Tools for Gravel rides and tools for MTB adventure


Interesting tech tip article reblog: check out their site if gravel riding is your thing

From a very early age, I equated bicycles with freedom. With the aid of my two-wheeled companion, I was free to explore the seemingly endless collection of trails and dirt roads that were so plentiful in my youth. At the same time, that freedom instilled in me the importance of self-sufficiency. I learned firsthand that something as simple as a flat tire often meant a verylong walk home. It didn’t take me long to figure out that carrying even the barest of necessities could eliminate those unplanned walks home.

As an adult, I’m surprised at how often I encounter stranded riders who are carrying no tools or spares. While they may have cell phones, their mechanical issues can usually be fixed in less time than it takes for them to be rescued by a friend or partner–if they had the necessary equipment. I’m not advocating that riders should be able to overhaul a cup-and-cone bottom bracket in the field, but carrying even a bare bones repair kit can mean the difference between riding and walking home.

After several years of fine tuning and experimentation, I’ve found that having two separate repair kits works best for me. I use a smaller kit for road and gravel riding, and have a second, larger setup for mountain and adventure-type riding. While each kit is a compromise of weight and size, I’ve never had to abandon a ride because I wasn’t carrying the necessary tools or spares. Having tools without knowing how to use them won’t do you much good, though. If you’re not sure how to fix a flat or adjust your bike’s brakes or derailleurs, see if your local bike shop offers maintenance classes or clinics.

Road / Gravel

Even though road and gravel makes up the majority of my riding, mechanical issues are few and far between. Problems are usually limited to the occasional puncture, or the need to make a minor adjustment. My road/gravel kit reflects those needs, and it gets tossed into whatever panniers or pack that I happen to be using at the time.

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  • Hold Fast canvas tool bag
  • 700×28-32 inner tube with Presta valve (brand varies)
  • Pedro’s tire levers
  • Blackburn Grid 13 multi-tool
  • Lezyne Pressure Drive pump
  • Bontrager tubeless tire sealant
  • Prestacycle mini ratchet with 8 mm and 10 mm sockets
  • Tubeless Presta valve and Presta adapter
  • CO2 cartridge and Lezyne Trigger Drive inflator

While the majority this kit’s contents are old favorites, the Blackburn multi-tool is a relatively new addition. Thanks to the Grid 13’s extensive set of features, it actually replaces several individual tools. The sturdy, all-in-one design is definitely more convenient, and reduces the likelihood of losing one of the smaller wrenches on the road or trail.

Thanks to tubeless tire technology, I experience very few punctures. Tubeless sealant tends to dry out quickly here in arid Colorado, so I do carry a small bottle of sealant in case a tire needs topping off. The inner tube is backup in the event of a slashed sidewall (or if a puncture is too large for sealant). Although not shown in the photo, I wrap my tubes in repurposed Tyvek shipping envelopes, which can be used as emergency tire boots.

MTB / Adventure

Looking at all this gear, you might get the impression that mountain biking or adventure riding is a lot harder on equipment than road or gravel riding. The truth is, most of what I carry in this kit is for fixing other people’s bikes on group rides (or helping stranded solo riders). Some folks might argue that being a rolling bike shop discourages other people from being self-reliant, but I don’t mind lending a helping hand when it’s needed.mtb_gravel_kit-min-624x452

  • CamelBak tool wrap (included with their Skyline 10L hydration pack)
  • 27.5×2.25 inner tube with Presta valve (brand varies)
  • Pedro’s tire levers
  • Topeak Mini 9 multi-tool
  • Lezyne Alloy Drive pump
  • Bontrager tubeless tire sealant
  • Tubeless valve and valve core tool
  • CO2 cartridge and Silca EOLO III inflator
  • Wippermann Connex chain tool and quick link

Most of the above items are what you’d find in a mountain biker’s or adventure rider’s hydration pack. The 27.5″ tube can be used in 26″ or 29″ wheels in a pinch, and the Presta valve is also compatible with Schraeder-drilled rims. Wippermann’s Connex chain tool may not be the smallest or lightest, but it’s one of the most reliable and it comes with a reusable quick link. Why carry a multi-tool and Fix It Sticks? The multi-tool is fine for most adjustments or repairs, but sometimes you need a little extra leverage for components such as single-bolt seatposts or crankarms.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve fine tuned these repair kits to reflect my particular needs and conditions. Think of these lists as suggestions or starting points, but don’t hesitate to add–or remove–items that will make your bike more reliable–and ultimately–more enjoyable.

