Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Let's Get This Ball Rolling Already!

May the Force be with you.
Spring. You know......that season we all look forward to so we can actually go for rides outdoors? Green grass, blue skies, and who cares if it is windy. Let's just ditch this Winter blah and cold for some Sun and a long road. (Preferably a gravel one here)

This season is hanging on too long. I think Joe, my coworker at the shop, and I figured out why this Winter seems so depressing. It is because the maximum amount of snow we got is still, (mostly) with us as Spring starts kicking in. Typically, that is not the case. Usually we have had a couple reprieves from the deep freeze and snow melt has been happening by now.

Not this time. Nope. So when we get warmer temperatures we still have all this snow and then rain comes along with it. Trading ice for muck. Bah! I'll probably sink to my hubs, but riding is going to start in sooner than later regardless.

I've got a lot to get to also. Not forgetting getting ready for the Renegade Gent's Race April 6th, I have the C.O.G. 100 to run the weekend before that, and more stuff to test and review going into Spring than I can remember. I had some reviews in progress over the Winter before January finally started acting like January. The WTB Venture tire test being one of those things. Then it was just stuff showing up, and more stuff, and........ Now I have a lot to get to. Tires and wheels and bicycles. It should be keeping me outdoors and riding a lot this Spring, as long as it isn't a wet one.

One of the interesting things amongst many is a single speed gravel bike I am going to be reviewing from State Bicycle Company called the Warhawk. This bike is here and built up. I haven't ridden it yet, since it has been raining, but this one will see early duty since it is single speed and crappy conditions won't foul the drive train. Anyway, it is pretty cool and has a very handsome look about it. There is just something about a simple, classy design that appeals to me. In a world of electronics and motor assisted gizmos, this bike just speaks to me. Maybe I am an oddball in that, but I am maybe more excited to ride this bike than I have been any test bike I have had in a long time.

The State Bicycle Company's Warhawk gravel bike. Will the love be felt later on when I ride it? Stay tuned....
The other bike I have in for test and review is an interesting, but kind of rare rig. It is an evolution of the ideas which were put into the Raleigh Tamland, which as many of you know, were partly from my influences. One of those product engineers I spoke with back in 2012 on a conference call was Mark Landsaat, who left Raleigh and now is running a company called Noble Bikes.

The Noble Bikes brand has a few interesting rigs and one of those is the GX5 which sports geometry numbers identical to the Raleigh Tamland, almost to a "T". The difference being in the fork offset, which on the Noble is actually a bit longer, I think, than what the Raleigh had on it. Anyway, it is thoroughly modern, with the "long top tube/short stem" layout which is fast becoming ubiquitous in the gravel genre. Through axles, flat mount brakes, and internal routing are all featured, of course. And, as you'd expect, it is pretty light at sub-20lbs with pedals. So, I am stoked to get that one out and dirty too.

Now if the weather gets straightened out........

1 comment:

Phillip Cowan said...

The State Warhawk looks pretty nice for a $600.00 bike. The stance is very reminiscent of the Titanium bike shown on Matt Chester's old 5 Metres of Development site. No matter what you may or may not think of Chester you have to admit that was a beautiful bike. However since the Warhawk has a steel fork,canti brakes and quick release hubs it's probably considered an unrideable deathtrap by modern standards.