Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday News And Views

Gravel Grinder News:

Lots going on now with Gravel Grinder News I have added a slew of events, some new ones, some newly discovered ones, and updated on some of the traditionally listed events.

As always, feel free to hit me with any event you think might fit. I'll take a look and paste it onto the site if it works.

By the way, my last contributor to the site wondered why there are not many eastern events on Gravel Grinder News. He sent me a link to an event that has been going on in New York for 18 years. So, there must be some rides out East! Come on folks. I need some East Coast gravel/backroad love for Gravel Grinder News.

 I have been asked to write an article about gravel grinder rigs, and about tips folks that put on these events have for potential gravel grinders. I can't say who it is yet, but this will come out next spring in print. I'm pretty excited about this, and a good friend is also a part of the project in another vein.

Finally, this coming Tuesday I'll be back on Mountain Bike radio on the "Guitar Ted Show" with Part 2 of our chat about Trans Iowa V8 and the event in general.  Feel free to call in at 7:30pm CST Tuesday to ask a question or just tune in to hear me ramble....

Speed wars current champ. Unlikely source!

The Bicycle Equivalent To The Arms Race?

Probably a lot of you saw this come around on certain internet sites lately. The Tiso 12 speed components package.  Not only can these guys boast of the most cogs on a cassette, they have done it with an electronically controlled derailleur system that runs on AAA sized batteries! Oh....they also say it will be cheaper than Shimano's or Campagnolo's electronic groups. 

Yes- that is all amazing right there, but the one thing I noted was that this system works wireless. That's right, you can remote shift this system from across a room, and the promotional video shows this. Think about that for a few moments....

What would stop a coach, or team Director Sportif from riding in a team car and shifting the bike for the athlete by Bluetooth and doing so by watching live streaming power data on a laptop computer from inside a car? Or from across an ocean?

Weird, eh? I may be overstating the capabilities of this here, but it can't be far off the mark, can it? They always compare Pro road racing gear as the equivalent to auto-motive's F1, and this technology makes that comparison even more close to the mark.I can't wait to find out if I am right, and if so, what the UCI thinks about that. Maybe it wouldn't be an advantage, but it sure seems that way to me.

Then on the heels of this comes the new Dura Ace 9000 mechanical group which, by the sounds of it, is so much better it might make you not want electronic shifting bits. Oh yeah, and it is 11 speed. So if you have a 9 speed road bike? Yeah.......start hoarding parts my friends!

Hydration pack, or not?
To Backpack It Or Not- That Is The Question:

Okay- I go back and forth on this. I happen to like a good hydration pack, and I think the newer versions of them are really dialed.

But frame bags are cool, and I get all that "getting the load off of you" thing. I do, but whether the load is on you or the bike, you still weigh the same going up and down. The only bennie I see is that the weight isn't beating you down as the rider of that bike.

However; a hydration pack is super-portable. I don't have to fit it to different bikes, I just have to fit it to me.....once, that's it. The bladder hose is right there for a drink, and with some of those you get actual, functional hip belt pockets you can stuff grub into. Nice feature that. Then I have to wonder if a hydration pack isn't more beneficial in a wind. Frame bags are pretty much sails waiting to happen.

Then again, maybe the answer doesn't lay in an "either-or" question. Maybe it is a combination of both things. Well, whatever it is for you, I have to figure out some things regarding this question. It will affect a certain event I am doing soon. Stay tuned.....

That's it for today. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Trans Iowa V9 Thoughts. Have a great weekend, ya'all. Ride yer bikes!


lawfarm said...

I'm getting more and more into the hydration packs, for certain rides, as well. In rough or sketchy conditions, when riding hard or racing on gravel, riding one-handed and drinking from a bottle can be challenging (especially in a pack). It may even discourage hydration. Riding with a hydration pack makes that a bit easier--hands off the bar for a second to throw the hose in your mouth, and you're ready to go. I'm trying to find a blend between a small hydration pack (for use in sketchy areas) and bottles (to keep the weight on the bike, instead of my back).

Michael Lemberger said...

Seems like the Dairy Roubaix ought to qualify as a gravel event. 2013 info on Facebook and likely also to come on the event website. April 20, 2013.

Did it last year and it was a blast. Maybe 70% gravel (a lot for Wisco) and Very Hilly. My photos are over on Flickr.

Ari said...

Just curious what Osprey model and size you are running. I use an Osprey on our Iowa missions but it seems to be a bit small for winter use. It does not have enough room for all the junk that I have to carry in case we do get stranded with a broken something. BTW we are riding this Sunday out of secret location. Shoot me an email if you are interested.

Guitar Ted said...

@lawfarm: I will say that a hydration bladder in a Tangle Bag works a trick, but takes up all the available space, for the most part. Could be an option for some though.

@Mauricio Babilonia. Indeed! i had dairy roubaix on the site before, but had no updated info for 2012. Thanks!

@Ari: That is a Raptor 10. Might be a tad small for your purposes, but the very similar raptor 18 may be just right for ya.