The Pine Mtn. Blog


Santa Cruz Chameleon Singlespeed Conversion

Raise your hand if you love the simplicity and joy of riding a singlespeed mountain bike?! There’s nothing like the look of a stripped down bicycle with all of the extra cogs and derailleurs and cables removed. And there’s quite a few of us that love the added challenge that a mountain bike with only one gear can present.

We’ve got a lot of singlespeed fans and owners here at the shop, and our service department always gets a little excited when a customer rolls a singlespeed conversion project up to the counter. Almost any mountain bike can be made into a singlespeed, and one of the most popular starting points at Pine Mountain Sports is the Santa Cruz Chameleon. The Chameleon is super-versatile with the option of 29er or 27-plus wheels. The frame features swinging dropouts that give you the ability to fine tune chain stay length, and while that feature is mainly for geared use, there’s 15mm of adjustment there. It’s these adjustable rear dropouts that encourage Chameleon owners to easily convert from geared trail charger to singlespeed play bike and back. Santa Cruz does not offer a complete Chameleon with only one gear, but any new Chameleon can be ridden at the next Single Speed World Championships with a few easy steps…

 

Our Santa Cruz Chameleon converted to a single speed. In this photo it’s currently at 34T/20T.

 

The Santa Cruz Chameleon frame and complete bikes are offered in either aluminum or carbon, and both options feature singlepeed-friendly dropouts. In these photos we started with Henry’s Chameleon Carbon C with the SE build kit and 29-inch wheels. We removed the stock cassette, rear derailleur, shifter and shift cable. We’ll use the original narrow-wide front chainring and since this bike will become a dedicated SS, we went ahead and shortened the 12-speed chain.

The only new part you’ll need to buy is a singlespeed conversion kit for the SRAM XD-driver equipped rear wheel on the Chameleon. Our favorite is the Problem Solvers Zinger (Your shop can order it via QBP# HU0952). This $79 kit includes both an 18T and 20T cog, which works for most of us. Need another size? Problem Solvers also offers Zinger cogs in sizes 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22T. These are proprietary so, for example, your Surly cogs won’t work with this bolt-on-style kit.

We opted to use the stock rear dropouts in order to keep this conversion easy and inexpensive…

Santa Cruz offers a Singlespeed Dropout Kit for the Chameleon, one for 27.5+ and one for 29er wheels. The difference between the Singlespeed Dropouts and the stock geared dropouts is that the rear hub spacing is changed from 148/Boost rear spacing to 142mm rear spacing. The switch to 142mm spacing with the SS dropouts would let you use some singlespeed-specific rear hubs. But that also requires a whole new singlespeed-specific rear wheel, which is not inexpensive. Fortunately, with the Problem Solvers Zinger kit, we can use our stock rear wheel and our existing dropouts!

The one other difference with the Santa Cruz Singlespeed Dropout Kit is that the drive-side dropout looks cleaner because it doesn’t have a derailleur hanger on it. We fixed that with a hacksaw and a file. More on that in a moment…

 

Our rear hub with the Problem Solvers Zinger kit installed. You can see where we’ve cut off the rear derailleur hanger and Sharpied it.

 

Step One: Remove the stock cassette, rear derailleur, shifter and shift cable. We’re done with those forever! Or until you decide that you miss having gears. If you think that you’ll likely return to having gears on this bike then we recommend saving your 12-speed chain for later and not shortening it for this singlespeed setup. The Chameleon makes it easy to go from SS to geared if you keep the existing chain (with a quick link), cassette, derailleur, and shifter (with cable and housing still attached) all together in a little bin. Label it with “SSWC” to make it easy to dig out once a year.

Step Two: Install the Zinger kit on your rear hub per the instructions. You’ll need to do a bit of eyeballing to arrange the spacers and rear cog for a near-perfect chainline. The Zinger kit includes two 1mm, two 2.5mm and two 5mm spacers. In our case we wound up with 7.5mm of spacers on the inside, and 9.5mm on the outside of the cog. Your results may vary.

