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Thread: July riding

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    1,162

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    I ride the Rivet Independence on my Gilles Berthoud touring bike and I have the Rivet All Road on my Surly ECR. They do not soften like a Brooks or a Gilles Berthoud. Note the underneath has the fabric (for lack of a better word) that restricts the sag and splay factor the Brooks tend to do. Also the leather "tie" underneath will keep it stiffer. My independence with the slot is softer than my all road as it does have some give around the slot. I hope you like them. Hopefully the fitter knows that mounting a leather saddle isn't that same as other saddles. You'll want the nose at least level or slightly tilted up. For sure NO NOSE DOWN. These saddles are slippery, another comfort factor so the last thing you want is to be sliding forward. Having a nose tilt keeps your sits where you want them. Given the hardness I am certainly aware of my sit bones after a long day of riding but the next day I can get right back to riding without pain.
    Can't wait to hear the results!

    oh on conditioning - I have never conditioned either of them. One is 3 years old the other is almost 2. If we are out overnight, I do cover them and if it is raining I cover them as well.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
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  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Could be an age thing with the steel, at least in my case. I remember the first mountain bikes and they were all steel. My first road bikes were steel. Aluminum was the new thing, then came carbon and so on. Today, of course, if you want steel, you have to go looking for it. Not much in local bike shops. Those of us who grew up on steel understand and appreciate it for what it is, but marketing is always pushing lighter, more high tech and so on. I'm just grateful we have a down to earth company like Surly that offers steel bikes at an affordable price. Otherwise, I'd have to go looking custom and that gets expensive in a hurry.

    As for your situation, we know that it's always cheaper to buy a complete bike, but only as long as it has the components you want or at least components you can live with. Otherwise, you may as well just go frameset and build the way you want.

    The current Krampus now has solid 40mm Alex MD rims. No rabbit hole 50mm rims as on my Trek Stashe. That'll mean slightly narrower tire width with the same tires, but that might be a plus for some road work. We'll see.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    1,162
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    The ECR sounds like a useful bike, but the Krampus sure is fun. You are the only other woman I've heard of who rides one, and that is asking about it on mountainbiker forums, too.

    I do need to swap out my size small for a medium, and I'm trying to decide whether I should buy a complete used medium (often with great upgrades), or just buy a new frameset. The new geometry is slightly more to my liking than the '15 model I have since the seat tube is a bit steeper (works for me). I've looked at a lot of alternative models, but the Krampus's function really does work best for my needs. I've got it set up as a single speed, a used bike would give me gears if I ever want to try them. And the wheelset are Velociety Blunt 35 mm. A used Krampus might have Rabbit Holes, which are cool, and wider.

    But ow, my wallet. Which is why it hasn't yet happened.
    The new Krampus is such a great bike, we've sold several. I agree to a tire switch for the type of riding you do. I had knards on my ECR but now have Maxxis Chronicles and LOVE them. Not sure why, but with the new Karate Monkey and the new Krampus folks are tending to buy up in size. My DD bought the KM and she went with a medium (also changed her tires) and likes it. In an ECR she'd be a small. As you know, love my ECR. New models coming out mid-August. They are being introduced at Saddle Drive the first of August. Bummed we couldn't make it happen to attend.

    Keep us posted!
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  4. #34
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    I went with a medium on the Krampus, though I could probably do a large, too, as far as my legs go, because I have a very long 34" bike inseam. The problem for me, though, is at the other end with my shorter reach to the handlebars. This is exasperated by my preference for riding far back on the seat for so much of my trail riding. Going large, then, always means going to a shorter stem. That worked in the old days when handlebar stems on MTBs tended to be longer. These days, stems are going shorter and shorter, so I have to resort to other tricks if I try a large. For instance, on my Pugsley, which is my only large bike frame, I went with a shorter stem and a Jones H Loop bar, which sweeps back for an easy reach. It works.

    Overall, the way the geometry keeps changing on trail bikes is making it harder for me to predict the right size - top tubes are getting longer, stems shorter. The medium Krampus, though, works, nice. Haven't had to change anything, other than going to a narrower handlebar. Me and my short arms do not get along at all with these ever wider handlebars. 760mm? Good grief. That's just nuts.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    I'm 5'9", but I think the whole fit problem is complicated with riding style, especially on MTBs and trail bikes, because riding styles differ so much. I tend to be very fluid in my trail riding, constantly changing position on the pedals, the handlebars, the seat and so on. I'm standing, crouching, leaning, always moving. I like a lot of flex in my elbows for the sake of steering and absorbing shock. I find that the medium frame allows me the widest range of movements. Going to a large frame locks me in a bit more. For instance, on my Pugsley, which is a large, my range of movement seems more limited when on the trail. I do okay with it, but it lacks the playful spirit of a medium frame. The Pugs works great as a road bike, though, because I'm settled in to one position, more or less.

