Wednesday, July 25, 2018

GTDRI '18: The Rig

The Otso Cycles Waheela
So, this may seem weird to some of you out there, but the bicycle I will ride this weekend isn't even mine. Nope! It wasn't my rig last year either. Another common thread here is that both last year and this year I will be riding bikes from Otso Cycles.

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.

Stay tuned......

1 comment:

CrossTrail said...

I've certainly pushed the fun limits on my Black Mountain monster cross, usually set up with 40 mm G-Ones, on rough two track and some single track. After all, smooth single track is just a skinny road. Have fun out there.