Exclusive cycling club after your £$


So Rapha have invited me to join their club …. they must have seen my purchases this last year and thought loyal fan.

The blurb says

‘The Rapha Cycling Club is the first cycling club of its kind, an active riding and racing club designed to create a global community of like-minded, passionate road riders.’

Click the link ….

Screenshot 2015-12-16 16.39.03

Membership £135 – for that there would have to be a clubhouse with lap dancing (maybe), free organic coffee that has been through the digestive tract of a civet, Chris King Salt and Pepper shakers on every table. Also the ride would involve the pairing up of members like an intellectual tinder for the brain to ensure great chat on the ride.

Ideally the weather would be dialled in too – a bit of wild stuff to feel rugged and elemental but ideally 22 degrees C, perfect tarmac ….. this list could go on and on.

As we say in Cockney Africa – ‘eer Guvnor you having a giraffe’ *

*editorial note – that has never been said in Africa

Great film cyclocross love


http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/stig…
Scott Chapin & Steve Peat.
Scott works at the Santa Cruz Factory and races cyclocross bikes.
Steve races downhill and uses cyclocross bikes for training.
In Scott’s world, every ride can be a World Championships. In Steve’s
world, every training ride adds up to a World Championship.

Elbow to elbow, the two took the all-new Santa Cruz Stigmata on a tour of
Yorkshire, England during a particularly nasty mid-winter storm.

Get the kit here: https://shop.santacruzbicycles.com/fe…

Music
Devil’s Spoke
by Laura Marling
Taken from the album I Speak Because I Can
Courtesy of Ribbon Music

I feel inadequate in my ‘fatness’


This is a quick edit from my first few rides on the Fatback Corvus Fatbike. I spent a couple weeks in Southern California to ride mototrials and was lucky enough to get the Fatback together before I got out there. It was a blast on all the terrain I could find in SoCal, from the beach to the dunes, high desert to low. This bike can handle everything. Dont worry, the skids were on motorcycle trails! Stay tuned for my next edit riding

Quite amazing riding isn’t it?

Fat Video Time


Found this linked to on fatbike brigade …..

The Bedrock Bags and Packs team took advantage of this mild winter weather by heading to the desert. They took their fatbikes to an undisclosed location in the land of awesome, exploring Utah canyons by way of sandy roads, and beautiful river beds.

5 reasons we don’t ride at night


From single track

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According to our survey data, 55% of mountain bikers have tried night riding. That means that 45% of mountain bikers haven’t even tried it, and of that 55%, I’d be willing to bet the number of riders that strap a light to their bike at least once per week is much, much less.

As I thought about it, I realized that lately I haven’t been night riding nearly as much as I have in past years. Here are 5 things, based on my personal experience and my conversations with others, that might keep you from riding at night… and reasons why they shouldn’t hold you back:

1. It’s expensive.

The number one excuse I hear from mountain bikers who don’t even want to dabble in night riding is, “Lights are so expensive! I can’t afford one of those!” Yes, there are expensive lights out there on the market. But if you took a look at our light buyer’s guide, you’ll realize that there are plenty of lights right around the $100 price point. And if you shop eBay, there are even no-name bike lights on sale for much cheaper than that.

My first night ride of the season. Pictured here is the Fenix BT20, which is a good-quality light set that can be purchased for about $150.
My first night ride of the season. Pictured here is the Fenix BT20, which is a good-quality light set that can be purchased for about $150.

In my opinion, buying a light is the #1 thing you can do to extend the amount of time you can ride your mountain bike in the fall and spring. Even if you have a lower-end bike, chances are your bike is worth at least $1,000. What good is a $1,000 (or a $10,000) bike if you can’t ride it during the week? Drop a hundred bucks on a light, and keep on pedaling!

2. It’s dangerous.

There seems to be this pervasive opinion among night riding n00bs that riding at night is dangerous. But the reality is, it’s no more dangerous than riding during the daytime. With even low-priced bike lights pushing 750-1000 lumens, and some lights boasting a whopping 6000 lumens, these lights can illuminate the trail as brilliantly as the sun.

