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Equipment


What is a hobby without fanatic attention to the equipment details? For those of you with an interest, here are a few details on our packages!

Equipment Configurations and Recommendations

The Roller's Bikes

2006 Ventana X-5

  • Large (19") frame
  • Electric Red, Quad bearings
  • RockShox Pike fork
  • Fox DHX Air rear shock
  • SRAM X0 shifters
  • SRAM X9 rear derailleur (replacement for an X0 which broke a spring after 10,000 miles)
  • Shimano XT front derailleur
  • Shimano XT crank
  • SRAM PG 990 cassette
  • SRAM 991 chain
  • Shimano XT disk brakes
  • Thomson Elite post and stem
  • Hadley hubs
  • DT Swiss 4.1D front rim, Mavic 819 UST rear rim
  • Continental Trail King 2.2 tires
  • WTB Laser-V saddle
  • Time ATAC XS pedals
  • Answer Pro Taper handlebars
  • ODI Rogue lock-on grips

This bike was spec'ed by me and built by Chad at Red Barn Bicycles in Montana. I have given this bike a beating and it has kept going. The components are starting to show their age, but they have done very well in light of the amount of year-round riding I have done.

The Roller's Original Mountain Bike

2013 Trek Madone 5.2 road bike:

  • 54 cm frame
  • Ultegra components
  • 700 x 23c Bontrager tires
  • Built-in speed and cadence sensor

Lonn's bike

 

Madone 5.2

Ken's Bikes

2015 Santa Cruz 5010

  • XTR 3x build kit
  • ENVR M60/40 carbon wheels

Ken's Old Bike

Ken's Old Old Bike

Ken's bike
Rack 1UP USA Quik Rack - This is a very easy to use tray-style bike rack that fits in a receiver hitch. This rack is solidly built, lightweight and very easy to use but the best feature is that it folds up compactly so it is easy to store in the garage when I am not using it. It is a bit expensive but I like it over other high-end racks. By popular demand, I have put some more details and pictures about this rack on my Infiniti G37 on a separate page.
Clothing

I am not a fanatic on clothing. Fit is the most important feature followed by price and features.  Some of my favorites are:

  • Primal Wear jerseys - I have several that have lasted many years. There is a range of designs to fit your style.
  • Fox Head jerseys - Good fit and I like the full length zipper. The rear side pockets aren't as deep as Primal for my camera, but I haven't lost it yet.
  • Voler shorts and bibs - last a long time and good bang for the buck.
  • Gore Phantom jacket. This has Windstopper on the front, is much more porous on the back than "regular" jackets and has removable sleeves for changing weather or early rides. I really like this jacket.
  • Sock Guy socks - Tough and the elastic doesn't die.
  • Shoes - I have tried a few types. I currently have a pair of Shimano mountain bike shoes that are comfortable, affordable and do pretty well on hike-a-bike sections. Sidis are good but they are expensive and the soles wear pretty fast (I don't know how this happens). I had a pair of Lake shoes with a Boa closure (mounted in the back), but I don't really like the Boa system and a seam blew out on a very tough hike-a-bike.  I have Sidi road shoes which I really like.
  • Gloves - I am using the Fox Head Reflex gloves and Specialized Body Geometry. I find that I like the padding on the heel of the palm.
  • Glasses - I am getting old, so I got a pair of Dual Eyewear glasses that really help seeing both the road and the GPS. I was using Tifosi which seem pretty good and are not too expensive. I had a pair of Specialized photochromatic glasses that I won in a contest but eventually lost. I find the photochromatic lenses are a good feature, but not polarized lenses.
 
Gear

In addition to clothing, every mountain biker needs to have the proper gear:

  • Helmets - Bell Helmets seem to fit my head right. I have tried a few others that were just OK, but Bell seems to hit the mark for fit, weight, ventilation and price.
  • Hydration Pack - Camelbak Hawg. It can be a bit big in the summer but packs a lot of gear or clothing when you need it. The weight difference with the smaller pack is not that large and I like to be able to be self sufficient for tools, emergency gear, food, spare parts, etc.
  • SKS fenders - Just because it is a bit wet out does mean you shouldn't ride (on the proper trail). These quick on/off fenders do the job, especially on the down hills, keeping things visible and a bit cleaner
  • Plastic bin - I keep a big bin with a lid in the trunk. Dirty or sweaty gear goes in the bin after the ride. This simple solution keeps the trunk neat, clean and fresh while keeping your gear from rolling all over the place.
  • A big towel - this is great for "surfer style" clothing changes at the end of the ride. It is very nice to get out of sweaty or wet clothes at the end of the ride. Wrapping the big towel around me while changing keeps everyone happy.
 
