Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday News And Views

Just down a wee bit and to the right!
Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational: As per my post yesterday, you will note that I did recon some of the upcoming GTDRI route.

I am excited about a couple of the roads. One in particular is just past the corner where I shot the image here looking down to the north. I sure hope it doesn't rain, because it is a B Maintenance road that, while not as gnarly as the one on T.I.V7, is pretty dang rad. It is mostly clay, highly crowned, and has a steep drop down to a gentler downhill. It looked wet when I rode it Wednesday, and knowing how slippery-snotty clay can get, I eased into the down hill with trepidation and great caution, lest I fall and slide off into a 20 foot deep ditch to the outside of the bench cut roadway. Well, it was just tacky, but, ya never know!

If it gets wet, we'll have to take a work-a-round, but hopefully the weather will be good for that weekend. Some of the storm damage I encountered on the roadway should be cleared by that time, as well. More details to come.......

So, How About That There Belt-thingy?: I did get a brief ride on the Gates Carbon Drive Center Track system Wednesday too. Readers might recall that tensioning the system requires getting the belt to produce a tone in the 70-85Hz range. That turns out to be approximately a D# on the bass clef. Who knew?

Well, I had it pretty tight already, (tuned to approximately an A), so I rode it anyway. After a while out at The Camp, I felt pretty confident in mashing up steeps on it, and it held up well. The best part? The tension I used allowed the cranks to spin approximately as easily as a chain. The bad part? I didn't get the spacers right on the freehub! (jingle-jangle) Oh well..... More to come, but this looks to be more promising from a purely performance standpoint than the older system.

The only bummers about it, and likely to remain so, are the availability of combinations that would yield a desired "virtual chainstay length", and costs.

Ergon PC2-L pedal. Cooler Than U Think
I Wasn't Expecting Much: Ergon has been working on some things for a while, one of which was some pedals. That much I knew about some time ago. I figured they would be mountain biking pedals of some sort, and figured they would be some time in coming. However; I wasn't ready for the news that these would be commuter pedals. I also wasn't expecting too much. I mean, flat pedals have been done to death. These would have to be something pretty cool to raise my eyebrows at all.

Well, Topeak-Ergon man, Jeff Kerkove invited me to try a pair out recently. So they hit the door yesterday and looky here! They are different than I thought they could be. Very different.

My first impression is that they are large. Really, they are pretty big pedals. A bit larger than most free ride flats even. They are also contoured to fit the curvature of the bottom of a shoe/foot combination. For instance, my Vans sit in these like they were custom made for them. The rough surface is a material from 3M, and is grippy on the soles of my Vans too.

There are no aggressive pins, teeth, or other protuberances on these pedals to scar you. The contours are smooth and friendly. Good stuff for those times when you nick a pedal while walking your bike, or are moving it about. (Especially so if you slip a foot off while riding, although I seriously doubt that will happen with that 3M material there and with the way these are contoured.) These also have the most mondo reflectors I've yet seen on any pedal, and they are integrated into the design.

By the way, please do not ask if they are toe-strap compatible. Just. Don't. Ask. Toe straps are eee-ville! Eee-ville I say!

First Impressions: I slapped these pedals on the Schwinn Xtracycle rig, and went down to get a case of soda for my lady, and a bottle of Fat Tire Ale for myself. I noticed right off that my feet hit the Ergon PC2's just right. No positioning, then re-positioning needed to find a "sweet spot" The whole pedal just feels the way it should. The concave contouring works. Then again, we've seen some of this concave contouring on higher end mtb flats, haven't we? The PC2 does it one better for commuters.

I felt like I could do anything I wanted with these within the realms of flat pedals, even without having any pins. The big ol' platform cradled my feet and spread out the load put on them by pedaling. I think these are going to be good. We'll see about that later...... For now, I am well impressed, and I didn't think I would be all that much.

Okay, hope you all have a great weekend. Get out and ride!


Joe said...

Hey Mark,

Toe straps are useful for lashing stuff down. ;)

You'll have to let us know how those pedals work in the rain. I bet they'd be sweet with flip flops. My pinned platforms tear up the bottoms of my flip flops quickly.

I have a pair of plastic Odyssey Twisted PC pedals that I sanded the plastic pins off of one side for barefoot riding. The Ergons might make good barefoot pedals as well.

Beau & CeCe said...


We just received our sets at Angletech Cycles as well and had the chance to put them on a customers Vision recumbent.

He was struggling with the original pedals and the new position this bike had him in.

Put the Ergon PC's on and he came back very imressed. His start was totally smooth and confident, a huge improvement.

I took a spin around and w/my Keen sandals, the Ergo's felt like my feet were naturally guided into the "pocket" and absolutely rock-solid stable.

Can't wait to try them out on a longer ride!

Cheers to Ergon,


Tom said...

Perfect timing. Been wanting to change out the SPD's on my Jones Loop bar equipped Surly LHT to something more hop on and rideable. These look to be the bombdiggity. Order placed and can't wait.

Travel Gravel said...

Right click, "Save as desktop background", left click. That is a nice picture! Your buddy Gnat will like that one!

Guitar Ted said...

@Travel Gravel: Thanks! I'm no where in the same league as Gnat is, but I appreciate that you like the image.

I'm more of an "accidental photographer" in that I don't really know about everything I'm doing with the camera, (like Gnat does), and some shots I get are "just lucky".

This one wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but it isn't too bad, I guess.