Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Renegade Rig

Yep. You all know this rig.
If you were paying attention last week to the blog here you all know that I went around to three choices on bikes for the Renegade Gents Race before I decided on which one I was going to take. The final choice was the Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross" bike which I call "Orange Crush". Here's why it was the one I took.

First off, I was going to take the Twin Six Standard Rando for sure, but mid-week I received a part to test out which is not released yet, so with that part on the bike, I could not take that bike. Too many eyes prying and potential questions. So, that bike was eliminated by a secret.

The Raleigh Tamland Two was also a choice, but there had been an earlier forecast for the weekend for the possibility of showers. The Tamland doesn't have fenders and with bigger tires, which I wanted to run due to the sandier roads, fenders don't fit well on the Tamland. So, due to a weather forecast, I left that bike at home.

The Orange Crush has fenders and big tires. I have the Planet Bike aluminum fenders and the tires are Terrene Elwoods. At a true 43mm wide, they had the float and stability over the looser sandy roads and gravel that the Gents Race course has. As far as that went, I was super happy with the set up.

That's a "Shape My Grip" there under the tape.
One thing I had on the Orange Crush which is unique and new is a product called "Shape My Grip". It is essentially a grip like you'd see on a cruiser bike, with "finger depressions", for drop bars. The grips are slotted so they slip over the bars. They are held on with double sided tape and then you wrap over those grips with bar tape. The idea is that they provide an ergonomic grip area and supposedly dampen vibrations.

I used them for the event the first time. The gravel on that course really doesn't provide the venue to judge vibration damping. But, the grip ergonomics are something I can talk about. The grip makes the bar have a feel that you have more security in your grip. I can totally see where if you are on a course that is really rough, or even off road single track, that the grip would provide a better feel. I'm not 100% sold on the bar top position but the curve version on the drop portion feels great and if I were "monster crossing" or hitting some real off-road-ish road stuff, these would be nice while descending or traversing rough, uneven road or single track.

So, on the vibration thing, I need to hit up some gravel with some good chunky stuff all over. Then I'll know about how, or even if, these grips actually work on the bars. They look goofy at first, but I have found that no one notices them. I never said a word at the Gents Race about them, and no one pointed them out either, so they go fairly unnoticed in reality.

More on those items later, but the bottom line for the event was that the bike performed perfectly and the tires were perfect for that course. That good ol' Black Mountain Cycles rig just works.


Ari said...

Did you run tubes with the Elwood's?..

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari- No, these have been tubeless since they were new. I ran 40psi rear/38psi front.

Ari said...

Wasn't Mike saying once that Shimano cranks with external bb's did not work on the bmc cross bikes?...

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari- Yes. Shimano road crank sets with series designations. So, 105, Ultegra, etc, wouldn't work because something wasn't wide enough- chainline? I don't remember right now.

My crankset is a NON-SERIES Shimano crank = no name on it. For whatever reason, Shimano made non-series road cranks of this vintage a bit wider so they do work on a BMC Monster Cross frame.

That info might be on Mike's site, I'd have to look. Either way, I am sure a quick e-mail or phone call to him would answer the question more completely than I have here.