Hey look, my Genesis is featured on the Restrap blog for going to Croatia at the end of the week. Reckon I've massively overpacked, so will probably be cutting out some clothes!
Not been an update here in a while! Mainly because I've been too busy with house DIY, & its shown a bit in the Strava end of year thingy - a good thousand miles down on my usual year.
Croatia was pretty mega. Five hundred miles or so of beautiful scenery, fantastic roads, excellent value wine & extraordinarily cheap apartments. In the end we only camped once & that was during a bura wind.
Personal favourite bit of the trip was a mountainous seventy mile day. In the last fifteen miles there was a lengthy gravel section over the top to get across to an access road. We got chased by a huge dog, had to stop to get some drone footage, & then the sun started to set. We then had to descend 1,400m of seeming cliff wall down to the sea to get to our last minute apartment for the night. Never descended with such urgency in my life, it was pitch black at the bottom! Also one of my friends completely overshot the turning as he was laughing away in race mode & had to ride back up a 200m climb to get to the bay we were staying in, ahah.
As always, pictures don't do it justice. I won't bore you with the rest as there might be a film about it one day. Bike performed absolutely perfectly, even on the gravel (on 27mm tyres).
In more current bicycle news, dropped off my road bike at Woodrup this morning to install the Hope RX4+ callipers I'd originally intended to install on the bike when first building it. It's also getting new some XTR rotors as well as I'd completely gone through the old Ultegra ones. No wonder I was having a less than ideal time stopping over the weekend.
Also taken delivery of new wheels for the Swiss Cross. It's always deserved better wheels than I've given it, so these DT Swiss GR531 on Hope Pro4s should do it justice. About 7mm internally wider than the current set! Think I'll desticker these, never been a fan of wheel branding unless it looks cool spinning & this doesn't pass the test.
More bling. Apparently my front shifter might be knackered though, mechanic bleeding it said it was behaving really strangely & might lock on. Yay. I'm on call between Christmas & New Year so it won't be getting ridden for a while anyway.
Popped out for twenty miles/2kft yesterday, front brake on the Genesis seems to work fine, so that's a relief.
In other news, I impulse bought a Campag groupset during the inter-Christmas-New Year ennui. I'll possibly put it on @Tor 's Woodrup for the long term, but in the meantime I wanted a play with it.
@darlojim warned me that Integralters were almost impossible to internally route, & boy was he right. Took about four hours in total, due to threading the brake/gear cable housing the wrong way around, yuck.
Still waiting on a cassette, 14mm allen key & another shifter cable to finish, should be done by the end of the week, fingers crossed.
Finished off the GT & took it for its first trip today (so writing this from the pub). It rides really nicely (as it did with Shimano tbh), but am enjoying the clickiness of Campag - shifting is crisp! Don't think the Integralters will stay in the long term due to how they force a pretty aggressive position unless on the tops.
Quality looks ace. Super jealous of your bar and stem. How do you feel being that far back with a layback post as well?
Cheers! The Integralters are cool, always had them on the fixed gear before but figured I'd give them a go here as they're specifically designed for Campagnolo shifters. They were an absolute nightmare to internally route, but got there in the end! The stem on them is only 100mm, but with where the cable holes are puts the shifters much further forward than I'm used to, so perhaps don't need as much layback on the post. I do have a less laid-back carbon fiber Campagnolo post I might use instead, but I quite like the balance of silver/black at the mo.
Front shifter on the Ritchey is broke, rather annoying! Going to go 1x on it, so ordered a 34T narrow wide chainring, hoping that'll be okay with an 11-32T cassette & it doesn't feel too spinny on the road sections.
Ordered things on Wednesday afternoon & it all came on Thursday morning! Got a 34T Hope narrow wide ring, which I think should be okay with an 11-32T cassette. Started to feel a bit spinny beyond 20mph but that'll be fine, just happy to have it back in a rideable state.
For cranks I dug out the stripped Rotors 3D+ cranks I originally ran on the Genesis. With its press-fit BB, there wasn't much room for bearings there so they gave up the ghost pretty quickly, however the bearings in the external cups are much bigger so hoping for more success here. Just need to polish them like @Hulsroy now!
Very much love the Swiss cross. ID love to find a rim brake version.
Really love mine, so highly recommend! One of the best eBay impulse purchases I've made :)
Oh man those stripped cranks are so nice. They're just slabs of aluminium and theres something great about that. I would eat a chocolate bar shaped like your NDS crank arm and I would enjoy it.
Lovely bikes. I do regret selling my old Swiss Cross!
How do you find the RX4s with Shimano rotors? Any rubbing issues?
Ha, that's quite the image!
Thanks! My trick is never selling bikes, not a sustainable model, mind! No rubbing at the moment, the clearance is rather close though.
Was worried the gear would be too spinny, but in seventy five miles, seven hours & seven & a half thousand feet of climbing, it seldom was a problem. Dropped a chain twice though due to so much mud, might take a link out of the chain to increase the tension, or swap the chainring to the inner ring position.
Also a revelation was the much wider rims on the new wheels. Previous rims had 17mm internal, these are 24mm internal & felt a great deal better bombing down gravel descents, much more confidence inspiring at lower pressures.
Swapped the cranks from the Graham Weigh onto the MASH of match the wheels (& new Tune seatpost). Won't stay in this configuration though I don't think, underestimated how much more aggressive the shorter cranks made the position. Seat angle is terrible I know.
Put some new bars on the Ritchey - Zipp XPLR 70 - slightly flared & a little lighter than before. Was looking forward to giving them at a go at the weekend but the front brake has stopped working, so away to the bike shop with that.
Had some good post today - bling new titanium King Cages for the Genesis. Probably the most expensive weight saving, but it was mainly because the old cages rattling was doing my head in. Can hardly buy a downgrade.
Swapped the bars on the GT to some I had in - wasn't getting along with the Integralters (they're great fixed brakeless, less ideal with the hoods). Also dug out a nice Campagnolo seatpost to finish it off. Angles will need some work but that's for tomorrow.
Silly new wheels purchase. My partner's job at a bike shop was at risk over the weekend (for unjust reasons), so I splurged while I could still get access to trade prices. Unfortunately she lost her job, but we're off to the Dolomites & the Croatia soon with our bikes so that can take her mind off it!
Roadtrip to Croatia & back over three & a half weeks was fab. We rode a little around Austria, the Dolomites (the Selleronda, an Averau loop & up to Tre Cima), Passo San Boldo, a few loops around Istria & then even squeezed in some Belgian cobbles on the return leg. Wheels feel fast! Quite glad I didn't bust them on the surprise Croatian gravel & cobbled climbs around Oudenaarde (though I reckon they aren't as bad as the Calderdale/Airedale cobbles around here).
More stuff, riding from Dalaman to Istanbul in October, expecting the route to have some interesting No Gravel™ in between paved sections, so upped the gear max ratio on the Ritchey from 11-32x32 to 11-42x42 with a new cassette, GRX derailleur & a parts-bin NW chainring. It already feels better & less of a spin-fest between off-road sections, though the rear brake needs bleeding. If anyone has any Turkey touring advice, it'd be welcome!
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