Eben einen Spaziergang im Kottenforst gemacht. Das ist eine ganz tolle Cyclocrosstrainingsstrecke. Wege mit unterschiedlichem Untergrund, glitschige Wurzeln, Äste zum Üben von bunny hops und viele umgestürzte Bäume, bei denen abgestiegen werden muss.

Kleine Beobachtung:
Mein Fahrradlicht hat einen sehr breiten Lichtkegel. Wenn ich bei Dunkelheit unterwegs bin, machen alle motorisierten Verkehrsteilnehmer einen Bogen um die äußerste Stelle des Lichtkegel herum. Finde ich gut. 🚴🏻‍♂️

Quick review: Topeak ROADIE DA G and 700×40c tyres

In your typical cyclist’s quest to simplify my setup and reduce the things that I carry on rides, I went out to look for a compact, pocketable pump with an integrated pressure gauge. There are a number of options, but none of them have had particularly good reviews – at least not judging by what I was able to find. Most annoyingly, very few reviews even consider the accuracy of the integrated gauge, stating that it’s good enough for (off-)road side repairs.

The Topeak ROADIE DA G is a fairly recent release and being happy with a few other of their products, I decided to give it a go.

Basics

The pump pushes air into the tyre when pushing and pulling on the barrel, which, theortically should help fill the tyre more quickly. The barrel is made out of aluminium, other parts of the pump are made from shock-resistant plastic. Being a road bike pump, it’s equipped with a Presta valve head.

Thoughts

I’ve used this pump fairly extensively at this point and all things considered, it’s a good pump. It’s compact, doesn’t stick out of a jersey pocket too far and even fits into some saddle bags. The included bottlge cage mount is solid and has held up across a number of hard gravel rides already.

I was very happy to find that the pressure gauge is quite accurate. Comparing it with a dedicated digital gauge and the gauge in my floor pump, it yielded almost identical results when I aimed to hit 𝑥.0 Bar or 𝑥.𝑥 Bar on the gauge. This allowes me to much more accurately and quickly get my tyres up to the desired pressure than doing the “pump, pump, pump, detach pump, attach gauge, check pressure, detach gauge, pump some more, check again” spiel.

One thing I consider a downside is the pump’s barrel getting very hot when reaching pressures of 3.2 Bar and up. I’m guessing it’s fine when you’re wearing gloves but more than a couple of times when nearing 4 Bar, I had to stop pumping to let the barrel cool down a bit.

Suitability for 700×40c tyres

The bigger issue from my perspective is the suitability for tyres typically used on gravel bikes. Both my bikes use 700×40c and I tend to vary the pressure depending on the terrain I ride on. Getting this kind of pneu to a pressure beyond 3.5 Bar is hard work and both the pump and I struggle with it.

This issue isn’t limited to the ROADIE DA G, however. Right now, most manufacturers of pumps distinguish between high-volume pumps for mountain bike tyres, and high-pressure pumps for road bikes. Tyres for gravel bikes/adventure bikes/bicycle touring fall somewhere in between and I haven’t yet seen any pump that delivers good results for 700×36c–700×50c tyres.

Simon and James of GCN attempt to burn 10,000 calories in one ride

This feat by Simon and James of GCN is truly something. About two weeks ago I did my hardest ride, yet, burning 4,200+ calories in the process. I was wiped out after and it took three days for my legs to properly recover.

Strava map of gravel ride on 10 August 2019

Once aspect I enjoy about today’s cycling culture in general and gravel cycling in particular, is the almost universal acceptance, nay, encouragement to wear ridiculously loud socks. These aren’t even the brightest ones I have. 😜🤘🏻🚴🏻‍♂️

Essentially a whisky run

This ride turned out harder than expected but it was still fun for a number of reasons:
1. My stamina is improving. Not only did I survive an unplanned and slightly sketchy climb on a largely unused fire road after I took a wrong turn, I later also managed to hold a 46+13 gearing and ~ 89 rpm on a flat paved road with a headwind for 8 km.
2. Planning the trip, Komoot added two pieces of trail to the ride that I didn’t know about. One really nice and flowy part of forest singletrack and one ascent that I always wondered about when taking my regular route through the Mattheiser Wald; it looked too overgrown to ride on my gravel bike but is actually an almost mellow ascent but for the loose gravel.
3. One of my goals was to buy a bottle of whisky because I’ve been out of that particular one for a while. I managed to snag a bottle, so carrying my insanely heavy lock with me for this tour was worth it after all.
4. Still not happy with the way I carry my Fujifilm X70 with me on rides but very much happy I brought it. The photo files are so much more flexible than what my iPhone offers, even when shooting RAW.

Lunch break at the former Landesgartenschaugelände in Trier. 55D5BF51-2FC4-4B00-8C97-47121D20D3B3.jpg

Bicycle vanity (or: the 90s want their anodised parts back)

I think my gravel bike is finally complete. I had a perfectly good stem and stem cap on the bike before but for some reason I didn’t like the diameter of the stem tube in relation to the diameter of the seat post. It didn’t look right. So… I replaced it with the “Tune Geiles Teil 4.0” stem and a CNC-machined Tune stem cap that matches the colour of the Chris King headset quite well.

Super bling Tune Geiles Teil 4.0 and a red CNC-machined Tune stem cap

I think I’ve gone a little bit crazy with the red anodized parts on this bike but then again, I love how it looks and if I’m perfectly honest, yes, the bike has to ride well but I also have to like looking at it.

All while installing these parts and doing a few other bits of maintenance on the bike, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. 🎶 🚵‍♂️

First proper outing with the gravel bike in a couple of weeks. Not an easy ride with temperatures already above 25°C at 0900 but I managed to set a new personal best for a rather gruelling climb. 🚴🏻‍♂️ D284B8CB-8E34-4E21-98C7-9A23D344C778.jpg

Just made the realisation that Shimano Ultegra R8000 shifting performance > SRAM NX Eagle shifting performance. By quite a margin, too. Judged on its own the NX Eagle shifts impressively well. Now I’m kind of curious how much better SRAM’s high-end group sets shift.

The left pedal’s spindle showed more wear than the right one and didn’t have enough grease in the body. Hopefully, having disassembled, cleaned, copiously lubricated, reassembled, and adjusted them, these pedals will still last me many KMs. Now my gravel bike has red shoes. 👠 😜 CE5DADDA-D90C-4359-8966-B82A08A57F2C.jpg E1BA71C0-F922-4849-89DA-7574A7BB64F2.jpg 604E70AB-0CE9-44CE-B4D3-F2E5B43E374C.jpg

About to disassemble, clean, lubricate, and reassemble this used pair of HT D1 pedals I bought as a replacement for the ones that I moved from my gravel bike to my new commuter bike. They’re in a worse state than the seller specified and I hope there are no bad surprises waiting.