Saturday, December 10, 2011

Freehub pt. II

It's that time of the year again, when the temperature goes below zero, and bicyclists like me, who've neglected to maintain their freehub regularly, end up looking silly and/or dead. That's because when a dirty freehub freezes, the pedals spin freely both backward and forward, thus making the bicycle not move forward while pedaling. If it happens in the middle of a busy intersection, with a truck speeding towards you, you might end up looking silly, pedaling furiously without moving, and dead. If it happens in a more safe environment, you just end up looking silly. Yeah, it happened to me last year. I mean the looking silly bit, not dying, obviously. 

So, after attempting to commute to work one frosty morning with a not too well maintained MTB, and ending up looking silly, it became necessary to dismantle this:

Also, I wanted to do it because it is fun.

As you can see, the freehub is kind of dirty and rusty, which is no wonder with all the mud, water and crap it has to endure.

Some of the lock nuts on the axle were so tight I didn't manage to unfasten them with my not-so-professional collection of tools:

In fact, I even had to resort to DIY tool modification, as I didn't own a 17 mm flat wrench that was required. Luckily, these flat wrenches are soft so it is easy to file a 16 mm one into a 17 mm one: 

 It didn't matter that I couldn't unfasten the lock nut on the brake disk side though, because the ones on the drive side came off. 

 Here's the dirty freehub body and axle:

And the freehub body after some washing with solvent and drying with compressed air: 

The freehub is clearly finished though. It hardly even rotates when turned with fingers and needs to be replaced. Also, the surface on one of the bearing cones has suffered badly, and has to be replaced as well:  

But then again, although not visible in the picture, the surface of the bearing cup of the rear hub has been damaged as well:

It is not possible to replace just the cup, therefore the entire rear hub should be replaced. Possibly, I could just put it all together and ride on until spring, but that wouldn't seem a satisfactory solution for a prefectionist perfectonoist not too shabby a guy anyway like me.

Let's see. The rear hub model is Shimano FH-M756: 

A new rear hub costs some 50€ at CRC. BTW, a freehub body for 9 speed costs more than 30€, so it would seem more reasonable to get the rear hub even though I needed only the freehub body.  

But if I purchase a new rear hub, then who will build the wheel for me? No way I can do that myself. You know, I do intend to learn wheelbuilding, but I'd rather do that when I have more time, patience, space and a wheel truing stand. Like when I'm retired. In a garage. With a wheel truing stand.

Besides, a set of spokes costs money too. And if I intend to replace the rear hub and the spokes, should I replace the rim as well while I'm at it, as a new one only seems to cost some 30€? The old one seems okay, but with all the trouble and cost, there seems to be no point in saving 30€.

So, let's see... rear hub 50€, rim 30€, spokes 20€. If I'm not mistaken, that adds up to... carry the one... 100€. As I don't intimately know any wheelbuilders, the labour would cost some 50€. Perhaps I better look into new factory wheels. Damn, this thing is just spreading... soon I'll have myself convinced that there's no point in repairing this one and I must get a new bike altogether. "My house is dirty; buy me a clean one!".

But hey, wait a minute... what's this section, MTB Custom Wheels? Wow, this looks good. You get to choose a rear hub, rims, spokes, nipples and rim tape. The price seems reasonable too. For some 100€ I could get a similar, brand new rear wheel that I have now. Oh, and must check the bearings on the front wheel as well before ordering.

Besides, what's 100€ for maintenance of the vehicle I mostly use to transport my physical being to and from work? Nothing! What would I get with 100€ if I drove? 60 litres of gasoline. What would I get if I used public transport? Two months. Phew. I'm beginning to feel it's my holy duty to order new custom wheels, both rear and front, as soon as possible, if only to ensure the uninterrupted supply of sustenance for the family. With possibly just some small things on the side...

If only my wife read this blog. Then I wouldn't have to justify all the online purchases, verbally, yet again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

DIY Guide: How To Replace Sports Instrument Band for Ham-fisted People

Good evening. Here's another episode of those popular Budget Cyclist's DIY Guides. Today I'll show you how to replace a broken band of your Garmin Forerunner 405 sports instrument.

Above, the sports instrument with the broken band and a replacement band.

1) Inspect the tool used for the assembly. This comes with the replacement band. Resembles a tiny fork somewhat, doesn't it? 

