Old and busted, to new hotness!!!

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Hello everyone im back after taking a fewdays off. This post i will be explaining how to build a fairly nice bike on a modest budget, as you know in started out on an early 90’s specialized epic carbon, this was a great bike to get into cycling it was light handled well and was pretty durable, me being 6’0″ 270 I’m no feather weight, but I really wanted to step in the the new millennium, so i searched for weeks on Craigslist and found many nice bike but they were just a bit to much out of mtn budget. So from there I went on eBay and i bid on quite a few bike before I found my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

So after looking for weeks I made and offer on a 2012 felt f75 and the seller accepted my offer of 600$ plus 50$ shipping, after researching and googling reviews this bike came back with great reviews and getting it for over 1000$ off retail price I couldn’t really go wrong. This bike came within shimano 105 running gear (shifters/ break levers, front and rear derailers) felt ttr4 aero wheels carbon felt fork and aluminum frame, bars,stem, seatpost and a fsa omega crank with a BB30 bottom bracket.

So my first purchase on upgrading my bike was a used bontrager xxx carbon stem

20130321-144115.jpg retail new on a bontrager stem is 2-250$ I paid 60$ shipped, it wa sa super good deal and would make a good addition to my bike, I then went looking for a full carbon seat post and aget bidding on quite a few I finally won a cannondale c2 carbon seat post, the weight saving was fairly dramatic I won this post for 30$ shipped which was a super good deal.

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I then looked for a decent set of wheels, I looked both on Craigslist and eBay but wasnt finding to much luck, then one day i found a set on eBay and by chance the the seller was local, they were a nice set of dura ace carbon tubular wheels a few years old but in good shape, they were slightly out of my price range and honestly a bit too nice for the riding i do, but the seller had another set of wheels for sale a set of easton ec60 in good shape les than 100 miles, and for only 150$ they were defiantly in my price range!

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After scoring those wheels i decided to sell my old wheels on eBay, after listing them a couple times i finally sold them for 175$, so deciding to roll that money over in to more parts i put in a bid on a sram red carbon crank, i was able to pick it up for 160$ shipped and it matched my bottom bracket so the swap was fairly easy.

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So after that I was on the hunt for a set of nice carbon bars, I had been looking for some nice carbon bars for a while but getting out bit along the way, until I bit on a set of fsa k force 44cm carbon bars in pretty good shape, just some minor marks from being mounted before.

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So now I stockpiled all these parts I took them to my LBS to be put on, and while it was a fairly light and responsive bike before the amount of weight that was cut with the new bars, stem, crank, seat post and wheels were quite dramatic weighing at 18.8lbs stock I was weighing in at 16.2 almost 2.5 lbs of weight saving not to shabby for a budget build!

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So I hope this helps anybody who tring to put together a bike on a budget, it shows if you have a bit of patience you can put together a pretty nice bike on the cheap! I’d like to thank the guys at Flanders bike shop in San Luis obispo ca for wrenching on my bike great guys great service and prices on all bike related gear go check them out the next time your in slo http://flandersbicycle.com/

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Gear review seasucker mini bomber bike rack

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This is my first product review post and it’s going to be on a great product made by the guys at seasucker, their based out of Flordia and their product is American made. They make a few different products from kayak, surf racks, ski and snow board racks to iPod and iPad mounts and various cup holders and pole holders for marine applications, they used a patented vacuum cup technology that is similar to what they use to pick up large panes of glass and even pull dents on cars.

I looked online at all the reviews and after reading a lot of good feedback i decided to take the plunge and purchase one, I had some issues with the clear coat on my car so I thought it might be an issue, I sent an email to their customer service and received a response the same day, I corresponded back and forth and even sent a few pics to them so they could get an idea of what I was dealing with. They advised me it would work if I found a spot with no bubbles or clear coat edges.

So I paid the 375$ for the minibomber it holds 2 bikes and can be set up to hold three, the design of the rack is great it’s made from 3/4″ plastic and has 4 6″ vacuum cups attached and a single cup and Velcro strap for the rear wheel
The rack came disassembled I had to bolt down the fork mounts and it was pretty much ready to go. I mounted the main part of the rack on my back window, and the rear tire cup to the trunk. Mounting was as simple as wiping the area clean with water and and the cups to ensure a proper seal, the rack literally mounts in less than a minute and i was off and ready to go!

