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Archive for Stan’s NoTubes

Winter Cycling Tire Selection/Setup.

Saturday was a foggy damp day here in Pennsylvania.  Unseasonably warm for January.  45 degree start and was above 50 by the time we finished.  The sun even poked it’s head through the clouds for a few minutes, warming us even more. The evening before we had a few hours of rain showers and this left the roads damp almost tacky.  Perfect conditions for the Holiday/Snowfalls treated tarmac to wreak havoc on our group ride.

There were 19 of us on the group road ride. There were 8 flats (9 if you count the broken valve stem during a flat fix) today. It was clear we pedaled through an agressive patch of gravel. It was when we realized the group was getting flats 3&4, at the same time too, that I asked everyone to check their tires and pick out what they could.  It was a feeble attempt but worth the try.

As I watched the flat changes, my friends running their gloved hands over their spinning wheels I observed something. Almost everyone had their summer tires on. (I was able to make this observation because I was not worried with my tire/wheel set up. More on this below.)

Hence this blog post.   Over the years I was taught AND learned a few things that really improved winter road riding.  I’ll share them with you.


1. If you can’t afford a whole new set of tires, I have had great succes with Mr. Tuffy tire liners. Easy to install and they really do work.  These were essential for winter riding in  State College, PA.  I was dirt poor back then too.  A good friend Chuck Bednarczyk turned me onto these things.  I used them  back in my BMX days (1980’s) as well!

2. If you can afford yourself some tires then get yourself a more durable pair! Lightweight “racing” tires are to thin to ward off the type of shredded slag, glass, stone gravel that is used so commonly here in the mid-atlantic.
Two tires that have stood the test of (winter) time:
Continental GatorSkin
Specialized Armadillos
*one more will be listed below

3. Go tubeless! A fine setup is obtaining yourself a Stan’s NoTubes converstion kit. If you have Mavic Ksyriums you won’t need the kit. All you’ll need will be a pair of valve stems, some sealant and tubeless ready tires.
If you have Shimano tubeless ready wheelsets you’ll need the Shimano valves, some sealant and tubeless ready tires.

4. Ultimate setup: Stan’s NoTubes Alpha wheelset with Hutchinson tubeless ready tires! This is my current set up and I’ve been very pleased. Not only am I able to experience the beautiful ride that tubeless provides but (jinx) I have not flatted (jinx) in over two years! I’ll take this as proof!  Note: I run the Hutchinson Intensives (I highly recommend these tires) almost all season.  For road events the Hutchinson Fusion 3 is brilliantly good.  

Cannondale EVO w: Fenders

So do yourself and the rest of the group a favor. Put on the appropriate rubber for the winter, then ride with confidence!

For my local community:
Have more questions about Stan’s NoTubes and their products or neat first hand help with setups? Let me know and I’ll help you out.
If you would like to demo a set of Stan’s Alpha road wheels w/ Hutchinson tires you can message me via Facebook, Email or Twitter. You must provide your own SRAM or Shimano cassette.

BONUS WINTER RIDING TIP: Get yourself some WRAP AROUND STYLE fenders!! ESSENTIAL for those wet rides.  Keeps your bum and toes drier.  Also reduces road spray through the group and keeps your water bottles free of gritty road grime.  Stay dry to stay warm!


ps – if you have another tip, tire recommendation or fender recommendation; post it up as a comment!  #community.

Assembling with Missing Pieces

I’m tackling the 2012 cyclocross season missing some pieces. Check out the photo below. Can you spot what I’m talking about? (It’s not my mental “marbles”…well maybe it is!)

Above photo memory happily purchased from Cycling Captured.

Did you catch it? No? Click here for another clue (look at the drivetrains).

Still don’t see it? No worries.  I’ll share it with you:  I converted my trusty Cannondale SuperX into a single speed.  How?  I used a Beer Components EBB30, SRAM Red GXP Crankset, SRAM Single Speed Levers and tubeless wheels by Stan’s NoTubes. Cockpit was compliments of Zipp Service Course (non SL). *More bike stats at bottom.

Why? What’s the big deal? Riding the singlespeed is silly fun and I thrive on new challenges.  *It’s also because I’m part of a crew assembling something for 2013.

My next singlespeed adventure will likely be THE IRON CROSS.

