Friday, April 02, 2021

Friday News And Views

New Riding Gravel stickers are in.
 Riding Gravel Apparel & Stickers Are In:

Thanks to Bike Rags the newest editions of Riding Gravel t-shirts and the new stickers are in. We kept things simple and brought back a classic design this time. 

First up, Ben, my partner in brought up a tagline and posted it with one of our Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast postings. He came up with "Fun On The Rocks" and it was something that just struck a chord with me. I like that it points to this type of cycling as being a good time, not just gnarly adventure, racing, or suffer-fest nonsense. Not that those things cannot be a part of the gravel riding scene, or that they shouldn't be, but that is not the main attraction here. "Fun" is. 

Bike Rags did all the printing and sourcing of the shirts. They did a great job. For shirts we have an ash grey colored "Addicted To Gravel" shirt featuring that phrase in a clearly read black font. Next up we decided to bring back a classic shirt from 2013-14. It is a dark grey shirt wth white printing showing an old time high-wheeler bike with the saying "Riding Stones Shaking Bones" above and below the cyclists in old Western style font. 

Bike Rags is also the sponsor of the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch which just posted another episode which you can get the link to here. Fancy yourself a t shirt, or just want to check them out? See this link. Every order gets a free sticker too. Thanks!

March went out like a lion, I rode my Trek commuter bike anyway.

Townie Update:

That old Trek I featured here earlier in the year is getting out and getting used again. I thought some of you might be interested in how it has been going so far. 

My main concern was the seated position which put me a bit further out over the front end than I typically like. I do have a silver set-back seat post I want to install in the bike but I haven't gotten around to that yet. I am not in too big of a hurry to get that done, obviously!

Secondly, I was a bit concerned that this frame would flex, or that the quick release skewer would be too weak to hold the wheel straight under heavier pedaling, and the tire would rub on the chain stay. But so far? Nothing to report there. In fact, this frame does ride a bit stiffer than I would have imagined that it would have. It isn't all that smooth, to be honest. I was a bit surprised by that revelation.

I also do not like how the handle bars want to slam to one side or the other when I get off the bike, or if I try to push the bike without having a hand on the bars. Something is a bit off in the front geometry of this rig. Of course, all that forged stem weight and the additional weight from the bottle cages, sitting where that does, affects this trait negatively as well. It's not a 'deal killer' but it is really annoying at times.

But the bike does what I need it to. I get errands done on it and save wear, tear, and gas on the truck. I get exercise instead of no exercise while driving.  I get to dodge car traffic and wonder if 'that guy is going to pull out or.......?' (Of course, the same thing happens when I drive, so- no difference!) So, that's how it's been going with the old Trek. The bike doesn't carry much, so that's a bit problematic. I need to drag that old Schwinn with the rack and panniers out and get that going again. It is pretty much a 'pump the tires up and go' job but for one small detail- I have to recondition the old Brooks saddle on it. Once I get that squared away, I'm good to go. Then I'd be all set as far as cargo rigs and townies. 

Lezyne Gravel Floor Drive

Yes- Gravel Specific Pumps: 

If it is for bicycles and if it can be marketed it probably has an option which is 'Gravel® Specific'. It's weird, I know....... I wish it would stop as well, but trying to market to folks using 'gravel bikes' makes it harder to call this 'just a pump' which would be great for your gravel tires when you can sum that all up by saying "This is a gravel specific pump". (sigh!)

So, we get all this goofy 'gravel specific' this and that thrown at us to consider. The latest groan-inspiring marketing play came last week when I got information regarding Lezyne's new range of floor pumps for gravel. Now, maybe it is wrong, or maybe it is not, but most companies sending me stuff like this? I delete it. Garbage time. But I know Lezyne has quality pumps and so, I opened the email. 

Okay, here's the deal: I have floor pumps. Multiple floor pumps, but I have specific jobs for each. My basement/shop pump is an old, almost dead, Bontrager Charger pump. My 'upstairs' pump for years has been a Topeak Joe Blow. Both of those pumps are really aging out fast. I use them a LOT, and so, no surprises there. I've gotten my money's worth out of both of them. 

I have one other pump. A review item which Silca did not want back, which I have been using consistently since it arrived here. That's probably going to take over the 'upstairs' duties completely. The old Joe Blow will retire to the basement and I'll use that as a back-up pump to.......

What I hope to be getting in for a review is one of those Lezyne gravel specific pumps. I have had good luck with their stuff and I still have a Mini-Drive pump I bought something like 14 years ago that I rely on as an emergency pump in one of my top-tube bags. It should be said that that old Lezyne pump has saved the day on many an occasion since I've had it. For myself and others. 

So while the whole "Gravel®" thing gets long in the tooth, I do think that many products actually do deserve some of our attention. Perhaps if we can put aside our collective distaste for how a product is marketed and look at what things actually are- in this case, a decent floor pump - maybe then we'd find some worthwhile aids to our cycling experience. That's what I'm hoping to find here, anyway.

That's a wrap for this week! get out and ride if you can.


teamdarb said...

I saw that pump thw other day and laughed a bit. Then I remembered I am still searching for a NOS Blackburn Mammoth Mountain frame pump. Loaned my original to a guy years ago. I have to agree on the last part that there are some items loose pavement focused which are great tools when you think about it. For example while cruising Soma's website I saw this "Nitto Handlebar Sigma Touring Bullhorn" the description makes a claim that it may be a good fit for those not comfortable in the drops going downhill on gravel. I laughed. Then it dawned to me the large number of people I have seen riding and braking from the tops.

Exhausted_Auk said...

If "gravel specific" means that the pressure gauge goes to 50psi instead of 100psi+ then I'm all for it. Hopefully it means the gauge is more accurate in the lower pressure ranges. I have different pumps that disagree by as much as 5psi, which is a lot when you are pumping only to 20 or 30 to begin with.