2) Inspect the sports instrument. Better lock the touch bezel, so you don't mess up the settings while replacing the band. 

3) On the back of the instrument, there are small holes. Fumble around in the hole with the tool for awhile, and the band should come off.

 4) Voilá! This is a piece of cake.

 5) The band is attached with two tiny thingamajiggies with springs inside. Those clocksmiths are geniouses.

6) Inspect the now-bandless sports instrument and the new, unbroken band. 

7) See the tiny hole there, in the band? Thats where the tiny, springy thingamajiggie goes. Or, should I say, springamajiggie. 

8) Er... the springamajiggie goes there. Now, simply put the band on, then fumble around with the tool provided, and... this is harder than I thought. Wait a minute. Damn! It almost went there. Try again. Careful... careful... don't break anything... now, if I'll just... almost there... heck! How the hell is this supposed to be possible? I should have three hands to do this. It's just impossible to... see, it's f**kin hard to hold this round bloody thing and then the band and simultaneously... DAMN! SHIT! FUCK! Why didn't they attach instructions of any kind to this? There must be some kind of a clever way how this CRAP! This is just fuckin' impossible.

(Continue trying for 20 minutes or so...)


9) Give up. You're a man, with big, manly hands anyway, and this kind of tinkering stuff is for girls and sissies. Shake fist at the bloody instrument. 


 10) Put the parts back into the plastic bag. The next day, take it to a clocksmith's to have the band attached by a professional.

 11) Have a beer to calm your nerves. Oh, have two.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Learning curve pt. IV: first off-road group ride, first OTB

Scotty relaxing after the mud bath and a good wash.
Today I finally lost my OTB virginity. I managed to go along on a ride with a couple of big boys (i.e. mountain biking connoisseurs) in Nuuksio, Espoo (excellent trails!). On the first kilometer, I succeeded in submerging my front wheel completely in a deep mud hole, and went over the bars. The bike was left standing leaning against a tree, rear wheel in the air, in quite a stylish way, while I was lying face down in the mud. I wish there'd been someone filming.

(Come to think of it, I think I've gone OTB before. When I was about 8, we dug a hole in the ground, about 1m deep. I thought that it would be cool to ride a bike in it. Of course, I landed on my chest, and it hurt like hell. Well, thankfully I did that at 8, it would have been miserable to lose one's virginity at near 40.)  

It was pretty clear that I was a complete newbie in the group. The other guys had to wait for me at each crossing of trails. I'd had no idea that the mountain bikers who know what they're doing go that fast. I'd even had no idea that it is possible to ride that fast on trails full of rocks, roots and mud. I've got a lot of practicing to do.

Being a (former) roadie, naturally I have no muscles whatsoever in my upper body. Instead I've got huge thighs. Well, not exactly. Actually, my physique is more of the Andy Schleck-esque variety, than of the track cyclist, monster-thigh kind. But anyway, now that I've taken up mountain biking, I've noticed, for the first time in my life, that some muscles in the upper torso are required as well.

Andy's physique
At the moment I'm unable to open any bottles with screw tops because my hands and arms have taken a serious beating. Luckily, beer comes in cans that I'm still able to open, so I'll drink those instead. I and Andy know that beer is an excellent recovery drink (see the picture).

Some other things I learned today:
  • 100 mm of travel in the front suspension is nothing these days. You've got to have 150 mm. Well, I'm glad to hear that, because that at least partially explains my slowness today when compared to the other guys. Now, it seems, I've got to slowly start warming up the wife for the inevitable oncoming upgrade of my mountain biking equipment (a new bike). The steering angle in my old Scott is different from the bikes of today, I hear, so putting on a fork with 150 mm of travel is not an option. 
  • You've got to have a CamelBak. Mountain bikers don't drink out of bidons. You get left behind at stops, fumbling to get the bidon out of the holder and back in it. Besides, bidons get very muddy on the bike frame, and mud tastes no good. Well, most sports drinks that I've tried taste no good as well, so I guess that's not so bad.
  • Remember to let some air out of the tyres before going on a ride on trails. I usually fill up the tyres to about 2 bars when I commute on the mountain bike, because that makes me faster. On the trails that is too much pressure. 
  • A Garmin Forerunner sports watch gets a GPS signal just fine in the back pocket of a bicycling jacket. The band of my Garmin broke a few days ago, so I tried duct taping it to my arm. The tape didn't hold, so in the middle of the ride, I put the device in my back pocket. To my surprise, it continued to record just as well there. 
  • A carbon seat post doesn't impress mountain bikers anymore. You've got to have an adjustable-height seat post these days. Unfortunately, said seat posts cost some 300 €, and I'm the Budget Cyclist, and therefore can't afford one. At the moment. Perhaps, in the future, if I manage warm up the wife real good... or sell one of my livers. Or sumt'n. 
Roadies: I have to inform you that, we, the mountain biking dudes, know something you don't. That something is a wonderful thing. I'm sorry I can't tell what it is though. It's not that I don't want to, but it's just not physically possible. In order to find it out, you've got to get off-road. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Learning curve pt. III: dirty is my sunscreen

