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Karakoram

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  1. What about First Ascent Gravel Mountain Bike Cycling Shoes https://www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za/product/first-ascent-gravel-mountain-bike-cycling-shoes
  2. I think I am going to try this recipe. Sound wholesome and good. Another favourite power snack I take along on longer rides are some dates. (Not the blind kind 😄).
  3. Yes, the soles are okay. Good when dry, but not as grippy when wet, overall not bad at all. The uppers of the K-Way shoes are water repellent which is way better than my aging Five Tens. They really soak up water from wet overgrown single track vegetation.
  4. Speed agnostic MTB shifters. Shifts anything. (3 x 10, 2 x 9 etc). Sunrace SLM 10 MTB friction shifters. R155 for a pair including cables. (Shipping excluded). I've been using these shifters on two of my bicycles and they are bomb-proof, work extremely well and require no indexing setup. URL: https://www.ebay.com/itm/363462396584?hash=item54a00c0aa8:g:UIoAAOSwjVhfpm1W
  5. Cycling is not cheap. In these trying times, it is always great to find cheaper alternatives that will work equally or nearly as well as the expensive main-stream items. Here are some of the my finds, perhaps you could add to the list to help other cash-strapped cyclists out there: Tubeless Tire Sealant: OKO Magic Milk is fantastic! R200 for 1 liter: URL: https://magicmilk.co.za/product/magic-milk-tubeless-sealant/ Cycling top for foul weather: Second Skin, splash proof, windbreaker R299: URL https://www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za/product/t-second-skins-adult-foul-weather-run-top-17 Flat Pedal Shoes, consider something like the K-Way Edge 2 going for R1,300. Grip not as good as pucker FiveTens, but keep your feet snug in wet winter conditions and also great for touring because the same shoe can be worn for a walk-about at your destination.
  6. Yes you are correct, these bags are great. My own preference is to have any weight on my bike as low as possible. It helps a great deal with stability. The other thing I find puzzling (looking at pictures of fully loaded bikepacking bags) is how on earth are you supposed to swing your leg over that tower sticking up from behind your saddle? At my age, my kickboxing days are over. 😄
  7. When you are a pensioner like me, it is just too expensive to be a "purist". Multi functional gadgets rule. But you have a point, the gravel category is an enigma.
  8. Yes, pretty much. My bike looks like an 80's style mountain bike, but with the difference that it has disc brakes and plenty of braze-ons for mounting water bottles and bike racks for touring. There are no less than 5 sets of bosses to mount water bottle-cages. In addition, rack mounting points are provided over both the front and rear wheels. The frame even has a special kink near the head tube to accommodate a full size bottle. In my opinion, a gravel bike without sufficient braze-ons is not very useful.
  9. It is great to hear that you concur with my finding on Thumbies. I've got a Mary Bar on one of my other bikes and it is virtually identical to the FSA Metropolis. The sweep back geometry eliminated the pins and needles sensation my hands developed on longer rides, especially when fitting ergo grips as well. Agree about the Jones Bar. My bike has a front rack as well, but if it didn't, I would certainly have considered a Jones Bar too.
  10. Hi Zebra. I can only speak from my experience. I've never owned a drop-bar bike till I bought my Trek 920 tour bike. I felt stretched out with drop bars, in spite of fitting a shorter stem. My bike's STI shifters were not very slick from to get go. I took it back to the bike shop and they made some adjustments which improved shifting, but it didn't last. Downshifting was especially lazy and I was forever busy tinkering with the barrel adjusters. The bike's brakes were particularly problematic. I experienced bad binding problems on a super hot day (41 degrees C), gravel road dusty conditions and 30km from home, having already done 45km. Afterwards, I tried out all the suggested remedies, but did not not do a full brake bleed. It is a new bike and maybe there was air in the system which expanded during the hot conditions. This would probably have cured the brake binding issue, but I had had enough. So, I cannot comment on the shifting drop bar setups on other bikes I am sure that these work perfectly. I can however compare friction lever shifting to all the other flat bar shifters I've experienced, and I would say that it is the slickest shifting I've experienced to date. I wouldn't hesitate to change to friction shifters on my other bikes when the index shifters eventually fail. Friction shifters are super cheap and there is hardly anything that can go wrong with them. The additional advantage is that they shift anything and don't require any setup, besides adjusting the limit screws on your derailleurs.
  11. Doubt if you will find either locally. Shop on Amazon. My shopping experience has been a pleasure and delivery slick. You will know exactly what the tracking status of your goods are. They have very similar bars on offer.
  12. Exactly. I am not sure why gravel/touring bikes need to have drop bars. If it is for the odd occasion when a rider wants to assume an aero position, it certainly isn't worth while. It was the least comfortable position for me and I spent most of my time with hands on the hoods. There is not much aero advantage when you have loaded panniers and water bottles. Great shifting, reliability and comfort outweighs everything on the long haul. It is amazing how well the friction shifters work and the Tektro brakes are really good. Haven't had a single squeal from them.
  13. Trek 920 converted to flat bar and friction shifters. Story here: https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/188856-conversion-of-gravel-bike-to-flat-bar-and-friction-shifters/
  14. I couldn't get used to the drop bars on my Trek 920 touring/gravel bike. The bike's SRAM S700 Doubletap brake/shifter levers were okay, but I had constant problems with brake rub and had to barrel adjust ever so often for the shifting to work well. Both annoyances were really not what you want when you are far from base in hot dusty conditions, especially brake rub. So, I decided to fit an Alt-bar (FSA Metropolis - a flat bar with a back sweep) that I had available. This conversion also required new flat-bar brake levers and shifters to complete the setup. Shimano Brakes and 2 x 10 shifters are not readily available at the moment. Rummaging through my parts bin, I came upon two new Sunrace friction shifters which I always wanted to use and now seemed the perfect opportunity to do so. Our local bike shop fitted new Tektro brake levers and calipers and I did the friction shifter fitment. The Sunrace SLM10 shifters were super easy to fit and set up. They are not indexed and will shift just about anything. All you have to do is set the limit screws on the front and rear derailleurs and that's it. (The Sunrace Falcon Top Mount shifters set currently sell for about R240 on eBay, including shipping). Shifting is smooth and the new bar makes the bike feel nimble and a lot more comfortable. The shifters are very easy to get accustomed to and it is comforting to know that there won't be any compatibility issues if an odd emergency sprocket or derailleur is the only part available far from home. Should have done this long ago. It is time to ditch index shifting.
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