Monday, February 28, 2022

Colnago Fork Update

 I have a bit of a progress report and a big "Thank You" shout out to give on today's post. You may recall that recently I discovered my old Colnago's original fork while doing a deep cleaning of my shop. Well, I received a tip on how I might clean the rust up off this fork from one of you readers here. So, I gave that a try, and I am here to report on the results.

The tip was to take some wadded up aluminum foil and water and rub this on the affected area. It was an odd thought at first, but thinking about it further, this is kind of like using steel wool, right? With the exception that I was using water as a lubricant. 

Well, I modified this tip due to some things I have seen recently on an amplifier repair channel on You Tube. The amp repair guy I follow there uses alcohol to clean amplifier chassis a lot, so I figured exchanging the water for alcohol would be okay.  And it worked alright, but.....

This fork seems to be pretty corroded. Anyway, I wasn't seeing the results I had hoped for. It did remove the oxidation from the chrome though. That was a good thing. So I thought I'd dig out my Mother's Mag polish and see how that would do. I rubbed that on and it did take away some more of the actual corrosion. But.... Yeah, I'm not really satisfied with this. In my experience, this rust will come back rather quickly unless it is sealed away from the air or I get the fork re-chromed or painted. take a look and see what I mean...


Treated fork leg on the left, what it looked like to begin with on the right.

Sure, it's 'better' than it was to begin with, but I cannot seem to get it any better than this with what I have now. Again, I am pretty sure, based upon my experience, that this won't hold up in the long term. Not that I will ride this bike a lot, but who knows? Once it gets back up and running, I might find that I really like it, and I may end up riding it a fair amount.

Thanks to one of my readers I have this quill insert.

Now on to the "Thank You" portion of this post. A regular reader and commenter on this blog, 'baric', asked if I might want to have this quill insert so I could use my current stem for the Colnago. The old fork is a threaded steer tube fork, so it requires a quill stem, which I don't have, and the current carbon fork is a threadless steer tube fork, which uses a completely different stem. 

So, I accepted the offer and there you can see the part which will hasten things along nicely toward a completion. 

I do have a head set, a Campy Athena threaded head set, so that part should be okay. I just have to swap everything over to the old (different) fork than I have now on there. 

But, I don't want to swap that all over until I get this chrome/rust situation settled. In my mind at this point I am thinking that I get this fork shined up as good as possible and then clear-coat it somehow and just live with the results. I do not plan on riding this bike in anything but blue-sky weather, so risking the finish against rain or inclement weather of any sort would be taken away. 

So, that's where I am at with the old Colnago at this point. By the way, if you are not familiar with this bike and the story behind it, here is the link back to that post where I talked about all of that. Okay, so if you have any advice, be sure to hit me up in the comments. Thanks to 'baric' again, and I'll have a new update on this bike in the near future,

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Trans Iowa Stories: A Different Affair

A major change in the event format came about due to a social media post.
  "Trans Iowa Stories" is an every Sunday post which helps tell the stories behind the event. You can check out other posts about this subject  by clicking on the "Trans Iowa Stories" link under the blog header. Thanks and enjoy!  

Right after Trans Iowa v13 happened I spent a lot of time on social media, specifically on Facebook, so I could find reports on the event. Oddly enough, many younger/newer to Trans Iowa riders never thought about actually sending me their race reactions/reports. I guess Facebook was assumed to be sufficient for my notification of whatever their experiences were. That was a vast departure from the older Trans Iowa events when I would be sent several race reports, or emails directing me to blogs, etc, where reports were hosted. 

Times change....

Now, I must say that not everyone was like that. Early on or later on- There are always exceptions to the norm, and I recognize that. However; it was sort of disheartening to have to go looking for how people that came to my event were affected- good or bad- and that was made even more sharply felt when people on social media would thank me specifically but not alert me to their efforts to thank me. That was one oddity of social media, but there was another as well.

You can search terms on social media, and of course, I would search "Trans Iowa", #transiowa, or "Guitar Ted" and find all sorts of posts I never would have thought to find. One such post, actually it was a comment on a post I found, revealed an instance of systemic cheating that I was unaware of up to that point. 

At some point many riders had learned how to get around nav to CP#1

This all had to do with how I had been giving out the first set of cue sheets the night before the event at the Pre-Race Meat-Up. Apparently a certain rider who had participated in T.I.v12 was reacting to commentary about cue sheet navigation on this Facebook thread. He said that "many of the top riders" were getting the cues at the pre-race meeting to the first checkpoint and entering the directions into their GPS computers so they would not have to read the cue sheets. They simply only had to listen for the audible prompt and then check to see which direction they had to go in. 

I was deeply disheartened by that knowledge. I was saddened, angry, and hurt. I knew that not every rider had that advantage, and it was, obviously, not at all in the spirit of the rules of Trans Iowa. Something had to be done. I fired off an email to Jeremy Fry and between he and I we had a bit of discussion. Essentially, it was boiled down to not giving the riders who were using this trick the chance to use it by not giving them the cues the night before. The cues would have to be kept secret right up until the event start. It would make the event a quite different affair in many ways.

Then, after the revelation of the cheating scheme, I had a chance to think about this new development. Or.....was it really new? How long had this been going on? I remembered being pretty struck by how fast riders at the front were getting to the first checkpoint along about v10 or so, and around about that time I decided to shorten the cut off time to that checkpoint. Maybe riders were on to this by v10. I know they were for v12, and I would assume that wasn't the first time that trick was played. 

CX Mag ran unauthorized images from v13. (This was from v14)
This process of mulling over this development put a further distaste for continuing on into my mind. I was also very angry at myself for being so naive. 

Trans Iowa, as I have stated before, was an 'old soul' in terms of events. Technology was too tantalizing, too much of a temptation to use, even though I stated that it wasn't in the spirit of the event. Riders still were willing to cheat, even though the event didn't have a prize purse, benefits to winning outside of personal pride and accomplishment, and despite of my pleading with them to honor the event and my work by not using technology like cell phones and GPS. 

Again- not everyone was doing this. I know that. However; the few that were had punctured my desires to keep up the good fight and to keep doing this exhaustive work every year only to have a few throw me curve balls like the GPS thing. There were other factors that added to this. Like the unauthorized use of my images for a Facebook page about T.I.v14. Unauthorized use of information and images for use in magazine articles which were written up to make it sound as if the writer had attended the event. Of course, the details were often wrong in those stories, but they got their 'clicks' and content for their physical magazine for free. There were newspaper photographers taking images without permission and writing stories up as well. All without my knowledge. And it was very frustrating that I was doing all this work and getting disrespected in that way. 