Today, we have something special instead of the same old same old. For a change, I'd like to interview my bicycling buddies.

First, let's talk to the rear tyre of my mountain bike, Mr. Nobby Nic:

Budget Cyclist: How's it going, Mr. Nic? 
Nobby Nic: Well, this Sunday, I'm feeling great, 'cause man, I'm finally getting some action! 
BC: Yes, you seem to enjoy mud?
NN: Yeah, baby! Bathing in mud is the natural thing for me to do. This is what I was built for. If only I'd get to do this more often... but I'm afraid that you, Sir, are a wuss. 
BC: A wuss? I just rode over some roots, and a while ago, over a whole fallen tree trunk. Also, some puddles.
NN: Oh, come on, wussy boy, the roots were small ones, you're riding very slowly, and it's not even wet. And yeah, you managed to finally get over the tree trunk, after hesitating and contemplating about it for some five minutes.
BC: Well... I'm just getting the hang of it... 
NN: And what's up with clipping your left foot out of the clipless pedal every time you see a "tricky" obstacle? Come on man, just ride! You'll never get the hang of it if you just chicken out all the time! 
BC: Now, shut up, tyre, or I'll... uh... I'll ride you over some really sharp rocks!
NN: Yes, please, do that. I'm  made out of Triple Nano Compound, so sharp rocks just scratch my itch real good. Besides, it's no use threatening me, you need me more than I need you, chicken boy. *Imitates a chicken*
BC: Well... touché. 

Oh boy, that tyre's got a bad attitude. Let's talk to someone else then. Hi, there, my socks, are you enjoying it here in the woods?

Lefty von Rohner (the left sock): Dear heavens, no! This is barbaric. Please, get us out of here!
Righty von Rohner (the right sock): Listen, my friend. We belong on the road. We're accustomed to milder climates, such as the ones in Central Europe. We're uncomfortable on the roads of Finland, let alone these frightening, dirty trails. 
BC: What? I think you look cool, in a Michael Jackson kind of way, and you're not even that muddy, yet. 
LvR: Oh, please, this is hideous. I know we're just going to get splattered in mud soon. We've only been spared so far because you're riding as slowly as a paralyzed snail granny ascending the Mont Ventoux.
RvR: Yes, Sir, you should forget about this mountain biking nonsense, you're really doing better on the road. And why not move to a civilized country, such as our beloved country of origin, Switzerland! 
BC: Yeesh. My clothes are beginning to rebel against me. This is ridiculous. Ok, I admit it, the other mountain bikers do dress a bit differently, but I like the roadie look, and it's not that unsuitable for the trails...
RvR: Oh yes it is, believe us. Just ask your leg warmers, they're trying to escape too. 
Corretto Campagnolo (the right leg warmer): Si, signor, we agree with the socks. Please, let us go. We hate mud, and also all the sharp, pointy tree branches.
Sinistra Campagnolo (the left leg warmer): Si, we admit it, we tried to escape, because we are desperate. It was futile though, because below, there was mud, and above, there's some kind of a scary, hairy crevasse, that does not seem penetrable...
BC: Oh, fuck you, wusses. I shouldn't have asked you anything, you're such complainers. Look, it's just mud, and you'll get to go to the washing machine when I'm finished...
NN: Not me! I wouldn't touch a washing machine with a ten foot pole, except if it was turned over and you were trying to ride over it...
BC: Shut up. This interview is over. Let's go.
NN: ... although I doubt you'd have any chance of succeeding, the way you're riding, unless it was a really tiny washing machine...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Non-non-trivial news

Commuting via the same old route each day can get a bit dull. Therefore even a tiniest change in the environment provides excitement. (Or at least filler material for this blog. You know, the internet is not complete yet, it needs more detailed information.)

