.  The loop has been created to maximize singletrack, and offer a true mountain bike experience. The course has been modified from last year's XC version slightly to make multiple laps just a little easier, but all the challenge is still there. 

The loop is approx 6.8 miles in length and about 90% single track. Parking and start/finish are at the Horse Parking area.

For other park users including HORSES and HIKERS the River Side trails will remain open, although the Horse parking lot will be in use by the race.

We will run races in heats for 8-11 Kids, Beginner, Sport and Expert (Cat III, II and I), as well as First Timers.  First Timer class is just that; first time racing.

Kids 8-11 1.6 mile loop using portions of adult loop.  Kids 8-11 will start at 8:40AM so racing parents can be there.

See for the official race website

A big thank you to our series sponsors, for whom we would not be able to bring these events to you.

  • Pro Gold for a fine selection of chain and cleaning products.

 The course starts in the horse parking area and makes a counter clockwise loop.  This map shows all the trails. The heavy lines are the course and the thin lines the unused trails.
  You will not be able to follow the map unless you are very familiar with the trails.
This gps file is accurate, and starts next to the horse parking kiosk. If you have a mapping function on your gps unit then you should be able to follow the race course.  At each intersection check the map to see where the trail leads. Sometimes the trail the course uses is not the obvious route of travel.