Fruita Fat Tire Festival

30 04 2012

Claire, Nicole, and Patton went down to the Fruita Fat Tire Festival this past weekend.   They demoed some Salsa 29ers and set up shop in downtown Fruita. Here are some pics from the weekend.

Toothless Walt Works Jersey

Mr. Fish found the perfect jersey

Borat loves Alchemist!

Borat loves Alchemist! This fan hung an Alchemist cowbell around his neck and strutted his stuff all over downtown Fruita. We couldn't be more proud.

Ryan with the newest hot-off-the-press Alchemist recycled T-shirt

Claire and Nicole with the Green Guru boys demoing Salsa Bikes

Claire and Nicole with the Green Guru boys demoing Salsa Bikes

Alchemist Wool making the rounds

Alchemist Wool making the rounds

Alchemist After Dark

The Alchemist Ladies cut loose in downtown Fruita.

Walt Works, Baby!

2 06 2011

Walt Works

My walt Works 29er

On the East side of Boulder, nestled between Alchemist Headquarters and the golf course, there lives a salty ole bike maker.  His bikes are works art, but he’d cringe if you called him an artist.  In his own words, his bikes are “utilitarian”.   His workshop ain’t luxurious (or modern, or clean, but hey, look who’s talking), but it’s filled to the brim with heavy equipment and pyrotechnical doodads.  He’s probably built more 29ers with his own hands than anyone on Earth, or maybe even the universe.  And one of those 29ers, is mine.

A while back, I decided to clean up my Yeti ASR and hock it on Craigslist.  The Yeti is a great bike, but Ryn had recently switched to a Gary Fisher Superfly 29er, and Ken had just purchased a Superfly 29er.  I was green with bike envy, and I needed an edge to keep up with Dan at the Breck Epic.  So I strolled over to Walt’s to see if he could help me out.  Walt is the brains and brawn behind Walt Works custom bicycles.  Carbon is light and sexy, but I’m still a steel kind of guy.  I brought my 1996 Bontrager SS because that bike feels just right.  I told Walt I wanted him to make me the same bike with bigger wheels.  So we measured up the Bontrager, and he plugged in the numbers into his Excel program.  Walt doesn’t use fancy CADD programs.  He created a series of formulas in Excel that would boggle an ordinary man’s mind.  I have an ordinary mind, so I just tried to stay out of the way and let him do his thing.  It’s an Excel program on dope.  It’s got all kinds of wacky formulas.

Walt Works 29er

Check out the forward placement of the seatube

As it turns out, my bike measured up remarkably close to his wife’s bike, which makes sense, since I ride like a girl.  Except for a slightly higher and longer top tube, I could be riding Sarah’s bike.  Walt does a clever thing with the positioning of the seat tube.  Instead of welding it to the back of the bottom bracket shell, he moves the position forward so that it abuts the downtube. This allows for enough wheel clearance to effectively shorten the chainstay and the wheelbase.  In fact, the wheelbase is one inch shorter than my 26er Yeti.  The shorter wheelbase allows for quicker, more nimble turns.  The shorter chainstay allows for easier wheelies and manuals, which would be great if I knew how to do one.

I sprung for the Walt Works Blue powder coat with wrap-around decal.  It looked quite blingy until we rode Super Hall the other day.  Walt doesn’t include all the dirt in his price. That costs extra.

One would think a custom ride would put you in the hole way more than an off-the-rack bike.  But after you factor in the big savings from getting industry pricing on the parts through Walt, you actually come out ahead.  AND you get a bike that fits you juuuust right.  Here’s how mine is spec’d out:

Frame: WW custom steel.  I forget the fancy steel he uses, but it seems to ride nice.

Fork: Fox 120mm. Waiting for the 100mm to come in.

Drivetrain: Mix of FSA carbon cranks, Shimano XT front and SRAM XO rear with grip shifters.  Set up 2×9 with 44/29 front and 12-34 rear.

Brakes: Avid Elixir 7

Wheels: Stan’s 355 rims on the back and Arch on the front. DT swiss 240 rear hub.

Tires: Kenda Small Block 29er 2.1.  Set up tubeless with sealant.

Headset: Chris King

Handlebar: Ritchey WCS Alloy. Straight.

Seatpost: Thomson Elite 27.2

Stem: Race Face Deus

Seat: Ritchey PRO, though I might switch back to my WTB Rocket

Bell: Incredibell black

Misc: unmatching bottle cages. It was what was in my garage. 991 cassette.