It was tiring. Riding herd on all the people trying to cheat, take shortcuts, and trying to spectate, or benefit from Trans Iowa. It would have been nice to have been asked, but when people and entities just take without asking, it grinds my gears and this had pushed me over the line by v13's end. That I decided to end Trans Iowa was, in large part, motivated by these things as well. 

Next: How Do You Do This?

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Guitar Ted "Lube-Off": Introducing The Contenders For 2022

Silca Super-Secret" Chain Lube
Okay! I have filled the two slots for the new round of the Guitar Ted Lube-Off for 2022's riding season. I had asked for your feedback on this and everyone was all on-board with the SILCA "Super-Secret" Chain Lube. So, that has been ordered up. It was rather fortuitous for me that at the time I placed the order, SILCA was offering 8 ounce bottles of the stuff for the price of a 4 ouncer. Bonus!

If you are not aware, the Super-Secret formula is supposedly like SILCA's melted wax product for chains so we will see about that. As stated, I'll be putting this on a brand new, scrubbed up Shimano 11 speed chain and that will be installed on the Raleigh Tamland Two. 

I have that chain already, so I'll be getting that prepped, cleaning up the cassette and chain rings, and getting everything spiffed up for this test.

Now, that left me searching for a second lubricant to add to this test. You- my dear readers- did not give me much of any indication that you wanted to see another lube, so I was on my own to find something to use here. That's a dangerous thing to do folks! Because left to my own devices, I can sometimes come up with crazy ideas, and I think you are going to find that my second choice is a bit off the wall. 

Originally I had Allied Cycles "Grax" on my radar, but they think their stuff is all that, and the price was pretty dear. I was hesitant to spend well over 20 bucks with shipping to get 4 ounces of lubricant that may not do all that great. And even if it! 

Sheep oil = lanolin. I'm giving it a try!

So, I started looking and I found something pretty unique and which has a feature that many lubricants claim to have, but do they really? That is being a friend to our environment. 

I found this stuff from a company called "Eco Sheep" made from "sheep oil", which is basically lanolin. Sheep produce this oily/waxy substance on their wool to help them become water repellent and safe from dirt and pests. It is removed from their wool after shearing in a process called 'scouring' and turned into cosmetics, cremes, oils, and more. 

One source I found claims sheep oil is water repellent, protects against salt water, and penetrates into chains for better than petroleum based lubricant performance. 

I thought it sounded intriguing, but what sold me was that it is free of petrochemicals and completely biodegradable. Lot's of other lubricants for chains claim this, but being this is a naturally produced product, I am a bit more apt to believe these claims. 

Anyway, as a side bonus the 3.5 ounces I am getting cost me less than half of the Grax stuff, which yeah..... Who knows what's in that bottle. I really am hopeful that this works because if it does I think it would be a great alternative to the mainstream lubricants, many of which have harmful PTFE's and other nasties in their formulas. 

And furthermore; this series of "Lube-Off" rounds I have conducted over the years has included some pretty odd-ball brands and types of lubricants. So why not sheep oil! 

Stay tuned.....

Friday, February 25, 2022

Friday News And Views

2022 Giant Trance X
More Bicycle Piracy In The News:

Last week, from the industry news source, "Bike Biz", it was reported that a container load of 127 Giant e-MTB's were stolen from a carrier on the A12 highway. 

Thieves cut open the container, transferred the load to another vehicle and drove away. Details of the heist were not provided, but authorities were quick to warn people to be on the lookout for the bikes on the black market and to report any suspicions activity to the authorities. 

Comments: Supply chain issues, theorized by experts to continue on throughout the year, and perhaps longer, are causing these high end bikes to be targets of thieves. I suspect we will be hearing more about such heists in the coming months as the cycling season gets underway.

As spectacular as these heists are, let's also not forget that thieves are watching cycling teams and events as targets for their nefarious schemes. I've read stories about entire Pro team bike fleets being stolen and last year I heard about stolen bikes at a major gravel event. 

If you have a high-end, late model gravel rig or MTB and you are going to a big event, it should be on your to-do list to be extra vigilant when it comes to watching over your bicycles and in terms of security.  

Wolf Tooth's new rotor lock rings come in many colors.

Wolf Tooth Announces New Rotor Lock Rings:

Wolf Tooth Components announced on Tuesday that they were making rotor lock rings for Center Lock rotors in alloy. These will come in several colors including black, silver, green, orange, blue, red, purple, and gold. 

They fit 12, 15, and 20mm axles. The rotor lock rings are made in the USA and cost $15.95 each. 

Comments: Back in the 1990's I remember bike shops had cabinets full of anodized bits and baubles to accessorize your bike. Things went 'dark' in the late 90's and for most of the 'aughts' as black anodized stuff was about all you could find, unless you bought stuff from King or Hope! 

Things changed slowly over the ensuing years and now it appears that one can get all the colored bits they want and have a 'matchy-matchy' look or a 'unicorn vomit' look, depending on how "OCD" you are about anodized accessories. Maybe I ought to grab a pair of the purple ones for my pink BMC! 

UCI Pro Gravel World Tour Dates And Venues Leaked:

According to a "Cyclingtips" article online dated 2/22/22, the UCI Pro Gravel Wold Tour calendar has been leaked. The series has 14 dates and apparently it will kick off in April in the Philippines. 

There are three dates in North America. Two in the US and one in Canada. Interestingly the last date is listed as the "Jingle GX Gravel Race". The series is sponsored by Trek. Another look at this story can be found here on "Cycling News".

Comments: A lot of this was known ahead of these specifics, but the last date is intriguing. It is in Iowa City and the event has been held there for a few years already. Interestingly, Jingle Cross lost its World CX event status and this plumb event on the Gravel World Tour would be a nice alternative. 

Will that final event be the World Championships?  No. That honor will go to Tuscany where the Gravel World Championships will be held, reportedly in mid-October.

Southeast Gravel Series Announces Docu-series Project:

The Southeast Gravel Series, a six event series of gravel events held in the Southeastern USA, has announced a 'docu-series' to cover these evnts which they have dubbed "What Pressure". Here is a bit from the press release I got for this:

What Pressure will follow gravel cyclists, from pro to amateur, involved in the world of gravel racing within the Southeast Gravel race series. Each episode will run approximately 20 minutes and will highlight a variety of cyclists that makes gravel racing such a unique demographic. "

The event series also announced a hand-cycle category for all of its events as well, marking it as the first event series to feature such a category offering in the gravel events genre'. 

