Sunday, June 5, 2016

AbsoluteBlack Oval Ring Chainguide

Finally, long waited chain guide for oval ring. Bought direct from AbsoluteBlack, received within a week. Easy to install, no need to remove crank and ring. Just position the chain guide and screw it firmly onto the frame (ISCG) with 2 bolts. Adjust the position of the guide according to the ring size. For 32T, move the guide point to 2nd position (see photo). It weight only 26grams, negligible. No more drop chain, peace of mind :)

AbsoluteBlack Oval Ring Chainguide
Ordered direct from AbsoluteBlack website. Received within a week via DHL.

Ring Size Indicator
Adjust the position of the chainguide according to the Ring size (refer to attached table). For 32T, adjust the indicator to 2nd position.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Singapore can be a Mountain Biking Destination in Asia

 (Video: La Wood Accommodation & BT MTB Trails)

Mountain biking should be included as one of outdoor activities for tourists and business travelers in Singapore. Airbnb accommodations near Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trails are readily available. I would recommend Le Wood apartment, located just next to the entrance of BT MTB Trails and short walking distance to MRT station (Beauty World) and many awesome local restaurants. You can either bring your mountain bike along or rent a good quality mountain bike from nearby bicycle shops. The rental for two rooms apartment (stay up to 5pax) range from S$125 to S$170 per day, while good quality mountain bike rental range from $75 per half day onward. Do your own calculation to work out the budget. One day is good enough to ride all the awesome MTB trails at Bukit Timah and Chestnut. One more day is needed for Pulau Ubin ride.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Truth - Bukit Timah MTB Trails

 (Old & New BT MTB Trails)

Long before mountain bikes roamed the trails in Bukit Timah, people used to walk and live there. Villagers who lived there planted many durian trees currently still seating inside Bukit Timah forest. During nation buildings, villagers were relocated but people continue to walk and hike there. As our nation progress and citizens became more affluent, people started to ride mountain bikes inside Bukit Timah forest. During those days, there weren’t many mountain bikers. Hikers willingly shared the trails with mountain bikers, as people were lesser and the trails were wider then. 

Overtime, the growing population and interest in mountain biking caused NParks to separate hikers and mountain bike trails by designating a network of trails for mountain biking. Some pioneer hikers who used to walk on the designated MTB trails continue to hike there, while pioneer mountain bikers who used to ride on other non-designated or forbidden trails continue to ride there. Some local and foreign mountain bikers who were unaware of the history cried foul, demand outright ban or barter trade with hikers. Some mountain bikers kept mum about the history but add fuel to fire for the purpose of pushing their agenda. Others resort to personal attack and discredit the outspoken few who hold different views. So much about inclusiveness and diversity in opinions. 
Separated Bollard Hikers Trails next to MTB Trails
Moving forward, what is the best solution to this historical and universal conflict? Looks like a never-ending story, something that cannot be resolved but can only be mitigated. This tiny red dot of over 5 million population does not help either. Besides sharing, what else can we do? 

Unfortunately, BT MTB trail was narrowed into single tracks in most sections after the upgrade in 2014. Numerous rock sections were built for the purpose of drainage, minimize soil erosion and enable mountain bikers to exhibit their MTB skills. It has become undesirable and dangerous for sharing with hikers. NParks came out with the idea of creating a distinctive parallel and separated trails for hikers, by installing concrete bollards and ropes to separate the trails. Good plan but poor execution. NParks should have gotten buy-in from MTB community before execution. Instead of concrete bollards, rubber flexible bollards should be used. Cutting new hiker’s trails should be seriously considered to minimise number of dangerous cross paths with mountain bikers. 
Some may argue hikers will continue to walk on MTB trails instead of the bollard hiker’s trail. Similarly, hikers may argue mountain bikers will continue to ride MacRitchie at night and other forbidden trails despite having designated MTB trails. The never-ending argument will continue. 

One morning, I met a senior photographer at BT MTB trail despite a bollard hiker’s trail located just next to him. This was what I told him, “Bro, you know NParks spent taxpayer money to build this bollard hikers trail for you, and my kaki broke his arm trying to avoid all these bollards…despite all these sacrifices, why are you still walking on MTB trails?” 

 (Separated hikers and mountain bike trails)

Moving forward, education is the only way to go. Lately, I realized noticeable lesser hikers on BT MTB trails compared to last year. The distinctive bollard hiker’s trails and signage may reduce confusion, and hikers no longer able to plead ignorant. On the other hand, mountain bikers need to accept change and adapt to new environment. Like it or not, we should look forward and find ways to co-exist. NParks should be more transparent to engage  various interest groups and main stakeholders when making decision that affects MTB community. The challenge for NParks and MTB community is…who represent MTB community? 

In July 2012, the MBASG was formed by a group of volunteers who felt very strongly about trail advocacy in Singapore. MBASG also seeks to serve as a link between NParks and the MTB community. The problem is...does MBASG represent majority of MTB Community? Are MBASG committee members formerly elected by members of the MTB community or do they assume the posts out of duty or other motives? 

