Category Archives: Sports Equipment

Light as a Feather

How I made a composite fender for my bike

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Last Father’s Day I received a new light and sleek bicycle from my family. It is by far the nicest bike I’ve ever owned. I enjoy riding it to work in the spring, summer, and fall. Because it is so nice, I decided I didn’t want to bolt on the aluminum bracket used previously over the back wheel on my old bike. The bracket had served multiple purposes. It supported my travel bag and it acted as a fender to keep road water off my back while riding. I decided I would ride with a backpack instead to reduce bulkiness and thought it would be nice to make a lightweight composite fender that I could snap on for those rainy days. That would allow me to remove it for longer trips and on nice weather days. Continue reading

Improve Wooden Paddles with G/flex

By Tom Pawlak — Retired GBI Technical Advisor

Wooden paddles and boat oars are known for getting dented in service. While G/flex 650 is not optimized for use as a coating, we found it was worth the extra effort it takes to apply to wooden canoe paddles and boat oars to deflect impact and prevent cracking the wood beneath.

G/flex epoxies weren’t developed with coating in mind, but early on in applications testing, we discovered they were excellent at dealing with impact. This became evident when we used G/flex 650 (the unthickened version) as a coating and when we used G/flex 655 (the thickened version) as a protective buildup. Continue reading

Time is Everything

A last-minute ski repair

By Grant Hilger

The evening of March 19, 2013 I inspected my 217cm Atomic™ downhill race skis in preparation for race day. Because of the early ending to winter in 2012, these skis have not seen the light of day in almost two years. The only real chance I get to ski with them is at the annual Boyne Highlands Downhill Race in Harbor Springs, Michigan. This late March tradition is usually the grand finale of Michigan’s ski racing season. This year the weather was shaping up perfectly for outstanding conditions, and I was chomping at the bit to ski fast! Much to my surprise, when I picked up one ski I found that a section near the tail was delaminating. On the inside edge of the left Continue reading

Wooden Bicycles, Seriously

By Grace Ombry

Renovo Hardwood Bicycles

Meade Gougeon was intrigued by the Renovo Bikes company of Portland, Oregon after spotting their wares on display at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington last fall. Meade has long been a serious cyclist and understands better than most the value of wood as an engineering material. He saw in Renovo an opportunity to combine two of his great loves, wood and bicycles. Continue reading

Bicycle Frame Repair vs Wall Art

By Randy Zajac

I will start by saying that, in my opinion, most carbon fiber bicycle frames that have sustained damage from an impact should not be repaired—there are too many damaged fibers that are typically unseen. The two repaired frames featured in this article had damage caused by operator error, not impact. The last two frames are prime examples of parts that should not be repaired for safety reasons. Continue reading

Attaching Guide Lines to Fly Rods with G/flex

By Tim Veale

Fly fishing, particularly for Atlantic Salmon, has been my lifelong hobby. The fly rod itself has an ancient past but its technical prowess as an instrument to launch line and fly to a designated spot on the river was epitomized by the arrival of handcrafted split bamboo rods in the late nineteenth century. Continue reading

Camper Panel Repair

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Todd Lynch, one of our valued employees, brought in a damaged plastic panel from the back end of an 11-year-old pop-up camper and asked if it was worth fixing. It came from his hunting camper which had been rear-ended. He just wanted it to be functional. The impact had made cracks at nearly every screw hole for holding the panel in place, making it doubtful it would last another trip down the highway. Continue reading

Depth Sounder Installation

Jim Costello of Dallas, Texas, recently asked the Tech Staff about mounting a transducer to the hull of his 1983 Bayliner Capri Classic.  

“The user manual for my new Hummingbird fish finder says that the transducer can be installed in the hull with a slow curing epoxy. It says to try to eliminate all bubbles. I have105, 206, 404, and 406 on hand. What if I just mix up some peanut butter thick paste and use that? Or do you have any other suggestions? I can mount the transducer on a part of the hull that is thin enough for the application, according to Hummingbird. Thanks.” Continue reading