It has been a lighter week in terms of time and mileage on the bike for training. Weather and circumstances have played into this somewhat. Even with that, I got in some solid, albeit shorter, rides in, and made a few minor changes to the BMC that I'll share with you this time.
Velocity Bottle Traps, Revelate Tangle Bag, and single speed set up yet. Minor changes include another layer of bar tape and a two tooth lower gear in the back.
My position seems really good on the bike, so I have decided upon a couple of new components in silver to match the rest of the look here. There will be a swap in stems to a Ritchey 4 Axis Classic and a switch to a Ritchey Classic two bolt seat post. I really like the looks of the high-polish silver of these components and the functionality of them is proven to me. (I have used a Ritchey two bolt post before on my Karate Monkey, and the 4 Axis stem is a great design) Besides those things, these components will be slightly lighter as well.
Ragley Luxy Bar. I wrapped the first layer in the same green, Bontrager gel tape, and when I did the over-wrap, I concentrated the layers in a place where I will get a fatter diameter of the bar into my palms. You can kind of see that here in the image. It's almost like a cork grip shape, which is an idea I got from looking at late 19th/early 20th Century grips made from wood that folks were using on the ends of their "droopy-bars", which were the precursors of drop bars later. Another cool little detail I discovered by doing this is that the hook, which has a slightly slimmer profile now, is a great place to rest my paws in the rough stuff, because that fatter section behind kind of keeps my hands tucked into the hook of the drop and won't get bounced backward out of there as easily.
Well, it isn't for everybody, but I did some trial and error testing on my fixie-rat-ride-Raleigh with this idea, and I really liked it. So far, it has been good on the BMC too. More riding will ferret out any necessary changes. Matt Chester does something similar, he just uses a different way to get there. Check out his style here. My style is a little more subtle, and you could modify it easily by how much, or by how little, you stack the wraps.
I've tried padding underneath the tape, and it was too much for my tastes and seemed to migrate a bit on me. This over-wrap seems to be working out better for me, and that's the main thing. Everybody should experiment by riding a system and deciding for themselves. I just wanted to point out my way of tackling the issue for a chance that it might help someone else develop their own style.
To my surprise, the two tooth change in the rear cog was easily accommodated by the BMC's horizontal drop outs. Good, old technology! As you can see, I could slam it back a smidge more if necessary. It wouldn't surprise me if the bike could accommodate a three tooth change in cogs without breaking the chain. By the way, the outer cog in the picture is only there as a lock-ring. (Old seven speed cassette style!)
I am contemplating doing something different with the geared set up. I may do a 1 X 7 with a bar end shifter. I have a line on an old seven speed cassette which I can modify with my own ratios, and I have a seven speed bar end shifter already. Simpler and lighter, with durability in mind. Uses what I have, and I won't have to change anything much about the bike as is. We'll see......
In other training news, I have become pretty enamored of the Clif Shot drink mix and the gel packets. I'll have some more to say, along with my co-writer, Grannygear, on The Cyclist in a review on the Clif Bar products soon. The gel packet design is rad, and the electrolytes in the Clif Shot mix is good stuff. So check that out soon on The Cyclist. (Should be sometime this coming week) I'll still be using elete, because I just can't imagine not using it now after it totally eliminated cramping issues for me. Their additive for water is clean and tasteless.
Been talking about some stretching exercises with folks and I am looking into getting a foam roller for self-massage. Seems like it may help a lot.
Okay, that's it for this edition of The Dirty Kanza 200 Chronicles.
Trans Iowa 13: Soggy Bottoms
12 hours ago