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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,634

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    I actually like riding in the rain, always have. My only issue is increased risk from traffic on-road. And possible falling tree limbs and lightening offroad. We have a lot of both.

    Tentatively optimistic about the 60 mm stem for the Karate Monkey. All the 55 mm stems were at least 40 dollars, and I considered it a stem for fitting only, and wanted to spend around $10.00. The 45 MM stem I started with was 10 bucks. This $60.00 stem was 12. If it works, I may buy a Thompson or Deity, (matches the bars) or a Hope stem, since they have colors that would work. All expensive, but good quality. Don't usually spend a lot on stems. But kind of want to.

    I'm a little iffy on the stearer tube height with these bars. They are riser, so I have the 60 mm stem in the downward position, then more spacers than usual above the stem. It looks weird. OTOH, mountainbike stems tend to take up varying amounts of room on the tube. Some are taller than others, and so need a different amount of spacers below. Plus, the Jones bars were totally different. 80 mm stem, and not much above the stem as they tilted lower in the hand grip area.

    Still eyeing the Salsa Bend bars.

    We are so picky.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  2. #62
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,021
    Sheila, since I'm constantly mixing and matching stems and handlebars, I keep a variety of stem spacers on hand. I do prefer a taller handlebar height setup with more spacers under the stem, typically 4 or 5. Remember, though, you can place the stem between spacers, with spacers on top of the stem, if you want to go lower. No law that says the stem has to always be in the topmost position. Bottom line is not to cut the steerer tube height to short/low. Once you cut it, you're stuck with that height. Totally a personal preference, though, so see what works for you.

    On my new Log Lady build, I'm going carbon on the handlebar and it will be a conventional MTB bar. Frightfully expensive, but I have a carbon handlebar on my Gunnar that the former owner had used for his build and I love the carbon. Makes for very responsive handling and, best of all, carbon will absorb some of the road/trail chatter. Also going carbon on the seat post on the new LL for same reasons. This new LL is my first ever custom build, so I want to take my time and do it right. Never would have considered carbon if I hadn't' gotten carbon on the Gunnar.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,634
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Sheila, since I'm constantly mixing and matching stems and handlebars, I keep a variety of stem spacers on hand. I do prefer a taller handlebar height setup with more spacers under the stem, typically 4 or 5. Remember, though, you can place the stem between spacers, with spacers on top of the stem, if you want to go lower. No law that says the stem has to always be in the topmost position. Bottom line is not to cut the steerer tube height to short/low. Once you cut it, you're stuck with that height. Totally a personal preference, though, so see what works for you.

    On my new Log Lady build, I'm going carbon on the handlebar and it will be a conventional MTB bar. Frightfully expensive, but I have a carbon handlebar on my Gunnar that the former owner had used for his build and I love the carbon. Makes for very responsive handling and, best of all, carbon will absorb some of the road/trail chatter. Also going carbon on the seat post on the new LL for same reasons. This new LL is my first ever custom build, so I want to take my time and do it right. Never would have considered carbon if I hadn't' gotten carbon on the Gunnar.
    Oh yeah, four bikes and I've lowered and raised the handlebars often. The difference with road bikes is you don't have radically different handlebars if you change them (which I don't, I like the ones I have). And it seems the part that touches the steer tube is more or less consistent, so it's predictable how many on top, and how many on bottom. This was starting from scratch.

    I went for a quick ride around the neighborhood on the KM at lunch. Wow. The handling with the new bars makes it a completely a different animal. It was actually a gorilla before, and now a spinner monkey. That is the difference in nimbleness.

    One reason I have not tried carbon bars or wheels is that I will instantly get spoiled and have to have them on everything. It does certainly help to have a carbon stem on anything with a carbon or aluminum (which I don't have) fork. And I've made that upgrade on three bikes and noticed a huge difference in vibration, but spending 400 dollars for road bars is something I need to avoid (for now!). I've been told a carbon stem won't change anything on a bike with a steel fork. Don't know if that is true.

    Oh, and I love Jenson! I think I'm going to buy a Chromag stem and seat collar. Either purple, blue, or charcoal gray. They don't have orange in a 60 mm. And all the high end brands I checked also did not have orange at 60 mm. I've bought a lot of cheap stems. But I kind of think a high end machined one will improve the overall safety and performance of the steel mountainbike.

    Also, I think the Chromag bikes carried by Jenson did not have the right geometry for me, though I will check again. But they are certainly high quality, beautiful, understated hardtails. Something to consider for after I move, when I will promptly buy 4 bikes from my N + infinity list.

    ETA: oh yeah, high stack AND long reach. Hard to find, but what I need. And they have both a medium, and a medium/large. Either could work. I think the larger may be better. But I'd have to find out standover, which isn't listed. They have higher end ones, but doesn't this look like a nice bike?

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Chromag-Wi...on-Spec-A-Bike
    Last edited by Muirenn; Yesterday at 10:17 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  4. #64
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,021
    6 miles of trail riding in a bit heavier rain, this morning, but this time on my Pugsley, 2nd edition fat bike. The heavier rain moved in, just a bit later, so my only ride of the day. Good workout, though, so no complaints, other than I'm ready for a bit of sunshine.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,954
    Glad everyone's families in NC made it though ok.

    Well I rode 37 miles today. Did I mention I have been furloughed at work? End of client's fiscal year and funding has run short, as it has for the past several years at this time. The good news is no layoffs this year. Anyway I have to take 6 days off this month, using sick and vacation time. So today instead of going to work I did a bike club ride with friends. Temperature was right around 80, it wasn't as sunny as the forecast led us to believe it would be but no rain, and if it had been less cloudy it would have seemed hotter. So actually the weather was pretty darn nice.

