Saturday, September 25, 2010

Its The Little Things - Shawnee Trail Bike & Performance Coating

The backpacking, bikepacking & mountain biking community is filled with good people. One of the people I've had the pleasure of meeting in the mountain biking community is RD Dale (crazy8 on from Shawnee Trail Bike & Performance Coating. I can't say enough about RD as a person and his products & services are top notch. We met when I started searching for a unique crank set for my new single speed build. I'm currently riding a set of XTR960 cranks that RD modified for single speed riding and love them. My set is polished only but you can see on RD's website that there are a lot of ceramic coating options available. In my opinion, these cranks dead sexy after getting the Shimano branding off of them. Another nice benefit is that the cranks are recycled (pun intended) from the crowd that needs the latest and greatest Shimano gear and leave behind perfectly good cranks for the landfill. You can see in the photo below I don't baby my drivetrain. Its there to push me up, down, over or through what I want. If it breaks, that's weakness leaving my kit. ;)

I also run gears that were cut by Homebrewed Components and then coated by RD at Shawnee. These gears are single speed specific, light without sacrificing durability and just as important as all of that, they're made by a cottage industry builder. I'm particularly impressed with my two-piece cog. It has an aluminum base (coated in green to fit with my Irish motif) with a titanium ring rivited to the base. Lightweight and endlessly durable. The photo below is of the gear after roughly 500 miles of nasty trail. Impressive.

Last, but not least, I asked RD if he'd help me out with my tent stakes. You'll find several brands of UL stakes on the market with orange paint on the top to help with visibility. The paint is needed because its easy to lose the small ti UL stakes in the leaves. Unfortunately for me, my mild red-green color blindness dulls the contrast of orange paint in leaves and pine straw. I had RD coat the stakes in yellow and its a HUGE difference. Its unlikely I'll ever mistakenly misplace one of these babies... they practically glow in the dark!


  1. When you really get into something it is the little things that you start to enjoy the most.