Wednesday, May 20

Shame on a tigger who try to run game on a tigger

Some of you may remember the history of the "yet to be named Zion", and all the times my medium frame steel wonder bailed me out of a tight spot throughout 2008.

Remember when I had some work done on it... by this guy... which had me doing a quick and not very permanent at all rattle-can panel panel paint job... that turned out looking like this? Well, I finally got a chance to take it out to Drake Powder Coatings in Monroe, NC to give it the make over a good friend deserves. Tom Drake is always super easy to deal with and best of all he's cheap. $55 for a frame and $15 for a fork... and that's not the "Hey, I'm Team Dicky, international cycling star, and I think you should hook it up" price. That's what anybody pays for the service.

If you use him I highly suggest you plug any hole you don't want powder to go into with some bolts you never expect to use again, and you should be very specific about where you don't want the powder to go. It's not exactly perfect, but it's as perfect as I'd want for a durable $55 powder coat.

Now why go to all the trouble of paying someone to powder coat my old $249 frame when I have a perfectly good MOOTS in the house? First of all my shitty rattle can job was starting to show rust around all the braze-on work Cheech did, so I didn't want the frame to go to crap for lack of maintenance. Secondly I promised myself I would never take my Zion frame for granted again after all they've done for me. This is the second one I've bought, and I've raced a Zion at BC Bike Race and a bunch of other races including my 2007 win at ORAMM. It's too fine of a frame to just let go to waste.

Why build it up? This year I'll be going to Colorado at least once or twice this year. I might just ship my MOOTS out west to save some money, but in doing so I will be MOOTSfree for a weekend on both sides of my trip. As much as I love my Meatplow I'm gonna wanna ride something in the meantime, and if memory serves me well this frame does a great job of keeping the wheels 43" apart and me on top.

And now for some snake oil sales...

Thad beat me to the punch, but I've been meaning to mention these things since Dirt, Sweat, and Gears. Maybe if I had been slightly less thorough in my five day description of the events that took place in Fayetteville, TN I would have gotten around to it earlier, but I digress.

Even though I have no idea when they will be available to the general public (they were selling the first batch at DSG) I present to you (who didn't bother coming to DSG) the Swiftwick...errr.... ummm... wrist thing.

On the left wrist is the prototype four inch and on the right wrist I'm sporting the slightly tighter, logo enhanced three inch version. What's so great about a wrist... errrrr... ummm.. thing? If you look hard enough through all the pictures of me riding over the last coupla years you'd see an occasional photo of me sporting my "FREE SAGER" wrist bands, even long after SAGER had been FREE'd. I liked having a bit of compression around my most abused joint, and to be honest on slightly chilly days it felt good to add a little warmth to bony part of my body that keeps my hand connected to the rest of my body.

You know I've complained about my wrists before. Last year's Month of Mayhem put a hurting on me, so much so that I bought the Fox Fjork you see mounted on that Zion in the pictures above. Most, if not all, of my wrist pain has subsided (thanks to a six pronged attack on the problem), and I'm happy to say I'm back to riding rigid in the happiest of manners. Back during the Month of Mayhem I was filling Swiftwick gRant's ears with a request to make a compression wrist... errrr... ummm thing to address my issues. I could tape my wrists before a ride, but tape has its limitations. Tape can fall off when it gets sweaty, or it can become too restrictive over the course of a long race. It can also fall off and pollute the wilderness endangering raccoons who might use it to fullfill their dark auto-erotic asphyxia desires. I wanted an Olefin wrist... errr... umm thing that would give me a little support and compression where I needed it, and I wanted it "now" ("now" being then, not the now that is now).

So nine months later "now" is now, and I got 'em. I've used them at PMBAR, DSG, on chilly morning commutes, and on one local ride so far, and I would say they perform at least as well (and maybe better, but only because I'm such a pessimist) than I expected. I'm sure once everybody gets done reading this and Swiftwick is inundated with requests (here or call them at (800)895-5858 (US only) or (866)813-4165 (local and international) and say "Dicky sent me") they will have to ramp up production in order to fill the overwhelming demand.

Whether you are a rigid single speeder looking for some relief, or a candy-ass who rides with suspension and your wrists still hurt (like me over the winter), or you just wanna start a new dance trend sensation with an ironic fashionable throwback to a time when shirts were short and sleeveless and wrist.. errr... ummm... things had studs these were made for you (unless you want studs, in which case I strongly suggest you call Swiftwick and demand studded wrist... errr... ummm... things).

Even though I stand behind this product and give myself more credit for their existence than I deserve I still have to give them my...

Seal of Semi-Approval

Why only semi-approval?

Mainly because although they have yet to have a name this product I think the obvious name is the Swiftwick Swift Dick, and their lack of enthusiasm for naming them thusly has caused me to be less than impressed.

If you need me I'll be sitting next to my mailbox waiting for my first royalty check.


springer said...

been wanting to use drake, glad to see the great results, you can;t beat that price, well done. I need to get my crap together now. did that include prep? I have a factory paintjob still.

George said...

Is Winnie sitting in a puddle or something?

dicky said...

Drake? The only prep work you need to do is clean the grease off and fill your holes. Be prepared to chase/face the headtube and BB when you get it back. I just sanded down the excess on the HT, and since I have an EBB I just left the overspray down there alone. Not perfect work, but perfectly acceptable for the price.

Pooh puddle? He pissed himself after getting the beat down from Tigger, yo.

drew / elf said...

What is drake's turn around time like? And color selection?

cornfed said...

The most wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only oneGuess that makes you pissing Pooh.

dicky said...

Drake has all the colors in the rainbow, like "shocker yellow" and "super chrome"... way too many choices (the fjork on the Meatplow is super chrome).

I chose white because I didn't know what else to do.

Turn around is right quick. My frame was actually done a few days after I dropped it off. It just took me a few weeks to make the drive back out. I coulda shipped it, but the 45 minute drive was just too do-able.

Anonymous said...

You ride a medium 29'er?

dicky said...

My first Zion was a small. I did not like the 74.5 deg STA or the 71 deg HTA (those numbers are from memory). The numbers on the medium were much more to my liking, although still not ideal. There's a reason I like custom frames... I'm pickier than a third grader.

Anonymous said...

I thought something looked odd - the fork!
You're getting old. Join the club.
I road a dualie some weeks ago on a shooter ride we had going.
It flowed smoothly. But, that may of been the shooters kicking in.

Neat that you can make a "cheap" hooker (frame) look so beautiful!

nice bike jack!

The Ghost of Jerry Reed said...

Dang Rich, thanks for the heads up on Steve Larsen. Bummer for all cycling folk...


Matt said...

I have a question about the Raxter rack on your element. Do you have the 1.25" or the 2" model and can you drop the tailgate with the rack down?

Also when the bikes are on the rack can you open the top or bottom? I have an element and currently have an old sportworks rack that really sucks, but I have an extension to let me open the back up with bikes on the back.

Thanks for your help!


dicky said...

I have the 2" hitch to allow me to carry four bikes.

I can totally open the rear with the rack mounted.

I can open the hatch partially with a bike in the closest mount (to the vehicle), but only enough to get in and feel around to grab something near the back.

I tend to just reach over the seats if I have bike on the back to get to my stuff, so it hasn't really been a PITA.