Category Archives: Gear

Sponsor spotlight: Dumonde Tech

One of our new sponsors for the 2015 racing season is Dumonde Tech.  Dumonde tech makes a wide range of lubricants for bicycles and motorsports.  They were founded in Kirkland, WA in 1985 and started with go-kart lube and expanded from there.

Dumonde Tech logo

 

Dumonde Tech provided the Bike Masters racing team with small sample bottles of their regular chain lube as well as their lite chain lube.  I’ve had a chance to try their lite weight version over the last couple of months on both my road and mountain bikes.  It’s worth noting that Dumonde Tech recommends their regular chain lube for mountain biking: muddy, wet, sloppy conditions.  They recommend their lite lube for road biking, or for dry conditions mountain biking.

The instructions that came with both lubricants is the same: clean and dry chain thoroughly, being sure to remove other lubricants and dirt.  Apply the lube to the chain, then wipe off excess until the chain looks dry.  Dumonde Tech’s literature says that their lube will create a plastic coat on the chain, which will both lubricate and protect the chain.

I disregarded the instructions and used the lite lube on both my road bike and my mountain bike.  Then, I started racking up the miles.  Dumonde Tech says to go by the sound of your chain, rather than the look, to know when to reapply the lube.  My road bike went close to 500 miles before I heard a squeak start.  That’s far better than most lubes that I’ve used in the past.

I was surprised how long the lube lasted on my mountain bike chain, as well.  It lasted through two long rides (25+ miles) in the wet, including a full post-ride wash down.  Most other lubes I’ve used would need to be reapplied after one such ride, especially with a wash.  As a matter of fact, I’ve used chain lubricants that wouldn’t even last through one winter ride in the Pacific Northwest.

Dumonde Tech chain lube holds up very well through the miles.  It applies just as easily as any other chain lube, but lasts longer.  I will definitely continue to use their chain lubricants on all of my bikes throughout the remainder of the race season(s) and update my review as needed.

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Initial Impressions Review – Kona Big Kahuna and Race Report – Beezley Burn

Sunday was my first race on my new hardtail, the 2015 Kona Big Kahuna, affectionately referred to as “The Big K” here forward . The Big K is a full carbon hardtail sporting a Fox CTD Evolution series fork with 100mm travel and big 29er wheels. I’ll leave it up to the reader to find the full spec sheet on Kona’s website and won’t regurgitate them all here.

All that matters is that it’s light, stiff, and fast!

Right off the bat I refit the Big K with a 1×10 drivetrain. I’m running a XT Shadow+ rear mech, and a RaceFace 32T narrow-wide front ring. No chain guide at the moment, but I’ve been running 1×10 for a couple years now and haven’t had any problems during cross country races. BigKahuna_RedMonkeyI also pulled the tubes out and converted to tubeless (it came tubeless ready). I’m testing out a pair of Red Monkey grips, too.

My race on Sunday was only my third ride on the Big K, so there is still a bit of fit tuning that I need to do on the bike. However, despite my position being slightly sub-optimal, I can tell that this bike is something special. I set the fork to climb mode to start the race since we had a good stretch down the fire road at the beginning.

BeezleyBurnStartAs soon as the firing gun went off, the bike leapt forward, and I immediately grabbed the wheel of the first place racer. We paced together down the fire road for quite some time, until he looked back and grew weary of me in his slipstream and pulled away. I let him go to conserve some energy for the tougher sections of the course. It wasn’t long before we caught up with the riders who had set off a minute before us. I’ve never caught up with the first group so quickly or easily before.

The race course in Ephrata was a rolling, steep, rocky, dry course. It is completely different type or riding that I’m used to on the West Side of the state. I loved the hardtail for all the climbing sections (there were many), and really loved the 29” wheels for the rocks (there were infinite). I had no complaints with my bike choice through the entire race.

During the second lap, my legs and lungs were screaming as I climbed the forever long middle hill. I kept trying the lever for another gear, but there wasn’t one there. I just had to HTFU and get up the hill. I made it up on the bike (no walking here!) but found that I had some issues keeping traction in the loose rocky soil during the climbs. I think I had too much air in my tires; considering that they are tubeless I think I could run them lower for some grip improvement.

I finished a respectable 4th in my class at the race, and very near if not in the top 10 overall Cat 2 racers. The new bike played a big part in that, efficiently converting legs to speed. I need to tweak the fit just a bit…Once the bike is totally dialed, though, I look forward to racing again and being even more competitive.S_Snider_BeezleyBurn_Ephrata

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