Z150s – The first ride

I got home from work at 16:10, got changed straight away, sorted out the Camelbak, and was out of the door by 16:30. The first part of the ride is three miles of road climbing, not the best test for 6" forks. I flicked the ETA lever and bounced the forks down a bit, but they didn’t shorten that much. The climb felt slightly harder than usual, but then it was the first time I’d ridden a bike with any suspension for over a month. One at the top of the hill I flicked the ETA off and headed along the cheeky trail which runs along to Combe Down. The forks felt great off-road, nice and smooth, and very stiff. The bike handled differently, but then the forks have an inch more travel than the previous ones, and are another inch longer on top of that. Once I reached the back of the Uni and headed down the hill the forks really showed their benefits, allowing me to descend much quicker than before.

Back down on the canal, the ETA seemed to sort itself out a bit, compressing the forks quite noticeably, and improving the handling no end.

Overall I’m very impressed with the new forks, definitely a worthwhile purchase.

For all the impatient readers, there are even some pictures now: New Z150 forks.

Update: The forks now have a nice stealty black BETD ETA Control Knob thingy. A vast improvement over the bit of bent plastic they are supplied with.

New PC

My new PC arrived this afternoon. Everything is mostly up and running now, however the hardware was sufficiently different enough that it didn’t work perfectly straight off, so after fighting with it for a few hours I eventually reinstalled XP from scratch. It needed doing anyway to be honest, so that’ll give me a fun few days of reinstalling software.

Due to the ongoing PC shenanigans, I’ve not yet given the new forks a proper test ride, hopefully I’ll manage that tomorrow evening. I’ll even try to take some pictures as well.

A forking good time

My new forks were delivered tonight. They are 2003.5 Marzocchi Z150s, with new 2004 lowers. So new in fact that the stickers still have the protective outer on them.

Didn’t take too long to fit them to the bike, the hardest part was getting the brake caliper spaced out correctly. It needed about 7mm of spacers to line everything up, the caliper mount just seems to be a lot further out on this fork.

The only part missing from the fork was the air valve adaptor for the air preload, hopefully that’ll pop through my door in a day or two, failing that, Chain Reaction seem to have them in stock for a few pounds. I also also splashed out on a new ETA control knob from BETD for them.

Technology sucks

My main PC decided to die last night. It was working quite happily at 10pm but was as dead as a Dodo by 7am this morning. It doesn’t appear to be the PSU, as replacing it makes no difference, neither does it appear to be the case as the power button still works (sort of). So it’s either a partially dead motherboard, or a dead CPU.

On the grounds that I can’t be arsed spending ages trying to work out which it is, I’ve ordered a new barebones system to replace it. So that’s an Athlon XP 3000, with motherboard, case, and 512MB RAM on it’s way. At some point I’ll pick up a cheap motherboard and CPU to try to resurrect the old system, but that can wait for another payday.

The computer died with almost perfect timing, as I’ve arranged to buy some second-hand Marzocchi Z150 forks tomorrow night.

Student scum

The students are back again causing chaos. There are a few cars and vans parked randomly at the end of the road, I only just managed to get the car through the gap they’d left.

Even worse is the fact there is a new accomodation block just around the corner which has loads of rooms, and about 2 parking spaces. So naturally it was absolute chaos when everyone arrived at the same time with all their worldy possessions. Despite borrowing the carpark of a nearby factory, there were cars abandoned everywhere, and apparently a traffic warden running around and ticketing them as soon as they parked on the pavement. Luckily I was on the bike when I went past so I could nip down the middle of the road and avoid the jams.

They have spies everywhere

At the LBS last weekend, I was chatting with a couple of the staff about SRAM bits whilst deciding whether to get some new shifters and mech (I didn’t in the end). I mentioned that the only parts they didn’t yet sell were chainsets and bottom brackets, and so they should probably buy Truvativ.

What do I read this morning? SRAM signs Definitive Agreement to purchase Truvativ. I wonder if they’ll pay me a fee for pinching my idea?