The response to last week's Virtual Turkey Burn Challenge has been surprisingly good. Thanks to everyone who sent me a note, pictures, or both.
My plan is to start running the reports next week starting on Monday. Two will be combined together and one will run singly due to their length.
This was a lot of fun and I hope that you all that read the reports find some inspiration and shared experiences as I roll these out next week. Tomorrow will be John Ingham's long-form paper, and Sunday will be the typical place for the GTDRI stories. So, stay tuned for Monday and see who took up the challenge and where they rode.
A Note About My Review Work:
As of today, I have brought all my reviewing work over to "Guitar Ted Productions". I won't be writing reviews for the time being anywhere else. That may change in the future. I don't know.....
I'm doing this for several reasons, and at this time, that's all I am able to say about that. I can tell you that this has been something percolating for some time and that it has been a very negative experience for the last year and a half.
So, you've likely noticed an uptick in reviews posted here and now you have some clue as to why that might be. I may designate certain days to be review days here so I still have to sort through that as I get into 2024.
That said, I suspect that reviewing opportunities will dwindle as I am not associated with any "official outlets" at this time. That's fine with me. I've been caught up in that scene since 2006 and that's quite a long time when I think about that. So, as of now I've no idea how this will all pan out here. Things could change and maybe they won't. I just wanted to give you all some kind of notice here that this may be happening (and already is, actually) and to expect a bit more of the review stuff to continue on at least in the short term. However it all pans out, I am excited to carry onward.
|Geometry drawing courtesy of 3T
3T's New Extreme Itlalia: A Study In Geometry:
You may have noted several online purveyor's of cycling industry press releases showing off this new 3T Extreme Italia model. (3T's site on the bike is HERE) I won't get into all the technical aspects of this "aero-twenty-niner" gravel bike. It takes biggie tires and looks crazy and is uber-expensive.
No, what I wanted to focus in on is the strange geometry choices 3T made for this bicycle. I have perused the geometry chart from 3T's site and I have some observations. You will have to scroll the page waaaaay down, but I have the chart linked HERE so you can check this out.
First, you might note a couple things. There is no standover height listed and the largest frame size is listed as something that should fit riders from 6' to 6'5". That's a wide spread! I suspect that stand-over clearance is tough to give when you have such a wide range of tire fitment as well. Still, this is odd to leave out. Especially for a frame/fork that costs over 5G.
Elsewhere in their marketing spiel 3T claims to be using an extreme fork offset of 61mm - 73mm coupled with what 3T says is a "slightly slacker headtube angle". So, I read that before I got to the geometry chart, and I was left thinking, "Wow! They must have gone with something far less than a 70° angle there." Nope.... Their head angles are relatively conservative, in terms of a gravel bike, using 70+ degree angles for the three largest sizes with only the smallest size under 70°. Make no mistake, the smaller sizes are slacker because they are trying to avoid toe-overlap. Period.
The offset then becomes concerning. That's going to result in a pretty low-ish trail figure, which on the largest size with a 72° head tube angle might be pretty twitchy. Perhaps 3T is making concessions for a loaded front end here in terms of bikepacking weight, but that is not specifically spelled out, and unloaded, this would make for a bike that I wouldn't be all that interested in, in terms of potential handling issues. And for its price, I'm certainly not going to be interested in taking chances.
The bottom bracket drop is also fairly conservative, again owing perhaps to the thought that this bike might end up being used more in a MTB-light application. But I would point out that many similarly purposed bikes have deeper bottom bracket drops for the bigger tires meant for those bikes.
In the end, I find the asking price and the design to be a bit of a negative. Other concepts of the bike I have no issues with, but I do think mixing aero road, gravel, and MTB is s stew that is perhaps best not eaten.
New "Shorty" Stem For The Gryphon Mk3:
I am testing out those new Tumbleweed Big Dipper Bars and when I initially set the Singular Gryphon Mk3 up with those handlebars I realized that the rear cable run to the brake was on the "tight" side.
I was using an 80mm long stem so I figured since that stretched me out a wee bit too much on that bike that a shorter stem might kill two birds at once. So, I ordered a 60mm Whisky No. 7 silver stem.
I received the stem this week and stuck it on the Gryphon. A test ride with a front bag loaded down showed that it was fine, in terms of handling, the brake strain is relieved somewhat, ( but still not 100% gone), and my position on the bike seems much improved.
I guess I could live with the results, but that cable being a touch too short yet still bugs me. I could replace the entire full run housing and cable, or.....
I had an idea as I was working on this post. Stay tuned and we will see if it worked or not.
Since I host my podcast on Spotify, I get a "Spotify Wrapped" overview of the last year, (December doesn't count?), and a lot of stats to go along with that.
Of course, since the "Guitar Ted Podcast " essentially started at the beginning of 2023, all the stat lines look impressive. But really, this isn't a big deal. The podcast, that is. I mean, we don't move the needle in comparison to many other sports and cycling related pods.
But the point I wanted to make is that some of you do listen,and for that, I am very grateful. With all the media blasting out all around us, the fact that some folks choose to listen to myself and N.Y. Roll have banter is amazing. It really is.
So, the numbers are the numbers. You can laugh, scoff, or make fun all you want. I don't do the podcast for "numbers". I do the podcast because N.Y. Roll and I have fun doing it. When that ceases to be the case, or if some other unforeseen thing comes along, we may stop doing recordings, no matter what the numbers are, good or bad.
Again, if you listen, that's awesome and I appreciate you very much for doing so. The latest podcast, which is an "end-of-year" retrospective, can be listened to HERE or wherever you get your podcasts from.
That's it for this week! Thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions.