• “I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days” – Unknown
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CX / Gravel Cyclocross biking

Discussion in 'Cycling Department Forum' started by Bram, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member

  2. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member

    Results of another little test ride this week. real riding will have to wait until we get back from our Easter holiday in The sun.

    Flaviu likes this.
  3. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member


    Been riding clip-less since 1987 . you can not compare what the latest pedals are like to the old ones , yes I fell off so many time getting my feet stuck in them , but to be honest the SPD's have no issues never been stuck yet . I have the tension quite light , with no popping out they hold fine . I like these mixed flats & SPD 's for in the city & off road not as much risk of slipping off while trying to clip in due to the extra flat pedal frame , & with the advantage of been able to just use normal shoes if you want to ride to the shops or have no option to change shoe's at the end of your ride. I would go for a Cross shoe option over the MTB walking style shoe's I found them a little to wide & they rubbed the cranks on a more road style crank arm. & you get a stiffer more racing shoe soul yet you still can walk in them like a normal shoe.
    You may find with some of the walking shoe style MTB shoe that only the mid section is reinforced to hold the Cleats , & that can lead to pressure on the middle of your foot on long rides & foot pain.

    These days you can get MTB shoe that look like racing shoe but with treads & clearance to walk on. I pick some cheap Scott MTB/Cross shoe up a few years back they have not let me down yet only problem been wet feet when in rains.
    I the long run I want some winter type waterproof one's but they are little pricey unless you get lucky I fine them in the sales.
    But I like the SPD's I have very good they are cheap and seem to last very well . I have the normal double sided one's two on another road bike . I just like the safety side of these when you are in traffic at the lights or crossing junctions were you can not afford to slip off the pedals in heavy traffic, something that will happen while you are new to them & like I say it is the best of both worlds for a slight weight gain.
  4. arthur666

    arthur666 Senior Member

    Flaviu, dazzyb2k3 and Jan Larsen like this.
  5. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen Well-Known Member

    Just bought my first pair of clipless pedals and shoes. Cue tipping over and looking generally inexperienced for the next few weeks...
    Jim Layee and arthur666 like this.
  6. arthur666

    arthur666 Senior Member

    You're gonna love them.

    Eventually. :)
  7. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen Well-Known Member

    Actually, I'm already loving them. Tried them out first time today and its much better than flats, the foot dosent move around. Clipping out is dead easy, but clipping in will take some learning; took me a few tries each time before I was successfull. I also adjusted the seat forward and raised the angle on the handlebar. All the adjustments combined made a tremendous impact on the comfort! Took a 20 mile ride on various surfaces (mainly asphalt as I was testing a new route to a new job) today and my knee pain is gone, as is the slight backpain I was experiencing. Also bought summer gloves with as much padding as possible and this helped eliminate numb hands. All in all I'm very satisfied and now basically ready to tackle the 10 mile ride back and forth from my new job starting in May :)
    Accidently, on my ride today, I bumped into the annual city center road bike race and stopped to watch the riders for a few minutes. Or, that was the plan; a gentleman spotted me and asked if he could take a closer look at my bike since he had the road going Giant TCR. 30 minutes later I hadnt seen a single rider, but instead presented the bike in every detail like a dedicated salesman lol.
    Flaviu, Burke Wells and arthur666 like this.
  8. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member

    Clip-less is the only way , all the bad days with lack of movement & resulting knee issues are long in the past now. back in the days of only Look pedals .
    Take it you are on SPD's I like my combined flat with SPD's on one side . Do have the double sided model to . but the Combined work very well for my work runs & trail riding. I got sick of swapping systems over at the weekends or on Holidays.
    The new seat post works perfect now think I need to replace the seat though for one with thicker rails , they do not support 8 mm rails , getting some creaking but it seem's ok.
    But now I need some info on your 1 X 11 drive train , what are you using up front on the chain ring wise ? I was thinking no lower than 40 tooth for the drive ring. and maybe 10 through 42 rear on 11 speed hub , as long has my rear wheels support a Sram replacement hub . if not I know the Schimano now have some 1X11 groups but only for MTB also FSA are doing front cranks & chain-rings.
    it is research time for now I am back from my short 6 days holiday in the Sun back to cold & wet northern Europe .
    Think this will be a summer project just getting the bits together, I like this set up its simple & perfect for Hamburg & its surround area's . with a good range of gears to tackle anything found here or in the few steep grades found along the Cyclassic's route . less to go wrong to.
    arthur666 likes this.
  9. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen Well-Known Member

    Actually I went into the shop with the expectation of coming back out with SPD's, but actually came out with a pair of Crankbrothers after trying each out. Dead simple, dosen't require any service, has replaceable bearings and clears mud better. Over the next few weeks I'll play around with cleat position to get it perfect. Only downside is that the tension is non-adjustable, but they feel fine.

    My drivetrain consist of a FSA Gossamer Pro, 40T narrow-wide teeth chainring, w/Giant 1x chain guide, KMC X11 chain and SRAM PG1130, 11-32T, 11sp cassette. The entire bike setup can be found here: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/tcx-slr-1
    Flaviu likes this.
  10. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member

    Well I did it, 1x10 build for my cross bike.
    FSA Super Megatooth 1x11 Chainring
    Shimano Deore RD-M615 Shadow+10 speed , from a damaged goods bin in local Bike shop for good money.

    I have had to move onto flat bars instead of using drops. has Shimano have no road shifter that work with their newer long pull
    Rear mechs.

    Not a big issue , I have been thinking of moving away from racing style drop bars for a while .
    So yes one Deore Shifter.