Step Three: Get familiar with how to adjust your Chameleon rear dropouts. If your bike came with gears, you’ve probably never had to mess with the dropouts until now. Santa Cruz has a great Tech Video here that will show you everything you need to know. Make sure to watch it! Again, we opted to use our stock dropouts to save the expense of buying new ones and having to replace our rear wheel.

Step Four: You’ll need a chain. We didn’t plan on saving our stock 12-speed chain, so we shortened it. It’s been working fine with the front chainring and Zinger cog. You could also use any chain that’s made for 3/32″ cogs. If you decide to cut your original chain you’ll do that next…

Step Five: You’ve got everything you need to go ahead and adjust your chainline, your chain length, and your chain tension. Take your time, and pay careful attention to chain tension.

Step Six: These next steps are simply cosmetic items… One you have a fully functioning singlespeed, and have ridden it enough that you are ready to commit, you may want to cut off the rear derailleur hanger. Do you have to? Nope. But if you’re looking to make your single speed conversion clean (and permanent) it’s easy to trim off the derailleur hanger. Look closely and there’s a natural curve/line on the dropout which is a good cutting path to follow. We used a hacksaw to take off the most of it, and then used a file to smooth it out. A bit of touch-up black paint is totally pro, although we simply used a Sharpie (see pic). These dropouts are available individually, so you can always change your mind. Note that each of the Chameleon dropout options are specific to either 29er or 27.5+.

Step Seven: After removing the rear derailleur cable housing from the frame, we replaced the original cable stop with a blank port. On the left side of the top tube, near the head tube, you’ll see that the Santa Cruz Chameleon cable stops can be swapped out to cover the hole. If you’re lucky, you got one with your new Chameleon and didn’t throw it away. If you need another you can get one from Santa Cruz. Though it doesn’t look like it in the pic, this kit includes one blank port..

Step Eight: One of the many joys of riding a singlespeed is that chain slap is not a thing (after using the larger 34T ring). With that in mind we removed the rubber chainstay protector from our Chameleon frame. These are not glued on and are easily removed (and snapped back in place if you change your mind).

That’s it! An upside of going single is that we shaved some weight off of our Chameleon. Not a lot, according to the scale, but the end result is so much cleaner looking! And we’ve come away with a Chameleon trail bike that we think is even more unique and fun to ride. We’ve had lots of interest from Chameleon customers about removing the derailleurs from the bikes, and wanted to show that with the Zinger kit, it’s actually much simpler and less expensive than you might think. Happy singlespeeding!

Got questions about this blog post? Email Henry@PineMountainSports.com


2020 Powderhound Preview

This November brings us the 21st annual Powderhound Preview & Fundraiser!

Pine Mountain Sports has been presenting our locally produced welcome to winter film festival since we opened shop in 2000. As you can imagine, 2020 is going to keep us from hosting our usual party at the Tower Theatre, but we’re still dedicated to sharing some of our favorite Powderhound films from years past. As always our goal is to spread some winter stoke and raising some money for a deserving non-profit!

Mark your calendar for Wed Nov 18 at 7P. We’ll be broadcasting from an empty Tower Theatre and sharing some of our favorite Powderhound content on-line right here at PineMountainSports.com/Powderhound

Instead of purchasing your tickets this year, we ask that you visit Saving-Grace.org/Pine and make a donation of $12 or more right now. All shows are in HD, so we highly recommend watching these on your big screen and not your phone…

 

Our 21st Annual Powderhound Preview & Fundraiser airs over 5 nights right here…

Episode 1: Wed Nov 18, 7P – WATCH NOW!

Episode 2: Thu Nov 19, 7P – WATCH NOW!

Episode 3: Fri Nov 20, 7P – WATCH NOW!

Episode 4: Sat Nov 21, 7P – WATCH NOW!

