Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Get your skibike forks serviced

by G. Kunkel

 Downhillers know this but skibikers may not.   You need to periodically have your front fork serviced.   The back shock might need service too.

Why?

The oil can leak out and if it gets too low - one could then damage the internal cartridges.   That gets REALLY expensive on a fork.  Cartridges run $70.00+.    I had oil leaking out of mine this spring- it was a big worry.

The oil does wear out as well.  You need to get it changed - just like your car.  The fork just stops functioning  correctly.   At a minimum, very active downhill mountain bikers get their oil changed once a year.

Is your bike leaking oil right now?  Best to get it serviced.

One can buy the replacement oil seals and try to do the service themselves if they have access to the proper tools.  There are plenty of YouTube videos out there.  You'll need to know the make, model, and year of manufacture of the fork to order the right size oil seals.  They come in different sizes.

A video for one Marzocchi fork model.



Not confident in your mechanical skills?  There are a number of service shops out there.  The cost runs $150-$200 for parts and labor.

If one needs quick service for a Marzocchi fork,  I can recommend Mountain Bike Forks by Mark.  He has a mail-in service and a mail order business for Marzocchi fork parts as well.  I recently got OEM Marz. oil seals for $38 including shipping from him.  Everyone else wanted $80 and they weren't OEM.

I don't own all the proper tools so I loaded up the oil seals, the skibike, and drove to Dirt Labs currently located in Boulder, Colorado.  They will be moving to Longmont in November.   I ordered my own oil seals because at that time, they couldn't get parts for Marzocchi forks.  Marzocchi went out of business last year.

I dropped off the bike at Dirt Labs on Friday and they called me on Monday afternoon and told me it was ready.  The service bill was $112 for the fork.   They also do mail-in service.   Call ahead for information.   The forms are on their website.

My oil was just beginning to get cloudy.   No cartridge damage either.  The rear shock wasn't leaking so I'm holding off on that.

I fixed the damaged ptex on my bottom of my skis and then waxed them.   Found a pair of barely used snowboard boots at a decent price.  The old ones were broken down and hurt my feet.

My bike is now ready for winter.    There's already been dustings of snow on the high peaks of Colorado.   The ski season is not far away.

© 2016 G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Google

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ski bike covers

by G. Kunkel

No one likes riding a skibike covered in road grime first thing in the morning.  Your snow pants get dirty, your gloves get dirty, and all that mag chloride can't be good for the bike either.  Even CDOT advises washing ones vehicle to keep the mag chloride from rusting it.

After numerous requests, I've come up with a somewhat universal peg skibike cover.   It will fit all makes and sizes of Lenz Sport.  Nothing against other brands, it's just that there's a handy rack of 12 Lenz Sport sitting at Winter Park Resort for me to test it on.

Peg ski bike cover

I'm sure that it will fit other brands and models of peg ski bikes.  Send me your measurements.

As everyone likes different length handlebars, that is one measurement I'll need before I can make a cover.  Could be a tight squeeze or not fit at all otherwise.

I'll be using 500D coated nylon canvas for durability.  1000D can be used for an additional cost.  The cover uses one piece construction that zips on in minutes.  Three #5 molded tooth zippers keep it in place.  One in the front of the fork, one in back of the fork, and one underneath.



The covers are meant to be durable and last for years of use.  They are designed to be used on rear hitch-mounted bike racks.

Covers are custom made.  Choose your fabric color that Rockywoods.com has in stock.  Sorry, only black color zippers are currently available.


So if you are looking to free up some space inside your vehicle, here's your answer.  Order them here.

And over three feet of snow has fallen this past week at Winter Park Resort.  They just announced they will be extending the season to May 7, 2016.  Woo hoo.

My schedule is done so time to start traveling to the Western Slope of Colorado.  I hear 8-14" is falling tomorrow night and into Wednesday in one magical location.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

© 2016 G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Google

Monday, March 14, 2016

Peg Skibikes and Skibobs allowed at all Vail Resorts Inc. locations in USA

by G. Kunkel

Vail Resorts allows skibikes and skibobs at all their resorts in the USA.  While some try to imply otherwise, this is far from the truth.   Recently, even local Colorado reporters have been duped by these individuals.

