Monday, September 25, 2006

Levis Trow

Tomorrow, I'm off to ride the trails at Levis/Trow Mound near Neillsville, WI. It's about a two and a half hour car ride from here (Minneapolis). The trails are listed as Epic Trails in the IMBA web site.

I'm taking my new mountain bike. I rode it last week a couple of times and had a noteworthy knee pain. The bike came with 175 cranks and the seat was too low. I didn't measure it and just jumped on. It felt fine and I rode. I was wrong. It was about 2cm low.

A couple of years ago, I discovered that when riding long cranks, like 175s, my knee came up higher at the top of the pedal circle than with shorter cranks and it's at that point where I felt the pain. Back then, I installed some 165mm cranks on my mountain bike and found it made a difference. 10mm? I hear you saying, "What are you some kind of princess? That's too small of a difference to notice."

But it's true. I can feel the difference. The low seat plus the long cranks combined to mess me up.

Tonight, I mounted the 165mm cranks on the new bike and a longer seatpost to accommodate the extra 10mm. The seatpost that came on the bike was at its maximum. I almost forgot, I had to install the correct bottom bracket also. That's not a big deal, because the current BB was an ISIS and the 165mm crank was an Octalink (not Octalink 2, silly).

I took it out on a after-dark test ride. Those are the best. I don't wear a helmet and I don't use a light on the test rides after installing new equipment. I love flying around the neighborhood from the light patch of one street light to another.

Those rides are nice, because they remind me of my first test rides in the dark when I was in college working at a bike shop. And those test rides remind me of riding around my neighborhood as a teenager with my buddies after dark.


Doug said...

I have 165mm cranks on my commuter bicycle. I have 175mm cranks on the new Pugs. Between the 175mm cranks and the 100 mm wide BB on the Pugsley I knew I was in for some sore knees. Sure enough it only took one ride to get the knees a little tender. I hope to put in enough time on the Pugs that my knees will adjust to the difference. The new ride looks great!

rigtenzin said...

I rode for about 3 and half hours at Levis/Trow Mounds with no knee pain (that's with the 165mm cranks). I was very pleased with the bike. The trails as rooty, rocky, and rutty as any I've ridden around here, but the bike just rolled through it like butter.

I think the Pugsley would have laughed at the trail.

I'll post my thoughts on Levis/Trow Mounds and try to explain the name, because it didn't make sense to me before I arrived, but no it does.

Jeff Moser said...

I have good memories of riding after dark as a teenager too. My buddies and I would sneak out after bed time, and meet up somewhere on our BMX bikes. We loved to go ride all the ramps and sidewalks at the State Legislature Building. We even got chased a couple times. Once by the cops, and another time by some car that had a mannequin head mounted on a spotlight swivel. The people in the car were making the head look at us as they were chasing us, and it freaked us out!

Eclectchick said...

I would like to say that your lovely riding in the dark story reminded me of "The World According to Garp." In that book (and later, movie), the little boys love it when their dad turns off the lights when driving - they call it "flying."

I won't say that though. It could be construed as mentioning Robin Williams again. Gasp. Quel horreur.

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