Saturday, February 14, 2015

Heart of Steel

Last weekend, we had a break in the weather: dry and temps in the 40s. It felt like spring after what's felt like weeks of temperatures in the teens. Saturday, I took the Camargue on a library and beer run, and Sunday I headed out for one of my favorite loops on ye Olde 650B Trek. The roads were nicely cleared, but some of the smaller trails I'd planned to ride on hadn't been cleared:

I had to push it up this icy hill, then continued to push for probably another half mile along this icy bike path:

Jodi said it sounded miserable, but I was cheerful just to be outside in decent weather.

I almost didn't ride the Trek, because I found out Friday night the front tire was flat AGAIN. Patch #2 had leaked, then I pinched the tube again (and again) getting the tire back on. These Pacenti rims are really tight. I was almost ready to give up and try a tubeless conversion, but my installation after patch #5 seems to be holding.

When I sell the Trek, it will be because of these wheels:

Not just because of the tight rims, but because I think my trusty CC will be just as smooth once I get some Compass Barlow Pass tires for it. Maybe this spring. That would make my fleet 90% 700C (with the rear wheel of the ERB being the only holdout)

One nice upgrade I made this winter was to add spikes to the Grip King/Lambda pedals:

This simple job turned this formerly mediocre pedal into probably my favorite flat pedal. I appreciate the extra clearance the narrow width offers, especially with the lowish bottom bracket of my 650B conversion.

A week of work, cold, etc, and I was able to get out again this morning. Another fat bike ride in the Avery Park woodlot, another set of sluggish and painful laps. I rounded back to the garage and installed my Fattie Slims wheels with 29+ tires, and once again the Gravity was reborn:

SO much faster, and more nimble, and even smoother. Shouldn't those 4" tires at squishy PSI be smoother? But they're not. I had a thought that my Razzo would be even smoother, even with only a 2.4" tire on the rear, due to its carbon frame:

But it was not to be. I preferred the ride of the cheap Gravity with 29+ tires on each end. That, combined with my recent desire for YASH, caused me to strip down the Razzo this morning and post it up for sale. I've mentioned before how impressed I am with the ride of the Razzo--and that's still true--but I miss those slender, graceful frame tubes.

I'm not sure what will replace it, but I do know two things about this next bike:

1) it will have clearance for 29+ tires,

2) it will be steel.

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