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Cold weekend; Bike repair shop updates; Bike on a diet.
Posted By John Stone On February 13, 2012 @ 8:58 am In Daily Blog | 4 Comments
I normally like riding in the cold, but it was a little too cold for my liking over the weekend. Yesterday morning it was 29 degrees (F) and windy. I knew that under the thick canopy of trees in the forest it would feel even colder, so all my cardio the past two days was done in my home gym. With cold snaps like the one we had over the weekend fairly rare here in Florida, I’ve never bothered to invest in winter riding clothing. I really wanted to ride yesterday, too.
After my cardio I was really in the mood to do something bike-related, and so I decided to do some much-needed work to my garage bike repair shop.
Back in August when I completed the initial design of my bike repair shop (blog/video/pictures here) I was very happy with how everything came out. Over the past few months, however, more and more items (tools, helmets, gloves, pads, parts) seemed to be accumulating on my workbench and on the floor. It was getting to the point where things were feeling cluttered, and so yesterday I decided to build some more shelving to take care of that problem.
I love working in the garage when it’s cold. During the summer months is really miserable being out there, so doing projects like the one I tackled yesterday are a lot of fun when I’m not sweating my butt off the whole time!
The new shelving along with a second small parts organizer have made a world of difference out there. It’s so nice to have a clear workspace on my bench again!
By the way, I’m constantly updating my garage bike repair shop article whenever I add new tools or make any other changes. The list of tools is always 100% up-to-date, and I also will continue to add new photos whenever significant changes are made.
As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m planning to get into cross-country mountain bike racing. Obviously when racing every gram you’re hauling around counts, and so I’ve decided to put my Trek Fuel EX 8 on a diet.
At just over 30 pounds, my (mostly) stock Fuel EX 8 (with Shimano PD-M647 pedals, Odi Rouge grips and WTB Velociraptor front/rear tires) is fairly light for a full suspension trail bike, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
The first few weight saving measures I’ve taken are fairly minor, but they resulted in almost a full pound of weight reduction…
First, the chain that came with the bike is pretty heavy, and it was due for a replacement. I decided to go with the KMC X10SL Bicycle Chain (10-Speed, 116L, Silver), which is about 80 grams lighter than stock chain. The new chain is not only light, it is smooth and quiet. It should also wear less quickly than the stock chain did.
The next thing I did was replace my clipless pedals. Some of you may recall that when I made the switch from flat pedals to clipless pedals I decided to go with a caged platform pedal (the Shimano PD-M647). The PD-M647s were great for learning how to ride clipless because they allowed me to unclip and use the platforms when I needed to (mainly when riding through technical areas). Now that I’m very comfortable being clipped in, the cage around the binding mechanism is needless weight.
I decided to replace the M647s with the fairly light weight (yet strong) Shimano PD-M540 clipless pedals. My old M647 pedals weighed in at a hefty 568g per pair; at just 352 grams, the new PD-M540s are saving me more than 200 grams of weight–and that’s rotational weight.
As you can see in the photograph to the left, after just a few minor and inexpensive tweaks my bike is already down almost a full pound. I’m still planning to replace the stock Shimano 3×10 drivetrain (bottom bracket, crankset, front/rear derailleurs, shifters and cassette) with SRAM 2×10 XO carbon parts, swap out the stock handlebars for the Truvativ Noir T40 carbon handlebars, convert to tubeless tires and move to a lightweight saddle with Titanium rails. I feel that an additional weight savings of 3-4 pounds is possible, which would put my bike at a fairly svelte 25-26 pounds.
Of course I’m still cutting, and by the time I’m done I expect to be down to the low 170s. Between the lighter bike, the lighter me and the reduced weight I’m carrying with me when I ride that’s going to be around 30 less pounds I’m hauling around on the trails.
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