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The Surly Mountain Biking Thread


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5 minutes ago, Loco said:

If that last pic is along Shoredrive, you're fucking crazy

It's actually got a nice bike lane now as you can see. Probably the most popular area in town to ride.

Definitely wouldn't have done it back when you had to run in the travel lane.

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I can't tell you how many car crashes happen on that stretch...  especially on the camp ground end but that was back in the day... maybe that's all changed.  I bet it's still a speed trap on the beach end...  that'll never change

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3 minutes ago, Loco said:

I can't tell you how many car crashes happen on that stretch...  especially on the camp ground end but that was back in the day... maybe that's all changed.  I bet it's still a speed trap on the beach end...  that'll never change

Yeah, I lost 4 classmates when I was at VB Junior High to crashes there. Surprisingly it has changed though. There's a shit load of rumble strips down toward the beach end and the speed limit goes down to 25 pretty early.

Not sure if when you were here they had the sign up showing how many people died on the road? At any rate, they actually took it down as it's become one of the safer roads. It's been widened about 10 feet too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m about to buy my first bike since high school. I have a ton of hobbies and now about to add another one.

I looking for a recommendation.

I want to get a bike I can ride on street and trail. I’m mainly going to use it in my neighborhood and riding around on my golf club course late in the afternoon. So there will he grass and cart paths etc.

I’m assuming some sort of hybrid maybe a hybrid/adventure type of some sort. The first one I saw that looks interesting is a Motobecane Elite Eight.

I would really appreciate some direction as I don’t have a clue what a good brand would be.

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There are countless variables to your situation, so there's not a unique solution.

For example, the specific make/model you listed is meh to me, but if you rode it hundreds of times a year for several years--or if it motivated you to buy something else that you rode hundreds of times a year for several years--then it's ultimately a great choice.

Off the cuff, I'd suggest a well-specced hardtail trail bike as it provides the most flexibility. A cross/gravel bike would actually be the fastest and most efficient rig for the exact uses you listed (pavement, paths, and grass), but a mountain bike would potentially be more comfortable while also giving you the ability to tackle more challenging terrain.

Also, I wouldn't recommend buying from BikesDirect unless you are confident in your own wrenching or cozy with your LBS.

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Get two bikes. You’ll be much happier with the results. Further up in the thread I posted my gravel grinder I use in the hood and gravel park trails. It’s a great bike and only $800. Spend most of the money on the mountain bike where you’ll really notice the difference in price.

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19 hours ago, Mileslong said:

I’m about to buy my first bike since high school. I have a ton of hobbies and now about to add another one.

I looking for a recommendation.

I want to get a bike I can ride on street and trail. I’m mainly going to use it in my neighborhood and riding around on my golf club course late in the afternoon. So there will he grass and cart paths etc.

I’m assuming some sort of hybrid maybe a hybrid/adventure type of some sort. The first one I saw that looks interesting is a Motobecane Elite Eight.

I would really appreciate some direction as I don’t have a clue what a good brand would be.

I'd get a front suspended 29er    

$400 for a heavy frame/fork bike if you just want to get your toes wet

$7-800 for a lighter better (but not awesomely equipped) bike that will save you money if you do stay with it (less upgrades)

Sky's the limit dream machine from a boutique brand...

 

I'd ride stuff at the bike stores (not big box) and look at craigslist once you know what you like... just to see if someone is bailing out as you are getting in.  Either way, ride a bunch of bikes at first to find out what YOU like and feels good.

 

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We got 3-5" of snow on Friday night, but temperatures weren't insanely cold.

Got my first snow fatbike ride in on my usual trails.  Didn't try anything too crazy, just wanted to see how it worked.  Kind of like my early rides in that it's another step up in effort, but I adjusted pretty fast.

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that is all yours, Gunga Din.  I like to think I like the cold, but I think the novelty of those conditions would wear off for me real quick.  that's one of those once every couple years 'epic' deals.  but good use of the fat bike.

couple from this weekend.  pretty lame, really.  first one I've been picking away at for a while but needed someone to chase for perspective.  fortunately for me, he was blinded by cold wind tears, so I could keep up.  still can't get out of my head for the gap jump at the bottom, but Holy Trinity as a substitute is a good bit of filler.

second is just messing around at Brushy by myself on Saturday, since I'm old and can't sleep in for a 10am wheels down meet-up with a couple friends,

both will play in 1080p

 

 

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What do you guys recommend for rides in the Austin/San Antonio areas?

