Virgin Bike Questions

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Virgin Bike Questions

Postby tevo » Fri May 14, 2010 4:48 am

Hello everyone, this will be my first burn and I was hoping to get some input on bikes that I haven't been able to find concisely answered in the other posts.

My situation is this--when I go I'll be living and traveling fulltime in an RV, so I'll basically be bringing my home with me. I have a Trek Navigator bike I keep with me, and I keep hearing everyone say to get a junker to ride on the playa.

My problem is I don't have a home base to store my good bike, and I don't have room to bring another. Now it's not a $5000 race bike or anything, but I do have $600 or so wrapped up in it, so I don't want to ruin it. But I'm sort of stuck having to bring it.

So my first question is, do you think a full teardown and clean after the burn will be sufficient to prevent any real long term damage? I mean, pull the bottom bracket, pull the cables, all that. Or am I just asking for trouble?

The other question involves tire size. Everyone says have big tires. Would 26 x 1.95 tires be "big enough"? They're not fullblown mountain mudders or anything, but they're not road bike tires either--they're aimed at being able to ride pavement and bike trails, with light offroad use. Do you think they'd be sufficient?

Thanks in advance for any advice, and my apologies if I somehow missed this in my search of old posts.
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Postby Playa Foot » Fri May 14, 2010 5:49 am

Lock the bike, use a dry lube on the chain and cables and clean it after you get off the playa and you should have no problems.
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Postby robotland » Fri May 14, 2010 5:52 am

Yes, and yes.
Playadust is so fine that it will get into EVERYTHING, and so tenacious that it has to be physically removed as opposed to just blown off with an airgun or shop vac. But if you're doing an aggressive cleaning you'll be just fine. I've been bringing a Garage Sale Special to the playa for years, and when I get home I hose it off and spritz it with WD40 but deny it ANY other TLC- Still goin' good. The surface of the playa itself is like dirty cement- Dry and hard, perfectly flat...nearly PERFECT for biking long distances, which, Buddy, you will! Don't make the mistake of taking your eyes off the road for TOO long, or you'll hit a "playa snake" (dust dune) that'll take you down fast. (But there are still places where you can ride with your eyes closed if you dare!)
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Postby LostinReno » Fri May 14, 2010 9:25 am

I also have a Trek Navigator, I took it last year (as it's my only bike and didn't see the need to buy a junker) and it was fine. I did however cover the frame with fake leopard fur and elwire. I tried to cover anywhere it said Trek. I used strips of fabric and wrapped them around the frame (diagonal, like a candy cane) then tied them together with zip ties. It worked pretty well. When I got home I took off the fabric, hosed it off really well, lubed up the chain. I've been riding it ever since and it's as good as new. I did lock it up everywhere we went. People still suck.
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Postby gyre » Fri May 14, 2010 10:33 am

Is there something special about Treks?


Wide and smooth tires are better.
2" will work though.

Bring a good lock.
Abus chain is cutter proof if you want to lock it to the rv.
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Postby LostinReno » Fri May 14, 2010 10:49 am

gyre wrote:Is there something special about Treks?
Wide and smooth tires are better.
2" will work though.
Bring a good lock.
Abus chain is cutter proof if you want to lock it to the rv.


I've had two, they are pretty good bikes. The Navigator is a "comfort bike" It's built more or less like a mountain bike but doesn't put as much strain on your back. Mine came with pretty fat street tires on it. It worked great on the playa last year. It just seems like people are less likely to steal your bike if the brand names are covered up. Plus it's just cooler to have it covered in fur anyways.
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Postby Marscrumbs » Fri May 14, 2010 11:04 am

It won't be destroyed but it will never be the same again.
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Postby LostinReno » Fri May 14, 2010 11:06 am

Marscrumbs wrote:It won't be destroyed but it will never be the same again.

Mines still the same? Oh ok, my tires never really lost the playa patina. I suppose if I armor all them, they might? :lol:
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Postby Mojojita » Fri May 14, 2010 11:28 am

I would pay more attention to the RV "home" than the bike. When you get there, use blue painter's tape on the outside and inside of the RV to tape all window seals shut - I have awakened in my RV with a "playa dune" on my pillow, despite ok seals and closed windows. Also pay attention to any air intake vents that lead into the coach - you may want to rig an extra filter for these.
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Postby tevo » Fri May 14, 2010 1:39 pm

Thanks everyone, for all your responses. At the very least it sounds like a very aggressive cleaning will be in order, which is doable. I'm going to hole up somewhere for a week and clean the RV post-burn so I'll just add it to my list.

And I'm definitely going to do whatever I can to protect my "home", though from what I've read here it sounds like fighting the dust is a losing battle. I'll definitely do the tape suggestion though!

Thanks again!
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Postby shiznicks1 » Tue May 18, 2010 10:48 pm

You def want to prep it before and give it a good cleaning after. My bike last year made it all week. But when the tranny on our 1970 Dodge RV blew on the 5 freeway, we had the brilliant idea to ride our bikes downhill on the shoulder to the next exit about two miles away. It made it down, but the playa dust got the better of it and the crank siezed getting back on. Ended up walking my bike a few miles uphill on the side of the freeway, no fun. Just a little story I wanted to share :) More important than any worries about tires or this or that is your seat, make sure its super comfy or your gooch will hate you by day three.
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Postby LostinReno » Wed May 19, 2010 12:06 pm

shiznicks1 wrote:More important than any worries about tires or this or that is your seat, make sure its super comfy or your gooch will hate you by day three.

I'm still in search of that seat! :D I'm convinced it doesn't exist.
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Postby Boijoy » Wed May 19, 2010 12:41 pm

why would your pooch hate you after three days?
don't forget to floss
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Postby LostinReno » Wed May 19, 2010 12:45 pm

Boijoy wrote:why would your pooch hate you after three days?


My pooch is pissed because he's staying home while I'm having fun at Burning Man.
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