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AustinBike last won the day on March 16

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  1. Also, the apocalypse: This is why the cheap stuff is a real problem. guessing those $10K e-bikes from the big name guys, but the cheaper ones could be an issue. This is why we do not leave my wife's bike plugged in after charging.
  2. I will say that cranking up a 4-mile climb on a fire road that was about as steep as Jester and courtyard, my 36T cassette was no match for the guys on the e-bikes. I can understand the allure (and usefulness) in some areas, but not here in central TX. Especially with the weight to torque ratio being out of whack. I'm still in the traditional camp.
  3. That looks a lot like what I will end up with. Ultimately I will have 2 forks (rigid and squishy) and two Wheelsets (gravel and MTB) so I should be able to swap things around. I doubt I will do much gravel in TX because Texas gravel does not appeal to me. Most of my gravel will be in California and New Mexico during 2-4 week vacations that are becoming the norm. Being able to travel with a second Wheelset and fork would give me 2 bikes without having to haul a second bike out there with me.
  4. My current theory is get home from CA and start with the Vassago: Cut down the current Pike to 120MM from 140mm, cut the steerer tube Gravel tires Move the batwing bars and grips from the urban bike Next step: Try out the rigid fork that I already have Update the drive train to an 11-T 42T cassette and new derailleur Play with multiple front rings 32T through 42T Final step: Maybe get a carbon fork Maybe just go get a gravel fork
  5. This ride included a brief break where we could look at the ocean. Overlooking Point Mugu between Newbury Park and Camarillo.
  6. The glorified dog hauler takes a ride on the beach.
  7. Looking through comments, it looks like this could also be an option. A little more expensive (and a dodger manufacturer) but probably a lot lighter and better damping because it is carbon: https://www.amazon.com/Handlebar-External-Handlebars-Traveling-640mm/dp/B0BJTVLHFC Right now my urban singlespeed has an Origin8 bat wing bar with Ergon handle grips: Maybe the first step is to swap these bars to the gravel project and see how that goes. I've done at least two 100-mile urban rides on this bike and did plenty of MTB trails in New Mexico that were very rocky. This would give me a little more flexibility and more hand positions than a flat bar.
  8. And, in unrelated day drinking notes ( from Tarantula Hill brewing in Ca) Ian Hunter is 84 years old old. Also, to stay on target, the initial thought will be flat bars with bar ends.
  9. That is an interesting option. I think my current trajectory is to look into conversion of my current Vassago. I have a steel rigid fork already so throwing some gravel tires on this bike with the Surly Corner Bar might allow me to have an inexpensive entry into a gravel bike without a ton of compromise. Then, if that works out I can tackle the drivetrain next.
  10. This looks really interesting, might be just the kind of kluge that I need while I work this whole project out.
  11. Playing around with Geometry Geeks, I have the following comparison of the Vassago to a Specialized Crux, which seems like a reasonable gravel bike: It seems like the for length, axle to crown is a real issue (and assume another 20mm as I have it right now...) The slacker head angle and seat angle probably have a large impact as well. I was surprised at the shorter chainstay, I had actually slid the sliders out a little more to maximize that before the ride assuming that it would help with the climbing to have a longer wheelbase (to help compensate for the over-specced fork...)
  12. I did the Castell grind on a Soma Juice singlespeed before I actually bought one. Not 100% sure since I did the race a few times, but I may have won my category on that bike.
  13. This sounds similar to my issue. To begin with, the Pike is big and heavy. It is spaced at 140mm and the bike (Vassago Verhauen) is really specced at 120mm max, so I am really raked out. Despite the fact that the rigid fork would have had no travel, I might have ended up better with a rigid fork that had less total fork height. The other thing that concerns me is the drive train. In a max, it is 32T to 36T. When I look at gravel bikes, their max is 42T to 42T, so how, with less leverage (100% vs 112.5%), are they able to climb better? Is there a "secret sauce" tied to the front chainring size that I am missing? Also, I know that the tires were pretty heavy; the more aggressive knobs of the Ardents did not help in getting traction on the gravel portions (and definitely did not help on the streets...)
  14. That was why I obsessed so much about the bike choice for this trip. Tried to get the best (cheapest) combo. Ended up just building out the best bike and that turned out to be a faster choice to build (fewer hassles) and mostly a more fun bike to ride.Weather is getting drier and I hope to be able to hit trails this week.
  15. I rode this weekend in California with some riders, mostly road, but some gravel. They were on gravel bikes. A couple were on e-MTBs. I got my ass handed to me on the climbs. Yeah, most of it was because they have been riding these routes for years and I was not ready for it. Anyway, it got me thinking, what if I turned my steel hardtail into a gravel bike? It has a nice King/Stans Wheelset. Put a nice carbon fork on it, maybe some drop bars, some gravel tires, would it be an effective gravel bike? Or would I just be fooling myself because the geometries are way off? Long term I may move out here and for the month of Santa Fe that we do every year might be just as good on a gravel bike, today I use a full rigid steel hardtail. One thing I did not understand was their drive trains were basically 42T with 11-42T in the back. I was on a 32T with 11-36T in the back, so technically I was in an easier gear (but had 2.4" Ardents on the back...) Any thoughts or input here?
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