Episode 5: Sun Nov 22, 7P – WATCH NOW!

Please visit Saving-Grace.org/Pine and make a donation of $12 or more right now.

 


Need A Helmet? Use Your Head…

At Pine Mountain Sports we have a wall of mountain bike helmets to choose from, and a friendly staff that’s well-versed in helmet fitting. We currently stock 38 models and sizes of mountain bike helmets, ranging from $65 to $320. If you’re using your head, you’ll quickly realize that finding your perfect helmet at Pine Mountain Sports is a real no-brainer.

 


Juliana Raffle for Saving Grace

Pine Mountain Sports is helping to raise money for Saving Grace by donating a $6,000 Juliana Furtado mountain bike to be raffled off! Part of the fundraising efforts of the Pine Mountain Sports Community Ambassador Program, every dollar collected from this raffle goes directly to Saving Grace.

For over 40 years, Saving Grace has provided essential services for those experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault in Central Oregon. Saving Grace has a confidential emergency shelter and a 24-hour helpline. Additionally, they provide counseling, court and legal advocacy, and a safe and supervised visitation center for parents and children.

Raffle tickets go on sale on Wed Jul 1, and are available on-line only, exclusively from the Saving Grace website.

Every $10 raffle ticket gets you a chance to win a $6,000 Juliana Furtado built up just for you by Pine Mountain Sports! This is the all new lower-link driven Furtado frame with 130mm of rear travel, a 140mm Rock Shox Pike Fork, 27.5″ wheels, and the 12-spd Shimano XT build with a 10-51T cassette. The Juliana Furtado is THE perfect all-around mountain bike for hitting the trails in Central Oregon. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold.

JULY 6 UPDATE:  THANK YOU! ALL RAFFLE TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT! THIS RAFFLE IS JUST A SMALL PART OF OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL. PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING THAT $10 TO SAVING GRACE BY CLICKING HERE.

The winning ticket will be drawn at 9:30A at Pine Mountain Sports on Mon Aug 17, 2020. The winner receives the all new, 2020 Juliana Furtado XT Carbon C mountain bike, in the Spicy Redwood color, and in the size of their choice. Winner need not be present to win, but must take final delivery of their new bike in person at Pine Mountain Sports. No exceptions. Winner will be responsible for any taxes related to prize winnings. Questions? Contact henry@pinemountainsports.com

This could be you! Saving Grace is raffling off a new Juliana Furtado…


2020 Community Ambassador Program

Saving Grace provides resources for those experiencing domestic violence in Central Oregon.

We’re more resolved than ever in announcing Saving Grace as the beneficiary of our 2020 Community Ambassador Program!

2020 is proving to be a very difficult year for all of us. Covid-19 is affecting our economic and social lives in so many ways that many of us are feeling overwhelmed. It would seem reasonable to simply wait this one out.

Why is Pine Mountain Sports looking to support this specific nonprofit in the middle of a pandemic? Social distancing, unemployment, and stay at home orders affect all of us, but are devastating for those in abusive relationships.

For over 40 years, Saving Grace has provided essential services for those experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault in Central Oregon including confidential emergency shelter and a 24-hour helpline.

Additionally, they provide counseling, court and legal advocacy, and a safe and supervised visitation center for parents and children.

How can we make a difference today in the lives of our neighbors who are finding themselves in an abusive situation? Please continue to provide life-saving resources by making a donation today directly to Saving Grace.

Whether you give $20, or choose to become a Community Ambassador by giving $500 you can DONATE directly to Saving Grace today by clicking HERE.

Thank you for supporting our Pine Mountain Sports Community Ambassador Program!

Get some! Give some.

