Sonder bum parts


Loving the Sonder Camino ti but the stock Saddle and seatpost for me is the weak point so far.

 

Love Brooks but dont really want leather on the ti gravel bike so today I ordered a Cambium C15 saddle in mud happy black.

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review to follow – the ones I have read have been pretty outstanding

Sonder Camino ti – first ride review


Sonder Camino titanium gravel bike


Now I grew up in South Africa and the word sonder is Afrikaans for ‘without’ but this bike is definitely ‘with’

I pedal home today with a new bike came into the flat changed and went out for a first shakedown ride on the bike – these on my quick impressions after just 30 km

Very quickly I came to think that this bike might be one of those fabled you can do it all bikes. I went down the canal which is gravely with occasional small potholes on to cobbles and then later on into singletrack path weaving through the forest – the bike seem to handle everything with aplomb 


My only niggle was perhaps that the seatpost or saddle was not as comfortable as it could be but still good for the price point. I will be changing out the seatpost for something made of titanium or perhaps something like the Ritchey flexlogic and the saddle well that’s always down to the user and I have a preference for Ritchey WCS or specialised ronin

The bike is quick very quick even on this first exploratory ride I seem to have come home and found out that on Strava I have a King of the Mountain on one section over cobbles – Paris Roubaix might be a walk in the park


The discs brakes mechanicals from avid – I’ve not used avid mechanicals before they seem to do very good job of slowing the bike with excellent modulation when braking, the tires are WTB nano 40 mm tires and the seem to be quite progressive in grip and feedback. This was in the dry and this review is just the 1st (one hour ride) review and shouldn’t really be taking for a long-term review but so far I am completely stoked by the ride of this bike. 


Brandt Richards who is also been behind some of on-one’s bikes in the past seems to have finally nailed it – this is everything I wanted it to be perhaps more than I hoped and definitely a lot lot better than I ever expected it would be

I came home and looked in my cupboard to see four other bikes standing there looking slightly forlorn.

Alpkit give the bike a 10 year guarantee which is amazing considering it’s the first bike that they are doing. this bike is built so beautifully the weld is excellent and everything seems to be is put together as well as any of my Lynskey bikes
Now if only work and kids didn’t get in the way of me doing another ride tomorrow but I will post further reviews once I have a few hundred miles in on this bike

Gravel bike time 


So N+1 time ….. The latest itch is to get something between the titanium 29er and my titanium road bike ….. So titanium gravel grinder surely.

Pickenflick currently hitting the value for money button and a moots routt 45 hitting the silly sausage spend part of the brain.

As for bits I have been looking at tyres and this road.cc tyre review looks spot on.

 

Schwalbe G-One tyre.jpg

The lack of a tube means no pinch punctures, which means you can drop the pressure for more grip and comfort. Schwalbe states a range of 45-70psi but for the most part I ran them at the bottom of that range, or below. On the road, 50psi was good for back lane riding and 60psi was the most I ever put in them. For off-road and mixed surface rides I ran them at 30psi with no problems at all.
And they’re fast. I mean, really fast. Not just fast for a big tyre, fast full stop. If you’re battering around on well-surfaced A and B roads then you’d expect them to be a fair bit slower. In reality, they’re not: my best time on this 50km/h smashfest of a segment (link is external) on a proper road bike on 25mm tyres is just under four and half minutes. My best time on the G-Ones was only 15 seconds off that. And that’s on a gravel bike with a more upright position – you could argue that the extra drag from the rider is easily worth the difference.
Once you’re off the good roads and onto the average ones – and we have plenty of them – any conceivable difference in rolling speed is easily outweighed by the comfort of the big air chamber, and the fact that you don’t have to ease off and pick your line: just batter on through. I’ve not managed to put a hole in them that the sealant hasn’t immediately coped with. And that’s with some deliberately risky line choices through all kinds of back-road detritus.
I’ve taken them off road too, and they’re great for unsurfaced fire roads and farm tracks, blasting along with aplomb. The more technical things get, the more you’re thinking that a bigger air chamber might give you a bit more margin for error, but even crashing into rocks with enough force to ding a rim didn’t manage to flat them, and on most off-road surfaces they still offer fantastic levels of grip. Once things start to get really claggy the tread fills up and you’d be better off with a proper off-road tyre, but you can get away with most conditions.

