Monday, January 30, 2017

Rebuilt 2004 Porsche Bike X first ride!

It has been a long month awaiting decent weather to ride the recently rebuilt 2004 Porsche Bike X for the first time. Today I drove the two hours to Sacramento from Truckee, both in California, to find good winter weather. Sacramento had little wind, light clouds with sun and near 60 degree temperatures. Prefect for riding.

I headed to my favorite Sacramento bike ride starting point at Discovery Park. This park is near downtown Sacramento and beginning your ride here you can start at mile "0" marked on the paved bike path. Great for tracking your miles along the trail.

As I started turning into the Discovery Park parking lot, I ran into a big "closed" sign across the road. Just beyond I could see why. The entire area was STILL flooded from the last series of storms. I had hoped that had all evaporated. Nope.

So I drove up to Nimbus Dam closer to Folsom and decided to ride toward downtown Sacramento, opposite from my normal route.

With my drive going from 2 hours to 2.5 hours and part of the bike path flooded, I knew I wouldn't get in the 50 miles I had planned.

But the real reason for this trip was to take the Porsche Bike X for it's first ride. After a month of rebuilding it, I needed to go for a test ride.

I pulled the Bike X from the back of the Cayenne S to immediately feel the warm weather. After a few months of Truckee winter, the 50 plus degree Sacramento winter felt HOT!

Jumping on the rebuilt Porsche bicycle, I rode the slight downhill on the paved bike path along the American River toward downtown Sacramento. This bike path is amazing. Beautiful scenery, great access points, happy bike riders nodding and waving and little in the way of going fast.

Heading out, the Bike X instantly felt good. The narrow 700c Continental Gatorskin tires pumped up to 100 psi rolled effortlessly. The carbon fiber Quantec fork absorbed the slight bumps well and really made a difference in the bike's handling around corners. All the changes I made equaled a well balanced and better performing bike.

I felt good so I went all out riding along the river. Great views to be had, but I can get a little too focused and pushed hard. My Adidas GPS app was telling me I was frequently over 20 miles per hour. I was still hoping to get in 50 miles, when I ran into a flooded area across the bike path (photo below) and was forced to turn around at just about mile 20.

Pushing hard back toward the parked Cayenne I was only passed by one guy. This guy was screaming along in a road racing bike and was near me at the 20-mile turnaround point, but it took him 11 miles to catch and pass me. So I felt the bike and I performed well on this first outing.

Looking back, I rode this same route about a year ago with the 1996 Porsche Bike S. I averaged 16 miles an hour then, this ride today I averaged 17 miles an hour. I was hoping for better than a one mile an hour improvement. So, even though the bike felt good and rode well, I still have some work to do.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Porsche Bike X in Sacramento tomorrow

My plan tomorrow is to drive two hours to Sacramento and ride 50 rides on the American River bike path on my recently rebuilt 2004 Porsche Bike X. I love that bike trail and with weather cooperating and light traffic on Mondays, I am hoping for an epic trip.

This will be the first outing on this rebuild Porsche Bike X. I am hoping the bike holds together and my legs can make the distance. It's been a couple months since I've ridden this distance.

Since I have a long drive and a long ride, I decided to get everything ready today including putting the bike in the back of the 2006 Cayenne S and selecting my biking clothes for the weather.

I usually use my bike rack to transport my bikes. But with all the dirt and water on the roads right now, I put the seat down and put the bike in the back of the Porsche SUV. Keeps the bike clean and free of dirt in the gears.

I am looking forward to tomorrow's trip. Driving a Porsche automobile and riding a Porsche bike. Priceless.

What a long race!

What a long race! What an exciting finish! After changing weather, some ups and downs, flat tires and lots of yellow flags, a Porsche GT3 R finished first in the GTD category and a Porsche 911 RSR finished second in the GTLM class. And I watched most of it! Time to sleep now!

Porsche 911 RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R
24 Hours of Daytona GT results

Saturday, January 28, 2017

24 Hours of Daytona

I am taking a little break from Porsche bicycles to watch the first IMSA race of the year, the 24 hours of Daytona.

Watching all 24 Hours, at least trying, is a tough go. But watching the 911 GT3 R and the brand new 911 RSR is fantastic though!

Greasing the gears

While I'm awaiting the start of the 24 Hours of Daytona, I am also doing the final preparation for my 50-mile bike ride Monday. Since I left the newly rebuilt 2004 Porsche Bike X in the living room, I hadn't lubricated the gears yet. I didn't want that dripping on the wood floor. So, I just covered all of the gears and chain in a bicycle lubricant in the garage.

Monday I will drive the 2-hour haul to downtown Sacramento and jump on the American River bike trail and hopefully ride 50 miles. The weather is supposed to be 61 degrees with very little wind. Perfect riding weather. I haven't even turned one mile since I completely finished the rebuild. So, I hope it all holds together!