3. It’s cold at night.

This one really depends on the time of year and the location, and in the northern reaches of the continent during the middle of the winter it can get really frigging cold at night! Honestly, sometimes this is a really good reason to stay indoors. However, with the advent of fat bikes, clothing manufacturers have made huge strides in recent years in producing lightweight, low-profile bike clothing that is surprisingly warm. With the right layers and preparation, you can easily mountain bike comfortably in zero degree (F) weather… or colder.

4. There’s no one else to ride with.

While at times it can be daunting to night ride alone, I’ve found that night riding solo is the most peaceful mountain bike experience ever. There’s usually no one else on the trails, and the quiet and solitude can’t be matched! Of course, if that makes you uncomfortable, it’s pretty easy to find people to ride with. Many shops conduct night rides all year long, as do mountain bike clubs and individuals. There are tons of people who night ride, and many of them will be willing to show you the ropes!

5. It’s hard to get motivated when it’s dark outside.

If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us already know the points and counterpoints listed above. But really, most of the time it’s just hard to get motivated to wrangle all of your bike gear, and pedal your bike in the pitch black of night. However, there are some steps you can take to make it easier.

The first step is to find a regular night ride to be a part of. I touched on this above, but there’s nothing more motivating than knowing a group of your friends will be riding at the same time, on the same day, every week.

The second step is almost just as important, and that’s to keep your gear ready to go, all the time:

When you get back from a ride, toss your battery on the charger so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. (Some higher-end lights feature charging stations that you can leave your battery on, ensuring your battery is always topped off.)
Wash your clothes quickly, and keep your warm winter riding clothes in a dedicated pile, ready to be donned in minutes.
Keep your hydration pack full of all the gear and layers you might need, so all you have to do is fill your water reservoir.
If you run a bike-mounted light, keep it mounted on your bike at all times so you don’t have to take it on and off.
And if you’re partial to a helmet-mounted light, dedicate one helmet to night riding alone, and leave your mount attached so you’re not constantly putting it on and taking it off when switching from night to day.
While at first blush going out for a night ride can be a daunting task, the right mindset and the proper preparation can make it a true joy and an utterly unique experience!

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What you need in winter is some lights for your bike ….. right?


 

It’s like Tron in real life. Thanks to WOOProductions and Endless Gap, we get this enlightening video where LEDs were mounted to both bike and rider.

Carbon Road Bikes are so weak and fragile Blah di Blah di Blah


I don’t have a carbon bike but this is one of the criticisms that i have heard rolled out …. well have a gander at this.

STORY FROM ROAD.CC
If you’re one of those people whose reflex action when you see Peter Sagan or Robbie McEwen pull a wheelie on a road bike is to issue a terse ‘tsk,’ you may wish to look away now. You certainly won’t want to press ‘play’ on the video above.

If you’re still here, that’s great – hit the ‘play’ button and sit back and watch a couple of Neil Pryde frames being put through some Danny MacAskill-style moves with the help of assorted bleachers, berms, steps and picnic tables.

There’s limited info on the background to the video – at the end it says that stunts were performed by Rick “The Clutch” Roth and Tony “The Sack” Roth, and Neil Pryde gets a namecheck, as do Shimano, Enve and Tune “for making products that hold up.”

The video appears to have been put together by Tucson, Arizona-based Fair Wheel Bikes – we can’t find anything on their blog about it right now, but perhaps that’s because we got distracted by posts showcasing some great custom builds…

We’re not sure we’ll be incorporating this kind of routine into our bike tests, but road.cc tech ed Nick will be casting his eye over the video later to see if he can ID who supplied precisely which parts… the Dura Ace wheels on one of the bikes being a given, of course.

UPDATE: In fact, what happened was we received a very thorough response from Fair Wheel’s Jason Woznick which you can read after video.

The story from Fair Wheel Bikes in Tucson, Arizona

Naturally, having seen the video, we had to ask some questions and Jason Woznick from Fair Wheel Bikes in Tucson, Arizona came back overnight with his answers:

 

road.cc: Did you break anything? – Well, we had to ask

As far as things that got broken, the list was pretty small, one flat tire, one chipped fork (from the crash at the end) and a couple of slightly bent teeth on a chainring.