Going to be down that way between Xmas and New Year's, with my wife, dad, and his wife.  The old man and I will be looking for outdoor shit to do.  He's an avid road cyclist, but has little experience mountain biking.  I'm still a relative novice.

Also, we'd be looking to rent bikes.  We're flying down and won't be bringing any bikes.  Are there any shops that outfit rides, or have reasonable rental rates in that area?

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On 11/6/2018 at 7:43 PM, Mileslong said:

I’m about to buy my first bike since high school. I have a ton of hobbies and now about to add another one.

I looking for a recommendation.

I want to get a bike I can ride on street and trail. I’m mainly going to use it in my neighborhood and riding around on my golf club course late in the afternoon. So there will he grass and cart paths etc.

I’m assuming some sort of hybrid maybe a hybrid/adventure type of some sort. The first one I saw that looks interesting is a Motobecane Elite Eight.

I would really appreciate some direction as I don’t have a clue what a good brand would be.

Bikes Direct bikes are decent.  HOWEVER, they're tricky.  Their frames are solid, made by Kinesis, a big ROC frame mfr that's good if not state of the art on geometry. But, they usually feature some component that is emblematic of bikes at a certain price point, like maybe a good fork or good rear derailleur, and sell the bike way below that price point.  However, the other components on the bike may be exactly what you'd expect at the price point you paid.  So, the wheels may be crap, or the brakes, or both (rather than outright crap, they are probably obsolescent but serviceable).  That said, if you know what you're looking for, you can find some quite decent deals.

If you stay in the $500-600 range, you'll do as well at Bikes Direct as just about any other place except finding a used gem (which takes some expertise).

I might consider a fat bike with a rigid (no suspension) fork  These have huge knobby tires that are just squishy and more or less mountain bike geometry, which will be comfortable.  It will be cushy as hell on pavement and gravel, be great on the beach, and give you some suspension if you choose to go light-duty offroad.  It will also be hard to pedal real fast and heavy, which is probably ok as you aren't going to try to keep up with a road group or set any speed records, just get some exercise.  Any of the BD rigid fatbikes would probably do you ok.  You probably have no need for anything beyond decent mechanical disk brakes (way better than anything you've experienced thus far) and a 3x8/9 derailleur setup.

Other than being heavy and slow, the drawback would be that the tires will wear relatively fast on pavement.  They're sort of the 21st century version of a "beach cruiser," but more capable.

 

Edited by TwiceHorn
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Also, assembly of a Bikes Direct bike is no big deal.  Have to install the handlebars and the front wheel.  Also probably the front derailleur, or at least adjust it.  That will suck, because front deraiilleurs suck, but get it together and take it to a bike shop for a final check, probably cost you 20 bucks and give you some peace of mind.  Get some metric allen wrenches if you don't already have some.

 

For non-fatbikes, the Diamondback bikes you can find on Amazon are also decent and the price is about as good as you will find for that type of bike, whether gravel, hardtail or full suspension.  I think they sell a "hybrid" or two.

 

Oh and Performance Bike is closing a bunch of stores, you might find a bargain on a decent bike (Fuji or Breezer) there, too, and maybe get some help/advice on it.

Edited by TwiceHorn
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What do you guys recommend for rides in the Austin/San Antonio areas?
Going to be down that way between Xmas and New Year's, with my wife, dad, and his wife.  The old man and I will be looking for outdoor shit to do.  He's an avid road cyclist, but has little experience mountain biking.  I'm still a relative novice.
Also, we'd be looking to rent bikes.  We're flying down and won't be bringing any bikes.  Are there any shops that outfit rides, or have reasonable rental rates in that area?


Where will you be staying and how much work do you want to do?

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is right in the middle of town and is close to Bicycle Sports Shop’s main shop that has rentals of a full range of bikes from hard tails to full carbon squishies. They are not cheap but have a good selection. I’d try and reserve one early to ensure you get what you want.

The BCGB is not a beginner trail and there is a ton of branches where you can actually enjoy yourself instead of dealing with hikers. This may be limited with the time of year but it’s a well used trail. The hike and bike trial around Town Lake / Lady Bird Lake is crowded, flat, and a target rich environment on weekends. It’s also close to great watering holes and restaurants so you can sightsee as you ride between bars. You can also go up the trail along shoal creek.

South of town you have a trail system of 70 miles of mostly flat trails with a few hills and decent flow. There are several posters who live in the area, myself included. Slaughter Creek Trail is easy and self contained.

