Alto

Temps remain a bit below normal in the Duke City, but you don’t have to shovel cool.

Stop? Not me.

It was a gorgeous St. Patrick’s Day in the Duke City, and everybody and his/her granny was out and about, trying to sweat out the remnants of Gaelic brain eraser.

I awarded myself a day off from riding other people’s bikes and used one of my own, the Steelman Eurocross pictured in yesterday’s post.

The great thing about a ’cross bike — the original gravel bike, don’t you know — is that you can ride it pretty much anywhere. And that’s exactly what I did. Pavement, good and bad; singletrack; two-track, whatever.

For instance, it’s great fun to zip down Tramway Road from Juniper Hill, pull a U at the bottom, and ride back up the gullied trail that parallels it instead of grinding along next to the hordes of goggling tram-bound tourists.

It would be easier on a modern gravel bike, like Salsa’s Journeyman Claris 650, with its 2.1-inch 650b’s and low end of 30×34. The Steelman maxes out at 700×33 and a bottom of 36×28.

But if God wanted our lives to be easier He wouldn’t have given us Il Douche.

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11 Responses to “Alto”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    You could probably put on a old man cassette but would then have to put on an old man derailleur

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Get thee behind me, Satan. The beast is likely to need new chainrings, chain and cassette here directly, and the temptation to dive even deeper into renovation, like the poor, is with us always.

      What I’m inclined to do is drop the chainring combo from 48/36 to 46/34. The Eurocross is many pounds lighter than the gravel bikes I’ve been riding, and I can get away with taller gearing.

      Can’t do shit about the tire size, though. Thirty-three millimeters is as fat as she gets.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    That’s what I like about the Salsa. I can put 45’s on it if the spirit moves me. I’ve run Richey Speedmax Cross 32’s on it and they are really lively but tend to wallow a bit in deep sand but are great on the Rail Trail for the most part. Right now I am running those Donnelly 700-40’s that I had on last summer when we did the Albuquerque ride.

    Yesterday I was able to plow through deep water, actually. Its been a bountiful snow and rain year up here in the City Indifferent. Heading south towards El Dorado, there is a low spot where the train tracks are up about 20 ft. on a trestle. Its normally dry but yesterday had about a foot or more cold snowmelt water rushing through it.On the way out there was a railroad tie lodged across so I tiptoed across. On the way home I didn’t see the tie so rode through it. Got pretty wet but it was fun.

  3. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Don’t be confusing ‘cross and gravel my friend!!! Having just spent 3 days in a giant hall full of these things with separate categories and awards for each. it’s a big deal.
    No matter (as someone said) telling ’em apart is like sexing kittens!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s nuts. All-road? Gravel? Adventure? The Category of Many Names.

      See any machinery or meals worth your time?

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        The industry wants to sell you a bike for every category but I don’t think they give a rat’s ass where (or if) you ride ’em.
        My take on NAHBS 2019 is up now https://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/2019/03/north-american-handbuilt-bicycle-show.html
        Food? As I wrote before, I didn’t go there for the food. If that was the most important thing I would have stayed in Italy as I’m sure a few Italians in Sacto were thinking? The trip was so the prof could attend her academic hobknobbery and I could join my friends at NAHBS – it was a home run on both of those counts!

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      So, is it OK to ride my cross bike on the road most of the time? Or do I need to buy something else?

      I wish I was there but just as a spectator not working like you are.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Of course not! You need a cross bike for cross, a gravel bike for gravel, a road bike for road, a dirt bike for dirt, a mountain bike for mountain, a trail bike for trail, a Tuesday Evening Full Moon bike for Tuesday evening with a full moon….

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        NAHBS – Dallas next year – March 22-24. Dunno yet if I will be there as the prof’s academic schedule comes first these daze.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Dallas? Albuquerque got overlooked again? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. …

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