Monday, December 24, 2018

Rear View 2018: Pink MCD & GTDRI

The Bubblegum Princess on its maiden voyage.
Mid-Summer brought two notable events in my life. The first was an addition to the stable which replaced my old Twin Six Standard Rando. It was the Black Mountain Cycles "MCD" model which was renamed by my daughter as the "Bubblegum Princess".

FYI: This will serve as a "Bikes Of 2018" post:

This ended up transforming from a "hope that it is as good as the old BMC I have is", to "Wow! This thing is awesome!" in a big hurry after I rode it the first time. The fit, which I had researched from my other bikes and transposed to the BMC, was spot on. I haven't tweaked a thing since the day it was built. That's very odd for me. 

Besides the obvious pink bit, the bike was kitted out in carbon from Irwin Cycling (wheels) and Whiskey Components (Handle bar, seat post). It has a new Shimano CX series crank with 46/36 gearing and an 11 speed cassette with 11-36T spread. The rear derailleur is a Shimano Ultegra. (Yes- it isn't supposed to work. Hint: It's perfect) That gives me one 1 to 1 gear and usually that's plenty low enough. It's what we had on our old loaded touring bikes as a lowest gear, and that always got me where I needed to go.

The tires are WTB Riddler 45's on there now, but I have run 650B X 47's and in a while it will be back to 700c X 42mm wheels and tires using my all-time favorite tires- the WTB Resolutes. Otherwise, no changes in the near future for this rig.

I really, really wanted to ride this bike on my GTDRI ride, but responsibilities to testing prevented that choice. This would bite me in the you-know-where for most of the rest of 2018.

That be MG wearing his fresh DKXL jersey. Kyle Platts on the right here. 2018 GTDRI.
The second big deal of Mid-Summer was my annual Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational, (GTDRI) which happened on a hot day in late July. It was a big turnout- 25 riders total- and it turned out to be quite a hoot. I think that locally it was something that eventually turned on a lot of riders to Tama County gravel riding. That's a good thing.

I was stoked to have all who came, but was really grateful to MG for making the trip from Lincoln, Nebraska. I also was glad to see local rider Jeremy Fry return to this ride after skipping it a couple of years.

But as I stated above, the bike I was testing and reviewing for Riding Gravel had a 1X set up and I had issues with the bike getting into the lowest three cogs, as in it wouldn't shift into them. That left me pushing way too big a gear on climbs, some of which I had to walk due to fatigue later into the ride. I wasn't real happy about that. Had I ridden the new Bubblegum Princess, well, that would have been a non-issue. Even if I had a balky rear derailleur, at least I could have dropped the front ring down to a 36T. The Apex 1 crank had a 42T ring, and that was killing me. My legs weren't the same for months afterward.

Next: Late Summer 2018

No comments: