So what the swizzle is a 'luftkappe', and why the hell would I want one?!
Be warned..what follows is likely to be geeky tech speak....!
Well, apparently it's a way of making your Rockshoc Pike/Yari etc feel more supple in the early stroke, but firm out to prevent bottoming out in the deep stroke ("What??!! Oh..it's a bike thing..I'm outta here..")
You can add tokens to the Pikes to reduce the +ve chamber air volume, thus increasing the ramp up.
The Luftkappe differs as it fits in place of the standard piston, but the 'dome' element of it increases the effective -ve chamber volume, whilst reducing the +ve chamber volume.
Wha? You may ask; well, the -ve chamber reduces the force needed to 'get the fork moving'. Thus, a bigger volume -ve chamber should allow the fork to 'start moving' a bit more easily..making it like a coil (but without the coil weight).
Does it do that...Well....I don't know as I've jsut finished fitting the Lufthansa and it's now bed time.
However, in the next few days I'll be sure to ride the bike and let you know.. However, here's a brief guide of how easy it was to fit...
No, not that, but this...
A chain tug is a device that pulls the rear wheel (via the axle) rearwards, in order to maintain decent chain tension on a singlespeed bike..
What - you've a big dangly thing that your chain runs through hanging below the rear axle, that you can move when your legs cry out that "life's not fair, it's too hard.."? Don't worry - you've got GEARS, and non of this applies to you.
Go sit down on the naughty step and think about what you've done *.
However, if you've set up your tent in 'Camp ore-sum' because you ride a single speed, and have horizontal dropouts, and you have girder bending thighs of steel (of course you do) then you'll need a chain tug...
I've chosen to write a little report on the various chain tugs I've bought and used for my XC/race singlespeed bike (on-one scandal) because I've been through a few..however, if you're short on time, to save you my "buy cheap, buy thrice" approach, the answer is buy a Surly tuggnut!
Righto... so we completed on the new place late November 2014, and over the past few weeks building work's have started to make it habitable for the ever growing Pidgeon flock (we 'ad anuvva baby doncha know..).
It's time frames like that that make me ever so pleased we rushed the completion date forward, and missed out on the (three grand) cheaper stamp duty by 10 days.
However, it's given me plenty of time to play around with ideas in my head for the log burner install. I was toying with ideas and options, and wasn't completely set on which route to go down - the self install, or leaving it to a professional.
In my web travels I'd come across the stove fitters manual and spent many an hour sat on the sofa, 'running through in my head' the concepts and ideas needed to go down the self install route. I must give the majority of credit to Julian and his website, because it really is a comprehensive instructional write up of what's needed for each of the various stages of the log burner install. It also has plenty of links to the building regs (which are not only legal requirements, but safety points too). From here on it shall be referred to as 'The Bible o' Fire'
In contrast to this, THIS write up is simply a form of documentation of what I did, the laughs I had, and the hopes and dreams that were realised...by all means follow my lead, but don't take my advice as that of a professional!!
Why go down the self install route?? Well, it's a little bit to do with saving money - this route has saved me at least £700 - £1000, even getting BR to sign it off at the end. but it's mostly to do with learning new skills and using m'noggin. I really enjoy reading technical manuals and such, and learning and utilising new skills (even if I never use them again) is what makes me buzz!
Well I did it... But not as expected...
Or, for those who know me, perhaps it was exactly as expected?!
If you read the 'ride prep blog' then you've got a rough idea of all the bits and pieces that I took. The astute amongst you will note further on that the neat and tidy seat-pack system was replaced with a cumbersome and slightly heavy rack. Not Ti. Not even skinny steel, but a big lump of aluminium, plastic, and paint.
Why, you may ask, did I choose the rack? It was because I took too much stuff. Far too much stuff... read on for the full ride report and to hear me moan about how I took too much stuff...
After a few days of very good behaviour, Miles climbed is 'reward chart' high enough for his treat!!
The reward was nicely written in large bold writing: "Skatepark and tea in the woods"!
He really is his father's son!!
So I've basically had to scrap the idea of the Wessex Way (in two or three days) because I've procrastinated about, not trained enough, left it too late, and have been tipped off by Wiltshire and West Coun'ry locals that the route is overgrown with nettles and ferns and dragons and such...
With that kind of route forecast, it's really not worth attempting to ride with the aim of 125 (ish) miles per day - it simply won't happen. Meh.
However, I realised that if I were to do a little tour on road then I'm unlikely to encounter much unruly nature en route! Win...
Being a keen rider of one-geared bikes, the Single Speed UK champs (forever referred to as SSUK...) was always one to have on the race calendar - it's basically a piss up disguised as a race disguised as a piss up...
Charlie the Bikemonger had done a sterling job at organising last year's event in Swanage, Dorset. However, that was more of a 'one geared bimble' rather than a proper race format (heck - we spent more time in the pubs than we did riding!)
However, this year was held at Cannock Chase and was to be more fitting with the typical format of "proper-ish race followed by proper-ish party!
I'd been mulling over in my head whether to take it seriously and actually race..or to simply have a laugh and take it easy/drink... Chatting with Tim whilst on a ride the Saturday before it became official - I was in it to win it....
For those that bike-pack often, you'll know it's not weight but size that can prohibit what you take with you.
Sleeping bags are a classic "lightweight but massive" object - purely as they are mostly air.
Well, this evening as I was changing the winter duvet to the summer one, I wondered if the 'vacuum space bag' we keep the duvet/pillows/baby clothes in would 'work' on a sleeping bag too...
Well if you've read the 'it takes two to tandem' blog, you'd have known this was coming!!
Yes, the event was MONTHS ago (17th of May to be precise) but you know how busy life gets!
We'd been keenly planning our attack on the South Cotswolds, getting the bike in fine running order, and had overcome the issue of 'how to get the bike ACTUALLY to Gloucester'...