In order for NParks to better communicate with the MTB community, MBASG should play the bridging role by getting mandate from MTB community through open election. Those who are lazy or don’t bother to vote shall not complain or claim foul if things turn against them. The nominated candidates for MBASG shall represent the voice and interest for those who vote for them, even though the voices may not be in line with their values and beliefs. Not many candidates in our MTB community can fit the roles, or those who fit the roles may not want to stand in as candidates. Given the choice, I will still vote my kaki Calvin Chin as the President of MBASG to represent my interest. Not too sure about other non-elected MBASG committee members who do not represent my values and interest. For those who felt very strongly about the issues, time to step in to serve the course, you need to be elected by the MTB community.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

AbsoluteBlack Oval Chainring for XX1 (32T)

AbsoluteBlack 32T Oval Chainring for XX1
Installed AbsoluteBlack 32T Oval Chainring on my medium Yeti SB6c. Perfect for enduro helps to climb and pedal more efficiently. When going down rough terrain in high speed, chain slap was more obvious. It may be caused by the lengthened oval geometry. Well, no chain drop so far. May looking at putting a chain guard as insurance.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Packing List for Overseas Ride

Packing List for Overseas Ride
My standard packing list for overseas ride. The items include:
  1. Yeti SB6c
  2. EVOC hydration bag with 3 litres bladder
  3. Multi-tools, lube, tyre & shock pumps
  4. Extra brake-pads
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. TLD A1 Enduro helmet
  7. Knee guards
  8. 5Ten Freeride shoes
  9. 3 x pair of gloves
  10. 6 set of riding outfits (more than one week ride)
  11. 10 pair of socks (more than one week ride)
  12. Jacket (wind & rain resistance)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yeti Green SB6C

Yeti SB6c

Yeti SB6c Green Frame
The joy of receiving this green Yeti SB6c frame is beyond words. The workmanship is so perfect and flawless. Glad that I bought the green color, the sight of it makes you want to shred the trails immediately. It looks like an art piece that can be displayed in art gallery.

Yeti SB6c
Fortunately, almost all the components on my Pivot Mach 6 could be transferred to Yeti SB6c accept the chain, crank arm and shift cable. The Pivot Mach 6 chainstay is much shorter than that of Yeti SB6c, as such new chain and shift cable are required for Yeti SB6c. The Pivot Mach 6 used straight XX1 crank arm, while Yeti SB6c needed a bend arm for frame clearance.

Install Press Fit BB
Install Chris King Headset
First, install seatpost so the frame can be cramped on bike stand. Next, install BB and headset with press tool.

Install XX1 Rear Derailleur
Install XX1 crankset
Install rear derailleur and crankset, then insert new shift cable housing through the internal routing holes.

Yeti SB6c Installation
Install the fork, stem and handle bar, follow by the brakes. The brake cables have to be detached from brake levers for routing. If needed, bleed the brakes after installation. Replace new shifter cable according to SRAM installation guide. Install the front wheel to provide better support to work on.

Wheelset - Chris King Hubs and Ex Flow Rims
My Enve wheelset was sent to USA for warranty claim. It will take more than one month for replacement wheel to arrive. Meanwhile, build a new wheelset at Jia Long's shop at Bukit Merah branch. These extra wheelset will be used as spare wheels.

Maxxis DHR 2.3 Tubeless & Enve M60HV
Bleed Shimano XTR Brake
Bleed Shimano XTR Brake
Bleed the front and rear Shimano XTR brakes. Love Shimano brakes, very easy to bleed. It took one full day to build this rig, including running to Tay Junction at Bukit Timah a couple of times to buy shift cable and XX1 crank arm; and collect wheelset at Bukit Merah. Very fulfilling to build the Yeti SB6c together with my kaki Reza, the attachment and ride will be more meaningful and awesome. Last but not least, test ride at local trails to tune the suspension.

Yeti SB6c
Frame: Yeti Green SB6C Medium
Fork: Rockshock Pike Solo Air 160mm
Shock: FoxFloat X CTD
Headset: Chris King
Crankset: XX1 175mm
Chainring: SRAM 32T
Rear Shifter: XX1
Cassette: XX1 11 Speed
Chain: SRAM XX1
Wheelset: Chris King Hubs with Enve M60 HV
Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR & DHF 2.3 Tubeless
Brakeset: Shimano XTR Racing
Rotors: Shimano XT RT-86 203mm Ice-Tech Front & Rear
Handle Bar: Enve 740mm
Stem: Thomson 50mm
Grips: Yeti Lock-On
Saddle: Yeti WTB Volt Custom
Seatpost: RS Revert
Pedal: Point One Podium 2
Weight: 12.9kg (28.44 lbs)

Fox Evol Shock
Got a free Fox Evol Shock upgrade from Yeti BT. The performance is awesome, once you got it tuned correctly. Big impact and small bump, it ate all up. The Fox Evol Shock setting for my style of riding at Bukit Timah and Kent Ridge Mountain Bike Trails are 170psi and 8 clicks towards fast rebound. I was about 70kg on full gear. Watch the video below to see how the new Evol shock performed at BT MTB Trails.
Yeti customised green grip - sponsored by Yeti BT (Bro Reza)
Yeti SB6c - Enve M60HV wheelset first test ride at BT
Yeti SB6C Green
Ready to shred the trails

(Video: Test Ride Yeti SB6c)
(Video: Yeti SB6c Technical Switchback)

(Video: Testing new Evol Shock on Yeti SB6c)

Yeti SB6c Schedule Maintenance
Source: Yeti Service Manual

Will write detail review after Rotorua, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown riding trips.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail - Double Drop Section

(Video: BT MTB Double Drop)

This video demonstrates the fast line to ride this double drop at Bukit Timah mountain bike trails. The faster and safer line are along the middle of the 2 large boulders. Some riders took the left boulder line to gain more air time, but sacrifice on speed and smaller margin of error. During wet condition, best to roll down the drops on the left or right side, as the rock section can be very slippery.