|The Otso Cycles Waheela|
Last year it was the stainless steel tubed Warakin. This year it will be the steel tubed Waheela. But this year I have suspension and dropper capabilities!
Much has been made of where gravel cycling is going in terms of style, features, and uses. There are a growing number of cyclists who are looking to do more back road stuff with an option to throw in single track. Yes......mountain biking. Look, I get it, just ride a 29"er hard tail, right. "Not so fast!", say this sort of bike's champions. They claim that a gravel bike has the aero and speed they want on gravel, two track, and dirt roads, but with a bit of suspension and a dropper you can also thread in some light single track options as well.
So, this is what I will be exploring with the Waheela. On the GTDRI course we will see a couple of places where it is nigh unto mtb territory. I also will be exploring how, or even if, high speed gravel descending is affected by having a dropper post. My initial tests show that there is a benefit. But I have to see how it plays out in the country.
Interestingly, this bike will accept a 29" x 2.0" WTB Nineline with plenty of room to spare in the back, but the front suspension lowers Fox used were from a 650B fork, so the front tire hit the arch. Bah! So, instead I will be going with the 650B x 47mm Byways I have mounted up on the carbon Aon GX 35's I have. A quick e-mail to Otso resulted in the finding that if you run a 29"er wheel up front, only the Lithic rigid carbon fork is currently compatible.
So, I will be doing some experimenting again in the Lab and the beast will arise from there today in full GTDRI regalia. It should be a scene.