You can see more about the series here: 

Comments: Ever since Tour Divide was documented in "Ride The Divide" gravel event directors and film makers have been eager to promote their events similarly. Of course, gravel event documentaries were done before 2012, such as the one about Trans Iowa in 2008 called "300 Miles of Gravel". But "Ride The Divide", in my mind, was the watershed creation from which this kind of marketing/entertainment idea for gravel events sprang forth from. 

The feature of the series that is probably more important than the docu-series, in my opinion, is the hand-cycle category for these events. That will be interesting to watch unfold. Undoubtedly this will expand the scope of participants even more in the realm of gravel events. This, to my way of thinking, is a bigger deal than a self-serving film series which- in all likelihood- will not be as far-reaching in its impacts as a hand-cycling category could be. But perhaps I will be proven wrong there. 

Be Kind To Your Tires:

Wednesday I saw this Tweet from veteran cycling media writer, James Huang. If you cannot read it, basically what he is saying is that new orders into Maxxis Tires for bicycle tires will be delivered in TWO YEARS from now. 

Let that sink in for a moment.

I also saw another article encouraging cyclists to run their tires longer and to always patch tubes before throwing them out. In other words, expect shortages, and higher prices, on new wheel goods. And as well- shouldn't we all be using up tires and tubes until they are worn out? That's another thing to be thinking about as well. 

I'm seeing people asking about maintenance, where to buy chains and cassettes, and more. This situation is far from over, and with all the events kicking into gear this year with new ones being added seemingly daily, pressure on the supply chain will probably remain at a very high level throughout 2022 and 2023 by the looks of it. 

Some experts were saying that by the end of this year we'd be seeing relief. Ah........I am not so sure about that now anymore.

That's a wrap for this end of February "FN&V". Will March come in like a lion, or a lamb? I don't care as long as it gets warmer! Thank you for reading G-Ted Productions! 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

What's In A Name?

1980's Mongoose All Terrain Pro- An example of when the name was different
 Recently I noted an article on "" where they had posted concerning the naming of a certain fat tired type of bicycle. In this case, they favor the term "ATB " over that of "Mountain Bike". Their feeling that the term 'mountain bike' denotes a certain riding style and that bikepacking denotes another style which is better represented by another name, which was used early on in the off-road, 26"er days. 

That acronym, "ATB", stands for "All Terrain Bicycle". Those early bicycles built by Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze, and others were not "mountain bikes". Not originally. That term was a brand name first, (MountainBikes) not a name for all off-road, fat tired bicycles. But then it changed. Riders and media bought into calling these bikes "mountain bikes", and by the late 80's, "All Terrain Bicycles" was too burdensome and too pushed out of the mindset of consumers to ever be brought back. Or was it? 

Riding off-road, in the Mid-West, NOT on mountains.

In one manner of thinking about this, you can ride single track all across the nation, but not all of it is on mountains, right? So it would make sense to call such bicycles "All Terrain Bicycles", from that point of view. However; then where do you draw the line. I mean, you can ride a fat bike on single track anywhere, yes? That said, most of what I am seeing in that linked article is saying those bikes are not "ATB"'s in their minds. 

That "" article takes a swipe at "gravel bikes" as well, which- as you long-time readers know- is a category I have said for years is misnamed. But you know what? The marketing departments got a hold of it and now there is no turning back. In fact, marketing wonks have maybe gone a bit too far and are now off the deep end.

I do agree with the premise of the "" article though. I feel much the same way about adopting the term "ATB" for those off-road, fat tired bikes, including fat bikes. Is it a better, all-inclusive description for those bikes than "mountain bike"? Undoubtedly. But does that name, "ATB", conjure up the same imagery in your mind, and similar feelings as the term "mountain bike" does? No..... I think "ATB" is a very bland acronym for fat tired, go anywhere without a road bike, bike. It just doesn't have any cache'. It is kind of soulless. So, yeah.....good luck with that, I just don't see that happening for the niche of cycling that you represent. 

And that brings up another point: Numbers. The industry, if it sees sales, backs up that with an outpouring of marketing, product, and R&D. Resources are scarce in the cycling industry. Whatever is tickling the consumer's fancy gets the attention. Right now, it is the "gravel category". Back in the 1980's/90's it was mountain biking. Not "ATB-ing". That sounded lame-o, and it just was not as marketable as 'mountain biking' was. Same thing with 'gravel riding', (or the even more hated term "gravel grinding"). It got tagged onto this category of bike and style of riding, and it took off. Do you think marketing folks thought the name was stupid? (I know many did) Do you think they were about to change the name and potentially harm the flow of money coming from the many people who were interested in this form of cycling? Not in a million years! So, 'gravel' it was, and back in the 80's, the same thing occurred. The common folks adopted the term "mountain bike" and the marketing departments ran with it.

Now MTB is so fractured into sub-cultures and styles that you're never going to get around that name that form of cycling gained back then. A certain sub-set of a niche in bikepacking may take to that name "ATB", but many sub-sets of "mountain biking" have their own names for their bikes as well. Which was pointed out in the piece by "", ironically. Why should "ATB" be any different in that regard? 

Tradition may play a part in this. Here you are trying to re-name an already established bike and activity.  What the proponents of the modern-day ATB are pushing was done in 1980. Those riders were mainly doing off-pavement, trail-touring. That became "mountain biking". When you pedaled out back with your panniers and fat tires, that's what you were doing. Not "ATB-ing". That is why it will be hard to turn the name around for these bikes. If anything, "bikepacking bikes" has a much better chance at becoming entrenched in the minds of cyclists now than "ATB" does.

But, I could be wrong here. I'd love it if I were, because I'd ditch the name 'gravel' for this form of cycling I love in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A Guide To Fork Swapping

2000 Fisher Tassajara
 In Monday's "Randomonium" post I asked you readers if you had any questions about fork swapping or technical questions about fork geometry. One of you did ask, so that results in today's subject: "A Guide To Fork Swapping". 

So, before we get started, let's get some definitions and terms down that I'll be using today. It is very important to note that a bicycle is a 'system'. It is not wise to think of a bicycle in terms of one of its parts, or to focus in solely on a particular facet of a bicycle's geometry. So, for instance, when we discuss forks, it is not a good thing to just focus on "offset", and to disregard that "offset" is but one of a few things that ultimately determines how a bicycle will handle. So, don't fall for the simplistic idea that changing a fork from one offset to another will magically cure your handling ills. Many media writers are guilty of perpetuating this myth.

