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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Late Friday evening fun

I just couldn't resist the temptation to go and ride on Friday evening with the 907. The Paimio's Revenge trails were still untouched with it, and as the weather forecast was looking for worse with rains and household chores for the weekend it was go time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again the 907 proved to be a fantastic trail bike!

By Toni at 9:55 | Permalink |
Category: 9:ZERO:7, Fatbike, MTB Rides

Monday, May 09, 2011

A short Marttila overnighter

The winter was so great that when it was over I would have liked it to continue just a bit longer as my 907 arrived. But the spring has been really nice as well, and the plan was from the very beginning that 907 would be a year-round bike. So it was time for the first overnighter with the 907 as the weather forecast was really promising with clear skies. The plan this time was to meet Peter at the Wilderness of Marttila as he was on an epic two-day adventure from Tammisaari. We also decided to check out an another lean-to, Karhumäki, as the wilderness route includes three lean-to's at different places.

I did the preparations for the 907 (bottle cages, bags, seatpost rack) on Friday evening and I was ready to go somewhat too late, as the original plan was to be at Marttila before sunset. Not this time, but Marttila will surely be my primary bikepacking destination as it is fairly close to my home.

 

Getting closer to the Wilderness of Marttila along some nice gravel roads.

 

Peter had just arrived at the lean-to and started a campfire.

 

 

 

I grilled a packet of sausages while Peter prepared a meal with a stove. Peter's day had been long and hard, riding almost 140 km, and he was clearly very tired. But tired in a good way! I'm hoping I could do a longer two-day adventure this summer.

There was a nice sickle of moon in the sky.

The Karhumäki lean-to was more a firewood shelter and there was just enough room for me to sleep. Peter put up his tent.

The night was cold - the temperature dropped below zero. I was using McKinley Yukon 3-season sleeping bag that has a limit comfort at +1°C. It is enough for these kind of nights but I couldn't pack a pair of wool socks to my drybag, so I didn't sleep too well. However, the sounds of exotic birds in the early morning were awesome!

My water bottle was partly frozen in the morning.

 

Peter in his tent. I don't own a tent or a tarp yet but it's in my plans for the future.

 

 

The usual morning procedures.

Apparently I was too busy on Friday evening while packing, as I didn't have my cutlery (spoon/fork/knife) with me. Fortunately Peter had a pair of tire levers and I was able to eat my porridge. :) Thanks Peter!

The Karhumäki shelter.

A view from Karhumäki.

The trails are absolutely awesome in Marttila. Lots of rocks, some roots, tight twists and turns. The 907 is really a blast to ride here! It is truly a year-round bike.

 

Peter filtering drinking water. Truly an unsupported adventure!

More rock awesomeness.

The pond at Palainen.

We were running out of time. Still plenty of trails to be ridden in the future.

Heading home.

A slideshow of photos is here.

A nice overnighter. Thanks Peter for the company. Already looking forward for the next outing!

By Toni at 18:08 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures, Fatbike

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

First real ride with the 907

Yesterday I commuted with the 907 to work and after the workday I had time to ride the 'trail version' of my commute route. It's mixed terrain with nice forests trails with a couple of tricky root and rock sections, and also one section with loose sand. In other words, a good way to test the capabilities of my new fatbike.

 

 

My experience from mountain biking has come mainly with my 26inch hardtails, and I have once test rode a full suspension bike, so they are my baseline.

The bike feels great on the singletracks. The first part of my route is pretty easy, but I was already looking for a tricky root section that was to come. Brooom!! This bike rolls so easily over the obstacles! Riding technical stuff with this bike is so much fun. But there was more to come. Unfortunately someone has decided to build a house in one place where the trail goes. No problem. I just rode thru the forest, and really easily. With a fatbike you can just 'point and shoot' it almost everywhere and turn the cranks and that's it. The bike handles so well on all terrain, and riding is so effortless. Ride slow, ride fast, do what you want. Amazing!

The last section contains loose sand, where normal mountain bikes wants to sink and riding is harder. Oh yes, this bike really floats! Riding sand is super easy!