Sincerely,

Our Family at Pine Mountain Sports


Q & A with COAA Pro Observer Aaron Hartz

Pine Mountain Sports and our customers are fortunate to have an active and growing avalanche center that’s based right here in Bend, Oregon! We’re one of many local businesses and retailers that work to support our Central Oregon Avalanche Center. We work with our friend and COAA Pro Observer Aaron Hartz in a few different ways… In addition to being an active Pro Observer, Aaron is a guide with Timberline Mountain Guides (aka Oregon Ski Guides). Oregon Ski Guides lead our very popular Begin To Skin: BC 101 Guided Outings. Aaron is also an exceptional Ortovox Brand Ambassador, and we’re stoked to have him always representing Ortovox and giving us feedback on the BC gear that we carry.

Recently Aaron did some Q & A with Central Oregon Avalanche Center on exactly what it is that he does for all of us that venture into the Central Oregon backcountry during the winter…

 

Q & A with Pro Observer Aaron Hartz:

Q: Hometown?
A:
Grew up between Monmouth and Dallas, Oregon in the Willamette Valley.

Q: What is a typical Pro Observer/ski guide day like? 
A: I usually get up early so I can be at my computer by 6am. I check the weather station on Moon Mountain as well as Mt Bachelor for overnight conditions. I also have a couple of other weather models I look at. Following that, I read reports from the COAC website, professional as well as from the community, to get an idea on what is happening in our area. I then put together my own avalanche forecast and trip plan. Next up is the morning meeting with the other guides that will be touring with me. We post our morning meeting notes on InfoX. InfoX is a professional information sharing platform that ski guides, ski areas, and depending on where you live, highway operations use to keep track of what is happening in our region. Next I pack my ski bag and head out to the trailhead with the snowmobiles.

If I’m guiding, I’m not usually performing professional observations for COAC although I’m keeping an eye on conditions, since they can change throughout the day. If I’m on a professional observation tour for COAC I usually make multiple weather observations (wind direction, speed, precipitation, any red flags, etc.), try and find natural avalanche areas, maybe dig a snow pit to see what is happening with the snowpack in my immediate area. When I’m in the pit, I look for suspected weak layers and document what I find so I can post it to the COAC and InfoX websites later that evening.

Once the tour is complete, it’s back to the snowmobiles and parking lot (unless I find some really good snow to ski, in which case I might stay out a little longer!). I’m usually home by 5pm or so. The next task is to write up my notes to share at the end of day meeting and a final post to InfoX/COAC websites to share what I have learned. Some days don’t end until 9pm or so.

Q: How did you get involved in skiing?
A:
 I started skiing when I was 10 years old when my aunt and uncle took my brother and me down to Lassen National Park Ski Area. As a teenager, most weekends were spent at Hoodoo, Mt Hood Ski Bowl, or Mt Bachelor. When I started college, I’d ski at Mt Hood Ski Bowl every weekend. I would crash in my buddy’s dorm room at George Fox University. Night skiing on Tuesday nights was only $5 back in the mid 90s! We would lap the upper bowl over and over again. Mt Hood Ski Bowl has some of the best lift served steep terrain in the NW.

Q: Did you go to college?
A:
 I graduated from Oregon State University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. I earned two Master’s degrees, one in Oceanography in 2003 and one in Biology in 2010.

Q: What is your level of avalanche training?
A:
 I have my Level 3, which I completed through the American Avalanche Institute in Jackson, WY. (Level 3 is no longer available; the Level 3 is essentially a Pro 2 these days).

Q: How and why did you get involved in the backcountry skiing industry?
A:
 I have always loved to ski (I’m obsessed with it really!) and just kept pursuing the education and training that I thought was necessary. My first industry job was with Timberline Mountain Guides. I also guide rock climbing at Smith and Mt. Hood summit climbers in the off season. I enjoy teaching people about travelling in the backcountry. Working as a professional guide allows me to use my interest in science to observe and understand snow characteristics and share that knowledge with others.

Q: Do you have a mentor or someone that inspires you?
A:
I didn’t really have one until I went to work for Timberline Mountain Guides and Pete Keane. Pete has been a fantastic mentor and friend. It seems like in the early days, I was the trip leader as none of my close friends pursued the backcountry like I did.

