Friday, January 31, 2020

Friday News And Views

The new Surly Ogre color- Slate Blue
Surly Offers New Ogre Color:

Surly Bikes used to be this irreverent, devil-may-care company that put out bikes no one thought they wanted until Surly made them. That ship has sailed and now Surly promotes themselves as the "customizable brand". The bike you get and pimp out to make it your own thing, which Surly riders over the years have certainly done. But this brand isn't the only one that happens with. Anyway...... Moving on!

I generally don't get too excited about Surly's ever changing color palette. The bikes don't change, much, if at all, and when Surly has brought out bikes of late, (Midnight Special, Bridge Club), they are kind of.......meh! Not the "what the hell.....I want that!" kind of bike they used to be known for bringing to the table. The last bike I recall hitting me that way from Surly would be the Krampus, maybe the Ice Cream truck. Anyway......Moving On!

So, why bother with showing this Ogre. Well, I have always found the Ogre to be a very intriguing bike. I like to think of it as the bike that resulted when an original Fargo Gen I got together with an original Gen I Karate Monkey, and bam! It's the Ogre! The Ogre has a lot of things those two earlier bikes have that I find attractive, all in one bike.

Things like non-suspension corrected geometry, single speed-able, big tire clearances, and a host of what Surly calls "barnacles" with which to mount things off of. If I had to replace my Gen I Fargo, this bike would be on my radar for sure. Plus, I have a soft spot for any bike that is light blue in color. Fortunately, I don't have to replace that bike, but if something along those lines is what you are after, I think the Ogre would make a fine, "do anything" bike.

 Secrets Revealed:

In this business I am in with, I get news before it is supposed to be released all the time. You can bet that at any given moment I probably am sitting on something, or three things, that will be known in the near future by everyone. Two of such things are being revealed this morning.

So, here's another secret. Maybe some of you have figured this out by now. I generally write these posts ahead of time and schedule them to appear shortly after midnight Mountain Standard Time. Why MST? Well, why not? I know I live in the Central Standard Time Zone, but MST doesn't get enough love, so ya know.....that's when I schedule them. I don't know, really, it's just how it ended up.

At any rate, the companies with "embargoes" on stories typically select a release time world-wide based upon where their headquarters are at. One story comes out based upon CST and the other based upon PST. ( MST! I'm telling ya, it doesn't get any respect.) Anyway, if you see either story, you'll figure it out.

I'll have my say on one of the two things tomorrow and the other on Monday. Stay tuned......

Redshift Sports Shock Stop seat post.
 Redshift Sports Takes The Covers Off New Seat Post:

Speaking of secrets, this is one I have literally been "sitting on"! The Redshift Sports Shock stop seat post really is not all that secret, actually. They ran a Kickstarter fund raiser to fund the productions, and several folks already have theirs. But publicly, Redshift asked reviewers to withhold their reviews until now. Note- Redshift Sports sent this post to me to review for Riding Gravel. I did not buy this post.

I've been using this post since late November on my Ti Muk 2, and now on my pink BMC MCD gravel bike, and in short- It's a winner. This post will be a big hit for a lot of cyclists.

Sharp eyed readers may have spotted this post on my rigs over the past months, but I haven't called it out in images. Long time readers may also recall another shock absorbing seat post I ran on my old Mukluk titanium bike, which featured parallel coil springs. While that model worked quite nicely for me, that particular company changed the design, and when they did, the post was not at all functional for a guy my size and weight. I was blowing through the travel on that post at the slightest provocation by a bump and that using the maximum pre-load with the maximum weight rated springs installed. Their previous model did not require that, and subsequently this company has redesigned their post for big fellas. Unfortunately, they did not get back to me with that for my opinions. And now, they may as well not bother. This Redshift post blows that design away, in my opinion.

Why? Because this design is simpler and easier to use. With the previous company's design, I had to disassemble the linkage partially to swap out one or both springs with one of several choices to adjust for load bearing, and then pre-load was done with a knob, externally, which was nice, actually. The extra springs did not come with the post, so if you needed to swap out springs, it was a long, drawn out affair with a need to order in springs. This Redshift Sports Shock Stop post comes with everything you need. The design only utilizes a single coil spring up to a certain weight rider. If you are over that weight, you only need to add an additional spring which comes with the post. These are easily installed by removing a cap on the bottom of the post. (Think hybrid bike suspension seat post, if you have dealt with those before) Then pre-load is simply a twist of that same cap using a graduated scale to judge against, and you are set. Just install the post and ride.

I'll have more on this post in the reviews forthcoming on where three of us have had this post for awhile now. Stay tuned... (NOTE: Redshift Sports sent the Shock Stop Seat Post at no charge for test and review on I was not paid, nor bribed for this post and I always strive to give my honest thoughts and views throughout)

Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles
 New Wide Cowchippers:

Salsa Cycles announced on Wednesday some new widths on their popular Cowchipper bar. Previously the widest offered was 46cm, measured at the "hoods" of the bar.