*Credit to Johnny Walrod (who now lives in Portland, OR) for introducing me to SSCX back in 2004. I’ve been a fan ever since and had DreesensBicycles build me a sweet rig soon after.
*I ran Schwalbe Sammy Slicks with slightly higher than my norm tire pressure’s at 30 psi rear and 28 front. Nittany CX weekend conditions were bone dry and fast so the higher pressure was required. I currently weigh 165lbs. Bike weight as pictured: 16.03lbs.
*Saturday gear 42×16 and it felt too big. Got bogged in the tight stuff. Sunday gearing 42×18, perfect for the course, my current fitness and weather conditions.
*Announcement about my reference to 2013 in a future post.

What is this “roadie” doing? Rattling 50 review.

I am blessed. I’m on a road team and yet I’m allowed to pick my own schedule. At this point in the season I’ve only done nine days of road racing and ELEVEN days of mountain bike (MTB) racing!
It’s still a lot less racing than the “full time” roadie days. Yet it’s already more than I had planned for the year and I still have cyclocross season just around the corner!  I guess riding/racing three main disciplines is a good problem to have?

This past Saturday I lined up for the Elite Open Class at the Rattling Creek 50.  A 50 mile mountain bike race title sponsored by Stan’s NoTubes and based in and around the trails of Lykens PA.
This place is a small gem. The locals are friendly and check out Kevin’s place.

The local mtb organization partnered with IMBA have constructed some amazing trails here. It’s PA so yes, it’s generally rocky, however, the builders have put in some nice flow too. Some of the rock garden ride lines are really well done!

Here’s a neat vid someone put together. It gives a quick sense of the trails:

The race went well. I was previously doing a build for Leadville (which was also this weekend) and the subconscious/automatic training program paid off and I had good legs.
I was patient and went away solo before aid three, 36 miles in. According to the pre-race meeting this left me with approximately nine downhill miles to go.  However, there was a minor snafu with the trail markings late in the day.  Since I was leading at aid three and barring catastrophe (worse than being lead off course) I was on track for the win.  I ended up doing two sections of trail all over again and riding an additional four miles of singletrack with a little bit of climbing too.  No worries because It was decided by my fellow racers that I would be moved to top step!  Amazing humbleness and sportsmanship by my fellow podium competitors Collin Becker (who I rode with and was crushing it most of the race), Jed Prentice, Ryan Heerschap and Chris Edmonds. Several of us were similarly lead astray but again, heads remained cool and honesty prevailed.
Mike Kuhn (Rattling 50 promoter) was uber bummed (along with his volunteers) about the course signage glitch but remained super calm.
True class by everyone involved! Choice radness!

Kuhn does a great job with his races. Attention to detail in many places: fast registration, easy parking and a roll out start from the middle of town (not too many mtb races can claim such a beginning). Post ride swag, food and beverage (at a real restaurant) is part of your entry fee too!

Great race in a friendly town with excellent support by Stan’s NoTubes, Toasted Head Wine, Cannondale and the town of Lykens!

I’m already thinking about when I can get out to those trails again.

Huge thank you and congrats to the volunteers and competitors!

Maybe next season I’ll dust off the track and bmx bikes too?

2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic Recap

I’ve been thinking about how to best describe the awesomeness of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.  It’s quite simple: Mike and Ray (the promoters) really have a gem and genuinely care about the race and the riders.  If you love the challenge of Mountain Biking than put the TSE on your bucket list of races.  It’s a great blend of technical east coast rocks, fun flow and demanding climbs (and descents).  Truly an east coast MTB delight.  Not for the meek.  You’ll meet great like minded people too.

Photog superman Abe Landes puts together a slide show each and every night.  An amazing task considering the timing and quality of work involved.  I believe his videos best reflect the race and community of the TSE.  Only four of the seven videos are currently posted on Abe’s YouTube page but I think you’ll get it.  I believe in y’all.

Enjoy.  I have and still do.

* A competitor from Colorado brought his family.  His 12 year old boy participated in the “experience” category.  The boy was very impressive, several men and women were not able to finish the event and yet this 12 year old was able.  You’ll see him in the slideshows.

* Equipment choices: Cannondale Scalpel 29er for all but one stage (rode the Cannondale Ultimate hardtail on the Coburn stage and really missed the Scalpel).  The Scalpel 29er is magic.

Stan’s NoTubes Arch wheelset.  NOT ONE FLAT IN SEVEN DAYS.

Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralphs/SnakeSkin (fast all-arounder) for first three stages Cannondale WTB protype rear tire for Raystown (cool feel and drift abilities) and Continental Mountain King for the remaining three stages (great hook up in the loam and rocks).