So, following are the things that are important to consider about a fork for your bicycle:

Basic fork geometry terms visualized: From

Fork Offset/Fork "Rake": These are interchangeable terms that define how far the wheel axle is placed ahead of the steering axis. More 'offset/rake' means that the axle sits further away in front of the steering axis

Steering Axis: This is an imaginary line which is traced through the centerline of the head tube, fork crown, and on down towards the ground. (See the blue hash marked line in the diagram above) Steering Axis angle is equal to the "Head Angle" of a bicycle. Designers adjust this to affect overall Fork Trail.

Fork Trail: This is the distance from a point on the ground where the steering axis intersects the ground plane to the center point of the tire's contact patch behind it. More "Trail" usually means slower/ more stable handling and vice-versa- Less "Trail" means a quicker, less stable bike. This measurement is typically expressed in millimeters.

Wheel Diameter: Wheel diameter is determined by the combination of tire and wheel rim diameter you choose. So, just saying "twenty-niner" isn't good enough. Similarly, the terms "26 inch", "700c", and "27.5"er/650B" are not sufficient for determining overall handling characteristics. Not if we are concerned with detail. Here we need an actual measurement of the wheel/tire combination's diameter, which- as you probably know- is a measurement from the ground, through the axle centerline, to the top of the tire. Essentially, in visual terms for our example above, you would extend that blue hash mark line from the ground plane past where it terminates with the rear wheel axle to the top of the diagram's 'tire'. 

The axle to crown measurement is the distance between the axle to the fork crown along the fork's 'leg'.

Axle to Crown: This determines overall fork 'length'. The distance is determined from the centerline of the wheel axle to the top of the fork crown, or you can think of this as the point where the steer tube exits the fork. 

Suspension Correction: Designers account for the longer length of a suspension fork, necessary to allow for a wheel to 'travel' in a suspension design, and translate that to their rigid fork design, So, if a suspension fork has, let's say, 80mm of travel, to keep the front end of a bicycle equipped with that fork the same in terms of head angle, stack height, and more, that designer makes the rigid fork a similar length to a suspension fork with a rider on board. 

With the weight of a rider, that suspension fork will sink into its travel a bit, and this is called "sag". That is also accounted for in the rigid fork design. So, let's take our 80mm travel fork in a 29'er size and measure that. It's going to come out, nominally, with an axle to crown of around 480mm. That's a bit more than 18"'s for you non-metric folk. Now, 80mm of travel equals about 3"'s. take that off the slightly more than 18" and you are left with around 15+ inches, doubled, equals 30+ inches, or in other words, more than enough to clear a 29" wheel safely with room to spare at full travel of the fork. 

Now let's say we don't want a suspension fork, but we want a rigid one that keeps our 29"er handling similar to what we know. Accounting for some rider induced "sag", while on the bike, our suspension fork really probably is more like 470mm or so in terms of axle to crown. So, our rigid fork needs to be that measurement to preserve the handling characteristics we know, all else remaining the same. This is what we mean when we say that a fork is "suspension corrected for_____ travel". In our example's case, the rigid fork would be suspension corrected for 80mm's of travel. 



Choosing A Fork:

So, let's say you want a new fork for that old bike you have in the garage. Let's say it is a clapped out old suspension fork on an older MTB that you have had for years, but now you have some ideas. Maybe you want to do some bikepacking, or maybe this will end up being your 'gravel bike', or like me, maybe you want to use that bike as a townie/urban errand rig. 

Well, you know that a suspension fork is too much money, hassle, and it isn't necessary. So what do you get? Well, here is a list of things you'll need to know:

  • What is your steer tube size: One inch? Inch-and-an-eighth? Is that a threaded or threadless steer tube? It is probably a straight steer tube, and if so, a tapered steer tube fork, (like the one to the left here) won't work.
  • Wheel size, (Probably 26 inch, but there are old 650B MTB's and old 29"ers out there nowadays)
  • If you have suspension, what travel length does your fork have? Older bikes had 63mm, bikes from about 1998 on had 80mm, or even 100mm in 26"er flavors. Measure the axle to crown and see if you can compress the shock to assess what travel you might have. 
  • Axle type: Most probably are quick release, but there may be a few instances of thru-axle bikes in this situation. 
  • What is your suspension fork offset/rake? If it was a fork made before 2007 and a 26"er fork, it most assuredly is going to have the then industry-wide standard 38mm offset. But some newer bikes had longer offsets, so check specifications if you can find them. Measuring a fork offset can be done at home, but it gets tricky to be accurate. 

Now, with that information in hand, you can start looking for a suitable replacement fork. Here's an important thing to remember though- If you veer too far from your bicycle's original specifications, you will affect the way the bike handles. And I cannot tell you if you would or would not like that. Just realize that millimeters make a big difference. It may seem trivial to you that your fork has a 440m axle to crown and the replacement you want has 420mm axle to crown, but that matters. You will feel a difference. 

And in some cases you won't be able to replace your fork with an off-the-shelf option. Let's say that you have a 1" steer tube, threaded fork with 63mm of suspension travel, (Original Rock Shox forks, as an example). may have to get a fork custom made to suit your desires. Options off the shelf will likely be, what in the industry are called, "replacement forks', and generally are the lowest common denominator in terms of fork options. 

Many 1990's MTB's with 1 1/8th steer tubes and 63mm travel forks can be converted to rigid using a Surly Troll fork, which - while a bit shorter than the stock forks, and have a bit more offset, seem to work a trick for a weight bearing, bikepacking set up. Plus they had canti OR disc brake tabs. Now if you can actually find one......

Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Take for example the Surly Ogre Fork, which is for rigid, non suspension corrected 29"ers. It has an axle to crown of 447mm. Since it is a disc fork, it could work for a 26" wheel. If your 26" suspension fork had 4"/100mm travel, that Ogre fork might work for you. 

Besides those things, you'll need to consider brake standard, brake levers, and if the forks are different lengths, one from the other, you'll need to consider how that affects your stem, bottom bracket height, and seat angle too. 


Hopefully that helps! But if you have anymore questions about forks, switching forks, or what have you, let me know. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Brown Season: Ride Edited

Escape Route: Hoff Road
 Well, technically speaking, it is still Winter, but what I am looking at is early Spring here. "Shoulder Season", some call it. I say it is "Brown Season" because everything is dead and some shade of brown. Anyway, the point is, it sure doesn't look like Winter, so I am calling this here little ride report a "Brown Season" report. Winter could come back, sure, but so far it is looking more and more like Spring around here.

