Saturday, August 25, 2012


Time to strip the decals off the Titanium frame.  Here is what I did.
I read a good forum first on then I got started.
1. I put my bike on the rack outside to be well ventilated.  I put on some rubber gloves, then brushed on the Jasco with a $.79 paint brush.  I was careful to first remove the front tire as to not drip any of this on the tires as it might eat through the rubber.
2. I waited at least 15 minutes though it started bubbling right away..
3. I began scraping off the decals with my plastic scraper (still ended up with a couple minor scratches on the frame)
4. cleaned it up well and saw I was left with some residue and ghosting.
5. Took Goo-Gone to the rest with a clean rag.  It did absolutely nothing.
6. Put on more Jasco to get the rest of the stuff off.  Nothing.
7. Ended up using a 3M grey scrubbing pad with a little of my Pedros cleaner (probably could have used just water).  This did the trick.  I rubbed in the direction of the grain, which in this case was vertical (in relation to the tubes).  Now it looks fantastic.

Explanation not needed, but here is one anyway:
In case you are one of those cynical people who thinks it is silly to remove the decals just because it is a Motobecane, well you are mistaken as that is not the case.  I think 'bikes direct' bikes are fantastic and recommend them to people who are not brand snobs and who are looking for a great deal.  I left the decals on my first Motobecane (Fantom Team), a bike I raced (and won) on.  I simply like the clean look, especially on a raw frame.  I also removed the decals on my raw Misfit Dissent (scroll back a few pages on the blog to see those pics) and I have also removed the decals from my rims (the Vuelta's and both sets of Stans Arches).  I even took the decals off my Reba fork at one point, but the 2011's are so subtle I don't bother.
Minutes after pasting on the Jasco.

Added Jasco to the top, started scraping the bottom.
You can see the residue and 'ghosting' on the bottom decal.

Another shot of the phantom decal (which actually looks kinda cool).

Rubbed the frame with the 3M pad and it cleaned it up with little effort.

Loving the finished product!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On The Road Again

O.k., so I mentioned I found my weekly mtb ride every Wedneday night out of the Bicycle Emporium.  There are a couple good shops here in Auburn, but these guys lead a mtb ride that ends with beer every Wed. so there ya' go.
While in NC, I was on the mtb most of the time, but not here.  There is just too much good road riding with beautiful views, wide lanes and lots of long, steep climbs.  So I needed a new road bike, not only for future commuting, but for riding at least once a week.  So, what did I end up with?  (drum roll please........) A Motobecane Titanium Fantom Cross Team.  I had been ready to pull the trigger on a used one for months, and finally found one.  I have already been on three rides, and I do like the bike a-lot!  The only negative, it is advertised at 17.5 lbs (w/o pedals, cages or reflectors). So I was disappointed when the bike shop just threw it on the scale and said mine was 20.05lbs.  Mine has 700x25 Schwalbe Durano tires instead of the 700x32 Kenda Cross tires and a few parts are different, but not necessarily heavier.  I am thinking maybe the guy was tugging on my bike a bit to get me to buy some lighter-weight parts, but you never know.  Hopefully this knowledge does not mess with my head.  I have felt strong during climbs thinking I was on a lightweight bike.  Now that I know I am on a boat anchor, maybe it will affect me?  Nah, I will know I am getting a better workout and will feel good going by guys on their 16-17 lb carbon bikes.  Yeah, suck on that weight-weenies!!!

Near the top of Indian Hill, one of the more popular climbs around here (cause it is pretty and kinda easy).

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Truth Hurts

First group ride in Auburn tonight (out of Bicycle Emporium).  I was a bit worried about my fitness heading into this first ride as I had only been on the Niner once in the last several weeks thanks to life getting in the way (moving to Ca, buying a fixer-upper house, watching my girls while mommy works...). Still, I knew I would push myself in a group and so off I went.
I was pleased to see that many of the other 20+ riders were guys, like myself, who looked like they enjoy a good meal and beverage(s).  I started thinking that I would have no problem keeping up with this group. WRONG!  Maybe I was unusual in NC (insert your joke here)...a short, chubby, unathletic looking guy who could ride and most importantly, who liked to climb.  Well, out here (probably much like the NC mtns) everyone out here can climb.  We rode a rough route (one I had not ridden) and it kicked my butt!  I was able to hang, but it hurt.  Luckily the cramps did not start until I was pulling back into the parking lot of the shop.  After the ride, riders gathered in the shop for beverages, food and conversation...I think I just found my new Wednesday night ride. ;)
Good Times.

The Route:
For those in the know.  We started at the Bicycle Emporium and rode across the freeway and tracks to the Manzanita Trail head...a tight twisty technical downhill that runs down the canyon into the StageCoach trail and on down to the bottom where the Forks of the American River meet (the Confluence).  Then up, up, up the Confluence trail (thought people only rode down that trail) and finally to the Connector Trail.  Back to the Fuel Break trail and then the fast downhill on the edge of the Canyon (many areas with little room for error) back to the Confluence and then the two mile climb up Stagecoach and another 3 road miles back to the shop.
For some better info: follow this link: Auburn Endurance Loop, Manzanita Trail, Auburn Area Trails.