Now those in search of the rangiest bars with the most comfortable drops can go anywhere from 48cm, 52cm, or 54cm in width. Again- this is measured at the point the brake lever hoods would be, so the flared drop portion would be even wider. Pay attention here, because you may not be able to exit your home if you get these really wide bars with your bike!

Salsa isn't the only company offering really wide bars now, and the trend is coming from mountain biking where short, stubby stems and really wide bars are the norm. There is also a trend for longer front/center gravel bikes, just as with mountain bikes, matched with shorter stems. (See the Evil Bikes, or Knolly Bikes gravel rigs as examples)

Does this portend a new rig from Salsa? The venerable Fargo is an aging platform, and in recent years, it has gotten more "mountain bike-ish" with the longer forks to accommodate suspension and multiple tire/wheel sizes for bike packing options. A new handle bar may point to a ground-up redesign of the Fargo which is due for a make-over anyway.

Okay, that's a wrap on the FN&V. Have a great weekend!


Iowagriz said...

Happy Weekend! Would like your thoughts on using the Redshift with a fully loaded bikepacking seatbag, like the Vischacha. Seems like it would work just fine with no pinching. Might just need to add some more preload to the spring. I know you have packs, have you used it in this manner yet?

Seems like a good solution to add bump compliance for long bikepacking trips.

Exhausted_Auk said...

Like to see the Fargo go back to a non-suspension corrected fork and add thru axles, while keeping the alternator dropouts. And is there any way to make the steel version even slightly less of an absolute tank?!

baric said...

Have you ever had a chance to sample a set of Origin 8 Everland race bars? If so what are your thoughts on them. They are almost the same dimensions as the OS sweep bars you reviewed a few years back which you seemed to like pretty well except for the center which left no room for lights or accessories. The Everland race version are basically the same dimensions, shallow drops and all except for a super wide center which goes almost all the way across the top and the tops being 46 cm. instead of 44 for mounting aero bars, lights, cue sheets or what have you. They are designed mostly for gravel racing, bike packing, off road touring etc. Any thoughts? I value your and MG's opinions on this stuff. And thanks for the heads up on the Redshift seatpost.

Michael said...

I picked up a Bridge Club last summer and love it. But, yeah, there’s no sense of anything new or exciting about it.

I run Cow Chippers on my road bike and a slightly wider version might be nice to have. I can see the extra space between the bars coming in handy for folks that run a lot of front loads.

Guitar Ted said...

@Iowagriz - The Redshift post has 30mm of travel, so it maybe would be okay with a bag that was made in such a way that the movement of the post didn't scuff through the bag. That'd be my #1 concern there. The mechanism is in a place where it is less likely to be against a bag, but each situation and bag is different, so checking that first would be a priority.

Then consider rider + cargo weight. IF that doesn't exceed 246lbs, then yeah, you're probably okay. The lighter the rider + cargo weight is, the better off you'd be in tuning the post for a decent ride quality. Heavier riders will not be able to use the post in the manner you have suggested. I would recommend a good Titanium post there. You'd be surprised how much a Ti post can smooth out a ride.

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk - This idea we see eye to eye on, but unfortunately I do not see Salsa going in that direction. I dearly wish that they would, or that someone else would, and yes- make it out of steel that doesn't double as gas pipe. The Breezer I tested last year went in that direction, but missed on tire clearance and it had terribly ugly welds.

Oh well......

Guitar Ted said...

@baric - I have not ridden that bar, but I have seen it on-line. I decided against getting it based on what I was seeing in the section I call the "ramps"- that part of the bar just behind where your levers mount and ahead of the bar "top". From my viewpoint, that section was way too long. It means that the distance there in that bar's ramps has to be added to your overall reach. In effect, it makes your "virtual stem length" longer, if you will.

Otherwise it looks fine. That longer ramps section was also present in the Gary OS Sweep bar I reviewed some time ago and was why I never kept using it.

Barturtle said...

Singular Pegasus? Not sure exact geometry, but all the brazeons seem to be able to be customized.

..and of course if one wanted a non-corrected drop bar the Gryphon Ti...

Guitar Ted said...

@Barturtle - I'm not even sure you can get a Singular anymore. I just visited their webpage and it is not clear that ordering one is an option- only the Ti Gryphon and Ti Swift are even mentioned as being "current".

There is a promise of new steel frames, but nothing concrete on the site to bank on.

There was another company making a similar to a Gen I Fargo frame/fork recently called the Penhale Bicycle Company. They make a model called the Gypsy but it only takes a 2.1" 29"er tire-

They have a "Vagabond" frame that is more of a Fargo design but it never seems to be available.

Barturtle said...

It looks, according to their Facebook, the Ti models are semi-custom batch built, so I guess one would contact them to choose options and place the order. There's talk there about an updated, steel Peregrine, with prototypes being ordered and either preorder or kickstarter.

Mac said...

I bought an Ogre last year, and I'm also excessively fond of light blue bicycles. Happily for me, I did manage to see one of the new models in my local bike shop, and found that the new color has a little more gray, and a slightly more matte finish than the picture appears. It's not my perfect blue, so I can still be happy with Pile of Bricks red.