Wednesday, May 02, 2007

STAN TO THE RESCUE!

    I need Stan, Stan's tubeless system. I gather some people from work, 3 people and 2 more at the last minute, for a fun group ride at Mercer. Mercer seems to be the best meeting spot during the weekdays, since it is the quickest place to get to after work.
    Well within 15 minutes into our ride, someones tire started to hiss. We all stopped and helped change the tire and as usual we made fun of each other. The ride was good, there was one newbie riding with us, that was doing well and Mercer is a relatively easy place to start mtn. biking and a good place to get back into shape and start the new season.
    On the way back, my rear tire decided to finally go flat. I have been having an everlasting low/flat tire for about 5 months now. i think this has been the longest streak of not having a flat in my rear tire. I gotta say this, I HATE changing my rear tire. There is so much to deal with, aligning the disc with the caliper, then rerouting the chain around the cassette and trying to align the quick release back into the drop-outs AND all doing this with 2 hands. NO f-en way, can i do this by myself. Well anyway, I rode that tire, completely deflated on that rim to long. So long, that the rim nipped or cut into the sidewall.
    When we got back to the parking lot, I had my chance to get some help changing the rear tire. So Jeff kindly, held the bike up for me, while I cursed at the chain, disc and rear derailleur for about 15 minutes. I have learned valuable lessons in changing tires and one of them is to NEVER turn the bike upside down when you have hydraulic brakes. Why, because you will always get air in yer brake lines causing yer brakes to not work properly. AND as you can already tell from this post, that I'm mechanically challenged and can't handle bleeding my brakes, let alone changing my rear tire.
    Well, after I changed the tire, 3 people bailed to go home and ME and 2 others wanted to join me for some more riding on the other side of Mercer. We had a quick pace because at this point the sun just set and I needed to squeeze in a lil more trail time in. We hustled around the trails, stopping very lil but it became dark quickly, than I expected and once again we were out riding the trails in the dark. Thank god, I know the trails, so well and my eye sight is pretty good, well my squinting is excellent. We made it back to the cars by 8:25, with the lightning in the distance.
    I have learned, once again, I seriously need to invest in a couple of things, if I want to keep up riding like this.
  1. Lights: Relatively cheap, under 100 bucks for a system. Any suggestions?
  2. Stan's: I still need tubes but I heard and read this system works.
  3. CO2 Inflation System: Ya still gonna need it, if you are using tubes or No Tubes and it beats killing yer arm for pumping (there's a joke in here somewhere and I'm not gonna touch it)
  4. Tubes: 10 boxes of tubes for 20 bucks, not a bad deal.
I think right now, that would be a good start. I know, them lights can be expensive, especially the HID lights. I think the cheapest i saw them, were for, maybe 300 bucks. LED, here i come! On eBay, you can score Stan's for under 60 bucks.

happy trails
~dirty bert

3 comments:

J said...

Granted, I'm new to hydraulic brakes (had Avid mechs for a few years), but I've never heard anything about not turning the bike upside down. Is there really some truth to this?

PS: I've got a Stan's kit on a UPS truck headed for my door any minute today. Yay!

Dirty Bert said...

YES!! I have done this a couple of times. i have always had air bubbles in the brake line and it affected my brake levers.

I also finally ordered Stans, it should be here tomorrow!!

Let me know how it worked out for you.

~db

J said...

Well... I hope you have better luck with Stan's than I. I'm running a Mavic XM321 with Kenda Nevegal's (both non-UST). I got the Stan's kit installed and inflated with no problems. The nightmare began while trying to seal them. I spent 3 days of the shaking and laying the rims flat (you'll see) and was still losing air in both tires with soapy leaks sprouting up all around both beads. Then I found 2 little holes in the rear tire that seemed to spout air randomly, despite the sealant.

I kept my cool and did some more research online. Apparently, it's not uncommon to have to search for several rim/tire combinations that work well for you with Stan's. I also read several reports on MTBR.com of people having their tire(s) roll of the rim while riding. For me, riding the rocky trails in Colordao, awkward hits on rocks and fast descents are common place. I didn't feel one ounce of confidence in knowing that I could lose a tire in a plume of shreaded rubber at any moment. Second, I'm not up for spending hundreds on tire/rim combinations that work well with Stan's.

So I did the next best thing... I pumped the Stan's magical sealant inside of a regular presta tube. Now I've got the puncture resistance and sealant that everyone raves about with Stan's, without any of the hassles of tire choice, popping of the bead, burping air on turns, or dealing with the latex catastrophe inside the rim and tire when it comes time to pop them off.

Post about your experiences with the kit. I'm still intrigued by it, and may venture into getting a UST rim/tire in the future when the time comes. For now I'm sticking with the comforts of a tube.