North you have Walnut Creek which is a self contained 12 mile circuit around a park. Northwest, you have Brushy Creek which is a large system with some one of the more technical trails (Deception) around.

West there are several parks (Pace Bend and Horseshoe Bend) and Reimer’s Ranch that offer good trails.

I’m old and still ride a hard tail so stick to flow, twist and don’t like big step-ups.

Feel free to post here or PM me if you have other questions.


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AV covered it.  Bicycle Sportshop is prettymuch it for rentals.  Barton Creek is a huge network, but I would call it intermediate-advanced once you get off the main trail that follows the creek.  on the weekends, the main trail gets packed with hikers, dogs and dogshit.  be prepared to cross the creek several times if you want to do the main trail.

based on stuff you've posted, I would recommend either Pace Bend or Muleshoe Bend.  fun terrain, ease of navigation.  last time I was out there, anyway.  plus I think they still do XC races at PB so it has a well defined loop, as does Muleshoe.  both are about an hour drive to get there, though.  but there's a pretty decent bbq place (Opie's) right near Muleshoe.

I've never been to Rheimer's, so I can't say anything about it.   same for  Slaughter Creek, but for what I know about it from a buddy who lives out there and rides it with his young son, it's probably too far to go for not much trail.  

Brushy Creek is probably also a hike for you, but is a good option.  it has a wide paved path down the middle of it, with the creek on one side, and a hill on the other for the whole length.  Deception is on the hill side.  there is a trail that runs along the creek with lots of technical options, but is generally just fast, flowy hard pack.   there is a flat loop between the sports complex entrance and Parmer Lane, bordered by Brushy Creek Road.   you can probably get 10 miles without messing with Deception (which really isn't that bad---just rocky).

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Be aware that Muleshoe Bend may still be closed from the floods.  I went out there about a week and a half ago and it was closed.  The park host told me the flooding had washed boats and all kinds of shit up onto the trails.  She said they hoped to be open by Thanksgiving but didn't sound confident.

 

I would also recommend Pedernales Falls State Park 45 minutes west of Austin.  There's the horse trail and Juniper Ridge and Madrone trails.  You can put together some good 20+ mile loops out there.  Next door to that park is Flat Creek Crossing Ranch which is also a fun option.

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1 hour ago, KuЯdt said:

Be aware that Muleshoe Bend may still be closed from the floods.  I went out there about a week and a half ago and it was closed.  The park host told me the flooding had washed boats and all kinds of shit up onto the trails.  She said they hoped to be open by Thanksgiving but didn't sound confident.

 

I would also recommend Pedernales Falls State Park 45 minutes west of Austin.  There's the horse trail and Juniper Ridge and Madrone trails.  You can put together some good 20+ mile loops out there.  Next door to that park is Flat Creek Crossing Ranch which is also a fun option.

oops.  yeah, I forgot how close Muleshoe is to the water.  now that I remember, I think it was a little silty in spots the last time I was out there, back when my wife thought she might like to try trail riding (it was the anaerobics that killed it for her).

I would agree on the Pedernales rec.  always forget about that place.   did all the enduro runs at FCCR about a month ago.  that place is a blast.  need to get back out there.

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18 hours ago, Austinvines said:

 


Where will you be staying and how much work do you want to do?

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is right in the middle of town and is close to Bicycle Sports Shop’s main shop that has rentals of a full range of bikes from hard tails to full carbon squishies. They are not cheap but have a good selection. I’d try and reserve one early to ensure you get what you want.

The BCGB is not a beginner trail and there is a ton of branches where you can actually enjoy yourself instead of dealing with hikers. This may be limited with the time of year but it’s a well used trail. The hike and bike trial around Town Lake / Lady Bird Lake is crowded, flat, and a target rich environment on weekends. It’s also close to great watering holes and restaurants so you can sightsee as you ride between bars. You can also go up the trail along shoal creek.

South of town you have a trail system of 70 miles of mostly flat trails with a few hills and decent flow. There are several posters who live in the area, myself included. Slaughter Creek Trail is easy and self contained.

North you have Walnut Creek which is a self contained 12 mile circuit around a park. Northwest, you have Brushy Creek which is a large system with some one of the more technical trails (Deception) around.

West there are several parks (Pace Bend and Horseshoe Bend) and Reimer’s Ranch that offer good trails.

I’m old and still ride a hard tail so stick to flow, twist and don’t like big step-ups.

