Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Review Briefs

 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 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.


flying_sqrl said...

Recovering roadies, lol. Your wry sense of humour, one of the many reasons I read your blog.

Guitar Ted said...

@flying_sqrl - Thank you!

Rydn9ers said...

Long time lover of the WTB Silverardo, have one on almost every bike I own. What, if any, would you say is the advantage of switching to the Gravelier?

Guitar Ted said...

@Rydn9ers - Great question! So, I just did a side by side, overlay look at both saddles. I was surprised to find that the Gravelier has almost an identical outline to the Silverado with two exceptions: The widest part of the Silverado is "extended backward" on the Gravelier about 5mm, maybe. I would guess this extends the saddle's "sweet spot" a bit compared to the Silverado. Secondly, and most obviously, the nose of the Gravelier is truncated as compared to the Silverado.

The biggest difference, besides that above, is the cut-out on the Gravelier, which makes the saddle shell more flexible, in my opinion in a good way, than the stiffer Silverado's. I should also note that my experience with a cut-out saddle is limited to the Gravelier, but that cut-out does work. I was not affected by any nerve numbness at all on the Gravelier where I sometimes get that with other saddles including the Silverado.

Rydn9ers said...

Thanks for the information, maybe I'll give one a go and see how I like it.