As many of you know, I get in a fair amount of stuff to review on Riding Gravel and sometimes just to give feedback on/test for others. I figured I may as well shoot a few words this way on some things being currently tested and reviewed by giving a few, brief thoughts on those items. As always, The Standard Disclaimer applies.
WTB Gravelier Saddle:
I've already mentioned this one last Friday, but in case you missed it, I have been riding this saddle for a little over a month now.
I have to say, it really is a pretty nice saddle. Not every saddle will accommodate every butt, however; if you have a fairly aggressive seated position on a drop bar gravel bike, this is worth looking in to.
I would liken it most to a Silverado WTB-wise, but if you've ridden anything that is meant for high performance road/gravel riding in the last 30 years it is about that same family - fairly stiff, not overly padded, and it provides perineal relief. Its 143mm wide and pretty short, but I have to say that it fits me great and that's coming off a 143mm Silverado.
I rode this for around six hours at the Gents Race, so if that didn't kill me I think I'm good to go. In fact, it felt pretty darn fine to me.
Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M Tires: Looking at that same image above you can see the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M tire I have on my Twin Six Standard Rando now. This one is a 40mm and I also have a set of the 45's on my Black Mountain Cycles MCD at the moment.
This has risen to become one of my favorite tires. If I were going to ride somewhere that called out for a puncture protected tire, this one would get the call. I like it a little better than the Vittoria Terreno Dry in this size only because it rides a bit better, but that's a good puncture protected tire as well.
|The Easton EC90 AX Carbon drop bars here on my T6 Standard Rando|
Easton EC90 AX Carbon Drop Bars:
These are pretty much a set of road racing bars. They are uber-light, carbon, comfortable, but......they are road bars. Not gravel handlebars. No flare to speak of here, although Easton claims there is 6° of it, you cannot tell there is anything flared here at all.
I mean, they are fine bars. They ride well, but I miss my flared drops and in rougher terrain or on looser gravel, a flared drop just is easier to control. I would recommend these to recovering roadies and those who have to have no-flare bars because "aero" and "watts" and well, you know who you are if that means anything to you.
These handlebars are nice though. Smooth feeling, even in rough stuff, but you sacrifice control in rougher, looser terrain with them.
Shimano SPhyre Ridescape Sunglasses:
These were newly designed Sunglasses which were supposedly going to help with line definition and contrast on gravel rides in bright Sunshine. The magnetically fixed lenses were of the wraparound, shield type and frameless. They are light, very comfortable, and look good on my face, in my opinion.
When I first tried these, and every time I used them afterward, I had the uncanny feeling that my vision was clouded. Could be. My old eyes ain't what they used ta be, that's fer sure! But no.....it was something else. I almost felt like there was a fine film I was looking through when I wore these, and the colors as seen through the lenses were greenish-yellow and, well, not very pleasant.
Finally I got out some older eyewear I have that I've always been very happy to look through. A pair of Spy "Happy Lenses" equipped casual glasses and an older than dirt pair of Oakley Jawbones. Once I sat down and compared, it was immediately apparent what the problem was. It wasn't just the SPhyre's weird color tinting, but these glasses were making glare worse instead of better. I was seeing everything with a haze of yellowish glare, and that was the "film I was looking through" thing after all. It was readily apparent that the Spy and Oakley glasses were far superior at cutting glare, rendering true colors, and had my eyes seeing things as they could be only without the burning sensation of the Sun in my retinas.
So, yeah. The Shimano glasses? Not good.
That's a wrap on reviews in brief for now. Stay tuned for more in the near future.