Feel free to post here or PM me if you have other questions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Thanks!  This seems pretty comprehensive.  I assume we're going to be staying downtown.  I visited Austin once (for the 2010 game), but it was just two nights and one day of excessive alcohol consumption.

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if I was you, I'd ride pedernales and hike bcgb from the Hill of Life entrance.   it's the far end of the main trail, so gets less traffic.  there's a spur with some awesome views off  the big dog leg in the trail where it continues down to the creek. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went down a 15' near vertical descent that i ha done several times without issue. In the runout before a very mild descent there are a couple of small stumps then a pair of trees to goalpost.  Coming out of the drop, I noted that I was a little closer to the stumps lthan I wanted to be. I didn't consciously brake but may have turned a little (too much) and over the bars I went. There may be a a dip or something unnoticed that i hit. I also had my fork dialed way back so it could have dove. According to the phone I was doing 19.6 mph at the time. I was laughing at first. 

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 glad you were laughing...   My buddy compound fractured his collarbone off a 2-3' drop.   I made record time out of the trail (pre-cell phone): 1/2 out of concern for my friend, 1/2 noping the fuck out of there.  So gnarly

Will you have a bump on the collarbone or was it a slight fracture?

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35 minutes ago, Loco said:

 glad you were laughing...   My buddy compound fractured his collarbone off a 2-3' drop.   I made record time out of the trail (pre-cell phone): 1/2 out of concern for my friend, 1/2 noping the fuck out of there.  So gnarly

Will you have a bump on the collarbone or was it a slight fracture?

Total break and displacement. I had to walk out about a mile and a half.   Not really that painful, but it's the right shoulder so a monster pain in the ass. 

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2 hours ago, Loco said:

 glad you were laughing...   My buddy compound fractured his collarbone off a 2-3' drop.   I made record time out of the trail (pre-cell phone): 1/2 out of concern for my friend, 1/2 noping the fuck out of there.  So gnarly

Will you have a bump on the collarbone or was it a slight fracture?

 

Those were the days. I had my best friend knock himself out cold trying to jump a Creek here in Salt Marsh when we were like 17. Had to run out of the woods to a house and knock on a door to call ambulance. 

 

 

1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

Total break and displacement. I had to walk out about a mile and a half.   Not really that painful, but it's the right shoulder so a monster pain in the ass. 

It sucks man, mostly because there is no good way to support it. I still cant sleep on my right side from breaking mine 20 years ago.

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Thanks for all the well wishes, friendos. I gather that it's not all that unusual to not know exactly what sent you OTB, but it's not reassuring. The obvious answer is braking, but I think I am past that and it wasn't a panic situation. My front tire went flat so I tend to believe it might have been an oversteer situation that burped it. I have been a bit flummoxed by the slack steering and having my fork compression dialed back probably didn't help. 

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Sorry to hear about the broken collarbone, hope you can heal quickly and get back on that horse.  

Coincidentally, I had one of my worst ever otb crashes a couple weeks ago.  I was taking a connector trail which is really just an old ranch jeep road and just cruising along not paying much attention.  The trail goes for maybe a mile gradually uphill, then another mile back downhill.  I was just cruising the downhill section doing maybe 15-20 mph when all of a sudden I came to an abrupt stop, went over the bars, and hit the ground so fast I didn't even have time to get my arms out to break my fall.  The tall grass totally hid a root that I didn't see and launched me.

I landed on my head, face, and shoulder.  I was a little stunned and lay there for a couple minutes and then took inventory thinking surely i had a couple broken bones.  Somehow I escaped that with just cuts and bruises and a really sore neck for a few days.   I still had about 10 miles to ride back home and it was somewhat painful plus the bike wasn't shifting worth a shit after that.

 

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yeah that's the normal thing I do and it's involuntary now, but usually I will at least have my arms tucked into my body so I can use them (upper arms) in the roll...not flailing behind me somewhere.

I had a friend break both arms in a moto crash...let's just say he had a bit of a challenge cleaning his backside for a few weeks.

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5 hours ago, Patricio Swayze said:

Don’t break your call with your hands. I mean unless you want to actually break your arms. Tuck and roll.

In low-speed OTB wrecks, one usually has time to consider this advice. But one also has time to flip and land on one's backside. Hell, I once landed upright on my feet like a gymnast's dismount. Sweatergawd, there's never anyone around when graceful shit like that happens.