    The medium frame Krampus is the better trail bike for me. It let's me play more with various positions on the trail, just like my other bikes which are all medium. I also find a medium frame bike easier to lift when hopping logs and climbing rocks than the large frame. Seems like I can't get quite the leverage with the larger frames.

    In other words, not sure how much of my trail riding fit experience transfers over to someone else's. I think with road bikes and pavement riding, things are more of a constant. Trail riding is such a mixed bag. Really hard to make recommendations on fit. Over the years, though, with me being on that medium/large border, I've tended to go with medium on my MTBs.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-21-2017 at 12:48 PM.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Just got my Surly Krampus back from the bike shop. Had them switch out the Dirt Wizard tires for the Knards and what a difference that makes! My trails are dry and packed hard, right now, and the Knards just fly. The Knards are also fairly pleasant on pavement, as I hoped they would be, since I'm making the Krampus into something of a utility bike. It will be a lighter version of my Pugs.

    I also had them upgrade from the 1x 11 speed NX derailleur and shifter that is standard on the Krampus to the GX derailleur and shifter. The NX worked fine. No complaints. Fits well into Surly's philosophy of affordable, but durable components. I have the GX on two other bikes, though, so I know the difference and, trust me, there is a difference. GX is soooo butter smooth and fast. It's spoiled me. Really hard to settle for the NX after using the GX.

    My only complaint? The color is okay, but not my favorite. I forget all about it when I ride, though. This really is one nice ride. After switching out to a narrower handlebar and ditching the stock saddle for a Terry, the bike now fits like a glove. The medium frame was right on this one.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-22-2017 at 03:23 PM.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    north woods gal, I think your Krampus is awesome

    Our quick trip to the Owyhee Wilderness was Fun! Folks in town commenting on how hot it would be but we were at just over 6,000 feet in elevation so barely hit 90 degrees. While that is still hot, not as hot as in town. As per usual, 16 desert miles equates to about 40 regular miles. Glad we had some creek crossing so I could soak my sun shirt and my bandanna. Click image for larger version. 

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    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    We got home around noon from our annual cycling trip to the Berkshires. Since our friends we do the trip with now live only an hour+ from Great Barrington, we met them for lunch on Thursday, then went to the inn, which is now under new (and much better) ownership. We quickly got our bike stuff on and went out for a 21 mile ride. It was about 1:30, 88 degrees and humid. Not my choice of riding environment, but it was beautiful. There was a shallow, but longish climb near the end; DH and I were both red faced when we got back. Friday we did our ride into the Tyringham Valley. We drive to a lake and start/finish there. We used to do this the opposite way, climbing a "wall" about 1/3 of the way there. The past 3-4 years, we've done this direction, where we get the climbing done in the first half, descend the wall, which is a bit hairy, and then mostly flat. Since a general store/café reopened last summer, near the descent, we detoured and found out they have a lovely deck to eat lunch on. From there, instead of descending the wall, we cut across the mountain on a road we climbed somewhere about 4 years ago. That time, when I saw the hill in front of me, I told my friend I was going to "f*n kill him." Doing this road the opposite way did start with some pretty tough climbing, especially after lunch, but, then the descent began. I noted the spot where I thought I would lose it when going the opposite way. This is a long, long climb or descent, maybe 3 miles. Got to the end (with a 12% little steep up at the end) and felt we had it made. We had to ride through downtown Stockbridge and on Rt 7, which has a wide shoulder, but is so busy/noisy and no shade. My GPS showed it was about 90 out. After that, we only had 6 miles left, so I dumped my plain water over my head and carried on. By doing the alternate road, we cut the ride down to 37.5 from 42 miles. Yesterday, we decided on a really lovely 28 mile loop that goes into Connecticut for a bit. Again, this is a loop we used to do the opposite way, but now we get the climbing done in the first half, followed by a steep downhill back into Ashley Falls, MA, then mostly flat. This ride is just gorgeous, fields of wildflowers, small villages, farms, hardly any traffic.
    Later in the day, DH and I went out to lunch and did some shopping and I let myself get annoyed by the preponderance of people from NYC, CT, and NJ who vacation in the Berkshires. I wish more people from eastern MA would visit this part of the state... it's so beautiful and so much to do. We had 3 awesome dinners with our friends, spent time chatting by the pool and at breakfast, and last night we also met another couple they know who live in the Berkshires, who ride. Well, the guy rides and the woman is getting back into it. She was a bit dramatic, but they were nice. We are trying to plan a private tour with the company we used for our Spain/Portugal trips, to Porto, Portugal and this other couple might be interested.
    Back to reality; gotta go to the grocery store. Our bigger vacations are over for the summer, but we will have a couple of long weekends perhaps.
    Last edited by Crankin; 07-23-2017 at 01:36 PM.
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  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    thinking i should look into this off road riding thing ......liking the hikes on the northern ca coast and forests for awhile though.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Here is a day with (rented) bikes we spent in Banff National Park. It's a diverse large with enough large wildlife (bear warnings especially this summer). A lot of the lakes and rivers in this national park, plus Yoho National Park in British Columbia just 80 km. or less away (but with some wildfires now) have turquoise, sapphire and robins egg blue colours.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    Sheila, wow, nowhere near that 82cm. I usually run about 70cm on my MTBs (my clothing inseam in 31" or 32"). That's a bit lower than I do for road bikes, but I stay with the low seat height for my style of trail riding. Don't spend a lot of time in the seat. Can't afford to have it in the way, which it is when I set it too high.

