The bike: RANS Stratus XP in Aluminum - The Granny Panties Tour - CycleBlaze

The bike: RANS Stratus XP in Aluminum

The final version?
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Our touring the past several years has been lightweight hotel trips with a SAG. Life is mighty easy with the Magic Carpet Bike.

This year our tour is a month long and self contained. It's still a hotel trip - but it doesn't seem fair to load the Go Fast Bike with that much gear. The wheels might start breaking spokes in protest!

My last big trip was to Alaska - I had a very heavy duty touring set up with a tandem wheelset, fairing for foul weather, etc. That seemed like overkill for this trip.

Hmmm, I need something in-between. I drafted my winter bike for the tour. It did need some modification. I moved the Terra Cycles underseat rack from the Alaska bike and purchased Planet Bike fenders.

My Arkel seat bag was in sad shape. The mesh had gradually sagged down and no amount of pulling it up helped. I have body parts that resemble the bag. I was surprised that my email exchange with Yves at Arkel did not result in my requested mesh replacement. In a way it did, except the charge was $45. So . . . . Arkel is not on my happy list. What to do about a seat bag? I decided to try making a bag with fabric I had on hand. I was quite happy with the result. I'm not sure if I identified the stress points for reinforcement, but I do think the bag will last a month. It also has a couple of small exterior pockets and a flag holder sleeve. Yay for me.

The sagging seat bag causes my happy flag to fly at half mast. Not good.
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I wanted a handy recumbent style handlebar bag. I contacted a couple of different specialty bag manufacturers. I have a Revelate Designs gas tank on my top tube that still looks like new. They were my first choice, but no go. Eric did suggest a start up company in Grand Junction, only an hour from me. They said yes, but then there was no action. Huurmph. I ended up repurposing a small shoulder bag that had a velcro strap as an option to mount it on a belt. That works very well as my important document/money bag. My phone fits in it and I can run a cord to the small speaker I use to play music while riding.

All of my bikes have a mount for a Dinotte 300R tail light. It's an investment, but very worthwhile. Last summer while riding in the San Luis Valley (wide open spaces with a long straight road), I had a car pull next to me and say they could see my light for miles and miles. Perhaps an exaggeration, but the Dinotte obviously makes an impact.

I use Rotor Cranks 46-36-24 as a concession to my delicate knees. Rear cassette is 11-32. I have the dubious honor of being able to balance at ~2.5 mph with this gearing combo.

I like Phil Wood hubs and custom wheels. This bike has the stock wheels it came with. My pocket book isn't what it used to be. I took a deep breath and decided to stick with what I have.

Tires are always a source of debate. I favor Schwalbe Marathon Slicks (now out of production). I had a set of Panaracer Somas on hand. Someone obviously suggested them to me, I can't remember who or when. But there they were, so they are now in use. The bike has made a trip to the shop and has a new rear cable and housing along with a new chain. I believe the bike is good to go.

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