Monday, January 23, 2017

... and the Porsche Bike S manual

As I mentioned in the last post, I have the factory Porsche Bike S manual. This is a great reference for working on the Porsche Bike S and even the Porsche Bike FS. Both are mountain bikes produced for Porsche by Votec in Germany in the late 90s.

Porsche Bike S fork assembly

Even though I'm now on to the Porsche Bike X project, I frequently get questions about my last project, the Porsche Bike S.

I have a scan of the factory Porsche Bike S manual if anyone would like a digital copy, just email me.

I have refurbished the front shocks before and can help explain the process and where to orders parts if needed. My biggest advice is, don't wait until you HAVE TO rebuild the shocks. Once the elastomers break down, the fork is much harder to clean out and rebuild. Refurbish your forks every few years. It's fun and will be a lot easier!

Here are a couple images from the manual.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cool video!

Serious training

Have you ever ridden a stationary bike in your garage for an hour every day for weeks on end. That takes some serious dedication in my book. And that's what I'm doing. It is still snowing outside, one of the biggest years for precipitation in the Truckee Tahoe area, probably ever recorded. So today I'm staying focused and doing one-minute speed repeats with a one minute slow cycle in between. Painful, but sure helps with my speed and endurance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Death Ride registration completed

I'm checking off the 2017 Death Ride bucket list items this week for sure!

The 2004 Porsche Bike X rebuild was finished a couple days ago.

This morning I registered, immediately when the registration opened, for the 2017 Death Ride on July 8.

I also reserved a hotel room a couple miles from the start/finish of the Death Ride.

I'm all set. Now it's time to get serious with the training. I have the bike, hotel room and registration, now I have to get the body ready for the 129 miles of uphill torture!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Admiring the Porsche Bike X

After a lot of effort, now I'm just admiring the Porsche Bike X. The genuine Porsche crest looks great on the black frame. Too bad there's so much snow outside I can't ride this bike yet. I'll get my chance soon.

2004 Porsche Bike X video

2004 Porsche Bike X photos

2004 Porsche Bike X completed!

The 2004 Porsche Bike X transition from hybrid bike to road bike is complete! Only took about a month to make a list of everything needed (including the bike), order, receive and assemble. Now I'm looking forward to riding it!

The Bike X may not look much different in the photos below, but here's a list of what I did to the bike:

- Removed the treaded mountain bike-type tires and replaced with Continental Gatorskin 700cx28 for less weight and better rolling resistance.
- Replaced the brakes with fresh pads.
- Replaced the shock-style seat post with a Syntace P6 aluminum rigid seat post for less weight, better handling and better transmission of power through the bike to the road.
- Replaced the 2004 Italian rubber saddle with a lightweight and ergonomcially designed Ergon SMC4 saddle made in Germany.
- Added German-made Ergon GP5 handlebar grips and bar ends to the stock Syntace aluminum Ecolite handlebar.
- Replaced the mountain bike-type front shock fork with a German Quantec carbon fiber 700c rigid fork for weight savings and lowering the center of gravity.
- Added SKS Slidecage (two) for water bottle and SKS Cagebox accessories.
- And installed a genuine Porsche emblem to the front of the bike.

All included, I probably spent a little over $2,000 on this bike. Not bad considering a new Porsche road bike would cost 4-5 times this amount. I ordered all German parts to retain some of the original character of this 2004 German-made bike. I did look for deals on each part though. I'm a savvy US and German eBay shopper!

So now I have a road bike with great mountain climbing gearing. I am ready for a hard spring training and attempt the Death Ride in July.


Taking the Quantec fork for a drive

With an auto accident up ahead, I snapped this photo while sitting still on the way to the bike shop. I decided against cutting the steerer tube down to size and hammering in the star nut myself. Both require special tools I do not have. So I drove off in the Cayenne S to the bike shop only to get stuck behind a line of cars because a pick up truck overturned on an icy road. Paco's bike shop in Truckee only charged me five dollars to cut the steer tube and pound in the star nut. Not a bad deal. Now I'm heading home to put the bike back together.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Finally! Quantec fork arrived!

While shoveling snow today, the mailman brought a box to the door. The packing slip said it was from Germany and I instantly knew the Quantec 700c carbon fiber fork arrived!

Ripping apart the box, the fork arrived in good shape. Funny thing is the online tracking still shows the fork in San Francisco US customs. Odd. But I'm not complaining.

I ordered this fork sight unseen. I needed a German fork to complete the transition of the German-made 2004 Porsche Bike X from a hybrid bike to a road bike. This is the last piece needed. I ordered it with the specs I could find on this 2004 bike. So when it arrived today, I quickly pulled it out of the box and checked all the dimensions. So far it looks like it will fit the Bike X.

Tomorrow I plan to cut the steerer tube to fit, grease everything up and install all the bearings, handle bars and brakes and see if everything will work together.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Too much snow...

