I have been tweaking the set up on the Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross" bike, which I am re-naming "Orange Crush", since it looks the color of that delectable soda that once came in 16 ounce glass bottles.
The changes made include a new stem, seat post, and a "Joe Mesier Set Up" for the water bladder. Joe may not have invented this way of doing your hydration, but he was the first guy I heard about it from, and he's all about bags anyway!
I topped off the deal with one of my ever-present Banjo Brothers Top Tube bags, which is a great way to carry gels and a camera.
Now I arranged things so the long hose comes from down low and in the back end of the bag so that gravity will help feed the drink tube, although that isn't entirely necessary. It does make all that hose length easier to manage though! The Wide Mouth openng is at the front of the bag. There is still a little room up there for some smaller items as well. Maybe a spare tube will reside there for the DK 200.
I simply hang the Flowmeter on the brake cable as it comes out from under the bar tape. It stays put really well on gravel too. Notice I have the end of the hose sticking straight up here to illustrate how you do have to bend downwards a bit to get the bite valve in the mouth. On riding this set up, the hose is typically laying down across the top tube bag, and that pulls in that loop to the left you see here against the bike and it isn't rubbing or catching on anything.
Now I just need to make that ol' black GT branded cable hangar all nice and silvery. Either that or track down something silver to replace it with. A minor detail? Yes- but since I am bothering to go to the trouble of making the bike look classic with the silver bits, I may as well finish off the job.
Okay, so what about training? Well, I did get in some slower training rides, focusing on constant power output, spinning circles, and concentrating on not pushing too hard. The bigger gear is treating me just fine. I have not noticed too much of a negative on hills, and flats are faster for sure. The double wrapped tape job is great. No hand issues so far.
The next step will be getting some bigger rides in occasionally. Something in the 3+ hour range is needed to start to assess comfort issues and for just getting used to living on the bicycle.