Sunday was the primo day for riding, but I had other things going on. I missed a 50+ degree day and Sun. Monday was great, by anyone's February standards around here, and so I left for a ride in the morning with a temperature of 36°F and a stiff Easterly wind at 20mph with gusts up close to 30mph. 

Hey! I'll take it. The thing is, I was in a mind to do some longer miles, but that all changed once I got out into the teeth of that wind. My thought originally was go to ride the North parts of Black Hawk County, but the wind direction made me change my mind and I ended up departing from Prairie Grove Park again. I thought maybe I would retrace my route I took with Ben last Fall, but again- that wind! I decided it best to edit my ride on the fly.

New bottles to test and that Redshift Sports seat post there as well.

I ended up chasing the rural garbage truck for a bit there.

One of the new wrinkles to my 2022 and beyond (maybe) is that I will be doing a lot more weekday riding as opposed to weekends like most folks. Already I have run into something I never see on a weekend. A rural garbage truck! Apparently they do things 'old school' for waste removal yet in Black Hawk County. The truck was operated by two men and they hand-loaded the bin with the refuse they were picking up. Kinda like the old days when I was a kid, only the one guy that wasn't driving was always hanging off the back of the truck. 

Is that a hint of something green in that field to the right? I think it is!

Going East was......brutal. It was about as bad as it gets. Cold, rough, and I was barely moving. But I was moving, and steady pace would get me to Ansborough and I figured I could turn South there. When I reached that corner it was as if a giant took his big hands off my handlebars, and instead of feeling that constant push-back, I could move freely again. 

So, another edit was coming. I had already figured on not going East anymore, but going South was no picnic, despite the freedom of movement. In fact, I was thinking I might get blown over if the wind were to gust suddenly. So, I ended up cutting off to the West and man! Was that ever easier!

Storm clouds gathering in the North.

The first dog of 2022 was a chaser!

I wasn't too sad about doing a short ride after all. At least I got out, found out a few things, and got some exercise and a bit of a mind scrub. I also discovered we now have a new four-footed creature to deal with on Aker Road now. 

I heard the little pipsqueak first, then I saw the frantic movements of a black, furry, four-footed devil in a cow pasture. He was sporting for some fun, and was in a mood to chase, but he was hemmed in by the fencing. Not to be deterred, the dog headed for a break in the fence, (running away from me to get there) and then around and onward!

The little mutt made a beeline for me, but I could see that his angle of attack was way off. (This isn't my first rodeo) and so I decided it was time for some 'dog-sprints'. I wound up the drive train and saw that I had a good jump on the creature, so I hit the big ring and off we went.

The dog came out on the road alright, but I waited for a bit to put in a big effort, and when I pulled away a bit, the dog gave over. Whew! I was running out of gas too, so I was pleased to see that I had outrun the ankle-biter. So, if you are North of Wasburn Road on Aker this dog is at the farm on the East side of the road just North of the intersection. 

Don't say I never told ya anything......

Monday, February 21, 2022


  NOTE: Okay folks, if you haven't been around long enough here to know what a "Randomonium" post is, then here is the deal. I ramble, rant, and randomly moan about all things cycling in one, incohesive, bizarre post. "Randomonium", okay?

The refreshed Standard Rando v2
Standard Rando v2/Single Speed Wheel Update:

The refreshing of, and rebuilding of wheels for, the Standard Rando v2 is now complete. The final piece of the puzzle came in last week and I was able to get in a decent test ride before the cold came back again. 

To recap: I wanted a single speed specific wheel for the Standard Rando v2 since my Turkey Burn ride last November. That metric century ride proved to me beyond a doubt that I wanted to stick with single speed for this bike. 

Originally, back in 2020, when I got this bike, I was intending for it to be a geared bike, but what with the pandemic and all, I was fortunate to just get it up and running as a single speed. I left things as is and well, that is how it is going to be. 

So, instead of tying up a geared rear wheel on a single speed that would never see gears, I decided I needed a new wheel set. That prompted the purchase of a Paul rear single speed WORD hub with the through axle for the Standard Rando's 12mm through axle rear end. I inadvertently ordered a 32 spoke hole hub instead of a 28 hole drilling, as I had intended, because I had a set of 28 hole Velocity Blunt SS rims sitting in the Lab waiting to be laced to something. 

So, I ordered up a 32 hole Blunt SS rim. I had the spokes on hand and in the right colors to do my "Guitar Ted Signature" build which is black spokes on one side and silver on the other, reversed for the other wheel. So- Drive side rear = black, drive side front = silver, reversed for non-drive side. I dunno why.....I just think it looks cool! 

I am pretty sure every spoke is double butted and all have brass nipples. The front is something of an oddball. I have the original wheel set - well.....I had it, now one part is modified! Anyway, the front wheel rim, one side of the spokes, and the hub was a part of the Noble GX-5's original build. I took out the black spokes on one side and replaced them with silver, and boom! Done!

The rim is a Stan's Grail and the hub is a Stan's 'vanilla', average front hub. No big deal that they do not match because from five feet away, you cannot tell the difference. Maybe some day I'll get another Blunt SS and relace that, but I doubt I will. At any rate, I still have a good pair of Blunt SS rims waiting for hubs and spokes instead of one lone rim with no mate. 

Finally, I had to get a single speed freewheel. I really wanted to get a White Industries one, but I don't have White Industries money to spend at the moment, so I got an Origin 8 'Black Ops' 20T free wheel, (It's just s Far East free wheel, but a pretty good one) and put that on. We will see how long it hold up to Iowa gravel!  More soon.....

Testing the Redshift Sports ShockStop Pro post here.

Redshift ShockStop Pro Post Thoughts So Far...

I'm reviewing this for Riding Gravel (Standard Disclaimer applies) and while it looks like the post I reviewed previously here, it is almost nothing like that post. It is a very different experience. In that linked review I state that this post 'isolates the rider from vibrations'. This version does not seem to be the same in that manner. I'm still not sure what level of damping, if any, is going on here. 

It also does not feel 'floaty' at all. The previous ShockStop post I tried does kind of, well.....suspend you. It is a suspension seat post, after all. The coil spring sags under your weight until the spring rate supports you and you are kind of disconnected from the rest of the bike at that point. Full suspension mountain bike riders will be quite familiar with this feeling. It may be quite disconcerting for road riders or new-to-the-sport people. It does feel odd at first. 

