The Slow Spoke is a place where I put my thoughts to words and hopefully some will read them. Since I'm a major bike geek most entries will be bike related but, not always. I'm also guilty of thinking far too much so you never know what the topic will be. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Between Shifts.

Well, the quiver has been getting some love as of late.

Managed to tear down the Guru for a full cleaning, tune-up and subsequent glamour shot session between night shifts.

Once I get doing that, I can't help but notice the finer details of the bike.

Now that I have a better camera (with no skills to use it) I figured I'd post some better pics than the ones posted on the build entry. 

Still built as it was for my 40th b-day present to myself and still running great. This one will be with me a long time. I built it to last.

She's not meant to be the fastest bike in the group ride but while my buddies on the stiffer, "pure race" bikes start to ache, I'm ready for more action ;-)

Great bike for the long haul.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sometimes Lightning Strikes Twice.

Lightning does strike does. It's been proven. Sometimes lottery winners win more than once too. For me, I've never been lucky enough to win a lottery but I've been pretty lucky recently and pretty euphoric about what has taken place also. Lottery-like euphoria almost; an excitement in finally getting back on something that I've always said I would.

A look into past posts will find you reading about Dekerf. Even the picture at the top of this blog is a very old pic of my feet and my Dekerf Team ST that I rode and raced for 9 full seasons (99-08). That bike is the greatest bike I've ever owned (still have it) and very early on, it showed me what a bike "can" truly be.

It instilled an appreciation of the finer things in cycling. It opened up a whole new world and understanding for me. I learned to look past marketing bullshit and see what's really real. It made me appreciate the subtleties of a build and I learned what I wanted out of a bike over those earlier years. That bike set the bar wickedly high and it'll be tough to beat.

I've been fortunate too to be able to own many nice rides (at least I think they're nice) but I always knew that someday, someday I'd snag up another Dekerf. I had to.

I know the quality. I know the reliability. I know the feel and I simply LOVE Chris's work. I knew my time would come.

For those who may not know of Dekerf Cycle Innovations, here's a nice video of Chris Dekerf and his work. He's an absolute master of this craft.

Chris Dekerf / Dekerf Cycle Innovations from Mike Nairne on Vimeo.

Well, that time has come and I'm quite excited. I........AM.........BACK!! Twice Dekerfed. Freshly built in the following photos and equipped with matching Dekerf tuning fork.

The Niner MCR 9 was stripped and all parts were swapped over for the build. Everything that was not replaced was simply gone over, cleaned, tuned and slapped on the DK. This helps keep the budget down and the wife happy.

XO shifter/derailleur was converted to 1x9 setup using a Truvativ Noir crank and Race Face Single Ring up front. I then slipped a SRAM PG 990 cassette I had kicking around onto the King rear hub for that lovely buzzzzzzzzzz out on the trail.

Stopping is accomplished via Avid BB7's mated to Paul Love Levers up front. Living in a flatter part of the world, the BB7's provide more than enough power and their simplicity is quite appealing. Hydraulics were pulled for use on the fatbike.

Stans ZTR Arch hoops are laced with DT double butted spokes and a mix of Thomson Elite stem/post, Niner bars, Odi Lock-On grips and Maxxis Cross Mark rubber round off the build.

Pictures never do a bike any justice but I do the best with my limited photographic skills.

Here, some random shots of the bike as I try and capture some of those immaculate welds and craftsmanship.

In purchasing the frame, it was not desirable to separate the tuning fork from it so I got both. To separate this bike and fork would be like severing an arm. Very glad to keep it all together.

I'm still battling my pneumonia (getting better every day) but building this while recovering has made it much easier.

Managed to get out on a few shorter test/shakedown rides as of late and I can tell you that this bike has me extremely excited.

It's good to be damn good to be back.

Shakedown ride shot.

Apologies for posting about my own bike like this but I couldn't help it. I quite excited.

Cheers and keep the rubber side down, folks!

Thanks for reading...........comment if you want.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

I'm No Retro Grouch! Sweet Rides: Entry #15

I'm no retro grouch!

Well, at least that's what I have to tell myself sometimes. Telling myself sometimes, because, I have to convince myself I'm not! Hahaha

I have strong opinions in cycling. I have staunch beliefs as to what is good with cycling and what isn't and I have a very strong hatred for what I believe to be marketing tripe: and there's a lot of that right now.

Here however, with this example, it is a fine example of all that is well in the world. Those who read my posts somewhat regularly (or at least as regularly as I post) will know of my penchant for steel, but this freaking sick ride gets me tempted to jump ship!

Built by my buddy James at Blackwell Cycle (or on Facebook), I watched this ride come together and waited with bated breath. It's the one upside to owning your own shop that's for sure. I watched as each part would arrive and be laid out on the bench or hung off the frame in advance of the next component's arrival. The intent James had was to build himself up one hell of a fine hardtail and one that would not only stand the test of time and be race ready but, also, be extremely worry and maintenance free. Nice job!

He jumped back into the less plush world after years on a full squishy; choosing an as-plush-as-possible full carbon Rocky Mountain Vertex as a base for his build. Clearly with the component selection he made, "feathery" was going to be a word associated with this new build of his.

RaceFace Next SL carbon cranks mated with SRAM XX1 shifter, derailleur and cassette make for one sick combination. That damn cassette alone is a fine piece of art and needs to be seen to be appreciated. Ridiculous!

I snapped these photos and it was tough to take a bad shot. The silly thing is so damn nice. Of course James can't take "all" the credit. Rocky Mountain did a fine job too with the frame graphics in my opinion. Just enough colour to make the bike pop out there on the trail but not so much that it's all flash. Fit and finish is very nice and this bike has a nice aggressive racey geometry: there is no doubt. I wan't to race it..................bad.

James also, by choice (and tastefully I might add), kept everything RaceFace.

He wanted to keep with that Rocky Mountain/West coast tradition. Pieced together with RF stem, carbon Next seat post and matching RF carbon Next bars, his mission was a success and did the bike worlds of good.

A DT Swiss OPM O.L 100 fork softens the front end and the latest offerings from Time (XC8 carbon) secure the feet in place. The textbook Odi lock-ons (why anyone would ever go with anything else I'll never know) for the trouble free secure grip no mater what the conditions and Maxxis Ikon tires keep the ride on track in the slick stuff. To finalize the controls, James slapped on some Hope Race Evo X2's (the lightest Hope has to offer) and they finish this thing off right. They absolutely belong on this bike. 

All told, as built with everything you see in the pics, the bike weighs in at a mind-blowingly light 20.08lbs. That's right. Before he put the pedals on, it was sub 20lb mountain bike capable of full on race conditions. That's sayin' something.

How can anyone be a retro grouch when time, engineering, and sure, a bit of cash, gets you numbers and beautiful lookers like that??

I still love my steel rides but I'll tell you what, I'd throw my leg over this freaking thing any time of the week!

Sick bike, James. Nice f#$%ing job!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Down for the count..........

Down with pneumonia now. Suffering off the bike. This blows ass...

Pick from last ride I was on over a week ago.