    Thanks, Sky. It hasn't been under 60% humidity here in weeks, with some days over 70% and in the upper 80s. Really could use some of that dry desert air. Have absolutely no doubt about that mileage comparison. Way different kind of bicycling.

    Shootingstar, have only been to Banff, once, but I think it must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    1,162
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Most of the manufacturers recommend a medium for a 5'9" rider (at the moment, anyway), and they claim a 5'7" rider should be on a small. 5'10" is iffy. Good to know.
    No way would you fit on a small in Surly world. I think you would be fine on the medium, even if you needed to tweak some with a stem or different seat post
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  13. #43
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Wow! Lots of good questions.

    Sheila, the way it was explained to me is that the ECR is more of a touring bike with its geometry, designed to carry max loads of gear and has a stiffer frame for that reason. It could certainly be used for single track work, as I'm sure Sky will tell you. Would certainly handle any kind of road on this planet. Probably a smart move on Surly's part to offer it in a 27.5 version, since the industry seems determined to make the 27.5 a standard wheel size for MTBs. Even some fat bikes now using that wheel diameter.

    I see the ECR as a true expedition bike, but unless you plan to pack it up with a weeks worth of gear, it's probably overkill for casual trail riding. The Krampus and KM are true trail bikes with trail geometry and since I'm riding trails every day, carrying nothing more than some water and basic tools, I chose the Krampus. It's also a very sweet ride on pavement and gravel for some of my daily road adventures. I like those big 29+ wheels, too, since they roll over some of my very rough trial sections almost as nicely as my fat bikes, but the 29+ bikes are a lot easier to handle than the big fatties.

    The new KM is supposedly very similar to the new Krampus, but it's designed around those 27.5+ wheels. My experience with 27.5 wheels is that they are closer to the old 26" MTB size than they are to the 29" and share many of the same characteristics of the old 26". I found that the 27.5 makes for a quicker accelerating and faster climber than the 29+, very much like my 26" MTBs, but those 3" tires on the 27.5+ should make for a much more comfortable and stable ride in rough stuff than the old 26x2" tires. With my classic 26" bikes and their 2" tires, I have to be much more careful and alert on the rough stuff.

    I might have taken a KM home with me, except that they were out of stock and due in sometime later this month. Who knows, with me, I could talk myself into a KM, too, just for a little quicker and agile trail bike. Might want to take one for a test ride.

    Most of my bikes are rigid - no suspension. On rough trails, they are tooth rattlers, but you learn to adapt your riding style, letting your legs and arms absorb most of the shock. The advantage is that without suspension, bike weight is kept down and if you're packing, you can add gear to the front fork. Also, you get every ounce of effort at the pedals into the bike's movement. You don't lose anything to squish.

    On the other hand, even a front suspension fork reduces wear and tear on your arms and shoulders on a long ride and suspension does allow more margin of error when you tackle the technical stuff. On my trails, a front suspension fork makes log hopping and rock climbing and rolling noticeably easier and more pleasant. A full suspension bike, even more so, but I sold my fs bike because it was actually too squishy for my rigid bike trail riding taste.

    Unless I'm riding some really nasty roads, though, a suspension fork is mostly needless weight out on the road for me. Much prefer rigid for road work, dirt, gravel or pavement. Those big 3" tires on the Krampus or the Stashe, both rigids, soak up a lot of road buzz when you inflate them right.

    That's me, though. One thing about MTBs and MTB riders is that there's no shortage of diversity.

  14. #44
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    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Love that color. Looks like a fun ride, too.

  15. #45
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    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Hike by bike...

    What bike would you get? Fully rigid steel? Or that style bike, but switch out the fork for suspension? A lot of people on Mountain Bike Review forums do that.
    Alex and I have talked about it and she likes the idea of learning the technical/technique aspect of it too. You, NWG’s adventures and especially Sky’s baja trip have got me thinking more about it though. I’ll put more thought into it when I get back home. If I do and have questions I know some on this site are good resources…

    It could be an interesting change from the long, steady and sustained hard efforts that my road bikes have addicted me to….and as a friend says, she likes it for its exercise while being in nature drug free antidepressant qualities
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

 

 

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