    I am still having problems with my wheel, which I will post about separately because I'm looking for suggestions.

    As for the possible free bike -- recently I was pleasantly surprised to learn about a new program from my employer to recognize people who have worked there a long time. I've been at my job for 18 years. Of these 15 count as having been with my current employer (the first three were under a contract with a different company, and in the past 15 years I have been through numerous mergers, but they still count my tenure back to the first company in the line of acquisitions). So I can choose a free gift from a list that they sent me. Many of the options are not useful to someone who lives in a small apartment like me -- huge TV sets, lawn mowers, a sound bar with heavy bass for a home theater. There are numerous jewelry choices, gold and diamonds, which I would never wear. Also a kayak (no storage room for that), a stove (don't need one), golf clubs (don't play golf) and a gun safe (don't own any guns). And... a Trek hybrid bike designed for commuting. It's actually a 2018 model that is sold out on the Trek website. I am going to see if I can get a Trek gift card for the value of the bike instead, and then will use it toward a different bike. If they say no, we will send you a different bike, I will hope to be able to trade it in at the LBS for full price. (If they say they have decided not to offer any more bikes, well then I have no idea what I'll do.)

    Now, I don't really need another bike, nor do I have room for one, and I really should not spend any money on another bike. I ride my road bike a lot and my mountain bike sits neglected collecting dust. But with all the rain we've had lately, it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a road bike with full fenders. I can put a clip-on rear fender on my Madone but there's no room for a front fender. Disc brakes and the ability to attach racks would also come in handy sometimes.

    IF I am able to apply the cost of free hybrid to a new Trek bike, I am looking at this gravel bike:

    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...colorCode=blue

    Of course, it will probably cost me $1000 out of pocket, plus saddle and pedals. And maybe shoes, depending on the pedals I get.

    Another option is a lower-end aluminum Domane that would only cost me a couple hundred, but that wouldn't come with disc brakes. I might look at their touring bike, too, though there's no WSD version.

    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...?colorCode=red

    Any of these options involves Shimano Tiagra or Sora components, which I hope will be good enough. I had a Tiagra front derailleur on my old road bike and it was constantly in need of adjustment.

    Anyway, the first step is to find out what the option is since the bike currently being offered as a free gift is no longer available.

    p.s. Any new bike I get would have to spend a lot of time out on the balcony. It would be covered with a tarp, but still out in the elements. But I think that's okay for something that would be my first choice when there's a likelihood of rain, or during the winter when there's salt on the roads.
    Last edited by ny biker; Yesterday at 02:10 PM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,406
    I thought about a gravel bike, but basically I ended up with a hybrid (Specialized Ariel) that is more like a hard tail mountain bike. I don't want another drop bar bike. It has disc brakes and a front suspension fork. I put a rack on it, too. The only thing is, it doesn't have fenders, but I could add them. Basically, I don't ride in the rain on purpose, but I will ride this in the winter. It's lighter than the mountain bike I had.
    I've commuted a few times with it and rode it on the bike path, as well as a 15 mile ride to a farm market. The gearing feels weird (it's a compact with 11-42 gearing) and I'm no speed demon on it, but it is very fun to ride.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,634
    Definitely the Gravel over the touring bike, must better for riding ‘anywhere.’ And the geometry is typically a little more comfy.

    A hybrid is nice to have, but since it’s partially funded, it’s a good opportunity to get a nice bike. Really good hybrids are available for a lot less, though you can spend a lot these days. You can’t really get a nice gravel bike at the same price point. And very nice used hybrids are typically easier to find at good prices than gravel bikes.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  8. #68
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,954
    I am open to the idea of a hybrid similar to what you have, Crankin, but definitely would want to be able to ride about the same speed as I do on my Madone. I'm already pretty slow, and wouldn't want long rides in terms of miles to take any longer in terms of hours than they do now.

    If I put less knobby tires on my mountain bike (an old 26" hardtail), I can ride a couple of mph slower on pavement then I can on the road bike. And I slow down a lot going uphill, due to the bike's weight.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,406
    NY, my speed is just about the same as yours, maybe marginally faster at this time of the year (14-15 mph av, unless it's hilly, then who knows). Remember, I'm riding with a loaded trunk bag to work. When I rode to the market, DH volunteered to take 2 panniers, so I had nothing to carry, as well as on the bike path, where we were only limited by it being crowded and DH had my granddaughter in the trailer. Both of those times, I averaged about 13.8. I also have a serious hill on the way home from work. I just need to get used to the gearing. When I get on my Silque, after riding the Ariel, I feel like a speed demon. My average has definitely gone up on the Silque in the last month, since my vacation, riding the Guru with a packed Arkel bag at a very slow speed, and riding the Ariel. I wouldn't take this bike on a group ride, unless it was an AMC slow level ride, or with my friends who ride at an average of <13, or on a ride longer than 20 miles, unless it was more touring or mixed terrain. It definitely would have been appropriate for my vacation by Lake Ontario. There was a huge long trail that was gravel and I tried it on the Guru, but I couldn't handle it. We also had some gravel on trails through a provincial park. There was no need to go fast, we were day touring.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Taylor, MI
    Posts
    225
    I got a Checkpoint SL5 WSD in July and I love it. Took it on a bike trip with friends to the Ohio Erie Canal Tow Path trail and it performed flawlessly.

    P2 (Penny)
    2018 Trek Silque SLR6 - Selle SMP Glider
    2018 Specialized Dolce EVO Comp - Selle SMP Glider
    2011 Trek Madone 5.2 WSD -Selle SMP Glider
    2013 Giant TCX W - Oura 143

 

 

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