Monday, November 23, 2009

Hill Junkie Basement

I placed separate orders recently for two kinds of tires - 26" studded tires and 4" rollerski tires (actually wheels minus bearings). They arrived the same time. I've gotten about five seasons on my Nokian Extreme's. The tread is still in pretty good shape, but the carbide studs are about half gone. This means they no longer offer superior performance on icy surface. Suitable for road riding, but risky on off-road ice flows. The new Nokian's, now called Extreme 294 (294 studs per tire), have a modified tread design. It is more open. I suspect they will roll slower on hard surfaces, but that is hardly a concern for winter riding. I'm mostly after the quality of riding outdoors, getting good training value, and avoiding the dreaded "point ride" on a trainer. had a good price on these at $70 each. I spent about as much for two new tires as I did on my new Niflheim rollerskis with four wheels.

26" Nokian Extreme 294 with 4" Pursuit "slow" wheel

The 4" wheels are replacements for my Pursuit rollerskis. I've half used the wheels that were on them in two seasons. They don't handle the same when the wheel diameter gets smaller, they are more susceptible to skidding on stones and pine cones, and they seem to be getting faster with less rubber on the wheel hubs. They were too fast to begin with. So I'm replacing all four wheels with higher resistance tires. I will continue to use my Pursuit's on rainy days, especially after roads are salted, and for lunch break workouts. Salt is very nasty to bearings. I'll use my new Niflheim's for hilly endurance workouts.

When I scouted for a hook to hang my new Nokian tires on, I was confounded. All my tire hanging hooks were already overloaded. A quick count around the room revealed I have over 40 tires not mounted on bicycles right now. At least 10 of those are new, 20 of them barely used, and the remainder still in good shape. I don't keep junky tires around. How does one accumulate so many tires? I think a lot of the slightly used ones were experiments. They looked good on paper but performed poorly on the road or trail. Time to have a sale.

Pan of Hill Junkie basement. Much smaller than it looks. Hi-Rez

I also took note of my tube inventory. Over 50 in stock! Most of these are brand new in the boxes. I have several sizes of MTB tubes, from 1" for road slicks to 2.2". I even have a 29" tube and don't have a bike for it yet (I needed a spare when I rented a 29er last month). On the road side, I have 23mm tubes for racing and training, 28mm tubes for the tandem, 650c tubes for a bike my wife doesn't own anymore, and 35mm tubes for 'cross. Then mix in thin and thick wall, butyl and latex varieties into the mix. This adds up to enough tubes to last me 15 years. I don't throw away a tube from simple punctures either. I'll patch a tube up to two times before I discard it. I rarely flat.

I am completely out of space in my workshop. It is supposed to be a wood working shop, but bicycles and skis have completely taken over things. My Delta contractor's tablesaw doubles as additional workbench space when my primary workbench becomes clogged. Back in Michigan, I had a detached 1000 square foot building to keep this stuff in. That's when Fat Doug did multiple wood working projects per year and did not own any bikes.

Some day I'll design and build another house. It's hard to visualize that being more satisfying than riding and racing bikes right now. Cathy and I built our house in Michigan ourselves with very little outside help. We hired out only the site preparation, foundation, and thin-coat plaster work. We did everything else. It is a huge commitment, essentially a second full-time job for a year. No way I'm selling off the wood working equipment yet. I have two options to gain more space. I could move some of the equipment up three flights of stairs to the attic and hope I don't need to use it any time soon. Or I could put up another building on our property, pay lots more in taxes, just to have a place to keep infrequently used equipment. I sure hope I don't take a chunk of plaster out of the wall lugging a 150 lb jointer up the stairs.


Big Bikes said...

You have inspired me to produce a revolutionary (pun not intended, but noted and ignored) new product.

How the hell are you supposed to roller ski when it starts snowing huh?

Studded roller ski wheels that's how!

I am going to be rich.


Az said...

Thanks Doug. Now whenever I get grief about wanting another bike toy or accessory, all I have to do is bring up this blog with the picture and say, "At least I don't have this much bike stuff".


DaveP said...

Looks like your entering the realm of compulsive hoarding. If you need a place to store your Titus and Ridley (not the CX!), I have room in my basement. It won't be returned in the same condition.

rick is! said...

nice space you've got there. currently my entire 1100 sq ft basement is a bike/house/wood storage nightmare.