Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Jones Steel Diamond’

Ballad of a fat man

June 21, 2017

I raised up my head and I asked, “Is this where it is?”

And you know something is happening but you don’t know what it is.*

Do you, Mr. Jones?

* OK, so I’ll tell you. It was a short bike ride on my Jones 29er, early in the ayem, before it got too bloody hot (100.5° right now). The one-eyed midget stayed home, where the air conditioning is. I don’t know how Bob Dylan found his way into this post when he couldn’t even make it to the Nobel ceremony.

The news just repeats itself

August 19, 2016

Now and then I miss working in a newsroom. This is not one of those times.

Most days, daily journalism is like any other gig, only more so. Hours of tedium interrupted by moments of pandemonium.

But news in the era of what Charlie Pierce calls He, Trump, is a whole other ballgame. It’s like trying to sip delicately from a fire hose hooked to a septic tank. It can’t be done, and nobody should have to try, not even for money.

And certainly not for free.

Instead I’ve been trying — and mostly succeeding — in paying attention to the bicycle, may God save her and all who sail in her.

There’s Bicycle Retailer‘s big 25th-anniversary celebration, for example. I need to dash off a column and cartoon on that topic, which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, seeing as I’ve had 25 years of practice.

And I’ve ridden four different bikes in four days — Sam Hillborne, Steelman Eurocross, Soma Saga, Jones Steel Diamond — and loved every minute of it. Well, not every minute — the Steelman’s low end of 36×26 is a tad tall on steep, sandy single-track for an auld fella — but still, it beats perching in front of the Mac, letting the shit monsoon wash over me.

This morning I got up, grabbed some coffee, and when Herself went out to walk The Boo, I shut off NPR’s “Morning Edition” and started playing some John Prine instead. Sometimes a fella needs a little country to restore his faith in a bigger one.

O, wholly night

December 26, 2015
My rigid Jones 29er plays a lovely moonlight sonata.

My rigid Jones 29er plays a lovely moonlight sonata.

A neighbor couple had invited us to join them for a full-moon Christmas ride on the Sandia foothills trails (.pdf), and while the field was halved by start time last night — his wife was recovering from a cold, and mine thought her headlight gravely underpowered — Phil and I soldiered on.

Alas, the moon likewise declined to participate, and my lighting system also proved less than illuminating (an elderly, AAA-powered trinity of Cateye Opticube HL-EL450, Princeton Tec EOS, and Princeton Tec Remix). Happily, Phil was content to lead the way with his new Cygolite, so we got around and about without issue.

My "lighting system." Not pictured: The Princeton Tec Remix I wore as a headlamp.

My “lighting system.” Not pictured: The Princeton Tec Remix I wore as a headlamp.

I was reminded how much fun it is to do something different, and how good this can be for the bike industry, because you discover how woefully clapped out your equipment is.

There was the lighting issue, for starters. Also, my old Pearl Izumi winter gloves seem to have gone walkabout in the move, I have no clear lenses for my prescription Rudy Project Rb-3 cycling glasses, and my decrepit Kucharik toe covers no longer cover all 10 toes.

And which bike to ride? I ride these trails on a cyclo-cross bike in the daylight, but that seemed unwise in the dark, with old snow and ice likely to be lurking in any north-facing bits. The old DBR Axis TT mountain bike seemed an ideal choice, until I found a big hop in the rear tire that no amount of inflation, deflation, removal, replacement, and yanking this way and that could resolve.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff? That would have been fun, but I didn’t fancy fixing a rear-wheel flat in the freezing dark (the Rohloff hub and Gates belt drive complicate that chore a bit, and I was out of practice).

Thus, the Jones. It’s the perfect bike for this sort of outing. Big-ass Maxxis Ardent 29×2.4 tires, a Shimano XT drivetrain with a low end of 19.3 gear inches for creeping through icy rockpiles in the inky blackness, and Avid BB7 discs with 200/180mm rotors for knocking down the MPH as necessary. Plus you could hang 12 headlights on that H-bar, if you had ’em, which I did not.

Speaking of which, I’m taking recommendations for a reasonably priced headlight. Sound off in comments if you feel so inclined. And a happy Boxing Day to one and all.

 

Don’t Force it

October 18, 2015
Looking northeast from Trail 365A, just above Embudo Dam.

Looking northeast from Trail 365A, just above Embudo Dam.

Things feel like they’re finally inching back to what passes for normal in these parts.

The Jones handles the local trails with style and grace.

The Jones handles the local trails with style and grace.

I arose at 6 a.m., logged a few billable hours of work, then got out for a short ride on the Jones, which hasn’t been getting a lot of love lately.

The two of us pooted around unproductively and yet pleasantly on the trails southeast of El Rancho Pendejo, topping out at Trail 365A, where there was something of a traffic jam — a visitor from Alaska hiking up with his old ski coach and a couple dogs, a runner headed down with her own pooch in tow, and finally this old dog and his bike smack dab in the middle.

The hikers asked me to snap a phone pic for them, so I did, and then I dove down the trail ahead of the runner and headed for home, where I learned that the Force will be with the viewing audience during halftime of tomorrow’s Giants-Eagles matchup on ESPN.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see Han Solo piloting his mobility scooter around the galaxy while a cackling Luke Skywalker urges his grandson to pull his robotic finger. The Farts are strong with this one. …

Hi-def’, where is thy sting?