But this post, which has one stock spring rate which is not user adjustable, does not do that. Nothing of the sort, so it feels more like a standard post. Now at that point, my mind is thinking 'why not just use a flexible standard post, like the Whiskey Carbon, or PRO Carbon Dyneema posts that I like so well?'

And there is the conundrum I am faced with sorting out at the moment. Is the Redshift Sports ShockStop Pro 'not worth it', or is it a 'bad design'? NO! It is a really well executed design and does work, but my question I have to answer is for which riders, and to what degree does this post complete its mission? I don't know the answers to those questions yet.

More ride time. That's what I need here.......

A 420mm axle to crown fork on my Blackbuck circa 2008.

More On Forks & Their Effects On Bikes:

 Last week's Ghost Grappler introduction cracked open the can-o-worms again concerning how fork length and offset can dramatically affect handling. This was because the Ghost Grappler, ("GG" from here on out), has a short (420mm) rigid fork with 50mm offset and that fork, the "Dinner Fork", is available aftermarket. 

I was asked in the comments about how such a fork would work on a 29'er. I said "Not very well", and that I had tried this. Well, today I bring you my examples.

In January of 2008 I got my OS Bikes Blackbuck and later that year I tried 8 different forks on it, all of which had different offsets and axle to crown lengths. In my testing I used the same wheels, tires, and I strove to keep the cockpit the same across all the set ups. (Which was a whole nuther story) This was to eliminate as many variables as I could. 

The Blackbuck with its stock rigid fork.

I'll spare you all the techno-mumbo-jumbo and cut to the chase. The shortest forks I tried were both 420mm axle to crown. The Black Ops was a cabon/aluminum composite fork with (if I recall correctly) 38mm offset. The Blackbuck fork, (came with the frame), had a 51mm offset. Both forks resulted in a waaaaaay steep 74° head angle. It was the offsets that were the diference maker. 

And boy! What a difference! That Black Ops fork was dead feeling and handled very weirdly. I did not like it at all. The Blackbuck fork was razor-sharp quick. You had to be on your "P's and Q's" to ride it. One moment of broken concentration and you were on your butt off the side of the trail. 

Neither was what I would call 'ideal' to ride. So, how does that relate to this GG fork- the Dinner Fork? Well, it has the same axle to crown as the two forks I tested 14 years ago. But it leans more towards the Blackbuck fork I have, with its 50mm offset than it does in regard to that old Black Ops fork. So, on most 29"er hard tails with shorter stock forks, you'd end up with 'crit bike' handling and a nervousness on technical terrain that would require maximum concentration to control. On a longer forked, 'modern-day' trail bike? No. Just no.... Those bikes are made to have LONG forks on them. Like 500mm and longer axle to crown forks, so a 420mm fork would be, almost, unrideable. 

So, unless your 29"er was made to have a 470mm or shorter fork stock, I'd forget about the GG fork as an option. That's my take.

Want more about forks? Let me know in the comments. 

That's it for today, thank you for reading!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Trans Iowa Stories: Coming To A Head

My mother was sinking into the depths of Alzheimer's by the Summer of '17
 "Trans Iowa Stories" is an every Sunday post which helps tell the stories behind the event. You can check out other posts about this subject  by clicking on the "Trans Iowa Stories" link under the blog header. Thanks and enjoy!  

When Trans Iowa v13 ended I did what I usually did after any Trans Iowa- I ran myself hard. Too hard. Resting? Pfft! It was the beginning of Summer! I had work to do at the bike shop, reviews to write, rides to put on, and resting would just get in the way. Plus, this was how I had always done things. Why change what worked?

Why change indeed! It was not anything I had on my radar right away. Oh, sure! I knew Trans Iowa would end......someday...but not in 2018! Nope. One more year, and that was all I was going to think about. Besides, I was far too busy to think about that. You know..... I'd figure it out and Trans Iowa v14 would happen and then..... Whatever. Maybe then I'd quit. Who knew?

This despite my father-in-law dying in April, two weeks before Trans Iowa. This despite my mother slipping away from us right before our eyes as Alzheimer's stole her away from us. This despite troubles at work which were bringing more stress. This despite my daughter and son graduating from high school in a couple years. My health wasn't the greatest either. I had not been staying on top of that, and changes needed to be made. But, ya know.....I was busy. 

I hosted and ran an event two weeks after T.I.v13 and another in July.
I decided to do another Trans Iowa. I guess it was because one day I was looking at the maps again and I saw the little village of Hartwick, Iowa. It struck me that it was odd that I had not already used that village for something. It was perfectly placed for a checkpoint #1, so I started playing around with that idea and quickly came up with a route I'd mostly never used before. That in itself was amazing, since I'd already used most routes out of Grinnell at one time or another. 

So, there I was, a beginning and I figured the rest would come easily. It almost always did. Then something I did not expect happened. But by that point, my earlier enthusiasm had already prompted me to announce Trans Iowa v14. Getting a bad case of 'writer's block' in terms of course finding and design right afterward was a huge problem. 

Not only was I having a really difficult time focusing on a route, what made matters worse was that I just did not want to do it. I went from the usual excitement and thrill of designing a new course to just dreading even thinking about it. September brought a new issue to my life as well. That was in terms of my work. Normally such tales are not part of the Trans Iowa story with the exception of the times that Europa Cycle and Ski was a sponsor or a place where Trans Iowa registration occurred. But now I have to say that an issue with work really affected my mood going into a critical phase of doing another Trans Iowa. 

The business wasn't being run well. That's one thing that had always been there, but due to a bustling economy, we carried on- somehow- despite the complete lack of leadership at the helm. Then, after I had taken a week long vacation which I had been promised would be paid time off, I came back to find out I had been stiffed, and, basically, the boss didn't care. This put an unexpected stress on me financially, and now I was more concerned with just getting by than I was doing some frivolous event planning. 

My son's participation in high school football was taking my mind away from Trans Iowa.
Then there was football and I needed to be there for my son. This all started to really put me at odds with doing Trans Iowa at all, but now there was one more thing which was going to make this really tough. My mother's condition was getting really bad. I was dealing with all of that and it finally dawned on me that now was the time. I had to stop doing Trans Iowa, but I had committed to v14 already. So....

