Jake Wilkinson’s Tidbit Archives

Wearing many hats here at Campfire, Jake has found great alignment for his many skills and interests working with us. Jake grew up in the Tucson area enjoying many of the outdoor adventuring opportunities from running to climbing. But more recently Jake has gone all in into the world of cycling and bikepacking.

We gladly yanked Jake away from REI where he had gotten himself established as a bicycle mechanic. Now he is wrenching for us and along with taking care of our event and product photography.

Another great bikepacking business skill that Jake brings to the table is bike bag sewing. Jake builds great bags under his brand Good Dog Packs.

Breakfast by Berm – Apr. 5, 2024

For this months Breakfast by Bike, we took the party to the Lost Barrio bike park. We had our handcrafted Toby pancakes with a side of Shred. There’s no better start to the morning than berms, coffee, friends, kickers, pancakes, bikes, pump tracks and eggs with hot sauce.

Social ride at Ruta Del Jefe – Mar. 29, 2024

Here’s a fun picture I took of Ellie and Josh on one of the Ruta Del Jefe social rides! The hilly landscapes and bumpy roads really made for a great adventure in such a beautiful place!

Bike raft day dreaming – Mar. 22, 2024

With the weather warming up in the desert, I’m dying to get back on the water for some bike rafting will buds. There’s nothing nicer than floating down a river on a warm day. 

BasketPackin’ – Mar. 15, 2024

Working at a bike packing specialist shop means we get lots of customers and friends coming asking our opinions on bikepacking setups and gear. In an effort to understand all of the ways one can pack a bike and travel, I have been trying to experiment with every style of bikepacking. My most recent trip I decided to throw a basket with everything I need on my commuter and go. This had to have been the easiest setup to pack and unpack, no funky bags to mess around with. The bike handled surprisingly well on the road even with all of the weight on the front wheel. When it came to off-road travel the basket preformed as expected, bouncy and tough to control, loosing my luggage one or two times. 

New Boot Goofin’ – Mar. 8, 2024

After a few years and around 6000 miles of bike-packing, hike-a-biking, climbing on boulders and clacking around in coffee shops, these old shoes are ready for a replacement. I have to say, the Pearl Izumi x-alp summit shoes have served me and my adventures well, even to the last sliver of rubber

Weird Repair Wednesday – Mar. 1, 2024

This Wednesday while installing a brand new son 28 dynamo hub and Sinewave Beacon on a Salsa Fargo I ran into an issue, there are no upper fork mounting locations for a light.  Most bikes will have a forward rack/ fender Mount but on these carbon fire starter forks there are no solid dynamo light mounting solutions without using handle bar space or a front rack. After talking through some options with the customer, Furey, we decided to try this rack strut solution inspired by the Fabio’s chest Pec Dec solution designed by Ultra Romance. This solution allows for the use of the fork’s cargo mounts and provides enough space for a handle bar bag. It may not be pretty but it get’s the job done.

Custom Wheel Build Month – Feb. 23, 2024

This month has been full of amazing wheel builds. Ellie, our shop’s wheel building expert has been precisely lacing these wheels together faster than you could decide what spoke nipple color you want.

This wheel was built for, Dylan’s mullet trail bike. His bike now has 29” in the front and a stellar 27.5” Spank rim laced with Monē raw brass nipples and double butted DT Swiss spokes on a brand new Hope Pro5 in the rear, making his Canyon Strive CF7 the ultimate enduro rig. 

As a relatively new bike mechanic, it’s always an inspiration to work alongside, watch and learn from experienced mechanics like Ellie and Toby.

Custom Bike Build Details – Feb. 16, 2024

Mornings in the shop are for getting things done. This morning Toby is writing up a custom bike build sheet for a customer’s sweet Salsa Horsetheif build. The details are important in the planning stage of custom builds. Hubs, rims, dropper post, fork, shock, handle bar, brakes, derailleurs saddle and tires are all hand picked with the rider’s style in mind. This morning Toby must make the tough decision of what fork offset and travel best fits the customer’s riding preferences, will the rider feel more at home on xc trails with a bigger offset and lower trail or will the shorter travel with a lower offset and higher trail help the customer feel more confident and stable on long descents? Only Toby knows…

Sorting Out this Cracked Frame Bummer – Feb. 9, 2024

Rocking around the bumpy Arizona trails often leads to some issues. This particular Kona Hei Hei rear triangle had a fun-ending disaster when the rear triangle cracked. Warranties were had and a new rear triangle was installed with fresh bearings allowing the fun to continue.

24HOP SHOP – Feb. 2, 2024

Getting ready for the 24 Hours In The Old Pueblo 

Tucson’s largest 24 hour mountain bike race (24 Hours in the Old Pueblo) attracts thousands of riders to the fast-rolling 17 mile competitive desert track of Willow Springs. In the month leading up to the race our shop gets quite a few bikes tuned up and ready to race. Today I got the pleasure of over-hauling Patrick’s 2015 El Mariachi 2 for the race. New fork seals, much needed brake flushes and full drive train ultrasonic clean should serve Patrick well on this race.

T-Time – Jan 26, 2024

Tidy Toby tenaciously torquing on a tandem Tuesday just a tad over twelve in the afternoon. 

Birthday Half Lemon Drop – Jan 19, 2024

This weekend a group of friends and I embarked on a 15 mile day of descending the chunky, unrelenting slopes of the AZT on Mount Lemon. The day was full of snowy hike-a-bikes and bouncy descents. The trip wouldn’t be complete without a few snake bite tubeless punctures, a couple snapped chains and a tumble or two through the cacti. The stunning views and sections of flowing trails the AZT has to offer made the lung-burning haul worth the pain.  

New Single Speed – Jan 12, 2024

After watching the amazing performance of the single speeders on the AZT race last October I was inspired to built a dedicated single speed mountain bike. I found a used 2018 Kona Honzo ST frame and threw on some components I had collected for this build. It rocks a 32x20t gear ratio and beefy 29×2.6-inch Maxxis Minion DHF/ DHR combo tires for tackling any trail. 

I’ve installed a Cane Creek Angle Set that slacks out the 68 degree head tube angle by 1.5 degrees making it a 66.5 degree head tube angle. This allowed for a 20mm over-forked Rockshox Pike 140mm without raising the bottom bracket. Keeps the traction on the technical climbing and the descending fun and capable. 

The TRP Slate T4 brakes have become a staple in our shop builds. A well priced quad piston brake set that feels fantastic and is reliable when you need them. 

I have no plans on attempting the AZT single speed. After taking this bike on some of Tucson’s more technical trails I’m excited to see how it will preform on a bike packing trip.