Oveja Negra Posts an Instructional Video - CycleBlaze

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Oveja Negra Posts an Instructional Video

John Pescatore

I decided to do a N-2+1 and donated my 28 year Schwinn hybrid beater bike and will either sell or find a good home for my 24 year old Trek 520 as the -2 part. The +1 part is a Jamis Renegade, I guess what is now called a gravel bike.

The rationale was that I have a road bike for fitness/fun rides on the road, and really don't plan on doing fully loaded long tours. I do a decent amount of rail trail riding and an increasing amount of dirt/gravel road riding, and will do short 2-5 day credit card style touring rides.

Oh, and I felt like buying a new bike...

I also wanted to play with some new ideas:

  1. A 1X drive train - The Jamis has a SRAM 1x drive train, with a 38 tooth chain ring up front and a 11 x 42 in the back. The lowest gear is just as low as what I can reach on the 520, the highest gear is a good deal lower. So, I essentially get the granny gear but have to pedal at higher cadence on the few instances where I am going faster than 20 mph and pedaling. A bit weird getting used to SRAM shifting and my left hand keeps saying "Hey, give me something to do other than braking..."
  2. Bikepacking bags vs. panniers - on my road bike, several times per year I do 60 - 85 mile one way rides to friends houses and then my wife and other friends drive down, we socialize/go to dinner and then I put the bike on the car for the ride home. I needed to carry a change of clothes/shoes on the road bike, so I bought a Revelate expandable saddlebag. It worked pretty well, so for a 5 day ride I'll do in January from Venice FL to Jacksonville, I'll add a bar bag and a 1/2 frame bag.

As part of (2), based on some research and recommendations, I selected an Oveja Negra Front End Loader and Lunchbox combination. When it arrived and I eagerly went to install it on the Jamis drop bars, there were no instructions but many straps, buckles and strap guides. Kinda like buying a product from Apple - high quality stuff but they seem to think using it is easier than it really is...

I went to their web site, no instructions - I emailed them and they said "We have heard that, and are making an instructional video."

They have posted it on their Instagram page, and you can view it here.

Personally, I'd rather have a printable step by step instruction I can hold next to the bars while I install, but I can hear the "OK, boomer"s booming out...

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3 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo John Pescatore

I'd rather have a printable step by step instruction I can hold next to the bars while I install

John, John, John -- don'tcha know that you have to have to keep your iPad/etc on your workbench so you can see the vid? and then poke the replay button with your greasy finger?  ;-)

When you do get the Oveja Negra gear installed, though, I'd welcome hearing about your experience with it.

Cheers,  John

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3 weeks ago
John PescatoreTo John Saxby

I won't have any multi-day touring feedback until January, but I did get the Front End Loader/Lunch box mounted - before the video was out! 

I did one of those 1 way rides - a 50 miler to my daughter's house in Vienna VA from our house in Ashton MD, a mix of some road riding but mostly to connect various paved trails: Rock Creek, Capital Crescent, Mt. Vernon, Custis, Washington and Old Dominion.  It is kind of a fun way, but not the shortest, to get across the Potomac River and over/under the Washington Beltway that separates us.

I used a waterproof stuff sack I use kayaking and had figured out how wide I could let the bag be and still have enough room between the drop bars to shift. The 1x drive train helps a bit, as you don't need as much room on the left side, but I wasn't carrying that much on this try so didn't push it. I carried a change of clothes and a jacket since it was marginally cold and chance of showers, and some odds and ends for my daughter.

The front end loader cinched up the bag fine, plenty of clearance above the tire on the Jamis (which has disc brakes).  Getting the bag on/off involves 4 buckles - once cinched in, no need to loosen to get off, etc.  Saved weight over putting my low rider racks and panniers on (the Jamis does have the braze ons) but packing the same amount of stuff into a pannier bag is easier to me than into a stuff sack.

I'll give a report after more use and the Venice-Jacksonsville ride. I didn't take a picture of it loaded up but here is a shot of it on the Jamis with no stuff sack.

With the stuff sack on and the straps cinched, the Front End Loader curls up (above the tire) and the sack gets pulled up.
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3 weeks ago
John SaxbyTo John Pescatore

Thanks, John.  Glad you were able to get it all securely mounted.

That's an interesting arrangement, for what it offers in capacity and weight:  As a comparison, on my Thorn Raven touring bike, I currently use a small (6-ltr) Arkel handlebar bag, which clips onto the cast alloy Arkel mounts. (Those in turn are on an accessory T-bar mounted on the steerer tube below the h'bar clamp.)

This setup is supremely handy and quick, durable, waterproof and secure, with things that I like such as external web pockets and a clear plastic case for maps, cue sheets, etc.  It is comparatively heavy, though -- a little over 2 lbs empty.  I'm reluctant to sacrifice the handy-ness for lighter weight, tho', and so far haven't found an alternative setup.  I looked long and hard at a DillPickle h'bar bag that would save me a pound, BUT it would cost me more than Cdn$300, taking account of spec for the bag, currency differential, and shipping  :)  So, I decided against it.

Enjoy your rides and the packing and testing.  No more serious riding for me for another few months -- winter has arrived in Ottawa.

Cheers,  John

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3 weeks ago