|I'm wearing the Century CC Jacket on the left. (Image by R. Versteegh)
I just posted my Showers Pass Century CC rain jacket review this week on RidingGravel.com. (Standard Disclaimer) It's probably the most comfortable rain jacket I've yet tried, and I've been sent many to check out over the years.
Showers Pass was the rain jacket to have back in the early days of Trans Iowa. This was in the time before 'gravel' was a thing, and racing in rain jackets was thought to be done only in one of those mimimalist 'rain capes' which were pretty much clear plastic bags with a hole for the neck, two plastic tubes for sleeves, and a Velcro closure instead of a zipper. Gotta be able to read the sponsor's names emblazoned on yer jersey now!
But touring cyclists were all about the effective, versatile rain gear for cycling. That's kind of where Showers Pass made its hay early on in its history. And subsequently when Trans Iowa riders were looking for that good rain jacket, the Showers Pass jackets were discovered. I remember talking with some of the early T.I. riders about what they were using, and the Showers Pass stuff came up often and got good comments from the folks using them.
I had aims to buy one of their Century jackets for quite some time, but I had never gotten around to it, mostly because I was getting sent all these other jackets to try out. But recently Showers Pass came out with a budget priced version of the Century Jacket dubbed the Century CC, and I am now finding out what all the fuss was about. Showers Pass says a new version of that stalwart Century is going to be coming out. It might just be another great one for poor weather gravel riding.
Continental, the German based tire company, have announced a new tire called the Terra Hardpack..It is a 50mm wide tire with a unique, low tread pattern for gravel, smooth dirt, and rougher roads.
Offered in a 700 X 50mm width, the tire features Continental's Shieldwall puncture protection belt, a tubeless ready bead, and the new PureGrip compound which features excellent grip but long wearing properties, according to Continental.
According to reports, Continental is also offering this in a 650B X 50mm size, but there are no other sizes available at this time. No pricing was found at this time either.
Comments: Continental has always been a conservative company when it comes to stepping into new markets, so this late entry into the bike packing/wide gravel realm is not surprising. The Terra Hardpack has an interesting, almost scaly looking tread. My experiences with Continental have been that their tires often do not come out to be as wide as stated, so if that still is the case, this may fit into more bikes than you might think.
|Growtac brand "Equal" flat mount brake calipers. Image courtesy of Velo Orange
Thems The Brakes:
In a world of parts shortages it is always interesting to find a new option that is actually in stock. Such is the case with a new flat mount disc brake option from Velo Orange called Growtac Equal Flat Mount Disc Brakes.
These single-side actuated, mechanical disc brakes calipers come complete with hardware, adapters for the front, cables, housings, ferrules, and come in several anodized colors. The calipers weigh in at a claimed 135 grams each and do not come with rotors. Price is listed at $350.00/both wheels.
Comments: I was looking for flat mount disc brakes the other day and there were not many choices out there. This adds another interesting choice. The price might seem high, but you get everything you need minus rotors. (And good luck finding those!) But still.... You can get hybrid cable/hydraulic Juin Tech brakes for less. Those do come with rotors (six bolt though) and no cables or housings, but even with that you'd be well under $350.00 for both wheels. I mention these Juin Tech's as they are identical to the highly touted Yokozuna hybrid calipers and they work really well.
|TIME Bicycles' ADHX gravel bike. Image courtesy of TIME Bicycles USA.
TIME Bicycles Introduces Complete Bikes In USA:
A news announcement came out this week saying TIME Bicycles were again available in the USA. TIME has a new gravel bike they are excited about that uses a new lay-up of carbon mixed with Dyneema fabric for more strength and vibration reduction.
Comments: This is a great example of some pretty cool ideas with a couple of fatal misses in design and geometry. First off, TIME specifies that the ADHX is good for tires from 38mm-40mm. What? Have these designers not seen what has been going on around them for the past five to seven years? A 'new' design that can only handle a 40mm tire is pretty much 2012 technology.
Secondly, they have a great bottom bracket drop, but the head angle at 72.5° for a Large is waaay too steep! Again- it smacks of a geometry chart dredged up for a gravel bike made in the early twenty-teens. I fail to see how this bike would be really great at anything other than rough paved roads and very smooth dirt. But yeah.....racing bikes. I hear ya.
Again with the wrong bike for the wrong reasons.
Thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions! I hope that you all can get out for a ride or two this weekend!