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

Patrick (89)

Solo cyclist, big tire advocate, maker and creator.

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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Patrick

Far East Shopping

Autumn purchases on AliExpress.

When it comes to cycling clothing, it should be stylish, comfortable, and practical, all while being reasonably priced. The brand is not important as long as it meets these standards. I don't have a loyal attachment to any particular brand, but if they consistently deliver, they may earn my repeat business. For years, I relied on DHB, which is sold by Wiggle, for my cycling apparel after returning to Switzerland from Northern California.

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Patrick

Marin Gestalt X12 On New Wheels

Marin Gestalt X12 with new wheels.

How wide is too wide? My wide tire journey for road cycling started on Compass Barlow Pass (700x38) tires back in 2016. WTB Horizon (650x47) followed in 2018. When I put 650B wheels on my Nordest Albarda, René Herse Switchback Hill (650x48) and Panaracer GravelKing (650x48, 52mm actual) tires took me a big step further on that journey. My Marin Gestalt X12 started rolling on René Herse Snoqualmie Pass (700x44) tubeless “shoes.” This bike has room for much more, so much, in fact, that 44mm looks skinny.

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Patrick

Volagi Viaje 2024 Update

The Volagi Viaje with its new 1x12 setup.

Following in the footsteps of the 1x12 conversion of my Nordest Albarda, the Volagi Viaje naturally has to be taken there, too. Volagi brought this bike to market in a Kickstarter campaign in August 2012. It was designed for the bike components of that time. Whenever new stuff comes out, message boards and comment sections fill up with cyclists moaning and groaning about the bike industry, forcing new standards upon us. I’m not one of them. I love seeing bike technology advance. I don’t adopt everything. In fact, a lot that’s supposedly “forced” on us isn’t my cup of tea. I’ll never buy a bike with fully internally-routed cables, for instance. I just won’t. But I love options. And options we have. Besides, when you can take an 11-year-old Volagi Viaje and throw the very newest components on it, where’s the reason to moan and groan? Standards haven’t changed all that much. You just need to be smart about the bikes and components you’re choosing.

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