Aaron is easy to spot as he’s usually rocking the brightest shades on the skin track!

Q: Why do you serve as a professional observer and as a board member for COAC?
A:
 I truly enjoy building and creating something that benefits my community. I also enjoying sharing knowledge about the areas I have skied.

Q: How many days of skiing do you get in a year?
A:
Over 100, easy!

Q: What do you do in the off season for fun?
A:
I rock climb, hike, and do some alpine climbing. I also do some rock and Mt Hood guiding, and I run a scientific fieldwork company called Hartz Science Explorations where I perform contract scientific field work for various organizations. The past three summers I spent 6 weeks in Greenland performing geology and climate research. I also do some rope access work, which includes bridge and dam inspections for various agencies.

Q: What are your must have items in your ski pack?
A: Multi tool, bag of items to repair boots, bindings, etc., and a tarp in case I have to overnight in the snow. I also carry a substantial first aid kit. As for food, it’s salami, cheese, chocolate, AND, I never leave the house without some kind of gummy bears/worms!

Bundles of thanks to Ortovox for sponsoring Aaron as a COAC Pro Observer and ski guide as well as keeping him outfitted in equipment and clothing!

Remember, if there is enough snow to ski, there is enough snow to slide! Make sure you have a beacon, probe and shovel with you and know how to use them. Check out our local course providers, Oregon Ski Guides, Three Sisters Backcountry and COCC for upcoming avalanche course dates. Don’t delay as they fill up quickly!


invisiFRAME Protects Your Investment

Wanna armour and protect your expensive mountain bike frame? Here’s what it looks like when we install invisiFRAME on your new bike.

We strip the frame, including the downtube armour. Clean it. Then use a soapy water solution to carefully place the invisiFRAME decals. A squeegee and some patience gets everything to lay flat and clear. Done right, the whole process can take around 3 or 4 hours. Our invisiFRAME kits are custom made for individual frames and specific sizes so that everything is tight and your frame perfectly protected…

invisiFRAME kits are custom made for individual frames and your specific sizes of frame. Yes, there are a LOT of kits!

On a Santa Cruz frame we remove the armour so that the invisiFRAME extends underneath it. Then it goes back on.

A good eye, and the experience from doing it many times helps. But patience is the most important part of the install.

A squeegee and some patience gets everything to lay flat and clear.

invisiFRAME kits are custom and it’s pretty seldom that we ever need to reach for the scissors.

Done right, the whole process can take around 3 or 4 hours. And the results are impressive!

Not how the pieces mate up, and in most cases the invisiFRAME is installed underneath any frame armour.

When fresh, invisiFRAME is nearly invisible. We had to search for the right light to get our photos of the edges.

This Hightower is fully protected and the details of where the pieces wrap and match up is sweet looking!

Pine Mountain Sports is an invisiFRAME dealer and fitter. Kits range in cost from $100-$125 and installation is $220 for a new bike and $250 for a ridden bike. How well does it work? We’ve started fitting most of our high end demo bikes with invisiFRAME at the beginning of the season and after a really long summer of demos and shuttles the frames and bits (invisiFRAME also offers armour kits for specific forks and cranks) stay looking nearly new. The invisiFRAME can start to look a bit ragged, but when you peel it off there’s a near-perfect (save for the biggest rock strikes) frame hiding underneath. Two thumbs up! Ask our service department for details.


We (Heart) Trail Ambassadors

Pine Mountain Sports is committed to the Central Oregon outdoor community and is proud of our decade-old Trail Ambassador Program

While most bicycle shops in town sponsor a cycling team, Pine Mountain Sports chooses to empower riders who share our goal of giving back and actively making a difference in our outdoor community.