Consider this spectacular event for example:

One day, when it was windy, there was a fallen tree on my route.I got to carry my bike over the obstacle cyclo-cross-style, then brag about it in the workplace coffee table.

Then again, not long after that, in almost exactly the same location, a P"N"WD Special Urgent Hazard Prevention Enforcement Task Force Squad Crew (or a P"N"WD SUHPETFSC for short) had prevented a potential hazard by urgently painting these markings on the road:

Apparently, bicyclists confused by the sudden metamorphosis of the bicycle path into a road without an accompanying bicycle path, and therefore riding on the sidewalk, have been a huge problem here. Or, alternatively, pedestrians walking too confidently from the sidewalk to the bicycle path were the problem. Anyway, the problem has been now solved.

By the way, you've got to appreciate the liberal application of paint here. Or did somebody just spill a bucket here? Or even worse, did a crew member think that the white stuff may have intoxicating qualities, consumed some, and then barfed all over the location? Perhaps we'll never know, but at least this marking will endure for a long time.

I'm not so sure of this stretch of pavement some metres further though: 

The asphalt seems to be rapidly turning into cobblestones here. I kind of wish that the SUHPETFSC has this thing on their TODO list as well, as they seem pretty efficient at preventing hazardous situations by improving the infrastructure.

What else? Oh yeah, I nearly flattened a squirrel today. A live one. I was going down a steep downhill in the central park at a considerable speed, when a squirrel, initially calmly squirreling away on the side of the path, decided to cross it a split-second before I was about to pass him. He made it. A couple of weeks ago I did flatten a bidon in the Tour de Helsinki 2011 in a rather similar situation, though. I guess this proves that squirrels are faster than bidons.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hipster championship

Yesterday, while riding around aimlessly, I incidentally got to witness the 2011 Finnish Hardcourt Hipsterity Championship Tournament:

The hipsters were apparently playing some kind of a game with clubs and a ball on their bicycles in order to determine who's the hipsterest. I have no idea who won. Perhaps the guy with a helmet cam, because I think he scored. Or then the guy with a huge, white fake beard, because he looked the awesomest.

To be honest, the game actually looked pretty fun. I don't think I'll ever engage in it though, because, while I like sports, I really suck at hipsterness, so I have no possibility of succeeding in it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rollerskatin' all over the world

Hi, readers. I'm glad to announce that most of you (about 3/4) are rather intelligent, as verified by this piece of news coupled with the statistics of this blog (page views per browser, that is, for the Finnish-language-impaired):

And the 22% of you, please keep reading my blog even though you've just been tactlessly insulted. My children need wine. (Oh, it wasn't for real? Never mind what I just wrote.)

And then, towards on-topic.

"They" say that road racers are extremely good at reading road surfaces at high speeds. But there is one group of people even more concerned about the quality of the road surface: we, the rollerskaters. Bicycling on bad asphalt is uncomfortable and annoying, sometimes even dangerous, but a rollerskater is constantly at hazard because of cracks in the pavement, loose sand and rocks, curbs etc.

Bicyclists have complained for aeons (I know I have) about urban infrastructures not being designed for easy and safe bicycling. Sure, they aren't, but rollerskating is an even more neglected form of transportation. Yet, it is one of the most fun ways of commuting. Probably, the number of rollerskaters is very small, if compared e.g. to the number of bicyclists, and the city doesn't have resources, and these things take time, and everything is so difficult, yadda yadda. But "they" could do sumt'n to improve things, for sanity's sake. Couldn't they?

Like, for example, not put these huge stone walls in the way of pedestrians in every freakin' intersection:

Rollerskaters are considered pedestrians by the law, as far as I know, and therefore must go over these obstacles in every intersection. On bicycle paths there are (at least in theory) smooth ramps in intersections. But wait a minute. What is the purpose of putting these stones here anyway? They hinder rollerskaters, people pushing prams, grannies pulling their funny little bags with wheels attached, people in wheelchairs and kids who are allowed to ride bikes on sidewalks. And most people are so freakin' lazy that they walk on the bicycle paths in intersections anyway, in order to avoid lifting their feet 5 cm to get over the curb. Why can't they make smooth ramps for bicyclists and pedestrians alike?