However, high-speed endos happen so fast that you don't have time to do anything but eat shit. I've been OTB dozens of times, but only twice with lots of momentum (+20 mph). In those cases, not sure if there's much you can do but get lucky.

More reasons why one should always wear a helmet.

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On 11/21/2018 at 11:27 AM, G650 said:

Vintage Marin came in today.

 

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My first real MTB was a Marin Pine Mountain. It was a 1991 closeout I bought in early 1992. Butt ugly Black/Bright Orange color scheme, but full XT drivetrain with LX brakes. I rode it with the original fork for about a month then bought a Rock Shox Mag21 for it. 

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Selling my sons’ medium size 2016/2017 Cannondale F-si alloys. 1x11 Shimano XT. Cannondale replaced the frames with the 2017 version so they have zero miles on them. They were race bikes so have been very well maintained. Forks were fully serviced in 2018 and just had the rear hubs replaced.

Retail was $2200, asking $900.

bd49a9a0200468a06d89f7b291ae6d1e.jpg0e1fea9df467b99abea952e4d9894ce3.jpg

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The South Austin Trail Network was brought up a page or two ago.  I feel like I know most of it pretty well, I'm good with everything south of 290/71 all the way out to Circle C and Slaughter Creek but I haven't really been on much of what's south of 45 and Meridian and I haven't found a way to connect Baurle Ranch to Mary Moore Searight other than the railroad track.  

Stumbled on this tonight and it opened my eyes a little bit to how much is out there now.  This dude did 75 miles with minimal overlap and he still didn't hit every trail in each area.  Impressive ride and an even more impressive network of singletrack connected and hidden amongst all the neighborhoods.  

Link to the 75 miler on Strava:

https://www.strava.com/activities/1677023345

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well it's been a little over a month and the collarbone seems to be healing up pretty well. Most of the pain seems to be soreness associated with the immobilized shoulder. I am now doing some exercises to loosen it up.

However, in addition to the shoulder I also broke the fuck you finger on my left hand. It is the last joint and it's not healing with a splint so I am going to have to have it pinned soon.  Any insight on that procedure would be welcome.

I am now getting kind of anxious to ride again. Right after this happened I'm not sure I ever wanted to ride again.  I am not sure what effect this injury is going to have on my trail progression. I wouldn't consider the trail where I crashed to be advanced at all,but the drop is steep and fast.  I will be super wary of such trail features in the future, which may ruin mountain biking for me, I don't now.

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Condolences on having your primary form of communication compromised. But seriously, glad the recovery is going well.

Regarding your concerns, my unsolicited advice would be to set aside ego and just ride to ride. Improving is great, challenging yourself is great, but merely being in the saddle is best of all.

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Just checking in for the first time in a while.  Damn, Twice!  Sorry to hear about it.  Like Braff said, just riding is better than not riding.

 

I had my ass absolutely handed to me last Friday.  Some buddies rented a cabin adjacent to an area I ride in the summer (have posted pics of it in this thread), and being as the cabin is about 40 miles from my home, I figured there would be similar snow levels to what we had (minimal).  Nope.  6 inches of melting, heavy snow covered everything.  The forest service roads were dominated by slippery, frozen ruts from folks who had driven down them, and the trails were absolutely brutal to navigate.  I might have been out for an hour, been lucky to cover 4-5 miles, and by the time I got back to the cabin (atop a 500' climb), I thought my heart was going to explode.  Much tougher than the snow ride in December.  But better than not riding.

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On 12/19/2018 at 6:35 PM, Your Mom said:

The South Austin Trail Network was brought up a page or two ago.  I feel like I know most of it pretty well, I'm good with everything south of 290/71 all the way out to Circle C and Slaughter Creek but I haven't really been on much of what's south of 45 and Meridian and I haven't found a way to connect Baurle Ranch to Mary Moore Searight other than the railroad track.  

Stumbled on this tonight and it opened my eyes a little bit to how much is out there now.  This dude did 75 miles with minimal overlap and he still didn't hit every trail in each area.  Impressive ride and an even more impressive network of singletrack connected and hidden amongst all the neighborhoods.  

Link to the 75 miler on Strava:

https://www.strava.com/activities/1677023345

He even missed some of the really fun stuff along 1826, south of 45. This area is literally in my backyard. If any Surly riders are looking for a tour, feel free to hit me up. I was focused on road riding, last year, but I picked up a Trek Fuel just before the end of the year, and I'm just waiting for the dry days to put the miles on it.

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