Monday, July 06, 2009

Monocog Flight: The Dial-In Begins

I put the bike together yesterday morning before work and rode it home last night. Some things I know right away while others take time to discover. The frame looked tiny out of the box and the wheels looked huge. But the pieces fit and the measurements need not be measured in inches or centimeters, my body knows what has to go where. Butt, hands and feet all know where they should fall.

Out of the box, the bars are too wide for me and my riding, but a pipe-cutter is one of my favored tools. Bar-ends and riser-bars may not be the fashion, but they are what my hands have learned to grab on climbs and twisty trails.

The stock pedals are big and pinned, just what I would have chosen. The saddle is a Rocket, perhaps too shiny, but time will settle that. This morning's rough trail settles the saddle a bit to low, my legs sense it and I stop, inspect, reverse the seat clamp and torque the bolt down with a bit less caution than I had yesterday.

Rough trails always remind me of how much I have to learn. Perhaps that is why I seek them out. Lynyrd Skynyrd and all those 29er enthusiasts are right, "big wheels keep on turning", ruts and roots that would stall a 26er don't even annoy this big wheeled bike. When the bike does stop it, takes more to get it rolling again, a reminder that momentum stopped is what we call inertia.

Enough typing now, I have to get back to the trail.

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson


Robert H said...

That one water bottle going to hold you over on such an epic ride? I'm curious how you are planning on hauling your gear this time around.

Marrock said...

That is one sexy looking bike... and I don't ever want to see it that clean again.

mike said...

Kent -

What gearing do you use for SS offroad riding? I'm playing with a Surly XC right now and it is morphing into a 'fatties fit fine' dirt explorer. Would love to use it for some bike camping in the mountains... Currently I'm running is as a dingled fix - 2 rings and a dingle cog - but its still not low enough with a 40x19 for any serious dirt.

Kent Peterson said...

Robert, the dial-in is just beginning. There is a second set of bottle bosses under the downtube. One downside of being a short fellow is that the little frames don't have a lot of space inside the main triangle. A Salsa Fargo has about a zillion bottle bosses, including a set on the front forks. I'm not sure yet what I'll wind up doing. In '05, I carried as much as 7 liters on the bike in the driest sections.

Kent Peterson said...

Mike, right now I've got it as 32x17, the same gearing Chris Plesko used on his record-setting single speed Tour Divide run this year. I also ran 32x17 gearing on my Monocog in '05, but that bike had 26" wheels and thus was a bit lower of a gear than what I'm running now. Val at Redline hooked me up with a bunch of cogs, so if I want I can swap things out lower or higher. It's still early, but the 17 seems like the best all-rounder gear right now.

fatbob29r said...


CCR performed "proud mary" containing the lyric "big wheel keep on turnin'".

Bike looks great, is it the 15" frame? How do you find the stand over? I've had two 29ers so far 15.5" and 16" stand over was tight @ 5'6" and 30" inseam.

Kent Peterson said...

fatbob29er, yep it's a 15. I'm your size and the standover is fine. And "Big wheels keep on turning" is the opening line of Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" Great rock minds think alike!

Brian said...


The bike looks great! Please let us know if there is anything "we" can do to help.

BTW, how does one train for this type of ride?


Linda said...

What a cool looking bike! Have a blast!

Bob said...

Hi Kent,

Well, with a bike donation you are now officially committed to race/ride. What is your goal this time around? Last time it was to see how long it would take to ride a SS border to border.


Kent Peterson said...


The main goal is always to finish and see what the trail has to teach me this time. But I do have another goal, based on the one big error I made last time around. The clue is here:

Bob said...

Too funny, Kent!

Really, though, I've always thought that one of the frustrating things for racers in this challenge is that if you go from before dawn until dusk it's pretty hard to time your intersections with services.


brad said...


Looking at the set up of your bike, are you competing in the comfort bike or cruiser category for next year? I do love that color though. Man, that is swell.

larry said...


Is your height around 5"6" or so?

Kent Peterson said...


Yep, I'm 5'6" and the Flight is a 15 inch frame. I've got a 30" inseam and I don't think you could be much shorter than me and fit on a 29er.