Another thing:

Why is it that on routes for pedestrians and bicyclists, there always are seams across the path every 1,5 m? They seem to be able to make seamless roads for cars. Why can't they use similar road building technology on bicycle paths and sidewalks?

The path meant for pedestrians is often too narrow for rollerskating:

1 m of sidewalk width is not sufficient. It could be sufficient for miniature rollerskaters, such as kids, but probably not. A rollerskater needs more width than a bicyclist, because a rollerskater sways from side to side. If there's loose sand on the asphalt, as there often is, it is nearly impossible to go uphill in places like this. You practically have to walk on the skates. The stretch pictured here with less than 1 m of width and shrubbery all over the place is definitely not wide enough for a full grown man for walking, even without a kid on the side. I'm a man. Please give me wide enough sidewalks.

This (presumably a gateway to another, dark, scary dimension), I'm sure, they put in a middle of an intersection just to annoy rollerskaters:

Then there's bad visibility around corners:

Crossing this intersection on rollerskates requires multiple actions, all executed at once:
  • braking hard, because there's a hill and zero visibility around the corner
  • craning one's neck in order to see around the corner
  • observing crossing vehicles
  • observing passing and oncoming bicyclists and pedestrians
  • looking out for loose sand and rocks on the asphalt
  • jumping over the stones on the curbs
  • accelerating again on the path that is really not wide enough.
And then there are anomalies:

What the hell is that? Was there a boa constrictor lying across the road when the asphalt crew came, and they couldn't be bothered to move it, and just paved over the poor thing? And why hasn't this obstacle been smoothed out since? It's been there for years and years.

* * *

Wow. I sure have a lot of first world problems to complain about. But forgive me, complaining about stuff is my only joy in life. Well, apart from all the sex, drugs, rock'n roll, sudoku, sports and balanced family life, of course.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Roof rack accident

Witnessed a guy with two bikes on the roof rack driving into an underground garage today, getting the bikes tangled in the ceiling structures, and probably destroying the bikes in the process. Hopefully they weren't expensive ones. Naturally, the first thing I thought was "I gotta get a picture of this". The camera of my mobile phone was in video mode though, so I got a 2 second video instead:

I feel no schadenfreude whatsoever, nor do I find anything comical about this, I'm sincerely sorry for the poor guy, because man, I can relate. I also drive with a bike on the roof rack sometimes, and I have a (verifiably no longer unwarranted) fear of doing exactly what this guy did: forgetting the bike and driving into a garage. That's why I keep silently repeating to myself "bike on roof, bike on roof..." whenever the bike is on the roof.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Learning curve pt. deux

This is what it looks like when the learning curve for a beginner mountain biker turns sharply upwards:

Yeah, it looks pretty lame in the photograph. In reality it is much scarier. This is the infamous Col du Paloheinä, one of the most fabled and fearsome climbs in Helsinki. The climb on the eastern side, as pictured here, is the steepest, and it stretches on and on, agonisingly, for at least 160 metres. Well. The climb is not so long, but it is really steep. According to my calculations, which may be wrong, because my sports instrument is not so accurate, and my math skills are very rusty (I even had to re-study the Pythagorean theorem for this), the average grade is exactly 37,7 %. Wow. It is so steep it is barely possible to ride it, sitting down, without doing an inadvertent wheelie and flipping over backwards. I tend to find it a bit scary. The exercise is great, but I'm slightly frightened about the flipping over backwards bit. Also, I've found out, that if you go up a really steep rise using a too big gear, you may reach a point where it becomes physically impossible to rotate the cranks anymore, and when that happens, you've got to be able to put your foot down really quick, to avoid falling over and/or backwards, and therefore you've got to be able to free your foot from the clipless pedals very fast.

I also find bicycling down very steep hills scary. Consider this one, another side of the Col du Paloheinä, for example:

Riding down hills is all fast and easy, whoopee, but what if you aren't able to become to a complete halt in the middle, because of the speed and the steepness, and the loss of traction because of the slipperiness of the surface, should the need arise? Going over the bars is always an option, but I'm a virgin in that, per se esteemed, area of bicycling, and afraid to become experienced. I might be a bit of a control freak, and it seems unlikely that I will ever become a successful downhill racer. Damn, I should have started practicing earlier, when I was still reckless. Was I ever reckless? I forget.

