Friday, January 28, 2011

UBI certified advanced suspension seminar day 3

Today was my final day at United Bicycle Institute and my final night at the Cycle Hostel! It's been a long 3 weeks.
Today we focused on the design of full suspension frames and we overhauled a few rear shocks. We learned the history and the design of all of the full suspension components. At the end of the day we took our certification test and had a graduation ceremony.
The overall experience at UBI was excellent. I highly recommend coming here if you want to expand your knowledge and learn every aspect of the bicycle. The instructors here are top notch and easy to learn from. The state-of-the-art facilities provide an excellent learning environment and the tools and materials are amazing. Its easy to see why this is the most respected technical school in the bike industry.
Now I get to look forward to my 4 hour layover in the Atlanta airport tomorrow.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UBI certified advanced suspension seminar day 2

Today we focused on suspension tuning and set-up. We learned how to set and measure sag and we also overhauled more forks. Later we discussed shock oils and how to properly offer suspension services in the shop(your welcome customers). We overhauled a few forks including a Rock Shox Sid World Cup, Rock Shox Boxxer, Manitou Drake etc. Tomorrow is my final day of class at UBI and I'm definitely ready to go home.
Pictured above is the new Santa Cruz V10 carbon. Its pretty cool to finally see a carbon downhill frame (at least the front triangle). This frame isn't available to the public yet but one of our instructors Nathan Riddle ( is a pro downhill racer and got a few Santa Cruz frames shipped to him today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

UBI certified advanced suspension seminar day 1

Today was the 1st day of the advanced suspension class. It was by far the most interesting day at UBI so far. We focused on forks today.
We did a few fork overhauls, servicing, inspecting and focused on each individual part and its function. The school has a ton of different forks and parts with cutaways so that we could see the parts in action.
There was a ton of discussion about suspension history, fork design, damping, compression, rebound, lockouts, springs, spring rates, oils etc.
We messed with all the gizmo's and gadgets and did more procedures like removing and installing bushings. Above is a Fox Vanilla 125 RLC fork that everybody had to overhaul.

Above is a Rock Shox Pike that everybody had to overhaul.

Some drawings to explain damping and different damping systems.

Above is a cart with plenty more forks we have to overhaul.

Above are frames they will use to show us the different rear suspension links.

Above are the different generations of the Rock Shox Boxxer forks.(except for the White Brothers inverted fork on the right)

Above is a Specialized fork with a cool cutaway to show us the internals in action.

Sometimes you need 9 Rock Shox Boxxer forks for the class to overhaul.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

UBI DT Swiss advanced wheel building day 2

Today was the second and final day of the advanced wheel building class. Basically we laced our wheels and built the up true and tensioned. About an hour later I put both my wheels in the stand and had them within 0.05 mm's, good enough for me.

Later today we will be taking a written test to finish the certification process. Other than that there isn't too much to report. Tomorrow we start the advanced suspension course and wrap things up on Friday.
Pictured below is a photo I took on my hike today on the Lithia Park trail following Ashland Creek.

Monday, January 24, 2011

UBI DT Swiss advanced wheel building day 1

Today was day 1 of the UBI/DT Swiss advanced wheel building certification class. The class is 2 days of focusing on the most advanced aspects of wheel building. The goal is to start you on the right path to becoming a master wheel builder. We spent 8 hours discussing every aspect of the bicycle wheel and building the wheel.
We talked wheel design, numbers of spokes in the wheel, lacing patterns, wheel truing, dishing, tension, stress relieving, wheel symmetry, wheel dynamics, stress loads, hubs, spokes, nipples, rims, spoke length calculations, various wheel building tools etc.
We spent day 2 of the pro mechanics class building wheels but this time we went into way more detail and the standards are set higher. Pictured above is the truing stand they use to judge our wheels. It's gauge measures within 0.01 millimeter's, that's 10 times better than the human eye. Quite accurate if you ask me. To pass this course you must build a wheelset within the strict tolerances and within the deadline given.

Pictured above are the components we will use tomorrow in our build. Since the class is a DT Swiss certification class we will be using their parts. We had the option of building the general stock wheel set or choosing our own parts and purchasing the wheels to take home. I'll be building a stock set since I don't feel like paying to fly home with a set.

Pictured above are our hub options to build with.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Off day hike

Today we no class and nothing to do so a few of us went hiking in the mountains for a few hours. The views were pretty cool so I took some pictures with my phone.

Theres cougars in them thar hills!

Friday, January 21, 2011

UBI day 10

Today was the final day of the Professional Repair and Shop Operation class. We spent the first 4 hours discussing how to do repair tickets and repair operations at a shop. After that we took our 100 question test. After the test we had a small graduation ceremony (they served brownies) and got our completion certificates. The test will get graded and then they will mail out the advanced certificates.
80 hours of class we get our piece of paper! That is if you can do everything to the bicycle industry's highest standards.
The final night of the class included most of the class running around to the bars of Ashland drinking, raising hell and having a merry time.
Next week I'm taking the DT Swiss/UBI advanced wheel building course and the UBI advanced suspension course.