Do not believe a December 2015 article in the Summit Daily.  I and numerous friends ride our peg bikes at Vail.  One can even rent peg skibikes at Rocky Mountain Skibikes in Vail Village.

In Colorado one can ride peg skibikes and skibobs at: Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge.  Have been for the past three seasons.

And here is video evidence from a Vail employee.

Skibiking with Devin Lenz on Vail Mountain from T Harper on Vimeo.


Peggers are also allowed at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar California, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, and Mt. Brighton.  Vail Resorts, Inc. loves skibikers.

Rocky Mountain Skibikes video filmed at Vail.

Rocky Mountain Ski Bikes from Ryan Spinks on Vimeo.

The rules say no biking in the terrain parks as well.  That rule is no longer enforced at Colorado Vail Resorts locations.

Make sure one does have a leash for the chairlift.  That rule is enforced at Vail Resorts locations.  It needs to connect the bike to the lift - not you.  One does not want to get dragged off the lift if the bike gets dropped or have it fall on someone below. 

If one has a pegger, the ski resort choice is almost limitless in Colorado.  Adaptive riders have even more choices.  Copper Mountain does allow adaptive commercially manufactured peggers - no homebuilds allowed though.

Bottom line: Don't believe everything one reads.  A few people still have anti-peg agendas out there.  Be informed.


© 2016 G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Google

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Skibike Snowbike NASTAR

by G. Kunkel

Two years ago, NASTAR citizen ski racing added a snowbike division.  So now skibikers can race and win medals just like skiers, snowboarders, telemarkers, and physically challenged racers.

The rules do not specify equipment so I think almost anything is fair game under the heading "snowbike".  Skibobs, peg skibikes, and three-ski bikes are all legal to race in this division.

Snowbikes are separated by gender and age in the snowbike division.  On the GS course, snowbikes get a (-50) handicap.  On the SL course the handicap is (-60).

The standard race course is 350 meters in length with 18-22 meters between gates.  The gates are offset 4-8 meters.  Depending upon the terrain, there are between 17-22 gates to go around.  Most courses take 23 seconds to run.  There is variability between resorts.

I did not get a class on Monday so I decided to get some free riding in.  While on the Prospector lift, I saw there were gates set on the Winter Park NASTAR course.  Upon further investigation, they were running races from 11am to 3pm.

It only costs employees $5 to race unlimited races while it's $10 for the general public.  After trying to remember my NASTAR race number, I handed over my $5 and filled out a daily paper entry form.

As I'd never raced my skibike before, I was unsure how to approach the gates.  The race crew was unsure how to run my race.  They decided in the end to let me run the course by myself in case I crashed.  They didn't want me to run into anybody on the other course.

For the first run, caution and strategy were the main objectives.  Starting gate strategy was not even considered.  Not hitting the gates or crashing were the goals.

The timer told me to go so I left the starting area and triggered the wand.  The first few gates were pretty easy as I had not built up any speed.  As the terrain steepened the gates came much quicker.

I soon realized that running the gates was almost the same as running them on a snowboard.  One had to turn above the gate and complete the turn at the gate.  Upon rounding the gate one had to immediately shoot for the turning point for the next gate.

Upon completion of the race course, I executed a nice hockey stop and waited for my time and what kind of medal I had won.  As I hadn't really been pushing things, I didn't expect much.

The announcer said congratulations announced my time and said I had won a gold medal.  That was unexpected.  If I pushed things on another run, I could win a platinum medal.  I never won one of those on a snowboard.

So I had to go again and again.   The next three runs were all platinum medal winning runs of the yellow course.

To mix things up I decided to try the green course.   That was a silver run.

Since that was not the direction I wished to move, my attentions moved on to the original goal of going to the terrain park and working on my skillz.   After some jumps and a run through the half pipe, I headed to the Competition Center Office to collect my medal.

My NASTAR Platinum medal
Normally medals are kept in the race shack.  They were out of platinums and silvers thus the trip to the office.

So, at the end of the day, I had a pleasant distraction for $5.  I also qualified for the NASTAR National Championships in Steamboat Springs in March.  Now if I only had the $199 for the entry fee.   Anyone want to sponsor me?  I'm happy to wear your colors/logos on the course and the winners podium when I collect medals.  And I do win medals at Steamboat.

My NASTAR Gold Medal from 2009 National Championships

© 2016 G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Google