Monday, July 4, 2011

How to clean you brake pads and rotors

Mechanic Mondays - How to clean contaminated brake pads and rotors. from Bike magazine on Vimeo.

Airborne Marauder

I have been riding the Marauder for about two month now and feel that I have a good feel for the performance that it offers. 

The Looks

First off the bike looks great, the blue/grey color makes it stands out and the graphics are unique.  It has caught more than a few eyes at the trail head.

The Bike

Frame 6061 Aluminum 6" Travel Single Pivot Suspension MTB, w/Sealed Bearings
Fork Spinner Cargo 340 w/34mm Stantions, OX-Valving, 150mm Travel and 20mm Axle
Rear Shock Marzocchi Coil F
 Headset Ahead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8"
 Brake Levers Tektro Novela Sport
 Brakes Tektro Novela Sport Mechanical Disc
 Rotors Tektro 203mm Rotor
Shifters SRAM X-5 Trigger 8-Speed
F Derailleur Shimano FD-C050
R Derailleur SRAM X-7
Cassette SRAM PG-820 13-32t 8-Speed
Chain KMC X-9
Crank FSA Dyna Drive 22/32t with bash guard
Bottom Bracket FSA Dyna Drive
Pedals NONE
Rims WTB FX-28 32H Disc Specific SV
Hubs REAR: 32h Alloy QR Disc Specific FRONT:32h Alloy 20mm Thru Axle Disc Specific
Spokes Black 14g Stainless
Tires KENDA K877 Front 26X2.6/Rear26X3.5
Handlebar Kalloy Alloy 31.8mm Dia., 670mm Width, 30mm, 6 Deg
Stem Kalloy 2D Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Dia., 50mm, +/- 10 Degree Rise
Saddle WTB Pure-V Sport
Seat Post Kalloy Alloy 30mm Dia., 350mm Length
Extras Owner's Manual, Clear Coat, H20 Bottle Mount

This bike has components that you would expect to find on a bike in the $2,000 range.  The frame is bullet proof, but it is heavy.  The Spinner Cargo 340 front fork is a simple but reliable fork, the only adjustment is the preload so once you set it you just leave it alone.  I was skeptical about the performance of this shock when I ordered, but now feel that it is capable of handling anything I can throw at it.  The only thing this fork lacks is adjustability.  The rear shock is the Marzocchi Roco Coil F, once again there is nothing flashy about this shock but it gets the job done, and it does it well.  At 6'0" and 215 lbs I have yet to bottom out the suspension, even when jumping 4'-5' ramps.  With this frame and suspension the bike loves going downhill fast, and the Tektro Novella Sport brakes with 208mm rotors will help you to control your speed and even stop on a dime when needed.  We would all like Hydraulic brakes, but these mechanical brakes do the job well.  The only problem is they need to be adjusted after almost every ride, but it only takes 2 minutes to do.  The drive train is an entry level drive train with the SRAM X-7 rear derailleur and the FSA Dyna Drive crankset.  The bottom bracket on the crankset is weak and mine broke in two months, FSA also has horrible customer service.  I upgraded the bottom bracket and crank arms to a FSA Mega Exo with Truvativ arms, but kept the same rings.  The X-7 derailleur has a tendency to stick in the down position, so it was replace with the Sram X-9.  I was worried at first that I would not have enough gears to climb with the 2x8 gearing yet I find the only problem I have climbing is a lack of physical fitness.   The SRAM X-5 shifters are good and they do their job. 

My Review

The Marauder is a bike that spans the gap between All Mountain riding and Freeriding.  If you want to fly downhill, huck jumps and drops, and be able to ride anywhere this might be a good choice for you.  The bike is excellent while it is pointed down, it is stable and fast with good maneuverability, but it is heavy, mine weighing in at approximately 42 lbs so you will earn it to burn it.  When climbing the front tire has a tendency to come off the ground unless you keep your weight forward, and like I said the bike is 42 lbs.  When I ride with a group I always get dropped on the climbs, but I always catch up while descending.  If you are looking to ride cross country trails, if you shave your legs and wear spandex, and if you count grams on your bike look somewhere else this bike is not for you.  If you like to fly downhill, hit jumps, huck drops, and don't mind a little extra work on the way up then then like me you will enjoy this bike, you will enjoy it even more when you see the complete bike with shipping and tax costs less than $1000.  With a few minor upgrades it is a great bike, and Airborne has had great customer service.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Satruday ride

Today Jake and I meet up with two of our favorite people to ride with Greg and Vincent.  Vincent is nine and he is one heck of a rider.  We set off from the Nix center parking lot in Laguna Canyon and rode up Stagecoach Springs, the singletrack climbs with switchback for about 1/2 mile then it descends for about a 1/2 mile.  Everything started out good until Jake took a little spill shortly after he started to overheat.  We got all the way to the big hill on Camarillo Canyon Road, which right now is only a singletrack, before the overheating happened.  At this point we turned around and rode our route back to the trail head.  There was a lot of H.A.B. for Jake, but he made it.  We had to confirm for him that everyone has a bad day once in a while.  I on the other hand felt great today!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Morning Ride

This morning I met up with my buddy Anthony and we headed over to Crystal Cove State Park.  We had planned to do a 11 mile loop that would go from the parking lot/trail head to El Moro Canyon Rd then out to "I think I can", up this trail to Mrro Ridge then along the ridge to Missing Link then along this singletrack to Fenceline, another singletrack, to Deer Canyon Trail then this over to Mach One for the downhill,then back to El Moro Canyon Rd. 

That was the plan and I have rode this route several times and you climb from 100' to 900' with the only big climb on "I Think I Can" where you climb 600' in a little over a mile.  What actually happened was that we rode to "I Think I Can" and started up it.  As we started up I realized how hot it was (85 degrees +) and it turned in to a hike that we happened to bring our bikes on.  Having not ridden in 2 weeks has hurt my stamina more than I thought it would.  Anthony got a head of me and I got to deal with all the comments from guys riding past on their xc bikes.  I heard, "You're susposed to ride it, not push it." and," Are you alright?" and, "maybe you should take off the pads" but all I wear are knee pads?  So after our hike to the top I felt like crap and took a rest.  While resting I realized that I could not make it on the planned ride so we turned around and did our downhill on "I Think I Can", which was super fun because they have berms across the trail to divert water and they also make nice little jumps.  We rode the part of the ride we had already done in reverse and got back to the parking lot where we had a nice conversation with a guy who could not have been more wierd as he stood there in his spandex and played with his junk for 10 minutes while he told us how he had followed us down the trail and really thought we should head to the Northshore up in B.C..
 We said, "good talking to ya" and then got in the truck and cruised back down PCH to home.

Hopefully next ride I will be in better shape.