December 10, 2018 08:51:00 pm

NBD: Fuji Feather CX+

This year I had to say goodbye to two of my buddies, Raven and Ace, my weekend and commuter ride. Basically I came to a realization that I didn't need that many bikes, which my wife Ann agreed to with no hesitation, sold them off with a heavy heart.

But then there's also the excitement of trying to find the new ride, something that would definitely be my size this time! Initially had my eyes set on getting a Kona Rove, however I have actually enjoyed riding the Fuji Ace so much that when I checked the mileage on both bikes I didn't even know that the Fuji had close to 6,000 kms while the Marin had only about 2000 kms.

So I searched Google for Fuji bike dealers near my area, there wasn't much, I was about to lose hope until I saw the website for Bikes On Wheels. It was in Toronto, it would be a hard sell to Ann that we drive all the way up there just to pickup a bike. However we had planned to take the kids to the zoo one weekend and that happens to be the same time they're having a sale on bikes! All the stars were lining up perfectly, purchased it online the weekend before our trip, and I was so restless waiting for the weekend to come.

Oh and the trip to the zoo got cancelled, however we still had fun when we took the kids to Fantasy Fair at the Woodvine Mall. But before that we dropped by Toronto and picked up my new bike, I was like a kid at a candy store. Also snagged a pair of full fenders for the rainy days, I didn't realize you had to pay for parking and my wife was telling me to get back ASAP, the lady at Bikes On Wheels as if to say "yeah this is Toronto you pay parking everywhere dummy!"

So, I hauled it back to our van, got our of there as quickly as possible and enjoyed the rest of our day at Fantasy Fair. Can't wait for winter to be over so I can go on adventures with this amazing steed!

March 19, 2018 07:31:00 pm

NBD - Evo Big Ridge 7.0

Awhile back I wrote a web scraping app to monitor Kijiji for stuff that I'm interested in and I have in the past been lucky and found some really good stuff, my Fuji bike was one of those free bikes and even my winter commuter. So when I wanted to get a fat bike I added that keyword to the list of things for it to find and luckily it found one for a reasonable price, I've actually thought about buying this bike brand new online however I'll settle for something used for the price point I got it for.

I really don't know if fat biking is going to be something for me, the only real reason I wanted one is so that I no longer have to ride the bus when we get tons of snow. One of my friend rented a 2017 Cannondale Fat CAAD3 bike and it was a joy to ride, the EVO Big Ridge 7.0 however cost $850 brand new and weighs double the Cannondale. With the cheap components on this bike I'm not so sure if it will make it through 1-2 winter here in Canada as I plan to use it for commuting during heavy snow days, but only time will tell.

On my first ride with it, I found that the disc brakes could have been better, upgrading it to hydraulics will definitely improve the ride experience. However with the 8 speed setup you really won't be going very fast on this bike, climbing up hills might also be a challenge during winter. I did test it on a climb (-3.6% grade) and had to switch all the way to the biggest cog to make it up, but this probably says more about my climbing ability than the bike. I also contacted the manufacturer to see if its possible to switch to a tubeless setup and no it is not. You'd need to get a new set of wheels, I believe it has clearance enough for a 4.8 inch tire.

November 15, 2017 05:54:00 pm

And so it has began... winter❄️ is here!

I was caught by surprise last week when winter gave us a preview of what's to come, my winter bike wasn't ready! I didn't have my studded tires install yet and had to commute that day and I had some sections where I can feel the tires losing traction, that didn't feel good. That tends to happen on areas where the bus have compacted that snow into ice almost.

Over the weekend I got my Schwalbe Marathon Winters installed, I'm really amazed at how well the tires were made, after several seasons they show little to no signs of wear. The studs looked rusty due to me storing them without drying them first. Also replaced the metal fenders and the 700c fenders that was on the rear. Someone on reddit suggest adding mud flaps to protect my chainrings and bb, I should have thought of that before, I had fenders on my main commuter before and always get mucky chainrings. I thought the fenders would be enough I never thought to add mud flaps.

Really looking forward to a safe and pleasant commute this winter  ❄️⛄️

Update Nov 16: got the mud flaps on, made it from neoprene cabinet liners and duct tape... and it does work! Was raining a bit last night and there were puddles everywhere, so I made sure to ride over those puddles and my shoes remained dry! Well there were a bit of water on the side but I figure I have to make the bottom part of the flap a little bit wider, I'll make sure to do that for version 2.0

October 1, 2017 05:19:00 am

SS Winter Commuter - Tundra T-2000

For this year instead of installing my Schwalbe Marathon Winters on my previous commuter, I plan to use this single speed bike I got off Kijiji. I'm hoping that the gearing would be enough for winter and that not having derailleurs would mean not having to worry about them breaking. The bike also seems lighter compared to my usual winter bike as it doesn't have the suspension forks in the front, no cassette, 2 less chain rings and no derailleurs.

I couldn't find any info about this bike online though, I'm guessing it must just be another BSO, only decals I could find where TUNDRA T-2000 Paul Mar cycle and Ishiwata CrMo.

September 2, 2017 01:24:00 pm

New Bike Day: GT Avalanche 2014

I waited several weeks for it to get marked down and finally riding season is almost over and finally got this one tax free! Original price at Sportchek was $719 down to $495, it's an older bike but the components are actually better than some of the newer bikes for half the price.
Hydroformed 6061 T6 Aluminum Frame, w/ Triple Triangle™
SR Suntour XCM Fork w/ 100mm Travel and a Hydraulic Lockout.
Shimano, Deore rear deraileur
Continental Race King Tires for great grip and durability
Promax Decipher Hydraulic Disc brakes , W/ 160mm Rotor for consistent and strong stopping power

April 20, 2017 03:09:00 pm

NSD - New Shoes Day!

My Merrell's served we quite well for several years, unfortunately the soles were worn out and things weren't looking too good at the heel area. Even though budget was tight my lovely wife felt it is time to retire those shoes and get a new pair, which I was hesitant to do as I have grown to love them and they have been through a lot with me. 

Considering that I wore the Merrell's all year round, through ice, mud and snow, they didn't look all that bad, I felt they could still last a couple more months. However while browsing through Sportschek we came across this particular pair (20% off $127)  and I felt comfortable wearing them right at the store, I also own a pair of Northface hiking boots and I could never feel comfy in them. The Salomon's fit like a glove, it felt light and the soles were flexible when walking yet sturdy enough when I pedal my bike.

Hoping they last as long as my old pair!

January 5, 2017 09:54:00 pm

My winter bike

I have decided not to continue my winter beater project, never liked how this bike felt and the twist shifter felt awkward for me. Figured that even if I wear out the components I could easily go back to Recycle Cycles and replace the parts. Also got the fender mounting screws and bolts from them and even though my bike had no mounting eyelets on the fork I was able to attach the fenders.

Also transferred the bar ends from the Horizon and it is quite nice specially when you're just cruising along. Switched tires to my Schwalbe Marathon Winters which I run at minimal psi when there's thick snow on the ground. I've been able to ride them at 35 psi on deep snow, higher than that and they just don't work as well.

To combat rust I've been spraying the drive train components with Rustoleum and so far things look promising, hopefully I'll get more life out of my parts before they need to be replaced.

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