I had to follow through. It would be a real struggle, but I was committed to it. Then I had to find an exit strategy for myself. Just walking away at the end, as I tried to do after v10, didn't work so well. No.....this time everyone had to know I was really done. So, seeing as how this was such a big decision, I consulted with four people I wanted opinions from. One, of course, was my wife. That conversation took about five minutes! You can guess what she said, and rightly so. Then there was Matt Gersib, my trusted 'brother', who had become my right-hand man in Trans Iowa. Also, I consulted with Jeremy Fry, my partner in route finding and cue sheet production. Finally, I consulted with my partner in Riding Gravel, Ben Welnak, for his more "outside" perspective.  

I received great advice, and support, which was really refreshing. With all of that a tentative plan was made to end Trans Iowa after v14, but to somehow let everyone know that "this was it" and there was no going back on the decision. Everyone was sworn to silence. I didn't worry, because I knew I could trust these people. 

It may seem silly, but breaking my camera in November '17 just added to my stress levels.

Now, due to that decision and how it affected people and whatnot, this Trans Iowa was going to be quite a different affair. And there was the struggle with what I wanted for Trans Iowa and what the gravel scene was doing. But I'll get to all of that later...... 

Meanwhile there were still all the usual things to get going on. Registration, recon of a course, and getting sponsors and volunteers aligned and accounted for. Oh yeah, the course! I was still in a state of  blockage as late as early October. November went by and I still had nothing but 50 miles or so. By this time I was usually honing things down to mock cues for a recon effort.  I had no idea at all yet exactly what I was going to do. I was terrified.....

So, I took about a week and really concentrated on doing the route design. It was a true struggle, but I ended up with something I could be proud of, and something that would be fitting for a swan song for the event. By the end of the month of November was about when this effort started, but I didn't get a good idea until after a full week into December. Recon, fortunately, happened a couple of weeks later, about a half a week before Christmas. 

But even recon was something of a let down. I was grateful for many things, but I was just going through the motions as well at the same time. Plus, all the hiding of the plans for this to be the last one. It was really a struggle. 

Next: A Different Affair

Saturday, February 19, 2022

More Cleaning Up & A Favor To Ask

Another 700lbs of scrap kept out of the landfill.
 I mentioned a couple times here concerning my recent Lab shop clean-up, but that was all pretty much inspired by my new job at the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective. 

One of the things which was precipitated by the recent pandemic was the hoarding of parts due to the supply chain disruption, which was a result of reactions to the onset of the pandemic two years ago now. The former mechanic and the current assistant mechanic were keeping everything useful since the unknown situation was unpredictable. That resulted in - perhaps - a bit of going overboard with things. 

This in combination with a high volume of donations resulted in a.... well, to put it mildly, a mess of sorts. I was tasked upon my hiring to sort through that mess, weed out the scrap, and make sense of it all. In three weeks I have been assisted in this task by the shop assistant and volunteers which has resulted in over 700lbs of scrap bikes and parts being kept out of the landfill and being recycled responsibly. 

Of course, I have been doing more than that, but there was a surprise over the past weekend which has stirred up the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective a bit due to its unusual nature. This is something which I hope, by putting out on this blog, I may assist the Collective in finding resolution for the situation. So, I am asking for some grace here to post about a frame and fork for sale and to ask of you a favor. Could you pass the word along about this opportunity?

A Sarto carbon frame and fork

We received a Sarto carbon frame and fork. Sarto is an Italian brand, very exclusive and high end. This frame is a few years old, non-disk, external cable routing, (except the rear brake) and so maybe not 'cutting-edge', but still.... This is a great racing bike frame and fork for someone out there. 

We are a non-profit at the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective, so the Collective survives off grant monies, memberships, and whatever sales we generate. This frame and fork, brand new from Sarto, would be North of 3K. The Collective is asking for approximately half of that. (Contact me if you are interested and I can put you in touch with who is taking care of the sale of this.) 

Obviously, this could be a big benefit to where I work now, and therefore, I have an interest in seeing this be successful, but also, (if you ride a 54cm bike), you might benefit as well. Following are the particulars of this frame/fork.

  • Sarto Seta frame/fork. Probably a 2017/18 model. (Link to current Seta) Condition: Excellent. This bike was built up once with components and test ridden by its previous owner.
  • SIZE: 54cm. 
  • Features: Integrated seat mast, (Must be cut down to size rider if you have shorter legs), Racing bike fit, (not suitable for the casual rider), two bottle mounts, tire clearance limited to 28mm or less on  rim brake rims. 
  • This is NOT a crit racer, per se'. The front end is shallower than a crit bike and the bottom bracket is a bit deeper. This would be a "stage race" geometry in the classic racing bike sense. 
  • NO rack mounts, NO fender mounts. This is a straight ahead racing bike. 
  • Comes with a Columbus integrated head set fitted and a Dura-Ace bottom bracket fitted to the threaded bottom bracket shell. 
  • Quick Release front and rear drop outs. 
  • Can be shipped, but the Collective would prefer a local pick-up. Shipping would be the responsibility of the buyer. We can assist in packing the frame and fork in a frame box.  

Questions? Ask away! I don't normally 'spam' my blog with such things, but this is an unusual situation and I wanted to assist the Collective, who don't normally deal in such high-end stuff, with the moving of this frame and fork into hands that would appreciate it for what it is.  

And now, back to cleaning and organizing.........

Friday, February 18, 2022

Friday News And Views

From Peter Stetina's Twitter feed: A bull knocks down a rider at the Rock Cobbler event.
 That Was Bull!:

Last weekend on social media you may have noted a few images of people getting knocked down by a young bull during the Rock Cobbler event in California. Apparently there were no severe injuries and I did not see anything related to what the event director(s) may have stated afterward.

Comments: While every event is an expression of what the organizer(s) think is appropriate for a challenge, one has to wonder how this event will deal with the fall-out from the incidents of the past weekend during their event. My opinion is my own, but if I had to make a call here I would have possibly diverted the course around such a danger. 

I have, a few different times, been exposed to "open range" conditions at the event formerly known as The Dirty Kanza 200. I am not aware that any bulls were around, but I have seen cows right on the course we were directed to ride on. That's dangerous enough, as a cow can easily cause serious injury to a cyclist that is unaware of the dangers of cattle. 

And as a former director of events which were similar to the Rock Cobbler, I can tell you that some form of education prior to the event is necessary and must be repeated multiple times. Even then, you are not guaranteed the people in your audience are taking you seriously. That's why, (again- risk assessment comes into play), you as a Race Director are tasked with judging your course and the risks it may present with an ultra-critical eye. Getting outside advice is often wise as well, because no matter how 'cool' you may think a certain experience may be for your riders, you may be blinded to possibilities for things to get ugly. 

