Topic – Used Bikes

Leading up to a day of riding and testing a new bike that I have put together has a lot of steps and parts. I have been riding a 26″ downhill bike for a few years after moving to a 27.5(650B) for my everyday trail bike. I really like the 27.5 overall and was waiting for the right time to make the move to a 27.5 DH bike. IMG_1150IMG_1149

I found this deal for a 2016 Pivot Phoenix carbon frame. After receiving the frame and shock I was very excited at the beginning of this new project. As it seems with most used part and bikes there is always a phase of discovery. The phase of discovery refers usually to cleaning the item which always amazes me that someone wouldn’t do first prior to selling something.



During this process there were some discoveries. Now I didn’t take the frame to an experts or bike shop. My eye ball test and gut check usually do me okay in this type of situation, the frame was compromised  near and around the bottom bracket. What little luck I had in this transaction was when I got all my money back in the next few days and sent this item back to place it came from.

I was back to square one now. But even more due to the idea and motivation I had and sold my complete 2013 Demo bike to fund the beginning of this project. Now I had to change my plans a bit to get back up and running this year with a DH bike.

I decided change the source of the next pile of used parts from an individual to a company. I started emailing bike parks around the country to ask what they had for a large 27.5 complete downhill bike. I surprised at my choices but settled on a 2015 Specialized Demo.


I was fully prepared to be a little disappointed with what ever I got because most of us  have heard the stories of what happens to a rental bike. I was very pleased after cleaning all the red clay residue out of the pivots and tight spots to fine a dent free bright frame. The drivetrain was as spot on after I installed a new chain. The fork and shock felt great and the tires would be replaced with a set of Vee Tire Flow Rumba as soon as the UPS truck could arrive. Leaving the brakes and the wheels. The wheels I had been warned were straight but not round. That was very accurate, so I found a compete Sun Ringle ADD wheelset and a few coupon codes for

The brakes were the last bit of this whole puzzle that of the box they had sent the bike with a Avid/SRAM set of brakes that would be considered light weight on a trail bike. They did send along a new set of organic pads and new rotors. So, the initial setup I would continue with what I had instead of digging back into my pocket to more replacement equipment.

I window of time opened up for me to go and take this bike out on its first day out, so I packed up for Thunder Mountain Bike Park.


The day of riding at Thunder was great. I kept in mind that was still testing out a few parts that were unknown mainly the brakes. The day started with meeting new people as usually on the lift. This time I was treat to meeting Natty and Trey from They had never been to the park before and asked if I could show them around. We travel around the whole park checking out all the trails that I love. Billy Badger, Trillium, Gronk and Wine Tree.

On the Wine Tree run I put those XC light brakes to the test and found a ton of fading and at one point smoke coming from those organic pads. I would surely need to source out a set of new brakes to complete the build with DH appropriate equipment.

Beside that the test ride and build was good and made me happy with the new/used bike build. It’s always going to be a gamble buying something used online and not seeing it in person. I think with the right approach, reasonable expectations and a good spare parts bin you can succeed in this type of project.

Check out Natty, Trey and their Thunder Mountain Bike park review here.

Article – New Chain Part 1


So there I am with a big grin on my face because I’m doing one the things I love, working on my bike. I had just install a new E*13 42 tooth cog, cleaned the freehub and the rear derailleur. I have decided ahead of time with this job it might be reasonable idea to install a new chain.


I had no idea how many miles was on the last one and recently shifting was less then perfect. Additionally I was upgrading from the SRAM 1031 to SRAM 1071. The biggest difference is the HollowPin saving some weight but not super light.


With the new gear setup of 32 tooth sprocket and 11-42 tooth cassette I only needed to remove a few links. Upon the removal process I notice the compound on the chain was significant. Through little research it appears to be a multitude of things. As it felt like grease the details I found called it factory oil lube. The manufacture uses a heated oil to penetrate all aspects of the chain for a few reason. Packaging, since there is no telling how long this chain will sit on the shelf waiting to start it’s life on someone’s bike the compound help moisture build up that could cause corrosion. Lube, basically primed and ready to go no additional oils or wax needed.


Dirt magnet, I wiped off as much as I could by hand. Seriously, this was like having fly paper on my bike for dirt, dust, pine needles and crunched up leaves. Logic at this point was telling me to clean this thing with degreaser or something to strip every bit of this stuff off. My drivetrain was running better and shifting well, so the combo of everything was working somehow underneath hazy powdery coating of grime. Research on cleaning/strip the chain suggested an automotive degreaser or gas. I also, found an article from Sheldon Brown. he makes some points to why it should be left on but if you feel the need to remove the factory lube he is offering a service to help.


At this point I have tried the application of wiping off the extra lube and ridding. Seriously this chain picks up everything! Keep an eye for Part 2, where I will have degreased/stripped this chain and retested whether or not it continues to be a dirt magnet.

Checkout the link to Sheldon Brown’s page.


Specifications for PC-1071 Chain

PIN TREATMENT Chrome-hardened pins
WEIGHT 264g / 114 links
RECOMMENDED GROUP SRAM Force® and industry standard 10 speed systems