One of the great successes of my summer trips was the failure of the permanently sealed bearings on my Thin Gripster pedals from VP Components. It's another lesson about the futility of technological improvement. They were great when they work, but they quit on their own schedule.
The only complaint I ever had was a milder form of hotfoot than I had with clipless pedals. During a long day on the road, I would get a reawakening case of nerve damage which had helped drive me away from clipless pedals. Changing to the MKS Lambda/Rivendell Grip King pedals was a relief in three ways.
Not only are they $24 less expensive, the bearings are serviceable, and the ball of the foot comes in contact with air. That's right, there is no pressure to cause hot foot! It's something I hadn't appreciated about them in town or on the Hillborne, but became pleasantly obvious during long days on the fully loaded Hunq. Adding the little pins which are optional on the Riv sight, makes them every bit as efficient as the clipless ever were for me.
It became obvious during this summer that the Selle Anatomica saddle was just not for me.
It was okay when I had it adjusted correctly, but during a couple of days the saddle would drift back and I would be riding with the nose rubbing those soft tissue nether regions the cut out was supposed to protect. Try as I might, I could not tighten the saddle enough to stay in place. I am using a Velo Orange Gran Cru seat post which is just fine on my Hillborne so it was really frustrating. I also noticed a lot of abrasion on hot days which I think is the result of weatherproofing the leather. I could be wrong here, but Brooks saddles seem to wick moisture away when my butt is hot and sweaty. Being waterproofed, the SA did not.
I sold the SA to cover 1/2 the cost of a new Brooks B 17 and my ass is happy just looking at it.
Another discovery this summer was found while meandering through Gander Mountain. I haunt the place on a seasonal basis because they mark everything down drastically to make room for next season's good. What looked like an innocent pair of convertible trail pants turned out to be perfect for camping and commuting. Not only do they have zip off legs, plenty of secure pockets and a built in belt, they have a gusseted crotch which removes the seams from the aforementioned nether regions we cyclists worry about. Couple that with the fact that these are seriously water repellent and they make a great pair of touring and casual commuting pants for bad weather.