This weekend it was time for the first long ride of the year. I usually have some crazy idea that 200 miles is easy in January with a ton of darkness thrown in. I had a few things to try out and the weather played its part to make sure it was a real test, mainly for me, yes it was an ambitious stupid idea.
(oops lost all the pictures – still looking for them ;-( )
First up is the Lomo seat bag. I didn’t really need a new seat bag but this is only £33 and fully waterproof from the makers of wetsuits and watersports gear, they should know what works. All the info is on the website so no need to repeat that, just to say that its made of a full plastic material that providing it doesn’t split will remain watertight.
With a ride in nine hours of solid rain and sleet that broke my body the bag did indeed keep ALL the water out. It is very refreshing to just ram in clothes and kit without having to use plastic bags and stuff sacs. The rear light holder when full is in the right position, and I had no problems with sway once I had worked out the best option for the straps. Basically once it was strapped on I forgot it was there, what more do you want. If it is part full then that’s a different issue.
There are support pieces welded internally to ensure the tapered shape remains at the seat end as can be seen here, but there is an issue with the seat rail straps. If I had just fed the top straps over the seat rails and then tightened them up then the bottom straps would run out of adjustment. To get round this I wrapped them round the rails twice putting them in the perfect place and as it turned out a good idea as it locks the bag in place to stop swaying.
One other point that I found out with troubled frozen hands is that the buckles are extremely stiff to use. Quite often riders in endurance events suffer with reduced grip strength, especially in the squeezing action between thumb and forefinger, and this could become a big issue.
The two standard seat bag straps are huge as usual and the shape is good for mounting. I would like to have seen about 10mm more width on the wear area for the abrasion that will occur between the pack and the contact points. The 100% waterproofness will only last as long as there are no wear holes or until over tightening tears the thin fabric. Another good point is despite the fact the bike was covered in winter road crap the bag stayed super clean and would wipe down real easy to clean any time.
For the price it is a great bag and a good advert to try out a few more Lomo bags, they just need to make a bigger frame bag next.
I have been using Schwalbe pro 1 tyres for all my major trips over the past three years, but the continual improvements have turned a once great tyre in a tread shredding load of junk for endurance rides. The tread cuts too easily and every small nick seems to tear and become a troublesome hole for the sealant to deal with.
I need to find a new “tubeless ready” tyre to get back to the trouble free riding the original “One” gave you.
For this tyres need to roll well, seal easy and have a nice tread rubber depth. The WTB exposure 30c seems to meet these criteria. It was a nice tight fit on the Hunt wheels and sealed up instantly ready to roll.
The winds had covered every back road in debris, and the heavy rains and grit of the Chilterns made a lot of the ride appear off road. The tyre felt great, very comfortable, and even coped with a few saves on ice. After the weekends riding there was a deep flint cut in the tyre, no escaped sealant and not an issue in any way.
After two days of riding there was no apparent pressure drop, but then on going out to the garage on day three it had lost most of the pressure for no reason. To be continued….
May update: After a few thousand miles use these have proved durable with two leakage punctures on the front from sharps in the road, one that required a plug. They continue to lose air though and I cannot cure it, never had this problem with any other tyre and they need checking overnight on multiday rides. The ride also seems harsh even though I’m running them at 50 PSI, and slow, maybe I’m just less fit but my average trip pace is down 1 mph on average. At the moment I am disappointed and they are coming off again for the G1’s to go back on.
There are a ton of chamois creams out there (did you know that’s a type of Antelope) and some of them claim amazing properties and have ridiculous prices. Udderly smooth seemed to evolve because riders were using cheap bulk tubs of farmers udder cream as shamois cream. Its half the price of other creams, and at twice the tub size too.
Does it work, well a very long wet ride is about as good a test as you can get, the rubbing from wet shorts has in the past been the source of some big suffering. After those nine hours out in the rain with minimal stops meaning very long periods in the saddle I will say yes, it was brilliant.