Death Ride training and 2004 Porsche Bike X rebuild had to both be put on hold the last few days. Truckee was hit by a massive winter storm that caused flooding and power outages. I lost power for over 24 hours and spent nearly 20 hours shoveling snow the last 7 days. Is snow shoveling good Death Ride training? I think so! I had some snow shoveling motivation in the form of a periodic shots of Jaegermeister.

The weather appears to have delayed the arrival of the Quantec 700c carbon fiber rigid fork I ordered from Germany too. It was supposed to arrive today. That didn't happen. Hopefully it makes it this week.

The weather is supposed to improve this weekend. So I'll be back on the bike. I hope.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Porsche Bike X bearing rebuild

While I had the headset apart on the 2004 Porsche Bike X, waiting for the new fork to arrive, I decided to take the steerer tube bearings apart, clean and repack with grease. This will make for some smooth steering.

Preparing the Porsche Bike X for the new carbon fiber fork

With the new German Quantec 700c rigid carbon fork scheduled to arrive this Wednesday, I decided to proactively disassemble the front end of the 2004 Porsche Bile X. On my rack, I took off the front wheel, brakes and handlebar.

With all this apart, I cleaned the steerer tube including the bearings in the top and bottom of the tube. The bearings were not very dirty, but this is the best time to do this work. Now everything is ready for the fork to arrive and reassemble.

This is the last step in the rebuild process. Just add the fork and I'll have fully converted the 2004 Porsche Bike X from a hybrid bicycle to a mountain crushing road bike.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Porsche Bike X gear configuration

Now that all the bits and pieces have arrived, I have completed the set up of all the accessories I plan to use during the Death Ride.

For starters, since I'm riding a 2004 Porsche Bike X in the Death Ride, I figured I should use my genuine Porsche water bottle. It just happens to be black just like the bike. I believe one water bottle will be sufficient since they have frequent rest stops along the Death Ride route. To attach the water bottle, I installed the SKS Slidecage. The Slidecage allows the bottle to be removed from the top as well as from the side. This is handy because I have a limited space to work with because of the other accessories.

Speaking of, next to the water bottle I have installed a SKS Cagebox to the Bike X frame with another SKS Slidecage using the SKS Anywhere straps. Again, the Slidecage is great because of the tight space. The Anywhere straps were needed because that part of the bike frame didn't have any bolt holes. The Cagebox is a water bottle shaped utility container. I easily stuffed a spare bike tube, tire levers, patch kit, allen wrench, screwdriver and air nozzle adaptor into the Cagebox.

Everything fits nicely. The Porsche Bike X accessories are ready for the Death Ride.

Porsche Bike X

The 2004 Porsche Bike X

Friday, January 6, 2017

Quantec fork on the way

The Quantec 700c Carbon Canti Cross Fork I ordered is making it's long and slow trip from Germany. I just received the following text message:

Processed thru Facility 01/06/2017 2:34am ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS) Reply HELP 4 help-STOP to cancel
Expected Delivery Day: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Reply HELP 4 help-STOP to cancel

I love tracking my orders. It's like monitoring Santa Claus on Christmas Eve!

The carbon fork is one of the last two parts yet to arrive that will complete the 2004 Porsche Bike X transition from a hybrid bike (half road bike, half mountain bike) to a full road bike specifically built for mountain climbing. This fork is critical to reducing the overall bike weight and lowering the center of gravity.

The other part last to arrive is the SKS Anywhere bike cage adaptor. The Anywhere is scheduled to arrive about the same day. This simple bike part will allow me to mount the SKS Slidecage and SKS Cagebox on the inside bike frame and keep it away from rubbing on the front tire (where I had installed it previously). The Anywhere will take minutes to install.

The Quantec 700c Carbon Canti Cross Fork is another story. I need to take the Bike X apart including the handlebars, front brakes, front wheel and of course the current shock fork. The new Quantec fork will be measured so I can cut the steerer tube to size for this bike. Then I get to reinstall all the parts back on. This entire process could take a day or over a weekend.

I can't wait to share the results.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New saddle for the Porsche Bike X

As I continue the work to change the Porsche Bike X from a hybrid bicycle into a mountain climbing road bike, the next step was to replace the saddle. The 2004 Bike X originally came with an Italian touring-style seat (left in photo).

Since the 129-mile Death Ride requires a lot of seat time, I opted to install the Ergon SMC4 bike saddle. The SMC4 is actually a mountain bike seat, which I selected specifically for its comfort over the long and slow ride uphill for hours on end.

The Ergon saddle is designed by a German company specializing in ergonomic bike products. I just love the Ergon bike handle bar grips I installed last week. So I am confident this seat will provide comfort over the many miles I have planned in 2017. And it looks great attached to the Syntace P6 seat post (lower photo).

Recovery week

Last week was a week to forget. Got a flat tire on the Bike X and crashed the Bike S. And in two consecutive days. This week I’m back on the...