    New bars forget the make but not pricey again reduced price old stock I think this time around.
    some brake levers Shimano.

    A 9 Speed 11 to 32 cassette ? why 9 you may say , well I started out planing to just go with the rear mech that I had with the shifters I had , those are all 9 speed.

    Then I found the found the Damaged goods bin in the shop , that meaning packing damaged in transit but the Item in in working order, but can be no longer sold at full price.
    I also have the luck to have two rival Big Chain cycle shops in my street & only 50 meters apart, not like competition for getting bargain prices.

    Took my two days to put it all together & a little use of my spare parts bin to save on buying new cables & the likes of but early evening on Saturday & took it for a short ride around the back yard were I live just to make sure everything was working ok.

    Today we did a longer 20 KM run just to bed everything in & get use to the gear shifting & bars.
    Still have to get some grips using some old one's from my Girlfriends bike . not ideal , but I was to late last evening to get to the bike shop for new ones they had closed.

    but they will fine until Monday.
    No pictures yet, It needs a good cleaning yet but so far I am impressed by the performance of this wide narrow 1 X 10 /11 system.
    Their is zero chain noise almost . chain slap is gone even though I have not engaged the stiffer clutch setting as of yet.
    Shifting is very smooth though I still need to do some fine tuning.

    Chain showed not one sign of derailing with the front chain-ring , bike is lighter .
    I still want to move onto a 10 speed bloke with a 40 + max & a 11 bottom , but that is for another day , but very happy so far.
    Big thanks for the advice & pointing me in the direction of 1 X 10 / 11. Jan Larsen.

    Flaviu and Bram like this.
  11. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen Well-Known Member

    Your welcome :)
  12. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member

    CIMG1864.JPG CIMG1866.JPG CIMG1868.JPG

    I said I would post an update of the changes made to my Focus Mare's Cross bike , since taking the plunge into the 1 X10 drive set-up .
    I have now swapped back onto my old Marathon Green Guard tires , but plan to very soon buy the very new for 2017 Marathon all seasons tires with their better all round mixed surface & weather capabilities .
    I still need to make some minor tweaks to the gears just letting things run in a bit first.
    2nd run out last week saw me snap a chain , my own fault for now fitting a new one , has you always should.
    that was the first time I ever snapped a chain in over thirty years of riding a bike , I wont be happening again.

    Other than that its running brilliant did near 70 km's over mixed trails & city cycle paths on Friday during our Company day out, not one hint of chain slap .
    It really is like another world form my old set-ups , in fact I think I have almost the perfect bike for all round riding after 5 years of messing around with mods.
    I have so many broken parts from the abuse that just riding in a city can bring , you soon find out what works or not under such conditions.
    Trial riding is less damaging I find.
    I hope you like the changes , the bike in the back ground BTW is my Girlfriend KTM trekking bike a nice bike but weighs a ton with all the fitting that you find on such bikes . this may be the next bike to switch to 1 X 10 if I can talk her into it that is.
    Flaviu and Jan Larsen like this.
  13. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen Well-Known Member

    Took another ride this evening, perfect weather and good legs. Had my first clipless pedal induced 'crash' (tipped over) into some poisoness plants that gave a rash and an itch, but other than that it was a nice, high pace, high pulse ride :)

    The ruts here were quite a challenge, they dont look big in the picture, but they got worse a few turns down the trail...

    ...as you can see here. Not really the best surface for a solid frame bike.

    However, it got better, and with the evening sun made for some nice scenery :) 20170602_190417.jpg

    Also found a hidden grass path.

    The local 'darkwood' forrest bit. Its almost pitch black in there, even in broad daylight. Actually quite spooky with sunglasses on.

    Also found a few miles of gravel :) 20170602_192230.jpg

    These grass hills are used by dog walkers and have developed a decent, small trail. Obviously I used it, even though it was a challenge to get up there :)
  14. Bram

    Bram Senior Member

    We should ride together one time. Those are exactly the unbeaten paths I love to ride <3
    Jan Larsen likes this.
  15. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen Well-Known Member

    You'd be very welcome, I could show you my route (or vice versa) and finish the day with a hard-earned barbecue or something :).

    My next adventure will be to explore the best singletrack the country has to offer 30 miles from my apartment. 20km of nothing but singletrack and trail, ups and down, all in one big forrest. Its meant for MTB, but the surface is decently smooth (man made, but natural), so it should offer a great challenge.

    A video of it can be found here (on an e-MTB coincidently; something I'd really like to try one day):
  16. John.Dylan.Spooner

    John.Dylan.Spooner Active Member

    We took a ride out last weekend into Hamburgs woodland about 15 km outside central Hamburg. I wanted to try my new Navi computer from Falk, made my own GPX route up using their online trail & road map service.
    Then off we went we had a few errors with the route due to some of the paths been blocked on route.
    Just the normal mistake's you make when using new gear for the first time.
    I too found myself visiting the nature in a way I did not want to , wrong tires on a steep rutted decent with loose sandy soil, end result hand full of thorns & been bitten by what ever else was living in the nature there.
    Also I damaged my crash hat, well that is what its is there for, bike was fine nothing broken.
    but I have developed a bad knee since last week so taking steady now for a few days now , before the next adventure in the woods. next time I will take some pictures.
    Today we took a look at some new helmets seen some very nice one with visors the can be raised or lowered even ones that react to light changes like sunglasses . better for me can be worn with glasses , some thing that I have no choice but to ware. so some extra protection would be very nice. If you do no mind looking like Robo Cop or some out of a Si-fi film.

    That route you found looks excellent keep those pictures coming.

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