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  1. #1
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    Rode West Branch in Ravenna, Ohio Today

    Boy, some memories there. Glynis27 rolling up to my car with the epitome of neon green rims, climbing up rock gardens instead of going down them, and of course, breaking my chain (well, losing my SRAM gold power link) 2 miles from the trail head with no chain tool in sight among 4 people. Dont ask how my gold link fell apart, I have no idea. We only found one half.

    It was my first time riding anything "real" in the mountain bike world, so my noobness was 100% up and front after about a mile. Glynis and his buddies Tim and Mark were cool about waiting for me, thanks guys. First break after some laughs about the rock garden climbs and how Tim designed them even though he doesn't really like them, I realized I'd never sweat like that in my life before and Mark pointed out that as much as I was complaining (read: building character), I was still smiling and having fun.

    Things learned:
    Momentum is king
    Buy a chain tool
    Momentum is king

    No pictures, but a recommendation to give West Branch a go if you haven't already. Also, thanks to Glynis and his buddies for showing me a good time and being patient.

  2. #2
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    WB is a great trail. I ride there all the time. I see a lot of people who ride that trail and shy away from the south side with all the rocks. That's the fun part, and it makes you a better rider.

    Another thing you need to learn:
    Picking the proper line makes a huge difference

    Do you live near Ravenna?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixate
    WB is a great trail. I ride there all the time. I see a lot of people who ride that trail and shy away from the south side with all the rocks. That's the fun part, and it makes you a better rider.

    Another thing you need to learn:
    Picking the proper line makes a huge difference

    Do you live near Ravenna?
    Nah. West side of Cleveland.

    They took me on Lakeside which was good for me... more enjoyable than the rock garden climbs and descents. Those were a bit out of my league for now, but I did my best and still had a blast.

    I know picking a line makes a huge difference, but it was hard to get and keep momentum through rocks. I've never ridden anything like that before.

  4. #4
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    Whoa, didn't see this post. Yea, it was a good time. Sorry about taking you through the rocks first. Was not my plan. When I started riding, the rocky sections were easier for me than the smooth, but I'm weird. It's amazing how quickly your skill increases if you ride the rocks a few times though. Once you can ride there smoothly, you can ride pretty much anywhere.

    You need to check out Quail now though. Super smooth and flowy. Never really lose any momentum and no rocks!

    Sucks about the chain. Figures that happens on the only day when I don't have a chain tool or spare powerlink. Was trying out my other Camelbak and left everything in my main pack.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
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  5. #5
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    Hey, no problem. I took a good look at my drivetrain the day after and I need a new cassette and chainrings. I figured as much because breaking two chains in a month isn't good.

    New rings are going to cost about $85 at the LBS, so I might as well get a whole new Shimano LX crankset and external BB for $99 from Jenson, along with a Sram cassette and new chain. I'm going to start wrenching my own bike so I'll need some tools too.

  6. #6
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    Yea, I would just go with new cranks if rings were gonna cost that much.

    I do all my own and work and got all the tools if you need help.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the offer. I'm going to slowly buy all the tools I need, I think, and just teach myself as I go. As daunting as it sounds now, when I get bored during the winter, I was thinking about completely stripping my bike down and building it back up to teach myself about it, and to make sure everything is staying lubed well like bottom bracket, headset, etc.

    If you've got a workstand you need to sell (or better yet, give away), I'd be interested.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacon11
    Thanks for the offer. I'm going to slowly buy all the tools I need, I think, and just teach myself as I go. As daunting as it sounds now, when I get bored during the winter, I was thinking about completely stripping my bike down and building it back up to teach myself about it, and to make sure everything is staying lubed well like bottom bracket, headset, etc.

    If you've got a workstand you need to sell (or better yet, give away), I'd be interested.
    I built my bike myself before I knew what I was doing and had no trouble so it isn't that scary. Bikes are pretty simple. Just need to learn the nuances and dealing with proprietary crap.

    I only got the one work stand. If you want it, you're gonna need to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

  9. #9
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    Heh, it was worth a shot.

    What are you using? I don't want to drop $120 on a stand only to realize that $200 is where the quality stands start. Folding legs don't look like they are all that sturdy if I needed to crank on something like a stuck bottom bracket or crank arm.

  10. #10
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    I use an Ultimate Pro Classic. There are a couple that are cheaper that are good too.

    If you are cranking on anything that hard, like a stuck BB or crank, you take the bike out of the stand.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glynis27
    I use an Ultimate Pro Classic. There are a couple that are cheaper that are good too.

    If you are cranking on anything that hard, like a stuck BB or crank, you take the bike out of the stand.
    You have a point there. That stand is a bit rich for my tastes... Something like the Park PCS-10 should be fine, no?
    Now with eggs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacon11
    You have a point there. That stand is a bit rich for my tastes... Something like the Park PCS-10 should be fine, no?
    Yes, That's what I have and it works great. I think I got mine for $120 shipped.

  13. #13
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    Awesome. I don't want to spend any more than that. I was worried about the legs collapsing with any type of side pressure on the stand, but seeing the picture of the leg hinges got rid of that fear. Looks like I'll be throwing that stand on my Christmas wish list.

    Edit: Can you get the jaws of the clamp wide enough to clamp onto the down tube? That stand doesn't look very tall and me being 6'1, I'd either have to get into the character of Hunchback of Notre Dame to work on my bike, or sit down. If I could clamp to the down tube, I'm sure I could stand and work on the drivetrain closer to eye level.
    Last edited by bacon11; 08-24-2009 at 08:54 PM.
    Now with eggs.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, the clamp opens up very big. I've clamped bikes in the stand using the seat tube, down tube, and top tube. It's a very versatile stand, and you can change the angle of the clamp to raise or lower a portion of the bike you're working on. Plus the top portion of the stand can be pulled up almost another foot. I'm 6'8", and I usually pull up a seat when I'm wrenching on my bike, but not all the time. I don't know what I ever did without it.

    It's very sturdy. I changed the bottom bracket with the bike in the stand no problem.

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