In place of matching cycling kits and racing bikes, our team of Pine Mountain Sports Trail Ambassadors is supplied with extra tubes, tools, current trail info, 1st aid kits, and trail knowledge that they share with any trail users in need.

Our small army of Trail Ambassadors can be found leading our group MTB rides, spreading Trail Love, teaching riding and maintenance clinics for new riders, and volunteering at trail work events and fundraisers for Central Oregon Trail Alliance and our outdoor community. Yes, some of our ambassadors race as well, but our goal is to assemble an effective team of individuals who are focusing their time (and our resources) on maintaining the trails and other trail users.

Potential ambassadors are largely identified by their peers. They share a commitment to enhancing every trail user’s experience by their long standing commitment to the Central Oregon cycling community, and by their countless hours of volunteer trail work. If you see someone wearing this Trail Ambassador patch, make sure and say hello and give them a high-five.

This is a recent photograph (below) of the pack belonging to Jeff Newman. Jeff is still sporting one of our original Trail Ambassador patches as he’s been doing his part for Central Oregon trail users since the very beginning.

Thanks, Jeff!

The well-used pack and Trail Ambassador patch of Jeff Newman.


Megatower Raffle For CYFC

Pine Mountain Sports is raising money for Cascade Youth & Family Center by raffling off a $10,000 Santa Cruz Megatower mountain bike with Shimano XTR build kit and Reserve carbon wheels! Part of the fundraising efforts of the Pine Mountain Sports Community Ambassador Program, every dollar collected from this raffle will be given directly to CYFC.

What’s radder and badder than giving dollars to Cascade Youth & Family Center? How about giving dollars to Cascade Youth & Family Center AND getting rewarded with a raffle ticket chance to win a $10,000, Megatower built up just for you by Pine Mountain Sports! With 160mm of travel, 29er Reserve wheels, and a full XTR build – this monster Megatower is THE ultimate machine for hitting the gnarliest trails in Oregon. For every $10 raffle ticket you buy, you’ll be entered to win!

Raffle tickets are only $10 each, and can be purchased in person at Pine Mountain Sports. Every dollar goes to Cascade Youth & Family Center!

The winning ticket will be drawn at 8PM at COTA Movie Night @ McMenamins on Thu Oct 17, 2019. The winner receives an XTR Santa Cruz Megatower mountain bike in the size of their choice. Winner need not be present to win, but must take final delivery of their new bike in person at Pine Mountain Sports. No exceptions. Questions? Contact info@pinemountainsports.com


Cycling & Ski Manufacturers Based in Bend…

Ben Farver of Argonaut Cycles…

As a bicycle and ski retailer that’s staffed year-round by around 25 residents of Bend, Oregon we’ve long been proponents of shopping and spending our outdoor recreation dollars locally. We think we’re all aware of the dramatic impact that shopping and spending locally has on our economy and everybody that lives here.

From buying groceries at our local farmers markets and locally-owned grocery stores to giving our local retailers an opportunity to earn our (otherwise) on-line shopping business to moving all of our banking to a local credit union – there are many things we can do to keep our hard earned dollars in Bend.

At Pine Mountain Sports we seek out amazing vendors who provide us with the best bike and ski products from all over the world. And, more and more, we’re incredibly excited at the number of bicycle and ski hard-goods vendors we buy from who are based right here in Bend, Oregon!

When we all buy our new gear from these businesses (and via a local retailer) then we’re greatly magnifying the impact that our cycling and skiing dollars have on our economy.

Here’s a list of cycling and ski companies that we encourage you to consider when making your next purchase. When we support these local manufacturers via our local retailers we are investing in our community on many levels…

Argonaut Cycles

Robert Axle Project

Spurcycle

Abbey Bike Tools

SnoPlanks

Hope Technology USA

Knight Composites

CushCore

Fatback Bikes

Terrain Control Industries

Project 321

Know of a Bend based Cycling or Ski manufacturer that we’re missing? Please send your suggestions to Henry@PineMountainSports.com