Who is braving the elements on two wheels?
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Mustard



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it's easy to be cynical, but am I missing something with this current rave over Gravel Bikes? From what I see they are what we used to call ordinary touring bikes, with wider rims and tyres and extra gears. Not much different to what we used to ride as teens, though we had flat bars and only Sturmy Archer gear hubs. But they were great for exploring tracks and old railway lines and belting along the beach from Redcar to Saltburn doing speedway style rear wheel skid high speed turns. (Fun we called it.)

So is there some quality in these hyped up gravel Bikes which isn't obvious to the eye? (Apart from disc brakes, and modern gear sets, neither of which are going to affect the comfort on rough ground., or make them better at coping.)

I ask because I came across a pair along a fastish rocky, banky, rutted track which a normal full sus bike can easily take at speed while being swooped and flicked up the side banks then dropped back down onto the rough rocky parts without any care or problem. The kind of fast easy stuff that doesn't require a lot of skill, but which puts a big smile on your face.

That pair were slowly and carefully picking they way through and looked very far from having fun. I had to go past them so smiled and joked (not wishing to seem to be making anything of it, just going at a normal pace) only to be met with silence, and virtually no recognition at all!

So they were supposed to be apostles of this new latest and satisfying fun side of off road riding? You know, putting the challenge back into things!

I don't see how!
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CarnaptiousB'Stard



Joined: 23 Sep 2016
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Location: Thorntonhall

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not quite getting them either Mustard.
I have never tried one but I'm imagining that even on gravel they might be a bit snakey at any great speed.
It's not a type of bike I would ever look into.
Best of both worlds ?
Not likely I reckon.

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Threevok



Joined: 30 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eating soup with a fork springs to mind again Twisted Evil

(Says the man who used a single speed in the snow)

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Mustard



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Musing about what some of us oldies (80 last November) get out of mountain biking, the joys of which change as we age -

As an example, I was dropping from the summit of Inglebrough last summer (I know- not strictly legal, but I like it) towards a small mixed group of elderly hikers gingerly trying to pick their way over a rocky little stretch, with the inevitable aid of those seemingly compulsory walking poles.

They heard the bike coming because it was slithering, sliding, and clattering down a steepish lose slabby rocky drop. The contrast of what they were trying to do, and what the bike was easily able to do, was obvious. They stood there, rooted to the spot just watching. I felt like a king as the bike picked it's way over 'their' rocks, and noted one of the women looking with amazement at a blood trickle down my leg. (Caught it on a rock further back.)

The irony was that I was far older than them because nowadays, we are lucky enough to have the knowledge and means to keep using it, and not losing it! Far too many of my age group give up, and either push up the daises, or just sit motionless and drooling in an old folks home. It really doesn't have to be like that. (Given decent health, that is, which again, has a lot to do with life style.)

So that's what the bike does for me. I can't compete with younger hot-shots who do death defying feats at trail centres, but I can compete with myself, and continue to do so out in the great outdoors. because we can revel in it! (Snow again tomorrow - out comes the old Stumpy again.)
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Mustard



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And while I'm wound up- when are Specialized going to stop fitting alloy spoke nipples to their wheels, at least for our British weather market! Fine, for those who buy a new bike every year, but a bugger for those pof us who keep our bikes for several years, and still expect them to work. Two of our winters of snow, ice, and salted roads, and they start to snap like twigs.

It isn't the threads which go, they just seize solid making it impossible to re-tension. It's the head part of the nipples which sit in the rim hole that corrode and snap. It isn't obvious if you just look at the wheel; you have to yank each spoke to see if it will pull away, complete with lower half of thread stuck to it!

I used to try and picture the forces working on a spoked wheel rim. Many claim that the axle (carrying bike and rider weight) is equally supported from both top and bottom of the rim, as it turns. But I would have thought, with firms like Mavik using flat thin spokes that the they would have no resistance in compression, only in tension. So surely, it has to be the top of the rim holding the axle up by those spokes in direct tension. (Pull.) So it makes sense that the corroded nipples constantly and rythmically being tensioned then eased as the wheel revolves, will just snap at the rim hole.

But hey, non snapped today, and the Stumpy behaved itself just fine, but bugger me it was cold! (Howling gale and driving snow with extreme wind chill.) Plenty of hikers setting out from Clay Bank, but non going up ontro the exposed tops. Neither was there even a single biker !

Can't say it was enjoyable - but what's the alternative??
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Mustard



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. Should have mentioned.

If the bottom of the wheel rim resting on the ground tries to deform by being forced upwards (inwards towards the axle) it will be resisted not by the vertical spokes directly above it, but by the spokes at each side of the rim, ( front and back) also being in tension, to prevent any rim deformation.

Unless anyone can explain otherwise?
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Mustard



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It increasingly seems that the patient (forum) is in mortal danger of being beyond resuscitation, (failing heartbeat - acutely unwell) .

'Shirley' it's worth a bit of effort to save? As the old saying goes, 'You don't know what you've got, till it's gone!'
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Doomanic



Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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Location: Evesham, Worcs

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly seems that way. I don't think there is even a need for a second opinion. Sad
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Magnus



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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