The Desert Stormer; Test Ride Report!

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Re: The Desert Stormer; Military Markings!

Thanks guys!! I know it's not the usual type of bike you see in a RRBBO so I'm not expecting to place high... your words are encouraging!

Found Objects, the load carrying vest its actually a separate piece from the 1L canteen pouches. That's the beauty of the MOLLE system that you can configure it to the needs. You can attach also 2L canteens or pouches for different types of ammo/grenades/radio/medical stuff, etc. that you can easily carry your gear in. It also gives support to the back when you are carrying a loaded backpack. The vest I got it new on Ebay pretty cheap (like $12), the pouches and canteens I think at a local military surplus store, but they are also available online.

Tomorrow (Sat morning) its the big test ride. I fine tuned the derrailleurs today, the tire pressure, lubed the chain, tightened the headset and prepared some tools, tire pump etc. As I said it won't be an easy spin around the block, I'll take it to some MTB trails so I can also snap some pics (complete, not just parts and closeups as of now) of the bike in its element; I'll hammer it to see if something fails/breaks off!
 
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Re: The Desert Stormer; Military Markings!

Being an old military brat I get a kick out of military issue gear. I have a bunch of military issue clothing and what not . My dad was talking up his (2) 1L canteen hip pack find at walmart for like $9. I thought he would dig the vest a little more. It just didn't cross my mind that it was add on's. Awesome!

I love this build! You look at art and it gets your mind going to places future and past...this is art to me :) Thanks!
It's original and clever...Keep that thinking going.
 
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I won’t post the bike as finished until I make sure it works. I wanted to show you guys some Arizona sun in the pics but Sat morning was overcast; last night the unthinkable happened, a lot of water fell from the sky, what do you guys call that in other States? Oh yeah, rain! :lol:

Because I have a lot of room now to pack stuff I took a nylon jacket, a hat, elbow pads plus 2 full canteens. I got on the bike and my test ride came to a halt in 20 feet! The rear tire was rubbing on the inner frame! Darn, I forgot to tighten down the rear axle…

So back on the bike; the front end feels very light and steers well, the bike has a rear weight bias now with the panniers. On pavement the bike feels nice so I went to look for some trails at South Mountain, about 2 miles from home. First and easy dirt road, I could see that it certainly is a little heavier in the back than a normal MTB with all the stuff on it but it tracks well and is stable. The gear shifting with the outdated components is adequate for my needs. It was the first time for me on a rigid bike off road and the first time riding with desert combat boots (to test for a hiking trip, not bad actually with lots of grip on the pedals with the Vibram soles) so I had to get used to that.

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Surprisingly the rigid front end was not a problem off road, the tire and ergo grips did not pass as much vibration or shock as I though they would. The new tires never skidded, and before long I was riding faster and harder than I thought I would on this bike! I had to remind me of the extra weight in the back and that I didn’t want to smash this thing down before the final pics. Stealthy certainly not, the rear wire handles (under the latches) on the panniers were clanking so I’ll have to install some Velcro to fasten them down when riding, people could hear me coming from 200ft. away.

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Nothing fell off the bike and the panniers and racks held up; I did have to tighten down a couple bolts on them but that was my mistake… hurrying up to finish the bike I used standard nuts instead of nylock ones. I already got some today so the vibration won’t shake them loose; I’ll change them and I will add and extra clamp to support the right side box. I have to clean the grease I put in the seatpost so it wouldn’t seize in the frame; the seat slid down a couple times. I will definitely change to my aluminum flat pedals when I find them, and I have not been able to rivet the dog tag I had engraved to the rear rack. The frame bag worked perfectly and did not bulge out even with the tools and pump inside; in the end all the mods worked well. A nice improvement would be to find lighter aluminum panniers but the military only make them out of steel for durability, even the plastic ones they make are very heavy due to the amount of material they use for strength. Once underway the weight is not much of a concern though, I had enough gears for most situations.

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I got puzzled looks from hikers and bikers (must have though I was either on patrol or a runaway GI from some nearby base :lol: ) but I was having a ball riding this thing!

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I'll snap some sunny pics and post it up in the finished section.
 
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2wheelFlyer,

Post this bad mutta and let the Taliban sissies go crying for their mommies. Great build!
 
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Thanks 2Dawgs! it's already posted in the finished section.

I did one last minute change to it. There was something bothering me and it was the aluminum color seatpost; since I needed it adjustable so my wife could ride it. She said "I won't ride that big, heavy thing, I want a lightweight bike!" (whohoo another build!) so I don't need to move it anymore and I could paint it in the same khaki color, I think it really improved the looks. Missing is the dog tag installation and the black aluminum pedals... what the heck I already posted it.

I hope everyone makes it to the finish line!
 
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Sweet bike, This is the inspiration that I needed on my mountain bike build, I am going with flat olive green with flat black scallops and yellow lettering though, And mine's a Roadmaster 24". I love your bike though, looks like something straight out of the marine corps or special ops.
 
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Where are you located? I am in Chandler, and though I do not YET have a homebuilt RatRod I have several ideas in the works. I do have a Felt M.P.Cruiser currently, and think the two of us out for a ride might make them turn heads as well. I live in Chandler and would love to year from you. I LOVE what you built- excellent work!
 

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