Sunday, December 14, 2014

Light at the end of the Tunnel

Had a chance the other day to ride Gold Camp Road—it’s a local favorite with access to single track, interesting tunnels and depending on the section, little or zero traffic. Time to the 2015 TDR is marching on and I continue to test and evaluate gear choices. 

More on Saddles:

I tried the noseless Spiderflex saddle but have discarded it as it simply puts too much weight on my feet, hands and forearms.  In short there is no real ‘rest’ position; you always have to brace your arms or legs.  And it’s more difficult to grab & eat or other one-hand or no-handed actions with a noseless saddle

As part of my testing I have been riding without chamois padding.  Like everything else going combat has some pluses and minuses. Also along this line I will be trying some heavily padded, elastomer sprung “comfort saddles”.  These type saddles are aimed at the recreation/bike path crowd but my thinking is that if I remove the padding from my bike shorts but add padding to the saddle it might be a workable TDR combo.  In addition these type saddles are wider for a more upright position.  If I cannot find a clear winner I will simply buy a new Selle Italia Turbomatic.  That was my choice for 2014 and overall it’s the best saddle I have found for multi day.

Carbon ‘no-name’ fork is now on the bike.  Bike weight with aero bars is now 20.8lbs.  Once I put on the carbon rims with Nano’s I suspect I will be close to 20lbs.  So as mentioned in earlier posts with a 30lbs target this leaves 10lbs for bags, lights/electronics, sleep system, water system, tools, extra/rain clothing and miscellaneous gear. 

Sleep System:
As part of my quest to reach 30lbs I am going to test one of these as my TDR sleep system: Blizzard Survival Bag

From my web research these all-in-one bivy/bag are light, warm and waterproof.  On the other hand they are noisy, not very packable after 1st use and non-breathable.  But only some real testing will tell me if I want to use one on the TDR. 
My current sleep system, as seen above, is a SOL Escape™ Bivvy, old 1lb Montbell down bag and a couple of pieces of Therm-a-Rest foam.  I think with dry bag and straps it weighs in at 2 or so lbs. At the end of the day I know I will be in hotel rooms more than I think I will-- so who knows, a sub-1 lb sleep system may be just the ticket.