Monday, January 27, 2014

Rockguardz downtube protector

The downtube protector I ordered from Rockguardz arrived in just under 2 weeks from the UK to the US. Due to the fact that the downtube on my last mountain bike took a couple of good shots (aluminum frame XTC) I decided to go with Rockguardz Carbon protector on the Carbon XTC for some added protection. On the previous bike I fabricated a downtube protector out of plastic piping from the plumbing world but the Rockguardz product adds more protection to the bottom bracket and the downtube sides. Craftsmanship is quite good and each one is made for the specific bike you own, there's nothing universal here. The instructions tell you to submerge the product in hot water for 2 minutes for flexibility as you spread it around the downtube. Do it as it makes a difference. As you can see in the photos I put a rag around the downtube when spreading the protector as to not scratch the paint but then again it’s a mountain bike and it's going to get trashed anyway. You can pull the rag out when the protector snaps around the downtube. There's just something about scratching a new bike the first time, you just want to put it off as long as possible. Totally psychological. The fit is decent but I decided to put a couple of cable ties around the downtube to make things fully secure. The visual appearance is fantastic, the thing looks great. You can go to or you can find them on ebay.

Make sure you submerge it in hot water prior to installing as you
 need to spread the sides apart. The downtube on the XTC
  is huge other downtubes will vary quite a bit.

I used a rag around the downtube when installing

Fit around the bottom bracket is excellent.

Nice bike schwag

Fit around one side is a little off. Overall good though.

It's not really needed but a couple of ties to fully secure it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Giant XTC Composite 29er

I just picked up the new 2014 XTC Carbon 29er hardtail from the Bicycle Center in Brookfield CT. While I haven't had time for even a ride yet, I'll post some photos and post a ride report as soon as I ride. I ordered a downtube protector from Rockguardz in the UK. It's a carbon protector molded specifically for your bike models downtube, heard lots of good things about them so I’ll post some shots when it arrives. Right now I'm just switching wheels, setting up the fork, fitting myself and trimmed 1.5 cm off the handlebars. I was tempted to switch to a 27.5 but I already had the 29 Mavic Crossmax SLR wheelset so I made the executive decision to stay with the 29er.

XT pedals, XT crank, SLX front Derailleur, SLX braking. Fork is a
Fox 32 Float RL CTD Evolution, w/15mm thru-axle,
OverDrive 2 steerer, 100mm travel

Absolutely massive downtube

Not sure about the Contact seat yet, I'll try it out and compare it to
the WTB Rocket V seat I currently use. Seat mount on the post is
infinitely adjustable which is a really nice feature. Giant has started
using 3D printing to design some of their seats.

Switching over the rotors and cassete to the Mavic Crossmax SLR's

Came with the Giant P-XC2 wheelset. Good wheelset but I'll
save them for a backup.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bicycle Center Brookfield, CT

My new 2014 Giant Carbon XTC 29er is sitting at the Bicycle Center in Brookfield Connecticut, when I get a chance to pick it up I'll do a full report on it. In the meantime I'd like to mention a few things about the Bicycle Center owned by Shawn Emmerson. In 2004 Shawn took over the shop and has built it up to a customer friendly well stocked bike shop. They carry Cannondale, Giant and Raleigh and carry a large line of bikes from kid’s bikes to high end racing bikes and everything in between.  Everyone who works there is very accommodating and makes visiting the store a nice experience. They cater to people of all levels and the store is stocked with numerous parts and accessories. Definitely a neat bike shop to visit. Here's the link Brookfield Bike

Is that a new Giant Propel I see there....
My new XTC 29er