From the top of the Col du Paloheinä, it is possible to see the other towering giant of Helsinki, the Col du Malminkartano:

Um, if it's not possible, it's the slight hiccup on the skyline exactly in the center of the picture. It's not really, really far away either, it's some 4 km, as the crow flies. Which leads me to my next subject. Why can't they erect proper signs on bicycling routes, so it would be possible to go 4 km from A to B, within one city, on a bicycle, without consulting a map or a navigator? I can see the place I want to go to from the hilltop. It's somewhat directly westward, some 4 km from where I am located. Both A and B are places frequently visited by bicyclists. Why can't they mark the route from A to B clearly?

Here's what my route from A to B looked like, as taken from my sports instrument, on the 2nd time I went there, i.e. when I thought I already knew which way to go:

Voiceover for the markings:
A. And off we go! I'll just use my excellent memory, intuition and sense of direction to navigate to Col du Malminkartano without using any kinds of maps whatsoever.
1. Uhh... an intersection, no signs... that one seems to be in the general direction.
2. Excellent! A sign clearly stating "Malminkartano"!
3. Crap. Cycling route disappears. There's a large road, some residential streets. No signs. I know one street is a dead end from the last time I was here. I'll try another one.
4. Woohoo! Bicycling is fun. I wonder who wins today's etape. Cavendish or some other one? Wait, should I have gone some other way in the last intersection?
5. WTF? I don't know where the hell I am. Must I use the navigator on the phone again?
6. Another large road? I don't think I should cross that many.
7. Ok. If we had real mountains, they would be visible from nearby areas. This is ridiculous. I give up. I'll use the navigator, although onlookers will think I'm texting while bicycling, if I hold the phone in my hand. Yuck.
8. Yeesh. What kind of people live in neighbourhoods that look as boring as these? They must get drunk a lot to withstand the boredom.
9. Hey, that street looks somewhat familiar. Must be close.
B. Finally! It does look kind of big. I wonder what real mountains look like. I don't know what the hell those stripes are for though:

Perhaps I haven't assimilated the innermost essence of mountain biking yet, because the thing I enjoy the most in it is climbing up steep hills while wondering what it would be like to climb the mountains in the Tour de France. I've finally found a use for the granny ring, and the granniest ring in the rear cassette as well, and I'm not so sure I could manage the mountains without a triple chainring. Even though I have the "compact" chainrings in my road bike.

For instance, I gather that real mountain bikers build, and ride off of, contraptions such as these in order to make their mountain biking more exciting:

I, for one, found it exciting enought to ride down the hill very slowly, going around the ramps, albeit part of the excitement resulted from the fact that my rear brake began to squeal in a very loud, metally fashion on the top, and therefore I descended using mostly just the front brake.

It might be a good idea to get to know scary descents by riding them down very slowly on the first time, or even walking. That way you don't die so often by hitting hidden jumps (believe or not, there are several in this picture):

Or fall over in shrubs of burdock:

Although being covered in burdock isn't so bad. In fact, I believe, that it grants one a certain kind of a mountain credibility.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Learning curve pt. I

Having all of a solid 6 weeks of experience being a mountain bicyclist, I'm proud to announce that I've already learned several things:
  • riding up hills is HARD (because hills in the woods tend to be steeper than hills on the road)
  • riding down hills is harder (and scarier) than it looks like in several Youtube mountain biking videos
  • watching a lot of Danny McAskill videos doesn't grant one excellent "bunny hop" capabilities (some practice is required also)
  • most of the trails near my neighbourhood belong in the "technical" category (as opposed to the "fast" category), I believe
  • it is possible to crush a crabon fribé seatpost by tightening the clamp too hard.
Another thing I've learned is that mountain bicyclists have magical, foldable tyres:

No, that's not what a bear coughed up after eating a snake, that is, unfolded, indeed a tyre for a mountain bike:

Even though I'm a complete novice when it comes to mountain biking, I figured that it is a good time to replace the tyre when the knobs begin to fall off:


And after:

I went for the knobbiest tyre my local bike shop had mostly because I like the intimidating sound the knobs make on pavement. Besides, I don't need good rolling qualities on the pavement because I'm way too fast for safety in the city as it is. Also, I need the traction for learning curve pt. II. To be continued...