|Current state of the beast......|
The bike overall has been great, and if you want to read more about that, see this post I wrote back in May. Otherwise, let's talk about some of the changes first....
The saddle that came stock with this bike was decent, but I was finding that after about 50 miles it wasn't very pleasant to sit on anymore. So, I tried this Ergon saddle and I have to say that it wasn't "love at first sitting", but I have come around to liking it just fine. The feeling was reinforced on my last ride when I found that I really needed to be a bit further back in the "pocket" of this saddle where it just hit me "right" and I was really satisfied with that. The issue has been a stem that is a hair too long, so you can probably guess one of my next upgrades!
|I've been very happy with these brakes.|
The TRP Spyre brakes are literally the next evolution in mechanical disc brakes and should have been done five years or more ago. The modulation with the Shimano Ultegra 11's brifter levers is firm, but very good feeling. Power aplenty here. Really, I couldn't even begin to delve into how well these work on gravel, because they are overkill. On pavement though, I have had opportunity to really have to get on them, and they shine as good as many hydro brakes. One thing I've found is that many brakes of the disc persuasion tend to get grabby when they heat up. Sometimes you can predict this and let off the lever pressure a bit, but some brakes aren't quite so predictable. The TRP's are pretty consistent, so I haven't been annoyed by the grabby when hot issue.
They will make a whistle noise- high pitched whining- sometimes. Not always, but mostly they are quiet and very powerful for mech disc brakes. The trouble is that these have come out right at the dawning of drop bar hydro levers and will soon be extinct. Too bad. It's a great design.
Now a word on gearing: The Ultegra 11's are pretty new. There aren't any good alternative 11 speed mtb cassettes out now either. This means that I am limited to the 32T low gear here. Seriously, I will admit to this being a totally mental issue. I have nearly the same exact set up in 9 speed on the BMC "Orange Crush" bike and almost never use the lowest gears. That cassette does have a 34T and it remains pretty unused and dirty! I just need to buckle up and pedal this bike up some steeps and get over this, but I do wish that a 34T was available, just because!
Changes: While I am really close to being "dialed" on this rig, I do want to try a bit shorter stem, a lighter, maybe more compliant seat post, and top of the list is new wheels. The stock Tamland Two wheels are solid, workhorse wheels, but they are on the heavy end of the spectrum. I'll be cooking up an alternative soon.