Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
Categories: Mountain Biking
I’ve been riding my mountain bike regularly and seriously for over a year on real mountain bike trails. I had been riding an old bike for many years prior, but just on a flat, paved trail. After a year of some hard riding my rear break was worn out. It was nearly down to the metal. In the spring around here in Northern Utah, bike shop services are booked out weeks in advance. So I decided I’d take a shot at replacing my own break pads. How hard could it be?
Not hard at all.
After watching a couple of YouTube videos related to my brand and model of breaks, I ordered some replacement pads on amazon and did them myself. It was super easy.
I had to take the break mechanism off by unscrewing two large hex bolts. Then a smaller hex bolt released the pads.
Being careful not to touch the pads with my fingers and transfer harmful skin oils and dirt to the pads, I replaced them with the new ones.
Once on I loosely put the two larger hex bolts on and lined up the mechanism with the break disc so it wasn’t rubbing and the wheel could spin freely. Once I found that spot I tightened them them down.
Here’s one of the videos I used as a reference below. This is a Tektro video. Tektro is the brand my bike currently has.
I just got into serious mountain biking this spring so I’m pretty much a newb with a lot of it. I finally took a shot at the trail “Levitate” which is rated as an expert trail. Levitate is part of the Corner Canyon mountain bike system in Draper, Utah.
Levitate has a ton of jumps and I’m really loving catching air. When I’m jumping I feel like I’m getting major air, but the helmet cam video below seems to disagree. Not a badass jumper yet. Just an air bear for now. Making progress.
Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, September 5th, 2020
Categories: Mountain Biking
Rode a new trail this morning, the East Mountain Wilderness Park section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
Overall it’s quite an easy trail, but there were a couple of very rocky steep sections where I had to get off and walk my bike up.
The scenery was nice and there was a lot of shade which helped. It’s still quite hot, nearing 100 today again.
Would I ride this trail again? Probably not, unless I’m riding it to access some other trails nearby. It’s about a 45 minute drive and I can find more fun and challenging trails a few minutes from the house. I wanted to check out something new though, and it was nice to get an idea of something up in Davis County, Utah.
It only took me 30 years to upgrade mountain bikes. My old Scott Pro from 1990 served me well, but I badly needed an upgrade. Here was my list of requirements:
Full suspension (front and rear shocks)
29 inch wheels
Hydraulic disc breaks
Around $2k price range
Medium frame size
Shopping was a little difficult because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some shops were not open or were only open by appointment or special hours. Some shops didn’t have inventory that met my requirements. After visiting 4-5 shops I got a little bummed out and bagged the search. Then after a few days I took it back up again and found a Scott bike and a Specialized StumpJumper in my size and with my requirements at one shop. I test rode both. The Scott felt cheap and didn’t ride very well. The StumpJumper rode very smooth and “felt” like the one. I pulled the trigger right there and have been thrilled with the choice so far.
The bike is a 12-speed (photo below). I didn’t have enough knowledge about the gearing options and manufacturer to have a “requirement.” I’m happy so far with this 12-speed setup. It climbs well. I just wish I had a gear or two more for higher speeds, but this is a mountain bike, not a road bike.
The rear shock (below) is fantastic. After riding a hard tail and hard fork I’ve felt every bump for 1000’s of miles. Nice to have some absorption now and the shocks are a must when riding bumpy and rocky trails.
After my first ride, I had a flat tire. We have these nasty, nasty thorns here in Utah. So after some research I decided to go “tubeless.” This is a process where they remove the tube and treat the rim with some tape, then fill the tire with air and sealant. Since then I’ve had no flats at all. Going tubeless was the right decision for sure.
I also upgraded the pedals. My feet kept slipping off of the stock pedals. The new pedals cost about $80, so that may factor into the purchase if considering this bike.
Total upgrades: $140.00.
On The Trail
I’m not the world’s foremost expert in mountain biking. That said, I’m quite happy with how the StumpJumper performs in varying terrain. I’ve taken it through mud, sand, rocks, gravel, pavement, slick rock, bark, pebbles, and just about any mix of terrain one could think of. The only area that the bike doesn’t perform well is in sand, which is not unexpected. The tires are pretty fat, but not fatties.
I find the bike climbs very well and I almost never need to use the lowest gears.
Downhill biking is a blast with the 29 inch tires and full suspension. I love catching air and knowing that I can land softly without too much of a kick.
I’m just scratching the surface on my StumpJumper, and the whole mountain biking experience. I’m thrilled with the performance, durability and style and looking forward to many years of riding enjoyment.