|Colder than it looks|
We've likely hit our coldest stretch of Winter a little earlier than maybe we usually do. That's good if true, I mean, let's just get this out of the way right now, eh? Interestingly, we're getting a day of reprieve Saturday when it is supposedly going to soar up into the 20's above. Wow! I think I'll unzip my coat a little!
However; post Saturday we go back into the deeper freeze with some silly forecast temperatures until Tuesday when things bounce back the other way. (Well, at least we are hoping so!) Then it seems that it stays that way for the near term through to Triple D. I sure hope it isn't 15 below the morning of that event!
Of course, it is hard to say what Winter may bring by the time Triple D rolls around, but I will be trying to cope with strategies as the temperature forecasts change on the way toward that event. I will be wearing totally different gear if it is above zero as opposed to below zero. I will be carrying more clothing to swap out if it is colder, and less, or none, if it is warmer, and that depends upon how warm it gets, or it doesn't.
See? It's a game of chess with the conditions. Make the wrong move, and you're toast. Heck, I may be bringing a small trunk load of clothes and gear with me on this venture, who knows?!
|Want to start a debate? Choose tires as a subject!|
In all of my days of writing on the inner-googles, I've probably never seen more debate sparked by anything more than I have with regard to tires. Tires- be they tubeless, not tubeless, toobed, not toobed, wide, thin, big, small, slick, or treaded, you just don't seem to get people all together on the subject of tires. In fact, it seems that for some folks it is akin to a religious offense if a view other than their own is presented as a valid option.
Of course, I was oft accused of being one of these "29"er zealots" eight years ago or so. Heck, I didn't really care what anyone else rode, as long as they were having fun. I just really saw a good point or two about having bigger diameter wheels on my off road bikes. And I still do, of course, but ya know, the wagon wheels done went mainstream nowadays and having beliefs like mine are seen as being "old school" now! Funny how the world changes, ain't it?
Now I went and stirred up the pot, (shame on me), by posting this link on Gravel Grinder News Facebook page and it struck a minor dissonant chord there. Hmmm..... Yep. Tires. They do seem to get the dander up.
|Speaking of tires......OH! Yeah....that's right. Never mind!|
Well, so far so good on the tubeless set up of the Fatback Sterling tires. I have to admit, I had my doubts about how this would go, but so far, I have been duly impressed by the overall set up of the ginormous fat tires.
Secondly, the big take away for me is how much nicer the Sterlings are tubeless. I would never revert back to tubes if I have a choice here. These are so much better tubeless, it is almost as if they are different tires altogether from the way they ride tubed.
So, a bit of new info here on my take on these tires, in case anyone out there is following along with my rides on these, or cares to know: The tires have stretched a bit more. Now I am getting a 103mm/4.055" measurement on the casings. Keep in mind I started out at barely 3.8" with tubes and this is all on older Fatback Uma II rims which are 70mm wide. So, I can get along with this. Four inches is bigger than I had, and likely on a Rolling Darryl I might find that the overall width might go to closer to the advertised width. Now I am at peace with that part.
The big thing here is the flattened casing profile coupled with the lack of side knobs for lateral stability. The Sterling has drive and braking traction that literally blows the old Larrys away. I have no issues at all with drive traction or braking traction. However; the Sterlings have the uncanny ability to be driving forward with authority and exhibit little to no lateral stability at all. So, this means that you can literally feel the rear tire digging forward, for example, and that same tire is coming around sideways, or slipping into a rut like there is zero resistance to that. It's odd, but out back I can catch that. Up front, it can take off sideways on you and you just loose all forward momentum. Ruts, or softer sections of snow besides a packed track are treacherous anyway, but I think the Sterlings may actually be worse than a BFL up front in this regard. Maybe. It's close if not worse.
If things are well packed in, no worries at all. Ice? Psssshaw! The Sterlings are good on ice within reason. It's that dang lack of lateral stability. I still look at a Surly Bud and think that is the front tire I should have. Sterlings would be a fine rear tire anywhere, but if you don't have groomed trails, a front Sterling may give you fits like it does for me. Maybe. Or I'm just crazy.....
Okay, that's a wrap. Stay warm and safe, but ride em if ya can!