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.
Kinekt Anti-Theft Locking Collar:
Here's a little doo-dad that was passed along to me to check out from Kinekt. It isn't probably something for everybody, but it might prove to be a nice addition to a touring bike, a bikepacking rig, or if you do a lot of urban riding.
The Anti-Theft Locking Seat Collar comes in a few sizes for different frames. You can then use the included hex key to drive a pinned interface tool which in turn will rotate the fastener in the seat collar proper.
The pinned interface tool is tethered allowing you to attach it to a key chain, or a fob so you won't lose it. That's pretty clever thinking there. The Anti-Theft Locking Seat Collar can be purchased direct from Kinekt for $44.95 here.
Comments: Obviously this won't work for every bike, since manufacturers keep coming up with new ways to do simple, efficient mechanisms on bicycles all the time, which is quite unnecessary. But if you have a metal framed bicycle, there is a good chance something like this might work for you.
I found it to be what is claimed. The insert in the collar may need to be greased to help prevent seizing in the future, and sure, you could lose the interface tool, but for peace of mind on a long tour? It might be worth the hassle.
I got a lot of flack about my front derailleur cable stop that I fabricated for the Singular Cycles Gryphon Mk3 when I showed it in the build series on the bike. Ironically, I haven't thought about that part ever since, nor does anyone recoil in horror when they see my bicycle because it has an ugly looking part on it. Why? Because you just don't notice it being there.
In the end, it works. It hasn't necessitated any tweaking nor has it even raised a concern since I mounted it. That's success in my view. So, while the Singular Gryphon wasn't ever meant to have a front derailleur you can put one on it if you are crafty enough.
Sam of Singular did mention that he might consider a second run update which would include a cable stop for that front cable. I think it would be wise as many folks could then do a double crank with a ridiculously low range. For instance, I have a compact BCD triple crank from the 1990's, a Sugino, that already has a 20T/32T combo and with a bash guard it would make for a stellar double crank for mountainous, off road riding on the Gryphon Mk3.
Anyway, I apologize for getting off-track there. The derailleur cable stop worked. That's the review.
Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M 700 x 45mm:
I have been riding Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M tires for a few months now and I happen to have the 700 X 40's and 45's on separate bikes.
Lately I've been riding more on the 45mm tires and I think they have risen up to be one of my favorite gravel tires out there.
Previously my top tires were the 700 X 45mm Hutchinson Touaregs and the 700 X 42mm WTB Resolute in the standard casing. But the Cinturato Gravel H's are right in there in this mix. They are that good.
I enjoy a bigger tire like the 45mm tires I've gravitated to because we get a fair amount of deep, loose fresh gravel and a bigger tire just handles this more steadily and with more stability. Plus, the extra volume can be employed for a better ride feel. But that's not all I've come to love about these three tires.
The big thing has been the ease of living with them. The WTB Reso doesn't hold air as well as the other two, but all three are amongst the best in air retention I've yet tried. Maybe this is a testament to the newer crop of tubeless rims and tires? Perhaps, but I'm here for it.
Besides that, there are a few things about the Cinturato M that I am questioning like, "Do we really need THAT much tread?". These almost come off as MTB tires, but I suppose if you live in an area where the dirt is loose and the rocks need tread, then this tire should be good. I just have to wonder if that tread is all just wasted on crushed rock roads and is there to make me feel better (fashion) and add weight.
I also have to wonder if we had a smoother pattern if the Cinturato wouldn't work as well and not pack up with wet dirt and mud. Yes, there is the Cinturato H, and I have run those as well. But maybe a hybrid of the two tires would be good enough. Ah.... Well you can't have it all, I guess! And that said, this tire still is right up there with the best you can get for Mid-Western gravel.