Camera Canon SD800 IS - A good sub-compact camera that I carry in a jersey pocket for quick shots.  The image stabilization really helps when I stop for a quick shot and I am still breathing hard. I use a ziploc sandwich bag for a camera bag because it is small, waterproof (rain and sweat), quick in and out, and I can replace whenever I want. The camera seems plenty rugged because it has not given me any problems after carrying it this way on every ride over several years. Canon SD800IS
GPS
  • Garmin Edge 510 - A GPS is another thing I take on every ride. It sits on my stem and quietly does its job regardless of the trail or weather conditions.It has lots of features, starts up faster, has good satellite reception, more memory, long battery life, handles two bikes very easily and is generally wonderful. If you are riding alone, it also has a live tracking feature that connects through your cell phone to let other know where you are (just in case). I use the cadence sensor on the road bike but rarely use the heart rate monitor. This is the third Garmin GPS I have used over the years. They have worked well for me.
Lights
  • Gloworm XS - a small light head that throws out 2200 lumens! I did not realized how much I was missing!  It also runs a very long time at lower light levels, which is nice when doing a long slow climb. It is small enough that I could use it on my helmet but the handle bar mount is very nice. I thought that having the light switch separate from the light head was a gimmick but it is actually pretty useful.
  • Gemini Xera light. Small head, small battery and puts out a good amount of light. This is now my helmet light since I can mount the battery on the helmet itself.
  • NiteRider Lumina 750 - a rechargeable handlebar light that throws out a lot of light. Small enough to drop in the Camelbak just in case and can live comfortably on the handlebars. You can ride pretty fast with this light. I use it as my primary commute headlight because it is very bright and has a good flash model just to warn traffic that you are there.
  • Portland Design Works Danger Zone rear blinky for the road bike. Very bright and visible for a small light.
Gloworm XS Gemini Xera
NiteRider Lumina 750 Danger Zone Blinky
Software
SportTracks - This is my primary interface to the GPS.  This collects the data and produces routes and charts like elevation profiles for the ride. It nicely organizes ride data by date and location and produces lots of useful reports.  I also save the GPS data in GPX files (a standard GPS data format) so I can use them in lots of other applications. This is not free software, but it is not very expensive and it is well worth the price to me. I highly recommend SportTracks. SportTracks
TopoFusion Pro - TopoFusion's forte is looking at multiple rides at the same time.  I use TopoFusion to combine track data from multiple ride into a single merged map for each location. It has lots of other features, some similar to SportTracks and some that are new and useful, that I like. It is another low priced piece of software I highly recommend. By the way, I have exchanged e-mails with the developer (another mountain biker) and they have a very useful support forum. TopoFusion Pro
Google Earth - Free mapping software from Google. Allows me to view multiple locations and get a good sense of the elevations changes involved. See the consolidate trail map to see what I am talking about. Google Earth
My own software! I wrote my own software to do a variety of tasks from translating between various file formats to merging mulitple trail networks into a single Google Earth file. This makes consolidated map updates fast, easy and error-free.  
Irfanview - Irfanview is a fast, free photo viewer that I have used quite a bit. The big application for this web site is the ability to quickly re-size photos to a specified size. I have lots of pictures, but they are all much larger than they need to be for presentation on the web. Irfanview has a batch capability to quickly re-size any number of pictures. Irfanview is also great for quickly cropping pictures. It is not a full-power photo editor, but I don't always need a heavyweight tool to get the job done. Irfanview
Joomla! - Joomla is an open source content management system (CMS). When I decided to completely re-architect my web site I wanted a system that made managing all of the files and image easy and allowed site-wide updates and format changes to be made easily. This wasn't the case with my previous hand coded site. I didn't have any experience with any CMS, but Joomla seemed like a reasonable mix of capability and ease of use and, as open source, the price (free) was right. I have used a few open source add-ons that have been very useful and easy. I don't have a lot to compare it to, but it seems to be getting the job done. Joomla

 

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