Category Archives: OUTDOORS

Michelin Country Rock Tires versus Generic Knobbies


Today I’m going to compare the Michelin Country Rock bike tires (Amazon) to some generic knobbies that I had on my single speed bike.  The results on asphalt are quite impressive, and the video below should illustrate why those who use their bikes for mostly city riding should really consider getting a pair:

After analyzing the video, it’s quite impressive to see how much faster these tires are.  They don’t look too skinny on my bike either.  If you’re wondering what you’ll get when you order a pair from Amazon, check out the unboxing video after the “read more” link thing. Read more »

Single Speed Mountain Bike Upgrades

Orange single speed chain

Best looking chain I’ve ever had!  (new wheels not yet installed)

My main project these days has been attempting to motorize my wooden MountainBeest.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get it working (or didn’t try hard enough) using a chain drive, even after upgrading the drivetrain to the sweet wider single speed chain seen on my bike above.  I’ve got another solution though, so definitely check back to see it in action.

Fortunately, I happen to own a custom single speed bike that could also use it.  Check out this post to see my original conversion from a “normal” mountain bike to a lean single speed.

Below is a video of me changing the chain out.  Note that I decided to remove the outer ring on the crank, as it looked possible that the wider chain could rub on it.  Why hide such a great looking chain?  Also note that you may need a slightly wider-than-normal chain tool to work with this wider chain.  One of mine worked, but it had a piece broken off that allowed it to fit.  I think it would have worked eventually, but would have taken some finagling to get things correct.

Since this upgrade was “free,” I also decided to splurge on a set of new street(ish) Michelin “country rock” tires and some fairly cheap “Top Cabin” bar grips.  Although the grips probably not the best you can buy, they are pretty good, and are much more comfortable that the grips I’d been using.  The former grips were literally made out of a tree, and Read more »

Build Your own Custom Multi-tool


While perusing Hackaday a week or so ago, I saw this excellent custom multi-tool that included a USB drive, (traditional) keys, a few selected Allen keys, and, of course, screwdrivers.  Naturally, I felt I needed one, and after some thought, realized that I already had all the elements needed to make one: a Kikkerland 6-in-1 Hex Set and a worn out promotional multi-tool.

As seen in the video below, the first step was to disassemble both tools.  The Kikkerland set was quite easy, requiring only a hex key to non-destructively disassemble the frame.  The multi-tool required more “violent” means to get at the knife, can opener, and screwdrivers.

My tool configuration is meant to use primarily when mountain biking, and should fit my needs pretty well.  My only slight fear is that if something like this was kept in a pants pocket, the knife could come open and injure the user.  I suppose that’s possible with any multi-tool, but something to think about with something homemade like this.

I’ve got too many keys to use in a configuration like this, but for a more general-purpose tool, one of these USB drive keys would make an excellent addition.