The bike is super delicious to ride.  The descent down the front side of Hall was a breeze, since I wasn’t so worried about augering in my front wheel and going ass over applebucket.   It climbs beautifully, and I can pedal out of the saddle with no bob.  I’ve gotten used to standing up having ridden single speed most of the time.

You may have noticed the giant, phallic spleen buster sticking up from the steering column.  I’m borrowing Ken’s fork until the Fox folks send my 2012 fork, which I’m told is still not ready for public consumption yet.  I’m more than happy riding a 2011, but Fox won’t send that one either.  So I’ll just have to try not to impale myself for now.  It’s not too bad as long as you don’t fall right on to it. Plus it makes a great bagel holder.

Here’s a couple pics of the bike in assembly:

Walt Works

Head tube assembly

Ready for welds

Perfect 63 year old boobs and Huffy bikes

17 01 2011

Here’s is a joke I heard in Mexico years ago.  What’s between an old lady’s breasts?

Answer: Her navel

Saw a lady the other day who the ambulance brought in after a car wreck.  She was 63 years old and complaining of chest pain.  Aside from the usual blunt chest trauma work-up, she insisted that I exam her implants for rupture.   Not an unreasonable request.  When I pulled back the gown, I was treated to an eyeful of perfectly round and perky boobs.  The bounty before me made me pause and hesitate.  She was, as stated before, over 60.  Her knockers, however, were 20 . . . and spectacular.   Unable to resolve the contradiction, I palpated around briefly, and then left the room before my head exploded.

In Walt’s latest blog/rant, he quotes Dirt Rag’s latest gear review of Airborne Bikes.   If you actually read the Dirt Rag article, you’ll find that Airborne is actually a baby company of Huffy.  I wondered what ever happened to Huffy.  I suppose there are lots of brands that are really Huffy bikes with fancier decals.   With my first couple duel sus bikes, I bragged that I had the most Huffyesque bike at races (K2 and Haro), and I liked the idea that everyone else’s bike would get stolen well before mine.  I’ve always talked about riding Leadville on a Huffy, just cus.  But you can’t find em anymore.  I guess I can just get an Airborne now.

Elephant Journal Review

25 06 2010

Check out the Alchemist product review in Elephant Journal

Read it, “Like it”, comment on it (but please be nice).

Big props to Jussi, who purchased a “T.V Sucks, Ride your Bike” t-shirt.  I had to adjust the shipping settings in the checkout because Jussi resides in FINLAND! He heard about us through the Waltworks blog. Thanks, Jussi, for bearing with us as we figured out how to set-up shipping.  Jussi also inquired about More Cowbell.  That is slated to come out in late summer, in time for CX season.  Thanks also to Walt for the “referral”.

Speaking of Walt . . . He stripped a 32 tooth cog from an old steel cassette and welded it to a 16 tooth cog for the bike-mower to make it easier to turn the cranks.  The 32 tooth cog was kinda flimsy without the cassette, so he welded a 28 tooth cog to it to give it extra support.  That Walt.  Heesa-kinda-crazy.  I’ll get a pic of it in a future post.  He’s going to give the fork a little extra rake too.  Walt also installed a starnut, and he let me steal a couple old 29er tires out of his trash.  I swear.   I may not be allowed in his shop anymore because I seem to always leave with my pockets full of his stuff.  The bike-mower should be fully operational soon.  Pics of that to come too.

Tomorrow is another night shift, so if the patients give me a break, you can expect another post.  Hopefully, something interesting will come in.

I got me a bike-mower. Jealous?

11 06 2010

Sh*t yeah!  The bike-mower is aliiiiive!  It’s so cool, and so freaky, the rest of the bike and mower world will be drooling over it.   From spandex clad roadies to John Deere, trucker-cap wearing yardmen,  the admiration really doesn’t end.  Walt (Waltworks) Wehner built this baby up in an hour. The man has skeels.  His neighbor saw it as we were testing it out, and she couldn’t keep her eyes off of it.   We finally had to pry her off of it like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert.  I mean, it is gorgeous.  With a bigger track cog, a star nut, and some Waltworks decals, it will be even more crunk and voluptuous.  The ingredients:

1. Orange fixie track bike that’s nearly gotten me killed a dozen times cus it ain’t got no brakes.

2. Scott push mower that’s lasted a remarkable 6 years since we moved to Boulder. I used to curse at it, now I love on it.

3. Waltgenuity

More photos a video to come.

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