In the case of open range riding and bulls, I would submit that it is not a prudent idea to submit your riders to such possibilities for injury and harm. But that's just me......

Fork Update:

Thank you for all of the excellent comments about my recently discovered Colnago Super Fork from Monday's post this week. I really appreciated every one of the responses and considered each one. 

A few good points were made. Like how often this bike would see roads? And that is really a good way to look at this. Also, some suggested just trying to polish it out to get a better read on where I am at with it. Perhaps do that and seal it with a clear coat? 

And to be honest, those were the comments that resonated the most with me. Getting it painted, or re-chromed makes sense if I am creating a garage queen, or restoration of some sort, well then yeah. However; I am not at a point where I have the free cash or inclination to do a full-on early 80's restoration so I think that just getting it going with the least fuss possible is what makes sense here. 

Next I will do the clean up, polish, and inspect it from there. I think clear coating the lower fork legs is a good idea to arrest the rust pitting that will be there. I probably will touch up the yellow painted bits as well. Of course, I'll need that threaded Athena head set, but I almost forgot that I'll also need a quill stem now. Hmm..... I may have to do some more digging around in the shop!

Guitar Ted 'Lube-Off' Update:

Thanks to all those readers who commented on the post from Wednesday concerning lubes to test for the next Lube-Off. I got some solid votes on one brand and some advice on using the wax I mentioned I have.

So, it was crystal-clear that SILCA's "Super-Secret" lube should be in the next Lube-Off. So, I will get a bottle of that coming and I will likely install that with a new Shimano 11 speed chain I just received for my Raleigh Tamland Two. (Most likely anyway.) 

The wax is NOT going to make the cut in this round. One commenter saying, "Super secret is supposed to have most of the wax benefit without the hassle of actual waxing". Another commenter chimed in saying, "I also think sticking with a drip lube for your round up is the best option as most people have no desire to go through the tedious processes of maintaining a hot dip waxed chain every 200 or so miles."

That's enough reason there to convince me that using the Molten Speed Chain Wax is not really all that interesting to you- the readers- and it definitely is okay with me if I do not have to hassle with that stuff. That said, someday I'll try it. 

I will work on the compiling of all the "Lube-Off" results and post that soon. Stay tuned for that and the next round of the Lube-Off soon. 

New Polar water bottles from their Breakaway series.
Polar Bottle Debuts New Big Bottle:

On Tuesday of this past week, Polar Bottle introduced the new Breakaway series of bottles which includes a new 30 ounce size

Last year I did a bit of a series on water bottles and using larger sized ones. I found that by doing some careful tweaking utilizing some bottle mount expanders like the Wolf Tooth B-Rad, I could carry as much water on the bike as I could have with a hydration pack on my body. 

While not everyone can use bigger capacity bottles, perhaps due to shorter frames or specific frame limitations, those who can may want to look into that. It works out well in practice on longer rides and I have seen the benefits of not having a heavy hydration pack on my body. 

I get that hydration packs have their fans and reasons for being a great choice. One, and maybe the biggest reason of all to use a hydration vest or pack, is that you can drink 'on-the-fly' easily and that this promotes better hydration. That's an excellent case for using a hydration bladder somewhere on your body or bicycle. However; those systems have some pretty significant drawbacks as well. 

Keeping the hoses clean, the bladders clean, having weight on your back, (if it is traditional system) and having more of a hassle in filling a bladder in the field are but a few of the concerns.  "End-of-service" life of hydration packs is also a bit more difficult than with bottles, and is a subject not many consider when thinking about bladders and packs. 

At any rate, it is nice to see options in bottles now.

The new Surly Bikes Ghost Grappler
Surly Bikes Debuts The Ghost Grappler Drop Bar Trail Bike:

A bit of a surprise here from Surly. A drop bar trail bike that has a very familiar look to it if you are a Fargo aficionado. It is a bike designed around a drop bar for bike packing, trail riding, and gravel with a focus on versatility and 27.5" wheels. Steel, of course, and it has several interesting features.

Besides looking like a Gen I Fargo, the Ghost Grappler has through axle capabilities with Surly's "GnotBoost" rear spacing, a Boost spaced fork which is not suspension corrected, and new bottle mounts on the seat stays near the drop outs. Stealth dropper post routing is also offered along with rack, fender, and Three-Pack mounting options on the top and bottom of the down tube. 

Tire clearance is 27.5 X 3.0" or 29" X 2.5". The frame has a straight, 1 1/8th head tube and the fork, called the Surly "Dinner Fork", is available separately

Comments: Yeah, if Salsa Cycles had ever done a Fargo Gen I reissue, this Ghost Grappler would be pretty much what I would have expected from them. It's very close, in my opinion, to what a Fargo should be now days. 

But hold on- That name! Yes, this is Surly Bikes, after all, but still. Weird. I guess that's the whole point? Anyway...... GnotBoost rear spacing? Rear facing, track fork style drop outs? Uggh! In some ways Surly's bent to be the most versatile bike choice is also its undoing. If you've ever dealt with their various versions of multiple-standard rear drop out designs, you'll understand. A Salsa version would have been elegantly executed with their Alternator Drop Out. But this is Surly's way.... 

After checking out the geometry, this really isn't all that far off from the Gen I Fargo. Tweaked for the modern day trail rider, yes. And I like what Surly has done with the geometry. Tire sizes that can be used here are also very appropriate, in my view. 

Some will grouse and say that the Gen I Fargo had a better drive train compatibility, but with Boost spacing? You are not going to get old, triple crank drive trains, or even a double with a big drive ring, on a bike like that. Boost pretty much kicked all that to the curb and so 1X is pretty much going to be the jam here, unfortunately. 

Finally- A straight steer tube MTB in 2022? I did not see that coming. I think that's a big mistake, but whatever. It should ride better, and maybe that's one reason Surly did that. It also pretty much takes the whole, "Can I put a suspension fork on this?" question off the table. Regarding the fork: It is soooo short, axle to crown, that anyone thinking it might work for their Gen I Fargo, or an older 29"er should reconsider that. Axle to crown is a short 420mm, which was the old sus corrected length for 26" wheeled rigid forks. It'll clear a 29"er wheel/tire, but juuust barely. Plus, because it is a short fork it would really steepen most 29"er bike's head angles to the point that you would negatively affect handling. (I know- I've tried it before.)

That's a wrap for this week! Thank you for reading Guitar Ted Productions and I hope that you get out for some riding this weekend!