Last week I posted that we at RidingGravel.com were thinking about rebooting the jersey idea and I posted two new designs courtesy of Bike Rags. I then asked you readers, if you cared to, to give me feedback on which one you'd like. I also posted these designs to the Riding Gravel Facebook page for consideration.
So, after all of that..... there was no clear winner! So, I'm not quite sure what to make of those results. Here's the kicker: We are not doing both. So the decision will likely fall on my shoulders to make. I'm going to allow this to carry on through the week next week, and if I do not get anymore feedback, the light blue one (with a slight mod) will be my choice.
Now.......there is still time to swing things the other way, so let me know now or it will definitely be the lighter blue one. The changes I want to make would be to go with a shade darker orange and add a strip of orange to the top of the rear pockets like the dark blue design has on it.
The orange on the darker jersey is not how dark I would go on the lighter blue jersey, just for reference. The orange on the light blue one just looks a bit too 'creamsicle' for my tastes. And if the deal is left in my hands to make the call, that's what it'll be.
So, one more week and we will then see how it goes. This isn't a super-high priority deal for RidingGravel.com. We do have our eyes on doing two t-shirts, classic designs we have done in the past that we are bringing back, and maybe a hoodie design. Stay tuned......
There also will be sticker packs and maybe one other kind of goodie as well. I doubt that we will get any of this off the ground for gift giving this holiday season. It will likely be later into the Winter before anything becomes available, unless I get surprised by something. We will see.
Oh! And just for the record, I don't hate the darker blue design, I just like it less than the lighter blue design. Plus, the lighter blue is more in keeping with our other jersey we put out a few years back. So, the continuity of that appeals to me a bit. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
|The new Japhy from Esker Cycles.|
Esker Cycles Debuts The Japhy Hardtail:
I had heard via Esker Cycles' head honcho on Facebook that there would be a new hardtail capable of handling a 29+ tire. Well, it was released Tuesday and it is a steel frame called the Japhy.
You may be familiar with the Esker Hayduke, which has been around now for a while. This seems to be Esker's 27.5 platform now that the Japhy is out which has been designated the 29"er in the range. The Japhy has all the up-to-date slack/long/low thing going on with its geometry. No real difference from many bikes like it in that regard. But what I see here is a great value in a steel hard tail.
The Japhy frame set, which has a 148 Boost rear through axle, the sliding Portage rear drop out, a seat collar, and a Wolf Tooth head set, is fairly priced at $750.00. Not just in one color either. No, you get to choose from four different colors. That's crazy value, but the frame isn't some gas pipe tube set either. Esker says it is a quad-butted, seamless ChroMoly tube set. It has a dropper route, and with those Portage drop outs, it can be set up to accept various hub widths and supports a rack as well.
I think it is a fetching bike for the buck. Especially compared to many others in this category. I'd look strongly at getting one if I lived in a place where it would make sense. The thing is, I don't live in a place where this makes sense.
The idea for using wood as a structural element isn't anything newsworthy, but when it comes to something that is like a bicycle? Well, that's a bit more unusual, although not unprecedented. Wood has been used to make bicycles and parts of bicycles for the entirety of the history of bicycles. But you'd have to agree that it isn't something you see everyday now.
I have seen wooden rims, handle bars, and a complete wooden bicycle before. The last one I recall being pretty noteworthy was the Renovo road bike. I actually worked on one at the shop I was at prior to my gig at Andy's Bike Shop. (Renovo went out of business in 2018) Wood is a very qualified material to use to make a bicycle frame. It has its challenges, but the unique characteristics of wood become immediately familiar when we associate its use in some everyday things we know well. Like tool handles. Many are made from hardwoods like ash because they are strong and absorb shock well. Think about Major League baseball bats. They are made from wood as well for similar reasons.
So, it makes sense that a frame for a gravel bike made from ash might be a worthwhile thing to do, and that's exactly where the company Twampa, from the U.K., is coming from with its new 'GR 1.0' gravel bike. Their unique take on a bicycle uses some cool machine work which features puzzle-piece junctions at major frame member joints and looks like a regular frame with, you know......wood grain.
|Image courtesy of Twampa|
Then you have the suitability for any given bit of timber to be used in a structure like a bicycle frame where a material's characteristics are pushed to their outer limits. Select trees may only produce a finite amount of suitable material. That's probably why you don't see a lot of wooden bicycle frames. Getting a consistency from 'nature' in quantities on demand at fair prices? Good luck with that. That's why prices for such objects generally are quite high. (Thinking about guitars here especially)
But it is an interesting thought- a wooden bike- and I would ride one, given the opportunity. It would have to be spectacularly awesome and loads more comfortable than say, carbon fiber, or steel, for me to even give thought to buying one. Why? because I don't see the value proposition being an advantage over what I can buy for, (likely) a lot less. I mean, if this frame alone, with no fork, mind you, is 3K? Yeah..... That's very difficult to justify unless it is so much better than titanium, carbon, or high end steel. But, you'd have an unusual bike, that's for sure!
And that's a wrap. REJECT BLACK FRIDAY! Go for a bicycle ride.....or a walk even...instead! have an awesome weekend!