The light of autumn on November 15, 2020.
The light of autumn on November 15, 2020.

offtrail.guru

A small blog about offtrail riding, allroad cycling, fatbiking and singlespeeding.

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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Patrick

Nordest Albarda 2023 Update

Nordest Albarda in a new 1x12 setup for 2024.

My Nordest Albarda was built on a budget in the fall of 2019. I used a Nox Composites wheelset that had previously been on my red Volagi Viaje. The braking system and 2x11-speed SRAM Red eTap HRD drivetrain were borrowed from my Ritte.  In 2020, I purchased a SRAM Red AXS groupset for the Nordest and moved the eTap HRD parts back to the Ritte. In the spring of 2021, I asked 47° Nord to lace a pair of Chris King R45D hubs to a set of Light Bicycle 650B WR35 carbon rims. That’s how I’ve ridden the bike for the last two and a half years, sometimes swapping out the wheels using the Nox with grippier tires during the winter months.

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Patrick

Travel Bookings To Balconia

Climbing the Grenchenberg

The last time my wife and I traveled was in October 2017. We drove to Nice to meet an American friend who happened to spend a few days there. We used the trip to Nice to visit a bunch of wineries in the Rhône Valley. On the way back, we crossed the border into Italy for a winery tour through the Piedmont region. A drive across the Great St Bernard pass brought us back to Switzerland. We have not spent any vacations abroad or within Switzerland since. Seeing how one natural disaster is following the next on our ever-hotter planet, who can still travel with a good conscience today? Travel by air or by car is a luxury only a few on this planet can even afford. It’s a First World luxury and not a necessity. For a healthier planet and the future of generations to come, we should honestly do without.

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Patrick

Summers Are Getting Shorter

Road between Frinvillier and Péry.

As climate change is lengthening summers and making them frighteningly hotter, summers for cyclists or anyone else exercising outdoors, for that matter, are already getting a lot shorter. The two heatwaves that hit Switzerland's northern half shortened my 2023 summer cycling already by a whole month in which I was off the bike. In those four weeks, I didn’t exercise at all and spent little time outdoors. I only caught a bit of fresh air, if one can even call it "fresh" when I sat under our sun shades on the balcony with my laptop and a cold Lagunitas IPA. Instead of hitting the road or climbing trails, weekends were spent inside watching Netflix or Apple TV.

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