The only downside, really, is the wear rate, but that’s a double-edged sword: it’s the soft tread compound that gives the excellent grip and it’s not as hardy as some. Personally I’ll take the longevity hit for the feel and grip while they last. And it’s not like they’ll be done in a couple of weeks, I’m six months into this test pair and they’re still going strong.
I know plenty of people who’ve tried these tyres now, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them. Try them. You’ll love them.
Verdict

Fantastically capable all-rounder tyre for roads, ruts and rocks

Make and model: Schwalbe G-One

Size tested: 700x38C

Tell us what the product is for, and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Schwalbe says: “The Schwalbe One family provides the perfect tire for the latest gravel bike trend. The smooth rolling G-One profile and Tubeless Easy technology make it a pleasure to ride over forest paths and rolling fields.”
If your frame has enough space, select the 40mm version. Larger volume is always an advantage when riding off-road.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tubeless Technology
We at SCHWALBE believe that tubeless is the tire technology of the future!
Tubeless Easy MicroSkin
Tubeless is the tire technology of the future. Tubeless tires bring clear advantages in speed, comfort, grip and puncture protection.
Triple Compound
Our best and most sophisticated compound.
Triple compound. Perfectly adapted to the specific purpose. MTB (PaceStar, TrailStar, VertStar), Roadrace (OneStar), Tour (RoadStar, TravelStar)
EVO Line
The very best possible.
Highest grade materials.
Latest technology.

Rate the product for quality of construction:9/10

Rate the product for performance:9/10

Rate the product for durability:7/10

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)7/10

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)10/10

Rate the product for value: 8/10

 

 

my 3rd etape Caledonia


I feel like i have done this event now – my first year was 2014 and the weather was fine and last year was in the pouring rain and howling wind and yet I was finished in nearly the same time.

This year I trained more and went on more rides and with good weather forecast I was hoping to smash my time.

But it my girlfriends mums 60th and a big house was rented and fine food booze and food was consumed. To top this off I left late in the morning to drive up and was stuck in traffic going to event parking when i should have been at the start line getting ready to head off.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 20.03.11

the course is a good one with 130km of riding around a pretty loch and then a wee ascent (about 1200m in all over the course)

6:30am and the elite and VIP’s head off. I should have started in Wave A with the faster boys but by the time I made the start wave C was heading off so for the first 20mile I was completely solo hoping to find a small group that was going faster and I could work with.

NO SUCH LUCK

Until a man caught up – he had punctured at mile 2 and had lost everyone so we worked together for a good hour. At one stage 4/5 people were tagged on behind but only we two were taking turns at the front so he drifted back and I heard him yell ‘I don’t mind you guys taking the wheel but take a f***** turn a the front’ 

That caused all but one to drop off and that person definitely took his turn from then on in.

Just before the climb I recognised my friend Carla who had started on time (8min in front of me) and we said hello and then the climb up Schiehallion started. I took this easy as I had been working pretty hard up to this point (in fact my slowest ascent of the 3 times)

The downhill was as lovely as ever …. and then into the back of a big group around Fortingall on the narrow singletrack road. The wind was unseasonal and Easterly so the last leg was into the wind but i was quite sheltered in a large group of 30 – never really making it up through the bunch to make a turn at the front.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 21.46.13

The thing about groups like this is that my speed is so much higher than normal with the massive slipstream benefit and after all my solo rides this year the time (miles) passed quickly.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 19.56.37

Average speed 33.6kmh (imperial says nearly 21mph) average.

Screenshot 2016-05-10 21.52.12

so my best time but not the sub 3h50/3h45 i was hoping for.

At the end a medal and a text with my finish time according to the tag on the bike ….FcertA4.tmpl-347-YRNJ

Etape Royale next – 100miles ….

 

Keep your head (warm)


reblog from BearBones and a link to purchase:

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Depending which old wife you care to believe, you loose between 50% and 90% of your body heat through your head … no you don’t. Body heat is lost largely through radiation, so its loss is proportionate to area, can you imagine how big your head would need to be to radiate 90% of your lost body heat?