October 8, 2013
I had a little fun shooting the video of the Jones bike. There's plenty of room for gadgetry on that 66cm H-bar; I was going to add a flower vase, but ran out of hose clamps.

I had a little fun shooting the video of the Jones bike. There’s plenty of room for gadgetry on that 66cm H-bar; I was going to add a flower vase, but ran out of hose clamps.

In comments, Patrick O’B. asks whether I’m having trouble deciding which bike to ride since adding a nifty Jones rigid-specific 29er to the Mad Dog fleet.

Nope.

I haven’t been on a bike of any type for a week — a terrorist wasp nailed me in my left ankle during a hike last Wednesday, the sonofabitch swelled up to the size and shade of a ruby-red Texas grapefruit (the ankle, not the terrorist wasp), and I have whiled away the hours since full of Benadryl and bad ideas, trying to get a metric shit-ton of work done with my shoeless left leg propped up on a box.

And the weather has been picture-postcard, Chamber of Commerce, fall-in-Colorado perfect, too.

Gah.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff got its closeup today.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff got its closeup today.

I did get out for a short while today. The ankle looks more or less like an ankle again, rather than a botulistic bratwurst, and I needed to shoot a bit of HD video for an online review of the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, having just wrapped production on a Jones video. So I spazzed around in Palmer Park for an hour, playing Quentin Ferrentino with a couple of dusty old Hero 3 Black Editions.

The Adventure Cyclist gang and I met with the GoPro people at Interbike, but only editor Mike Deme walked away with one of the new Hero 3+ dinguses, though I thought I batted my eyelashes most fetchingly at the product guy. Bitch.

So I had to make do with obsolete technology in my latest projects, and as usual it is the little people — you, the viewing public — who must suffer.

Still, that makes two videos in two days. Stick that in your hobbit-pipe and smoke it, Peter Jackson.

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl

May 16, 2013

What with helping Consigliere Pelkey live-blog the Giro, cranking out the comedy for Bicycle Retailer, logging saddle time on the Jones Steel Diamond and the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff in preparation for reviews thereof, and assisting Herself with a new project — turning our House Back East™ into a vacation rental via airbnb.com — I haven’t had much time to follow the doings in DeeCee.

But now that I’ve had a minute to cast an inquisitive eye about the Innertubes, I have a question for those of you who have been paying closer attention.

Is it time we abandoned our flirtation with representative democracy and begged the Queen to take us back? God save the Queen!

Speaking of limeys, back at the bike racing, Brave, Brave Sir Wiggo’ went from descending like a girl to descending the Giro’s overall standings like a sick girl in a Radio Flyer full of anvils on Mount Doom. Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal has had even worse luck; they’re timing that poor sod with a calendar. I have no idea who’s gonna win the goddamn thing, but it sure is fun to watch. Join Mr. P and me at Live Update Guy for tomorrow’s stage, the Giro’s longest.

In California, meanwhile, it’s Jens Voigt making everyone look sick. The 110-year-old father of 16 crushed Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd under his chariot wheels en route to victory in stage 5 of the Amgen Tour. He told VeloNews reporter Matthew Beaudin that when he finally retires, if ever, it will take two people to replace him — “one to do the funny part, and one to be the bike rider.”

And me? I didn’t ride a meter today, in victory or defeat. Work, work, work, that’s all we have around these parts. That, and dinner with friends at Springs Orleans. Somebody had managed to FUBAR the house lights but we couldn’t have cared less, because the food was top notch. We just let our forks follow our noses.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes

April 4, 2013
Jeff Jones bikes

The Jones Steel Diamond in its road and off-road configurations. Photo courtesy Jeff Jones

Lately I’ve been enjoying an interlude between bike reviews, which has been nice, as it gave me a chance to get reacquainted with my own fleet of two-wheelers.

In the past week I’ve ridden my trusty Voodoo Nakisi drop-bar 29er, one of my two venerable Steelman Eurocrosses, and the only truly custom bike in the Mad Dog garage, a nifty Nobilette that’s something of an all-rounder, a cyclo-cross-slash-touring bike that’ll take a rear rack and fenders.

This weekend, all that ends with an invasion from Oregon.

Review bikes are en route from Co-Motion (a Divide Rohloff), Jeff Jones Bicycles (Steel Diamond) and Bike Friday (Silk Road Alfine).

I’ve ridden a Bike Friday before — you can read my review of the New World Tourist Select in the archives at Adventure Cyclist — but the Silk Road Alfine is something of a step up, with Shimano’s Alfine hub, Gates belt drive and Avid BB7 disc brakes. Should be a giggle.

The Co-Motion is likewise a belt-drive bike, but with big wheels and the Rohloff hub, which I’ve ridden before on the Van Nicholas Amazon Rohloff (yes, I reviewed that one too). I’ll get to spend a bit more time with the Co-Motion than I did with the Van Nicholas, and I’m very much looking forward to it, as the Co-Motion seems (on the Innertubes, anyway) more or less ideal for the sort of riding I do around Bibleburg.

The Jeff Jones bike, meanwhile, looks like the sort of machinery we all could use come the Apocalypse. That’s it up there at the top of the post, the red bike next to the otherworldly black beast with the tractor tires. I’ll confess to a mild yearning for a fatbike — as in, if somebody gave me one, I’d ride it — but until some product manager loses his or her mind, the Jones bike looks to be about as close as I’m gonna get to that little fantasy.