Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WEMS Pitch Black Singletrack 2011

Last Saturday I found myself on the top of the picnic table podium of the WEMS Pitch Black Singletrack three-hour race. Since it was a night race I used two 150 lumen lights, one on the bars and one on my helmet. Unfortunately the helmet light came unplugged on the last lap, making it much harder to see around corners. Next time I'd tape the connections together. After the race I spent some time promoting bacon and beer to the racers going past Checkpoint Victor Bravo Charlie.

Thanks to Josh G for loaning me a light, Coleman for putting on the race, Josh H for making Checkpoint VBC happen, and Heather's bar for hosting the event.

Picture from Dyreson Photography at http://dyresonphotography.smugmug.com/Events/PBST-2011/19226627_FQf2tz#1499792001_9WpCWhm


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Repairing Garmin Edge 205 or 305 Battery Bounce

I have a Garmin Edge 205 that I bought used from a friend. It has worked great for about a year but recently it has been turning off during rides. I looked into this and found out it is a common problem for the Edge that even has a name - "battery bounce". Here are two sites that I found useful:
http://blog.mtbguru.com/2008/11/06/surgery-on-the-garmin-edge-305/
http://www.jimcarson.com/2009/replacing-the-battery-in-a-garmin-edge-305/

It turns out that the problem is that the spring loaded contacts that provide battery power to the main board become weak and no longer contact the board. This means that the device can lose power when bumped. To fix this I could either wire the battery directly to the main board or add a spacer to increase the pressure on the connectors. I decided to add a spacer since it is the easier solution.

The first and most difficult step in fixing the Edge is getting it apart. To do this, I used the back of a small knife to carefully scrape all of the glue out of the seam between the top and bottom of the case. The seam is the line between the black back of the case and the part of the case between the buttons. Don't try to separate the buttons from the gray part of the case. See the above links for pics of the seam.

It took at least half an hour to remove the glue - long enough that I started to have doubts that I was doing it right. Once enough glue was removed it almost fell apart. Don't pry apart the case without removing the glue!


Once the case was open I had a new problem. I needed to unscrew the two small phillips head screws that secure the small board (with the USB port). Unfortunately I only had a #0 phillips and it was too big. I bought a Harbor Freight 33 Piece Precision Screwdriver Set only to find the #00 and #000 wouldn't fit quite right either. I ended up using the smallest flat blade screwdriver bit and it came apart easily.


Once the small board was detached from the case I pulled the rubber grommet off of the USB port. I traced its shape onto a piece of old tube and cut the tracing out with a razor. An X-acto knife would have been useful here but it doesn't have to be that precise anyway.


I placed the new spacer onto the USB port followed by the original one. The original has a slot for the case built into it so I wanted those to line up. I didn't crank the screws all the way down because it seemed like it was deforming the board. Ideally the new spacer probably would have been a little thinner but I didn't have any other material.


I next cleaned the contacts with electronics cleaner. Then I applied silicone adhesive to the seam and reassembled the case. To hold it together I stacked some books on it over night. The Edge is working as usual so at least I didn't break it but I'm going to have to use it on a ride or two without it turning off before I call this a success because the problem was so intermittent.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sights from the 2011 Dakota 5-O

The Dakota Five-O is one of the best races around and not just because of the great singletrack. I've raced it two years in a row and the after party and awards are great. Here are a few of the interesting things I saw this year:

Tall bike powered ice cream churn by the Spearfish Bike Coop.

There are two kinds of Gary Fishers: those that have broken and those that will break. This one's a Hi-Fi.

Smokey the Bear.

The first band - sorry I didn't get their name.

Plenty of beer from Crow Peak Brewery.

Dakota 5-O bottle from Salsa, mug from a Spearfish artist.

Does a Shimano XT SM BB70 Bottom Bracket Work With an XTR M970 Crankset?

Yes. As far as I can tell they are the same except for the color and maybe bearing quality. If you need a bottom bracket Amazon always has good prices.