Although you don’t lose quite as much precious heat through your noggin as some people imagine, you certainly loose some and just like any other part of your body, it requires insulating. Wearing a hat (or maybe pulling your hood up) is the usual course of action and when Jack Frost’s sharpened his teeth, what better hat than one containing the best insulator known to man , the undisputed king of warm – down. I’m very fortunate to own two hats insulated with down. The first is handmade, filled with the finest down any amount of money can buy. The outer material is ultralight, the stitching show quality, it weighs virtually nothing and cost considerably more …. and I’ll admit, at times I’m scared to use it. My other down hat is this one. The down may not be of the same quality, it’s produced in a factory rather than a craftsman’s workshop, it weighs a little bit more but it cost an awful lot less, so I’m far less concerned about sticking it on my head while I roll about on a damp forest floor.

You just know she’s saying, “take the hat off, take it off now”.
In my opinion, the Montane Plume makes a fantastic adornment to the head of the potentially cold bikepacker. It contains 18g of 650fp HyperDRY down, that might not sound like much but trust me, it’s more than enough for a hat. Unlike the majority of insulating head wear, the Plume is a cap rather than the more common beanie style. While in the minds of some, a cap might not score quite so highly in the style stakes, I’ve found it to be much more practical. Firstly, the cap extends lower at the back and sides which results in more warmth and cosy ears. The stiff peak is a bonus and ideal for helping keep any midge netting off your face. Another nice touch which adds to the practicality especially when sleeping, is the removable elasticated strap … it’s a simple thing but obviously makes a massive difference to keeping the thing secure and in place while you’re tucked up in your sleeping bag. The outer material is something called FREEFLOW – although confusingly, mine says Pertex Quantum on the outside. Either way, it’s lightweight and water resistant. The combination of water resistant down and outer, means a bit of light drizzle or condensation won’t turn your fluffy, puffy had into a clumpy mess.
The claimed weight is 49g, the Bear Bones scales say 48g without the stuff sack but with the strap. That’s pretty impressive given the amount of warmth it provides. If you don’t want to use the supplied stuff sack, then the Plume will compress down to around the size of a satsuma, so finding it a happy home alongside your sleeping bag or whatever shouldn’t cause any issues.
The Montane Plume – warm as toast, cheap as chips. Available in black, blue or red for £25 or a few pounds less with a little careful shopping.

Tyre story – Hans Dampf Evo MTB Tyre – SnakeSkin


  
The new tyre

It has been a while since I reviewed anything so thought I would share my thoughts on something that just seems to work. I am not very swap and try when it comes to equipment I just like good stuff that works well, it might not have the very best of the best quality but has to do what it does well. Take my brake spec on my mtb – I asked Carl at the shop what brakes to get – he was steering me towards hope when I mentioned these should be fit and forget type brakes. Hence the same XTR brakes on my bike for 6 years and apart from 1 bleed and 3 different sets of pads nothing has been fiddled with.

But tyres have had their issues. I was on the misconceived idea that I was sort of racer having tried 3 sets of racing Ralph’s over the years. But grip was pretty sketchy in scotland doing typical riding and sidewall was a painfully thin learning curve having ripped two sidewalls open riding flinty tracks a half hour for the house.

I moved onto maxxis ardent tyres and I liked them a lot more. It was only an issue with a bad thorn and dried up sealant after 2 years of no maintenance that made me think I should take more care. I refilled the sealant and pumped the tyre up hard (60psi) to seal the edges. Max recommendation is 45psi for the tyre width and rim but seriously – I had tea to make and drink when BANG the tyre had popped off the bead was stretched and sealant was on the wall.

So I started shopping for a new front tyre and I decided to go wider and bought a trail star hans dampf 29×2.35 

Fitted pretty easily on stans rim and sealed very easily. 

On the trail the HD is a step up from the ardent – incredible feedback from the front and stays planted on the trail. When railing through berms the slightly worn ardent on the back would start washing out before the front. As for trail speed I didn’t notice a huge drag factor and let’s face it the weakest link in a race setup would be still be me.

  
Was thinking about replacing the worn ardent on the rear in a while and whilst a HD is tempting I have read that it rips easier there and most people seem to suggest a nobby Nick is a good match. More on that later.

New cranks


new middleburn crank and bottom bracket to replace the worn 2007 XTR and the ill fitting bottom bracket. The bike shop rang to say the bottom bracket is a thing of beauty – shame it is hidden away inside then.

   
 

Race Saturday which hopefully means 75km without creaking (not sure about the rider though)