 

road.cc: It looked like the guys were riding different set ups so did you have different builds for different types of stunt?

There weren’t really planned differences in setup, both bikes were just  typical road bikes.  We didn’t build these bikes specifically for this video; these bikes were already built and being ridden. The black one is my daily rider and the blue one is Richard our web editor’s daily rider.  When we decided to finally shoot the video we wanted to use our regular bikes.  It’s not uncommon for those bikes to drop a ledge, or a flight of stairs on a typical ride or commute so we really didn’t have any concerns about durability or setup.  The only changes that were made for the video were that the tires were swapped to 28c commuter tires and the pedals were switched to platforms.

 

road.cc: Oh, and did you have any reasons for choosing particular components to use on the bikes?

The reason we chose the particular components for each bike was that those are what we like to ride.

 

road.cc: Finally having done this video do you think there’s more that can be done in terms of road bike stunts?

There are definitely a ton more things that can and should be done.  When we started planning the shoot we expected to have more time but logistics just didn’t allow it.  We ended up having only 2 mornings to shoot which limited not only our time but also our locations.  We had a ton of stuff which we wanted to do but just never found the time.  Half of this video was Tony and Rick just trying to get used to being on bikes they’d never been on before.  We had plans to do more at the dirt jumps as well as an indoor bmx/skate park, we wanted to hit some of the trails as well.  There were lots of things that we planned on coming back to once everyone was warmed up, but then time would be up and we wouldn’t get back.

 

road.cc: Finally, finally, are there any particular things that road bikes actually work well for?

(Tongue in cheek) It would have to be road racing. They definitely do that better than they do trials and dirt jumping.  Though the only real issue with them was toe overlap.

What I find most interesting about this whole thing was that this version of the video was never suppose to make it’s way out to the public.  This was just a sketch put together here in the shop.  We have a much better editor who was working on the actual planned release version.  Over the weekend somehow an earlier copy of this sketch got leaked.  We tried to reel it back in but every time we got a site to agree to pull it down, it would pop up somewhere else.  Once it went over 20,000 views we finally realized we’d not be able to stop it so instead we released this sketch which was at least a more completed version.

I think that’s a little sad as I know the other version will be better.  We shot on 2 days with 3 cameras, this sketch was compiled with only half of the recorded footage so just to start it was already limited from the other version.  Not to mention the other version is being put together by an experienced editor.  We still may release the other version when it’s done as a directors cut or something like that.  We’ll also be putting lots of other footage and out takes on our face book page.  We shot a total of about 2 hours of footage on each camera each day so we have lots of stuff that didn’t get included.

 

The Bike Specs

Bike 1 – the black one, belongs to Jason

Neil Pryde Alize
Dura ace Di2 shifters derailleurs.
Enve rims on Tune Mig 70 Mag 170 hubs with CxRay spokes, 20/24
Enve compact bar
Enve stem
Tune Concord saddle
EE brakes
Prototype EE cranks. (compact 34/50) 172.5mm
Lizard skin tape
Conti top contact tires 28c
Vittoria Latex tubes
Dura Ace 11-28 cassette

Price somewhere around $11,500. This one with it’s normal tires is well below the UCI limit of 6.8kg.
Bike 2 – the blue one

Neil Pryde Alize
Dura Ace 7900 group (shifters, derailleurs, cranks, brakes, cassette (11-28), chain.)
Dura Ace C50 wheels
Conti top contact tires 28c
Vittoria latex tubes
Lizard skin tape
Specialized Toupe saddle
Pro PLT bar and stem

Price about $8500

Danny MacAskill in Cape Town – showing the city how to ride


 

As a result of three video votings, we love to present the complete video. Enjoy the video and see Cape Town with the eyes of a street trials pro rider. For Danny, the city is one enormous playground.

Wont embed http://youtu.be/CHLtVhTaZjA

 

A Fixed Philosophy


A documentary on why people ride fixed gear bikes. Music featured: Diego Bernal, Beat Connection and The Suzan.
Special thanks to: Charles Hadrann, Luke Taylor, Matt Swanson, Alex Johnson and Jack Hilton
Directed, Edited and Written by Jason Miller