Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 SMR 48

Started off cold, then got less cold.  Pretty quiet though, people must be saving their climbing legs for NYD.

Old tire with the Stan's Sealant held up well.  Since it was so quiet, I could really hear the sew-ups sing.

It's been really windy all week - but not so much today.  

Strava logs say I did 34 Summits in 2018... not sure why but that seems low.  A few sick days, a few bail-outs at Junction.  I think it should be in the 40's... but data are data.

Wildlife Encounter:  single deer just below Junction.

JB has noticed that guys with yellow booties are faster than us.  

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018 SMR 47

Winter Solstice was yesterday.  Full moon was last night.  Good opportunity to ride The Mountain.
First - my latest creative endeavor - short and click-worthy.

Also, a jingle bell jingle for all my readers.

Me and JB started off with all our warmest gear, and gradually stripped it off as we got higher.  Interestingly, JB forgot a water bottle, and I had two but only went through one.

Wildlife Encounter:  single deer above The Bump

Seemed to be a pretty quiet day; not many other riders, but Strava logged 50 FlyBys.  Just a little windy at elevation... just about perfect.

Then on the way home, it happened... rear tire went flat outside The Gate near the horse ranch.  This is the pretty much used up tire that I punctured before and I patched with Stan's Sealant a couple weeks ago.  So I got a few more rides out of it - got my money's worth but didn't really get a good return on my labor - I'm putting a fresh tire on before next week.  Also, I am REALLY good at gluing on my tubulars.  I've always said the perfect glue job makes it damned hard to get off, but not damned near impossible.  This one's been on for a year I think, and it took some serious muscle to remove  Win.


Product Review: Stan's No Tubes Tire Sealant

I'm not a tubeless guy... maybe someday, but I just don't see it.  I do love having good tubulars on my vintage steel bike though.  Usually I'm happy if I can get a full life from a good sew-up before I get a flat.  Currently though, I've got a ~3-year old tire on the rear and it's almost down to the threads and I got a pin hole leak... didn't even notice any issue when I got home Saturday but it was flat before I put it away.  So I decided to try some of this sealant stuff that the tubeless guys all rave about.

After doing a little research, I decided on Stan's... work is it works well on latex tubes and tubular tires.  And it comes in little bottles that are supposed to be easy to use.  The tubeless guys put this stuff in to stop the flats as they happen, but I'm trying to fix a flat... I'm not sure how much difference that makes or if I'll use it in my tires before I get flats to prevent them.

I also got a little tool to remove the valve core, so $8.50 for the tool and $3.25 for the sealant.  Seems like not too risky of a gamble considering my tire's *almost* worn out anyway.  If I get another three bucks worth of use out of it I'll be happy and I will have learned a new skill for the future.

I put my wheel in the truing stand for this application.  The little valve tool was really easy to use - slip it on and screw it out.  The sealant bottle had instructions to shake vigorously and squirt it in while inverted.  It looks like milk... I know this because I spilled some... but didn't cry about it and it wiped up pretty easy.  I got almost all the goop in the tire.  Then I pumped it up to 100 psig and spun it around, imagining the milky substance to be seeking out the puncture.  Since the pinhole leak was so small, I didn't see any of the stuff squirting out of the puncture the way some of the other reviewers of this stuff have noted.

After 4-hours I decided the test was successful and used my second bottle on another tire I had been saving for a possible TireAlert re-tubing... that's a lot more expensive so only for tires that have a lot of life left in the tread.  I think this second tire was used about three years ago for one season.Second tire (Tire X) was also a success.  So for $7 (plus the tool) I got new life out of two tires.  

Here's how to think about the cost:  Divide the sealant cost by the cost of a new tire to determine how much value you're getting. Analysis - if a new tire is $80, a bottle of Stan's is $3.25, that represents 4% of the cost of replacement.  If you hope for 3,000 miles from a new tire, and you might get 120 miles out of the sealant-repair, you broke even.  That's a pretty good gamble; if it doesn't work, you only lost $3.25.  If you don't have at least 120 miles of tread left in your flat tubular, then it doesn't make sense.  120 miles is like three Saturday Morning Summits for me.  My advice - "give it a try".

Update:  both tires passed the overnight test also!  Stuff works. 
Update 2:  rear didn't hold.  Stuff works kinda.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

2018 SMR 46

Late December - a great time of year to ride Diablo.
Threat of rain... fizzled out.
Threat of cold... all talk.
Threat of wind... neutralized.
Threat of huge waves from the Pacific... not big enough to get us.

We had the whole Mountain to ourselves almost.  Didn't see any other riders until two fast guys passed me on The Wall.  On my descent though I saw a lot of climbers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 WNR 16

Left home a little after 3 o'clock and made it home before it got too dark.  
Wildlife Encounter:  a solitary deer below the Ranger House.
Felt like I was putting in a fast time, but it wasn't.
Really nice weather and kind of quiet.
And I was laying down some great shadows.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

2018 SMR 45

Missed last Saturday because RAIN.  Today started off on the cold side but it was calm and the clean air felt great in my lungs.  Me and JB almost had the whole Mountain to ourselves, few riders, few hikers, few cars.  Then we popped above the fog layer and the view was supreme.

I brought my little Bluetooth speaker and played Christmas songs all the way up.  Feels like the best December in a long time.