As writing this I can hardly wait for the next ride.

A slideshow with a couple of extra photos is here.

By Toni at 18:40 | Permalink |
Category: 9:ZERO:7, Fatbike, MTB Rides

Saturday, April 30, 2011

9:ZERO:7 is ready!

 

Finally! The building took a lot longer than I planned, for several reasons.

With this bike project I wanted to do a little 'color coding', and the main colors are black and red. This caused a little problem with the brake hoses. The Jagwire HyFlow Quick-Fit is not directly compatible with my old brakes, Hayes HSX-9 (G2). But after some searching I figured out that they could work with an another Quick-Fit fitting kit, for Avid Elixir, as the caliper end seems to be similar to Hayes HFX-9. Thanks for Jan of Pyöristi for fast service, the fitting kit arrived on Friday, just in time for the weekend.

I was a little nervous if my tweaking would really work. The bleeding went suprisingly well, althought not really suprise as I have a very good DIY bleeding kit. And oh yes, they work!

Here is the complete component list:

Frame: 9:ZERO:7 medium size, black
Fork: Salsa Enabler
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow RD-M772
Front derailleur: Shimano SLX M660 E-type
Shifters: SRAM Plasma 8-speed (*)
Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
Bottom Bracket: FSA Platinum DH ISIS 100mm
Crankset: FSA Alpha Drive 175mm
Pedals: Shimano PD-M520 (*)
Brakes: Hayes HFX-9 G2 (*)
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG70 8-speed
Chain: Shimano CN-HG91
Stem: FSA XC-170 120mm/6° (*)
Handlebar: BBB SkyBar 60cm (*)
Seatpost: Thomson Elite 30.9mm/41cm
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite (*)
Grips: Ergon R2M Magnesium (*)
Tires: Surly Larry 3.8" 120TPI
Tubes: Bontrager 26X2.8
Cables: Jagwire L3
Brake hoses: Jagwire HyFlow T 5.0
Seat collar: Salsa Liplock
Front wheel: Vicious Cycles Graceful Fat Sheba 80mm, Surly 135mm hub
Rear wheel: Vicious Cycles Graceful Fat Sheba 80mm, Shimano XT hub

(*) = parts from the old bike.

The bike weights in 15.380 kgs / 33.90 lbs.

 

More photos:

 

 

 

I went for a short test ride in the evening and sunset...

 

 

 

 

First impression: mountain biking revolutionsed!! I had big expectations and it seems that they are more than fulfilled. The bike doesn't feel heavy at all. It accelerates much better than I expected. The 100mm wide bottom bracket doesn't feel bad. I'm impressed. The test ride was very short so the full capabilities were not even closely shown. I will do a longer ride on Sunday, and an overnighter probably in the next two weeks time. And of course the next winter will be a real test.

And oh yes, riding this bike causes huge smile on my face! :-)

So why I chose 9:ZERO:7? There are several reasons. Basically the other choices currently are Surly Pugsley, Salsa Mukluk, Fatback and Sandman. All of them are certainly good, but 907 meets my needs best:

- Look!
- Geometry, closer to my old setup.
- Down tube bottle cage mount and Salsa Enabler fork with back-of-fork-leg bottle mounts for best possible bikepacking setup.
- Aluminum frame for lightness.
- Possibility for a 29er setup, versatility for year-round use in bikepacking, commuting, trail riding, even racing.
- Affordable and good availibity from CRC of Alaska/Fatbikes.com.
- Look! :-)

Huge thanks for Chain Reaction Cycles of Alaska for their awesome customer service! I highly recommend them if you are interested in purchasing a fatbike.

By Toni at 9:42 | Permalink |
Category: 9:ZERO:7, Fatbike, Gear

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Finally!

The frame and parts of the new bike project arrived finally today to the Customs of Turku, and I picked them up this afternoon.

 

 

 

 

More photos and writing as build progresses.

By Toni at 19:10 | Permalink |
Category: 9:ZERO:7, Fatbike, Gear