My trip was about 45 miles away from me at freeway speed of about 65-75, the rack was solid didn’t sway at all and the rack it self didn’t budge at all. This thing really surprised me it super easy to use really quick to install and can be used on almost any car or SUV even, Ive only been using it for a few weeks but I don’t have on bad thing to say about it, ill will be updating this post in the future and give another rating as of now I score it a 4.5 out of 5 minus half a point only because of the price, so check these guys out for all your bike kayak surfboard ski and snowboard rack needs. Check out their web site at http://www.seasucker.com

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Hello!

Hello and welcome to my blog! This blog is mainly going to focus on cycling and all thing bike related, but from time to time be invaded by other interests as well, I’m going to be doing some product review as well as keeping you all updated on my riding adventures.

So a bit about my self my name is Mike I’m 31 and live on the central coast of California, I’m by no means a professional cyclist, I’m fairly new to the sport but have been riding bike most of my life, I was really in to BMX from the ages of 17-25 and decided to call it quits after the injuries caught up with me.

How I got in to road cycling was a fluke, My friend jake who I went to nursing school with got in to getting fit and healthy and I was also on the same health kick, I’ve dropped over 120lbs since I decided to change my life style and eating habits but that story is for a different time, when I ran in to Jake after graduating nursing school he told me he was getting in to cycling and triathlons and said he needed a training partner. Since I’m not a great swimmer and hate running I said I’d start biking with him.

So my search for a bike started, and where I start most of my searches for pretty much anything I went straight to Craigslist. I did go to some local bike shops and get a general idea of what size I was and what parts are good since I had no clue about any of that stuff. The guys at my LBS were more than helpful but most were bent o selling me a bike rather than getting me in to the sport.

So I used my new found knowledge and searched Craigslist for a few weeks until something caught my eye, I texted a kid about an older specialized allez epic this bike was nearly 20 years old but was in good shape it was a carbon frame bonded to aluminum lugg joints, it had full shimano 105 parts and decent wheels, so after taking it around the block a few time thinking I knew what I was doing I handed over 350 to this dirty hippy for my first road bike.

So after purchasing this bike I headed out on my first ride, I did about 3 miles which I was surprised about how fast it took me to do it, but in the way back I got a flat and being as experienced as I was didnt know I was riding on the rim, so after grinding up the rim for a bit I realized I had a flat and did the walk of shame home.

So I had extra tubes or a pump so I took my bike to the shop up the street from my house, they looked it over and told me I needed a new chain cassette and a tuneup, so much for getting a good deal that stupid hippy ripped me off, so after 120$ I was back on the road again.

So my first real ride was with my buddy jake we did a 13 mile loop around the town we live in, I was stoked i felt like a real cyclist we rode hard and had a blast and I knew after that I was hooked, so wanting to become a more legit cyclist I looked for some clipless pedals and shoes, so I checked a couple LBS and decided on the shimano a 530 it was a combo platform and spd pedals, so being on a pretty tight budget I looked on eBay and found them for about 40% off retail so I picked those op and a pair of pearl Izumi shoes for about 80$ for that pair.

I was nervous as hell about riding clipped in, i had never done it before and I was pretty intimidated by it, so I was given a few pointers by some more experienced cyclists, first pointer was you will fall riding clipped in, in most cases it’s not unclipping before you get to your stop and you just fall over to one side, which did happen to me more than once, the second tip was to plan your stops and unclip before you get to your stop. Those are my 2 most valuable tips to pass along.

So now being pretty set to go ride I was riding a bit further each time, still on the look out for good used gear I browsed Craigslist daily for cool stuff, my first score was a seat bag with 2 tubes and a multi bike tool tire levers and a co2 inflater for 20$ now I was able to handle most any road side break down, I highly suggest always carrying at least 1 tube a way to inflate it pump or co2 inflater, tire levers and a muliti tool with Allen key and Phillips and flat head screwdrivers. Some guys will carry extra spokes and what not but this is what I carry. One other thing I suggest is a good floor pump with a pressure gauge, it a must before every ride to atleast check it before every ride.

So after riding this bike for a few months I decided it was time to upgrade to something a bit more modern and awesome, I had become pretty attached to this bike but it was starting to show it’s age, my main issue with it was that it had down tube shifters or suicide shifters being that you had to take your hands off the bars to shift, and it wasnt reall cost effective to upgrade it. So I set out on a new quest to look for a new bike!

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