A postscript of sorts -- sundry notes on gear - A great blue heron, a bear, and a butterfly: - CycleBlaze

A postscript of sorts -- sundry notes on gear

  • Osi the Raven was comfortable and reliable, as always. One small problem-in-the-making I nipped in the bud: Before the start of my mini-tour, I had replaced the patched Schwalbe Lightweight tube in my rear tire with a new XXLight tube.  On the morning of my third day, I noticed that the pressure was down to about 40-45 PSI from the usual 60.  I was puzzled, and then remembered a mention on a Thorn Cycles Forum thread about valve cores in Schwalbe tubes being prone to working loose.  I checked, and indeed, the valve core in my brand-new XXLight was not fully tightened.  In such situations, this little Park Valve Core tool is your friend, along with a 10 mm open-end spanner to turn it: 
Park valve core tool, with battery for sizing
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  • Altura Vortex 30 front panniers:  The jury is still out on these.  Their light weight (nearly 3 ½ lbs less than my 32-ltr Arkel Dauphins) is very welcome.  Much less so is the fiddly mounting system: wrangling the straps, plastic clips and (at the bottom)  velcro strap took me several minutes to mount and remove both panniers.  This, compared to mere seconds for each of the two Arkels that normally live on my front rack.  In most circumstances, I can leave the Alturas fixed to the bike – this seems to be the use for which they were designed.  But, if I have to remove and re-mount the panniers to, say, cross the walkway above the sluice gates at a lockstation on the Rideau Canal, then removing the Alturas becomes a serious PITA.
  • Much the same could be said about the Axiom handlebar bag vs the Arkel small h’bar bag.  The large (7 ltr) Axiom bag I used on this tour was much more of a hassle than its small (4 ltr) cousin: the straps fixing the “large” to the handlebar were far too short, so much so that re-threading them to mount the bag when full was infuriating and time-consuming—I needed three hands, not two.  (The small Axiom is dead easy by comparison.)  I’ll donate the large bag to someone who’ll leave it fixed in place. 

    Happily, this irritatin' discussion has been overtaken by events.  In early October I finally received the Revelate Sweetroll  handlebar bag (11 ltr) that I ordered a year ago.  This fits neatly onto my Raven’s accessory bar, and the Axiom small bag sits above it, easily attached to or removed from my handlebars. (Why even bother with it, you ask?  Simple answer: when the Sweetroll is attached to the Raven’s accessory bar, my Sinewave charger is exposed to wind, rain, dust, usw. The Axiom bag shields it from all that, and offers a pockets for odds and ends like glasses, sunblock, phone-keys-wallet and the like.)

    The arrangement looks like this:
    Raven with Revelate Sweetroll and small Axiom h'bar bag, Oct. 6 '21
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Jean-Marc StrydomGood to see you back on the road. And that Raven looks so good !
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2 years ago
John SaxbyTo Jean-Marc StrydomThanks, Jean-Marc. Not a grand heroic tour, to be sure, but so, so welcome. And the Raven just rolls sweetly along.

Take care, best to you and Leigh,

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2 years ago
Mike AylingJohn
Interesting comments re pannier weights.
We only have Ortlieb and although they are easy to load and unload the empty panniers do weigh a lot. You mention volume in litres yet weight in pounds. Is this just a result of using measures that you grew up with?
Re Rohloff first gear, I had to engage mine on a steep suburban street here in Melbourne recently on the Mercury. Of course as we age we start suffering significant muscle loss. I turned 79 a week ago and am starting to hear the Siren song of e assist!
Keep up the good work.

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2 years ago
John SaxbyTo Mike AylingThanks, Mike, glad you enjoyed my meanderings.

On the weight/volume measures of the panniers: The volumes of the panniers I simply take from the manufacturer's info--and the tare weights too, for that matter. When I weigh my gear, however, incl the full panniers, I use an antique spring-loaded 25-lb scale I bought ages back in the Mennonite town of St Jacob's, in SW Ontario. It sits proudly on the corner of my work bench, and has a lovely big white dial and a long pointer, and I can't bear to replace it with a battery-operated digital thing. I could do the conversions to metric in my head, but I usually take the lazy way out.

With you on the AA thing--age'n'arthritis--but for the moment, "press on regardless, if more slowly" still seems workable.

Best, J.
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2 years ago