Montagne de Romont on January 5, 2020.
Montagne de Romont on January 5, 2020.
Patrick

Patrick (87)

Solo cyclist, big tire advocate, maker and creator.

Patrick

 Dream Bike Or One That Does The Job

The top of the Romontberg.

When I first got into cycling in the mid-80s, entry-, mid-level, and high-end bikes were not tremendously far apart. Mountain bikes had no suspension, and frames were made from steel or aluminum. Groupsets were the primary difference between bikes. An entry-level bike had Shimano LX, a mid-level bike was equipped with DX, and a top-of-the-line bike came with XT. I started on an entry-level bike, moved to a mid-level Specialized Stumpjumper, and soon rode a World-Cup-level Muddy Fox with a full Shimano XT groupset. Even seat posts were part of such groupsets back then. XT came with a nice black steel seat post. You read that right: a seat post made out of steel. A few years later, I spent a small fortune owning a Merlin Titanium with XTR derailleurs and many boutique components. For much of my cycling career, I bought or built nice bikes that cost a lot. They were never outrageously expensive, but more than I needed.

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Patrick

Fat-Biking To Start 2024

The Chasseral antenna on January 21, 2024.

On the weekend of January 13th and 14th, snow covered the trails almost to my house. I did a 3-hour ride across the Bözingenberg on Saturday, the 13th, and a 4-hour loop across Plagne and the Stierenberg on Sunday, the 14th. Warm weather and rain during the week pushed the snowline up several hundred meters. Luckily, the mercury dropped below zero on Friday and remained there for the weekend.

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Patrick

Centerlock Rotor Comparison

160mm Centerlock Two-Piece Rotors.

Whenever possible, I equip a bike with Centerlock rotors. I used to have rotors with the 6-bolt interface, but after experiencing some hub failures with 6-bolt rotors, particularly on road hubs, I now prefer Centerlock hubs. I have used SRAM Centerline X, TRP TR25, and Jagwire Pro LR2 rotors. I always install 160 mm rotors on the front and back of road and gravel bikes, except for my Volagi Viaje bikes, which require a 140 mm rotor on the back. Very recently, I bought a pair of Bucklos RT-MT760 rotors on AliExpress. They looked good, and you get a pair, including lockrings, for the price of one of the better-known brands.

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Patrick

My Minimalist Home Bike Workshop

My minimalist home bike workshop.

Learning how to do bike maintenance is a great way to save time and money. I have been maintaining and building my bikes for about 35 years and have always done so with very little equipment. If you are relatively new to cycling and would like to work on your bike, a Google image search for "home bike workshop" will likely scare you away from getting started. Many of the garage or basement shop setups that people share online are sometimes more spacious and better equipped than your local bike store. You don’t need that.

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Patrick

Wheel And Tire Testing

Climbing the Romontberg.

In November, I got a new wheelset for my Marin Gestalt X12. Before that, it was using seven-year-old Nox Composites Citico wheels with Chris King R45D hubs. The new wheels had Hope Pro5 Centerlock hubs, Light Bicycle WG44 rims, and René Herse Antelope Hill tires. I enjoy climbing on my bikes and also like to descend. The new wheels were great for climbing, fast on flat surfaces, and smooth on gravel. However, they were not perfect for descending. Specifically, when I exceed 50 kph with head and crosswinds on open descents that are not too steep, the steering becomes wobbly and insecure.

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