This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Re-Reviews; VO Zeste brakes,Titanica-X saddle, Big Ben tires, and Vargos wood stove.

You know how it is, just wandering around the Midwestern countryside with not a care in the world and you suddenly realize you  got stuff to talk about.  Especially the stuff you already talked about,
 but promised to discuss on a higher and more informed level in the future.
The future is here, I'm not a whole lot smarter but there is some stuff that this bike  has been carrying that deserves attention.  The Selle Anatomica saddle is definitely a keeper.  I don't know about the longterm effect of the slot in the strategic place, some suggest it eliminates vibration and possible prostrate damage. 
 It may or may not.   One doctor told me that a more upright position (raising handlebars to saddle height) is more important than a slot or separation in the saddle.  The experts can argue that, but for a long day in the saddle, this one is very comfortable.  The air space in the strategic location is pleasant and eliminates some very intimate abrasions during long days.  Compared to a Brooks B17, that is noticable, but the Selle Anatomica does not wick sweat as efficiently and I am finding my butt cheeks stuck to my shorts .  Other than that, the Selle Anatomica is a great saddle and worthy replacement for the
 monstrously heavy B67 which is now a happy upgrade to Byron.
The Big Ben tire is certainly a winner.  At 50mm I can't think of a  tire more complimentary to the Hunq.  
It's just a great tire for any 29er application.
There is enough tread and width to handle all but the sloppiest  road situations. 
The ingenious way they have crowned the tread leaves only about 20mm on hard pavement.  
They are surprisingly fast and easy to ride on the road, even with a full load of traveling gear.
One of the best upgrades I have made was the replacement of the Tektro cantilevers with the Velo Orange Zeste.  They are nicely angled for all terrain use, and  the extra length really multiplies the stopping power. 

 They provide excellent modulation, as we expect from cantilevers, and the ingenious adjustment points are a huge improvement.  I am impressed with them in all weather and haven't changed out the original pads yet.
I am about to change them out for Scott-Matthauser pads, and I expect to be even more impressed then.
The big loser in the review category has been the Vargo wood stove. 
 It's ingenious, and you don't have to carry any fuel.  It works quickly, efficiently 
and just eliminates a lot of  weight, both in the structure and the fuel.  
Unfortunately, burning wood is just pain dirty.  My pots, pans, pannier and anything else carried in it smelled like a house burnt down.  It took a couple of attempts with an SOS pad and dishwasher to clean the dishes after each trip.  Then it took a couple of hours to remove the smell from the kitchen at home. 
 I can see this being a godsend of an outdoor appliance in some cases, 
but I will carry a huge zip-lock to store everything related when I use it again.  
For bike camping, the Trangia and a readily available quart of  alcohol will be my first choice.

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